Right and wrong: 2005 Georgia Spring Practice

ATHENS - Josh Kendall takes a look at what when right and what went wrong for the Bulldogs this spring.

What Went Right

Running backs – All appears to be rosy in Georgia's backfield, where Thomas Brown and Danny Ware will share time in the fall with Kregg Lumpkin. The backs still will have to adjust to Lumpkin's presence when he returns from a knee injury in the fall, but they are saying all the right things about sharing the ball and keeping the peace. "The backs have done a good job," Coach Mark Richt said. "Thomas has been outstanding overall."

Shockley's presence – Unlike most first-time starters, D.J. Shockley didn't have to come in and earn his teammates' respect. He's done that the last four seasons by waiting behind David Greene without causing a problem in the locker room. "I think (my patience) is the biggest thing my teammates have respect for," he said. He's also well-liked in the locker room, so he has had no trouble assuming the top leadership role on the team.

Bartley Miller and Josh Brock – Quietly, there was a lot of doubt when spring began about whether or not Miller and Brock could return from serious shoulder injuries. (Both players started at guard in 2003 but missed the entire 2004 season.) They have given Georgia's coaches and fans reason for optimism by staying healthy all spring. Miller suffered a slight setback this week but insists his shoulder is structurally fine. Miller and Brock may not get their starting jobs back, but, if they're in the rotation, they'll provide invaluable depth and leadership.

What Went Wrong

Wide receivers – Nothing this spring has been more disappointing than the play of Georgia's wide receivers. Their lack of play-making on the outside has made it all but impossible for Georgia to run the ball this spring and could be a troubling preview of the fall. "If there are two unblocked safeties (near the line of scrimmage), maybe Houdini could get through it, but...," Richt said. "I've been saying it all along, we have to make some plays out there." One of the group's biggest problems is dealing with physical play and simply getting off the line of scrimmage.

Shockley's accuracy – Greene spoiled Georgia's receivers the last four years, and they are beginning to understand that it's not easy to put the ball right where it should be 90 percent of the time. Shockley's not getting a lot of help from his wide receivers, and he may be pressing because of it. But the bottom line is he's not hitting his target as often as he should. As the senior quarterback with a group of young wide receivers, it's his responsibility to put the ball right on the money

The offense – The Bulldogs feel good about their running backs, their offensive line and their quarterback, but that didn't translate into many highlights against their own defense this spring. Richt insisted this year, as he has since he's been in Athens, that offenses shouldn't be doing much in the spring, and even went back to his time at Florida State to make his point. "Some of the years we might have been in the top five in the nation in offense, we didn't have much success in the spring," he said. Still, Georgia's struggles on offense the last two seasons leave it in the position of having to prove fans will see something other than the status quo. They didn't do that this spring.


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