March 16, 2010

Murray has 'glove' for the game

Got glove?

Quarterback Aaron Murray does.

Being from Tampa, the redshirt freshman, who is battling for the starting job with the Bulldogs, never considered wearing a glove to throw but after a happenstance incident back in February, Murray has decided to give it a try.

"The temperature was in the 30s, I was doing some passing with the receivers, it was freezing and somebody just happened to give me a glove to keep my hand warm," Murray explained. "I used it and I liked it. I found out I could get a good grip on the ball. The next week, I tried it out again and it felt comfortable. I felt that I had more control of the ball."

Murray may not be giving it up.

With the blessing of offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and head coach Mark Richt, Murray said he will continue to use the glove throughout the spring - and if all goes well - perhaps even use it in regular-season play.

"I tried it about a month before I talked to Coach Bobo and Coach Richt about it and they said if I want to try it, then spring is the time to do it," Murray said. "Again, I felt I've had more control of the ball the first two practices, throwing spirals and everything like that."

Glove-wearing quarterbacks is turning into more of a norm for NFL signal-callers, particularly those from cold-weather climates likes Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and New England's Tom Brady.

"This was just something that happened by chance," Murray said. "You never think about it getting cold in Georgia, but for the month and a half I've used it, it's worked out pretty well."

Bulldogs "rusty" in return

Georgia's first practice back since coming back from spring break predictably left a little bit to be desired, according to Richt.

"We looked rusty, but again the players seem very eager to learn and very eager to prove to the staff that they deserve to play and are working hard to learn what to do," Richt said. "I've got no issue with their effort."

When Georgia returns to the practice field on Thursday, Richt said his Bulldogs will practice in shells before donning the full pads for the first time this spring on Saturday.

"We're going to tackle just a little bit," Richt said. "We're not going to go crazy that first day (with contact), but the rest will be full speed."

Running backs continue opening eyes

Richt said he's been impressed with the competitive spirit being displayed by running backs Washaun Ealey and Caleb King thus far in practice.

"I like what we've seen with Caleb (King) and Washaun (Ealey)," Richt said. "Carlton Thomas has been practicing extremely well. He's competing, and he's not just going to sit there and watch comfortably. He's having a fine spring. I think we'll see more of what Dontavius (Jackson) can do, because he was injured most of last season and now he looks healthy."

Thomas is currently running as the top backup behind Ealey and King, but he's not necessarily giving up the idea of playing time this fall.

On the contrary:

Thomas said he's anxious to prove to coaches that he can play a big role in the offense this fall, be it in the backfield or perhaps as a slot receiver if asked to do so.

He added he's also looking forward to testing former backfield mate Richard Samuel, now at outside linebacker.

"I'll run in anyone's direction," Thomas said. "I'm not backing down from any challenge."

New D helping offense

Much has been made about the changes that are being made with Georgia's new 3-4 defense.

Bobo said the change is helping the offense as well.

"It's a little bit of a challenge when you've gone against the same defense for the last nine years. You've got a lot of familiarity with them, and so do your players," Bobo said. "Now, you've got a new scheme and it's a little different from the norm that you see every week."

But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

In fact, Bobo believes the lessons his offense is learning now will serve as benefit once the season begins.

"There's more teaching on the run, but I think it's really good because it's teaching us to communicate better up front and at the quarterback position. It's a challenge identifying all those guys but I think it will help us in the long run.

This and that

Fullback Fred Munzenmaier (shoulder) was the only Bulldog wearing a green, non-contact jersey during practice Tuesday. … A.J. Harmon received a number of reps at left tackle during team drills, drawing praise from assistant Stacy Searels. … Tavarres King worked with the first team at wide receiver. … Richt said that quarterback Logan Gray will likely continue serving as the team's "safe" return man on the punt team

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!