2006 Fall Camp: Observations and Opinions I

ATHENS – Dean Legge's observations and opinions from the opening days of Georgia's 2006 fall camp.

The number one topic during camp has been and will continue to be the quarterbacks. How do they look; who is winning the job; is anyone out of the job?

Nothing has been decided and nothing will be decided for a few more days. Getting those guys in pads with more live defenders coming at them will help determine which player is the best quarterback for the job.

None of the quarterbacks looked good on the first day of camp, and they admitted that. The second day the group looked steadier. After the first two days, it is hard for me to imagine Joe Tereshinski not starting against Western Kentucky. Blake Barnes said the other day that the senior should be given every opportunity to start possible, and I think that is what fans should expect, too. With that said, it's hard not to turn your head when Matthew Stafford is throwing a ball. I'm not sure I've ever seen anything like that on campus before.

Still, the coaches would like the quarterbacks to hit their targets more. Mark Richt complained that Georgia's receivers, who have struggled with catching in the recent past, have had to make great catches in order to make up for some non-bull's eye throws.

Again, however, it's early in camp, and the quarterbacks are a group that is going to be getting a lot of help this fall from Richt himself. He's been watching the group more than ever. Normally he walks around during the start or practice, and he still does that, but he's been around the quarterbacks a lot.

The wide receivers, according to Richt, had a great day on Sunday. The group reportedly had every few drops during practice, which is good news for Bulldog fans. There are some noticeable things about some of the receivers I wanted to discuss.

Demiko Goodman and Mike Moore have trouble consistently catching the ball when I am watching and not just on poorly thrown balls. If Goodman could ever get the ball in his hands consistently he could be scary because of his speed.

I really doubt Kris Durham gets redshirted this fall. He is too good a receiver to be kept off the field. He has the best hands of anyone on the team, save perhaps Mohamed Massaquoi – and Durham might have better hands than him.

Kenneth Harris, who seems to have his starting position locked down, is going to be leaned on this fall for the big play. Although, and I know it has been said and otherwise reported, Sean Bailey "looks" like he could play now. I don't know what his actual progress is – I know he is slated to be redshirted, but he looked good out there with his green injury jersey on.

Georgia's offensive line is going to be in trouble without Daniel Inman. He's the most vocal and best put together lineman on the squad. If Georgia can figure out a way to get beat South Carolina they will have built the depth for later in the season at tackle. But building depth this way could be hazardous to a quarterback's health.

It's going to be Georgia's interior line that could take a lot of pressure off the tackles and quarterbacks. If Georgia can run at all against the Gamecocks they will become less predictable, and will throw when they want rather than having that dictated to them. The guards and centers seem fine. The tackles, without Inman, have some work to do, and knowing that Inman won't be playing drives home the amount of time the Dawgs have to get players ready.

I was surprised to see that Chris Davis seemed to be the best prepared or acclimated to Georgia's first couple of practices. He really moves well – much better than the rest of the youngsters and slightly better than some veterans. Josh Davis has a big frame, but right now he's goofy. He could not help Georgia beat South Carolina in five weeks. John Miller is practicing, but he will redshirt this season as he is still recovering from injury.

The situation at tackle is as dire as it seems.

Expect Danny Ware to get a look or two at fullback, or to be the fullback in Georgia's two-back sets. He's got great fullback skills and there are only so many footballs to go around. Because he's the number three tailback and has a background at fullback the spotty time there this fall seems like a natural thing.

Knowshon Moreno looks ready to play college football now. Too bad for him he's sitting behind three very talented running backs. He's short, but has really big legs. I will monitor his progress in the future, but a redshirt is headed his way.

The defensive line is in better shape than some might expect. Jeff Owens and Ray Gant will likely start, but its going to be difficult to keep Kade Weston and a surging Dale Dixson off the field. Weston might be the best of the group by the end of the season. The guy is huge – huge. But he can move pretty well during drills. It's not odd to see a player with Gant's agility to jump and roll with the best of them, but when Weston is not that far behind on the drills it stands out.

Georgia's defensive ends are the best in the SEC and might be the best in the country. Everyone knows about Charles Johnson and Quentin Moses, but don't be surprised if a larger Jeremy Lomax causes quarterback discomfort this fall, too. Because of his bigger size, Lomax is no longer strictly a pass rusher, which means he won't just be playing in obvious pass situations. Lomax seems equipped to do damage this fill, but lest we forget the rest of the weapons Jon Fabris has in his arsenal…

Georgia's linebackers are all steady and seem interchangeable. Danny Verdun Wheeler has been working with the number one unit even though Brandon Miller is listed in front of him on the depth chart. Georgia has essentially four starters. But this position is loaded. Marcus Washington is the answer in the middle for future years Darious Dewberry, who is going to be hard to keep off the field this fall, will be an All-SEC candidate next fall, and Akeem Dent and Akeem Hebron also are talented. I am leaving players out, but there are so many to name…

In the secondary there are two position fights: safety and cornerback. Kelin Johnson is going to have to hold off C.J. Byrd, which I think he will, while Thomas Flowers' suspension opens the door for a battle between Ramarcus Brown and Asher Allen. Both fights are tight, but its easier for me to picture Allen starting ahead of Brown than it is for me to see Byrd ahead of Johnson. Byrd is a big hitter – Georgia needs a cover guy back there, and that's what they are hoping for from Johnson. All four players are going to play a lot this fall. Expect Allen and Brown on the field in nickel situations.

I've not watched a lot of special teams, but I did notice Andy Bailey, who likely will never play at Georgia again, kick a ball almost to Snellville on one field goal attempt. The kid's leg is huge – huge. But he can't control it enough to come close to beating out Brandon Coutu, who could be the best kicker in the nation.

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