“I think I came away from the day with at least three or four sacks and a couple of tackles for loss,” Drew said of a scrimmage where quarterbacks actually can’t be hit. “Overall, it was a pretty good day.”
The junior is competing with Sterling Bailey for a starting defensive end position
“From what I noticed, Ray Drew was really unblockable today,” quarterback Hutson Mason said. “That’s always good to see. He’s a big guy, a strong guy.”
The 6-foot-5, 284-pound Drew worked with the second unit, but thinks that will change.
“I believe that by the time the season rolls around, Sterling Bailey and myself will be sharing a good amount of playing time,” said Drew, a junior from Thomasville. “I wouldn’t say that I deserve to be a one or Sterling deserves to be a one, but I know we both come from similar backgrounds. We both played in the (U.S.) Army All-American Game. Sterling is a heck of a player. I believe talent-wise we’re right there together and we’re both going to make an impact this upcoming season.”
Breaking in new safeties
Freshman Tray Matthews and sophomore Josh Harvey-Clemons worked with the starting unit at safety in the scrimmage while Corey Moore got on the field in the nickel package, players said.
Matthews had four tackles and a pass breakup.
“He made two early tackles I thought that were very outstanding,” coach Mark Richt said. “Runs looked like they maybe might could have broken a little bit longer, but he just really aggressively made some nice open-field tackles.”
Those came against Keith Marshall, who led all rushers with 71 yards on 11 carries.
Matthews plays "downhill every play even if it's thud," receiver Chris Conley said. "He's fearless. He's got a great sense of where the ball is going to be even if you can't see it. He'll be going the right direction even if there's a misdirection play. His sixth sense and his football IQ is out of the roof as a freshman."
Freshman J.J. Green had six yards on six carries and Todd Gurley only had two rushes for 15 yards.
“Sometimes it’s just a matter of the play that’s called when they’re in there,” Richt said. “Gurley had a good many plays, but just more pass plays.”
NFL head coaches plentiful in Athens
A former NFL head coach who still has a high-profile is coming to Athens later this week.
Jon Gruden, now an analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, will be the featured speaker this week at Georgia’s coaching clinic, which will be held on Thursday and Friday.
Seven current NFL head coaches have already visited in the last week to further evaluate Georgia’s NFL draft prospects either at Pro Day or for private workouts and/or meetings with former Bulldogs.
They include Philadelphia’s Chip Kelly, Kansas City’s Andy Reid, Jacksonville's Gus Bradley, Arizona’s Bruce Arians, Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin, the New York Jets’ Rex Ryan and Atlanta’s Mike Smith.
Linebacker Jarvis Jones said last week he was to meet with Kansas City and Philadelphia. The Chiefs’ website posted a photo of Reid meeting with Mark Richt. Former Georgia defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs, now Kansas City’s linebackers coach, also made the trip along with secondary coach Al Harris.
This and that
Georgia will practice again on Thursday and go Friday and Saturday, too. After a chilly, windy scrimmage, Richt is looking forward to practicing later this week with temperatures forecast in the 60s. The team will scrimmage again on Saturday
Offensive tackle John Theus (foot) could have gone Tuesday if it was a regular practice but was held out in the scrimmage. “We didn’t want his first experience back to be a scrimmage,” Richt said. “We plan on practicing him Thursday. Richt expects Theus to return to right tackle, but isn’t sure how the line will shuffle.
Richt said indications were there were no serious injuries at the scrimmage. Outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins said inside linebacker Ryne Rankin “rolled up his ankle” but had an interception.