This week’s theme is the secondary’s walking wounded.
“We just haven’t had enough healthy guys to really become as good as we can be,” Richt said after practice Friday night. “So it’s a concern right now. … It’s a problem. Playing Clemson probably does make it a little bit worse.”
Continuing the trend, safeties Tray Matthews, Corey Moore and Shaquille Fluker were sidelined or limited in Friday’s practice with various injuries — a sprained shoulder and a strained hamstring for Matthews, a sprained knee for Moore and a strained lower back for Fluker. Cornerback Sheldon Dawson, bothered recently by a bruised knee, also was limited.
“You said it: It looks banged up,” Richt said of the secondary.
Richt added that was a real shame for Moore.
“When a guy like Corey Moore has the offseason that he has, starts out in the camp the way he started, he really made himself into a fine player,” Richt said. “Great shape, really understood the system, was leading, was practicing [well]. … Everybody noticed and he got the attention of the staff and then he gets banged up, so he can’t work.”
Emerson writes Richt is employing a milder version of Spurrier’s “Jadeveon, if it’s not too much trouble, would you mind getting your magnificent injured ass back out on the practice field? Thanks.” motivational tactics when he says this:
“You can’t hardly get better if you practice. You can learn some things watching, walk-throughs, film study. You can learn, but until you’re out there doing it it’s just so hard to get good at anything. And also for us to know what they’re getting, what they’re comprehending, what they’re able to execute. We just haven’t had enough healthy guys to become as good as we can be. So it’s a concern right now.”
… and for all I know that may be all it is. In any event, it sure would be nice if these guys started making it back to practice this coming week.
Meanwhile in Clemson, things aren’t looking too good either, according to Shakin the Southland‘s esteemed DrB, the only difference being it’s not about the injuries.
There has been much less raving about the defense. The secondary is not ready for primetime. If we play well in the back 4 against UGA I’ll be shocked. The back 7 as a whole may be adequate, but no one is ready opposite Breeland at one CB spot. Alexander is slowly coming back from the groin injury suffered at the start of practice, and I bet he wins the starting spot as soon as he’s able to go full speed and tackle in practice. We’re going to play a lot of freshmen back here: Kearse and Mac are definites, but Johnson and Wiggins are also likely. I’m a little disappointed that I havent heard of Tankersley pushing Smith more.
If I’m one of the starting quarterbacks, I’ve got a little more spring in my step right now.