Except for Searels, of course.
Seriously, lots of stuff to digest, courtesy of the beat writers who’ve done a great job feeding us with something to tide us over for a week or so until spring practice gets underway.
Here are a few quotes I took away and some observations:
Mike Bobo and the quarterback situation. Obviously, this is an area that’s going to get an enormous amount of scrutiny all the way into the fall. I’m not going to speculate on the winner of the battle right now, but two quotes from Bobo are illuminating in terms of his mindset.
First off, it sounds like he learned something from the last time Georgia went into a season without an established starter at the position.
… After Shockley led the Bulldogs to the ’05 SEC title, Tereshinski was listed atop an ’06 spring depth chart based on seniority and was followed by Barnes, Cox and Stafford, who was an early enrollee. Nobody emerged that April, and it wasn’t until 13 days before the opener against Western Kentucky when head coach Mark Richt announced Tereshinski as the starter and Cox the backup.
“We probably should have weeded it down a little bit sooner from my personal experience of it,” Bobo said. “It’s just tough to get that many guys quality reps to get them ready for the season, so I don’t see us going that far this year.”
Does that mean that we should expect some weeding out at the position in the spring? Sounds like it to me.
And here’s a bit of a surprising mea culpa.
Bobo acknowledged that inexperienced quarterbacks –- all three candidates are inexperienced –- tend to be susceptible to mistakes. But “we just have to do a better job of managing that position and managing those mistakes this year where [last] year we probably didn’t,” he said.
Everybody better get on board the turnover margin train this year.
Shifting sands on defense. It sounds like Grantham has already started down the path of personnel evaluation.
–Get to know your new Georgia defensive terminology. The inside guys go by “mo” and “mike.” Marcus Dowtin says he’s playing the “mo” along with Christian Robinson.
“I kind of wanted to play outside, but Coach (Todd) Grantham wants me to play a certain spot so that’s what I’m going to play,” said Dowtin, who said he’s happy with the way he’s adapting to the new system.
Akeem Dent and Darryl Gamble are lining up at the “mike.”
“As far as I can see I think the mike position will have a little more stress on them then they had in the 4-3 defense,” Dowtin said. “Linemen will be able to come a little quicker but we’ll be able to adjust to it easily.”
–Gamble said that Justin Houston, Cornelius Washington and Montez Robinson are slated to be outside linebackers in the new 3-4 scheme.
Grantham “told us right now you’re here, but you might be somewhere else by the time camp comes around or even after camp,” Gamble said. “You might be playing another position when the season starts. Pretty much you try to learn everything that’s going on so you won’t be lost.”
I bet that’s not the last time we hear the word “lost” when it comes to defense. But as long as it’s limited to spring and fall practice, that’s okay.
Trinton Sturdivant has a new nickname. Via David Hale,
“When we’re talking about our objectives as an offense and what we want to accomplish this spring, we want to establish depth at the offensive line with out counting on Trinton Sturdivant,” Bobo said. “He’s a luxury. We think he’s going to be back, he’s ahead of schedule, he’s doing great, but we have to establish depth besides him.”
In each of the past two seasons, Georgia shuffled replacements at left tackle after Sturdivant’s injuries, and in both cases, it took the offensive line a while to find its groove.
So this season, Bobo hopes to have a group ready to play with or without Sturdivant – which likely means opening with senior Clint Boling filling the left tackle job, where he worked at the ends of both the 2008 and 2009 season and performed well enough to earn All-SEC honors.
Of course, while that’s the plan for now, it’s certainly not etched in stone if that luxury becomes a reality, Bobo said.
“If we get ‘The Luxury,’ he’ll probably be at left tackle,” Bobo said of Sturdivant. “Whoever those best five are, we’re going to put them in the best position where we think they can be successful. If Trinton’s out there, and he’s one of our best five, my bet is he’d be at left tackle.”
Nice luxury to have.
There are a lot of decisions left to be made. As is indicated in Hale’s projection of a depth chart, that’s especially true on the defensive side of the ball. And then there’s the fate of directional kicking…