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August 12, 2007

Week One Rewind

It has been an exciting first week as the Georgia Bulldogs have kicked off fall camp 2007. In case you missed any of the action, or if you just want to take a look at some of the highlights, we put together this day-by-day recap of the first seven day's action. Check it out!

Be sure to also check out Rivals.com Countdown to Kickoff

SATURDAY, AUG. 4 - Preseason Press Conference & Practice 1

Mark Richt and a few players met with members of the media early in the day to talk about the 2007 Georgia Bulldogs.

  • Richt had released the news the night before that juniors quarterback Blake Barnes and tight end Tripp Chandler would serve a one game suspension for off field issues.
  • Items of interest in the press conference was Richt's belief that Thomas Brown was 100-percent back from his ACL injury, an announcement that sophomore center Ian Smith had left the team medical reasons, true freshman Justin Houston would move from defensive end to linebacker to add depth, and that the team had Scooter 101 the night before to instruct them on the rules of the road following a couple of incidents over the summer.
  • The team hit the practice fields that afternoon. Brown, who had followed up Richt's comments at the morning press conference by saying in no uncertain terms that he was fully recovered from the ALC injury, shed his green jersey for the first time in nine months.
  • Also out of the green jersey for the first time in a long time was sophomore safety Antavious Coates.
SUNDAY, AUG. 5 - Practice 2

Day two of fall camp saw the rise of a familiar concern--the receivers catching the ball.

  • On the first day of camp, several receivers were seen dropping passes, but it was later written off as first day jitters. Still, it has been a problem in the past, and it was not the best way to kick things off.
  • The Dawgs received some good news when it was announced that cornerback Vance Cuff had been cleared by the NCAA and would join the team the next day.
  • Tempers were flaring as receiver Tony Wilson and cornerback Ramarcus, both vying for position on the depth chart, got into a scuffle at the end of practice.
  • Freshman Chris Little's broken wrist kept him in a green jersey, but his conditioning and weight also became a concern. He, along with quarterback Logan Gray, appear to be the first two players destine to redshirt.
MONDAY, AUG. 6 - Practice 3

The Dawgs felt the first bite of the injury bug on day three of camp when starting cornerback Bryan Evans was hobbled with a hamstring injury suffered on Sunday. Thomas Flowers "tweaked his shoulder" and was limited.

  • The amount of work expected of the offensive linemen began to be talked about more as coach Stacy Searels was observed giving some of his players an earful and demanding more effort.
  • Word came out of Statesboro that the last of the 23 signees, John Knox had made the necessary score to be eligible to play, but his case was being reviewed by the NCAA clearinghouse.
  • Richt commented on four newcommers that had been impressive thus far in camp: offensive lineman Clint Boling, linebackers Rennie Curran and Charles White and tailback Caleb King.
  • Richt mentioned that freshman Aron White would be working at the flanker position, and that tight end Bruce Figgins has a better chance at playing than redshirting.
TUESDAY, AUG. 7 - Practice 4

Mark Richt said after day four that his team is right where he expected they would be as they started to wrap-up the acclimation period of fall camp. The combination of extreme heat, pressure from coaches, and the rigors of daily practices were starting to take their toll, but his players were in good sprits and competing. Also, news at the linebacker positions.

  • The topic of peering eyes becomes a conversation piece among media and fans. Published reports of Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer's belief that Georgia had inside information as to what the Hokies were going to do in the Chick-fil-A Bowl prompted questions from the UGA media corps. Richt denied any improper information leading up to the game, but took the time to comment on the issue of insiders and people peering over the practice facility walls as being a bigger concern.
  • Richt notes that redshirt freshman Knowshon Moreno will get a lot of carries this season, and that freshman Caleb King looks good when he knows what he is doing.
  • Special teams are a hot topic as Richt spends more time with these units during practice. He is particularly excited about the return of Brandon Coutu who missed time last year injured.
  • As he does ever fall camp, defensive tackles coach Rodney Garner did not pull any punches when asked about his players. Out of shape, lazy, and not living up to his demands, the jilted group should expect more of this treatment until the season starts.
  • After spending all of spring camp at Mike linebacker, Brandon Miller was spending some time at Sam with Dannell Ellerbe moving from Will to Mike and Darius Dewberry from Sam to Will. Coach John Jancek explained that this was for cross training purposes only, but it was the first indication that there were some problems with depth.
  • Redshirt freshmen Akeem Dent and Darryl Gamble were fully recovered from their foot injuries in spring, but they were feeling pressure from the two newcomers in Rennie Curran and Charles White.
  • With Bryan Evans out with the pulled hamstring, senior Thomas Flowers has been filling in at field corner opposite boundary corner Asher Allen. Prince Miller remains at the nickel back spot.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 8 - Practice 5

The Dawgs hit the practice fields with gusto for their fifth consecutive day of fall camp; a day that was originally schedule for full pads, but instead the team worked out in shells on the eve of two a days. Head coach Mark Richt said afterwards, however, that the little things, including focus and discipline, were starting to concern him.

