March 21, 2013

Time well spent

Quarterback Aaron Murray said the week he took off to work with quarterback guru George Whitfield in Norman, Okla. was time well spent.

According to the fifth-year senior, he didn't make the trip to change anything specifically, only to perfect the skills he already has.

"That isn't something we wanted to do," Murray said after practice Thursday. "It was more of just tweaking a few things here and there and do a bunch of drills."

Of the drills, Murray said one was simulating throws over taller defensive linemen, something he admits he's struggled with before.

"Sometimes you try to throw over a defender but you don't get the nose of the ball down and it winds up sailing on you," he said. "So we did a lot of practice on keeping my arm up, extending that finger down and getting the ball to rotate back down into the receiver's hands or over the DB's finger tips."

He also learned a little trick that may increase the velocity with which he throws.

"A lot of that stuff of me driving my left elbow through the throw and really using that torque and that momentum has not only helped me to create some more velocity on my ball, but also given some more accuracy as well," Murray said. "It was a great week. Like I said, we didn't throw my whole form out the window and start new, we just tweaked a few things her and there and work on a couple of things."

Murray said eschewing spring break with his teammates was something he doesn't regret doing.

The quarterback laughed that he's had his share of fun over the years, but putting himself into the position of having a senior year to remember meant more.

"I've had my share of fun, I've been here for four spring breaks, had my summer vacations and it's my last chance before I leave here," Murray said. "I've said multiple times I want to win a championship and this is my last opportunity to that, so I want to make sure I'm completely ready to go."

Just don't look for Murray to make a return trip to Norman anytime soon.

"It is not Athens at all. It's very flat, very windy and it's not very pretty at all," Murray said. "I'll never live there; I'm sorry for everybody who lives in Oklahoma. I'm not trying to be mean, but it's definitely not the place you want to try and go on vacation."

Beating the drums for an IPF

Over the past couple of days, Murray has been on Twitter attempting to drum up support for an indoor practice facility.

"That would be great. I was pampered for the week," Murray said. "We got to use Oklahoma's indoor facility and it's nice to have, especially when it's cold and windy, not have to worry about anything."

Prior to practice, head coach Mark Richt was asked if he cared to chime in.

"Football's an outdoor sport," Richt smiled. "We don't want to get soft around here."

Richt was speaking with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

In fact, the Bulldog coach explained that when he first took the Georgia job, an indoor facility was an option.

"When I first came to Georgia there were plans to get it done," he explained. "But there were so many other things we needed before that and were more important."

That said, now that the Butts-Mehre Building and the team's current practice fields have been upgraded, Richt said he would like to have one, but only if it could be built at the team's current facilities.

"I'd love to have one. If we were to have one I'd love for it to be here (at Butts-Mehre). If it was going to be a mile or two miles away, not within walking distance, then I don't want it because one of the benefits of having it would be if we start practice and lightning strikes nearby or wherever they say it's not safe, we'd roll right in," Richt said. "But if you've got to stop, load up a bus and always have a bus waiting there just in case, I don't think it would be worth it. But it would be nice to have what we have and add another 100 yards to it. It would be nice."

Murray said not having a full-size indoor practice facility certainly has its drawbacks.

"I think it definitely hinders us a little bit. If you're in season and its lighting and raining, and even in spring practice where if you've started and you can't get it back," he said. "If it starts lightning and raining, it stinks that you have to cancel practice when you're midway through it where if you had a full field … I'll probably get in trouble for saying this."

Jon Richt gets his chance

Richt's Jon, who played collegiately for Mars Hill, got to work out for scouts Thursday at Georgia's Pro Day.

"Jon was there to throw to Tavarres (King) and Richard Samuel," Richt said. "Sometimes if you don't have a quarterback set up they'll have a scout out there or a position coach out there slinging the ball, while talking about what kind of route they want you to run. If you rehearse it, a week or two in advance it gives you confidence so I'm glad he was able to help."

Richt said he was proud watching his son perform for the scouts and personnel representing the NFL's 32 teams.

"He's grown up a bunch and I thought he did extremely well," Richt said. "He threw the ball outstanding and I think he took the Wunderlich and scored well. It was a good day for him."

This and that

Richt said starting right tackle John Theus (foot) should be able to return to practice next week … Murray said he's dropped about seven pounds, part of a plan to get his playing weight down to 206 or 207. … Backup quarterback Hutson Mason says he's about 85 percent after coming down with "Dengue Fever" while on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic over spring break.