Bulldogs begin transition from installation to game-planning

ATHENS —  Back over at The Butts this morning (that’s what the players call the football complex). The Bulldogs were back on the field for their second day of two-a-days, their fourth straight day of full pads, their eighth day of practice in a row and their ninth practice overall. Georgia will hold its 10th practice, a closed walk-through session in preparation for tomorrow’s scrimmage, tonight at 7:30 p.m.

By all accounts, senior tackle/guard Watts Dantzler has had a strong camp and is going to figure into the Bulldogs' line roation this season. (UGA photo by Steven Colquitt)

By all accounts, senior tackle/guard Watts Dantzler has had a strong camp and is going to figure into the Bulldogs’ line roation this season. (UGA photo by Steven Colquitt)

At this point, the Bulldogs are pretty much done with playbook installation. They’ll put the finishing touches knowing the playbook this morning, prepare for tomorrow’s scrimmage this evening, then finalize the few remaining gray areas as far as playing time through the competition of the Saturday scrimmage. By Monday they’ll get hot and heavy into Clemson game plan preparation.

Heading into the second weekend of camp, here’s what remains unresolved:

  • Secondary: Jeremy Pruitt has said in no uncertain terms that senior cornerback Damian Swann is the only defensive back who has solidified his spot. Aaron Davis, Corey Moore, Quincy Mauger and J.J. Green all appear to be in line for playing time, but starting roles remain undetermined.
  • Tight ends: Injuries and general lack of experience (see below) create uncertainty about the rotation or even the role the position will play in the offense this season.
  • Defensive line: No clear hierarchy as far as who will be the prominent roles up front. But with only nine scholarship players for three positions, and all them serviceable or better in terms of talent, it looks like they’re all going to play anyway.
  • Offensive line: The Bulldogs feel really good about the options they have among eight or nine players. However, coach Will Friend continues to juggle players around and doesn’t appear to have settled on the first five.

So that’s kind of where the Bulldogs are at this moment in time. The media was granted only a brief, seven-minute viewing period this morning. Nevertheless, here are a few observations:

1. Tight end Jay Rome (foot) was back on the field today. He remained in a non-contact jersey, but at least he was running plays and executing pass routes instead of busting through sand piles with a pick ax as he was yesterday. Still no sign of fellow tight end Jordan Davis, so there’s still that.

2. Cornerback Shattle Fenteng also remained in a green jersey but looked to be flying around again like he was before suffering a shoulder injury a few days ago. Receivers Chris Conley and Justin Scott-Wesley were also working out but wearing non-contact  jerseys.

3. Inside linebackers Ramik Wilson (concussion) and Ryne Rankin (unknown) remained sidelined but were with their position group watching and listening in on everything.

4. Wideout Charlie Hegedus and noseguard Chris Mayes were unaccounted for again during the viewing period. Mayes was not out there yesterday at that time, but position mate Mike Thornton said he made it out to the field later.

Coach Mark Richt will be available after practice, so hopefully we’ll get a few answers on some of these guys. But he hasn’t exactly been a willing to impart much enlightenment in that regard this particular preseason.

Interesting the tact UGA is taking in this camp with all the secrecy. Not that it is good, bad or indifferent in comparison, but South Carolina is conducting open practices and even had the media in for a film session this week. Clemson is freely sharing its injury information with the press, which of course represents the public’s right to know in this relationship.

Guess we’ll find out when these teams meet in a few weeks if there is any advantage to Georgia’s strategy.

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