  • Part of being prone to mistakes was that the team had been installing new plays on both sides of the ball each day. That said, coach Richt and the assistant coaches were fearful that perhaps the team had not absorbed as much as they were supposed to during the instillation phase. Little mistakes and foolish penalties were piling up.
  • For the first time, the offensive line was allowed to bump into the defensive with a little force as the team was wearing their shoulder pads. Richt noted that it was different in the amount of contact that is done on the line of scrimmage during "thud", in which players can block and wrap each other up, but no tackling to the ground.
  • After turning down several interview requests, coach Richt said that offensive line coach Stacy Searels would not speak with the media for the duration of fall camp. Richt explained that with so many question marks on the offensive line, Searels did not want to send any positive or negative messages to his players so that they would not get wrapped up in what the media might say.
  • An interesting note on the offensive line began to appear when it was revealed that junior college transfer Vince Vance had apparently copped an attitude at some point between the start of spring ball and the first week of fall camp. This issue had gone undetected by the media and apparently had been corrected by coach Searels and Vance was fully on board with "the Georgia way."
  • Once again, the dropping of passes by receivers topic came back up as Richt said after practice that balls were bouncing off of receivers hands. He did not have any explanation for this, but also noted that some young receivers, notably Tony Wilson and Israel Troupe, were starting to emerge.
  • Linebacker coach John Jancek explained in detail that he intended to cross-train starting linebackers Brandon Miller, Dannell Ellerbe, and Darius Dewberry at two of the three linebacker positions. He also noted that freshmen Charles White and Rennie Curran were progressing quickly.
  • Defensive tackle coach Rodney Garner blasted Jeff Owens for note being in the proper shape despite being depended on by his teammates and coaches to be a leader on the defensive line. He went on to say that Brandon Wood still looked raw after being injured most of his career, but that Kade Weston, Geno Atkins, and Tripp Taylor were looking good.
  • On the injury front, Thomas Brown had slight tightening of his hamstrings while Bryan Evans continued to be limited with a pulled happy. Chris Little (broken wrist) was limited.

THURSDAY, AUG. 9 - Practices 6 & 7

The Dawgs hit the practice fields for their first time since G-Day as they official kicked-off two-a-days. In the morning session the team tackled for about 25 minutes in limited action. The emerging trend of the defense dominating the offense continued to gain steam, and coach Mark Richt expressed concern.

  • In three-on-three action, where they take three defensive linemen and a linebacker and three defensive linemen and a running back, the the linebacker corps won the drill.
  • On the line of scrimmage, the number one defense dominated the second team offense, while the first team offensive and the second team defense tied. In goal line drills, the one offense scored three of four attempts on the two defense, while the two offense only got in once on four tries against the one defense.
  • Safety Antavious Coates put on full pads and had contact for the first time since arriving in Athens in the summer of 2005.
  • Richt announced after practice that John Knox would suit up that afternoon under the NCAA's two-week window of practice while his transcripts were reviewed, but that he would have a five-day acclimation period before any contact.
  • On the injury front, receiver Mikey Henderson suffered a hip point that figured to keep him limited for about a week. Brandon Wood left practice with a strained back.
  • That afternoon, Richt opted to delay the second practice due to the extreme heat and instead take his team to the pool. That evening they held a practice but Richt did not speak to the media upon its conclusion.

FRIDAY, AUG. 10 - Practice 8

The last day before the two Saturday scrimmages, and again Mark Richt and Mike Bobo were expressing concern in the state of the offense.

  • Richt noted that the situation on the offensive was anything but settled. With tackle Chester Adams out with a high ankle sprain, freshman Clint Boling had been pushing for the starting position. Richt noted that he would not rule out moving Adams back to guard if some young tackles stepped up.
  • The Bulldogs received official word from the NCAA clearinghouse that John Knox's transcripts had been approved and he was fully good to go.
  • Rennie Curran continued to be impressive and was moved up to number two at the Will linebacker position ahead of redshirt freshman Darryl Gamble.
  • After practice, Bobo did not hold anything back in his reservations about the readiness of the offense for the scrimmage on Saturday.
  • On the injury front, Tripp Chandler sat out with problems with rib cartilage.
SATURDAY, AUG. 11 - Practice 9 (Special Team Scrimmage) & 10 (Full Scrimmage)
The Georgia Bulldogs held two scrimmages Saturday, special teams in the morning and then the full team in the evening, and will have their first day off since starting fall camp on Sunday. Led by linebacker Marcus Washington who had nine tackles, the defense stole the show. "It was a very high energy scrimmage, and I am glad we went later in the evening," said Coach Mark Richt following the second session. "Our number on defense was very dominant."

Full report including stats, audio, and photos

Be sure to also check out Rivals.com Countdown to Kickoff

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