Rocker on first-team D-line: You produce, you stay

New Georgia defensive line coach Tracy Rocker was told Tuesday that players have said the energy level brought from new staff members has translated over to their own energy on the practice field.

“I don’t know, I don’t see a lot,” Rocker said before breaking into a big smile. “I’m just kidding. I’m trying to get the energy out of them.”

Rocker said he’s looking for his players to have more “active plays” and better effort, which shows up in assists on the tackle charts.

“If we don’t have assists as D-linemen, we’re not chasing the ball, we’re not doing the things we need to do to be successful,” Rocker said.

James DeLoach, who performed well in Saturday’s scrimmage, joined Jonathan Taylor and Sterling Bailey on the first-team defensive line during Tuesday’s practice.

“You produce, you stay,” Rocker said. “You don’t produce, next. It’s all about playing with the right combination and to get guys to produce with full-speed effort. That’s the most important thing. That’s what I’m working on up front is effort. Try to eliminate the MA’s (missed assignments) and go forward.”

Ray Drew was dropped from first team to third team this spring, but was moved back up to second team after making plays Saturday.

“The biggest thing now is just to get them in condition because in the past Georgia just played in the 3-4 defense whereas we’re playing multiple defenses,” Rocker said. “We’re doing a variety of things so we need to be leaner and faster and we’re learning different concepts. It’s getting them in better shape and getting their mind focused on that we’re going 100 miles an hour, you’ve got a lot of information right now.”

Safety Tray Matthews and cornerback Devin Bowman joined DeLoach moving to the first team on Tuesday.

DeLoach, Matthews and Taylor were arrested before spring practices for “double-dipping” UGA-issued tuition checks, but their discipline hasn’t been announced.

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