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First spring scrimmage shows some high, lows.


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First spring scrimmage shows some high, lows

Football notebook

By Ryan Lavner | sports@onlineathens.com | Story updated at 12:26 AM on Sunday, March 23, 2008

Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said Georgia's first scrimmage of the year on Saturday was a "tale of two halves."

"Both sides were sluggish, that's a pretty good way of looking at it," Martinez said after the Bulldogs' 21/2-hour scrimmage at the Woodruff Practice Fields. "There was some good, there was some bad on both sides of the ball."

Martinez said the defense "showed a lot of energy, a lot of fight, early on in the scrimmage and as it finished, I thought it fizzled."

The primary focus of the scrimmage, Martinez said, was to evaluate the talent and see how the players held up in game-like situations. He will be able to make those judgments after reviewing the practice film.

"We're early on in the process of evaluating guys," he said. "We've got seven more practices to try to develop a two-deep roster on both sides of the ball."

Quarterback Matthew Stafford said the scrimmage was "weird" because some drives would be stopped after a certain number of plays, so it was tough to establish timing with his receivers and rhythm offensively.

Still, Stafford said his receivers, specifically Kenneth Harris and Mohamed Massaquoi, caught the ball well and made a few plays down the field. Martinez said Stafford looked comfortable with the first team, and "showed a lot of leadership and poise."

"We started off slow but scored a bunch at the end," said Stafford, who completed 9 of 19 passes with three touchdowns and two interceptions. "We've just got to keep plugging away, it's going to take a while."

Richt busy with Junior Day

Saturday was also Junior Day, where approximately 40-60 recruits toured the Butts-Mehre building and watched Georgia's practice. Coach Mark Richt spent time with the potential recruits after practice, and was unavailable for interviews.

Moreno to return punts?

Tailback Knowshon Moreno was among four Georgia players who returned punts during Saturday's practice. In the hour-long window that was available to the media, Moreno, Prince Miller, Tony Wilson and Asher Allen all fielded punts.

"I think we're all evaluating," Martinez said. "We lost the punt returners we've had in the past and I think that the coaches are just trying to evaluate different guys who have the talent and the skill."

Gamble sparks defense

With linebackers Darius Dewberry (groin) and Marcus Washington (shoulder) already on the shelf this spring, Darryl Gamble showed Saturday he may be ready to fill the void.

Gamble had six tackles and two interceptions in the scrimmage, including a touchdown return on a tipped screen pass.

"We've got a long way to go but we've got a lot of potential and a lot of talent," rising senior and defensive tackle Jeff Owens said. "And the great thing about it is we've got a lot of time to get better."

Martinez said fellow linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Rennie Curran were held out of the scrimmage.

This and that

Georgia coaches, players and personnel received their 2008 Sugar Bowl Championship rings after the scrimmage. ... Stafford said after practice Saturday that he is no longer wearing the brace on what was believed to be a sprained left thumb. He had a tape wrap around the finger on his non-throwing hand. ... Saturday's scrimmage was the first at near-game speed since Georgia's Sugar Bowl victory on Jan. 1 over Hawaii. "You're playing your own guys so they know you like the back of their hand," Stafford said. "It's not all the same, but it's fun to get out there and play a little bit." ... Georgia's annual spring G-Day game is scheduled for Saturday, April 5.

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 032308

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SacFalcFan (3/23/2008)
mbrizzle (3/23/2008)
I hope Dewberry is alright. We'll run with 6 LBs if he can get straightened out.

Dewberry is the brandon miller of this defense..

It's sad but true. It's disheartening to see Dewberry play his assignment perfectly, make a good crack on the ball carrier, and then have that guy bounce off for 4 more yards. I dont know how many times I saw it last year, but I saw it a ton. He's a smart, hard hitting LB,.... who doesnt tackle well. Very weird thing. He is very solid on the kickoff coverage team though.

I definately hope he gets right for this season.

I really hope Hebron gets on the field a bunch. I really believe he's going to show out this year. And I'm most definately pulling for him.

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mbrizzle (3/23/2008)
SacFalcFan (3/23/2008)
mbrizzle (3/23/2008)
I hope Dewberry is alright. We'll run with 6 LBs if he can get straightened out.

Dewberry is the brandon miller of this defense..

It's sad but true. It's disheartening to see Dewberry play his assignment perfectly, make a good crack on the ball carrier, and then have that guy bounce off for 4 more yards. I dont know how many times I saw it last year, but I saw it a ton. He's a smart, hard hitting LB,.... who doesnt tackle well. Very weird thing. He is very solid on the kickoff coverage team though.

I definately hope he gets right for this season.

I really hope Hebron gets on the field a bunch. I really believe he's going to show out this year. And I'm most definately pulling for him.

Well the one problem for our linebackers is due to change to the spread for most teams we won't be using the SAM position as in past years. We will be using another safety. Guys like Hebron, Curran, Dent, Ellerbe will see plenty of time on the field and the competition is something fierce right now. Regarding Dewberry he was a very very highly ranked guy coming in. He has the physical skills, he just needs to get the mental aspect right.

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