ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia is holding its second day of preparation for its annual showdown with Florida on Tuesday. The Bulldogs were in full pads on the Woodruff practice fields where an injured lineman returned to the practice field in very limited fashion, the defensive backs changed things up a bit, and more.
Get Dawgs247’s thoughts and observations from the short practice period below.
*** Redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Ben Cleveland, who suffered a fractured fibula against Missouri in September, made his return to the practice field today. He was working off to the side with director of sports medicine Ron Courson. Cleveland also didn’t appear to be moving to well.
He was going through some step and stride type of drills where he seemed to be favoring his left leg pretty heavily. Kirby Smart has ruled Cleveland out for this week but him returning to the practice field seems to indicate that he could come back within the next couple of weeks.
*** Mel Tucker had a little bit of a wrinkle for the defensive backs today. During individual drills, the defensive backs are normally paired up with another guy in the group and they are working on form tackling together. Today Tucker had the scout-team guys down there and the tackling was 100-percent live.
In fact, Smart was watching closely and encouraging the scout-team players to run faster and "be bigger" to make it tough on the defensive backs. At one point he yelled out that "17 and 23 (Otis Reese and Marke Webb) are our only hitters!" He was also barking out feedback to every player and was saying that he wanted to see guys hit like they weighed 200 pounds.
Another interesting aspect of this period was how they tackled the entire time the media was out there. They did at least three different types of drills to work on tackling, too. There was some short-range stuff, a read-and-react drill, and another couple of drills where they worked on angles.
*** No changes on the offensive line but I did observe Jamaree Salyer getting more work at center than he has in recent practices Trey Hill was working at left guard quite a bit while Salyer was doing the snapping. Smart has pointed out that Hill has had some issue with high shotgun snaps in limited action this year.
*** The running backs were working on catching passes during the media-viewing period and it doesn’t look as if D’Andre Swift is limited at all by an ankle injury that held him out of Tuesday’s practice last week. He made a really nice catch on a route where he had to leave his feet and caught another gear once he touched the ground.
*** Still no DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle (undisclosed) or David Marshall (foot) with the defensive linemen today. Devonte Wyatt was out there and appeared to be moving really well. Tray Scott called him over to work with what looked like the main group of defensive linemen as we were leaving the field.