What’s the verdict on Stafford?

David Hale of the Bulldogs Blog makes a good point about the way UGA fans feel about departed QB Matthew Stafford: “I’d be willing to wager there isn’t a player in recent history Georgia fans are more split on than Stafford … People either love him or hate him.”

Hale thinks that comes from Stafford’s inconsistency throughout much of his career. That’s certainly a factor,  but I believe the level of hype that accompanied Stafford’s arrival in Athens guaranteed that anything less than an SEC and even national championship during his time behind center would be viewed as disappointing.

As I’ve said here before, Stafford and Knowshon Moreno might have been the most talented quarterback-tailback tandem UGA has ever had, but they’ll probably never enter the pantheon of Bulldog immortals because they left school early without achieving what the Bulldog Nation expected of them.

What’s your take on Stafford? The most talented Georgia QB ever? An overrated player with a cannon for an arm but not much else? A potentially great quarterback who never quite fulfilled his promise before heading off to a lucrative pro career?

I wonder if those who dismiss Stafford’s UGA career now will feel differently about him if he wins a Super Bowl down the road.

221 comments Add your comment

Dawgdays

June 24th, 2009
2:05 pm

Dawgdays

June 24th, 2009
2:06 pm

too early to say, I would say that his pro career would influence your decision either way…

Scott

June 24th, 2009
2:20 pm

My thoughts are here…www.im-thinking19.blogspot.com

old gold engineer

June 24th, 2009
2:24 pm

None of my business, but just out of curiosity, does anyone know how close Stafford and Moreno were to graduating? And Bill, as a college sports fan (although not really a UGA fan), I appreciate the prolific blogging of late.

And the answer (opinion) is:

June 24th, 2009
2:27 pm

They will never enter the pantheon of Bulldog immortals because they left school early without achieving what the Bulldog Nation expected of them.

ghost dawg

June 24th, 2009
2:27 pm

best we ever had. What is over looked is how much improvement he showed every season he played., He would have a stellar senior season had he stayed A major loss for us when you look at the weapons he would have had in the freshman coming in.

Mac

June 24th, 2009
2:28 pm

He was a talented player, who worked hard, and wasn’t the second coming of Superman. I’m glad he was a Dawg and wish him success at the next level.

CDawg42

June 24th, 2009
2:30 pm

Better than decent but give me David Greene any day to win a big game.

Too Easy

June 24th, 2009
2:33 pm

Overworked topic.

Old Dawg

June 24th, 2009
2:36 pm

I was disappointed he left after his junior year. Not just because he would have been great for UGA, but too many QBs who don’t play four years of college ball are flops in the NFL. He had some great games, especially Auburn his freshman year, but he didn’t lead very well in the third quarter agains Tech last year.

Overall, a great talent, but inconsistencies in personal and OLine production limit my appreciation for Stafford as a Bulldog. I wish him well in the NFL.

Class of '98

June 24th, 2009
2:36 pm

Greatest ever? No. Most talented? Certainly. He didn’t win enough to be the greatest ever, but I’m proud of him and wish him the best.

Blackberry Cobbler

June 24th, 2009
2:36 pm

Has the arm to be a very good NFL quarterback. At UGA, he never had the offensive line needed to realize his full potential. At UGA, it was better last season but for the most part was plagued by receivers who dropped way too many passes.

Okefenokee Dawg

June 24th, 2009
2:37 pm

I don’t care for blogs that invite negative comments about players – past or present.

Money

June 24th, 2009
2:38 pm

O-line sucked…enough said…I want to cry when I think about all that the Dawgs could have accomplished had our line not been so beat up last year…

BruffDawg

June 24th, 2009
2:39 pm

He will be remembered for what he was. A 5 star prospect who gave us great expectations that were never quite met. Good or bad, that will be his legacy. If he wins a superbowl it will be as a pro.

pensacola dawg

June 24th, 2009
2:40 pm

Old Gold
what a stupid question can you say forty nine million…dah

grid_Fe

June 24th, 2009
2:40 pm

I think he is the most talented QB that Georgia has ever had. Unfortunately for him, he was never provided with enough good players to lift Georgia to a championship. He threw to mediocre WRs most of the time that he was there. The best offensive line that he had was as a freshman, and they were nothing to write home about. I think Stafford did a great job despite the shortcomings of the team around him.

gomdawg

June 24th, 2009
2:43 pm

Stafford could have been the best QB to play at Georgia but he went Pro . So lets get on with 2009 season , Bring on Oklahoma State “GO DAWGS.”

