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April 1, 2014

Rocker's message clear

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Tracy Rocker from UGASports.com on Vimeo.

Tracy Rocker's message to his defensive line has been a simple one. No sugar coating here.

"The biggest thing is just trying to get to know each other as coaches and players. Second, is eliminate MAs (missed assignments) and third is make sure we go 100 miles per hour," Rocker said after practice Tuesday. "That's the No. 1 key - go 100 miles an hour and eliminate the MA's. Do that and we'll be fine."

Although Rocker said he feels good about the talent he's got to work with, there's still a significant learning curve.

That's apparently not all.

"The biggest thing right now is to get them in better condition.In the past Georgia was in a 3-4 defense; we play a multiple defense now and we need to do a variety of things, so we need to get leaner and faster. We're learning different concepts, so it's just getting them in better shape and getting their mind focused that we're going 100 miles per hour."

Players are learning quickly that they'd better do what's asked.

"The first week they're looking at us like we're the devil and this week it's like 'OK, we got it,'" Rocker said. "But it's the same thing, as coaches we need to stay consistent and stay with what we believe in and that's the biggest thing. That's what Coach (Mark) Richt is selling, that's what Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt is selling."

From the sound of it, players aren't being given much choice.

"Every week the plan up front has been everybody gets an opportunity each week, at the end of the week we scrimmage and if you produce, you stay, if you don't produce - next," Rocker said. "It's all about getting the right combination and get guys to play with full speed effort. That's the most important thing and that's what I'm working for up front."

Senior Ray Drew apparently learned that the hard way.

According to Rocker, Drew started out with the first team, was moved down but had a good scrimmage and Tuesday was back working with the second group.

"It's all about doing the things we ask you to do and playing full speed," Rocker said. "Until we get it consistently, hopefully I don't have to go through musical chairs."

Friend not pleased with overall work of guards

Offensive line coach Will Friend said he's been pleased with the work of tackles John Theus and Kolton Houston, along with center David Andrews.

His guards - not so much.

"We're looking for guys to step up and show that they want to be our guards," Friend said. "(Greg) Pyke has had a good spring and I think he can get better, but overall we're not performing the way I want us to right now."

Tuesday, Pyke worked with the first unit at right guard with Zach DeBell getting most of the reps at left due in part to injuries to Watts Dantzler (concussion) and Brandon Kublanow (right elbow hyperextension).

Mark Beard is working as Theus' backup at left tackle with Xzavier Ward backing up Houston at right.

Blazevich being told to "get ready"

Tight ends coach John Lilly says incoming freshman Jeb Blazevich is being told to get ready to play.

"No doubt," Lilly said. "I think that's what you tell all the guys you recruit, that you want them to prepare and get ready to play. We typically play 3-4 at that position, depending on what kind of package we're in."

Blazevich will have company.

According to Lilly, Jay Rome (foot) is expected to be 100 percent for fall, and he's hopeful with some of the progress he's seen from Jordan Davis and former fullback Quayvon Hicks.

The Bulldogs also signed Hunter Atkinson, who will get his shot to impress as well.

Ekeler likes potential

Inside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler said he likes the potential he's seen from his players thus far in spring camp.

"I see that they're really focused on working on their technique. They want to do everything that Coach Pruitt wants," he said. "I'm excited about their potential."

However, Ekeler is pushing for more.

"I want to see what they've learned in the classroom and apply it on the field. I want to coach guys who are passionate, who want to get better and want to be great," he said. "When they watch the film I want them to be critical of themselves. They're getting there. It's not as much as what you would like sometimes but they're still kind of getting a feel for me."

This and that

Sophomore Brendan Langley was seen working with the safeties during the media's brief time watching practice on Tuesday. New names on Georgia's post-practice injury report included tight end Jordan Davis (left knee sprain) and offensive lineman Brandon Kublanow (right elbow hyperextension). Eckler said linebacker Paris Bostick (right knee hyperextension) has yet to practice. Georgia practiced for two hours at the Woodruff Practice Fields in a picture-perfect day weather-wise on Tuesday. "We're getting better," head coach Mark Richt said. "Without question, we're getting better. We just need the guys to keep working and keep believing in their coaches. We need everyone to be all in to have a shot. They're working hard and I'm proud of them."

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