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Finding someone to give Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson a breather or two has been one of the defensive priorities for Georgia leading into Saturday's open date.
"I'd like to see more a substation pattern there," head coach Mark Richt said after practice Wednesday. "We've just got to get some guys to gain some confidence."
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said Reggie Carter is just about there, along with fellow freshman Tim Kimbrough.
"Reggie is definitely a guy we want to get into games moving forward. Also, we've scrimmaged out here the last two days and Kimbrough's a guy who has some thump as an inside backer," Grantham said. "He's done a nice job on special teams making plays and generally when a young guy plays good on special teams you kind of see them coming on and starting to be someone you can count on in normal defensive downs. We're looking to see if we can get him in the mix."
Kimbrough apparently made an impression during Wednesday's second straight day in full pads.
"Kimbrough made a real big hit today, but then he gets out of position a few times. I think when he really learns it he's going to be good," Richt said. "He's one of those linebackers who can get low. He's down in his stance in a good striking position, and he stays right there. A lot of guys will rise back up and play too high. This guy gets under people's pads and thumps them, he knocks them back."
Don't count out Ryne Rankin or Johnny O'Neal, either.
"We're going to try to play (O'Neal) a little bit," said Grantham, who along with Richt had plenty of praise for Herrera who leads the SEC with 25 tackles.
"He's playing great. I'm just proud and happy for him. He's worked really hard," Richt said. "He's made it a point to get leaner, to get quicker and it's paying off for him. I think he can still play physical enough and he's being reward for the work he's put in. He's been a good leader for us."
Georgia did not release a post-practice injury report, but there is some good news to report.
Tight end Jay Rome, who missed the South Carolina game with a sprained ankle, was back at practice as was wide receiver Jonathon Rumph who has missed the first two games with a hamstring injury.
"I don't know, the better he practices the more confidence Coach (Tony) Ball will have to put him out there," Richt said. "I don't know if he'll get in as a rotation from the very beginning, but it will depend on how the game goes. I'm not sure exactlywhere he's at but he will be available to play."
Left tackle Kenarious Gates (ankle) did not practice, but running backs Todd Gurley (thigh) and Keith Marshall (knee) both worked out without any issues.
Richt said he believes all those injured will be ready for the North Texas game on Sept. 21.
Richt compares Scott-Wesley to Marlon Brown
Wednesday, Richt compared the development of redshirt sophomore Justin Scott-Wesley to that of Marlon Brown, now in his rookie year with the Baltimore Ravens.
"He's been one of those guys, kind of like Marlon Brown, where it I didn't come just like that. But it's been a steady improvement all along throughout his career," Richt said. "Of course, Marlon got sidetracked with some injuries but we were seeing Marlon coming along about this time in his career and we saw signs with (Scott-Wesley) coming along at the end of last year."
Scott-Wesley led all receivers last week with three tackles for 116 yards and the one touchdown on an 85-yard pass from Aaron Murray.
"He had a good summer, a good fall and he's another guy who got trim, went from the 220s to 205 pounds," Richt said. "He needed to get that speed started faster. He had good top-end speed but still needed to get started faster, but now with losing the weight he's smoother getting out of the break and can get going full-speed faster."
Beless won't be kicking extra points
Richt was asked whether or not he might consider using redshirt freshman Patrick Beless for extra point, even though Marshall Morgan is set to come back from his two-game suspension against North Texas.
"You could do that, but like I've said, if you went strictly by what they did in practice and decide who should be the guy with extra points, short-range and long-range and it would have been Marshall based on what he's done in practice," Richt said. "But again, I'd like to say publically that we really appreciate Patrick. He made every kick we asked him to make. He was there when we needed him and I just told him to stay ready, because you never know what can happen."
"I don't know yet. At running back you can't say that too fast because it's a high-contact position and you never know what might happen." - Richt when asked if freshman running back A.J. Turman might be redshirted.
"He's certainly found a niche as far as short-yardage, goal-line. There, I think he'd be the first one to go in. But out in the field, first and second quarter, would we put him out there in front of J.J. (Green)? I don't know if we'd do that. But he's a very legitimate SEC tailback in my opinion." - Richt on Brendan Douglas.
Richt on SEC teleconference
Earlier in the day, Richt took part in the weekly SEC teleconference.
"I think the bye week is a good thing for us. If our open date was this week and we had 10 to go I don't know how I'd feel about that," he said. "But we've got some guys banged up, we've got some academic responsibilities where we're a little heavier than we'd be on a normal week so it's good for us to have a break knowing we've got another one coming down the road before Florida, so that's good."
As for his plans for the weekend:
"Well, my wife and I are going to spend some time and get away a little bit, Friday night, anyway, and probably come back Saturday. As far as watching games, yeah, I'm a college football fan," Richt said. "I like watching those games. We'll definitely be doing that if there's any future opponents playing, we'll watch and enjoy a little family time as well. We'll try not to come back to the office until Monday to be honest with you. The goal will be to spend the weekend and do as much of nothing as possible."
This and that
The Bulldogs worked out for 90 minutes in full pads Wednesday. It was the team's second day of full-pad drills this week. "We got a lot of work done with two practices in pads this week," Richt said. "It was lively out there. It was nice and warm, and at the end, we ran a couple of eight-play drives, a scrimmage with some of the guys that didn't get to play much in our first two games. We gave them an opportunity to play this week and see what they can do."
Next week's opponent North Texas (12:21, SEC-TV ) is 1-1 on the year after falling 27-21 on the road to Ohio last week. On Saturday, they face Ball State in Denton, Texas. The Mean Green opened the season with a 40-6 victory over Idaho.
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