Welp, spring practice is about to be sprung.

So, after the post-spring break drug tests (I keed, I keed… I hope), what are you expecting to learn starting with tomorrow’s first practice?

A few things on my list:

  • Life on offense after Bobo.  How much is Schottenheimer really going to live up to Richt’s “if it ain’t broke” expectations?
  • The quarterback battle.  It’s clear there’s going to be one.  How soon do any of this year’s candidates separate from the pack?
  • Center.  After all the stability Georgia has had at that position over the last several seasons, yeah, it’s a little nerve-wracking to know a new face will be manning the spot.
  • Who’s the third wide receiver?  Maybe I should be wondering about #2 as well, as Scott-Wesley never really showed much last year coming back from his injury.  But assuming Georgia intends to continue with a heavy use of three wideout sets, Brian McClendon has to find the next guy.
  • Jeremy Pruitt’s mad scientist act gets its second run.  He’s got a challenge getting creative with making sure his three best defensive players, all outside linebackers, see the field as much as possible.  But he’ll tinker again with the secondary, because… well, because that’s what he does.  There’s also a lot of mixing and matching to do on the defensive line, a task that will certainly go into fall practice when some more key bodies arrive.  And don’t forget replacing two starters at inside linebacker.

Whew!  That’s enough for a start.  When’s G-Day, anyway?

46 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

46 responses to “Welp, spring practice is about to be sprung.

  1. pete

    Well, you covered just about everything and didn’t leave much to add. I am interested in the TE position. Will JR fulfill his potential? Will JD get in the mix or will JB continue to impress? Also, it will be interesting to see Schotty and Pruitt battle minds on G-Day!

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  2. Macallanlover

    I agree with you Senator, JSW’s slow development in 2014 worries me some about his ability to be #2 this year. Spring should tell us that answer but overall my level of angst isn’t that high about having folks to run and catch the ball, we have a lot of athletes.

    I do have major concern about our run stopping in the middle of the D, we weren’t very good at it last year, and we lost some talent. When you get beyond that aspect of the D, Pruitt has a lot of toys in the toy box and he will get creative in how he uses them. I doubt we see many of the variations CJP might employ to fix the weakness but I feel confident the defense will be much better this season.

    As for QB, it doesn’t matter to me who emerges but I feel we will get good, if not very good, QB play in 2015. My gut says Park wins this battle in the summer, but Ramsey is capable and has a 1/2 step edge going into Spring. Even if Ramsey comes out ahead in the Spring, I don’t expect the coaches to name anyone the #1, although the fans at G Day will.

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    • doofusdawg

      My recollection is that jsw’s biggest issue, when healthy, was his weight. Well, that, and one other thing.

      Hopefully he is serious this year and stays close to 200. If so I think he has a huge year.

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  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    Who starts at quarterback is not nearly as important as understanding that guy is not as good as the guy behind him…the coaches just like him better.

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  4. Russ

    My guy should be starting at QB. Any fool can see he’s better than your guy. We’ll never lose with my guy back there.

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  5. I’m worried about the center position. I could make the case that Andrews’ injury in Jacksonville completely changed the game and likely cost us a chance to play Bama in Atlanta. Long showed in that game that he wasn’t ready to take on the responsibility, and, hopefully, he has gotten “butter” in the offseason. I also don’t know if another of the young linemen can take the job.

    I’m worried about the interior defense. We’re going to need plenty of guys to step into major roles: Atkins, DeLoach, and Gaillard are the only 3 returning players at DT. Carter and Kimbrough are going to have to be ready to play a lot at ILB. Rankin and Ganus need to be ready to contribute. Incoming freshmen will have to come in this summer and be ready to play.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      I believe we have Mayes coming back at NT/DT too. But I think the NT position gives me the most concern right now. We appear to have sufficient numbers (Mayes, Atkins, Gaillard, maybe Ledbetter or Thompson too). But other than occasional flashes by Mayes there’s nothing much to go on.

