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August 25, 2008

Dampened Spirits

Georgia coach Mark Richt made no bones about Monday's final practice in full pads. He was not a happy camper.

"Practice was pretty bad," Richt said of the workout, which was bumped up 45 minutes on account of threatening weather.

"Considering we're just five days away and that it's the last day in pads, we did move up practice to try and beat the weather forecast. It rained pretty hard for 10-15 minutes and I guess the guys thought that any minute practice was going to be over and it wasn't. I can only hope that's the reason why we lost our edge, which is sad to say."

There was some good news. Running back Knowshon Moreno ditched his green jersey for the first time in almost three weeks, and backup Caleb King was back practicing after missing most of the past week nursing a tweaked hamstring.

"It's not his (Moreno) choice to wear the green jersey and he probably wouldn't have worn it as much as we made him wear it, but that's not his call," Richt said. "But he's out of the green now, and that's good."

Moreno and King weren't the only Bulldogs changing colors. Defensive ends Roderick Battle (hamstring), Demarcus Dobbs (ankle) and Jeremy Lomax (turf toe) were all back, although linebackers Akeem Dent (hip pointer) and Darius Dewberry (quad) were in green but participated in every workout except inside drills. Defensive tackle Kade Weston was also in green nursing a sore knee (bone bruise) but he is expected to be ready for Saturday.

The news hasn't been good for backup offensive linemen Chris Little. Little broke his foot on Aug. 15 and was wearing a cast Monday after undergoing surgery last week.

Coaches still debating depth chart changes

Richt said the team hopes to have its depth chart set for Saturday's opener against Georgia Southern in the next couple of days.

"We'll have a personnel meeting tonight (Monday) or tomorrow first thing, whatever fits best for everybody," Richt said. "That won't answer every question. That meeting's going to be more for our special teams issues and since (Tuesday) is going to be our last day of tempo when it comes to putting pads on, where something might happen to help us decide a close race. It will probably be Wednesday before we start talking scrimmage downs and stuff like that."

Some of the biggest questions to be answered includes who the Bulldogs will use as punt returner, and what duo will start at defensive end. Moreno, Carlton Thomas and Logan Gray remain in contention for the job as punt returner, while the starting defensive end combo is expected to be chosen among the quartet of Battle, Jarius Wynn, Justin Houston and Lomax.

King ready to go

Running back Caleb King said if it had been up to him, the green non-contact jersey would have come off his back a long time ago. King, who had been protecting a tender hamstring, practiced with no restrictions for the first time in almost a week Monday.

"I was trying to get it off earlier but they made me keep wearing it just to make sure I was 100 percent," King said. "It was just a tweak but they (trainers) wanted me to strengthen it up so it wouldn't get worse later in the season."

King is still battling true freshman Richard Samuel for the No. 2 spot at running back behind Moreno.

"By not being out there, of course I was losing ground. But nobody knows what the depth chart is right now," King said. "It's been kind of frustrating not knowing exactly what's going on there but it keeps you on your Ps and Qs."

This and that...

Richt said that he is not ready to make a final decision on long snapper Jeff Henson and safety Donavon Baldwin who were suspended indefinitely following separate incidents last month. Dawg Walk is scheduled for approximately 11 a.m. Saturday and will take place where it has in past years from the West end of Sanford Stadium. Richt said Monday that true freshman Ben Jones would likely see some action at center, which would allow starter Chris Davis to slide over to left guard.



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