ATHENS — It was an awkward scene: Georgia’s offensive line and its outgoing coach working during bowl practice last December, as Sam Pittman watched from the side, silently taking notes.
Evidently, it was as productive as it was awkward.
Pittman saw enough then, and through film and offseason workouts, to put a first and second team together at Georgia’s first spring practice three weeks ago. And it hasn’t changed over 10 practices, with four more to go before G-Day takes place on April 16.
That doesn’t necessarily means it’s been smooth going, head coach Kirby Smart cautioned.
“Stable, is quality reps, and quality two deep, no, we’re not there. Because we gave up some sacks in the scrimmage and we didn’t pass protect real well,” Smart said earlier this week. “But if stable is not changing, which I think it is, there has not been a lot of change there.”
There were no easy calls at any of the five spots for Pittman (who Smart has not permitted to speak to the media.) And there might be more decisions to make.
What to do with Brandon Kublanow, who has played center and right guard the past three years? They settled on center, and it appears that’s where he’ll remain.
What about Greg Pyke, a two-year starter at right guard? Move him to tackle, or keep him at the spot he knows best? Pittman elected to try him at right tackle, and that experiment looks likely to hold as well, though Smart left the door open recently for a move back.
“Greg’s working at tackle. And he’s a guy that can go in and play guard. He’s done it before,” Smart said last week. “He’s played winning football there.”
Isaiah Wynn was placed at left guard, after playing some left tackle last year. Dyshon Sims, who started briefly at right guard last year, was put there this spring.
Then there’s left tackle, where redshirt sophomore Kendall Baker was elevated to first team this spring. But when summer arrives he will have to hold off Tyler Catalina, the graduate senior transfer from Rhode Island.
Another issue this summer will be weight. Pittman is known for wanting bigger tackles, which is one reason Wynn wasn’t put at left tackle — at least for the first unit.
“(Pittman) wants some of us a little bigger, and we’ve got a plan to get us to where we want to be in the offseason. But for right now we’re fine with where we’re at,” said Sims, who is around 305 pounds right now. “It makes us a difference when you can put on a little bit of weight and move it well. It’s definitely huge.”
There has already been some cross-training, for just-in-case scenarios: Wynn and Sims have worked some at tackle. On the second unit, center Lamont Gaillard has also worked at guard.
One of the storylines of spring is the career resurgence of Gaillard, once a highly-touted defensive line prospect, who moved to offense last year.
“The guy that’s been impressive and done a good job, we moved him over from D-line, he’s done a good job competing, and he’s working at center,” Smart said. “Well my question is if Kublanow’s gonna be the center, where can the guy help the most? He may end up being a guard. He may be the next best guard. But he’s never snapped. So we’re gonna give him as many snaps as we can, then cross train him, get him the ability to play at both positions.”
Does all the mixing and matching affect the cohesion of the line? Sims shrugged it off.
“We’re working together just fine,” Sims said. “A lot of us played together before that. So it’s nothing new, basically.”
G-Day, Georgia’s annual spring football scrimmage, is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, at Sanford Stadium. Check back here daily for DawgNation’s G-Day coverage brought to you by Georgia United Credit Union.