Michael Bennett tests out his knee
ATHENS - The Georgia coaches continue to downplay it, but there continues to be evidence of John Theus getting a hard look at left tackle.
The sophomore-to-be was at left tackle during the early portions of Tuesday's practice, after being seen to play there during Saturday's scrimmage. Xzavier Ward was at right tackle with the first-teamers.
“We’ve rotated a bunch. We’re experimenting right now," head coach Mark Richt said on Tuesday, prior to practice. "A guy like Xzavier Ward has really come along, so we might give him some shots at right tackle and move (John) Theus over to left. You’ve got (Mark) Beard and (Kenarious) Gates that can play tackle, but maybe they can play guard. We’re trying to find who our best five is for next year. We know we don’t have (Chris) Burnette practicing right now, but chances are he’ll line up at number one when he’s back. What’s happening is that we are getting some of the younger linemen who are understanding more and getting in a better position to compete. We’re rolling things around to find the best five.”
Quarterback Aaron Murray said the only players who have had a consistent position are center David Andrews and left guard Dallas Lee.
“KG has played every position but center. I told him the other day he should start working on that,” Murray said. “I think we’ve got eight guys now that can start, and can rotate in and out and push each other to compete for those starting positions.”
Matthews knocks 'em 'dead'
The praise continues for freshman safety Tray Matthews, who apparently knocked receiver Justin Scott-Wesley for a loop. Scott-Wesley was not practicing on Tuesday, and it's hard not to connect that fact with what Murray said earlier in the day about Matthews.
“I’ve never seen anyone with that kind of closing speed,” Murray said. “He’s had some hits I’ve never seen before in my life, these past couple scrimmages. He’s laid the wood – I thought he killed Scott-Wesley. I really thought he was dead.”
Richt was asked about Matthews on Tuesday, and basically admitted that it was hard not to gush about his freshman.
"I'm not going to sit here and say (his spring) has been anything but impressive," Richt said. “I really don’t know if he’s doing everything correct, assignment-wise, but he’s a very fundamentally-sound football player and tackler. He enjoys competing, and he enjoys the physical aspect of the game. When a guy can tackle out in space like he does and just plays with speed and confidence, it’s been impressive. He hasn’t nailed down any particular job yet, but he’s made a very strong impression on everybody. I think he’s proved that he’s earned playing time. “
G-Day format chosen
For Saturday's spring game, the teams will be evenly split up so that the first-team offense takes on the first-team defense, the second-team offense faces the second-team defense, and so on. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will coach one team, and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will lead the other one.
Richt said the rosters weren't finalized yet, and he'd probably wait until Thursday to assign Bobo and Grantham their teams.
"When the “ones” are playing, they’ll be going against the “ones”, and the “twos” will go against the “twos,” which makes for a pretty even ball game," Richt said. "Over the years, our scores aren’t usually a high-scoring affair. We always try to put our best on the best so that it becomes more of an even game."
The G-Day game isn't actually the final day of the spring for the Bulldogs: They're practicing twice more next week. But Richt said there would be no tackling in those practices, and the additional practices won't have any effect on how G-Day is played.
The inside linebackers during a practice drill:
The running backs during a drill: