MYSTERY PRACTICE FIELDS, ATHENS — The Georgia Bulldogs held their first practice of spring Tuesday and I’m here to report that running back Nick Chubb was seen skipping on the sideline on a distant field.
This assumes it really was Nick Chubb and not one of Kirby Smart’s 2,937 support staff members that the new coach put in a No. 27 jersey as a joke, knowing media members were watching from Neptune and wouldn’t know the difference. Remember, that worked for Nick Saban.
So Georgia’s interim practice fields are now at something called the Club Sports Complex. It’s three miles, or a 13-minute bus ride, from the football offices at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall. The Bulldogs will practice there all spring and all season because their new indoor practice facility is under construction won’t be completed until at least January, and three of the four fields around the old facility have been torn up.
Here’s your official construction update (that’s Butts-Mehre in the background).
There were some-40 media members who chose to take the shuttle ride to watch the 15 minutes that practice was thrown open to vultures. Why? Because Georgia’s sports information department was nice enough to provide free pizza at Butts-Mehre, so walking on and off the bus provided a chance to get our 25 to 30 steps in and complete our workout for the day.
When we arrived, we were told to stand on one sideline of the far field, which made it difficult to view anything other than some linebackers hitting a blocking sled directly in front of us. Freshman quarterback Jacob Eason (I think, because he was wearing No. 10) was on a middle field for a few minutes, then moved to the far field.
“Eason looks tall from here,” Charles Odum of the Associated Press said.
I took a note.
“I’m looking at No. 27, over there. He’s the one skipping,” the Journal-Constitution’s Seth Emerson said.
I took another note.
I was exhausted.
Fortunately, AJC photographer Brant Sanderlin has photo equipment worth more than my two cars put together and was able to get a close-up of Kirby Smart’s pores. He wasn’t sweating, but it’s not Florida week, yet. Brant also got a nice shot of Eason with new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.
This picture was the closest thing I found to evidence that Brian Schottenheimer was no longer on campus. (Exhale.) Here’s Brant’s shot of Eason and Chaney, whose playbook apparently includes a quarterback rolling right without the football. This no doubt will confuse Tennessee:
Now, a few of my shots. Here’s where most media were positioned:
Here’s my view of Jacob Eason from my camera phone (I was told he was over there somewhere).
Here’s a shot from the inside of the media vulture bus to the practice fields. We were all trying to figure out if we could expense the trip.
Selfie! (With the dashing Chip Towers.)
This is Seth Emerson, always the dedicated journalist, with the on-deadline/sportswriter version of a lap dance.
Here’s one unidentified journalist breaking down practice tape. Or not.
Here’s Kirby Smart assuring the media that’s he’ll be completely open about everything, just like how Nick Saban taught him. But seriously …
And about Kirby Smart, here’s a link to my column on the opening of spring practice and how the new head coach already has left his imprint on the Georgia program.
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