I wish Stafford success...

June 24th, 2009
2:43 pm

…and at the same time wish he had been more successful here – if you call 31 – 9 (I think) “unsuccessful”. Still, I would say he was above average, at best, though not anywhere near superstar status though he could still win that Super Bowl down the road. But, just like P. Manning and M. Jordan, his college career will always be considered “above average” and not spectacular because he did not lead the team to the promised land, despite all the hype.

Regarding Moreno, he, too, was above average. But nothing spectacular. And he did himself no favors by taking himself out everytime he got tired (which seemed to coincide with everytime he got them inside the 20 yard line) until he got called out on it late in the season. And, I will never forget how he allowed the UF linebacker to stuff him on the first carry last year, because he freakin’ stopped running and made the hit look much more than it was, and then let the guy lay on him to rub it in – which set the tone for the rest of the day! He lost much respect in that game, in my estimation!

I wish Stafford success...

June 24th, 2009
2:46 pm

…and, yes, I know Jordan led UNC to a NC his freshman year – what I meant was he was NOT Michael Jordan until he got to the pro’s!

Dan

June 24th, 2009
2:47 pm

I think he is a good quarterback but I would also take David Greene. Greene may not have have the ability that Stafford has but he certainly had more intangibles…

bull-gator

June 24th, 2009
2:48 pm

He was a good college QB with a rocket for an arm. From my limited perspective he exhibited questionable leadership skills. It seems to me it was all about Stafford, not the team. Maybe it was the offensive line, the play calling, dropped passes on critical downs or a combination of all three, but the hype never materialized in the way of championships. He’s a cut below Fran, Buck, and Eric.

Varsity Veteran

June 24th, 2009
2:50 pm

Aaaaahhhh, here we are…once again.

All the hand-wringing over the “unrealized potential” and “unfulfilled promises.” And, all the fleabag fans squabbling over…”Where’s my GD ring” Staffy ?????

Neither Staford nor Moreno gave a rats azz about UGA, or the fans. They were there just to try to get to the next level. It showed in their play. No passion, no heart, no leadership. Stafford was well known on campus for “brushing off” fellow students and fans. Paycheck players like Stafford DONT MAKE IN THE NFL. Neither do “soft” RBs like Moreno. The guy just cant take a hit. Seriously.

Think that sounds crazy? Just compare Tebow as a “Florida” guy to Stafford as a “Georgia” guy. No comparison really, on or off the field.

Varsity Veteran

June 24th, 2009
2:54 pm

NFL veterans wont take kindly to a rookie QB with a “paycheck” attitude.

Staff is gonna get BU-LASTED in Detroit.

Will

June 24th, 2009
2:55 pm

great QB, terrible leader, thought arm strength could make up for a lot….he was wrong.

RxDawg

June 24th, 2009
2:56 pm

“Hale thinks that comes from Stafford’s inconsistency throughout much of his career. That’s certainly a factor, but I believe the level of hype that accompanied Stafford’s arrival in Athens guaranteed that anything less than an SEC and even national championship during his time behind center would be viewed as disappointing.”

This. Part is his fault because of turnovers. But mostly it’s because of special teams and defense, the other 2/3 of the team.

E

June 24th, 2009
2:58 pm

Uh, what about David Greene? Winningest starting QB in College Football History. If we measure greatness on wins, is there even a discussion to be had here?

southgadawg88

June 24th, 2009
2:58 pm

It is a bit of a shame we never got to see Stafford with a solid line and good WR’s.I thought he played his best last season even though he took more hits than he ever had at UGA.Kinda reinforces the notion that in the end it is a “team” sport …sometimes you have great players but the team is lacking in enough areas to fall short of greatness.I wish him well,he came to play every time he took the field and did nothing to discredit himself or the University during his time at UGA..he was a DGD.

