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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Practice Notes (11/20)

Ramarcus Brown started nine games his sophomore season and figured to have a bright future at cornerback for Georgia. As it turned out, however, he hasn't cracked the starting lineup since.

Rather than sulk over his reduced role, Brown has embraced the opportunities he has had during his senior season, and he was rewarded with a spot on the field during Georgia's game-saving defensive stand against Auburn last week.

"It's always great to be out there on the field playing for Georgia any time in the game," said Brown, who has also been one of Georgia's primary kick returners this season. "I'm always ready, waiting for the opportunity, and it was fun to be out there with the guys to celebrate that victory."

Brown has been the posterboy for patience throughout his career, head coach Mark Richt said, but his key role in the second half against Auburn was no token of thanks. Richt said Brown earned his way onto the field.

"He's never been a guy to complain about a thing," Richt said. "If all he'd ever done was special teams, I'm sure he would have done it hard with a good attitude, but he's had a chance to be the guy making the plays when it counts the most and he's come through."

That moment came on Auburn's last-gasp attempt to find the end zone in the final seconds of Georgia 17-13 win. Tigers quarterback Kodi Burns threw Brown's way on fourth down, but the senior corner had tight coverage in the end zone and the pass fell incomplete.

"We were playing man coverage, and I was just thinking I need to be at my best," Brown said. "I didn't know where they were going to throw the ball at, but I didn't want to be the reason we gave up a touchdown and lost the game."

Fans may have been surprised to see Brown on the field during the key stretch late in the game, but his teammates weren't. As defensive tackle Corvey Irvin said, it wasn't much of a surprise that Brown made the play either.

"He really didn't give up when he wasn't playing," Irvin said. "He didn't pout or moan. When his name was called, he answered, and had a big stop on fourth down."

-- Richard Samuel began the year as the No. 2 tailback, then was passed by Caleb King and received just one carry between Sept. 13 and Nov. 1. King missed a key block against Florida three weeks ago and hasn't seen the field on offense since.

While both players have battled back and forth on the depth chart and both have spent plenty of time on the bench, starter Knowshon Moreno said the duo has never complained about the lack of playing time.

"I think they've handled it pretty well, just waiting for their number to get called," Moreno said. "When it does get called, they're making the best of each run. Richard is running hard, and when Caleb's in there, he's making people miss. I think they've done a good job adjusting."

-- Georgia's scout team has its work cut out for it preparing to mimic Georgia Tech's triple option offense, and Richt said the first few attempts during practice haven't gone particularly well.

Richt said freshman Baccari Rambo, who is redshirting this season, has done a nice job of picking up the Tech offense, which is similar to the one Rambo ran as a quarterback at Seminole County high school.

"I think if Baccari Rambo spent enough time, if that was the system he was there to run, I think Baccari could run it very well as a quarterback," Richt said. "He's a talented ball handler, runner and passer."

Although he's planning to be part of the defensive back rotation next season, Rambo has been Georgia's top scout team quarterback all season, playing the role of Tim Tebow and Kodi Burns among others. The work memorizing opposing offenses, Richt said, could be a big plus when Rambo is working full-time on the other side of the ball in 2009.

"I think any kid who really understands offensive football who plays defense has an advantage," Richt said.

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