Friend says guards ‘not performing the way we need’

More than halfway through spring practice, Georgia’s starting offensive guard spots are still up for grabs.

“Nobody’s kind of stepped up and said they want to be the guard yet,” offensive line coach Will Friend said. “We’re not performing the way we need to inside right now.”

Mark Beard, who began the spring as the first-team left guard, has now moved back to tackle where he’s backing up John Theus on the left side.

“He’s more comfortable outside and he’s actually had two pretty good practices,” Friend said.

Friend likes what he’s seen this spring from Theus, right tackle Kolton Houston and center David Andrews.

They are joined now in the starting unit by Zach DeBell at left guard and Greg Pyke at right guard.

Georgia is replacing starting guards Chris Burnette and Dallas Lee. Friend said they were smart players who knew how to make changes on the front in a hurry.

“New guys, guys who haven’t played as much as they had, we’re struggling with that and we’ve got to pick that up and do better,” Friend said.

Pyke has still had a good spring as he’s moved up and is playing with power, Friend said, but DeBell struggled some in the scrimmage after moving from tackle.

Pyke replaced Brandon Kublanow on the first team last week when Kublanow battled the flu.

Now Kublanow is limited in practice with a hyperextended right elbow. Backup tackle Watts Dantzler remains out with a concussion.