2005 Fall Camp: Day 6 observations and opinions

ATHENS – Observations and opinions from Georgia's sixth day of practice.

Mark Richt was pleased with the effort of the team during the morning full-pads session. "It was outstanding," said Richt. "D.J. Shockley was very sharp."

Richt went on to say that tight end Leonard Pope has been the "most dominating player in camp." Richt also added that the secondary is taking advantage of poorly thrown balls. Richt said there have been more interceptions this camp than the last couple combined. The Bulldogs were near the bottom of the SEC last season in interceptions.

Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt said after Georgia's second practice Thursday that A.J. Bryant would likely be out until the Bulldogs' second game of the season against South Carolina.

Bryant dislocated his shoulder and will likely start running again in a week. "For him to play against South Carolina he's going to have to be ready for contact the Tuesday before the South Carolina game," said Richt.

Richt did not, however, rule out the possibility of Bryant playing in the Boise State game, but said that it was not likely.

Kenneth Harris is replacing Bryant in the wide receiver rotation, but the Bulldogs moved Demiko Goodman to split end today, although I'm not certain that is a permanent move. Richt also mentioned that freshman Mohamed Massaquoi would have been getting time at number two split end had he not been sitting practice out (hamstring).

Other players that sat out the second session: Zeb McKinzey (stinger), Michael Turner (shoulder), Jamario Smith (cramps), Jason Johnson (leg) and Darrious Swain (foot).

Richt reported that Swain was leg-whipped during the morning practice, but still managed to get through the session. "I think he may have sat out right at the end, but he was sucking it up this morning," Richt said.

Georgia's number one units had their way today against their second team rivals. The number one defense shut out the number two defense today and the number one offense beat the number two defense 3-1. The defense dominated, Richt reported, third down and long situations. "That was expected," Richt added.

Coaches have been getting good looks at freshmen during the early part of fall camp. One freshmen getting a lot eyes on him is tight end Trey Chandler. Leonard Pope, Martrez Milner, Coleman Watson and Trahern Holden are all in front of the true freshman, but he must be doing something right because he is getting a lot of looks right now.

Holden and Watson seem to be in a dead heat for the Dawgs' number three spot at tight end. However, even if Chandler pulls even with those two its hard to think the program would waste a season on him with so many bodies in front of him on the depth chart.

Injures are piling up, to a degree, on the receivers. The Dawgs are unproven at that spot and now two players that could be potential playmakers – A.J. Bryant and Mohamed Massaquoi – are missing valuable camp time with injuries. Bryant will likely miss the team's first game of the season (shoulder) and Massaquoi, who looked very good the first few days of camp, will be back in about a week.

Speaking of true freshmen, Tavares Kearney might be the breakout linebacker this season. He's looked good so far, and he might get into the rotation at some point on the outside. He'll certainly play special teams, how much linebacker he'll play is a good question. Kearney's speed is noticeable as are his ball skills.

The team was in full pads in the morning. I think it was a critical evaluation period for the coaches to start deciding which freshmen will play; what players will get real chances in special teams; and who will win position battles (like place kicker).

It seems C.J. Byrd will fit perfectly into the size of rover the Bulldogs want for the future. Byrd is under 200 pounds, but that will change over the next 12 months. By next season he could be a real force in the secondary in terms of coverage. His feet appear good, but with the depth chart in front of him right now he'll have to prove himself quickly, namely at this weekend's scrimmage, in order to get serious playing time. I didn't think he would redshirt coming into the camp, but now I'm not certain either way.

Greg Blue is a monster – everyone knows about his ability to cover the run. The question about him is his ability to cover in passing situations. He has been working closely with Willie Martinez during drills to get better ball skills. It appears to be paying off in practice (games are another thing). Then again, because of Blue's move from rover he won't be forced to cover as much. That's a good thing for Georgia, but likely a bad thing for opposing runners.

Kregg Lumpkin's first day back in pads was uneventful. He said he was used to the physical nature because he had been hit in "thud" drills just about as hard as the full-pad practice. Lumpkin, the biggest and quietest of Georgia's top three running backs, sat out Georgia's second practice of the day, but not because of an injury - the staff planned him sitting out.

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