ATHENS, Ga — The Georgia Bulldog football team returned to the field Tuesday afternoon for the second spring practice of the 2011 year.
The Bulldogs began practice on March 10, but following Spring Break, Georgia returned to the practice field for the first time in 12 days.
“Overall, it was a bit sluggish, but we’re getting better” said Mark Richt. “Defensively, we made a lot of progress today, making a lot of plays.”
A couple reasons for the sluggish practice. First, spring break was last week for the University of Georgia so the players and coaches had a whole week off.
“Spring Break, for spring football, it really stinks,” said Richt in his time with the media following practice.
Richt and his family went down to the Jamaica, but Richt was still not able to escape from the spotlight.
“The SEC is everywhere,” said Richt. “I’m not lying to you: The first time we laid down our stake at the beach, laid it down just barely, hadn’t even sat down yet, just trying to get the chair aligned with the sun, two Gators are right to where my chair was, right where I was looking.”
Althouth Richt encountered some Gator fans and some gator chomps down in Jamaica, he was also greeted with plenty of barks.
Second, the team is installing the offensive and defensive schemes.
One of the major headlines heading into the spring, was how would Aaron Murray perform in his second year. Some thought an ankle injury while playing soccer would hold him back, but Murray looks and feels great.
While Murray did fully participate in practice, he did practice with an ankle brace around his right ankle.
“I feel 100 percent,” said Murray. “I feel great, I’m still doing rehab to make sure it feels strong.”
He feels very confident about the size of the offensive line because according to him, “the smallest guy is 320, so we got some big boys up front. They’ve been working hard.”
While Murray says the team did pretty well today, he did admit that everything wasn’t up to speed.
“There were a couple instances when we lagged a little bit and weren’t sharp,” said Murray. “But it’s going to happen, especially when you’re reinstalling things.”
Even though the Bulldogs were sluggish, there still were some bright spots for the overall team.
“[The players] have gotten bigger, they’ve gotten stronger, and they’ve lost a lot of body fat.” said Richt.
Georgia practiced in just helmets on Tuesday because of NCAA rules. This will be their last practice without pads, and will practice Thursday with shells (shoulder pads and helmets). The first full pad practice will be on Saturday and they will finally be able to tackle.
Only the first three periods, A, B, and C, were open to the media on Tuesday afternoon.
Georgia will resume practice Thursday afternoon following the usual day off in between practice.
Richt prefers to have the day off because it allows the players time to rest, and gives coaches an extra day to reflect on the previous practice, and to plan the following one.
G-Day, Georgia’s annual spring football game will take place Saturday, April 16, at 1:00 in Sanford Stadium.
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