The word on Ben Jones

Athens – Concern swirled around Bulldog Nation for a couple of hours last night about center Ben Jonespractice-field injury. But before worst-case fears got out of control, associate AD Claude Felton walked into the media workroom around 9:45 p.m. to inform three weary scribes of the diagnosis and prognosis:

Sprained left ankle.

X-rays negative.

Day-to-day.

And as soon as word got out, Bulldog Nation exhaled.

As you know, Georgia needs its offensive line, enhanced by the experience gained last year and the return of left tackle Trinton Sturdivant, to be a pillar of the team. A more serious injury to Jones would have been a big blow.

A couple of other things:

– Might surprise you that Georgia, according to Mark Richt, still plans to use apparent No. 2 quarterback Logan Gray as punt returner on kicks  inside the 10-yard line.  Well, punt returner is a misnomer, because those punts aren’t generally returned. Gray’s job is to fair-catch them or let them roll.

“It’s not a high-risk job back there,” Richt said. “Rarely do those kicks get returned. It’d have to be shanked where he could get up on it and get it quick. Most of the times they’re trying to pooch it. It’s high; it’s usually a fair catch or a let-it-roll. It’s hardly ever a return back there. Someone could drill him, I’m sure, but again if he’s catching it, he’s probably waving for a fair catch.”

On bona fide punt returns, Richt said Prince Miller will be the main guy. He was less definitive on kickoff returns, mentioning Richard Samuel, Brandon Boykin, Bryan Evans and freshman Branden Smith as possibilities.

– About the only bad thing anyone has said about Samuel’s tailback play this month is that, in the first full scrimmage last Wednesday, he had a fumble. One week later, Richt reported, “He hasn’t put one on the ground since.”

Continued Richt: “He took that to heart, which he should. As good as he played that day, really all he could think about was that he fumbled the ball. I was really praising him for the job he did, and he was, like, ‘Yeah, but I fumbled the ball; I can’t do that.’ And he’s right: He can’t. One fumble can [cost] a game, and one game can cost you a chance at a championship. So every little bit of ball security is very important.”

85 comments Add your comment

George P. Burdell

August 20th, 2009
7:28 am

● Georgia Tech came in at No. 7 among public universities — the same spot it held for the previous two years — and tied with University of California at San Diego. Among national private and public universities, Tech ranked 35th, tying with Lehigh University and the University of Rochester.

● University of Georgia was No. 21 among public universities, dropping one spot from last year. Among national private and public universities, UGA ranked 58th, tying with Pepperdine University and Syracuse University.

jdawg

August 20th, 2009
7:28 am

I am sure the Ga staff will work on the ankle…again, my main concern is kick offs and where Fabris stands with the angle. Again, for those not there, and watching TV…it is a battle on the sideline’s between him and Martinez. In the early days of CMR, it was quiet on the field, but in the past few years it looks like a warzone….I love people who comment, and do not attend the games….interesting…jdawg

jdawg

August 20th, 2009
7:30 am

Burdell, look at the rankings on Shorter and Berry….by the way, they have some of the best acceptance to medical school and vet school. Things are picking up for some of the smaller schools now that young people know that you don’t have a chance to get in, even those with the highest GPA’s and SAT’s…..jdawg

George P. Burdell

August 20th, 2009
7:36 am

State of Georgia = 2 fine public universities both with championship caliber football teams!

Go Jackets! Go Dogs!

Yeah, yeah, we know...

August 20th, 2009
8:05 am

U.S. News and World ranks GT #7 and UGA #21 (some things never change); and, Tech beat UGA 45 – 42 last year (while other things sometimes change). Some days are better than others when you are not the lead dog!

