August 29, 2009: Georgia News and Notes

ATHENS - David Hale's news and notes from Georgia's fall practices.


Saturday's practice marked the official end of the preseason, with the focus Monday shifting entirely to Oklahoma State as Georgia begins its usual practice routine leading up to a game.

While not every question the coaches had entering fall practice has been answered, Richt said there's no mistaking the improvements he has seen in the preparation his team has gotten this preseason.

"By a long shot, we were able to prepare the way we normally like to in terms of the number of days we scrimmage and tackle to the ground and every single day in inside drill was live tackling," Richt said.

The biggest different, Richt said, has been a reduced number of injuries. While a number of players missed some action with minor hamstring injuries, there haven't been any catastrophic injuries similar to what occurred last preseason.

The result has been an increased focus on the fundamentals – particularly tackling. Richt said in addition to the tackling during scrimmages and inside drills, the team added tackle work to perimeter drills as well – a new addition from past seasons.

"It's a world of difference when you look at how many times we were in pads and tackled to the ground," Richt said.


Offensive linemen Ben Jones and Chris Davis both missed practice again Saturday, each recovering from ankle sprains that Richt said shouldn't cost them any playing time.

"I expect Ben to be practicing Monday, and Chris I'm not certain," Richt said. "Ben might do everything, but my guess would be just scout work. Chris may be ready for scout work, too, I'm just not sure."

For the second straight day, Kevin Perez handled the first-team snaps at center, and while the 265-pound junior might be a bit overmatched in size, Richt said he's confident that Perez can get the job done if called upon.

"Perez knows what to do, his body just didn't get as big as he would hope and we would hope it would," Richt said. "But he's very smart, he's been tremendous in our meeting rooms, and now that he's had this opportunity to play, he's done a very admirable job. We could certainly function with him."


Georgia defensive line coach Rodney Garner said last week that he was struggling to find a way to get freshman tackle and former Northside star Abry Jones on the field, despite a crowded depth chart at the position.

One possibility might have been giving Jones a chance to play off the edge instead of relegating him to the interior line, but Richt said that's not likely to happen immediately. Still, that doesn't necessarily mean Jones won't see a good bit of playing time this season.

"Right now, he's inside and we don't see him being outside," Richt said. "Abry has done a very nice job. Abry is right on the cusp of getting some good playing time. Right now we think he'll play."

Dawg Post Top Stories