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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Notes: Tuesday's Practice Short on Energy

Mark Richt spent the meeting time Tuesday praising his players for their tempo throughout last week’s scrimmage. He spent the practice time eating his words.

“Out of nine practices, I would rate it the ninth as far as just the tempo,” Richt said. “It kind of fizzled on us a little bit. I’d been pretty pleased with it all spring, but (Tuesday) it kind of gave way a little bit. I think we’ve got to learn to push through when we’re tired, and I didn’t think we practiced like champions.”

The result was a particularly long practice – likely the longest of the year, and one that had many of the offensive players still on the field working as most of the defensive players shuffled out of the locker room to head home for the day.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was among the most upset with the performance, calling it a “bad day” in which his offensive players spent too much time simply going through the motions.

That could have been a result of a small hangover from last Saturday’s scrimmage – the first of the spring – or a hefty week of exams for many players, but excuses aren’t something Bobo wanted to hear.

“That’s the easy way out, after the first scrimmage we came out and relaxed,” Bobo said. “But if we’re a team that wants to be champions, we’ve got to have guys come out ready to practice. We do have young quarterbacks, but we have a veteran-laden offensive line that needs to come out and set the standard for how we’ll practice.”

The silver lining, Richt said, is that Tuesday’s lackluster effort was the exception to what had been a strong spring thus far, which leads him to believe things will get back on course when the Bulldogs hit the practice field again Thursday.

“The good news is, Thursday’s another day, and we’ll have another opportunity to do better,” Richt said. “Hopefully they will.”


Based strictly on the numbers from last Saturday’s scrimmage, rising junior Logan Gray might have taken a step back in the competition for the starting quarterback job, but he’s not ready to give up on the battle just yet.

“I didn’t think it was my best day, but there’s always room for improvement, and that’s not our only scrimmage of the spring,” Gray said.

For the day, Gray was 6-of-14 passing for 37 yards and one interception and was sacked three times.

That last number resonates, as Gray played all but one series behind the second-team offensive line, which has been decimated by injuries. Gray said that’s something he thinks will change going forward.

“I just missed some throws, some things didn’t really go my way,” Gray said. “I would have liked to have gotten a few more reps with the ones, but I’m sure that will probably even out on Saturday and G-Day, too.”

Even more than the players surrounding him was the situations he found himself in, Bobo said. The scrimmage was a controlled practice, meaning that rather than allowing play to unfold naturally, many situations were predetermined before they were run. This means in some cases, Gray was asked to make more high-risk throws, while the other quarterbacks may have been in a position to complete more of their passes.

For the scrimmage, Aaron Murray completed 10-of-15 throws, while Zach Mettenberger connected on seven of his 10 passes.

"I thought the two young guys did a nice job of that, and I’m sure Logan would like to have a couple back that he could have completed," Bobo said. "Logan had a couple of plays that were drops, but he could have been a little bit more accurate.”


Bobo still hasn’t formulated a depth chart at quarterback after Saturday’s scrimmage, and that’s not likely to change before G-Day, Richt said. The plan, he said, will be to extend the rotations they’ve employed this spring right through to the end.

“More than likely the quarterbacks will just be fluid,” Richt said. “They’ll roll. They’ll be a red and a white team, and they’ll be wearing black and I’m sure Mike (Bobo) will just roll them like we have been. I’m not sure if it’ll be by quarter or by series, but we’ll just keep rotating those guys with both units.”

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