Off Week: Tuesday Practice Report

ATHENS - The Georgia Bulldogs (4-1, 1-1 SEC) returned to practice on Tuesday for the first time since Saturday's disappointing loss to Alabama. The Dogs worked out in full pads for just over two hours, wrapping up with 11-on-11 competition for about the last 20 minutes.

"It was very healthy for us to get back to work," head coach Mark Richt said. "It was good for us to have a few days to reflect and get over the grief a little bit and to refocus. We had a nice team meeting before our practice to do our honor roll. If the game would've ended after the first half, there might not have been an honor roll. The way we finished, there was some honor in that. We felt like it was worth it to honor the effort.

"You hate to say you've got to refocus but we do," Richt continued. "I think we see where we are. We're still No. 10 or No. 11 in the nation. We're still very much in control of our destiny as far as the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference. If we can play a more disciplined brand of football and continue to improve fundamentally, I think we can get right back on track. That's kind of where we're sitting right now. It was very good medicine to go out there and practice, and they did a very fine job."

Richt, who was out of town much of Monday, also was pleased with reports he received from the team's conditioning efforts in his absence. Former Georgia linebacker Randall Godfrey, who enjoyed a 12-year NFL career with five different teams, spoke to the Bulldogs prior to their weightlifting session. Godfrey is now back at UGA working to finish his degree.

"Yesterday, from what I understand, our strength staff said the lifting session was fantastic," Richt said. "We had Randall Godfrey speak to the team, and I think he made a very positive impact on them. They went from that to the lift and part of what he talked about was what it takes, work ethic-wise, not only at this level but at the NFL level. He told his story and talked about some players who, even though they were very talented, were still outworking people. You just can't get enough of those guys to come talk to your bunch of guys and it was very good."

Richt also discussed Georgia's depth issues at tight end due to a pair of shoulder injuries. Starter Tripp Chandler was injured in the Alabama game, and Bruce Figgins, the back-up, is facing a season-ending surgery. Figgins is hopeful of playing against Tennessee a week from Saturday.

"Figgins wants to (to play)," Richt said. "He's allowed to play one more game and meet the criteria for a medical redshirt. Technically, he could play one more game. He's trying to get ready to play against Tennessee, and we're not counting him out. It's pretty honorable for him to want to do that. It's strictly his decision to make. I talked to him today about it just face-to-face and right now his goal is to try to play in the game."

Kiante Tripp, who started the first three games of the season at tackle, moved to tight end last week and has made progress. Tripp played sparingly against Alabama but was in the game at tight end on Knowshon Moreno's third quarter touchdown run.

"He moves actually pretty well," Richt said. "It's amazing how well the big man does move. The one thing that he has above all else is athleticism. He's actually running some decent routes, and he's snatched the ball pretty good. Let's not get carried away with how many balls might get thrown to him. We're not building an offensive passing game around him. Right now, we're not certain enough at the tackle position to cut him loose to tight end. We've just kind of play it out here a little bit. I do know he will add value to our team by knowing how to play both."


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