Todd Grantham will be the first one to tell you there's tons of work still to be done in regards to getting his Bulldog defense ready for the 2010 campaign.
However, in terms of getting accomplished what he hoped to this spring, Georgia's first-year defensive coordinator said he's been pleased.
"We accomplished what we wanted to. We have a good understanding of our players, what they can do and how they best fit our system. They know our terminology, they know our base concepts," Grantham said. "Obviously, we're going to start back over now with Step 1 and do it again, but overall I've been very pleased with our guys' attitude, our guys' effort and I look forward to getting back and working with them in the fall."
Several players stood out in his mind during Saturday's 17-7 win by the Black squad.
Linebacker Akeem Dent was among them.
"I would say I was pleased with Akeem Dent and I was pleased with our corners for the most part. I think those guys have really stood out over the last little bit. I saw Justin Houston make a play today, so without really watching the film I really noticed that a little bit," Grantham said. "Overall, I was pleased with the first group."
One play didn't bring a smile to Grantham's face.
In the second quarter, Black team wide receiver Rantavious Wooten picked up 16 yards on an end around, much to Grantham's chagrin.
However, when the Black squad attempted a similar play during a subsequent series, the Red Team defense stopped the play cold.
"For me the whole thing is you've got to work the game and it was a situation there in the second quarter when they busted out a run because it was a poor fit. The offense actually came back and ran the same play the next series and we stopped it for no gain, but that's what you've got to do in this field," Grantham said. "I was pleased with that, I was also pleased with a couple of route pickups we had. But the biggest thing with me, and this has been an adjustment for the players, my big thing is you've got to work the game and that means you've got to adjust to what's just happened to you. You've got to go over the plays you've just saw and you've got to handle them the next time. If they were successful, they're probably going to run them again so you've got to be ready to stop them."
Junior DeAngelo Tyson was one of three players who saw time at Nose Saturday, along with Kwame Geathers and Derrick Lott.
Tyson made three tackles from the position and recovered a fumble by Carlton Thomas while Geathers helped knock down shifty quarterback Logan Gray for a 2-yard loss.
"I think we played with excitement and we played with intensity," Tyson said. "We knew our assignments but we still didn't play to our full speed because there are still some things we're trying to learn. We're not at full speed yet, but we'll come back this summer and hit the play book. We'll be doing things full speed soon."
Linebacker Marcus Dowtin had the game's only interception, while the two teams combined for seven sacks, including two by Sam linebacker Cornelius Washington.
Grantham said he expects his defense to create that same type of pressure this fall.
He hopes Bulldog fans will do their part as well.
"We need to make sure that stadium becomes benefit to our defense because if they're loud with the things we're going to be doing it's going to be very difficult for an offense to change plays and change protections," he said. "When we're at home and loud, the opposing offense has to go on a silent count so that means everybody's moving on the ball so basically the advantage the offense has is no longer there so I encourage our fans to be as loud as they can from here on out."
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