Time for football: Bulldogs open camp with long to-do list

ATHENS – Get Aaron Murray ready to start at quarterback. Complete the installation of the 3-4 defense. Find out if Trinton Sturdivant is healthy enough to play on the offensive line. Sort out the starters at a couple of unresolved positions in the secondary.

Those are among the items on Georgia’s to-do list for preseason football practice, which begins Monday.

“We’re very anxious to get this thing started, to get ‘em in camp,” coach Mark Richt said.

For Richt, this will be his 10th preseason at Georgia — his first coming off a five-loss season.

Much has happened in Georgia’s football program since the end of last season: three new defensive coaches hired, including coordinator Todd Grantham, and seven players arrested, including three who were subsequently kicked off the team.

Not to mention the DUI arrest and resignation of the athletic director. And AgentGate.

On Monday, the focus shifts — the Bulldogs hope — to preparing for the season.

“It’s kind of a relief in the sense that when you work out, the rest of the world doesn’t exist,” fullback Shaun Chapas said. “It’s our way to get away from things and be with each other and work hard.”

Murray, a redshirt freshman, won the starting quarterback job in spring practice and then had his hold on the position tightened by a surprising sequence of events with his backups. Zach Mettenberger was kicked off the team shortly before pleading guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery, and Logan Gray was granted his request to play wide receiver after briefly considering transferring.

So Georgia enters preseason practice with no mystery, barring injury, about who the quarterback will be. Now there’s just the considerable matter of preparing Murray for the rigors of the SEC.

“We’re going to watch a young kid grow up,” Richt said. “We’ve got to understand he’ll do some things we wish he didn’t do. We’ll try to get him to do those things in practices and scrimmages as much as possible,” rather than in games.

Georgia takes comfort not only in Murray’s talent — he was the nation’s No. 3-rated quarterback prospect coming out of high school — but also in the considerable experience elsewhere on offense.

The Dogs have returning starters at every other offensive position, including five linemen with a combined 127 collegiate starts among them.

“I’d much rather have that kind of maturity around a young quarterback,” Richt said, “than a very veteran quarterback surrounded by a bunch of puppies.”

The offensive line will be further fortified if Sturdivant, who started every game as a freshman in 2007 before missing almost all of the past two seasons with knee injuries, is able to play.

“He’s going to be healthy enough Day 1 [to practice], but we want to go at a good pace,” Richt said. “He may not go the full time. We just want to work him in and make sure to … give him the best chance of again making it to the game.”

On defense, preseason practice will continue the transformation to Grantham’s 3-4 alignment.

“I know defensively there’s a lot of our young men wondering how it’s going to go; we have coaches and fans wondering how it’s going to go,” Richt said. “That’s an exciting thing for us, too. … It’s provided a lot of energy and excitement.”

A couple of position battles in a revamped secondary bear watching. Vance Cuff and Branden Smith are in close competition for the starting job at one cornerback spot (Brandon Boykin returns at the other). And Nick Williams and junior-college transfer Jakar Hamilton will battle to start at strong safety.

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So . . . what would you add to the list of things Georgia’s football team needs to accomplish in preseason camp?

201 comments Add your comment

ScoutDawg

July 31st, 2010
2:13 pm

Generate depth at LB.

17 of 20

July 31st, 2010
2:16 pm

This is the 10th season for Coach Richt and is 8th loss to the Gators.

tawpdawg

July 31st, 2010
2:18 pm

Just go out and hit people right in the mouth. This sissy way of playing defense in the past, is hopefully in the past.

Buckhead Bulldog

July 31st, 2010
2:21 pm

LET THE BIG DOG EAT!!!!!!!!

Pumped for the season. Sic’ ‘em Dogs.

UGA89

July 31st, 2010
2:22 pm

Find out if we have leadership on this team, something that has been lacking from UGA players since 2005!

destin dawg

July 31st, 2010
2:25 pm

Can’t wait !!! 3 X Defense + 2 X kicking game – penalties = great field position = more wins… Go Dawgs !!!!