      The questions on our D are all up the middle: NT and ILBs.

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      • Good point about Mayes – I missed him on the roster on georgiadogs.com. I’m very worried about true freshmen contributing on the d-line. They have typically been able to play at the high school level based on talent alone rather than talent and technique. Ledbetter & Thompson appear to be incredible talents, but I want to see them get coached up by Rocker before I see them as every down contributors on the D-line.

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  6. RocketDawg

    Call me a Kool aid drinker but I am positively GIDDY about the defense next year. Trent Thompson will be a huge (both literally and figuratively) addition to the Defensive line. Galliard at one time was a 5* kid that picked up some bad weight his senior year of HS so I think the RS season did him good as well (from what I hear he has lost some of the bad weight and looks good). I could totally see Pruitt lining up Jenkins as a rush DE in order to get Carter and Floyd on the field at the same time. Don’t forget Bellamy as well, he showed in limited time how he can get after the QB as well. ILB has me a little worried but I feel like the coaches brought Ganus in from UAB for a reason not to mention Carter, KImbrough and Roquan Smith. I think the secondary will be solid this year with Fenteng and Parrish at the CB positions and Mauger and Sanders at the Safety postions. There are also a ton of talented FR coming in the fall that will be in the mix to play.

    On offense the O-line should be a strength, I am not worried about the C position since we have 5 months until the season starts. Wynn, Long, Kublanow or someone else will step up and play. RB is obviously a strength with Chubb, Micheal, and hopefully a fully healthy Keith Marshall. Blazevich and Rome are a great TE combo as well. The keys on Offense are obviously a QB and finding some depth at WR.

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  7. Will Trane

    There will be a lot of work, competition, and getting used to.
    Do not look for Dawgs to be better in fall of ’15. Think UT and UF move ahead of Dawgs.
    Center and QB are big issues re experience and youth with a new OC and OL coach.
    Would not get my hopes up about this team and staff at present.
    Plus, why are there so many injuries through out the sports programs at UGA…ladies basketball, men’s basketball, and men’s baseball. Beginning to question Stricklin and staff. Not sure they practice well, because they do not play focused and well.
    Does the AD have a damn issue with the AJC constant articles about players leaving Georgia playing at Missouri, Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, Louisville, Ole Miss, USC, the other USC. Frankly, their press credentials would be revoked forever in Athens.

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    • Doggoned

      Is there any one area that you are happy about?

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    • Irwin R Fletcher

      “Center and QB are big issues re experience and youth with a new OC and OL coach.
      Would not get my hopes up about this team and staff at present.”

      So wait…are you still talking about UGA or did you switch to talking about Florida and UTenn?

      ….see what I did there?

      BTW- I’ve always heard the best way to get the press to say good things about you is to try to silence them by revoking their credentials. The AJC is a hair above tabloid status at this point, but it’s still not worth poking the bear.

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  8. Will Trane

    Is there a reason that UGA has to play Michigan State in every damn post season game, regardless of the sport.
    Frankly tired of us playing this university all the time in post season!!!

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    • Yea, I’m surprised it wasn’t Wisconsin or Nebraska. Real yawners. May be a topic for another thread, but I haven’t been that stoked about our bowl game match ups in a long long time. Would love for us to go against ND, Oklahoma, USC (the good one), Penn State, Ohio State (yes, I know Meyer owns Richt), Texas, or heck even Miami if they ever get good again.

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  9. Cosmic Dawg

    I am still wondering if they might put Keith Marshall at WR. Was he not a track star and the whole point is to get him into space where his finesse can help him? May be an option if he struggles, I thought he looked good catching passes. And bet Isaiah M. gets some more time there too.

    Center is huge. And solely from outside the arena, I sure like all the player comments on Park’s work ethic – sounds like a leader.

