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

Sanjaya and Rosie O'Donell Love GT

June 24th, 2009
5:14 pm

Teachers orders: In order to safely get to class; run left, run right and run up the middle.

larrymunsonthe3rd

June 24th, 2009
5:17 pm

He is gone and joe c is the quaterback i wish him well lets keep the dawg talk about current players not former player and what might have been!!!!!!

jeff

June 24th, 2009
5:18 pm

why would we feel different if he wins a super bowl????? he could not win the SEC East. It’s always been about the NFL for him. UGA was a necessary step in the process- if he had his way, he would have preferred to go straight to the NFL. who cares if he wins a superbowl….bottom line…we should have gone after Tebow or someone else that WANTED to play college ball

Long Dawg

June 24th, 2009
5:18 pm

Hey bee boy. Licked anybody’s nectur lately? You are wearing the strap alright. You’ve been strapped 59 times and 7 out of the last 8. How does it feel to be owned and ignored?

Little Dawg

June 24th, 2009
5:24 pm

yeah, we don’t care about Clemson, Va Tech, Florida State or Miami.. Its all about UGA. Sure. What is so pitiful about your program is that you actually consider Florida to be your biggest rival. That team that “ownes” you. Some rival that is. Pot, meet kettle.

Little Dawg

June 24th, 2009
5:25 pm

You tell me. How does it feel to be owned and ignored by Florida? Come and get the strap little man- its in Atlanta near all of the muggers. Beotch.

Little Dawg

June 24th, 2009
5:27 pm

You don’t “owne” us anymore since PJ arrived and you sure aren’t doing a good job of ignoring me on this blog. Wrong on both counts. State champs.

bank walker

June 24th, 2009
5:34 pm

Stafford was a pretty good QB for us, not stellar. Although having tons of potential, he lacked the drive to be mega successful. I hate to say this, but if he had the desire to win like Tebow, he would have been awesome! I appreciate the time he put in at Georgia, and wish him a very prosperous pro career.

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 24th, 2009
5:38 pm

WHHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Keep taking them to school Little Dawg.

Spence

June 24th, 2009
5:51 pm

Anyone that thinks Knowshon didn’t play with heart is a complete moron. No discussion necessary.

Here is a great blog post on Staff:

http://im-thinking19.blogspot.com/2009/06/stafford-was-pretty-good.html

Bulldog Bob

June 24th, 2009
5:53 pm

As a college QB, Stafford was mediocre at best. Great potential but it was never realized due to his o line and terrible receiving core. I would take Greene and Shockley over Stafford anyday. I don’t think stafford embraced the UGA team and leadership role the way he needed too. I believe that Joe Cox will give 1,000% every play and all season. Stafford never really showed any moxy in motivating his team (Blackout vs. Alabama last season).

DOUG

June 24th, 2009
6:01 pm

To me Stafford will be remembered as a player who had all the tools including brains but did not have a supporting defense to help him out.
Had we had a division 1 caliber defense (D coordinator) Stafford would have been far more respected. I think we tend throw off on guys who don’t win SEC titles. Stafford was great. Guys with big guns take longer to utilize the strength they have. He will be a star in the NFL. Unfortunately he will have a janother junk defense again in Detroit.

Long Dawg

June 24th, 2009
6:03 pm

Ok you bunch of nectur lickers, change the subject to Florida. I could bring up your record vs Florida State but that would be cruel.
We also lead in the Florida series. I am not talking about me ignoring you I am talking about fan support you nit wit. You guys can’t fill a 55,000 seat stadium unless your are playing Georgia. You have to hire an outside company to sell tickets for you and you have to basically give them away because nobody but a bunch of nectur lickers like you would be caught dead at a Tech game unless they are playing Georgia.
You guys are pitiful. You win one game ever 7 years and then s__t your pants against LSU and you wanna run your mouth. Lap that nectur boys till you get your next beating.

BIG DAWG

June 24th, 2009
6:17 pm

just go play gardner-webb… and win by one!!! and learn to count, at least to 4

BIG DAWG

June 24th, 2009
6:19 pm

heard brain oliver talking on tv the other day, didn’t understand a word he said, but i did hear him, didn’t he go to the smartest school in the country??