UGA4Life

June 24th, 2009
2:59 pm

People that say they would take Greene over Stafford or sick! Put Stafford on the teams that Greene had and UGA would have a National Championship! Greene was overrated with a great team around him and Stafford is underrated with a average team around him.

Dorsey Hill

June 24th, 2009
3:00 pm

He should be remembered as the most gifted QB that every played at Georgia whose development and success was hindered by the lack of an adequate supporting cast. He should be remembered as the only #1 NFL pick we’ve had in my memory at least. (I think maybe Trippi is the only other #1 overall.) He will likely be the first NFL All-Pro QB from UGA since Tarkenton. Had the OL remained healthy, the TE position been adequately manned and a decent back up to Moreno been developed in ‘08, we may have had a very special year. I only hope that Aaron Murray will be able to show what UGA can be when all the pieces are there. If we can get a couple of quality DT’s signed up in Feb. and get some production from the TB position our future is very bright.

bushwacker

June 24th, 2009
3:08 pm

I think Stafford is going to be the next Marino or Elway in the NFL once he leaves Detroit, but its hard to argue against Eric Zier as the greatest Bulldog QB.

bigdawg01

June 24th, 2009
3:11 pm

He was a really good QB, but if he had stayed and played with a better o-line, things could be different, but oh well. He stated that he wanted the fastest way to the NFL, and he did just that.

Staffords biggest knock will be inconsistent throws…more so over throwing the receiver, but BY GOD when he was on target he was masterful. I wish him success, and cant wait to see him throw again.

However, he was not the best. I too would take Greene, who had the best fake in the game.

E

June 24th, 2009
3:14 pm

I am not saying that Greene was a better physical specimen than Stafford. But you can’t give Stafford the golden ticket because he “didn’t have the supporting cast” HUH? MoMass, Knowshon, AJ Green. I guess those aren’t enough weapons for Stafford. Maybe the TEAM was better when Greene played but you can’t discount what Greene did as a leader. Stafford never had that leadership quality. So to answer Bill’s question, UGA’s greatest quarterback for ME is the person who the most games for UGA, and that is David Greene. Will Stafford have the better overall career, including NFL experience? Well all he has to do is start one game in the NFL and the answer will be yes, but David is still better as a UGA QB, results don’t lie.

Detroit & Michigan Are Bankrupt

June 24th, 2009
3:16 pm

If you look at all of the past examples of “grossly-over-hyped” junior or senior QBs taking as #1 Draft Pick, they have ALL crahsed & burned.

As an athelete, he sucked. His attitude sucked. His leadership sucked. His decision-making sucked. All this talk of “arm-strength” is pure BS.
He sucked on the field, and off the field. The guy is HOLLOW.

Stafford is a prima-donna who’s gonna get mauled in Detroit.

The hype will crash and burn, B-A-D-L-Y in Detroit.

bigdawg01

June 24th, 2009
3:16 pm

Stafford was not a leader at all. However, the 08 team was full of followers, no one lead.

GT Class of 97

June 24th, 2009
3:16 pm

Here is my vote- an overrated player with a cannon for an arm but not much else. He has got millions and millions of reasons not to care, though. But anyone who thinks he lived up to the hype is smokin some serious crack. I think its funny to read comments from people saying he didn’t have enough talent around him to succeed. Really? ehhh, really? Look at all of the great RB’s, TE’s and WR’s he’s played with. I’m pretty sure that there were a lot of better college QB’s that didn’t have as much talent to work with.. Joe Hamilton comes to mind.

Moose

June 24th, 2009
3:19 pm

I feel the same way Varsity Veteran. I don’t think Stafford or Moreno gave Dawg fan’s what we deserved, especially Moreno, look at how he took himself outta games at crucial times(08 Ga-Fla). I feel like they thought they were above the rest of the team, just look at their play in 07 , they dominated the game then when The Bulldawg Nation embraces them and is really counting on them to help UGA win a NC, they show us what UGA meant to them. Nothing. They both walked around like they were larger than life, like they were the only 2 on the team. Compare them to Green and Pollack, they got the same kind of praise, but they never slacked off, they both played their hearts out, gave it everything they had on every down. It was all about getting to the next level for Staff and Moreno, trying not to get hurt so they could get their payday. I don’t feel like either one of them will be remembered here in 4 or 5 years, because in my opinion other than have a few great games at Ga, thay really haven’t done anything worth remembering. And another thing even though Stafford got that huge signing bonus for being the #1 pick, I had to pay extra $$ to get his autograph on a Ga helmet and then more $$ to have it signed to me. The only reason I paid the extra $$ was because he was the #1 pick in the draft and not because he was from UGA.