[...] Georgia opens camp with a long to-do list, writes Tim Tucker of the AJC. [...]

RabidDawgFan

July 31st, 2010
2:30 pm

Keep everyone healthy is the key. Make sure everyone stays healthy. It’s the most important aspect of football. Also, I want our O-Line to be dominant day one. With as much talent and experience that is across the board, we shouldn’t have any problems blowing open holes for Ealey and King to blast through. The gameplan against Tech was priceless and if we keep it that way we’ll win a lot of ballgames. Murray doesn’t have to be the hero. Ealey and King will take the pressure off him and having a healthy AJ Green plus a Ealey & King tandum will be great to see.

Having the best kicking unit in the nation doesn’t hurt either. Drew Butler is the best punter in the country, and Blair Walsh is on of the best placekickers in all of college football. Butler is apart of our defense. Put the offense in bad situations and make it easier for the defense. And Blair Walsh, keep makin’ field goals buddy!

GO DAWGS!

Chris

July 31st, 2010
2:34 pm

They need to develop an emotional/mental toughness; an edge. Saban’s offensive co-ordinator spoke of that element not being an intangible thing but something that can most certainly be coached. Eating the ball when the play is not there instead of trying to make a low percentage home run play, concentrating on the count and not false starting, realizing a stupid celebration or horse collar tackle or out of bounds hit can really hurt your team.
The Dogs under Richt in his second year and that ‘07 team after the Vanderbilt game punched people in the mouth. Those two teams were capable of beating anyone by the end of the year. We need to get back to playing fundamental, ferocious play on both sides of the ball.

Jiffy Jeff

July 31st, 2010
2:35 pm

Here’s my focus:
Olson, Ealey, Green.

Get playmakers the ball like Florida & Alabama do. Quit rotating out our best players.

dog789xyz

July 31st, 2010
2:40 pm

First thing on my to do list is to fire CMR and get a coach at UGA that is equal to the great opportunity that exists in Athens. UGA and Athens is second to none in facilities, fan base, recruiting base, and enthusiasm. Problem is our bulldogs reflect the CMR personality in their play. I swear, they look like they are just going through the motions. In addition, CMR is not a good judge of talent. He gets beat by inferior teams. UGA fans, alumni, deserve better. FIRE CMR NOW!

Jiffy Jeff

July 31st, 2010
2:42 pm

The to-do list for QB isn’t get Murray ready, it’s “Get a QB ready who makes plays and protects the ball”. Miht end up being Logan or Hutson.

[...] News Sources wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

Paddy

July 31st, 2010
2:48 pm

UGA89…..above all else, what you said, is the key to seeing the Dawgs of Ole. A couple of kick ass leaders on that field.

dog789xyz….get on this train,it is leaving the station or find a new team to root for. We don’t need what you are preaching!

The Eggman

July 31st, 2010
2:49 pm

The offensive line will be the strongest in years. These guys are veterans and will get the job done. Any average back can run,if you have the guys up front performing. Without them we are just another average team. This is the year for THE GUYS UP FRONT. Have fun.

destin dawg

July 31st, 2010
2:50 pm

Hey 789xyz that’s stupid talk this time of year .. need to coach ‘em up .. new D coaches… more hands on by Richt.. should be improved on both sides of the ball !!! good recruiting class will make for 3/4 great seasons !!!!

Dawg19

July 31st, 2010
2:51 pm

Find a punt returner who will actually…you know…return punts…

Jiffy Jeff

July 31st, 2010
2:54 pm

Richt’s 7-2 against SC, 4-0 against Ark, Dooley won’t beat a single good team, Georgia will be 8-0 heading into the Florida game. Keys to winning that game are getting a 100 yard rusher and our TE beating their TE.

Circus Act

July 31st, 2010
2:56 pm

If these clowns in Athens dont get it together this season then CMR should be history. I still cant believe the the beatdown by Lame Kiffin last year and the beatdown the year before in Jacksonville. The loss to Kentucky last year was equally embarrassing.

[...] News Sources wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

Too stupid

July 31st, 2010
3:00 pm

dog789xyz = Circus Act

Get outta here, L O S E R!!!!!!!!!!!!

