Half down, half to go: mid-preseason report

 

If you’re trying to get a feel for where things stand half way through preseason practice, then Seth Emerson’s report today is a must read.

Some of what he reports shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’ve been following the beat writers – the coaches have settled on a top six on the offensive line, very few members of this year’s recruiting class will redshirt, Malcolm Mitchell’s early season status, the fluid tailback situation, for starters – but there are a few surprising nuggets in there.

  • Christian LeMay.  It doesn’t sound like the (for now) second-string quarterback has done much to impress either Emerson or the coaches.  Perhaps skipping your senior year of high school football probably isn’t the best development strategy.
  • Offensive line depth.  This isn’t what a Georgia fan wants to hear:  “The gap between Dantzler and the next reserve is a wide one right now.”  Gulp.  Fortunately, Georgia has a track record of healthy offensive lineme… wait, what?
  • Receiving corps.  It’s not so much that Emerson says anything surprising about it, so much as he reminds us that consistent playmaking with this bunch is still a question mark in Mitchell’s absence.  Fair point.

Not to be all gloom and doom here.  Because this will pump you up:

Hopefully Georgia fans apprecaite what they’re about to watch in 2012. It’s not just the starters, but the depth is deceivingly good. Consider that a talent like John Taylor will likely have to redshirt at nose tackle. Garrison Smith, who looked good as a starting end late last year, is a second-teamer right now. Christian Robinson and Amarlo Herrera are second-team at inside linebacker. Ray Drew, a five-star recruit two years ago, will have trouble seeing the field.

If the front seven can carry things through the Missouri game, the defense will be fine.

40 Comments

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40 responses to “Half down, half to go: mid-preseason report

  1. Mayor of Dawgtown

    In 1992 the Gorgia Bulldogs were coming off a 10 win season and were picked by many to win the SEC and also be a strong contender for the MNC. Eric Zeier was coming off the best season a UGA QB had ever had. Even though FB Mack Strong had graduated and Garrison Hearst had left early for the NFL the offense still had plenty of firepower and the D looked solid. That all came apart when the O-line unraveled. That team lost 4 out of its first 5 games and limped in with a 5-6 record. The fault was laid at the feet of Ray Goff who had mismanaged the roster having not enough O-linemen both in numbers and quality and when several got injured/didn’t pan out he basically was left with a patchwork that couldn’t block anybody. I am optimistic about the 2012 team. But “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” rings in my ears, too. Let’s all hope that we are lucky about injuries this season. If not…………

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      The Georgia Bulldogs (obviously)…..

    • Charles

      This has been referenced in these parts, but what made LSU so dominant in the second half of the SEC championship was the depth across their D-line. They were constantly subbing in/out linemen to keep them fresh. Which only compounded our O-line issues… you know the rest of the story.

      We’ve got talent. We’ve got depth.

      • AlphaDawg

        One can argue, you combat D-line depth with O-Line depth. We haven’t had O-Line depth in a few years. Just Saying…

        • Do teams really sub their o-line all that frequently? I would think the starters stay in there unless somebody gets dinged up or something. (Speaking totally out of ignorance here.)

          • Dawgsense

            That’s a solid point. I feel like you set the starting five and they roll the whole game. The offense gets to dictate pace, so it should not be a issue.

        • Charles

          “which only compounded our O-line issues”

    • D.N. Nation

      “That team lost 4 out of its first 5 games and limped in with a 5-6 record.”

      I get what you’re saying, but there simply aren’t 4 loseable games in Georgia’s first 5.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        The UGA team I was talking about was the’93 team. My mistake. The teams that the ’93 Dawgs lost to in the first 5 games with those teams’ final season record were: USCe (4-7); UT (9-2-1); Ole Miss (6-6) and Arkansas (5-5-1). Look at UGA’s 2012 schedule again.

        • AusDawg85

          I propose we ban anybody who posts that Mark Richt has lost control of history or blames Bobo for the ’93 season.

          Wait…

    • D.N. Nation

      Additionally, 2003 Georgia went to Atlanta with a sh*t OL and the bare minimum from the RBs.

    • ETennDawg

      How was the defense on that team? My Goff legacy memory keeps coming back to bad defensive teams.

    • JAX

      Do you mean ’93 Dawgs?

  2. Defense wins championships in the SEC, so at least they have that going for them. I think (hope?) the fans will be pleased by what transpires on that side of the ball. It sounds like there is more legit talent there than at any time in the past 8 years.

    In regards to the six o-linemen… did we even have five last year that we felt good about before the debacle in the dome? I feel like they were still shuffling guys the first couple of weeks into the season trying to come up with a group that worked. Unfortunately, the two toughest games on the schedule were 1 and 2.

  3. Normaltown Mike

    “The gap between Dantzler and the next reserve is a wide one right now.’ Gulp.”

    Gulp indeed.

