Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Practice Report

Today (Sat. Aug. 28) I had the privilege of attending the Dawgs' early morning practice, touring the weight room facilities, and was also able to eat lunch with the coaches afterward. There appeared to be about 30-40 "visitors" in all attending today's practice, and the weather was outstanding in the morning. Contrary to popular belief, Richt WAS at practice but left right after to see his son play for Mars Hill. (that was the whole reason the team practiced early.)

As for the actual practice, when seeing the team up close in person, you can really tell the difference in each player's physique...actually, here is my all Eye-Ball Team for UGA:
  1. A.J. Green (not surprising)
  2. Orson Charles (no fat whatsoever)
  3. Caleb King (just looks like a RB)
  4. Alec Ogletree (really big, in a good way, and got a lot of reps)
Another thing that stood out was how organized the practice sessions were. You can tell the coaches are trying to squeeze as much work as possible into the "20 hour a week" rule.

I tried to see as many position groups as possible, and got really close to Coach Belin with the inside linebackers. Dent, C. Robinson, and Dowtin are clearly the top three, and Belin is very intense and vocal with his players.

I was also very impressed with Lakatos' work with the secondary. He has the ability to see all four players at the same time, and I thought it was interesting that when the Defensive Backs went against the offense, he sometimes was positioned behind the offense and other times he was in the defensive backfield. He also has one of those voices that bellows throughout the entire field.

I'm not going to go into too much detail about what players were playing which position (to protect the team) but let's just say that punt returner could be an interesting position to watch.

One player that surprised me was freshman receiver Michael Bennett. He ran very crisp routes and already has a lot of size...appeared to have good hands as well. Josh Davis also stuck out on the offensive line. He was pushing guys back all day. Darryl Gamble appears to be coming on strong as well, and I think he'll end up starting after all at outside linebacker.

As you might expect, A.J. was nearly impossible to cover, and Tavarres King is clearly the second option (except for the first game of course). Marlon Brown also appeared to be much more comfortable in the offense, and made some nice catches. Aaron Murray looked very accurate throwing the ball, but it was obvious he might be a little undersized. I think he should be fine in college but I'm not sure pro scouts are going to like his height. Both TK and Aaron Murray finished first every time in their respective groups when the team ran gassers at the end.

After practice, our group was able to see both the football weight room, as well as the "Olympic Sports" (every sport save football) weight room, which is located in the new sports facility next to Stegman. Needless to say, it was quite impressive.

As I mentioned earlier we were also able to eat lunch with all of the assistant coaches after our "tour". I sat with Grantham and Lakatos, who were extremely engaging, as well as very professional. Both were very down-to-earth guys. You could also tell both of them were on the same page, and have been around the coaching blocks a time or two. The other coaches were extremely outgoing as well, and came around and shook everyone's hand (there were about nine or ten "visitors" eating).

Overall, I had a great experience watching the team up close and getting to meet the coaches. There is so much more I am probably forgetting but I think I hit the major points. I really think the team (especially the defense) will improve tremendously this year...and there's only seven more days to find out for sure.

1 comment:

  1. Great write-up! Thanks for taking the time to do it, glad to hear your report of our team and also glad you had a good time.

    How 'Bout Them Dawgs!