Football Practice Observations – April 04, 2019

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Football Practice Observations – April 04, 2019

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As you can see from the photos above, I spent the observation periods watching the defense. Specifically, the defensive line, outside linebackers and defensive back. Let’s start with the outside linebackers.

The first thing one noticed about the OLB group was the numbers. There was a grand total of four outside linebackers taking reps with Coach Dan Lanning. The entice group consisted of Matthew Brown (24), Azeez Ojulari (13), Adam Anderson (19) and Nolan Smith (4).

After some detective work, I discovered that Robert Beal, Jr. (33) and Brenton Cox (1) were inside the indoor facility running. Of course, one can assume that their different practice routine is the result of their recent arrest for marijuana possession. It is a bit unusual for players in violation of team rules to be held out of practice, however. Some media members speculated after our observation periods that the most recent arrestees would rejoin the practice after we (media) left the field. Frankly, I don’t get that logic, so I’m going with the idea that they were actively being punished.





Another players missing from the OLB room was JUCO transfer Jermaine Johnson (11). Johnson has received consistent praise from his teammates this spring for his play and athleticism. A source told me that Johnson was seen later in a boot. That kind of protective appliance usually indicates a foot or ankle injury. Hopefully, he will be back soon, the tall, speedy linebacker is having an impact this spring but is going to need the reps to be an immediate contributor this fall.

Coach Smart was roaming the defensive side of the practice field with a portable microphone shouting his observations and encouragements to players as he moved. His motivational quips directed at individual players get amplified and broadcast all over the neighborhood.

Kirby Smart April 04, 2019

One coach whose method and demeanor is a bit different than what you might be used to if you played football or have observed practices is Dan Lanning. The defensive coordinator and outside linebacker coach is not a screamer. He is much more calm and deliberate one might expect. That is not to say that he does not make his teaching points firmly and decisively, but his methods do not include include profanity laced tirades and/or bitter sarcasm.





There should be a scrimmage on Saturday, but as of now we do not know if the will be a media availability.





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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.