Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What do we want to hear (or not hear) out of fall practice

After a test day and general acclimation period today, the Bulldogs begin preparations for the 2011 season in earnest on Thursday. While there will doubtless be reports of which incoming freshmen are standing out (which will lead to speculation that anyone not mentioned is struggling), who's improved the most, and who has stepped up as a leader, there are a few other things to look for. Bear in mind, you can't always believe what you read, and more than that, there are simply going to be a lot of things that fans and reporters simply aren't privy to.

1) No injuries, particularly on the offensive line. This goes without saying about as much as you don't want to hear about an injury to your starting QB. Dawgs simply can't afford it.

2) Richard Samuel hasn't missed a beat, and has improved, since he last played running back in 2009.

3) Crowell is challenging Samuel for the top spot. If Samuel is actually competing and looking good at running back, then this will be a welcome sign.

4) Nobody can block Johnathan Jenkins. As good as Kwame Geathers looked in the spring, if the Dawgs O-Line (particular Ben Jones, one of the best centers in football) can't take JJ one on one, then that will bode well for the Bulldogs defense.

5) Alec Ogletree is tackling everybody. It's funny, but Ogletree's move has been a two-sided coin during the off-season. It seems as though nobody's particularly worried about the move, and yet there's only been minimal talk that he's going to shine (which I think he will). He's currently listed at 236lbs, and presumably can still motor. Dawgs are hoping he's a bit taller version of Patrick Willis (I realize this is still wildly premature).

Of course, there are several other thing we hope to hear, but they tend to be part of a zero-sum game. For instance, you don't want to hear that Aaron Murray is throwing any picks, but yet you don't want to hear that the defense isn't making any interceptions. You don't want to hear the the D-line is getting blown up up front, but you don't want to hear that the O-line can't open any holes, either.

Aaah, the fun of fall practice. In the end, I guess you just want to hear that everybody's working their butts off, and nobody's getting hurt.


  1. This blog brings a welcome state of Zen amongst the nature of yen and yang in the land of college football.

    Remember folks, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Which Thomas Davis stated was driving your punk ass into the turf.

  2. Not sure but I think you meant to say Crowell not Samuel in the second sentence of the third point. Great read again amigo!