09 21 2004 Notebook - Position changes

Reporter
Posted Sep 21, 2004


ATHENS – Georgia coach Mark Richt feels a little better about his team when he looks around the country.

“It’s an interesting year,” he said. “I’m wondering as I watch everyone play, if the new rules on the number of practices is having an effect on the way teams are starting out.”

New NCAA rules put into affect two years ago limit the number of two-a-day workouts coaches can hold. The maximum number of preseason practices is 29 and most coaches get no more than 27 because of the schedule, Richt said. Georgia practiced only 25 times before the year began because the team won’t practice on Sundays, Richt said.

“It just seems like a lot of people are sloppy,” Richt said. “Offenses are behind defenses, at least on this side of the country.”

Richt’s team is coming off a 13-3 win over Marshall in which it committed 11 penalties and missed countless opportunities on offense. The Bulldogs’ next game is against LSU, which is having growing pains of its own. The Tigers lost 10-9 to Auburn last week.

“No one really is in midseason form,” Richt said. “You talk about being there and you hope to be there, but we’re not there for sure.”

PRACTICE REPORT: The Bulldogs returned to the practice field Tuesday for the first time since Saturday’s 13-3 win over Marshall. The practiced for about two hours, 40 minutes of which was live, full-contact work. Georgia will practice Wednesday and Thursday before taking Friday, Saturday and Sunday off.

QUARTERBACK SHUFFLE: Backup quarterback D.J. Shockley seems resigned to his fate this season.

“This is a big season and we have a lot riding on it, so whatever we have to do, we have to do,” he said.

Shockley played one series against Marshall and failed to pick up a first down.

“Yeah, you want to play, but you want to play a considerable amount,” he said. “But, in the situation I’m in, you have to take what you can get.”

MORE TAILBACK NEWS: Junior Tony Milton will see his first action of the season if he keeps practicing like he did Tuesday.

“I saw a spark out of Tony Milton that got me excited,” Richt said. “I think we all saw him show something. This may be his kind of game. It’ll be a very physical game and he’s a very physical player.”

Starting tailback Danny Ware is expected to be back for the LSU game after missing the Marshall game due to a bruised lung. Ware’s lungs are 99 percent healthy, Richt said. Ware practiced Tuesday but did no contact work. Reserve running back Michael Cooper also was held out of practice work due to bruises on his thigh and hip.

NEW PUNT RETURNER: Tyson Browning has lost his punt return job. The running back had a 72-yard return for a touchdown the first game of the season but has fumbled a punt in each of the last two games. He’ll be replaced by either Tim Jennings or Sean Bailey, Richt said.

LINEBACKER SHUFFLE: Linebackers Jarvis Jackson and Derrick White probably will move back outside now that Odell Thurman is back, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder indicated. Jackson probably will work on the weak side, and White, who didn’t practice due to an ankle injury, could play on either side. Linebacker Arnold Harrison practiced in a no-contact jersey due to a minor shoulder injury.


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