Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said Friday he'll know more after seeing his defense don the full pads Saturday afternoon, but so far he likes the way his players have bought into what he's trying to teach on the field.
Friday proved to be a disjointed afternoon for the Bulldogs, who saw their fifth preseason session interrupted for an hour due to an afternoon thunderstorm.
But Grantham wasn't complaining about the 80-minute workout.
"I like it. I think the guys have really bought into what we're doing. I think they've shown that they studied in the off-season," Grantham said. "I was really pleased with today. Sometimes you lose your focus because you've got to come in. But what we did, we actually came in and watched the first part of practice that we had done and in the meeting we talked about maintaining the focus then going back out and practice. That's part of the learning process, too.
"There's going to be things that come up and you've got to be able to handle those adverse situations then go out and do your job. From that standpoint I was really pleased with today."
Grantham has also been pleased with how much of the installation his players have been able to recall.
The former Dallas Cowboy assistant didn't take it easy during the spring as he installed plays from Day 1 of the spring, right up until the G-Day Game.
On Saturday, Grantham said he's looking forward to seeing him much they've really learned.
"We're going to start over again (Saturday) with Day 1 and the theory is to keep throwing it at them and throw them a lot of stuff, because I think it's important to make them think on the field. You've got to react, because there are good coaches in this league and they're going to tweak things every week," Grantham said. "You've got to be able to adjust and have enough stuff to adjust to what they're doing. You've got to make sideline adjustments. I expect us to go out tomorrow and play fast because a lot of the stuff we're going to do is stuff we did the first day."
Bobo wants to see some toughness
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said he'll "gear back" on installation for Saturday's first day in pads because he wants to see how his offense responds to playing some "good, old fashioned, hard-nosed football."
"It won't be anything new for the guys but we're going to line up and see who's ready to play football, who's ready to compete, who's ready to be tough and who's ready to be physical. That's the goal," Bobo said. "The first five days is to try to get every single thing we've got in then see who's ready to line up with the guy in front of them."
Bobo was asked about the progress of freshman running back Ken Malcome.
Predictably, he said the former Southwest DeKalb standout has a lot of learning to do.
"Ken done a good job, but there are some things he doesn't know what to do right now and he's getting five or six runs out of different formations every day," Bobo said. "He doesn't know his right from his left right now, but when he gets going he's showing signs of being elusive and showing signs of where he might have some power. It's going to be interesting once he gets in a live drill to see how he finishes his runs."
Freshman quarterback Hutson Mason and sophomore receiver Marlon Brown have caught his eye as well.
"We're really pleased with Hutson. He doesn't know everything right now but he's a very poised young man and doesn't get rattled," Bobo said. "He's shown a lot of composure and the ability to make plays."
Brown, who played sparingly as a true freshman, is apparently making huge strides as well.
The Memphis native missed most of the spring nursing a shoulder injury, but enjoyed a strong summer and Bobo said he is carrying over that effort into preseason drills.
"Marlon looks like a different player to me in just how he's running. He looks smoother, he looks flexible and he's done a good job with his body," Bobo said. "I'm excited. He's been healthy and he's getting his confidence. I think Marlon has a bright future."
Freshmen impressing Grantham
Grantham tabbed cornerback Derek Owens, linebacker Demeter Baker and safety Alec Ogletree as three freshmen who have impressed him so far.
"I'm looking forward to seeing what he (Owens) can do," Grantham said. "Baker showed up today on some special teams stuff and I'm looking forward to seeing him. Obviously, Alec Ogletree, he's shown up."
Outside linebacker T.J. Stripling and Brandon Burrows will be getting their shots to show what they can do as well.
"When we go into our first scrimmage, those guys are going to play," Grantham said. "They're going to get their chance because guys who can rush the passer and cover are hard to find. You can't have enough of them because what happens in the fourth quarter, you've got to be able to rotate those guys and roll them to keep them fresh, particularly up front with the D-line, so finding guys that can rush is a priority."
This and that
Grantham said he's been pleased with both Darryl Gamble and Cornelius Washington at Sam linebacker, indicating that Gamble could be pushing for a starting job.
Bobo said that offensive Trinton Sturdivant has had a solid week, but he will continue to be worked in slowly.
Running back Caleb King wore a green non-contact jersey Friday, but was seen running with no problem.
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