Circus Act

July 31st, 2010
3:02 pm

Too stupid = Blind homer

bitter broken arrow

July 31st, 2010
3:04 pm

lets see a couple of broken knees and we have a broken arrow and a lost season, it really boils down to luck and which teams can stay heathy, ala had a lot of things go right last year none more important than good old coach peline at nebraska defence sacking colt mccoy 9 times in one football game and destorying his shoulder, so fact is that light hit bamma put on colt did not put him out of the gane nebraska did the week before so luck has so much to do with it!!!!! best of luck dawgs and yellow fever teckes

dog789xyz

July 31st, 2010
3:06 pm

Paddy, the train left long ago. There is no coach on the train. No hope.
destin dawg, I hope the new DC is an improvement. CMR needs LESS hands on, not more. He has proven to me how inept he is. UGA deserves better. Look at what happened at Alabama and Florida when they got quality head coaches. FSU and Miami both had openings. Both had connections with CMR, Neither tried to hire him. No other school either. What does that tell you?

Circus Act

July 31st, 2010
3:10 pm

Nobody wants Mike Bozo either…… We cant even hire our own to coach at UGA. We have to settle for 3rd and 4th choices. It aint as rosey since the depature of BVG. Wake up people !

shane#1

July 31st, 2010
3:10 pm

My main concerns for 2010 are on defense.. 1- Stopping the run inside. I wish at least one of last years senior DTs had a year left. 2- Pressure on the QB. Which will help with # 3- Improving pass coverage. UGA was lousy against the pass last season. 4- Improving kick coverage. How many times did we see the O make a big play to be followed by giving up a big play on kickoff coverage? 5- Creating some turnovers. Last in the league in kick coverage coupled with a rotten pass defense won’t cut it in the SEC. If UGA can be stout up the middle and improve pass defense, create some turnovers, and do a better job covering kicks they will win a lot of games this year.

Circus Act

July 31st, 2010
3:11 pm

Paddy

July 31st, 2010
3:21 pm

circus act the bulldawg nation is awake. It just does not have time for anyone who is not pulling in the same direction. My guess you and xyz never played a sport. There is a time and place for your comments at the end of the season not at the beginning. Had your spent anytime in a clubhouse or locker room you would grasp this rudimentary fact about team sports. Now you 2 leave us alone so we can enjoy our team!

destin dawg

July 31st, 2010
3:22 pm

dog789xyz…. UGA Bulldawgs have done WAY better under Richt than FSU and Miami….and SEC is WAY tougher than ACC.. we’re lucky to have him !!!!

Jesse James

July 31st, 2010
3:23 pm

My main concern is to improve special teams. Particularly kick off coverage. Also we have got to eliminate the penalties. And I also hope when we get inside the five yard line we don’t throw the fade route on first down. Run the dang ball!

Circus Act

July 31st, 2010
3:28 pm

Paddy you the rest of the blind homers have been spewing the same garbage for the last 4 years.The proof has been in the pudding bro. We knew Willie was clueless but you and others wouldnt listen and CMR finally fired him 3 years too late. I hope CMR proves me wrong but I have my doubts.

Jiffy Jeff

July 31st, 2010
3:34 pm

Meyer said his #1 focus this summer would be on identifying his playmakers.

That’s the difference in Georgia & Florida, Florida will focus on getting the ball into playmakers’ hands like Harvin, Tebow, and Hernadez, Bama will get it in Ingram’s hands 25x a game.

Georgia won’t let Ealey, Green, or Olson get enough touches.

Herschel Walker wouldn’t get 20 touches with Richt (even though Georgia has the guy who borke all of Herschel’s high school records–Ealey)

Gonzales woldn’t get 10 toches a game with Richt (even though Georgia has the uy who broke Tony Gonzales’ recordsin high school–Olson)

Randy Moss owuldn’t get 10 touches a game with Richt (even though Georgia has a guy averaging moreper catch than Moss, with a better td to pass ratio than Moss–AJ Green).

destin dawg

July 31st, 2010
3:34 pm

Dawgs will have a GREAT running game BIG O Line with 2 super TB”s and 2 super FB’s… Go Dawgs !!!