Dawg Days

June 24th, 2009
6:55 pm

Its not relevent what he does in the NFL regarding his play at UGA. He never reached his “potential” while at UGA. You can make the arguement that he was always playing behind a young offensive line, but I saw plenty of bad balls from him when he didn’t have any pressure. He was just inconsistent and threw a difficult ball to catch, and I don’t mean too much juice on it. They would be low, high, out front, behind the receiver, rarely would he hit a receiver in stride. There’s no virtue for having a cannon if it can’t hit its target…I wish him well in the NFL, but it won’t change anything about how he played at UGA.

SoCal Dawg

June 24th, 2009
6:55 pm

Greene was greatest. Stafford had the most unreached potential. OVERRATED!

Bulldog Bob

June 24th, 2009
6:57 pm

Tech deserves our recognition for a prophalatic program!!!! or is it prolific? I know they can engineer one of the aforementioned.

Central Fl Dawg

June 24th, 2009
7:00 pm

In my heart Eric Zier and David Green were the 2 best QB’s in recent history. Matt Stafford had his opportunity to become the best, but squandered it all. Stafford certainly was talented, no question about that, but both Green and Zier had better leadership and decison making abilities compared to Stafford. As sad as it is, all the hype (and the hope by UGA fans) that Stafford had when he came to UGA was never fullfilled. Zier and Greene never had the hype, they just produced beyond everyones expectations.

GO DAWGS SIC ‘EM

jg

June 24th, 2009
7:37 pm

as i read these words it becomes clear that not many people on this damn blog played football, except in the back yard. lets face it stafford played behind a line with 2 true and 1 redshirt freshman and led the sec with 3,450 yards passing he also threw 25 td,s .even cmr said since i have been here ,we have not caught the ball. if tony wilson catches the ball in the sc game in 2007 , the hardware in in the case as we would have destroyed lsu and ohio state.look at our defense since bvg left. how many games did uga win in those years holding teams to less tha 17 pts. fla is much stronger now .stafford played behind average lines and had average pass catchers (until last year)when our best is a true fresh.there is a reason that he went # 1 overall .Ga had the best team in the usa in 2007 we just didnt get to play for it.people that say stafford is overated are just flat out ignorant and are perhaps the same brain surgens that say coach mark is on the hot seat. as i read these lines i think there should be a chip inserted into your tv and make you answer 8 out of 10 questions before one is allowed to watch college ball .other wise just watch the abc news ,or the hill street blues or the nba and leave the comments to people that know better.

Timmy Teebs

June 24th, 2009
7:49 pm

Stafford was overrated and will flop in the NFL. No touch on on short or on swing passes. Good riddance!

GT Dog

June 24th, 2009
7:50 pm

Gotta love it! Over the two years that they were the established starting Qbs at their respective schools, their records were virtually identical with one exception. And that exception was largely beyond their control. OVERALL RECORD: 21-5 v. 22-5. CONFERENCE RECORD: 12-4 v. 13-4. BOWL RECORD: 2-0 v. 1-1.

Of course I’m referring to Stafford v. Teebow. Very simlar results, with the exception being that UF won the SEC East and played for the MNC last year. How close did UGA come to being in that game 2 years ago?

2 college QBs, in the same conference at the same time…almost identical performances…one is hailed as possibly the “Greatest College FB Player Ever”, while the other is dismissed as a failure?

Go figure…

Lets be honest

June 24th, 2009
8:07 pm

Damn… You dirt dobbers are still on here (RAMBLE ON)? Still talking about your one hit wonder? Once again, 1-0 vs 7-1. Dirt dobbers are good at math. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Lets be honest

June 24th, 2009
8:19 pm

Little Dawg – “What is so pitiful about your program is that you actually consider Florida to be your biggest rival. That team that “ownes” you.” Sounds familiar. Please!! We own Tech and you know it. 1 win…wow. Try 7-1 BWAHAHAHAH!! Answer me this. What is the longest winning streak in the UGA vs GT? What is the overall record? Who is your biggest rival? Here, I’ll give you a hint. A team that OWNES you. LOL!!!!

weston

June 24th, 2009
8:34 pm

Miss Ramble On, you’re on this blog even if your blogger is NOT on vacation. Nice try dumb broad.

Stafford is GONE. Why does it matter what he does in the NFL? Geez will football season ever start?

