Bobo: Team in 'Grind Mode'
Mike Bobo
Dawg Post
Posted Aug 25, 2011

ATHENS - Will Friend greeted a group of reporters after Georgia’s football practice Thursday with a common sentiment these days after three weeks of preseason workouts.

“Y’all ready for the season, too?” the first-year offensive line coach said.

Nineteenth-ranked Georgia completed its 22nd practice leading up to its opener against No. 5 Boise State a week from Saturday in the Georgia Dome.

“We’re just trying to clean up every day little things,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “We’re doing a pretty good job on our assignments and knowing what to do, but now (we’re) being able to do them full-speed and executing when we’re tired. We’ve still got a few days where we’re really so-to-speak in a grind mode of pushing them and making it tough on them where we’re able to respond in game situations.”

Bobo said he started looking at Boise State tape in the last week of January when coaches came off the road recruiting. He asked video coordinator Brett Greene provide him with every Boise game from last season.

“You put on the tape right away and you can see those guys fly and get after it,” Friend said. “They’re impressive. When you put the tape on and watch them after about five minutes you go `They’re fun to watch because they play like it’s supposed to be played. They get after it.’ They fly, they hit. They play with excitement. There’s a reason why they’ve won so many in a row, so many games the last couple of years because they get after it.”

Decisions, decisions

Assistant coach Scott Lakatos has six freshmen in his secondary. Final decisions on whether to play or redshirt them are coming closer into focus, but he said Wednesday’s practice game scrimmage gave him something else to consider because many of those young guys made plays.

“It makes you wait a little bit longer to make sure that you made the right decision with who you are going to put out there this year and who you are going to hold back for next year,” Lakatos said.

Cornerbacks Damian Swann, Chris Sanders and Nick Marshall and safety Corey Moore have mixed in with the second-team, Lakatos said, but Moore and Marshall worked with the scout team in the scrimmage.

Devin Bowman and Quintavious Harrow are likely redshirts. Swann, from Grady High in Atlanta, has picked up things quick, Lakatos said.

“He’s got a lot of talent,” Lakatos said. “He’s got a pretty good football IQ. You tell him something once and he picks it up right away. He’s been able to learn a few positions and the little nuances of each one. He’s putting himself in position where he’d be able to help us hopefully.”

A day after cornerback Brandon Boykin said that Shawn Williams and Sanders Commings worked as the first-team safeties, Lakatos said those spots aren’t locked yet.

“We haven’t made any final decisions yet when it comes to that standpoint,” he said.

Returning starter Bacarri Rambo still is competing for a starting job, he said.

“He’s working,” Lakatos said. “He’s in there doing as much as everyone is doing.”

McClendon wants fresh backs

Whether Richard Samuel or Isaiah Crowell starts at tailback, running backs coach Bryan McClendon said that "you want to keep a fresh back in the game."

Samuel is still not all the way back from his quadriceps injury, but he remains No. 1 ahead of the freshman Crowell, McClendon said. He did individual work, but not 11on-11, according to Bobo.

“Right now if they’re healthy, it would be Richard than Isaiah,” McClendon said.

McClendon acknowledged that could change by game-time. Brandon Harton still is ahead of Ken Malcome for the No. 3 spot, even though McClendon said Harton “got a little banged up,” in the scrimmage.

This and that

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said that he expected nose guard John Jenkins (hamstring) to return to practice Saturday and “be ready to roll,” after the team’s off day Sunday. He hasn’t practiced for a week. “I think he’ll play in the game,” Grantham said. …Receivers Marlon Brown (ankle), Malcolm Mitchell (leg) and fullback Bruce Figgins (hamstring) did not go in 11-on-11 drills Thursday, Bobo said. The team worked mostly on special teams …Freshmen center David Andrews is now among the top two backups on the offensive line, Friend said. Dallas Lee would be the first substitute at guard/center and Andrews is next in line. … Grantham told reporters he thought freshman outside linebacker Ray Drew would play in the first game.

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