But, yesterday the ticket broker did pay me $2200 for my 4 UGA season tickets (all upper level), and when I offered him my Tech season tickets (lower level, 35 yard line, 45th row – I’ll be going to Clemson games this year – kids a senior there) he said there was no demand right now for Tech tickets so he declined. Some things, obviously, never change

Spike

August 20th, 2009
8:10 am

Let’s return to our regulary scheduled programing, please. FOOTBALL!! Who the h#%l is George Burdell?

godawg

August 20th, 2009
8:28 am

NCAA Infractions committee to rule this morning on the eligibility of #1 running back prospect Bryce Brown at Tennessee. Why no ajc coverage of the investigation?

John

August 20th, 2009
8:31 am

George seems to be the only classy GT fan that makes comments here, so leave him alone. It’s better to read a little information that some six year old typing “First!”

dawgstephen

August 20th, 2009
8:42 am

Three things that i want to say.

1- Good news about Ben Jones. God Speed and a quick recovery.
2- I REALLY like Richard Samuel’s attitude about the fumbles.
3- I think its awesome that Branden Smith has worked his way onto the kick return team and we will get to see his abilites possibly very early.

http://www.dawgstephen.blogspot.com

Darindawg

August 20th, 2009
8:50 am

Hey “John”….are a six year old typing (((45-42)))HAHAHAHAHAHAH, every freakin post.

Otto

August 20th, 2009
9:23 am

George, Yes Valdosta and UGA both have championship caliber football teams!

AltamahaDawg

August 20th, 2009
9:39 am

Sprains and pulls we can deal with. 103 lbs flathead intercepted before it got down here is much bigger news.

DirtyDawg

August 20th, 2009
9:39 am

I do hope the young man can hold onto the ball this year…seems to me I recall a kick-off return in that damn ‘three-point blowout’ that ‘cost us’…or am I confusing it with another of our losses?

Georgia News – 8/20/09 | MrSEC.com

August 20th, 2009
9:46 am

[...] coordinator Willie Martinez says he isn’t letting criticism affect him.Fast-rising tailback Richard Samuel is protecting the football.Marcus Washington feels like a rookie after his switch from linebacker to defensive [...]

dawgstephen

August 20th, 2009
9:46 am

The sign of a good player who is ready to strive for greatness is the attitude that Richard Samuel showed in that quote. “I dont care how many yards I had, I fumbled, and I have to hold on to the ball” That is the type player who can be coached and can be counted on by his teammates. And to think he is ONLY 18 yrs old now, after playing as a 17 yr old true freshman.

Samuel knows….Missed tackles and penalties hurt but GA turned it over against FLA and tech. Tech and Fla did NOT turn it over, and that sometimes is the difference in the game.

http://www.dawgstephen.blogspot.com

Cuz

August 20th, 2009
10:30 am

Before practices started, I thought King would be the toter of the rock. I now believe Samuel will be the number one back. And yeah, I like his attitude also. God this is the slowest time of the year. It moves slower than Christmas did when I was a kid.

reebok

August 20th, 2009
10:37 am

Tech fan here. Glad to hear your guy’s injury is not serious. See you on the Flats in November!

BruffDawg

August 20th, 2009
10:39 am

Samuel remembers the GT game. He knows how important fumbles can be, and it is refreshing to see his attitude spot on on this topic. He will be part of our two back system with thomas/king in the other spot. If jones can get healthy watch out. The way to beat spread offenses is to keep them off the field with long, grinding drives that wear down the defense. Offensive rythmn is hard to keep on the sidelines.

Dawgaholic

August 20th, 2009
10:47 am

Sounds to me like Aaron Murray will be the guy in 2010!!!

murfdawg

August 20th, 2009
11:01 am

I would like to see WM go over to Samuels and say “Don’t worry kid. The defense will stop them and everything will be ok.” Am I dreaming or is this the attitude a defensive coach should have? I want to see a DC grab his players before they take the field and make them draw a line in the sand and stop the other team. Unfortunately, WM draws the line at the back of the endzone.

Bruffdawg,

Erk said the way to stop the spread offense, Every play hit the qb, hit the rb and hit the qb. And in the 4th qtr the qb will make bad pitches and the rb will not want the ball.
Now if WM would adopt this philosophy, we might be able to make the nerds stf.

dawgstephen

August 20th, 2009
11:11 am

thank you reebok. I wish the same for Jaybo Shaw to be better soon.