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  10. MGW

    Not worried, just curious to see how the 3 stud OLB’s get on the field at the same time. Positions in Pruitt’s defense seem to be pretty fluid so I would imagine Jenkins (and really the other two as well) will be down sometimes and up sometimes, and the other two could wind up in the middle in place of a MLB pretty often in addition to being outside or maybe down at end. I don’t expect Jenkins sees as much time in place of a MLB as the other two. Still, just curious to see where all those guys wind up playing. I expect they will all move around a lot so the offense can’t really key on any one in particular very easily.

    Plenty of talent at MLB so again not worried, just curious to see who sees the field most. Given the 3 studs at OLB will probably see the field at the same time pretty often (unless Jenkins just straight up plays at end all the time) MLB is probably the position that will suffer that loss on most downs. I think those guys are really fighting for one full time spot, and a second spot that will be not so much second string, but not exactly a starter either.

    Really I think who plays where will change weekly depending on what team/offense we’re playing. After last year I feel pretty confident in Pruitt’s ability to recognize when personnel adjustments are necessary and his willingness to actually make them.

    Rather than be bothered by the problem of picking his top 11 guys who should start when he’s got more than that who could, he seems to relish having an abundance, and finds ways to get them all on the field. He’s good about it in a single game, in terms of making efficient substitutions to keep guys fresh when there’s a viable backup, and he’s good about it in terms of making a game plan; like maybe this guy should play a lot versus a pass heavy team, but he’s going to just about ride the pine against a power run team.

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  11. MGW

    Also curious on offense to see the different ways Schottenheimer uses the FB and TE than Bobo might have.

    I mean yeah, I hope whoever starts at QB and C turn out well, and thats definitely most important, but I’m most curious to see if he wants his FB to get more involved other than blocking… maybe run it a few times a game or be a more frequent check down (remember how dangerous Hicks was with the ball in his hand when we used him for like 2 games?). Also, is he more willing to really feature a TE who can catch than Bobo was. (never really seemed like the offseason TE talk ever really panned out to where a TE really had an above average amount of catches). Rome and Blazevich are both pretty much those hybrid kind of guys that pro guys love.

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  12. EdDawg

    Ramsey is your Qb, Richt doesn’t change his mind at the position in the offseason. If Ramsey is the Qb, you’re back to the interception issues that plagued Georgia 2011-2013 and looking at an 8-4 season. If Park or Bauta starts, it will be a special season.
    2- If Chubb stays healthy, you still lose to South Carolina and Alabama, Auburn/GT are 50/50, if he gets hurt, you lose 4 minimum.
    3- If the defense finishes in the top 5 nationally in scoring, Georgia will win it all. The offense has no shot at a top 20 scoring finish with an untested QB and a new OC trying to install. It’s defense or bust for Georgia in 2015. I lost a lot of trust in Pruitt after he didn’t make any adjustments to stop Florida or GT’s running plan, so my guess, it doesn’t look good for Georgia in 2015, not sure Pruitt can scheme well enough in the SEC.
    4- The ACL injury issue on offense has derailed Georgia’s offense for many years, no reason to think this has been solved.
    5- special teams–hard to imagine things not happening like missing 28 yard field goal vs SC, and fake punt for td vs UF.
    6- Suspensions for unethical actions—Gurley missed 4 games. AJ missed 4 games. This has been a constant issue every year and Georgia has become the butt of jokes.
    7- Losing games where you are favored to win. This is another reason why people don’t pick Georgia in the top 5 anymore.

    These are some of my concerns.

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  13. EdDawg

    South Carolina is Richt’s new Florida.

    Spurrier owns him in the last 5 years.

    4-1 in last 5 games.

    Unless SC loses Spurrier, like UF lost Meyer, looks like a reenactment of the Meyer vs Richt era.

    Add to that Pinkel seems to be smarter in understanding how you win the East, and it looks bleak for Georgia.

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    • And yet in two of those last five years, Georgia’s won the division, which is more than Spurrier can say.

