Offense, defense gear up for ’showdown’ in Saturday scrimmage

ATHENS –- Saturday morning in Sanford Stadium, Georgia coaches will get their best look yet at their quarterback competition and new 3-4 defense.

The Bulldogs will hold their first of three spring scrimmages, and even though the 92,000 seats will be empty, coach Mark Richt and his assistants have stressed that this is showtime.

“Coach Richt was talking after practice [Thursday],” quarterback Aaron Murray said, “that this is going to be the first test for everyone, [the time] to see where everyone is at, what we have learned and where we have come after two weeks of practice.”

The scrimmage will be closed to the public and media, but closely analyzed by the coaches.

“Tomorrow ought to be fun,” Richt said Friday. “I think guys will be revved up, ready to go. . . . I think they’re ready to compete.”

Defensive end Demarcus Dobbs went so far as to say that he expected players to be studying their playbooks Friday night.

“I think it’s going to be a good showdown,” Dobbs said, between the revamped defense and the quarterback-seeking offense.

At quarterback, Richt said Murray, Logan Gray and Zach Mettenberger will share scrimmage snaps equally. And on the revamped defense, Richt said the fog has cleared enough for quasi-game-like conditions.

“I’m glad we have waited this long to have the first scrimmage,” he said, “because I think our defense is more prepared now than if we had tried something a little sooner.

“It’s still a little foggy for coaches and players, quite frankly, but the thing I love the most is just the high energy level out there.”

No firm personnel decisions will be reached based on what happens in one scrimmage, of course, but players are not underrating the importance of their performances.

“It’s the first chance to get out there and really just compete and cut it loose,” tight end Aron White said. “It’s a way to see where you’re at. . . . It definitely helps [the coaches] shake out the depth chart, see who’s ready, who’s not ready, what we have to work on.”

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Orson Charles apparently has taken the early lead in the battle for the starting job at tight end, one of the Dogs’ deepest positions.

“I believe Orson is No. 1 on the depth chart right now,” White said. “He’s been taking reps vs. the 1’s, but you never know who’s going to be in there.”

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  • Outside linebacker Justin Houston will miss Saturday’s scrimmage after his shoulder “flared up,” Richt said. “It’s nothing serious.”
  • Wide receivers Marlon Brown and Israel Troupe also will miss the scrimmage with a bruised shoulder and strained hamstring, respectively.  “When I look out there, it is a scary thing . . . four [healthy] scholarship receivers,” Richt said.
  • About 100 or so high school coaches, holdovers from the 500-plus who attended a two-day clinic on campus, watched Friday’s late-afternoon practice in Sanford Stadium. One was conspicuously wearing an Alabama windbreaker.

68 comments Add your comment

DILLIGAF

March 26th, 2010
8:06 pm

THIRD!!

FIRST!!!

An Alabama windbreaker you say. Reminiscent of the Patriots and “Spygate”.

He probably got rolled in the parking lot afterwards.

TOONEYFISH

March 26th, 2010
8:07 pm

J Dog

March 26th, 2010
8:08 pm

not that it matters, but first.

J Dog

March 26th, 2010
8:08 pm

Small Johnson

March 26th, 2010
8:09 pm

5 th yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

J Dog

March 26th, 2010
8:09 pm

I know the QB derby takes the headline, but I’m more intrested in the defense.

DILLIGAF

March 26th, 2010
8:10 pm

Orson Charles will have an outstanding season. This kid is a beast and reminds me of Ben Watson.

TOONEYFISH

March 26th, 2010
8:12 pm

Marlon Brown better step up this season

TOONEYFISH

March 26th, 2010
8:15 pm

does anyone think that aj will be the # 1 pick next draft

BugKiller

March 26th, 2010
9:06 pm

THIS IS WHY I SAY COACH RICHT IS NOT WILLING TO DO EVERYTHING IT TAKES TO WIN!!!

WHY IS Z-METT EVEN STILL IN COMPETITION FOR A POSITION HE CANNOT, BY SCHOOL DECREE OF MANDATORY SUSPENSIONS FOR ALCOHOL INCIDENTS, WIN???

WHY IS Z-METT STILL SPLITTING SNAPS WITH MURRAY AND GREY???

THIS IS WILLIE MARTINEZ AND JOE COX ALL OVER AGAIN, DAMMIT!!!

