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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday Notes (10/7)

Head coach Mark Richt held his regular Tuesday news conference today, along with several Georgia players. Here are the major news and notes from the day:

-- It sounds like Dannell Ellerbe won't see much -- if any -- action Saturday.

Darryl Gamble said he would be getting his first career start at the Mike linebacker position, with Akeem Dent starting at Sam and Rennie Curran filling his usual role at Will.

"I haven't played a lot against Tennessee, just special teams really," Gamble said. "I think it'll be one of my better games, my first game starting at Mike. So I think it will be exciting for me."

Gamble said Ellerbe could see some action, but he wasn't anticipating any significant time for the preseason All-SEC linebacker.

"He's going to try to play, try to get a few snaps here and there to see how he feels," Gamble said. "From yesterday, he didn't practice yesterday, so I'm thinking he's not going to play much."

-- There could be another shake-up on the offensive line as well. Richt said Cordy Glenn has been practicing the past two weeks at left guard and could get the start over Chris Davis. The other four positions -- Justin Anderson (RT), Clint Boling (RG), Ben Jones (C) and Vince Vance (LT) -- look to remain unchanged.

"For a guy to be a true freshman and to look the way he has, I was amazed at how little he struggled," Richt said of Glenn. "Not that he's not struggling, but usually a freshman somewhere along the line really blows a gasket in camp or even in the beginning. He just somehow I know he had help from centers and from tackles but it's not easy to do. He's held up really good all through this whole experience. From early on, he gave us confidence he was going to be ready to play this year."

-- It sounds as if Knowshon Moreno is near 100 percent this week, although Richt said he would wear an elbow brace during the game. Moreno, however, said he has not worn any brace in practice so far this week. Richt also indicated Richard Samuel could see a bit more time at running back after he failed to play a single snap on offense last week.

"Right now, we think Knowshon will be as full speed as he would have been without that little setback," Richt said. "We might be more apt to give Richard a few more carries than he got. We've got to watch Knowshon. We have to watch his energy level. He's been good. Some guys won't go out no matter what even if they're just not full speed. If he feels like he needs a break, he'll let us know, and we'll make that sub."

-- The Dawgs also get fullback Brannan Southerland back this week, and he'll have a special honor to start the game:

"I think it's significant in that he's one of the finest leaders on this team," Richt said. "He's one of the most respected and maybe arguably the most respected player on this team. Our coaches actually voted him offensive captain, and he hasn't even taken a snap offensively if that gives you an indication of how our staff feels about his leadership ability."

Richt praised the work of Shaun Chapas as well, but admitted the Bulldogs may be more likely to use the fullback in short-yardage situations now that Southerland is back.

"We might be a little more apt to use him in short-yardage and goal-line situations because we've done that in the past. It wasn't that those plays were out (with Chapas) but we just didn't use him as much."

-- The tight end position isn't quite as bad as people think, Richt said.

Reason No. 1: Aron White

"Aron White is actually taking the bull by the horns," Richt said. "He's seizing the opportunity. He's blocking better than he has ever blocked. He's got more energy than he has ever had. When you're third string, you have a certain mentality. It's hard to have that eye of the tiger or whatever you want to call it. But now you're the starter, so now it's different for him. He's practicing extremely well, and we're thrilled about that."

Reason No. 2: Kiante Tripp

"Kiante Tripp, full-time tight end," Richt said. "He's not taking any reps at tackle right now. He did some last week when we were scrimmaging some guys just to finish out, but he's in the tight end meetings, he's getting tight end reps, he's a capable blocker and he actually has very good hands."

Reason No. 3: Bruce Figgins

"Bruce Figgins practices yesterday against the scouts. He'll practice today. He'll probably get a little bit of inside drill. He'll get some work to really see how that shoulder feels. Bruce, there's a very good chance Bruce will play."

-- With Kris Durham out and Tavarres King questionable, Richt said he expected senior Kenneth Harris to see a bit bigger role this week.

"Kenneth is a senior. He knows what to do, and there's no question he'll play," Richt said. "I can't sit here and say how many balls are going to be directed his way, but he'll definitely make a contribution at receiver."

-- The penalty problems have been a focal point for Richt this week. While he was quick to point out that good teams tend to also have lots of penalties -- see LSU, Florida, FSU during Richt's years there -- but he was putting and end to that at Georgia for the rest of this season.

"I'm wearing them out," Richt said. "I'm wearing them out physically. Before I was a little reluctant to make such a strong point, I was concerned about some aggressive play and all that kind of thing, but my strategy and my thoughts were wrong. The penalties have not slowed down and have cost us. I did a poor job on the front end of this."

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