ATHENS — A warm and absolutely gorgeous day greeted the Georgia Bulldogs on the occasion of their first visit to Sanford Stadium on Saturday. Unfortunately, every member of the team was not present to enjoy the moment.
Natrez Patrick, the beleaguered rising-senior inside linebacker, was not present during the eight-minute media observation period. It was not immediately known whether he would be present later or was absent with permission. Patrick has been reinstated to the team for the 2018 season after missing six games last season due to substance-abuse suspensions. He entered treatment after an arrest following the SEC Championship game and missed both of Georgia’s College Football Playoff appearances.
Head coach Kirby Smart has never said whether the disciplinary issues that sidelined him in 2017 will carry over into this season. He is expected to be the starting “Mike,” or middle, inside linebacker this coming season.
In the meantime, junior Tae Crowder lined up at the position when the Bulldogs shifted to 11-on-11 work for the scrimmage. Crowder is a converted tailback who was switched to defense before the 2016 season. He played in all 13 games last season, primarily on special teams, and finished with seven tackles.
Saturday was the Bulldogs’ last competitive scrimmage before next Saturday’s G-Day Game (ESPN, 4 p.m.). They’ll hold two more practices this coming week.
Some other observations from Period 2 of Saturday’s workout:
- Construction was continuing on the West End project even as the Bulldogs practiced. The new scoreboard, which is 30 percent larger and was moved 30 feet to the North, was operating and showing the team down and distance.
- The quarterbacks looked sharp during the brief viewing period. It did not appear that even one ball touched the ground delivered by Jake Fromm, Justin Fields or Stetson Bennett during pass-skeleton drills. The quarterbacks took turns in that order, with Sam Vaughn and John Seter also getting reps.
- Sam Pittman and Jim Chaney appeared to be taking particular enjoyment in the full-pads, full-contact opportunity. Chaney, working with the tight ends and tackles on a blocking drill, was praising his group for the sound of “leather popping” as they warmed up in the West End Zone before the scrimmage.
- D’Andre Swift on the side with Zamir White, so evidently Swift not participating in scrimmage.
- Justin Young was back was back with the defensive line. Michael Barnett was not back.
- On the D-line, it looked like Daquan Hawkins-Muckle going first team at noseguard, at least based on the line order in drills. Julian Rochester and Jonathan Ledbetter were also going first team. The second group was Tyler Clark, Devonte Wyatt and David Marshall.
- The O-line appeared to be the same, but Kendall Baker was also working some beside Solomon KIndley, an indication Baker was still getting some first-team work at left tackle.
The post Georgia linebacker Natrez Patrick missing in action for Saturday’s scrimmage appeared first on DawgNation.
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