Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dawgs Hold Long Practice


The Dawgs continued to fine tune their game plan for facing Texas A&M in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl by conducting a two hour practice this morning at the Woodruff Practice Fields.

The workout marked the fifth of eight bowl practice days in Athens. The Dawgs will practice each of the next three days in the Classic City before holding a travel day on Dec. 23 and reconvening in Shreveport, La., on Dec. 24.

"Much better weather today," head coach Mark Richt said of the Dawg's' practice with temperatures in the mid to upper 40's compared to colder and rainy weather on Friday. "I know the guys enjoyed some sunshine. It was still a little breezy out there."

The original practiced schedule featured two practices for today, but a decision was made earlier in the week to combined the two into one.

"Today was a day that we were going to go two-a-days," Richt stated. "We were going to spend the first practice on special teams and the second practice on offensive-defensive but decided to combine the two into one longer practice to get on the road the last day that coaches get on the road before a quite period tomorrow. The dead period starts Monday. They had to grind it out a little bit, but they did a good job."

Richt also noted that the scout team has showed improved play and tempo and is being lined up by student assistants Jonathan DeLay and Stephen Crowson.

Richt went on to discuss Texas A&M's offense compared to that of Auburn's.

"We hear that the tempo is even faster than what Auburn is doing," Richt explained. "When you watch film and you'll see a play where the defense is scrambling to get line up and the ball is snapped, you know they're going fast. Most defenses can get lined up on a pretty good pace, but they're doing some things where they are going so fast that defenses are having a very difficult time to get lined up quickly."

Head coach Mark Richt met with the media Wednesday during the Bulldogs Bowl Media Day. He offered the following comments:

On Georgias offensive philosophy:

As always you are going to take the talent base you have and try to get the best players on the field and guys who are most productive and try to get the ball to them. You are going to try to do it without self-inflicted wounds that we've had. That's going to be the biggest issue is to continue to improve in all areas but also not setting ourselves back through the penalty and turnover issues. If you can turn around the penalty and turnover issue it will be a tremendous improvement.

On whether A.J. Green will play in the bowl game:

Unless he has a setback between now and then. He practiced the last time we practiced. I'm losing track of what day that was that we practiced, but he's going to practice today. He'll be in some non-contact probably most of the bowl practice, but as we get closer to the game, we are going to let him get a little block and full-speed and some things that might let him know he's confident that it feels fine.

On whether Montez Robinson will make the trip:

No, he will not.

On his involvement with the defense:

I've enjoyed it. I'm not trying to re-invent anything defensively. My greatest role is to set some parameters and make sure that everything is being covered and that everybody not only has a plan schematically, but a plan to implement strategy. There are some special teams things that we had to visit as far as how we are going to handle those. Then I'll also be keeping a very close eye on how things are progressing as far as how players are responding to the coaching and all those kind of things. That's the biggest part of my role, which is not altogether different than what I normally do, but a little bit more intensive in that area.

On special teams coaching responsibilities:

We are going to have Mitch Doolittle and Todd Hartley work on the kickoff coverage team. Coach (John) Lilly will handle punt return and block.

On whether he has talked to Logan Gray about switching positions:

Have we talked to Logan? Yes. Logan wants to play. Logan is the one who is going to decide what he wants to do this spring. If he wants to stay strictly at quarterback and compete in that area, I'm all for it. If he wants to try another position to see if he could get more playing time in that role, I'm fine with that. I know that Logan is not going to forget what to do at quarterback, so even if he does something in the spring at another position, it doesn't mean he won't be back at quarterback in the fall. It's really going to be putting the ball in his hands. We love Logan. We think he's a heck of a player. We think he's a heck of a Dawg, and we want him to feel like he's getting his best opportunity to make a contribution to the team, so it's really going to be up to him. At this point nothing is changing. He's not going to slip out there and try to play another position during the bowl practice time. It will be a decision that he'll reach after this bowl game is over.

On whether he would feel comfortable with Aaron Murray or Zach Mettenberger starting at quarterback in 2010:

I don't want to get into hypothetical things, but I will say that we think they are outstanding quarterback prospects.

On whether he has talked to Richard Samuel about switching positions:

I have not.

On Joe Cox:

He's a first-class guy. He's very tough physically and mentally. He has persevered. He has persisted. I have a lot of admiration for that. He's been a leader of this team in a tough season, but he has not ever shied away from that responsibility or done anything that would even come close to resembling throwing in the towel or anything like that. He's had some really outstanding moments. He's had some very good days and some things that maybe aren't exactly what he wanted, but I have a lot of respect for what he's done. I think he's handled it well.

On having A.J. Green back:

It will be exciting no doubt. That guy is special. We all know it. It's going to give A&M something else to think about besides trying to stop the run, so that's what you want. You want a threat to score anytime somebody tries to single cover him and I think A.J has that ability, so they have to decide what they want to do as far as how they are going to stop the run and still manage A.J., so it'll create a problem for them.

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