GT Class of 97

June 24th, 2009
3:19 pm

I am a little surprised that Cooter aka Uncle Jessie is writing this type of negative blog on his beloved Dawgs. I see you still haven’t gotten rid of the Sally Jesse Raphael glasses, Bill.

bushwacker

June 24th, 2009
3:19 pm

Oh yea, forgot about David Greene, but I agree, he had great players around him, Stafford and a great RB but mediocre talent everywhere else, and a defense that wasn’t very good and cost them more wins than anything else.

Ben Roethlisberger

June 24th, 2009
3:20 pm

There’s no friggin way that some candy-ass junior year rookie QB in Detroit is getting paid more than me. I’ve got two Super Bowl rings.

Halsey

June 24th, 2009
3:20 pm

Stafford worked hard, stayed out of trouble, and just represented the University well. Fans that hate him are idiots. Not only did he do well as a Bulldog, but he brought a lot of national attention to the program by having a good career and getting drafted #1 overall. High School QB’s looking for a place to go will take into consideration the fact the a UGA went #1 overall. Stafford is part of the reason UGA was able to go into Florida and get Aaron Murray. He’s also part of the reason a guy from Cali like Nick Montana would look at UGA.

SEC

June 24th, 2009
3:21 pm

The reason Stafford left was simply the money. His only QB competition was Mark Sanchez a one year starter. really? This next draft will have bradford and mccoy. For him personally and financially it was a smart move. Kid had a ton of talent but i really just dont think his heart was at UGA his junior year.

Tom Brady

June 24th, 2009
3:22 pm

Shut Up, Ben. I own you.

There’s no friggin way you or this Stafford punk deserve more then me.

Hell, I…AM…THE…NFL…you bunch of pretenders.

John

June 24th, 2009
3:22 pm

He’ll always be a Bulldawg and we don’t forget that. I’m glad he came, but…
But he won’t be up there with the legends. For better or worse, QB’s are measured by championships. He got zilch. And left the team with a loss to Tech. Brutal.

I think he had more raw talent than any other guy in recent history, but his heart was always at the next level. Sometimes he reminded me of the “one-and-done” college basketball players.

GT Class of 97

June 24th, 2009
3:22 pm

Bushwacker, how about AJ Green and Massaquoi? I think they’re pretty good. And aren’t some of his old TE’s in the NFL now. Which would make them pretty good.

Broad Street Al

June 24th, 2009
3:25 pm

Moose: Suckerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr !!

Huh?

June 24th, 2009
3:26 pm

Great quarterback. Worked hard. Made some boneheaded throws every now and then, but most of all was a great asset to the team. He will be missed and would and would have had a dominant senior season at the college level, but you cannot fault him for taking the NFL money. If you do I would submit that you are a total flipping hypocrite, with all due respect of course. You would have done the same thing if you were in his shoes.

Stafford was what he was. There’s no need for this “greatest ever or total bust?” nonsense. Please leave that to the crappy AJC writers Bill. You’re better than that.

Best GA QB Trick

June 24th, 2009
3:29 pm

Eric Zeier: Master of physcial flexibility.

Managed to put his foot in his mouth…all the way up to his hip.

45-42 mutts. LOL

Can't remeber all of them

June 24th, 2009
3:31 pm

Don’t want to say “over-rated” but he never had the BIG drive … never put the team on his back and won it … D. Greene at Tennessee & Auburn, Johnson at TECH, Lastinger at Texas.

Another Yellow Jacket

June 24th, 2009
3:32 pm

Zeier, Green, Shockley- all 3 were better than Stafford at UGA.