It’ll be a successful preseason for Georgia if…

Let’s skip past the obvious, like injury avoidance and having enough functioning bodies at the running back position.  Here are three keys I see to feeling good heading into the Dome in nineteen (!) days:

  1. Stability on the offensive line.  They’ve settled on a starting five.  Early reviews from the coaches have been positive.  Even more encouraging, two freshmen have been identified as being contributors from a depth standpoint.  One difference between Searels and Friend I’ve noticed, besides their blocking scheme philosophies, is that Friend seems less wedded to cross-training on the line than his predecessor was (tempered by depth considerations, that is).  Given that they’re lining up new faces at four of the five positions on the line, that’s a good thing.  If things stay set, prepare to be pleasantly surprised.
  2. Establishing a rotation at wide receiver.  It’s as worrisome as the situation at running back, if you ask me.  The good news is that the pool of reliable options doesn’t have to be that deep starting out, given the stockpile of talent at tight end.  The bad news is that aside from Tavarres King, it’s hard to see where the rest of the rotation is coming from.  You sense the coaches are crossing their fingers that Marlon Brown’s time has finally come (“Marlon Brown would probably be the No. 1 guy. I’ve just been really, really pleased with how he’s played. He’s making a ton of catches over the middle, outside.”), but I doubt they’re ready to bet the ranch on that.  Malcolm Mitchell has wowed everyone with his athleticism and speed, but he’s also showed in practice and in scrimmage that he’s still a freshman learning how to play the position in college.  They really need to come out of the next two weeks with at least three receivers that Aaron Murray can rely on.  I’m not positive they will.
  3. Defensive personnel and the learning curve.  We don’t know yet if Todd Grantham is the second coming of Brian VanGorder, but say this for the man, he knows what type of players he wants in his defense.  He demonstrated that in how active he was in the recruiting process for this year’s Dream Team class, and he’s showed it in the personnel moves he made after last season, from the obvious (Tyson to end) to the startling (Ogletree to inside linebacker).  Now comes the challenge of making the pegs fit the holes better than some did last year.  And there are little indications here and there that things are coming together reasonably well.  In that regard, Branden Smith, who many thought might be a bigger contributor on offense than on defense this year, may be the canary in the coal mine.  Grantham had similar praise for Ogletree.  It all still flows from having a real presence at the nose, but the more players who are comfortable in their roles, the faster and better Grantham’s defense is going to play.

Add your thoughts on what you want to see in the comments.

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UPDATE:  Maybe I should have said something about scooter avoidance.

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UPDATE #2:  Hey, at least no charges were filed.  That’s a positive development, right?  Right?

37 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

37 responses to “It’ll be a successful preseason for Georgia if…

  1. TennesseeDawg

    If the football Gods smile on us, then Brown will be the big goto WR with Mitchell as the deep threat and King dragging across the middle not to mention Charles should have a huge year.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      I agree – our WR’s should be looking for a big year. Seems to me we’re not that desperate. Havn’t Wooten and Troupe caught some passes during the past couple seasons? We lack a go-to guy, but when you throw in King, Brown & Bennett, that’s 5 candidates who’ve been on the roster. Throw in some good looking dream teamers. Murray’s a fine QB – he has the mobility to make things happen. The WR’s should be okay.

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      • hailtogeorgia

        I see Wooten being pretty solid, Troupe…not so much. To me, Wooten’s regression last year was much more attributable to Kris Durham’s health than it was a knock on Wooten.

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  2. vincent

    Uh u forgot no arrests 😉 but what u said and i hope that the pre season happy talk doesn’t turn out to be the same bs we’ve heard the last 2 seasons. the talk coming out of camp sounds eriely like pre season 2009. As an analogy here’s to hoping marlon brown isn’t bryan evans and john jenkins ain’t jakar the hitman hamilton

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  3. Richt-Flair

    Malcom Mitchell’s situation sounds similar to getting Fred Gibson ready to play in 2001. The transition from the light going on for him on the practice field to the playing field was immediate (UT 01). I think that’s why they are pushing Mitchell to be as prepared as possible. Encouraging.

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  4. Joe

    I wouldn’t fret over the WR rotation. Its set, in spite of what is being said publicly.

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  5. Josh

    1. Would like to get a better sense that Murray’s capable of hitting at a 65%-ish clip or so. For all of Bobo’s great QB work over the years, seems like (from memory) he’s never had a guy who was much above 60% completion percentage. We’re not running the West Coast offense or the spread, I get that… but half of developing good receiver production is on them, half is on Murray making it easy on them. He was occasionally erratic last year, and was (apparently) a bit erratic in the scrimmage last week. Fingers crossed.

    2. More “Figgins and Zander are trying to outdo one another” happy talk, please.

    3. Wondering if the Jay Rome-getting-playing-time meme has any meat… if so, presumably some of it is special teams related, but given the talent above him at his position, I can’t help but wonder if it’s a signal that Bobo really does intend to play the deck he’s dealt (Charles as a true hybrid, etc.), rather than (metaphorically, and literally) running Thomas up the middle again and again. Charlie Brown + Lucy + place kick. I’m such a sucker.

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    • sUGArdaddy

      While we want our QBs to have high percentages, we simply throw the ball too deep, too often to have a 70% type deal like Colt McCoy had at Texas. Plus, we actually play against collegiate defenses, unlike the Big 12.

      But if we can get around 65%, that would be tremendous.

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      • James Stephenson

        I was going to mention, that PA offense uses the deep throw a lot, both to keep the other team honest and to occasionally hit the big play. So those incompletions are actually ok in my book.