    • IveyLeaguer

      There’s nothing new about the gap, as some of us have been saying all year. We knew we had 5, 6 with Houston. The only thing new is Dantzler has come out of bottom group and joined the players at the top level who are ready to compete.
      Beard, Pyke, and Ward are still in it for the future but are not yet ready. Austin Long is a longshot possibility. After that, there’s nothing really.
      We are evaluating and recruiting better now, from all indications. There’s still quite a ways to go for the unit as a whole.

      It’ll take several more years or attrition and good, smart recruiting.
      ~~~

  4. G

    I just see our D’s talent and depth far outweights our offense’s talent and depth. For the first time in years you can finally feel confident with the D we will put on the field, but all this team’s question marks reside on the offensive side of the ball (OL,FB,RB,WR).

  5. Coach Bobby Finstock

    I think that was 1993. Thanks for bringing it up. I just threw up on my keyboard.

  6. shane#1

    Man, that D is loaded.

  7. David

    If receivers are going to be good, they’re usually immediately good.
    Terrence, Edwards, Fred Gibson, Massaquoi, AJ, Mitchell, etc. I don’t remember anyone laying in the weeds and then all of the sudden getting good once they’re juniors or seniors. In other words, don’t count on Marlon Brown or Tavarres King all of the sudden being game-changers. And if one of the freshman had that potential we’d be hearing about it. We’ll need Malcom Mitchell at WR in a bad way later in this season.

    • Rhino

      Scott-Wesley is the one there has been talk about this off-season. No doubt about the speed, maybe it just took him a redshirt season to get the offense down. Here’s hoping he can be a playmaker.

      • NRBQ

        Two words for ya’ll to remember through 2012: Chris Conley. That dude’s got it, and will provide many pleasant re-winds this season.

        Not to dis JS-W. He will be impressive, as well.

        • IveyLeaguer

          Think you’re right about Conley. Not sure about JSW. I have some doubts, based on some things I saw in the Spring game.
          ~~~

    • Billy Mumphrey

      Are King and Brown even in the same category?

    • I wanna Red Cup

      Reggie Brown improved immensely later in his career after being a HYPED player. I hope that Marlon follows his lead

      • IveyLeaguer

        He’s the one case I can think of. Reggie finally came out his senior year. So it is possible.

        But David’s point is a good one, and a valid one. It very rarely happens.
        ~~~

    • wnc dawg

      I would generally agree with this, but only in UGA’s case. My biggest pet peeve about specific positions since Richt has been in Athens is that receivers barely seem to show improvement over the course of their careers. Brown is a rare example. I always thought it was Eason’s coaching ability, but it hasn’t seemed to improve in the few years we’ve seen from Ball either.

    • Ginny

      I would say Massaquoi improved pretty dramatically over the course of his career. Aka I remember a lot of UGA “fans” bashing him frequently his first couple of years only to have him leave as one of the more celebrated receivers we’ve had.

  8. JasonC

    The main issue I had with Emerson’s article was about the RBs. After seeing LSU last year and seeing what is happening in the NFL, I don’t care if we have a true starting RB. And 4 RBs isn’t all that many to fit in. We did it with 3 for a few years not too long ago. What I am more concerned about is that all of them are up to the task of running the ball successfully in the SEC, knowing their assignments and blocking when called upon.

    I do understand the argument about building a rhythm, but having fresh legs in the 4th quarter is also good.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      And if you figure Gurley, Marshall, Malcolme and Richard the Intravenous are likely our top backs in perhaps roughly that order, it is good to know that if one gets injured we’ll still be deep.

      I would love to see us start the Mizzou game rotating those four in on our first possession and just run it right at them and see where we’re at.

  9. kdsdawg

    That fact that Samuel gets a carry at all at TB, much less starst, makes ME throw up on the keyboard.

  10. baddawg

    Just saw the stats from the scrimmage today…. Todd Gurley 7 carries 87 yards 2 tds. Really starting to love hearing his name!

  11. W Cobb Dawg

    I’m surprised by the demise of Zander Ogletree. I doubt anyone ever expected big things, but seems he’s fallen pretty far out of the FB competition.
    And don’t get me started on our never ending OL issues. While I’d like to think we’re developing the young OLs, like Emerson says, the usual scenario is they hang around for a few years and never pan out. One would think they’d pick up technical expertise over a few years, while getting into top shape, which might make up for any natural ability shortcomings. How often has that happened.
    On the good side, the D is stout. Garrison Smith a backup? He made things happen when on the field. Also like Herrera – get him on the field somehow.

  12. Derek

    Well, not exactly. The 1992 team had both Hearst and strong (also a guy named frank Harvey who went 80 on the opening play of the WLOCP). In addition, while playing decent, Eric had as many picks as Tds that year. You may be referring to the 1993 team but no one expected much from them because hearst and Andre Hastings left and frankly the defense was Randall Godfrey and not much else. Alabama had won the NC in 1992 and UF was beggining it’s run as a national power. I don’t think the dawgs were on the radar in 1993. You may have a point in their somewhere but your history is way off.

    • Derek

      Don’t know how that happened but the above was intended as a reply to the mayor earlier reference to the 1992 team.