Now that training camp is over, I wanted to take a look back at the seven things I was thinking about a month ago as the Dawgs started training camp, to see what emerged and what hasn't.
Does Aaron Murray make us forget that other guy who had to leave? The answer is yes....with a bullet. I didn't factor in the Mason question. Will Mason be ready to step up if Murray gets hurt. You hate to think in those terms, but in this situation, I have to. Based on everything I have heard and read, the coaches are being particularly careful to keep Aaron from taking hits. Bobo and Murray both were frustrated at a particular sack during the last scrimmage that both felt Murray could have thrown it away.
This cuts two ways. First, the play calling will be designed to give Murray as much opportunity to see passing lanes clearly and notice anyone coming free, indicating he'll be moving in the pocket a bit. That is good. The other way isn't. One of the things I love about Murray is his ability to get out of trouble by running and as an ancillary, the ability to use his legs on their own right in plays. I am not as confident that he'll be called on to run much, if any. Furthermore, my guess is the coaches want him to throw it away, unless he has a fully cleared field for ten plus yard to run and slide.
On the plus side, he seems to have progressed well and is respected by his team mates. Plus, he has AJ Green to throw to, which doesn't suck, at all.
No one is spending too much time at St. Mary's Hospital. So far, so good. That is all.
The starting offense is genuinely impressed at the progress of the 3-4. While I haven't seen much about the one offense going against the one defense, it sure seems the defense is coming together. Like everyone else, I am happy with the (re)emergence of Daryl Gamble. I hope this is the Gamble we saw early last season. Also, who can't be happy with the defensive squad's nearly laser like fixation on being aggressive towards the football? Here's hoping that translates to sacks, turnovers and 3 and outs and not blown coverages and a repeat of the Tennessee game last year.
Both King and Ealey impress, but neither separates from the other. Good thing neither has separated from each other. In all sincerity, it is good to see that coaches are happy with both King and Ealey's on-field performance. Note that King was named starter because of his pass blocking ability. It is notable, to me, that we haven't seen much discussion of ball protection or the dreaded working on fundamentals quotes.
Kickoffs are more than an afterthought. Mission accomplished. More starters and top level backups are tabbed to be on coverage and return teams. Walsh will be asked to kick the ball to the moon. A particular area on the moon, yes, but still to the moon. The team is focusing on special teams nearly every practice. Good stuff.
Hearing the secondary talk about how much fun playing for Scott Lakatos is. You only need to read Weiszer's piece from last week on the confidence of the secondary to know this one is good. I am not looking to blame prior coaches, but it sure seems the secondary is being given more freedom to play football and worrying less about doing things a certain way, situation be damned. Also, I loved Jakar Hamilton's quote about bringing the Georgia defense back the right way.
Having the first team D dominate the first team O in scrimmages. As I noted above, I haven't seen the one's go against each other much yet. It remains to bee seen how much progression the 3-4 Georgia Bulldogs have made defensively. Based on what we are hearing, Todd Grantham is has happy as he gets about such things. Also, the offense seems to be progressing nicely, although it again remains to be seen what that means in live game play.