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2 Georgia players angry over teammate's rant

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2 Georgia players angry over teammate's rant

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) There's some bad blood on Georgia's defense - and not just because the 12th-ranked Bulldogs have been a disappointment on that side of the line.

Two players took issue Tuesday with a rant by senior safety Shawn Williams, who accused the defense of playing ``soft'' and added that inside linebackers Alec Ogletree and Amarlo Herrera should never come out of the game.

Their backups, Michael Gilliard and Christian Robinson, were not pleased.

``He said my name without saying my name,'' Gilliard complained. ``I took that personal. I feel like when another man calls me soft, it's disrespecting my manhood. The only thing I'm going to do is go out there and deliver. He gave me motivation.''

Williams told reporters after Monday's practice that he's fed up with the play of the defense, which was expected to be one of the nation's best but has given up at least 20 points in every game but one. He said everybody deserves a share of the blame, adding that ``we're just not playing with the same attitude we were last year.'' While several players said Williams' criticism was justified, his apparent praise for Ogletree and Herrera was clearly a sore point to the next two guys on the depth chart.

``No football player wants to hear they're soft,'' Robinson said. ``That's not the way I would go about it.''

It will be interesting to see how Williams' comments affect the biggest game of the season, the showdown Saturday against No. 3 Florida. The Gators (7-0, 6-0) can clinch a spot in the Southeastern Conference championship game, but Georgia (6-1, 4-1) would gain the inside track to Atlanta with an upset.

Coach Mark Richt spoke with Williams on Tuesday and conceded that he would have preferred for the criticism to be kept behind closed doors. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said Williams spoke with the entire team before practice, addressed the situation and it's now a ``non-issue.''

Gilliard said he got a chance to speak with Williams one-on-one as the players were getting taped for practice. The safety apologized and said he meant nothing personal, but that did little to soothe the hard feelings.

``When you said it, I feel like you mean it, especially when you tell the media,'' Gilliard said. ``Obviously it was on your mind and in your heart, so you meant it. If he feels that way, I'm just going to prove him wrong. That's what I did today (in practice). I tried to prove to this team that there's nothing sweet over here.''

Clearly feeling the team needs to get more physical, Richt held practice in full pads, a rarity at this point in the season.

That gave Gilliard a chance to work out some of his frustration.

``You best believe on Saturday, I'm going to be ready,'' he said. ``The defense as a whole, we're going to be ready. We had a great day of practice. We flew around the ball and tried to hit hard. Anything that moved, I tried to hit it. That's what I'm going to continue to do the rest of this week.''

Notes: LB Jarvis Jones (sprained ankle) practiced Tuesday but Grantham said it's still too soon to say how much the Georgia star might play against the Gators. Jones sat out last week's 29-24 victory at Kentucky. ... DE Abry jones did not practice because of injured left ankle and is unlikely to play against the Gators. NT John Jenkins could get some work on the outside, and junior Garrison Smith will also help fill the void.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

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Five observations from Redskins preseason victory over the Jets

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Five observations from Redskins preseason victory over the Jets

Here are my five key observations from the Redskins’ 15-13 preseason win over the Jets.

— It was good that the offense clicked well in the series that Alex Smith was in the game. He was a crisp four of six for 48 yards. It wasn’t good that they couldn’t get the ball into the end zone and that Smith exited after that one series. I know there were concerns about Geron Christian being at left tackle instead of Trent Williams and Smith did get hit pretty hard on the first snap of the game. But after the starting offense sat out the preseason opener I think they needed to go for another series or two.

— The starting defense was in for two series with mixed results. The first Jets possession ended with a three and out with Daron Payne getting a third-down sack to close out the series. The second time, however, Sam Darnold like a drive that covered 42 yards and resulted in a field goal. The rookie completed passes for 13, six, 11, nine and six yards in the drive and looking every bit like the phenom that Josh Norman talked about in Richmond this week. The starting defense was good against the run, allowing 13 yards on six carries in the two drives.

— It looked like WR Cam Sims’ roster bubble was about to burst in the second quarter when he had a Colt McCoy pass in his arms in the red zone with no defender within a couple of yards of him. But the ball popped up in the air and the Jets’ Doug Middleton accepted the gift interception. But later on, he caught a key third down pass between two defenders. In that same drive he made another catch surrounded by defenders and he held onto it when he hit the ground hard. But the touchdown was called back by an illegal formation penalty. Then on the next to the last play of the game, his 20-yard reception set up the game-winning field goal.