Dawg_Em_Out

June 24th, 2009
8:36 pm

i like what stafford did for uga, though i think he wont go down as the best ever in uga history. thats far fetched imo. i think stafford will have a tough time in detroit, though could it get any worse for the lions than last season?

AltamahaDawg

June 24th, 2009
8:38 pm

Did anyone cover the “it” factor yet?

weston

June 24th, 2009
8:49 pm

>>You don’t “owne” us anymore since PJ arrived >>

Now that’s funny. What is your definition of “own” then? One 3 point win over UGA? If so then LMAO. Since 1980 UGA has beaten Bug Univ 21 times to 8. I call that “own”. It’s the same kind of lopsided dominance that FL has had over UGA since 1980. In other words, GeeTee is UGA’s beeotch.

dawgbuzz

June 24th, 2009
9:02 pm

The NFL experts judged Stafford to be the better quarterback. Being the #1 pick and being given a contract worth $41.7m means something. History may prove them wrong but the betting money is obviously on Stafford. Where is Greene now? Greene had the greatest of college careers and Dawg fans love a winner but Greene played on teams that played as teams. TN didn’t win the National Championship with Peyton Manning but with T. Martin. Joe Cox has a chance to win more games than expected with a cohesive team. Last year, Stafford excelled but there was no way to overcome a makeshift OL and an indifferent defense.

Dawg in VA

June 24th, 2009
9:15 pm

I like Stafford and will be a fan of his in the NFL. We had some nationally prominent teams with him, but some hard luck to go along with it. However, while he may be the most talented Bulldog QB ever, the guys who’ve won championships need to lead the list – Belue, Greene, Shockley and a few others. I love Zeir too even without the titles. At the end though, if you’re talking about the Bulldog QB who went on to the greatest pro career, hands down that’s Fran Tarkenton.

HH

June 24th, 2009
9:30 pm

A question of overrated or simply undercoached?

Camden Mark

June 24th, 2009
9:46 pm

Frans the man alright.9 allpros,7 pro bowls,NFL MVP etc.
Like Tarkenten I think Stafford will make a better pro than collage QB.
When Cox finishs up this upcoming season I think folks will be wondering why he wasn’t the stater all along.

My take

June 24th, 2009
9:54 pm

Stafford – Can you say John Elway, the good arm and the bad inconsistency.

Moreno – Barry Sanderish, all the moves, no top end speed. Great between the tackles and making the first man miss. If healthy a potential starter within 2 years. A few pro bowl’s or at least a top ten rusher in the league. If his body holds up, those backs only have so many carries in them.

S.E. Dawg

June 24th, 2009
10:13 pm

Many on here say that Stafford didn’t care. I certainly remember the night at Alabama, in overtime, Mickey Henderson hauling in the winning score thrown by Stafford. If I remember correctly Stafford threw his helmet off running wide open to be one of the first in the dog pile. If he didn’t care he would have arrogantly walked off the field with the body language of, look what I did.

And I guarantee that if anyone offered you $41,000,000 to bypass your junior year you would take it in a heart beat.

Dawg79/83

June 24th, 2009
10:13 pm

I liked Stafford initially. He never seemed to improve. I also never really saw him getting coached on the sideline. I saw him talk on the phone but never really saw him have commardeship with other players. Maybe I’m wrong. I wish him the best.

NashvilleforUGA

June 24th, 2009
10:27 pm

Varsity veteran, i’m not sure what RB you were watching but Moreno was actually the heart and soul of the offense, high motor, got straight up and ran back to the huddle after being hit hard, created most of his yards on his own….I’m not sure what else you could ask for from a running back. What i’m reading on here are a bunch of hypocrites….tell me if you were sure that you would go in the top 15 in the draft coming out as a junior that you would not turn pro and I’d call you a damn liar….I don’t fault Moreno or Stafford for going pro early. Stafford is probably the most talented QB UGA has ever had, but the truth is only one QB from one school can win a national title each year….those aren’t good odds. If you are judging by that then Stafford is not the greatest. If you are judging by him doing more with less than alot of QB’s we’ve had then yes…Green had two NFL draft picks to throw to, that actually caught the ball. Stafford didn’t have that kind of supporting cast. I wonder what the career completion and win % would be had the receivers caught the ball when the ball was thrown perfectly. Enough of this talk though, is it football time yet?

