The pressing issues of preseason camp

Georgia’s preseason practice starts Tuesday. The season opens 32 days later. I’ll have a story in Tuesday’s paper (on-line Monday PM)  about the biggest issues that need to be resolved on the practice field in the interim. (For Tech fans here: My colleague Doug Roberson has a similar piece today on the Jackets, who open practice one day ahead of the Dogs.)

Some of the issues for Georgia are obvious. Who’ll win the tailback job? Who, if anyone, will step up  at defensive end? Who’ll complement A.J. Green at receiver?

But there are lots of other issues, too, from who’ll win the kickoff job (Blair Walsh or Brandon Bogotay?) to who’ll be the backup quarterback (Logan Gray or Aaron Murray/Zach Mettenberger?). From how many of last year’s injured players will prove to be as good as new to how many of the incoming freshmen will be ready to contribute immediately. And some issues are more generalized, such as improving tackling and reducing penalties.

All in all, I’m looking forward to an intriguing preseason.

So what do you think? What to you are the pressing issues to be sorted out on the practice field this month?

60 comments Add your comment

Saint Simons

August 3rd, 2009
1:54 am

((((( 45 42 ))))) hahahahahahaha

gp295

August 3rd, 2009
3:44 am

We have plenty of talent on the sideline, time to see this talent on the field. Let them play, everyone was great in high school.

gp295

August 3rd, 2009
5:14 am

BuLLdawg

August 3rd, 2009
5:17 am

Blair Walsh is finished kicking off.

Logan Gray is the back-up QB. Hopefully both the other 2 will be redshirted, as they were told during recruiting. I’ve seen more than enough True Freshmen Quarterbacks in Coach Richt’s previous 8-year career (David Greene and Matthew Stafford were both horrid in their Freshmen years, putting up Coach Richt’s two worst seasons ever.) And frankly neither recovered from it. David Greene was not able to build up his strength to throw anything other than underneath the coverage, and never made it in the NFL for the same reason. And, Matthew Stafford ended his career with as many Interceptions and Fumbles (52) as he had TD passes (52.) As a matter of fact, as you look at the games UGA played last year, Matthew Stafford was only able to beat Michigan State, 1 ranked team he beat. He lost to 3 ranked teams. Who beat Georgia Tech last year ? Tech had 4 losses, not the 3 UGA had, including a blowout loss to LSU who UGA blew-out ourselves. LSU was not even a ranked team at all all season last year. Alabama and Florida ? Did Georgia Tech play Alabama or Florida ? Give me a break over there in the ACC where there is NOT 1 single solitary top-ranked football team, and has NOT been. A QB needs time to work on what he needs to work on. Not get thrown into the fire and adapt his game to what he already is able to do or not do. Logan Gray has had that time, and Joe Cox has had that time. DJ Shockley had that time too. Georgia Tech plays a soft schedule. Injuries are not an issue when you play 1 good team all season, and still end up with 4 losses. This up-coming season now we play Arizona State at our house, Oklahoma State on the road, Georgia Tech and then there is the Big Bad SEC including National Champions Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Auburn.

Tech fans cannot bring themselves to admit their schedule is SOFT compared to our own ? Then, gentlemen you have no credibility.

Everyone is well aware that in-coming freshman phenom WR Marlon Brown of Memphis is the top WR in the nation, as a Freshman. Who is going to step up and support bookend Wide Outs for AJ Green this season ? Duh. Marlon Brown is 6′ 5″ and 205 lbs. a speedster with soft hands and great routes and blocking. And, we have Da’Rick Rogers a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash at 206 lbs. and 6 feet 3 inches tall committed for the season after this when AJ Green goes to the NFL. And, don’t forget we have Orson Charles and Arthur Lynch both of whom are rated in the Top 5 in the nation to catch the ball too this season.

The Tailback job however, is a significant question for this season Tim Tucker. Washaum Ealey in-coming Frosh with 4.45 speed will have a solid look to, with the position all but handed to him. And, there are no commitments for the season after this at RB either, when we lose both of our NFL Fullbacks. DE are also positions this season, where unlike the season after this when we have 5 DE committed in the Number 4 Recruiting Class in the Nation according to Scout.com and Number 6 Rivals.com, we remain thin as well.

Georgia Tech has not been ranked ahead of UGA in the Final AP Poll 8 Consecutive Seasons and Counting, Every Year of the Coach Richt Era because of this.

Who is the good team in the ACC ? There is not 1. There has not been one, while Tech and the rest of the ACC doesn’t recruit well, and Tech plays a soft schedule.

