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Dawgsports at the 2009 Pigskin Preview, Part 2.

Yesterday I brought you the first part of my quick notes from the 2009 Peach State Pigskin Preview, hosted by the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon. Yesterday's notes centered on the offense (Aron White's progress, etc.) and the arcane (Bill Curry's conspicuous dearth of lackeys).

Today I'll focus on the defense. Remember, these are just the quick hits. I'll be back with more in-depth stuff (quotes and statistics and such) over the next few weeks. It's not like we have a whole lot else to talk about.

On the defensive line as a strength of the team: Coach Richt noted that Deangelo Tyson may be the only guy in the defensive tackle rotation who's not a senior (including West Georgia transfer Brandon Wheeling). Perhaps this says something about Ricardo Crawford and Brandon Wood, or perhaps he just forgot to mention them. I'm not sure which.

On safety depth: I'll have more on this later, but suffice it to say Coach Richt thinks we'll be fine. Bryan Evans seems to have found a home, if Quintin Banks comes back healthy he'll contribute immediately, and Nick Williams may crosstrain at will linebacker and safety, because the coaches think he's athletic enough and has a good enough grasp of things to do that. Also lots of positive comments about Reshad Jones, especially his leadership of the defense. As long as his tackling improves I'll be satisfied.

On safety John Knox's return to Athens: Coach Richt says it's not likely. Somebody asked him for a reason. Coach Richt replied "because I have my reasons." Next question . . .

On where the defense is strongest: A lot of coaches like to play defense from the middle of the field out, believing that if you can't control the A-gaps you can't control the rest of the field. Coach Richt thinks that with Jeff Owens, Geno Atkins, Rennie Curran and Reshad Jones we're very strong up the gut, and that's important.

On the general health of the defense: Coach Richt couldn't think of a single guy on defense who shouldn't be ready to go when they start fall camp. I honestly cannot remember that ever being the case in Athens. 

On uber-recruit Branden Smith: He'll work primarily at corner. They may give him a shot on offense at receiver, but he'll have to learn to play corner first.

On linebackers moving to defensive end: No permanent moves at this point. Darryl Gamble might see action at defensive end in the nickel package. Darius Dewberry may see time at end, but it will depend on how he progresses during August.

If you have any specific questions about certain players or issues, feel free to ask in the comments. I may well have left some things out yesterday and above just because so much ground was covered.

Until Free Form Friday . . .

Go 'Dawgs!!!