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August 8, 2008The sight of Knowshon Moreno in a green jersey didn't initially signal a level of concern. But following Friday's workout at the team's Woodruff Practice Facility, head coach Mark Richt acknowledged that his star running back has a sore left shoulder and will be held out of contact when the team begins two-a-day workouts in full pads this morning.
Richt could not speculate how long he might take it easy with Moreno, but said the injury was not a significant one and that he would "definitely start the first game."
"It's been kind of a nagging shoulder. I don't know if it means a whole hill of beans out there," Richt said. "He won't get tackled if he stays in a green jersey but when we do our Thud stuff it's hard for him not to get run into or bump into somebody trying to go through the line. He could be in there on a tackle day, but they just can't tackle him to the ground."
Richt said Moreno would have played today if Georgia would have had a game. "When he's working Tony's (running backs coach Tony Ball) drills and whether he's going through the blaster or just any kind of drill where you might practice pass protection on that side, Tony can see that he's favoring it some," Richt said. "Knowshon's not a guy who is going to go to the trainer and say his shoulder hurts a little bit. It's more of a coach's discretion on that one."
Richt said he never would have known that something might be wrong with Moreno if somebody had not told him.
Is Green the best Richt's seen?
A.J. Green has yet to take a snap for the Bulldogs but already he has opened Richt's eyes. So much so, in fact, that Richt went as far to say that the Summerville, S.C. native is unlike any player that's signed with the Bulldogs in his eight-year tenure at the University.
"I think he's got a special ability to go along with his physical ability," Richt said. "There have been none that have been at Georgia since I've been here; I'm not saying he's the best one but there's no one we've had that's like him."
Green flashed that ability during the early part of Friday's workout when he ran a 20-yard corner pattern, reversed his footing before leaping toward the sideline, his arms outstretched, to haul in a bullet from quarterback Matthew Stafford.
"Just ability wise, he's outstanding, but let's let him make a few plays before we don him anything," Richt said. "But he's sure fun to watch practice and compete."
Glenn making his move
Add another name to the potential list of players who may start at right guard: How about true freshman Cordy Glenn?
Friday, Richt said that Glenn (6-5, 315) has caught the eye of offensive line coach Stacy Searels so much that the former Riverdale star is getting snaps with the first team along with Justin Anderson and Tanner Strickland.
"Right now, we're just trying to find the best five and right guard especially has been in flux more than any other position," Richt said. "Cordy has a big ole body and he's got some great punch. He's not totally lost. Of course, he's got another lineman standing by him telling what to do, but there's nothing wrong with that at all."
Richt also addressed the rest of his offensive line. Chris Davis continues to get most of the snaps at center, with Vince Vance at left guard, Trinton Sturdivant at left tackle and Kiante Tripp at right tackle. Richt added that Glenn, along with sophomore Clint Boling, has also seen action at right tackle. Freshman center Ben Jones has continued to impress and the coach said that backup left tackle Josh Davis has "flown under the radar a little bit."
"It's not like the other guys don't have a good attitude or are not trying real hard," Richt said. "But so far nobody has caught the eyes of the coaching to suggest that he's legitimately fighting for a starting role or a lot of playing time."
Harmon getting a workout
Freshman defensive tackles A.J. Harmon and DeAngelo Tyson are quickly learning that life in Rodney Garner's world is no picnic in a field full of flowers. More like a walk through a mine field. The work is hard, the demands are many, and Garner's attention to detail is almost legendary to those who frequent the team's Woodruff Practice Facility.
"It's been shocking, truly. Probably more so for A.J. than for DeAngelo," Garner said. "It's been shocking."
Harmon agreed. "It's tough, man, it's tough," said Harmon. "I love Coach Garner to death, but it's tough. But he wants us to be the best that we can. We know we have to keep working hard."
Garner says that goes for youngsters and veterans alike. Garner didn't let Jeff Owens off the hook during one particular drill Wednesday, asking the senior if he wanted to move to the offensive line.
"They withered a little bit in practice but I was proud of the way that they came back," Garner said. "But overall I wasn't very pleased."
Harmon has been getting the bulk of Garner's attention.
In February, the Wadley native was told he had to get his weight down to 315 or Garner threatened to move him to the offensive line.
Harmon told UGASports that his weight was down to 322, a number Garner responded to with a raised eyebrow.
"Yeah, he said 322, but I asked him what we weighed before practice. He said that he didn't know, so that made me a little scared right there," Garner said. "You don't know? I don't know what that indicated. Either he's real heavy or he's got another issue going on."
Don't get the idea that Garner is giving up on Harmon, however. On the contrary:
"The pace of the game is so much faster than they're used to, the guys so much more athletic and he came in a little heavy. I told him that was going to hurt him and I think he's finding that out," Garner said. "Everybody at this level is big and strong, so you'd better be athletic and you'd better be quick and move. Being a freshman and not knowing what to do you're more cautious, more tentative and you're not going full speed."
This and that
The Bulldogs being two-a-days at 8:30 Saturday morning before returning at 4:30 in the afternoon. ? backup defensive back wide receiver Tavarres King (left ankle), defensive tackle Brandon Wood (foot sprain not related to his Achilles injury), Nick Williams (hip flexor) and Neland Ball (pulled muscle) did not practice, nor did wide receiver , who Richt said will rest from time to time so not to re-aggravate the foot he had surgery on last spring.