ATHENS -- The Georgia football team returned to the practice fields Tuesday for the first time in 12 days with a two-hour workout in shorts and helmets. It was the second of 15 spring practices that will culminate with the annual G-Day game April 10.
Despite the layoff, Georgia coach Mark Richt was pleased with the effort.
"I thought the boys were kind of rusty, and I guess you would expect that coming off Spring Break," Richt said. "I thought practice actually improved as it went on, but we looked rusty.
"They are very eager to learn and to prove to the coaching staff they deserve to play. They're working hard and learning what to do. I have no issue with their effort at all, and their attitude is pretty encouraging."
With three new defensive coaches, a major emphasis in the first two practices has been fundamentals as the Bulldogs implement a new defensive scheme.
"Everybody loves to teach fundamentals, and everybody has a little bit different way of doing it," Richt said. "Our coaches are trying to set up fundamental drills that will help them be a better football player. There are a lot of things new out here right now, defensively especially."
Richt also noted he has been impressed with Georgia's running backs after two practices.
"I like what we've seen with Caleb (King) and Washaun (Ealey)," Richt said. "Carlton Thomas has been practicing extremely well. He's competing, and he's not just going to sit there and watch comfortably. He's having a fine spring. I think we'll see more of what Dontavius (Jackson) can do, because he was injured most of last season and now he looks healthy."
Earlier Tuesday, Georgia held its annual NFL Pro Day, which gave the seniors from last season and the underclassmen who declared early a chance to work out for scouts and administrators from NFL teams.
Georgia will return to practice today in shells before wearing full pads for the first time Saturday.
The April G-Day game is slated for 2 p.m. at Sanford Stadium and will be televised live on CSS.