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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Practice Notes (3/30)

Back out at practice after a long break, and the weather couldn't be more beautiful. Here's a few tidbits from what I got to watch...

-- Mark Richt was working in a pretty hands-on capacity with the QBs and the receivers. He had some harsh words for some of the WRs working as DBs in the drills. "I need better defense," he told them. "Or it's going to be an easy whip." To be fair, however, Artie Lynch just isn't your classic matchup against Rantavious Wooten.

-- Speaking of the receivers, Israel Troupe was out of his green jersey today. Marlon Brown remained in green, but was practicing during the drills we watched.

-- A few others in green: Fred Munzenmaier, Derek Rich and Chase Vasser. (UPDATE: That was a different 33 in green, according to Marc Weiszer of the ABH. The UGA roster only lists one No. 33, but I'm trusting Weiszer's take.)

-- Trinton Sturdivant was on the field doing some stretching and jogging for trainer Ron Courson. He was in full uniform -- which is always nice to see -- with a brace on his surgically repaired left knee. He looked a little ginger on it, but didn't have too much trouble with anything I saw.

-- I watched Scott Lakatos work with the DBs for the first 5 or 6 minutes we were out there. They were working on backpedaling drills and getting position on receivers. Branden Smith had one nice move to which Lakatos offered: "That's how you play with leverage. Learn to do this and you get your a$$ better." Smith appeared to be getting a few more reps with the first-team corner rotation, too. Previously, Vance Cuff had been getting most of that work.

-- I spent the majority of our time on the field watching Warren Belin's inside linebacker unit. Belin's a fun guy to watch. I haven't found him to be the most engaging interview so far, but on the field, he's loud, direct and thoughtful -- talking a lot.

The center of his attention in the early drills I watched was Marcus Dowtin, who got caught loafing during some tackling drills. Belin wasn't thrilled. "You better start running now or you're going to be sprinting around the field when we finish this drill," Belin told him.

On the next set of drills, the linebackers were working on shedding blocks and making tackles, with a focus on getting inside leverage. Belin was preaching tackling, not ducking.

Belin again wasn't thrilled with Dowtin, who he made repeat the same drill three times. "Your feet are all over the place," Belin told him. "I told you to take one step and you took three."

As it turned out, about two minutes later, Dowtin was headed to the sideline in search of trainer Ron Courson. I didn't see what happened.

-- Chatted with Dave Van Halanger a bit today. He's a Duke fan but a West Virginia graduate, so he's particularly interested in the NCAA Final Four matchup this weekend. When I asked who he was rooting for, he said it would probably be Duke because, "Once you've been fired by your alma mater, you sort of lose some of those ties." Van Halanger was on a staff that included Nick Saban at West Virginia from 1977 through 1983.

-- Van Halanger also said Rennie Curran was working out for an NFL team today, which he believed to be the New England Patriots.

1 comment:

the anonymous suckup said...


I had the privilege of attending last Thursday's practice during the coaching clinic. I'd never been to a UGA practice before, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Things were very lax that day with lots of people walking all over the place. I didn't spot any reporters while I was there, even though they must've been there. I also didn't see a mass exodus of reporters after the first few periods.

Here's my question: how are the members of the press handled during a normal practice? Are you limited to a confined area? Or do you have some freedom to walk around to observe the different groups? Is there someone from the university keeping tabs on you to make sure you leave when you're supposed to? Or do they trust you to leave on your own?