Is it time to fret yet?

Put it this way:  I’m not exactly nestled in my comfort zone with comments like this one from Richt.

“It’s just not a lot settled at a lot of positions, especially on the defensive side of the ball,” Richt said after Wednesday’s mini-scrimmage at Sanford Stadium. “I’m concerned about it. But the dust is gonna settle, and guys are gonna go out there and play ball, and we’ll see what they’re made of.”

I dunno; maybe he’s bs-ing.  Georgia didn’t run a full scrimmage yesterday, electing instead to hit without tackling to the ground.  So if the staff is still up in the air about a number of personnel decisions, it’s hard to see how they’re going about their evaluations.  But this doesn’t sound like smoke blowing to me:

The issue, he said, was “settling a lot of questions” on personnel, starting jobs and rotations.

Richt said there were a couple reasons for that:

- Injuries. The most notable one was Ramik Wilson, the All-SEC inside linebacker who was out about 10 days with a concussion. Richt also pointed to cornerback Devin Bowman, who was making a good move but then suffered a hamstring injury and is out right now.

- The youth and experience, especially in the secondary. Richt granted that was similar to last year, when there were a similar amount of inexperience heading into the season.

“There are so many young guys, so many inexperienced guys, that it will be a trial by fire for a lot of these guys,” Richt said. “And we’ll see how they handle the pressure of it.”

Maybe they’re dedicating this preseason to the memory of Larry Munson.  If so, all I can say is that it’s working.

Seriously, what I do wonder from that last observation is whether Richt felt really burnt by how unprepared last year’s secondary was and is trying to avoid another situation like that at all costs.  If that means waiting until the very last minute to set a rotation in the secondary, I guess that means we’ll wait.

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Thursday morning buffet

Dig in, dig in.

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Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, College Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

Let the po’ mouthing begin.

Richt expresses concern for Ramik Wilson’s game readiness as Wilson returns from a concussion.

Spurrier sees Richt’s Wilson concern and raises him Mike Davis worries.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football

Loran, whad’ya got?

You know, this is a nice piece and all, but I can’t help but wonder how a post-game radio interview with Jeremy Pruitt would come off after Loran asked him one of his patented off-the-wall questions.

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Herbie ❤ Pruitt.

He’s “a big reason I like Georgia to win the SEC East”.

Anything in particular you like?

“He [Pruitt] has a way of confusing offensive linemen and quarterbacks,” Herbstreit said.

I have to admit that’s an improvement over having a way of confusing your own defensive backs.

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Take your drop.

You guys know me – I’m always interested in stories of how Georgia kickers go about self-correcting flaws in their games.  Today, it’s Collin Barber’s turn.

Barber is just trying to win back his starting job entering his junior season.

That begins, he said, not with his leg, but with his drop.

“I don’t care how strong your leg is, if you have a bad drop the ball is not going to go how you want it to,” Barber said.

… Barber, from Cartersville, worked on drills this offseason with his personal kicking coach, Marc Nolan of Roswell, to make sure the ball was where it needed to be on the drop.

“Right over my right foot and nose a little bit down instead of just kind of tossing it up and swinging at it,” Barber said.

Barber said he’s taking a “jab step,” now before he catches the ball to punt it.

“It’s shortening my steps and my get-off time,” Barber said.

Okay, again it’s with the outside kicking help.  But what’s interesting about Barber’s story is that Richt seems to be on top of what he’s been doing.

“The operation time is a big deal,” Richt said. “The snap to the catch to the kick. There’s a certain time that you’re looking for and if you’re too slow in your operation time, it doesn’t matter how good you block, you’re probably going to be vulnerable to having your punts blocked. I would say Collin and Adam have done a tremendous job of getting their times down to where they’re very quick, almost two step punting instead of three step punting.”

Now if they can just get the punt coverage team to focus on protection.

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Open practice means lots of tea leaf reading.

Georgia had an open practice yesterday – really open, in that students were invited/coaxed in with free pizza – which means we’ve got some pretty detailed observations from the beat writers:

Some observations about the observations:

  • About the secondary, I think Weiszer sums it up best.  “The big takeaways from the field were the number of newcomers running with the starting unit on defense: cornerback and junior college transfer Shattle Fenteng, walk-on safety Aaron Davis and Dominick Sanders, who was working at the star nickel back position.”  Nothing is settled yet, but Pruitt sure isn’t having any problems letting everyone have a shot.
  • Richt on the secondary:  “They’ve got a good talent base; their issue is experience,” head coach Mark Richt said of the young players. “But there’s some guys that are coached real hard right now because they’ve gotta get ready, and the clock’s ticking.”  So when does the clock stop ticking?
  • Richt on the offensive line:  “I’d say we’re probably a little less settled right this minute than we have been maybe in years past,” Richt said. “There’s still some guys that might be able to change a coach’s mind.”  In a good way, or a bad way?
  • I’m not liking that Wilson and Floyd are banged up/recovering.
  • Still no separation behind Mason.
  • Estes noted that Georgia hasn’t started scout team work yet for Clemson.  Is that an indication of how much trouble the coaches are having settling on a starting 22?
  • It sounds like Quayvon Hicks is going to have a busier year than we anticipated.

Ten days ’til the opener.  Anyone getting nervous?

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