August 18, 2010

Could Anderson start at nose?

Defensive line coach Rodney Garner made sure he qualified his statement when asked who would start on his defensive line if the Bulldogs were to open their season today.

His answer caught some reporters by surprise.

"If we had to play today, and that's a hypothetical situation because it could be different tomorrow. But if we were playing today, Bean (Justin Anderson) would be at the nose, with DeAngelo (Tyson) and (DeMarcus) Dobbs at the ends in the base package."

When Georgia announced its preseason depth chart back in July, Tyson was listed as the starter at nose with Dobbs and Abry Jones at end.

But according to Garner, Anderson, who missed the spring with an injured shoulder, has done nothing but impress.

"We're hoping that he will continue to improve. Now, he's not where we need him to be or want him to be, but you've consciously got to evaluate every day and decide which combination gives us the best chance to win," Garner said. "I mean, do we keep DeAngelo at the nose, put someone else there or what? There are a lot of different combinations we're looking at right now."

Garner confirmed that redshirt freshman Kwame Geathers is behind Anderson on his current depth chart.

"We need Geathers to keep coming on, because he has some ability," Garner said. "But he's a young kid. He still plays too high and he doesn't use his hands all the time. He's got to keep getting lower. He's a big man, and he's got to keep developing."

As for the rest of his defensive line, Garner continues to keep his fingers crossed.

Although he's confident that Jones and Brandon Wood and possibly Kiante Tripp will be contributing members, the jury is still somewhat out on Garrison Smith, Mike Thornton and redshirt freshman Derrick Lott who missed all of last year with a severe ankle injury.

"Derrick is still a work in progress. He has talent but he's just got to keep pushing. He didn't practice after the first week of camp and he was a basketball player," Garner said. "He's still trying to get the basketball out of him and make him into a football player. But he is a very talented individual. He just needs to stick with it and keep working. He's got a chance to be a real good player."

As for Smith and Thornton, life as collegiate defensive lineman continues to be a grind.

"I think they're struggling, they're going through the de-recruiting process," Garner said. "It's like I told them. When we were recruiting them I told them, it's easy to say you want to play. But I think the kids are going to be fine."

Starting D rounding into shape

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham didn't give specifics, but from a general standpoint he's getting close to knowing who his starters will be for the season-opener against Louisiana-Lafayette.

"We're getting close on some positions. We've still got some time, although the next week and a half is critical from that standpoint," Grantham said. "We're still moving some guys around to try and find from a depth standpoint where we can play guys as the season goes along. But we're kind of honing in on where we're going to put guys, I wouldn't say etched in stone, but where they're at least going to start and develop some depth."

Grantham's still waiting to see whether senior linebacker Akeem Dent will be a part of the opening game lineup.

Dent hasn't practiced all preseason while nursing an injured foot, but Wednesday was able to do lose his protective boot and get in some work under the watchful eye of team trainer Ron Courson.

Marcus Dowtin and Christian Robinson continue to work at Moe and Mike linebacker in Dent's absence.

Dent's position coach Warren Belin said the time away won't hurt the senior in regards to getting back on the field.

"Akeem has been sharp. Even during the injury he's been outstanding in meetings and focused on knowing what to do even though he's not taking the physical reps," Belin said. "He's back there checking himself as one of the linebackers that's on the field and making all the plays in the back end to our younger guys, so mentally he's on target to where all we need him to do is get back to the physical part."

Offense suffered self-inflicted wounds

Although he admitted the defense ruled the day in Saturday's scrimmage, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said some of the offense's issues were self-inflicted ones.

"We didn't show up ready to play early in the scrimmage. We had three drives, and the way the scrimmage works with the drives and you happen to go three and out then you really can't keep going even if you get a drive started on the fourth play," Bobo said. "We didn't do very well at the start of each drive. There were really some self-inflicted wounds on center-quarterback exchanges on two of the three drives and then a fumble by a running back on the third one. After that, we moved the ball but the ball had to stop due to the rules."

Bobo said he had more to be pleased with during short-yardage and third-and-long situations in the second half.

"After halftime we came back and did very well in the short-yardage situations which was good to see and in the third-and-long situations we completed 50 percent of that," he said. "We've just got to be ready to go at the start of practice

This and that

Logan Gray did not practice Tuesday after rolling his ankle in practice Monday. … Wide receiver Rantavious Wooten (knee), linebacker Michael Gillard, and linebacker Richard Samuel (leg) did not practice. … Freshman offensive tackle Brent Benedict continued to get looks in non-contact drills. Head coach Mark Richt said Monday that Benedict would likely redshirt this year.

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