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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Practice Notes: QBs Struggle Early

If Mark Richt has an early complaint after two days of practice, it's about his quarterbacks. A handful of fumbles and a fair number of interceptions – including two picks and two fumble recoveries by Darryl Gamble – have been the result of some sloppy play early on by his group of passers.

"Most of the picks happened because of the quarterback just throwing the ball where he shouldn't have thrown it, making a bad decision," Richt said. "They've got to take better care of the ball."

It's all about fundamentals said sophomore Logan Gray, who currently is second on Georgia's depth chart at quarterback.

"Just getting back to the little things that are kind of sloppy the first couple of days," Gray said. "We've got to make sure we're touching up on those every single day – not fumbling the snap, fumbling giving the ball to the running back, missing a read and throwing into traffic – whatever it might be, every quarterback needs to be careful with the decisions they're making with the ball."

For now, however, Georgia's secondary is enjoying the early gifts, and they're making sure the quarterbacks know how much they appreciate it.

"We've got to talk a little smack to them," safety Nick Williams said. "That's what makes it fun."


The first two days of fall practice have been the first full workouts of any kind in quite a while for a hefty contingent of players returning from injuries. While the Bulldogs haven't reached a particularly grueling part of their routine just yet, the early results for players like Jeff Owens, Trinton Sturdivant and Vince Vance have all been positive.

"You see no ill effects," Richt said. "You don't see them favoring anything. Again, until we have that first day of contact, you won't really know how that guy is feeling on the inside. I'm sure they're a little anxious about that first hit, but they no their best shot is to play full speed, and they're doing that now."

Richt said tailback Richard Samuel's wrist has not limited him at all thus far and said that he didn't expect any players to be held out of contact drills when the Bulldogs begin two-a-days Monday.


Georgia was one of the most penalized teams in the country a year ago, and Richt said he's taking steps this fall to ensure there isn't a repeat performance in 2009.

During practice, he's pulling players out of drills after they commit a penalty, and numerous players are being singled out when they're flagged. Assistants are tracking each penalty during practice, as well, and for the first time, Richt is personally monitoring the results.

"You've got to drill it, discipline it and the guys have to be serious about never wanting it to happen again," Richt said. "But so far, I see a good healthy attitude toward it."

The hard-line tactics even apply to Georgia's assistant coaches, Richt said.

In the past, assistants could argue a flag with the team's practice refs, but this year, they're not even allowed to joke about it.

"It's, 'Yes, sir, thank you for your help,' and go discipline your player," Richt said. "We can't let anything at this point get in the way of taking a very serious attitude toward every flag that's called."


Linebacker Christian Robinson played with his hand wrapped after a minor thumb sprain, Richt said. The injury may require a cast, but surgery would not be needed and Richt expects Robinson to continue practicing.

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