        And I agree 65% would be crazy good for the UGA offense. No one complains about our QBs and we usually get 60%. If we dinked and dunked, Stafford would have had probably 70% and AM could probably approach 75% but our Run O would suffer because of it.

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        • Joe

          That’s right, I remember a few years back some hot QB had about 75% of his passes BEHIND the line! If Stafford had counted pitch-outs as passes, then maybe we’d be comparing apples to apples! The completion percentage stat is one of the most unreliable there is frankly.

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  6. I’m still concerned over both lines of scrimmage. We have the stockpile of talent at the offensive skill positions to be downright scary to defensive coordinators if the offensive line comes together, plays well and stays healthy. If Geathers and Jenkins don’t clog the middle, we’re still looking at the same problems on defense with power running games. I won’t believe this until we see these guys in game situations. If we’re good on both lines, we have the ability to win every game we play. If not, it could be a long season.

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  7. Injured shoulder in a scooter accident on the way home from church?
    1. too many UGA meme cliches in there.
    2. God been hatin on us Bulldogs, fo rilz

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  8. Go Dawgs!

    Ugh… what’s it going to take for UGA to ban scooters for football players?

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    • Sanford222View

      Not all players can afford cars and still need a mode of transportation besides the bus system. What do you do?

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    • Krautdawg

      Gotta agree w/ Sanford. Not only are scooters cheaper, there hella better for driving around campus. They also park anywhere, meaning that players get from dorm to class to practice without the 30 minutes of walking (and near 30 minutes of searching for a space-where-we-won’t-get-towed) that car drivers have. So scooters also mean no excuses for showing up late to practice.

      Besides, everyone on campus knows and protects those who ride the red scooters. It took a hungry Baptist trying to outrun a Methodist to the Peking buffet to forget his real Religion and commit a true Southern Sin.

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  9. Cojones

    It’s the F’ing Scooters. Chinese made and poor quality. These F’ing Scooters are usually the ones cited by fans. You hear people commenting about the MoFo Scooters. Why don’t we try to get the players to buy that brand? I see Bobo and Richt’s handywork written all over this.

    Score:
    F’ing Scooters = 2
    Players = -2

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  10. Cojones

    It would be a good season if we had scooter safety and driving classes.

    A good season if the Team gels as one for all and all for one. If they can carry that mantra throughout the season, it will certainly be a good season.

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  11. Dawgy45

    At least Drew was coming home from church and not doing something dastardly like emerging from an alley.

    Still…can somebody go and make sure there’s no snake-handling going on at that church. Just to be safe, y’know.

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    • Billy

      Wonder if her remembered his middle name after the accident. That’s grounds for jail right there if you ask me?

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    • Cojones

      My wife and her friend were looking for a new church when they both got annointed with oil at one. Lots of cool cooking oil. All over their bowed heads. They quickly called off the search, finally washed all the oil out and went back to tried and true unanointing churches.

      Maybe Drew had oil on his hands, his scooter and his tires. Man, they got to stop this anointin’ crap. It’s not good for our football team.

      How many of you are curious of what was uttered when the F’ing Scooter went down? I’ll bet a poll would show that most people utter”Ohshi” when an accident occurs. Not many get to finish the utterance.

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      • King Jericho

        I’d say the first 20 secs or so of this video apply to this post. (Sorry for the poor quality, but it’s the only version of the clip I could find.)

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  12. Jim

    1) Mudcat’s car – or – more specifically, the lack thereof
    2) We need leadership to emerge. Murray, Charles, Boykin, others. As we have seen the last few years, lacking leaders acting like leaders makes it more difficult to win no matter how much talent you have. Yes, i am referring to 2008.
    3) The team needs to re-learn what it is like to play like your hair is on fire.

    To me, these 3 things are far more important than the specifics of who starts at split end, though i do get the positional concerns. In my opinion the items above dictate whether or not this coaching staff still has what it takes – the positional questions are secondary to the above.

    Just my opinion

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  13. Chuck

    This scooter thing is ridiculous, and I don’t buy the argument that you need them to get to class on time. Schedule management is the key. Schedule your classes so that south campus is in one block of the day, and north campus is the other. Better yet, schedule all south campus during one term, and north campus during another. Then walk. Its good for you, it involves you in campus life, and gives you an appreciation for the campuses a whole. And yes, I know not all classes can be taken when you want them to, but it’s still a matter of planning, and this is something an athletic department should be able to do. Then ban scooters.

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    • Dawgfan Will

      Sorry, dude, but if it had been an option for me back in the day, I would totally have ridden a scooter. And I didn’t even have football practice, tutoring sessions, team meetings or any of that other crap to be on time for.

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  14. Bad M

    Because of all the Driver’s License problems and hit and runs, we should ban cars too.

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  15. Will Trane

    I’d feel better about the RB situation if McClendon rode a scooter everyday and his players went to class, to practice, and the games in a chauffeured-driven limo. The RB and scooter situation is like Gound-Hog Day. Doubt if they take a scooter to Sanford on game day.
    Maybe I was lucky but I only had two classes in my sophomore year…one in the fall and one in the winter quarter after midday. All those other quarters, done before 1pm. Well, maybe I had some help with my schedule. But I did have a fender bender going to church one fall Sunday.
    Parking and driving in Athens is a bitch …on streets and etc that are one year removed from the Model A.

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  16. John John

    Can someone explain to me why the cops showed up?

    Like