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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Few Words of Caution

I know everyone is pretty interested in the numbers from the scrimmage today, and given that the scrimmage was the first live action we've seen from the Dawgs under game-like conditions since April, the stats are definitely worth noting. But, before anyone gets too worried or too excited, it's probably good to keep a few things in mind:

1.) The No. 1 units faced the No. 2 units, so Richard Samuel's big stats didn't exactly come against the top competition. (Although from people who watched the scrimmage, the reports are that he really did look as impressive as the numbers indicate.)

2.) Even the No. 1 unit was not a real No. 1. As I mentioned in my practice notes, the top three linebackers didn't play in the scrimmage. So before anyone worries about the defense a whole lot, we should probably see what happens when Rennie Curran is on the field.

3.) All those hamstring injuries... Mark Richt is a good guy and he's usually pretty open with the media, but I have to assume there's a little bit of blurring of facts here. First off, it was just two days ago that he lauded the players' preparation, noting that there had been just one case of cramping during practice since Wednesday. Did that all of a sudden change after special teams work yesterday? I have my doubts.

Also, Richt said this regarding the hamstring injuries: "They're not pulled, but guys have gone to the brink with fatigue and cramping in the hamstring." Raise your hand if you think freshman Mike Gilliard was physically prepared for today's scrimmage, but Rennie was on the brink of fatigue. Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

My guess here is that the coaches wanted to get a better look at the younger guys and the players whose jobs were pretty well sewn up got a little extra time off -- particularly given the rainy, muddy surfaces that can lead to injuries.

4.) A couple people mentioned Marcus Washington. Yes, he played mostly at D-end. Yes, the coaches think he can make a big impact. But no, he didn't drop the QBs three or four times like Rod Battle did. He's still learning the position, and as he said yesterday, he sort of feels like a freshman there right now. Give him some time.

5.) One note I didn't include but it's a biggy -- the four quarterbacks didn't throw a single interception. Again, keeping the conditions in mind, that's good news.

OK, now you can continue worrying/celebrating.


Dawg Stephen said...

Im sorry...Did you say Rod Battle had 3 or 4 sacks?? WONDERFUL!!!!

IveyLeaguer said...

Yeah, the 1's vs. 2's and 2's vs. 1's matchups that occur in the fall always temper whatever happens.

The best news today was the team got a little better and there were no injuries.

Good job today.