April 1, 2009

Gamble sees positives with move

Darryl Gamble leaned backwards in his chair and rapped on the side of the wall inside the Georgia's team meeting when the subject was broached about the Bulldogs' injury problem at defensive end.

"Let me knock on some wood," smiled Gamble, who made his "debut" at rush end for the Bulldogs in Monday's scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.

Gamble laughed Wednesday, saying he had no idea that he would tried out at the spot until he showed up for the scrimmage and told to give the position a try.

"That was the first day. They came to me in the meeting and said "You're going to play rush end,'" Gamble said. "I said, OK, if you all tell me what to do. At first they were going to switch me in and out but when Jeremy (Longo) got hurt I got all the reps without getting any Sam reps."

Defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said Gamble more than held his own.

"We did it mainly because of need but he's really natural and we're going to keep on experimenting and obviously try to get reps to help ourselves and Darryl's a smart player," Martinez said. "He can play all three of our linebacker positions and when we lined him up there he understood it which we expected because he's an experienced guy and he's smart."

Gamble said it was the first time he had ever played defensive end since he was back in elementary school.

"I was the tallest guy in elementary so they had me play defensive end," Gamble said. "But it's really the same as the linebacker blitz from the outside, so it wasn't that big of a deal."

Gamble said don't rule out the Bulldogs using a scheme or two with him at defensive end this fall.

"I think it's a scheme we could probably use," he said. "I'm not saying we will, but it looks good. It will help us more than it will hurt us and we'll get more guys rested."

Atkins gets ready for his "other" sport

Georgia won't practice again until Friday but defensive tackle Geno Atkins isn't taking the afternoon off.

Atkins, along with the rest of the Georgia track team, will travel to Atlanta Thursday for a dual meet against Georgia Tech.

Atkins has thrown the shot put for Georgia the past three seasons.

Wheeling enjoying the opportunity

Walk-on defensive tackle Brandon Wheeling said Wednesday he's enjoying his time getting a few extra reps this spring.

With Jeff Owens and Brandon Wood out with injuries, Wheeling has been rotating with the No. 2 group along with Ricardo Crawford while Kade Weston, Atkins and DeAngelo Tyson rotate with the first unit.

"We've got a nice little rotation going right now," Wheeling said. "Every now and then I'll sneak in and get some work with the (first unit). I'm just trying to show the coaches what I've got."

Teammates have praised Wheeling's work ethic and haven't ruled him out of getting a few snaps in the fall.

"I'm just trying to show everyone what I've got," Wheeling said. "The first thing I try to do is come off low, get that first step on the ground and go from there. I'm just trying to make sure I'm doing the right things."

This and that

Linebackers coach John Jancek said that Marcus Washington has been moved up to No. 2 Mike linebacker behind starter Akeem Dent and ahead of Marcus Dowtin. … Sophomore Nick Williams said he has been moved from Sam linebacker to backup Will behind Rennie Curran. ... Sanders Commings and Makiri Pugh continue to get looks at short corner and along with their normal duties at nickel back. … Georgia held its annual "Teachers Appreciation Day" Wednesday where teachers and other UGA staff got to watch practice and enjoy a dinner following the workout.

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