L-Dawg

August 20th, 2009
11:13 am

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!!!

PASSION FOR MY TEAM RUNS DEEPER THAN HATE/ENVY OF ANOTHER TEAM!!!

GO DAWGS!!!!

16 SHORT DAYS MY FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dawgstephen

August 20th, 2009
11:29 am

16 short days..seems like forever since the dawgs were playin. Im lookin forward to the 2009 edition of the dawgs….Not ur ordinary Joe. write that down.

http://www.dawgstephen.blogspot.com

AltamahaDawg

August 20th, 2009
11:53 am

I seem to recall T Brown and B Southerland both having fumbles in games that ended up being the margin of loss. Samuel will end up in everyone’s good graces during his career too.

AltamahaDawg

August 20th, 2009
11:55 am

Crap, tech is running the spread now too? As if that option wasn’t tricky enough.

ARdawg

August 20th, 2009
12:40 pm

Cuz, I had a feeling it was going to be Samuels shinning like new money this year and rise a head above the rest. In my mind we’ll need to re-establish the running game and that UGA will run it down your throat. Moreno was good but also flashy and the opposition I believe is questioning if we can fill that hole. We’ve got the horses and I expect some heavy platooning. No reflection on Cox or the receiving corps as I believe they will surprise us all. I’m concerned about the defense that didn’t show up for more than half the games last year.

Ed-Covington

August 20th, 2009
12:57 pm

WTH Burdell? FIRST post is about college rankings? And NOT football?

Hey yeah,yeah….: smart to sell those UGA season tickets while they are still worth something. THWG

AltamahaDawg: Exactly where on the Ocmulgee was that 103 lb. catfish caught? Not mentioned in the article. Old record was caught just below Macon, I think.

Another Dawg

August 20th, 2009
1:11 pm

I haven’t read dawgstepehen’s blog but I have to imagine it is utterly mindless drivel.

AltamahaDawg

August 20th, 2009
1:13 pm

Ed, I’m guessing a place with a deep deep hole. And not a brim in a half mile radius.

blueridgeDAWG

August 20th, 2009
1:14 pm

Glad to hear that Ben only has an ankle sprain. We need him he is an animal. Im really excited about our offensive line this year. They will really help our inexperienced backfield. And Im glad to see a little good sportsmanship from the dags and jacket fans. Last year tech and Johnson sent us a message they are gonna be good and they are gonna give us good games while that man is their coach. So dawgs as much as I think we will beat Tech this year I also know they are no longer a pushover. Good luch Tech fans except against us. But I do hope its a good game.

dawgstephen

August 20th, 2009
1:20 pm

Meanwhile, dawgstephen is still at it.

YellowandBlackAttack

August 20th, 2009
1:36 pm

Heck, I pray for Tech and UGA players all to be free from injury. I’m one Tech fan (probably in a minority) that would have felt alot better about our win over UGA if you guys wouldn’t have had so many injuries…particularly Sturdivant and Owens. So here’s hoping we’re all healthy come Nov. then nobody will have an excuse. (wink)

Vince

August 20th, 2009
1:38 pm

Spike,
who are you?
Vince

Ed-Covington

August 20th, 2009
1:40 pm

Was impressed that he caught a 103 lb. cat on a jug hook! What did he use as a “jug”? the Goodyear blimp?

Lars Taint

August 20th, 2009
1:41 pm

It is amazing to me how many fans still think his name is Richard Samuels! There is no “S” on the end of his name!! It’s SAMUEL!!! Sorry, but that drives me crazy!

TybeeDawg

August 20th, 2009
1:45 pm

Two reasons I did not like Samuel returning kickoffs: 1. He had a hard time catching the ball…fumbled a couple and bobbled several others…and B. He seemed to have his momentum moving backwards most of the time that he caught the ball. I hope he is as coachable as they say he is.