Still@theBAR

July 31st, 2010
3:36 pm

Some of you want DAWGS of Old? I am sure you need more kids that can’t read or pass 6th grade math taking college classes and holding UGA toiletpaper DIPLOMAS. Hey thoes boys could eat raw meat and poop barbwire, but just axe them to spell their namez or conversate into a mike with people listening.

Jiffy Jeff

July 31st, 2010
3:37 pm

The 3-4 has already been installed enough to get Georgia through the 1st 8 games.

The focus this summer will be working on installing packages for games 9-12.

Hoochie Coochie man

July 31st, 2010
3:37 pm

Circus Act,

Yeah right! You KNEW CWM was lame 4 years ago, eh? Really? What was your magnificent football brain saying during the Sugar/Hawaii game? Fire CWM now? I’m sure you were, I’m sure you were. Ha ha.

Barky's Machine

July 31st, 2010
3:40 pm

Still@theBAR

July 31st, 2010
3:36 pm

Kinda like the GT players, right? Shut up, you fricking tardo!

Xenophon

July 31st, 2010
3:42 pm

Either start beating Florida or get a new coach. That’s your strategy.

Sarah

July 31st, 2010
3:48 pm

#10. Fire Mark Richt and hire a real coach who can maintain discipline on and off the field.

Sarah

July 31st, 2010
3:50 pm

#11 Get a better class of fans.

SatchelBuzz

July 31st, 2010
3:51 pm

You know it’s coming,……payback time. Keep running your mouth, but it’s coming,…and when it arrives,…you’ll be a 3rd place finisher in the east,…praying you get an invite back to Shreveport.

THWG!!!

Still@theBAR

July 31st, 2010
3:52 pm

I just saw a great movie on cable called 28 dresses. It is about the forever BRIDESMAID. Hell, I thought is was going to be a History of UGA Football.

Circus Act

July 31st, 2010
3:59 pm

Hoochie coochie ….. yes I knew it was friggin Hawaii dude. Please lets not kid ourselves on that one!

Still@theBAR

July 31st, 2010
4:00 pm

Don’t worry dawg fans Tom Cruz, Mark Walburg, and Dustin Hoffman are all 6-3 and 218lb too. Murry will be just fine if they shoot the movie from a small up angle. I mean play the games up hill for murry.

Benard

July 31st, 2010
4:04 pm

hey Hoochie coochie…… What happened the next year after that big bad win over tiny Hawaii? Yeah I thought so……

Weatherdawg

July 31st, 2010
4:35 pm

dog789xyz and your merry band of idiots—why pretend you are a disgruntled Dawg fan. Just own up to pulling for Floriduh or Ga. Yech or Tennersee. You know–part of recovery is admitting you have a problem.

Delbert D.

July 31st, 2010
4:47 pm

shane#1 – You’re right on the DRt. Close to 1,000 lbs. of DTs went to the NFL. South Carolina has decent size on the OL. 7 on the 2-deep are over 300 lbs., 6 at 6′5 or more. Nobody a big as Cordy Glenn, but otherwise about the same. Not close as to experience, however.

bge0180

July 31st, 2010
4:54 pm

Focus on securing the ball on offense, creating turnovers on defense and playing fundamentally sound football on both sides of the ball. If the guys do that, the East belongs to them.

dbc

July 31st, 2010
5:25 pm

Richt needs to develop a killer instinct and instill it in his players. Bobo needs to learn to stick to a game plan — I’ll never forget how good the first drive looked against Okie State, only to have Bobo abandon what worked. Score points in bunches, develop a defensive swagger, and keep the pedal down. This team hasn’t looked mean since the Hawaii game!

Dawg Whisperer

July 31st, 2010
6:06 pm

I can’t say how much better we’ll be than last year but I’m reasonably confident that the Gators are regressing with their loss of talent offensivley nad defensively at key positions. This is certainly a better year than last year to capture the East division.