BuLLdawg

August 3rd, 2009
5:42 am

Let’s talk more about tight ends. My favorite position on the team!

who is asher allen?

August 3rd, 2009
5:49 am

Hey BuLLdawg- 45-42!!! LoL

god and greyhound

August 3rd, 2009
5:52 am

sc tn vandy uk msu aub ark – list of teams that wouldnt finish .500 in the acc

69 Dawg

August 3rd, 2009
6:03 am

My greatest concern in the Defensive Coordinator. Will is be the same Willie that didn’t show up at all last year? What will CMR do if the defense falls apart against OSU? Talent is great but coaching that talent is where the rubber meets the road. I don’t have ANY confidence in Willie and think CMR made a huge mistake keeping him. We needed a new coordinator with fire and passion and innovation and motivation. I’m really concerned with our D and believe this will be the biggest quetion that needs to be addressed NOW. I still say Willie needs to go.

BuLLdawg

August 3rd, 2009
6:19 am

Why ?

Georgia Tech ended up Number 22 in the Final AP Poll and UGA ended up Number 13.

Why is this ?

Georgia Tech LOST to Virginia, an UNRANKED nobody.

Georgia Tech LOST to LSU, an UNRANKED nobody, who UGA blew-out.

Georgia Tech LOST to Virginia Tech, when there are Four (4) SEC teams ranked AHEAD of Virginia Tech.

Georgia Tech LOST to North Carolina, yet another UNRANKED nobody.

THESE are your FOUR (4) LOSSES.

Who did Georgia Tech LOSE to ? Who the hell do you play besides your ONE (1) game a year against us ?

All you play, are teams who are not any good – except for us.

You had One (1) Game all season, while we played the likes of Number 24 Michigan State, Number 6 Alabama, Number 1 Florida, and Number 22 Georgia Tech.

You played a SOFT schedule.

You play an even SOFTER schedule this up-coming year.

Georgia Tech schedule ?

Mississippi State, Vandie, Weak Forest, Climpsum Farmers, depleted Miami who hasn’t done a thing in years and years and years either, hapless North Carolina, Virginia Tech who found Four (4) SEC teams ranked ahead of them, Florida State who hasn’t been ANY good at ALL since the day Coach Richt took this gig 20 December 2000, doormat Virginia, Jacksonville State whatever that is, and Duke.

God Almighty.

Wimps with wimps’ schedules.

SOFT schedule. That’s what you want to talk about ? Not the crime-ridden slums your campus is in, the nobodies you recruit, the lack of a passing game, LOSING to 4 nobodies, being ranked WORSE than UGA 8 years in a Row in the Final AP Poll and this year will be Year 9, and all your athletes who cannot pass a single course – not suited for the purpose for which they were recruited, UNRANKED recruiting class yet again, and zero attendance and zero money to work with.

hammerhead

August 3rd, 2009
6:24 am

*god and greyhound* – You might want to consider dropping Vandy from your list given the FACT that Vandy beat the #2 ACC team (Boston College) in last year’s Music City Bowl.

BuLLdawg

August 3rd, 2009
6:34 am

Doug Roberson, AJ-C sportswriter, has an article on the Front Page of the AJ-C sports section today about Jerrard Tarrant and how great he is going to be this year returning punts and kickoffs and everything, quotes of how great he is.

RAPE.

Can the AJ-C say the reason he was suspended was his RAPE charge ?

I don’t see that reported by the AJ-C this morning, Doug Roberson, just that Paul Johnson suspended Jerrard Tarrant for a RAPE charge.

god and greyhound

August 3rd, 2009
6:40 am

hammerhead, vandy was 1-2 vs the acc, losing to wf and DUKE(lol).

Sad Richards

August 3rd, 2009
6:46 am

Oh no , well the time is near. I wonder if technique along with weight training and conditioning will improve to prevent injuries in practice. These guys really need to be in shape to compete with the Big boys in the SEC. I wonder if Boo BOO and the Bald headed idiot really know whats going on or will they continue to drag CMR down.I wanna be optimistic but I also don’t wanna big let down. Until my dawgs really prove to me that they will compete hard and not have stupid meltdowns Im gonna be real cautious.

god and greyhound

August 3rd, 2009
6:47 am

BuLLpup, the charge was dropped. 45-42. thwg

Sad Richards

August 3rd, 2009
6:58 am

From the looks of Jeff Owens on the AJC, he must be hungry for cornbread or fried chicken. He doesn’t look to be in too great of condition. He looks to be a big pile of flub. Yeah he has weight alright but how is his stamina gonna be when he plays the big big boys. I dont think he looks too athletic like the Bama and Florida players in our league. Van Halanger needs to go.

