March 31, 2010

Offensive line still has work to do

Consistency hasn't been a problem for Georgia's offensive line thus far this spring but offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said O-line coach Stacy Searels is far from satisfied.

Searels doesn't typically speak to the media about his position, leaving the questions for Bobo and head coach Mark Richt.

Tuesday, it was probably a good idea.

"We're (the offense) kind of in a bad mood, but overall our line has been very consistent. We just want them to consistently be a little more dominating," Bobo said after practice. "That's a group that's played together for a while, they know what to do, they know what to execute but it's time to become a dominant offensive line.

"We're definitely pleased with the calls, of handling blitzes. We're seeing a ton of blitzes out here and we're handling those things, we just want to become dominant. That's what we expect out of those guys and that's what they should expect out of themselves, especially when you've got guys who have started for two or three years, some for four years."

Georgia's starting lineup is certainly an experienced bunch.

Rising seniors Clint Boling and Chris Davis have started their first three years and figure to do so again next fall while Josh Davis is also a senior who has overcome surgeries on both his shoulders to become a fixture at right tackle.

They aren't the only ones.

Juniors Cordy Glenn and Ben Jones have 23 career starts, respectively.

Unfortunately, depth remains somewhat of a concern, largely due to injuries that have recently hit the team.

There is some good news.

Richt is confident that Trinton Sturdivant (ACL) and Tanner Strickland (shoulder) will be ready to go in time for preseason camp and is hopeful that redshirt freshman Austin Long (back) and incoming freshman Brent Benedict (ACL) will be close to returning as well.

There was one significant setback.

Redshirt sophomore A.J. Harmon was making huge strides at left tackle before suffering a high-ankle sprain during Saturday's scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.

"We've been trying to get A.J. Harmon as many reps as possible, got more than anybody in the scrimmage the other day," Bobo said. "It was unfortunate he got the high ankle sprain. Right now it doesn't look good, but hopefully we will get him back for the last week."

Tuesday, Bobo said the Bulldogs worked in four different players looks at left tackle behind Boling, although he did not divulge their names.

"Everybody has got to be ready to play," Jones said. "No matter what, somebody's got to step up. That's just how it goes, but whoever is in there is going to play hard."

Still, the Bulldogs can't afford many more injuries along the offensive line.

"Now that A.J. is out, we can't afford another injury," Boling said. "We need everybody to stay healthy."

Boling said it's not all doom and gloom.

Though he wasn't satisfied, Boling said he thought the first-team was relatively successful during Saturday's scrimmage.

"I thought we did a decent job. I thought the first group did a good job of moving the ball and giving the quarterbacks time," Boling said. "When you're used to seeing one defense for the past four years and go to seeing something different, a different style, it can take a while. But I think we're starting to adjust."

Bobo said two youngsters - redshirt freshmen Chris Burnette and Dallas Lee - are starting to make their respective moves.

According to Bobo, Burnette is now the team's No. 2 center behind Jones, while Lee is focusing mostly at guard. True freshman Kolton Houston is the No. 3 center behind Burnette.

"Burnette has done a nice job. I was pleased with him in the scrimmage. He's got to get stronger. He's got a good punch. He's got to get a little bigger but I like how he's played," Bobo said. "Dallas has shown some flashes of doing some good things. He's just got to get consistent; he's just got to practice."

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