JUST SIT THAT KID’S BUTT ON THE BENCH FOR BEING A MORON AND LET HIM LEARN A DAMN LESSON, STOP BEING THE “NICE GUY,” AND GET GOING WITH THE TWO QBS WHO ACTUALLY WILL BE ALLOWED TO PLAY THE FIRST DAMN GAME!!!

COME THE FRAK ON, MARK RICHT!!!

BugKiller

March 26th, 2010
9:08 pm

Seriously, why is Z-Mett taking snaps away from the two guys who weren’t morons and got suspended for the first game?

RIcht is once again putting his personal feelings and his personal loyalty ahead of what is best for the team.

Will he EVER learn???

GaDawg

March 26th, 2010
9:22 pm

BugKiller – Take an aspirin dude! This is only spring practice. Mett will sit the first and possibly the second game if he is found to be “guilty”. You know the constitution, or what’s left of it, states that everyone is innocent until proven “guilty”. Plus, you do not know what has already been decided or, if punishment has already be given. Richt will do the right thing. Be patient and chill!

Buckhead Bulldog

March 26th, 2010
9:37 pm

Come on Tim, aren’t you gonna try to slip in? Help us out, man!

What??

March 26th, 2010
9:41 pm

BugKiller

Are you serios??

The kid did nothing different than most other students at any university.

Are you sure that you are a BugKiller??

What a jackass!!!

www.swarmhornetswarm.com

March 26th, 2010
9:46 pm

Coach Richt is doing the right thing by letting this kid take those snaps. because what if he is leading the QB derby right now? do you bench him at pratice and forget about him just because he got caught underage drinking…..really, have any of you never had a drink before you were 21 and never got caught. the kid made a mistake, humans do that, but he has to get reps to see what he can do. because even if he doesn’t play the first game he will be ready for the next one.

dawgydawg47

March 26th, 2010
9:46 pm

BugKiller – I guess when you were 18 you never drank a drop alcohol or did anything stupid. I personally can’t say that at all. Most people have momentary lapses of judgement at that age. If you are that big of a geek, maybe you should get a GT pocket protector and go do some math problems you dumb a**.
Let CMR do his thing. He is in the top five in the NCAA for wins over the last ten years. I believe he knows a little about coaching at this point.

SoutheastGa

March 26th, 2010
9:49 pm

I agree with swarmhornetswarm, this is the time to see what he can do. That’s why Richt is the coach and we are the fans.

Suckers are First

March 26th, 2010
9:50 pm

Gotta let him play spring. Them let him sit. Beer is good for young guys.

??

March 26th, 2010
10:23 pm

I love the top 5 in wins over the last 10 years stat. What is his record in the SEC the last 4 years?

SEC fan

March 26th, 2010
10:30 pm

Richt is 10-10 in the sec east over the last 5 years. Not impressed.

kauai dawg

March 26th, 2010
10:35 pm

“an Alabama windbreaker” does that mean an alabama fan who ate mexican food for dinner?

Go DAWGS! 30-24

Ozzie button

March 26th, 2010
10:36 pm

Cant wait for G-day. I’ts a shame Houston can’t be out there for this scrimmage. I’d love to see how the outside linebackers are adjusting to their position. G-day will be fun to analize the defense. I think we’ll learn more about the progress of the defense on G-day than who’s gonna be the starting QB.

DOES IT REALLY MATTER???

March 26th, 2010
10:57 pm

318TH. Dang it. Premature.

Alaska Dawg

March 26th, 2010
11:11 pm

The first game is 6 months away. I think Richt is smart to check all 3 QBs out. There is plenty of time to anoint a starter. Bug killer needs a hug! Orson Charles is the man. If AJ is #1 then he will likely be reunited with Stafford.

Pi$$onaDAWG

March 26th, 2010
11:37 pm

As long as all the players make it out of the scrimmage with no real bad injuries it is a plus. Maybe The Dawgs can see how the 3-4 looks at speed and if they have the players in the right places. Can’t wait until Tech gets to do the same. I hope T.J. Barnes can fill the middle in the 3-4 for the Jackets. For all the Dawgs it is SAMUEL not plural. It should be interesting to see if his spped will work at ILB. Question is if he can read the O and make the calls for the rest of the D. Time will tell.