      What was that you said about overall conference wins being more important than head to head?

      Pinkel > Richt > Spurrier, right? 😉

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      • Irwin R Fletcher

        STRATEGERY!

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      • EdDawg

        right on, odds are East will be won by Pinkel instead of Richt or Spurrier, Mizzou has gone 7-1 in the conference in 2013 & 2014. Been true 100% both seasons Pinkel has been in the conference.

        But, my 2nd point was, going off the last 5 years, you can bank on 1 loss to Spurrier for Richt, he just has owned him the last 5 years head to head, that was that point, projecting wins, not conference champs, you can very safely predict that Spurrier will beat Richt and over the last 5 games, you’d be right 80%.

        Then you have Spurrier, Saban & Malzahn. Looks like 2-3 SEC losses again for Richt. Runner up to Pinkel again.

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        • Missouri’s been in the conference three seasons.

          There sure are a lot of holes in your grand theory. But keep digging.

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          • EdDawg

            What are these holes you speak of? 🙂

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          • EdDawg

            Looking over the last 10 seasons, Richt has only gone 7-1, 2 times out of 10, 20%.

            Pinkel has gone 7-1, 2 out of 3 so far, 67%.

            Pinkel has a 330% better chance of winning the East than Richt.

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            • pete

              It will be interesting to see how Pinkel does over a period of 10 seasons…and some of those including playing the better teams in the west in some of those seasons. I think Pinkel has done a good job so far…but there is still lots of tests to come.

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              • pete

                …and after UT and UF have returned to their ‘glory’.

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              • EdDawg

                The schedule for Georgia has some good things going for it:
                1- Don’t open up against top ranked teams first 2 weeks.
                2- Don’t face Spurrier until game, helpful with the suspension policy.
                3- Bye week before Florida game
                4- Face triple option GSU before GT.

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              • EdDawg

                Pinkel has done it with far less talent than Richt, so expect it to only continue, and get better as more recruits start heading to Mizzou.

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                • RandallPinkFloyd

                  Yeah, I bet all the SEC coaches are fretting about kids in the south flocking to Mizzou. Great point.

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                • EdDawg

                  The West leaders (Bama, Auburn) aren’t worried about Mizzou. But the East coaches know anyone who’s won the East 2 times in a row is to not be taken lightly.

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                • RandallPinkFloyd

                  You do realize Mizzou is closer in proximity to the SEC West teams, right? They’ve won the SEC East twice… and they were thrashed in both championship games. I don’t think coaches stay up at night worrying about Mizzou raiding the south for the elite recruits. There’s already plenty of competition here, anyways. If kids were going to start flocking there, it would have already happened.

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        • gatorhater27

          Malzahn? Why would anyone worry about him? His offense only scored one TD against that incompetent moron, Jeremy Pruitt. His team lost five games last year. Ain’t nobody got time to worry bout dat.

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          • EdDawg

            All 3 coaches, Spurrier, Saban, and Gus, got their teams to the Championship game, so they are to be feared. Pruitt did a very nice job in that one game, true. Wonder what happened to Pruitt vs SC, GT and UF?

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            • Mayor

              You forgot about the Hat who won the BCSNC Game once and lost it once. Spurrier never got his team to a BCSNC Game, only to a regular bowl game at FU which he won to win the mythical national championship in the 90s.

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              • EdDawg

                You forgot Georgia doesn’t have LSU on the schedule. And you forgot Spurrier won the National Championship in 1996 and has finished in the top 10 nearly a dozen times.

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  14. fldawgfan

    Saw that QBs Bauta and Vaughn were working out at Bauta’s old high school Dwyer in Palm Beach over Spring Break. Glad they are using their free time wisely with QB competition ready to begin! Go Dawgs!

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  15. Bulldog Joe

    Off topic, but congrats to Coach Landers on a fine career at the University of Georgia, 850 wins and 36 seasons.

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