By FLETCHER PAGE
Compared to their defensive counterparts, Georgia’s offensive players are breezing through spring practice.
Returning nine starters, who have multiple years of experience in coach Mike Bobo’s system, made it easy for the unit to begin spring practice in full stride.
“We’re installing things pretty fast, going pretty fast with things,” said quarterback Aaron Murray. “That’s just because the guys know what they’re doing out there. We don’t have to take it slow. We’re pretty much rapid fire right now.”
With so much experience returning, less time has been spent teaching, with fewer repetitions needed to get formations and plays in sync.
But the wealth of knowledge doesn’t end with the starters. The two-deep depth chart is littered with plenty of guys who have seen quality minutes, such as backup fullback Fred Munzenmaier, along with considerable depth along the line, and at tight end and running back.
“Definitely makes it easier,” said receiver Kris Durham. “Just having, you know, a line that’s been there, a receiving corps that’s been through it, two fullbacks that have been through it, and two running backs that have been through it.”
The only unproven position is quarterback, the most important according to most. Having such a well-tested bunch of players surrounding the new quarterback acts like a support group, Durham says.
“The only people that haven’t been in the fire are the new quarterbacks, but with so much depth that we have around them, I think we’ll be able to protect them until they get used to game speed and just the mentality,” he said.
Added Murray: "It’s definitely comforting. Especially since whoever is going to be quarterback is going to be the new guy. We’re not really going to be thrown into the fire, expected to complete every ball 30, 40 times a game. We have unbelievable running backs, and a really great offensive line to take the pressure off us. So, we really don’t have to go into every game, stressing.”
SHOULDER THE BURDEN
Georgia has three wide receivers with three separate shoulder injuries, and all three are just fine.
Durham missed all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder. He fell on the repaired joint Thursday in practice, and was relieved when he got up fine.
“I caught a ball, just landed on it,” Durham said. “It’s fine. It’s something I’ve got to get used to, not trying to restrict it in any way. I’ve rehabbed it, so now I’ve just got to let it go.”
A.J Green took a similar fall in practice Saturday, landing on the left shoulder he injured last season.
“And no problems,” he said.
Lastly, Marlon Brown hurt his shoulder Saturday, sitting out practice while icing it on the sideline. The injury is not serious, and will not keep him from practice this week.
Running back Dontavius Jackson was all smiles after practice Saturday.
Finally 100 percent healthy, Jackson has seemingly worn the smile all spring.
“I feel real good. I’m just trying to keep working hard everyday in practice, just trying to get better,” he said.
Injuries to his wrist and knee limited Jackson in the past, and kept him from being a serious contender to get on the field during games. He carried the ball just three times last season, all against Vanderbilt in mop-up duty.
Jackson, a native of Franklin, is just glad to be back in the rotation on a regualar basis.
“It feels good being back,” he said. “We’ve got some great backs, and we’re all fighting. That makes us better, and basically that’s our goal.”
Caleb King and Washuan Ealey have repped as the No. 1 back for most of the spring. After a strong end to 2009 for both backs, and Carlton Thomas’ change-of-pace potential, at times Jackson can get lost in the shuffle. But he’s trying to get recognition, every day in practice.
“I don’t know what real people expect,” Jackson said. “All I can do is my part, try to work hard and improve.”
Monday, March 22, 2010
By FLETCHER PAGE