The first bowl practice got underway today for the Georgia Bulldog football team. It was a chilly day as the wind was blowing hard and the temperatures were getting low, but the Dawgs shook off the elements and seemed focused after being off for a few weeks.
There were a three things to note during the media period.
There was only one black jersey on the field during practice today, Natrez Patrick. He was still in a black jersey after missing the last three games of the season. He injured his shoulder in November and hasn’t played since. However, he was running through the drills and making some contact during drills with the linebackers.
During the media period, I didn’t observe Juwan Briscoe, Shaquery Wilson, Rico McGraw or Kirby Choates. They seemed to not be at practice at all. After practice Coach Smart during his press conference did announce that Briscoe, Wilson and McGraw were all looking to transfer. Another player that I didn’t observe at practice was Michael Chigbu. He missed the last two games of the season with a knee injury. Coach Smart addressed the sophomore wide receivers injury status during the post-practice press conference:
“He (Michael Chigbu) had some stuff in his knee he had to get cleaned up. He’s probably not going to be with us for the bowl game. He’s going to be out.”
There were two new drills that I was able to observe at practice. The running backs were running a drill with resistance bands on the football and a fellow player pulling at the ball. It appeared that this was a drill designed to emphasize ball security. The coaches were urging the players with the resistance bands to pull hard and force the backs to properly hold the ball, so they wouldn’t lose it. Another drill that the team ran dealt with a piece of equipment called the tackling tube. The linebackers worked with the tackling tube during the viewing period. The coaches would roll the tube and the players would tackle it. The drill seem to be working on their tackling techniques.
Sum it Up:
Practice didn’t have a lot going on during the viewing period, but it did give us enough insight to see that the team is working on different areas specific to fundamentals with the new drills. It also gave leeway as to why some of the players were missing, and it showed that Georgia is almost a healthy team besides a couple of players. The team looked fresh and ready to play football; a good start as the Bulldogs will continue to prepare and get ready over the next couple of weeks to take on TCU in Liberty Bowl.