Practice Report: O-line experimentation continues as Bulldogs endure sweltering full-pads practice
ATHENS — Unlike Monday, when it was overcast with a steady breeze, it was blazing hot for the Georgia Bulldogs on Tuesday as they continued preparations for Middle Tennessee State. And this time the Bulldogs were in full pads.
Indeed, Georgia was expected to go hard outdoors all day on Tuesday, as it usually does in its weekly routine. More than likely the Bulldogs will move indoors Wednesday or Thursday and let the players get their “legs back under them,” as coaches like to say.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart said after the South Carolina game this past Saturday he thought the team’s conditioning paid off in the 41-17 road win in extremely hot conditions. Conditions are expected to be considerably cooler this Saturday as the Bulldogs will kick off against the Blue Raiders at 7:15 p.m. (TV: ESPN2; Radio: WSB AM-750, 95.5-FM)
Speaking of Smart, the Bulldogs’ third-year coach will brief the media after practice tonight as per usual.
Here’s what was seen and heard during the brief media viewing period on Tuesday:
- Make of it what you will, but it was interesting to see Jamaree Salyer working with the second-team offensive at right tackle. The 6-foot-4, 325-pound freshman came to Georgia as the No. 1 ranked guard in America. Redshirt freshman Isaiah Wilson continued to work as the starter at right tackle.
- Here comes the resident caveat: Georgia’s always switching around offensive linemen in practice and experimenting in order to determine the best possible five for any situation. Cade Mays was not often seen working at left tackle and he was the first in for Andrew Thomas when he went down with an ankle injury against South Carolina. Mays, also a true freshman, was working there with the No. 1 offense again on Tuesday. Thomas remained in the training room getting rehab.
- The rest of the No. 2 line was Trey Hill at center, Justin Shaffer at right guard, Netori Johnson at left guard and Kendall Baker at left tackle.
- For what it’s worth, freshman Luke Ford also was getting some reps with the No. 1 offense. Then again, Jim Chaney liberally rotates his four guys no matter what the situation. But Ford and and fellow freshman John FitzPatrick likely will get as much work Saturday as Isaac Nauta and Charlie Woerner against Middle Tennessee State.
- Big Jordan Davis, the 6-foot-6, 340-pound freshman from Charlotte, was wearing a number 93 scout-team jersey on Tuesday. That’s the number worn by MTSU junior tackle Malik Manciel.
- Defensive back Tyrique McGhee was full-go at practice and appeared to be working with the safeties. McGhee played cornerback most of the time when he was on the field as a sophomore last season. He has been working mostly at star and safety this season before a foot injury sidelined him for the last three weeks of preseason camp plus the first game.
- Georgia’s secondary is expected to get tested again this week against MTSU as passing accounts for more than two-thirds of the Blue Raiders’ 389 yards offense per game. Quarterback Brent Stockstill — the head coaches’ son — had 407 yards and 5 TDs passing against Texas-Martin last week.
- Secondary coach Mel Tucker had his charges “high-pointing” passes during drills on Tuesday. Among them was freshman cornerback Divaad Wilson, who remains about three weeks away from being fully cleared from knee surgery last spring.