Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Lineup coming into focus

Wednesday August 30, 2006

There are two sure signs that the season opens this week. First is that players are slowly but surely coming back from injuries. Fans wring their hands over the day-to-day injury reports during preseason camp, but the truth has been that the Dawgs (seriously knocking on wood here) are relatively healthy. Besides the knee injury to Coates, there aren’t many long-term injuries on the squad. You have guys like Gant and Elmore and a few of the offensive linemen fighting nagging, sometimes chronic injuries, but most of them should be ready for action soon.

The second sign that the season is right around the corner is the last-minute shuffling and solidifying of the depth chart. Some positions have been set since the end of last season, but many others continue to be up for grabs. We heard about the quarterbacks weeks ago, and now the final few pieces are coming together.

  • The guys over at UGASports.com told us yesterday that Danny Verdun-Wheeler had earned a starting strong (SAM) linebacker position over Brandon Miller. Everyone in the world seems to think that Miller is a better fit at defensive end, but so far the coaches haven’t made that move. Whether he’s a linebacker or defensive end, he’ll be starting the season on the second team. It should be noted that he was injured a good bit last year and has also been banged up this preseason, so it might just be a consequence of Verdun-Wheeler being more prepared at this point.
  • Ching reports that Asher Allen and Prince Miller are both candidates for nickle cornerback – a very key position in passing situations. Both have ridiculous talent and speed, but they are still freshmen and prone to the occasional freshman mistake. It’s really up in the air which will start, but each will see time on Saturday. So two true freshman are battling for a rather important position. Interesting. Bryan Evans will also see time at cornerback. Oliver and Ramarcus Brown are the starters of course.

So we’ll have a starting defense of Moses-Owens-Dixson-C Johnson, Verdun – Taylor – Jackson, Oliver-Battle-K Johnson-Brown. Great lineup there, especially when you consider that there are names like Byrd, Miller, and Weston coming off the bench. About the only real question marks as far as the depth chart goes are at the return positions – kickoffs and punts. Flowers’ suspension has put the punt return job up for grabs, and there are still several likely candidates for kickoff return.

A recap of the Athens Touchdown Club meeting from last night also has some interesting tidbits. Among them: the true freshmen who will surely play are Durham, Atkins, Dewberry, Allen, and Miller. Others might play too – Crawford seems most likely. It was surprising to see the harsh words about Moreno at tailback. All indications we had to this point were that he had really worked his way into the mix. As an aside, this is more or less a repeat of something we see every year: ans drunk on recruiting videos are certain that 15+ true freshmen will play, and it always ends up that only 6-8 do.

Finally, Ching mentions something really interesting:

But I will say this: Joe T was throwing the ball a lot of places in the early part of practice we watched, when he and Cox were working on pass routes with the receivers. One of those places was rarely the receivers’ hands. He didn’t look too good. And of course, my opinion on the subject means very little. I’m just saying what I saw.

You might write that off as one guy’s opinion, but the UGASports.com writers posted the exact same observation on the DawgVent last night. Scary stuff. You’ve got to wonder what the plan is.

Comments are closed.