Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Practice Report


NOTE: The new Nike Pro Combat uniforms that the Dawgs will wear in the opening game will be revealed on Picture Day this Saturday.

The Dawgs held a 90-minute workout Thursday at Sanford Stadium, focusing mainly on special teams.

It was the second straight day of practice “Between the Hedges.” On Wednesday, Georgia went through a two-hour scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.

“It was a real productive day,” said coach Mark Richt. “We worked on punting, punt return with starters going after each other to simulate game speed. Also, we got about 20 minutes of 11-on-11 drills. Normally, we don’t do that on a kicking day but we caught up on a few reps.”

Richt added that the offensive and defensive lines got some work on fundamentals including run blocking and pass protection. When talk turned to the options at punt returners, Richt indicated that junior Branden Smith and senior Brandon Boykin are the top choices with freshmen Malcolm Mitchell  and Damian Swann in the mix too.

“Smith and Boykin have both handled the ball in big games as punt and kick returners,” said Richt. “Malcolm and Damian are battling for the number three spot and are both very talented.”

Richt was asked about the kick return plan but he said, “we’re not giving away that.”

As the season approaches, Richt added that the Dawgs have the potential to be a good team and the difference between being good and just average is the ability to finish games and make big plays at the end of the game. When pressed on potential starters and an updated depth chart, he said that is still being discussed among the staff.

“To start is important, but it’s more important to earn playing time,” said Richt. “You have to see how someone does in the heat of a game and you may leave them in there, and they end up playing a lot, sometimes more than the starter.”

The annual Fans Picture Day will be held this Saturday in the Reed Plaza area behind the north side of Sanford Stadium from 1-5 p.m. Members of Georgia teams other than football and interim mascot Russ will be available from 1-3, and the football players and coaches will be in attendance from 3-5 p.m.

Due to recent public issues surrounding student-athlete autographs across the country, no outside items may be brought to Picture Day. The UGA Athletic Association will provide each fan with two free schedule posters to be signed by the players and Coach Richt. No other items will be permitted.

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