Pi$$onaDAWG

March 26th, 2010
11:41 pm

Is it 2 ILB’s or just weakside LB & strongside LB? Who is the D play caller? I am not sure how it will work yet.

RED DOG 77

March 27th, 2010
12:18 am

You can bet with four healthy, scholarship WRs ready to go Saturday, there will be alot of blocking and tackling going on………..fundamentals ! Ah, yes, this WR thing could just turn out to be our blessing in disguise. I don’t buy this Orson Charles #1 tight end thing either. With a lack of WRs, I don’t see how, especially with Bruce Figgins back, ol Orson will probubly end up being the ” Beast of the SEC WRs.”…………..The WR thing will probubly end up forcing us to do exactly what I’m hoping we’ll do anyway, Run the dadgum tater, play that good ol smash mouth Georgia Bulldog football. GO DOGS !!! GATA !!!

Dawgforlife

March 27th, 2010
12:50 am

well, UGA lost Stafford, Moreno, and MoMass…and they finished with 8 wins. It’ll be interesting to see what Tech can do with the loss of their NFL ready players. Of course, playing in the ACC there is not a fair comparison. They get Wake Forest, Virginis, NCST, and Duke every year. Trade those four for Tn, Auburn, Fla, and LSU on Georgia’s schedule and I wonder what our record would look like?

76-Dawg

March 27th, 2010
12:55 am

Orson Charles was great last year, CMR didn’t give him the ball near enough.After catching the ball he is very hard to bring down and he turns up field. He will be a 1st round pick when he leaves in 2 years. If anyone is able to see this scrimmage how about a report Monday. I think UGA is going to surprise a lot of people this year. UGA returns a lot of play makers and with a real defensive coordinator in charge at worst UGA will be 10-2 but probably better.

BuLLdawg

March 27th, 2010
4:19 am

11 year NFL Defensive Coordinator vs this offensive coaching staff of Coach Richt ?

NO CONTEST.

J Dog

March 27th, 2010
4:19 am

We all know we lost the SEC title in 08 because of no defense. If the defense can give us some stops and give the offense a respectable number of turnovers, the offense will score enough points for us to win almost all games. That is as long as the QB play is better than last year. Richt Van Winkle should have woke up in 08, but at least he finally woke up in 09. I read that in the fact he not only replaced willie but almost the entire defensive staff. He finally realized this is a business, not a bunch of friends & family.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t go back to sleep. If he does, let’s hope Evans isn’t sleeping too.

yuk yuk

March 27th, 2010
4:20 am

lol at bugkiller

BuLLdawg

March 27th, 2010
4:51 am

Orson Charles is one of many on Offense whom Mike Bobo cannot figure out is BETTER than the Starter ahead of him. Aron White caught 3 passes his freshman year and therefore is the Starter, despite the 23 catches by Orson Charles his freshman year. Not until game 12 of a 13-game season did it dawn on our Offensive Coaching Staff that Orson Charles should be the Starter.

jerry

March 27th, 2010
6:18 am

Bo(Bo) knows offense?

Dawg Gone It

March 27th, 2010
7:18 am

Yo, Alabama windbreaker wearer: way to show your class and intelligence.

[...] marks the first spring scrimmage between the [...]

Augusta Dog

March 27th, 2010
8:09 am

I had dinner last night with a Bama gal and her Gator husband – needless to say I had no leg to stand on – 3 NATIONAL TITLES at the table and nothing belonging to the DOGS – great if you are first on the postings (loser) – we need some talking points and some titles – both dinner guest said CMR was too much of a p**** to win – which I am beginning to agree with – he better step it up or we will continue to be soup rather than the main course!

DawgNation

March 27th, 2010
8:14 am

POAD,

Thanks for toning down your rhetoric from last night and posting a very good opinion on here. If you could do more of that instead of the trash you were spitting out yesterday, then you would be welcomed here. As a fellow NGC alumnus (class of 82) I was embarrassed for you. I didn’t respond then as it was apparent you were in a state so I waited till you cooled down. I get it you are as passionate for your Yellow Jackets as we are of our Bulldogs but the way you carried yourself was just as I mentioned, an embarrassment. Your post however proves you are an intelligent person with good opinions on the subject matter so let’s stick with that.

ga gator

March 27th, 2010
8:16 am

Dont think the Dawgs are that far away. The only problem is the whole SEC East is constantly getting better. It should be a wild year this year in the East.

chDawg

March 27th, 2010
8:23 am

The competition going on right now will benifit whoever becomes the starting qb, so I have no problem with waiting until the first scrimmage of the fall to determine who that will be. I’m a little concerned about the depth a reciever but I can’t wait to see this team on the field. The offense is loaded and the D should finally have a some bite to go with the barking.

