2005 Fall Camp: Day 3 observations and opinions

ATHENS – Observations and opinions from Georgia's rain-filled third day of practice.

The Bulldogs were greeted with a vicious rain storm at the start of practice today. Most observers cleared out as fast as possible, but many were caught stuck in the rain. It was difficult to see at times – watching from 100 yards away was not possible. Because the Dawgs practiced on the bottom practice fields it's hard to know if Mark Richt could see clearly across both fields even if he was standing in between the fields.

I felt for the camera men at the top of the cranes the Bulldogs use to film practice. They were getting pummeled. About an hour into practice a small creek had formed on the upper grass practice fields, going from about the 30-yard line to the end zone.

While the remainder of the team practices special teams, only three quarterbacks stay in the quarterback station. D.J. Shockley, Blake Barnes and freshman Joe Cox all throw during that part of practice. Other quarterbacks, including Joe Tereshinski, are doing some sort of special teams chores.

Tereshinski has not yet moved from his spot as personal protector and back-up deep snapper. Richt indicated earlier in the summer that he was not certain if Tereshinski would remain on special teams – apparently he will remain.

Another deep snapper, Benjamin Boyd (a walk on from Thomasville) was backing up Ryan Jordan on punt snaps. Boyd, however, was wearing a green non-contact jersey during today's practice as did Seth Watts (peck) and an unlisted number 46 on defense. Antavious Coates and Des Williams were at practice today. Coates is on crutches and Williams was in an arm brace.

Kelin Johnson continues to catch my eye as well as praise from special teams guru Jon Fabris. Johnson was the best performer in the Dawgs' block-a-punt-and-scoop-to-score drill. Johnson will be hard to keep off the field; he might be Georgia's best pure special teams player.

Georgia's kickers, who left practice during the driving rain storm, had a place kicking competition today. But the rain was driving so hard I don't know if the coaches will take the results very seriously. Brandon Coutu is still the number one place kicker at this point. However, he could have a future at punter. Coutu was seen blasting, and I mean blasting, punts during parts of Georgia's practice. Gordon Ely-Kelso is by far the most consistent punter, but when Lee Jackson leaves after this season, Georgia will have a good back-up punter.

At punt return, Thomas Flowers is still the number one and does not seem likely to lose that job. He was working by himself during one punt return drill. He has the best footwork needed for punt return on the team. However, several Bulldogs tried their hand at punt return today before the hard rain.

Mohamed Massaquoi, Michael Moore, Bryan Evans, Donavon Baldwin and Sean Bailey all took their turn returning punts. None looked unstoppable – but it would be interesting to see how Massaquoi would be once he got his hands on the ball.

Greg Blue must be the leader of the defense – if not the vocal leader, he is the leader by example. Blue went seven for seven in an interception drill. His work made Defensive Coordinator Willie Martinez extremely happy.

Donnell Ellerbe looked good while running with the punt first team. Ellerbe and other fast and big Georgia players could be difficult to return against this fall.

The third string tight end spot seems to be going Coleman Waston's way – at least so far. I am not certain which tight end, Watson or Trahern Holden, lined up at number three on the first or second day of practice, but Holden was listed as the number three tight end at the start of camp in the Bulldogs' depth chart.

Head Coach Mark Richt is pleased, as is Defensive Coordinator Willie Martinez, with cornerback Tim Jennings. In the first three days of practice the senior from Orangeburg, SC has has three interceptions.

Richt's frustration with dropped passes is not limited to the wide receivers. He also pointed out that other skill positions – namely the running backs – we dropping passes as well. He did, however, point out that the tight ends have been having a solid camp thus far.

Richt said following practice that he could tell the amount of work number one place kicker Brandon Coutu had done over the summer.

When asked about the lack of indoor practice facility for the Bulldogs, Richt said: "And the Ramsey Center is being re-done right now." The Bulldogs have no option other than practicing in the rain. The Atlanta Falcons are going through training camp right now, too, so the Bulldogs traveling to Flowery Branch as they have done in the past does not seem likely this fall camp.

There has been some debate about how much the Bulldogs will miss Antonio Sims at the rover spot. Tra Battle is the starter, but Sims and Kelin Johnson were getting looks at that spot as well. Nothing has been released about the status of Sims' left leg injury, which occurred during today's practice.


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