(45-42) wORLD TOUr

August 3rd, 2009
7:28 am

GT sMaCKDoWn btw the HEDGIES. 45-42 FO LIFE YO

JB

August 3rd, 2009
7:45 am

This never ending 45-42 stuff is funny. First off, the LSU butt whuppin’ put a tad of a damper on it. Just a tad, Second, you’d think they’d won like the previous 7 meetings… Oh, wait a minute…

As to the Dawgs, we need to know if we have some DE’s that can put pressure on the QB and whether or not we have 1 to 2 WR’s that can take the pressure off AJ. The former worries me, the latter, not so much. If we do have both of those concerns covered, we could do some damage. Per usual, time will tell.

HBTD!!!!

JOHN MITCHELL

August 3rd, 2009
8:11 am

Hey BullDawg, David Greeene did not play as a true Freshman. Heaven forbid we have another QB who sets the record for most wins ever by a college QB.

Georgia News - 8/3/09 | MrSEC.com

August 3rd, 2009
8:19 am

[...] by the way?  For that matter, why do issues “press?”  Here are some of the more pressing issues facing the Dawgs in preseason practice.Mark Richt just did a solid for the sports editor of The Athens Banner-Herald.  Not a bad move by [...]

Saint Augustine

August 3rd, 2009
8:22 am

((( 49 10 ))) hahahahaha

Saint Paul

August 3rd, 2009
8:32 am

Everything is shown up by being exposed to the light, and whatever is exposed to the light becomes light.

honest_abe

August 3rd, 2009
8:49 am

bulldawg is techie in disguise… you are an idiot.

you blame cmr for david greene’s weak arm? the hell is wrong with you? and aj will only be in his 3rd year next year. you seriously are a moron.

DawginLex

August 3rd, 2009
8:52 am

Greene was a RS freshman in 2001. Donnan redshirted him.

King will start at tailback. Munzenmeier and Chapas will get more carries than the fullbacks usually do. We will throw to the tight ends a lot. Moore, Green and Brown will catch a lot of passes. King will catch a lot of scren passes as well. Ealey will beat out Samuel for #2 tailback.

OL and DL will be strengths not weaknesses anymore. Curran will lead the SEC in tackles. Boykin will start in the defensive backfield and cover Bryant in the opener. Bogotay will kick off.

Cox will throw fewer interceptions than Stafford did. Gray will play more than folks expect.

reality check

August 3rd, 2009
9:24 am

Everybody is bashing Martinez, but the reality behind last year was penalties, a poor turnover ratio, poor field position after kickoffs, and the 6th highest total of injuries in the nation dropped Georgia to a 10 win season. Those are the things that have to improve, and there is a lot of room for improvement. A good friend of mine who played for Alabama commented he had never seen a team hit with so many problems in all those areas in 1 year.

The defense last year yielded an average of 22 yards per game more than the average under the Van Gorder era. We played horribly on defense in the first half of the Alabama game and the third quarter of the Tech game. Against Florida we gave up a lot of points but that was more about turnovers and field position than defensive yards given up. By the time Georgia played Kentucky we played two walkons on the defensive line most of the game and Martinez was man enough after to say our poor defensive performance against Kentucky was more about not anticipating Kentucky’s gameplan using Cobb. The best pressure end, Battle, was injured all year and it showed in the 5 games he was able to play.

Do I think Van Gorder was a better defensive coordinator than Martinez? Yes. He gave up an average of 12 yards per game fewer yards than Georgia has under Martinez.

With the return of Battle and Owens and Washington I believe Georgia has a chance to be much improved on defense. Hopefully Bogatay and Richt’s decision to get as many talented true freshmen on special teams as possible will yield better field positon after kickoffs. Hopefully we can avoid injuries and all that does to you.

hop

August 3rd, 2009
9:27 am

coach richt has far more issues than worrying about the #2 qb, with logan gray having such a great spring,especially since logan looked better than all qb’s in the G-day including joe cox.

DamnGoodDog

August 3rd, 2009
9:44 am

Tackling and penalties……aye, there’s the rub!!

Dangerous

August 3rd, 2009
9:44 am

MICHAEL MOORE IS THE MAN!

saint george

August 3rd, 2009
10:00 am

the falcons sure do have a good defensive coordinator. we also need a de like pollack who bleeds red and black! I am getting married on oct 17. when Ga plays vandy, if we lose that game i might get a Divorce

Saint Simons

August 3rd, 2009
10:26 am

I”m such a geeky tool. I hatred to UGA stems from the fact that I was told that my pale skin, greasy hair, and all around hides in the basement and plays dungons and dragons appearance would not allow me to be accepted into the school. I apologize for my childish behavior. Later, mommy’s calling me for my bath.

