Scrimmage notes

The Dawgs had their first scrimmage this “fall” and from the account published in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, it wasn’t pretty for the offense. Of course, given the state of the offensive line last night…

Senior tackle Chester Adams was already out with an ankle injury and freshman guard Tanner Strickland was on crutches with a foot sprain before the scrimmage even started. When starting guard Scott Haverkamp went down early in the scrimmage with an ankle injury, the No. 1 offensive line then featured senior center Fernando Velasco and four freshmen — tackles Clint Boling and Trinton Sturdivant and guards Justin Anderson and Chris Davis.

… that’s understandable.

More troubling is the sense that things are still very much up in the air at linebacker.

Much offseason talk has concerned senior Brandon Miller’s move from strongside linebacker to the middle, with Dannell Ellerbe at weakside and Darius Dewberry at strongside. But Richt said after the scrimmage that “it’s not etched in stone right now how we’ll line up at linebacker.”

Miller is cross-training at strongside and the middle, while Dewberry is working at strongside and weakside and Ellerbe at weakside and in the middle.

Richt said that move is not made out of displeasure with how the three starters are filling their roles, but instead to build quality depth at each position.

“By the time the second, third scrimmage rolls around, we’ll know how to line ’em up,” Richt said, later adding, “It’ll be a combination of those three — whichever we think is the one that everybody feels the most comfortable at.”

As Ching goes on to say in his blog, what that seems to indicate is that the coaches aren’t sold on Brandon Miller at middle linebacker.

Richt was fairly cryptic in discussing how they’re cross-training the starters at LB. He said they’re not displeased with anybody, but what else can this possibly mean other than that they think Ellerbe might be a better fit at MLB than Miller? You can read the comments below. He said nothing’s “etched in stone” about who lines up where, except that Dewberry, Miller and Ellerbe are most likely the starters. It’s just interesting to hear that right now. We’ll see what happens…

There’s a lot more to read in his blog post, so check it out. I hate to sound a little like Munson here, but there is some cause for concern with the offensive linemen injuries in that they set back Searels from being able to put together a cohesive unit in time for the season’s start.

Bottom line – the two biggest grey areas on the team going into the season still have a lot of question marks surrounding them.

On another front, it would be remiss of me not to take note of this article about the Georgia Tech scrimmage. It looks like Taylor Bennett may be more like “Dog” than we knew, at least in the temperament department. No word yet on his counting skills.

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UPDATE: Over in Knoxville, it looks like ex-FSU, ex-JUCO wide receiver Kenny O’Neal has been channeling Reggie Ball, too.

O’Neal was also involved in a significant scuffle with a teammate that Fulmer had to step in and help break up.

“I explained to (O’Neal) very clearly that he would have been kicked out of the game if it was an SEC game,” Fulmer said. “But yet you like that he’s out there trying to compete.”

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UPDATE #2: More on the situation at linebacker in today’s (8/13) Athens Banner-Herald:

Georgia seems to have determined who its starting linebackers will be. What remains to be settled is exactly which position each will occupy.

That means senior Brandon Miller may not be starting at middle linebacker after all.

Miller is again getting plenty of work at strongside linebacker, where he’s played the last three seasons. It’s a move defensive coordinator Willie Martinez indicated in July could be coming.

Dannell Ellerbe is working in the middle and on the weak side. Darius Dewberry is getting work at the strong side and weak side.

“By the time the second or third scrimmage rolls around, we’ll know how we’re going to line them up,” Richt said after Saturday night’s scrimmage. “I would say it’s not etched in stone now how we’ll line up at linebacker.”

So Richt’s gone from believing that Brandon Miller at middle linebacker is the key to this year’s defense to saying things aren’t etched in stone in less than two weeks. I don’t see how that can be considered a good thing.

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2 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, SEC Football

2 responses to “Scrimmage notes

  1. kckd

    It’s a little troublesome, and we will have some major problems if the injury bug hits us like in previous years.

    I think if we can keep FV, Cheese and Havercamp healthy we’ll be OK. Davis will be as good as any of the guys who started for us in 2003 save MJG and TS will get some help from the TBs and TEs.

    But, yeah, we’re gonna be in trouble if we have to throw three or more freshman out there for the first game.

    Holding my breath the others get back and soon.

    I think we’ll be alright at LBer, but I am a little troubled that the coaches could watch a guy play a whole spring and still not be sure that he’s at the right position.

    I’m not saying Jancek should lose his job, but on defense, he obviously should be sitting on the warmest seat of anyone.

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  2. scdawg

    I really want Miller to succeed at LB. I thought the move to the middle was a great idea and that Miller could plug up the middle but be fast enough to get to the outside from time to time when necessary. However, if they are already talking about moving him around it looks either like that is not happening, or he’s just too quiet to lead the defense. Wish we didn’t have to figure this question and the OL question out against OK State.

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