Georgia practice report: Bulldogs still tinkering on defense

Georgia football-Kirby Smart-practice
Kirby Smart throws to receivers during practice on Thursday.

ATHENS — This isn’t exactly breaking news, but Kirby Smart and his Georgia coaches are very hands on, as they showed again during practice Thursday.

Smart wanders the field but doesn’t just stop to watch during drills. Instead, he grabbed footballs and threw passes to receivers. His throws, for the record, were on target.

Receivers coach James Coley, as demonstrative as usual, was unhappy that student coach Shakenneth Williams didn’t get cones down fast enough for a drill, so Coley reached down and did it himself.

This was practice No. 22 of the preseason, nine days prior to the season opener against Appalachian State. And while it wasn’t certain, it appeared that at least some players broke off for scout-team work.

Some notes and observations from the media viewing period:

  • Junior Jonathan Ledbetter worked a bit with the outside linebackers. Ledbetter, normally a defensive lineman, might have been getting in some work for different alignments. Inside linebacker Natrez Patrick also has gotten a look outside. Outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter has gotten some snaps at the nickelback. The staff appears to be moving guys around to see who can do what, just in case.
  • Freshman outside linebacker Robert Beal and junior safety Rashad Roundtree appeared to be out again. Smart said on Wednesday that both had injuries but should be back soon.
  • The offensive line had no apparent changes. Freshman Andrew Thomas was with the first team at right tackle, with redshirt freshman Ben Cleveland backing him up.
  • Junior Juwan Taylor continues to work as a second-team inside linebacker, alongside Reggie Carter.
  • Freshman Mark Webb, who has had a good preseason, made a nice catch, reaching behind himself on the run during a slant route.
  • The first-team secondary couldn’t be determined; the lineup wasn’t shown during either period when the media was present.
  • The team practiced indoors Thursday. There was no inclement weather, but the coaches like to take the team indoors every few days during the preseason to rest the players’ legs.


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