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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Preseason Week 3 Wrap-up

We're less than a week away from Game 1, which should have fans excited -- though no doubt has the UGA coaching staff concerned. The number of green jerseys diminished a bit during Week 3 of camp, but not by much.

With linebacker Charles White going down for the season, the Bulldogs' depth took another hit. The freshmen DBs have been a bit slow to develop, too, which adds extra concern in the secondary. We did finally get some answers as to who will start on the O line, but we're still not sure if Knowshon will be fielding punts, who will handle kickoffs, and just how the reserve spots at virtually every position on the depth chart will shake out.

We should get those answers soon, though, which will make this an interesting week.

In the meantime, here's a quick rundown of some bonus material from Week 3 of camp:

Head coach Mark Richt on Knowshon wearing the green jersey:

"He's getting some contact. That green jersey is supposed to keep you from having to strike anybody or have someone strike you, but when you get the ball in your hand, you tend to get shots. I think he's getting plenty right now."

Richt on the O line:

"Chris Davis has done a nice job at center. And Ben (Jones) has certainly been competing. Ben is doing well. Strickland has come a long way. But the two guys who have been the most solid inside have been (Vince) Vance and Chris. (Kiante) Tripp and (Trinton)Sturdivant were getting very solid, and we were getting very comfortable where they were, and now with Trinton out, we've had to disrupt Tripp at the right tackle, we're moving him to left tackle, and by doing that we moved Josh Davis from the left to the right, it's just different. New techniques and you lose that guy working side by side that is so much a part of that line play."

Richt on the decision to bring Tripp from defense to offense last year:

"It was a good move for us. We're thankful we've got him over there now. He's helping us still be pretty solid at the tackle position, and as he gets better, he'll be more than just solid. Without him here right now, we'd be spinning pretty hard right now."

Richt on right tackle Josh Davis:

"The only thing that's going to hold Josh back a little bit is the strength issue, and he's improved tremendously. He's still not as far as you'd like him, but he's making great progress in that area. What he is lacking there, he's been making up for it with knowledge, effort and tenacity."

Wide receiver Tony Wilson on his love of the Olympics:

"I ran the 200 and 120 meters my junior year in high school. When I got to college, I wanted to run, but my priority was football and taking care of school. Track kind of eased away. But any chance I get to watch the Olympics, it's amazing. I record everything. I just like seeing people run, that's just me. I even ran against Walter Dix in high school. It's kind of amazing seeing somebody I ran against in high school now running in the Olympics and doing as good a job as he's doing. My signature race is coming up the 200 meters. What Usain Bolt did in the 100 meters, times that in the 200. It's going to be incredible. He's probably a couple of months older than me I'm 20, he's 21 and for him to be running that fast, I was wondering what they're doing over there in Jamaica. I even love the gymnastics, tennis, the swimming with Michael Phelps. I know Ryan Lochte when to Sports Creek, one of the schools down in Daytona, so I used to get to watch him swim."

Running back Richard Samuel on his camp competition with Caleb King for the No. 2 RB job:

"We're both talented. Just because he's injured doesn't mean I have a leg up on him. When he comes back, if he comes back 100 percent, he's still the same, so we're still both on the same playing field."

O lineman Vince Vance on his -- and Kiante Tripp's -- move from defense to offense:

"As far as switching position from D end to offensive line and then from one positition on offensive line to another, yeah I can relate with him because of course I did the same thing. As far as him being over at left tackle, Kiante is athletic as crap, so I feel comfortable with Coach Searels decision."

"I was a freshman coming out of high school, and I was only like 260, so I felt like I still had the speed to be a D end and I just loved playing D end, so of course I didn't agree with it. But it all worked out for the best."

Kicker Blair Walsh on whether or not he would tell Richt to let him kick a long field goal:

"It's all about him, honestly. I could tell him I've got the long field goal, but it's really up to him. He'll know my yardage even probably better than I do. But that's something that comes with seniority. I wouldn't step up there and say, Coach, I've got it from this far.' It's a privilege to have the faith in you to do that. You've got to earn that."

Walsh on what his mind-set is when kicking a field goal:

"I just zone out. The adrenaline starts pumping. I don't hear the fans. I focus on Brian's hands the entire time, and as soon as that ball goes, my left foot goes, my whole goal is just to hit it straight and get it up. That's it."

Defensive coordinator Willie Martinez on safety John Knox:

"It's like hot and cold. He's a young guy, learning the defense. For every good play, he makes a bad play. But he's got the ability."

Martinez on the importance of getting pressure from the D line:

"It's very important for our front four to put pressure any time you can generate pressure without blitzing the more you can do that, the more opportunity you have to be successful. Everybody puts pressure on offense when you blitz, but you can't do that all the time. These offenses are very, very good, there's a lot of things you need to defend, and you're really taking a risk factor when you take that shot."

Running backs coach Tony Ball on the development of freshman backs Richard Samuel, Dontavius Jackson and Carlton Thomas:

"I think with Richard and Dontavius having the opportunity to come in as a midyear has certainly helped them. Not that it's put them ahead of Carlton Thomas in any way because Carlton Thomas has done a pretty good job of learning what to do, but I'd say Richard coming in midyear has really helped him learn the system, mature, and understand what it's going to take to be game-ready. I'd say he's put himself in position."

Ball on the redshirt possibilities for Thomas and Samuel:

"We certainly want to feel like if we're going to play them on special teams, they're going to be able to give us quality reps as an offensive player also. We just don't want to burn a year just to bring a kickoff return back, so we've got to feel like they can help us on offense."

QB Matthew Stafford on Georgia's big-play capabilities:

"I think we've got a chance to be pretty explosive, both running the ball and throwing it. We've got guys back there that can really make plays running the football if we can open up some holes, which I know we can, and if we protect, I think we've got a chance to run by some people and maybe be a little more explosive than we were last year."

WR Mohamed Massaquoi on the addition of A.J. Green to the WR corps:

"I think their addition to the team is especially good. You get to see things from a young perspective, and it kind of rejuvenates you and makes you want to go out there. It's kind of like when you're competing with your older brother or younger brother. The older brother always wants to do better than the younger brother. (Green) pushes me to do things. I learn from him as much as he learns from me."

DT Kade Weston on his injury situation:

"I think I'm close, but I've got a lot more to work on. Sometimes it gets sore, so I've got to work on my flexibility and get stronger. I think Ron (Courson) and the staff have done a good job of putting me through a program I need to get better."

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