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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits: Pigskin Preview Edition

Not a ton of new info to come from today's Pigskin Preview Day in Macon, but here are a few quick tidbits:

-- Akeem Dent said there haven't been much in the way of workouts yet as players are still trickling back onto campus. He said he's had a chance to meet a number of the true freshmen though and is pleased with their preparation and attitude upon arrival.

-- Dent talked about Richard Samuel's transition to linebacker, saying that Samuel appears to have a much more natural instinct on that side of the ball. "I feel like he has more instincts at linebacker. I'm not taking anything away from him at running back, but just watching a little film on him and seeing how he's progressed coming over to linebacker, I've seen the instincts he does have, and he's going to be able to make a lot of plays in the future."

-- Dent said that the differences between the 3-4 and 4-3 aren't as dramatic as a lot of people think, but one of the things that has gotten players excited is how much more aggressive and fast the style of play is. He said that makes it easier to be high-energy in practice and enthusiastic about learning the D.

-- Kris Durham joined the multitude to rave about Aaron Murray. "Aaron is a special guy. He's very, very intelligent. He's going to bring a new energy, he's a fiery competitor and I can't wait to see what he does."

-- Mark Richt continued to stress how his biggest expectation for Murray is all about the QB not being a hero.

-- As for Murray's likely backups, Durham said he still wasn't completely clear on Logan Gray's plans, but thought that if the former QB did spend most of the summer and fall at wide receiver, it could bring an interesting perspective to their group. Durham said Gray's experience at QB gives him a bit of a unique insight into what the QBs will expect from their receivers.

-- And Durham said he caught a few balls from Hutson Mason already -- and each one was perfectly thrown. "He hit me in stride every single time," Durham said. "I was very, very impressed with him."

-- Durham also said he had a chance to work a little bit with freshman receiver Michael Bennett this week, too. He said Bennett obviously had a ton to learn still, but his potential was obvious. "He's got a lot of talent, and he looked good out there."

-- Richt touched on expansion again. One of the things I was curious about was whether he thought potential additions of teams like Georgia Tech, Clemson or Florida State -- ACC schools Georgia routinely competes against on the recruiting trail -- would affect how recruits view Georgia. Richt said he didn't think it would be an issue in most cases. "Some of them really want to play in the Southeastern Conference, but there's a lot of them that are just trying to find the best fit for them."

-- Not surprisingly, Richt wasn't entirely pleased with the early kickoffs against South Carolina and Arkansas. "It is going to be excruciatingly hot and humid, and I can just picture what it's going to be like these first three ballgames," Richt said. "So I'm hoping for a hot summer so our guys can get used to it." Durham said essentially the same thing, not in that he thought players needed to up their running and conditioning to make sure they're prepared.

-- Richt talked about how the 3-4 helps Georgia because of all the turnover it had at defensive tackle, since they now only need 3 down linemen at a time. The challenge, Richt said, will be at nose tackle. "It's going to be a challenge to see if these guys can really control the double teams that they need to inside. That's part of the reason we moved Justin Anderson in there is because he is a big, giant, powerful man and if he can take to it, I think he's going to be tough to block."

-- Richt said he expected Branden Smith to see snaps on offense regularly again this year, despite an increased -- and potentially a starting -- role on defense. Those early games under the hot sun, Richt said, might make coaches a bit more leery of leaving Smith on the field too much.

-- Richt talked about finding depth at OLB and he said some of the true freshmen are going to need to step up. "(T.J.) Stripling and Brandon Burrows and Dexter Morant, those guys are the body types we think will fit into that role. I hope we don't have to rely on those guys at they're trying to figure it out, and some of them have got to grow a little bit physically, too. T.J.'s not a really thick guy right now. Dexter's a little bit slim. Burrows is a bit more physical. But we need to get those guys in there and learn what to do, and hopefully we don't have to play them too much."

1 comment:

William said...

And so it begins... Thanks for all you do David! Nuggets like this only get me more and more amped for the season! You certainly are a DGD in your own right!