ARdawg

August 20th, 2009
1:58 pm

Lars Taints

You should get a hobby

Darindawg

August 20th, 2009
1:59 pm

“YellowandBlackAttack”….Agreed. You guys are probably as tired of us bringing up all the injuries we had last season as we were with the Gaytor fans that whined for a whole year about how we only beat them because of Teblow’s shoulder injury. Hope both teams are full strength and may the best team win.

big dawg

August 20th, 2009
2:04 pm

i agree with tybeedawg, samuel did bobble several, and we all know about the fumble. he’s fast, but is it me, or does he run standing straight up. it sure looks like it to me. i think we’ll be the surprise,not only of the sec, but the whole country..

lets hope jones is back to 100% for the opener, you know how sprained ankles can linger.

G2Rhett

August 20th, 2009
2:37 pm

Tim,

I was glad to hear that’s Ben’s injury was nothing more than a sprain…big relief! That would have hurt us big time up front. As for the Dog’s return game, I think we’ll get to see a number of punts and kickoffs taken to the house by Prince and Smith in ‘09!

Murfdawg,

Great post regarding coach Martinez and the Georgia D. You hit the nail on the head! Football is a TEAM sport and the fact is that you win or lose as a TEAM. If you throw an interception or loss a fumble on offense, it’s the defense’s job to go get the damn ball back. As a TEAM, you’ve got to pick each other up on both sides of the ball and in special teams play!

SIDENOTE:

Richard Samuel fumbling the ball early in the 3rd quarter of the Tech game wasn’t good, but it also wasn’t the only reason we lost that game. I seem to remember Stafford throwing a pick six late in the 1st quarter which didn’t help our cause. Not to mention our defense which gave up 5 touchdowns, a 2 point conversion, and allowed Tech to rack up 409 total rushing yards! Let’s hope that WM’s D shows drastic improvement this year. If not, it’s going to be a long torturous year for the team and for us the fans.

Go Dawgs!

Andrew

August 20th, 2009
2:46 pm

I thought his name was Samuel Richards

Ed-Covington

August 20th, 2009
2:46 pm

AJC just posted an article about GT playing 3 basketball games in Canada. I’m a GT man, but isn’t this just handing dawg fans more fodder for their blogs? I can hear it now: “Oh, Canada…..”

Stinger

August 20th, 2009
3:03 pm

I thought his name was Richard Simmons

Cuz

August 20th, 2009
3:33 pm

As Munson said about Herman Archie, “Richard Samuel, the man with two first names.”

ARdawg

August 20th, 2009
3:48 pm

big dawg

Samuel does appear to run straight up. I noticed it too. It’s not a problem or a negative when they have the upper body strength as well. Darren McFadden is a good example and who Samuel reminds me of

AltamahaDawg

August 20th, 2009
4:15 pm

I’m sure that the jugg was tied off to a Cypress branch. I’m guessing the hook was not a #2 Aberdeen though.

AltamahaDawg

August 20th, 2009
4:16 pm

So it’s Richards Samuel, no s at the end?

ARdawg

August 20th, 2009
4:25 pm

shane#1

August 20th, 2009
4:27 pm

I have been trying to read between the lines of David Hale’s blog when he quoted Owens and some of the other upper classmen about Samuel’s emergence in fall practice. It seems to me that the kid has learned the offensive schemes and knows what different plays are designed to do. You hear players say that they are trying to get used to the speed of the game, well a lot of that is simply knowing where you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to do so that you don’t have to stop and think out there. Samuel may just read his blockers and then cut to daylight. They say he really hits the hole fast and runs down hill with no shake and bake at all, but he will run over your butt if you get in his way!

Sad Richards

August 20th, 2009
4:32 pm

dawgstehpen…… doesnt other college football teams have 18 year olds on their roster? This isnt little league so cut the crap with the youth excuse. The team needs to play with awareness, toughness and discipline period. That incudes the defense, offense, special teams and coaches alike. This is something that has been lacking fot the past few years. BTW pass the Kool Aid Bro!