August 7, 2009

Murray becoming more comfortable

Freshman quarterback Aaron Murray admits he's feeling more and more comfortable with every snap he takes.

That said, the Tampa native admits there's still some improvement he needs to take before he's ready to step on the field.

"Before you can lead a team you have to know what you're going to do and what everybody else is doing. I know it pretty well but I don't know it 100 percent," Murray said. "I don't have that complete confidence to go in there yet so I've got to keep learning every day, going in there and working hard."

Still, Murray says he's light years ahead of where he was at the start of spring practice.

Like any true freshman, Murray it was just a little bit intimidating to be out there with college athletes for the first time.

But as the days have worn on, Murray has grown more comfortable with his surroundings.

Although he's not quite there yet, it certainly beats where he was.

"The biggest thing coming to school early has helped me with is confidence, especially when I go out there on the practice field," Murray said. "I remember those first two days of spring practice I was out there flinging balls over people's head and over the wall, all over the place. Now, I'm a lot more comfortable and know what I'm doing out there."

When Murray actually steps on the field for the first time remains to be seen.

Head coach Mark Richt has stated that the battle to become Georgia's backup quarterback is an open competition between Murray, fellow freshman Zach Mettenberger and current No. 2 Logan Gray.

But Murray said he's not worried about that right now. He just wants to get better.

Thanks to starter Joe Cox, Murray said he is.

"Joe knows the playbook inside and out so to bounce questions off of him and have him quiz us is great," he said. "It's definitely been beneficial, very beneficial."

Lilly wants expectations tempered for Charles

Tight ends coach John Lilly has no doubt that freshman tight end Orson Charles will become an excellent player in the SEC.

But for those who expect the youngster from Tampa to step in and have the kind of year A.J. Green did his first season last fall, Lilly says hold on.

"I don't want to put expectation on Orson or any freshman to go out and have a year like A.J. had," Lilly said. "You don't see that come along too much in a lifetime. Everybody's an All-American in shorts, but he's eager, I'll say that. Arthur Lynch is, too so that's a good sign."

Thus far, both Charles and fellow freshman Arthur Lynch have drawn kudos from Richt.

Lilly credits upperclassmen Aron White and Bruce Figgins for helping them along.

"Aron and Bruce Figgins have done a good job in the off-season getting them schooled up," Lilly said. "When you can walk in a meeting room for the first time with guys and ask them some basic questions and they can fire the answers back at you that means something."

Gray draws praise from Richt

After hinting that Gray would have to battle to fend off Murray and Mettenberger for the backup quarterback, Richt went out of his way to praise the redshirt freshman for his work thus far in fall camp.

"I've been pleased with Logan, he's done a nice job of preparing himself," Richt said. "I see a lot more confidence in his ability to run the system, even from the spring probably. I think he had a good spring and he took that momentum into the summer. He's doing a nice job. He's doing a lot of good things out here."

According to offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, a final decision is expected to be made on Georgia's backup quarterback no later than the Bulldogs' second full scrimmage.

Geathers finally hits the field

Freshman Kwame Geathers made his first appearance on the Georgia practice field Friday. He didn't have an easy time.

Geathers, who must work out in shorts and shells for five days before officially joining the rest of his teammates, spent most of practice jogging up and down the practice field under the watchful eye of the Bulldog training staff.

"He's just trying to get into some kind of running shape," Richt said. "After dinner (Friday) we're going to give him some more orientation on rules and regulations. He had his physical today so it was kind of a whirlwind to get him to his first practice, which will count as one of his five acclimation days."

Richt has plans for Fields

Richt said senior fullback Justin Fields has recovered nicely from his torn ACL and is putting himself in position to at least earn some playing time on special teams.

"Justin's doing great. He's in our 105 (number of players allowed to practice)," Richt said. "He's doing a fine job. He's working some as our personal protector on the punt team and he's on the kickoff return team. He may be on another special teams before it's over."

Fields appeared in 10 games last year before tearing his ACL against Kentucky.

This and that

• Mike linebacker Marcus Washington saw time at rush end during the first four periods of Friday's workout. The former Burke County star saw time there during April's G-Day game. "We're just seeing what kind of knack Marcus has for the position," said Richt.

Reshad Jones (hamstring), Ricardo Crawford and Jonathan Owens remained out of practice. Jones reportedly first tweaked his hamstring several weeks ago when players were being timed for the 40-yard dash. Richt he expects Jones to be out 7-10 days.

• Offensive lineman Josh Davis (shoulder) was back at practice, albeit in a green jersey. He is expected to be out for at least a couple more weeks.

• Defensive tackle Geno Atkins returned an interception for a touchdown in Friday's 11-on-11 drills. "It was a thing of beauty," Richt said. "Prince Miller also had an interception. The defense is catching the ball extremely well right now."

• Richt praised junior tackle Clint Boling and linebacker Darius Dewberry for their work on Friday.

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