— Tim Settle continues to impress. For a couple of drives in the second quarter the Jets’ offensive starters were up against the Redskins’ second-team defense, including Settle. The rookie manhandled former Redskins center Spencer Long on a few snaps and beat some double teams as well. Settle didn’t just impress against the run. He got a couple of pressures on Darnold and nearly got a sack. They will have to find snaps for him in the rotation if he keeps this up.

— The final word here is on playing time. For the most part, the Jets’ starters played the first half. For the Redskins it was one series for the offense and two for the defense. I have to wonder how ready this team with a new quarterback under center will perform coming out of the gate. They will be playing with fire if they don’t sweep their first two games against the Cardinals and Colts. Gruden is 0-4 in season openers as the Redskins coach. I have to say that I’m skeptical that his method of preparing the team for Week 1 will work.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler.

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Instant analysis: 5 field goals lift Redskins past Jets

Instant analysis: 5 field goals lift Redskins past Jets

LANDOVER, MD — Here is my instant analysis of the Redskins’ 15-13 preseason win over the New York Jets.

— Alex Smith started the game and so did most of the other players who are expected to start Week 1. Rob Kelley was at running back, Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson lined up at receiver, and the offensive line was intact — with the exception of Geron Christian playing left tackle. Vernon Davis was the tight end. 

— Smith moved the team efficiently on the first drive, completing four of six passes for 48 yards. He converted one third-and-9 by finding Doctson in a big soft spot in the Jets’ zone for 11 yards. On third-and-goal at the 4, he threw a pass a little behind Trey Quinn; it was catchable but not easy and Quinn couldn’t handle it. A field goal made it 3-0. After that 11-play, 71-yard drive, Smith and most of the rest of the offensive starters left the game. 

— Ten of the 11 regular defenders started the game, the exception being Matt Ioannidis. In his first series in a Redskins uniform, Daron Payne stopped the drive with a sack on third down. After that three-and-out, they weren’t as effective against Sam Darnold on their second possession. The rookie was sharp leading a 12-play, 42-yard field goal drive. 

— The first time Samaje Perine touched the ball, he ran for 30 yards off left tackle, following a nice block from J.P. Holtz, a tight end who was lined up at fullback. Since they released the only fullback on the roster last week, TE as FB is likely to be the plan. Perine then left the game with an ankle injury. He did not return. 

— There were some special teams gaffes in the first half. Dustin Hopkins hit the right upright on a 35-yard field goal try but it went through. On the ensuing kickoff, though, the kick went out of bounds. Later on, Byron Marshall put the ball on the ground on a kickoff return but replay showed it that he was down. So there was one costly miscue and two near-misses. 

— The Redskins backup defensive unit was back on its heels in a second-quarter drive with most of the Jets’ offensive starters in. They ended the drive when Danny Johnson make a good tackle to force a third and one. The Jets went for it and Darnold’s pass was tipped by Deshazor Everett and intercepted by Troy Apke. Tim Settle dominated in the middle, usually matched up against former Redskins center Spencer Long. 

— It was bad news, then good news for rookie WR Cam Sims in the second quarter. First he had a pass in his hands for a first down in the red zone but the ball popped out without him being touched and the pass was picked off. On the Redskins’ next possession he made a nice catch between two defenders for a 27-yard gain on third-and-10. Later in the drive he made a leaping catch in the end zone, but a penalty negated the TD. He has been inconsistent in practice in Richmond and is carrying over. 

— The Redskins had some red zone woes in the first half. The had three shots from there and settled for field goals every time. They also had the situation where Sims had the pass in his hands in the red zone before it popped out for an interception. 

— Long shot Martez Carter got his name on the board with a runs of nine and then 30 yards, showing blazing speed around the corner on both runs. He remains a long shot but speed like that will get you some attention. 

— Third QB Kevin Hogan was able to lead a scoring drive on his first possession but it was done mostly via Carter’s runs and the first application of the new helmet rule in a Redskins’ game this preseason, a flag that went against the Jets. The next two possessions he went two for three for seven yards and the Redskins went three and out both times. 

— The Jets kicked a late field goal to take a 13-12 lead. Hogan had a chance to bring them back and got them into Jets territory. Then Cam Sims made a 20-yard grab to set up a 40-yard field goal attempt. Hopkins hit it as time ran out to give the home team a 15-13 lead. 

— The win doesn’t mean anything but it’s always more fun to win than to lose. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler