Georgia opened up its first preseason practice to the media for nearly an hour on Thursday afternoon.
It was pretty spirited at times as you might expect.
During one drill, quarterback Hutson Mason was picked off by safety Josh Harvey-Clemons after a breakdown in protection.
That prompted offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to throw his hat.
“Last year’s over,” Bobo screamed to his players. “You’ve got to work.”
Working with the first-team offensive line for much of the 10 periods open to the media was the same group that started last year: right tackle John Theus, right guard Chris Burnette, center David Andrews, left guard Dallas Lee and left tackle Kenarious Gates.
Kolton Houston took some first-team snaps at left guard and Ward got some first-team right tackle snaps, but it was a mishmash of players at the other offensive positions when they were on the field.
Wide receiver Michael Bennett, back after ACL surgery, was in a regular jersey. He laid out to make a diving catch at one point during the non-contact practice in shorts and helmets. Bennett wore a brace on the right knee.
He was a little slow walking around after the grab, but seemed fine soon after.
As coach Mark Richt mentioned earlier in the day, offensive lineman Austin Long didn’t practice as his academic situation remains up in the air. Watts Dantzler missed more than half of practice due to an exam before returning later.
Some other items:
–Despite the one-game suspension to Harvey-Clemons, the starting secondary consisted of Harvey-Clemons, safety Tray Matthews and cornerbacks Damian Swann and Sheldon Dawson. Safeties Corey Moore and Connor Norman and freshmen cornerbacks Shaq Wiggins and Brendan Langley made up the second-team.
–The freshman running backs worked after Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall and J.J. Green.
“Don’t look at the quarterback at all,” running backs coach Bryan McClendon told Brendan Douglas during one drill.
“Eyes up A.J.,” McClendon told A.J. Turman. “You’ve got to see everything going on.”
Douglas later had a strong run up the middle against the defense.
–Marshall Morgan, who may be suspended to start the season, worked on the lower practice field on field goals off a tee. Also working there were Collin Barber, Adam Erickson and Patrick Beless.
–Fullback Quayvon Hicks hauled in a pass from Aaron Murray in one drill against the defense, but he dropped one later.
–Freshman linebacker Johnny O’Neal drew praise from a graduate assistant when he broke up a pass over the middle during one drill.
–The second team offensive line: Mark Beard at left tackle, Houston at left guard, Hunter Long at center, Greg Pyke at right guard and Ward at right tackle.
–Coaches did plenty of uptempo stuff in the drills on a steamy days with temperatures in the mid-80s.. They didn’t want players slowing down.
At one point, receivers coach Tony Ball told them: “Fatigue is for cowards.”
Ball emphasized a point at one instance during practice by dropping the names Clemson and South Carolina, the Bulldogs non-pushover first two opponents.
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marc.weiszer
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