UGASlobberknocker

March 27th, 2010
8:24 am

Bugkiller, Maybe you have forgotten your college years, but kids do sometimes do stupid things at that age (me included when I was that age too many yrs agao).The real test is how they handle the ramifications or do they repeat the behavior. If ZM stays out of trouble he absolutely should be in there. If he messes up again, then Im with you.

takedowndawg

March 27th, 2010
8:42 am

ga gator, I appreciate the fact that you have not predicted fl that will be the SEC East Champion outright! Too many intangibles and too many unknowns at the point. South Carolina could also be in the mix with yourself and our UGA. It is a good thing for our conference to be both nervous and excited to see how things will pan out in our repective teams. Go SEC!!!!! The speed of the SEC!!!!

ga gator

March 27th, 2010
8:55 am

takedowndawg, most pubs predict we will be 1st in the East but a lot will hinge on keeping Brantley healthy. If he stays healthy the offense will be more explosive than last year, but will have to be with a new DC and 5 new starters on defense. SC could be darkhorse if Garcia gets his head out of his butt. You guys will be real good on offense if your QB production is at least average, but you also have a lot of new faces on defense. Should be much more competive in Jax this year.

mack brown

March 27th, 2010
9:17 am

BugKiller (AKA JACKASS) THE BEST QB WILL COME OUT OF THE COMPETION.

mwh6767

March 27th, 2010
9:20 am

Hey Dawgforlife, give it up on the whole tough schedule thing! You’ve got Louisiana(not lsu you friggin moron), at Colorado( the state 5a champs could beat them), Miss. st., Vandy, Kentucky….. no wait thats a loss. And IDAHO STATE!!!!!! Seriously Idaho St.????? wtf!!! Spare me the whole tough schedule crap.You have UF , a rising Arkansas team that is still beatable if you can score points bc they dont play defense and the fighting chickens who are always up and down. Oh and Auburn, may be good may not. NOT IMPRESSED.

clemdudtlhopr

March 27th, 2010
9:20 am

All this talk about something I won’t be able to see, won’t be able to listen to, won’t be able to read about. It’s all fantasy. Man, uga ya’ll gotta open this scrimmage up to the public. This whole secrecy thing is lunatic. That is my opinion!

Pi$$onaDAWG

March 27th, 2010
9:23 am

DawgNation I get mad when the name calling starts So I call names back and talk crap too. Did You Know Scott Howington, Blount, Ron Stevens, Russ Wessinger. NGC was fun. Hang in the mountains and trout fishing when you had free time. Sgt.Mgr Richardson, Col. Lord, Gold Rush and the Phi Kapps Toga Party and the Ole Theater, beer with Rangers at Beauregaurds(?) Fun times.

Central Georgia Dawg

March 27th, 2010
9:24 am

I think this is the most excitement I have seen about this program in a long time. Now, we need to use this momentum to sell these recruits on the program. The coaches have definitely improved, fundamentals seem to be important, let’s show these coaches and players we believe in this new direction the team is going. It also doesn’t hurt to know the certain coaches in the SEC have officially lost touch with reality ( I have enjoyed that fiasco!)

guy

March 27th, 2010
9:46 am

Thank goodness Bugkiller is not our final judge. One mistake and we’re crucified. CMR knows and he’ll handle it! It could have been worse!

qb derby special

March 27th, 2010
9:58 am

AJ Green says Logan’s looking really good and showing good leadership skills, that’s the best insider tip we have so far. Here’s the quote from a previous blog this week by Tim:

AJ on the UGA QB Derby:
“All three of them looked real good, especially Logan,” Green said. “You’re seeing a different side of him right now; he’s taking more a leadership [role].”

#1 Logan Gray
#2 Aaron Murray
#3 Zach Mett
#4 Hutson Mason (until he gets here in the summer)