HH

August 3rd, 2009
10:35 am

69 Dawg is right on the money with his comment on Martinez—the weakest link in the coaching chain. I predict that if OKState scores a lot of points on UGA, then its all going to be downhill from there. Could be 5 beatings, some of them bad. Martinez will be gotten rid of, by Richt, if he has the (use own word/s here), or by someone else, whether Richt likes it or not. My advice to you, Willie, start looking in the yellow pages for real estate agents. That’s R-E-A-L E-S-T-A-T-E A-G-E-N-T-S.

hammerhead

August 3rd, 2009
10:36 am

!god and greyhound! based on your “lol” next to DUKE, you’re admitting they suck. I am makng a point to you that the SEC’s perennial cellar dweller beat the ACC’s runner-up head to head, on the field. Not on a blog where games between teams, conferences, etc. are cherry picked to make a point (as I am guilty of as well). Vandy is a capable team. Capable of beating good teams and losing to bad ones. They took a dump in our (UGA) burrito on Homecoming a few years ago. It happens. You can’t pick one season and make an argument for or against a particular conference as you try to do. I doubt you really believe half the crap you post anyway. I think you’re mostly just trying to gig the gullible. Which is admirable.

Dangerous

August 3rd, 2009
11:01 am

Alright HH and 69, Martinez is on your hot seat, but if all the offense can do is score 3’s and turn the ball over on the short side of the field then BoBlo should be too.

Voice of Reason

August 3rd, 2009
11:02 am

Bulldawg- First of all, we don’t play Ole Miss this year. Secondly, Marlon Brown was not the top rated WR in the nation. Also, AJ Green can not leave for the NFL after this year because he will not have spent 3 yrs. in college yet. (Check the rules) Next, we do have a RB commited for next year in Ken Malcome. “DE are also positions this season”??? What? I thought DE was a position every year.

I am a dawg fan as well, but if you are going to trash talk the Tech fans and talk about “credibility” you need to have some yourself.

Voice of Reason

August 3rd, 2009
11:03 am

Oh yeah, and our fullbacks are not seniors so no, we will not be losing them next year.

Carl Spackler

August 3rd, 2009
11:33 am

The QB position should be earned, not appointed …open it up next week and let the chips fall where they may…if a kid is good enough to play now, they should…in fact, every position should be open to earn, especially the skill positions…some freshman aren’t ready, but if they got it, then turn them loose…

Mystank E. Turban

August 3rd, 2009
11:56 am

We lost 4 games and got completely DESTROYED in our Bowl game. The only thing I can hang my hat on is the fact that we beat UGA for the first time in 8 years. We were getting smoked in the first half of the Georgia game, so I think the Dawgs got a little complacent and allowed us back in the game. This year we’re ranked really high, but we still run a High School offense and recruit jihadist students, but that’s okay, because we wear propeller beanie caps and enjoy a tickle pile after practice.

dan

August 3rd, 2009
12:07 pm

BuLLdawg,

Greene was horrid his freshman year? How you figure? That win in Knoxville seemed pretty legit to me.

Stafford had some rough outings where the defense and Joe Cox had to bail him out, but he put it together against Auburn and had nice little come from victories in the Ga. Tech and Va. Tech games.

Personally, I say you play the guy that gives you the best chance to win. More times than not, it will be the guy with experince. But if we start off the season 1-3 or 0-4 under Joe Cox then I wouldn’t have strong objections to starting a younger guy if they can help us win.

JaxDawg

August 3rd, 2009
12:29 pm

Reality Check- Very good points about the defense last year. The other factor which, I believe led to the penalties and poor tackling, was the fact that there was little contact or “tackling to the ground” during practice last year. That no doubt played a huge part in the poor tackles and penalties. Mon-Fri they are told to go at 50-75% and practice at that intensity, and speed I imagine, and then are expected to just magically crank it up to 100%. Not to mention how many starters did we have last year that wouldn’t have even seen the field were it not for the injuries?

One thing if for sure, whether it’s this year or next, fans will get what they want.
If CWM doesn’t produce with the players he has in place and the depth, he’s out and we’ll have a new DC next year
OR
Now that he has a full compliment of healthy players with depth his defense will produce at the level everyone has come to expect.

