September 20, 2011

No more taking chances

Running backs coach Bryan McClendon said Tuesday evening there won't be any more questions regarding if freshman Isaiah Crowell will or will not have to wear his rib protector moving forward for the Bulldogs this fall.

He's not going to have a choice.

"The rib protector that he has he should have worn, but toward the end of the week I'm sure it felt Ok to him, and thought 'hey, I don't need it' but then it got whacked again pretty hard and he realized that he did need it," McClendon said. "The bottom line is he's got to wear it until I tell him he doesn't have to."

McClendon said ball security is the main reason Crowell wanted to try and play without the device.

But after taking another shot to the midsection for the second straight game, he's not to going to chance an injury moving forward.
"The biggest thing with those runners you want them to make sure they feel like they can secure the ball," McClendon said. "Obviously, the best feeling they get is where the ball is against their body. That's what is a little bit different, but he's doing well. He's had them on all week and he's going to wear them in the game."

Tyson denies he was injured

There appears to be difference of opinion as to why senior defensive end DeAngelo Tyson did not play in last week's game against Coastal Carolina.

In his post-game press conference, head coach Mark Richt suggested that the Statesboro native didn't play due to what was described as a back strain.

After practice Tuesday, Tyson said that wasn't the case.

"I didn't have an injury," said Tyson, creating somewhat of an awkward moment when talking to beat writers.

"I was just told I wasn't able to play because of what was going on, but I'm doing whatever I need to do to get back on the field," said Tyson, who did not elaborate further.

When asked if his absence was due to a disciplinary situation, Tyson said "mmm mmm." When asked if he was going to play in Saturday's game at Ole Miss, he replied "Uhum."

Earlier, Richt was asked about Tyson's availability for the contest.

""We are very hopeful that DeAngelo Tyson will be back. I can't remember exactly, but I think we are hoping for him to get a little scout team work today if I'm not mistaken," Richt said. "He won't do the inside drill and the 11-on-11 stuff. I think that's where he is at today."

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham maintained the stance that Tyson was indeed injured.

"He was dinged. He was dinged. No, he was dinged," Grantham said.

When it was suggested that Tyson was adamant about any injury, Grantham responded "Ok, I'm just telling you he was dinged."

One thing Grantham and Tyson did agree on was that his absence was not about any disciplinary measure.

"No, no, no, he's all right," Grantham said. "He's a youngster. He was dinged. He was, he was."

No doghouse for Malcome

Contrary to popular suggestion, McClendon said redshirt freshman Ken Malcome is not in any kind of "dog house."

Despite last week's 59-0 win over Coastal Carolina, Malcome only received one carry in the lopsided contest, while backups Carlton Thomas and Brandon Harton received 15 and 11 rushes, respectively.

"No, no, not at all. Definitely not. He's definitely not in the dog house," McClendon said. "It's just like I've said before, it's all based off of production. The only thing coaches understand is what people do on the field as far as playing time goes. Those guys make my job easy. You earn what you get and you get what you earn."

McClendon pointed to Malcome's myriad of recent injures as the biggest reason for his lack of playing time.

"Right now you just want Ken to keep progressing. The thing is Ken got set back so much. He got to practice the least out of everybody in that room during camp which set him back," McClendon said. "I know he gets sort of frustrated with it at time, I get sort of frustrated with it at times, but he's just got to keep progressing. The bottom line is the guys who produce the best are the guys who are going to get in there. That's the fairest way to have things and that's the way that it is."

This and that

During his press conference earlier Tuesday, Richt was asked about giving backup quarterback Hutson Mason some additional playing time based on his solid performance against Coastal Carolina (6 of 9 for 68 yards, one touchdown). "Right this second I wouldn't want to make a comment on that. We haven't really gone any further with that discussion, not to say we won't before the week is over. I'm talking about Mike Bobo and myself," Richt said. "But Hutson is practicing well, he's playing well. He really runs our system well, and he's earned playing time in my mind. How we'll manage that, I'm not ready to make any promises I can't keep." … Both Richt and Grantham suggested that junior Shawn Williams will remain at linebacker at least until both Christian Robinson and Alec Ogletree are able to return from their respective injuries. Richt did say he expects Williams to move back to safety once they do. … Georgia moved its practice from natural grass to FieldTurf on Tuesday, a two-and-a-half-hour session in full pads. The Bulldogs have practiced almost exclusively on their two natural grass practice fields this fall since the expansion of the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall complex.

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at