By FLETCHER PAGE
Still adding to the list of what they can do, Aron White and Orson Charles should offer defenses a matchup dilemma this fall.
Both tight ends are athletic enough to split out at receiver, with the formation options at offensive coordinator Mike Bobo’s disposal essentially endless.
“It’s going to be good to have those guys just to confuse the defense,” said quarterback Aaron Murray. “Not knowing if we’re in a two-tight formation, or spread, or three receiver look.”
Both White and Charles play tight end and receiver in high school. They’ve got the size to hang in the trenches, blocking or catching pass over the middle, but also the quickness to flex out wide.
Playing the matchup game, Georgia can flex either Charles or White, or both, if a linebacker is trying to cover them.
The possibilities are endless.
“It’s going to pose a great threat,” Murray said. “It’s going to be pretty hard for the defense. You look at our defense now, we come out with two tight ends, and they think we’re going to be in a two-tight formation and we split one out, or we split two out and they’re in a base defense. They’re not ready to handle four receivers. It causes it a lot of confusion just because of their athleticism.”
And with so much depth at tight end, adding Bruce Figgins and Arthur Lynch to the mix, flexing White or Charles out adds another way to get more players involved in the offense with surplus opportunities to make plays.
“They’re really trying to get us involved because we’re deep,” Charles said. “We’ve got athletes all over the entire room. You look at all of us, we all have things that we all need to work on, but we have things we are just real good at. You know, just trying to put your players out there and let them play, and let them win ball games.”
Charles admits, learning all these positions and schemes is a challenge. But he’s never been one to back down from a test. He and White have spent extra time, working on the finer details of route running to prepare.
“I know coach [John] Lilly says I still have to work on my footwork, just little simple stuff like that,” Charles said. “That’s what we’re trying to correct right now. That will make a whole difference. Everybody can work on footwork, because if you don’t have footwork and get your [helmet] in the right place, then you don’t have anything.”
With White and Charles’ ever evolving versatility, the offense continues to add dimensions.
“It causes a lot of confusion just because of their athleticism,” Murray said.
Speaking of interchangeable pieces, DeAngelo Tyson is splitting practice reps at defensive tackle and end, and says he doesn’t care where he plays. As long as he can help the team, he’ll do it.
“It all depends on what group of d-linemen are in,” he said. “If it’s just some guys who are experienced at end, they play end. If some more d-tackles come in, then I move to end, try to learn and try to play it to the best of my ability.”
Tyson was a tackle last season, almost certain to move into the starting lineup with the graduation of Jeff Owens, Geno Atkins and Kade Weston. But in defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s 3-4 scheme, Tyson’s size, 6-foot-2, 295-pounds, gives the potential for a move to the outside. Grantham loves big-bodied ends, and Tyson’s athleticism is coveted.
Tyson says Grantham has been everything he expected as a coach.
“He gives me advice on how to play, and how to make me a better person at the position,” he said. “So, I think he is a good coach.
With spring practice in full swing, Tyson is happy with the defensive progress.
“It takes time to learn it,” Tyson said. “We practice every day, go over our playbooks. It’s going to take a little time. As long as I keep working at it, practice hard then I should be able to do what I’m supposed to do and help out the team win some games.”
LEADING THE CHARGE
Head coach Mark Richt singled out a couple of players, on a few occasions, who have provided leadership this season.
Darryl Gamble is the first name he mentions on defense.
Gamble doesn’t come off as overly comfortable when asked of his expected outspoken role. But he says he realizes it’s what seniors do. The fact that he is stepping up in a leadership role this early is encouraging since he will most likely be starting at an inside linebacker position, and making many reads and calls in-game during the season.
"I guess it's my role," he said. "I'm a senior. You're supposed to lead. A lot of guys follow me, so it's easy for me to go and tell somebody how to do stuff."
Richt also pointed to Akeem Dent as a leader, who just like Gamble, figures to play as an inside linebacker this year.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
By FLETCHER PAGE