Don’t see any middle ground. I personally think the later is more likely.

harry

August 3rd, 2009
12:30 pm

Tech begins a day early? The need it. HAHAHAHAHA

UGA …………one of the GREATEST PROGRAMS OF THE LAST DECADE> HAHAHA to the DAWG detractors. Heck, look at UGA since say 1963. ALSO one of the greats over nearly 50 years. UGA is always ( usually ) a team to cheer loudly for. I recall when the DAWGS defeated Michigan at Ann Arbor. Do you Saint Simons???

Long Dawg

August 3rd, 2009
12:38 pm

We will be better (more talent/experience) in 19 out of 22 positions this year vs last year. We will have more depth than last year. We will have more speed on both sides of the ball this year vs last year. We have at least 5 true freshmen that can play and make a significant contribution. We have a new kick-off guy. We should be better in every phase of the game than we were last year and it will show on the field starting with OK. State.

Drew-G-A

August 3rd, 2009
1:18 pm

Joe Cox does not have Stafford’s arm strength, in fact there are NFL starters who don’t have Stafford’s arm strength. That said, Joe Cox must be a pretty good quarterback to have even gotten recruited by UGA. Look at his high school stats. The guy has talent. I think the biggest thing he is proabably lacking is confidence since he has always been a backup in college. However, with some wins under his belt he will have that as well. Look for him to be pretty good at managing the clock/game, making wise decisions to throw it away when necessary, making good reads, leading the team emotionally, and making some impressive throws every now and then. If he does that and both our lines play well, which they should, then we will win way more games than people think, maybe even have only 1 or 2 losses.

Gator Fan

August 3rd, 2009
1:37 pm

There seems to be a pattern of posting scores on this blog.

I guess I’ll try and fit in. 49-10 hahahah 30-0 (first half) hahaha 45-42 hahaha (that was the worst half, IMHO even worse than Bama, b/c its tech, and all they do is run the ball. No excuse, poor tackling and overconfidence, plus Willy our best coach Martinez

I think I covered everything. Oh wait. Timeout, Timeout, Timeout. Payback’s a Bulldog…

Voice of Reason

August 3rd, 2009
1:43 pm

actually Gator Fan, it was 31-0 in the first half. Just ask BamaStan. haha. The only reason the timeouts really don’t affect most UGA fans is because most of us had left the game/ turned it off by that time, so who cares. lol. Oh well, there is always a next year I guess.

reservoirDAWG

August 3rd, 2009
2:53 pm

I look for the offense to be fine and my concern on defense is not talent but intensity.

Dangerous

August 3rd, 2009
3:51 pm

Gator Fan before last year superman was -19 yrds rush against GA. I personally thought he would never beat GA, but was WRONG! I know GA has the talent, this year should be very interesting. Also, superman is a very upstanding guy, but would he have been so totally awesome for Vandy and been the difference maker there. The answer is definitely not. The talent around him has been far from average. In fact it has been loaded. I still don’t understand why he is credited with the 1st of the 2 Natl titles, I don’t think he was a factor that year. Don’t get me wrong I don’t hate FL, I pull for all SEC teams. GREATEST CONF IN THE COUNTRY WITH THE BEST COACHES! Folks don’t realize how hard it is physically week after week after week after week after week……

ugalaw

August 3rd, 2009
4:39 pm

that ‘pile of flab’ can bench 545 pounds and is the quarterback killer. He knocked Jamarcus Russel out of the SEC championship game in 2005. If you want to make fun of a player, you might want to pick someone else. I had a class with the guy and he is really nice. He is a straight up bad A**.

ugalaw

August 3rd, 2009
4:43 pm

that comment was a response to

Sad Richards

August 3rd, 2009
6:58 am

Voice of Reason

August 3rd, 2009
4:58 pm

Sad Richards- you mean like Terrance Cody looks athletic at Alabama? Owens has handled himself in the SEC before his injury and was not as strong then as he is now. Get a clue big guy.

third quarter fan

August 3rd, 2009
5:38 pm

BuLL, do you always tell falsehoods as if they were the truth? And do you always leave out some important info like charges dropped in an attempt to slander Tech?

IF Cox has a bad day early, you will be one of the tsunami barking for his replacement! And then when LG cannot cut, a freshman will usher in the familiar chant…rebuilding year!

BuLL, you are not correct…but you are funny!

AltamahaDawg

August 3rd, 2009
7:51 pm

Good to have you back BuLLdawg. Give em hell.

JaxDawg, you are absolutely correct. One of two things are going to happen this year with the defense, and either one aught to please the entire lot of us.