Coach D

June 24th, 2009
10:57 pm

My thoughts on Stafford:

It always seemed to me that Stafford had kind of a business mentality that works for the pros but not college. I think Stafford’s way of ” leading” was ” hey if you do your job and I do mine, we’ll be successful”. Granted, it’s not the emotional cheerleading of a Tim Tebow, but when the players around him did their assignments like they were suppossed to; and when Stafford stayed within himself instead of trying to force things,I felt he lived up to the hype. When he tried to do too much, he was very mediocre and at times horrendous.

Also, I hate to break it to everyone, but not everyone is cut out to be a leader. Some people have it and some people don’t, and that is as true on the football field as it is in any other profession. Leadership is always kind of a subjective argument anyway. There are more than one way to achieve the same goal, and the “best way” is the one that gets the job done. Nick Saban wrote in his book that his championship team at LSU had a “wolfpack” leadership mentality, meaning every member on the team worked on being the best they could be individually and in doing so, it produced a bunch of players that were self-motivated to be the best.They didn’t wait on other people to lead them, they pretty much led themselves. It’s nice to have a star Michael Jordan or a Tim Tebow to motivate everyone by their play,but that’s not a luxury every team is going to have. At some point every member needs to be accountable for a team’s success. That’s what wins championships.

Pete

June 24th, 2009
11:08 pm

Yes he is talented but talent also means being a good leader and motivator which he was below average. I loved to watch him throw the ball but I’ll take Greene or DJ any day to lead a team. Let’s forget about it, move on and look for good things from Aaron Murray.

Delvis

June 24th, 2009
11:14 pm

David Greene could connect on the long pass which helped to beat Bama in Tuscaloosa. Stafford could not hit the deep pass. He would throw it 20 yards too deep every time. The receivers were spotty at best for Greene. I choose Greene and Zeire. Stafford made some wonderful throws but also made some bone headed decisions. To be successful in the Pros, Stafford will have to have a great offensive line and be able to hit the deep pass. Calvin Johnson will have to run routes over the middle, which until now, he can’t do.

dan

June 24th, 2009
11:52 pm

This is in response to previous bloggers who fussed at Bill King for singling out poor Matthew Stafford. The guy has $41million of GUARANTEED money in the bank, and we’re supposed to be sensitive of his feelings? Forgive me if I don’t feel sorry for “poor Matt Stafford”, when there are millions of people out of work in this country.And I’m sorry, but criticism comes with the territory. If I was making $41 million I wouldn’t give two damns what anyone on an AJC blog said about me: good, bad or other.So why would Stafford care? Does anyone actually think he’s reading blogs in Atlanta, a place he doesn’t even live anymore? I’m pretty sure he has more important things to do like be a franchise QB in the NFL. So I say the hell with all the self righteous critics Bill! I think this is a great summer blog topic.

Showdog

June 25th, 2009
12:10 am

Cannon arm,but if he thinks throwing into double and triple coverage produced bad results in the SEC,just wait until those NFL CBs get to him. He was still trying to make stupid throws after Three years,that he was making as a Freshman. I hope he finally gets it,but for now he’s a million dollar arm with a 10 cent head.

Coach BoBo

June 25th, 2009
7:11 am

Fear is brewing in Muttville…

bigshot

June 25th, 2009
7:18 am

Great talent and has all the tools, but he was selfish. Stafford was all about making himself look good. He did not come to UGA to win championships and he used UGA to get his ultimate goal of becoming a pro qb.

Dawg Fud

June 25th, 2009
7:56 am

damn good dawg. i wish him the very best at the next level. no division or conference titles so the stat book is irrelevant. however, he would have shattered the 400 yd games record had he been more consistent. that tells me he still has a lot to learn and should be fun to watch in the pros.

GO DAWGS!

Dawg Fud

June 25th, 2009
7:57 am

bigshot – there is nothing wrong with having goals. would you turn down an opportunity to play for Mark Richt is you were a highly touted QB? that’s why he came UGA…duh.

emdawg

June 25th, 2009
8:00 am

One of the best arms UGA has ever seen. He could make throws many excellent QBs could only dream of. He was severely handicapped his entire 3 years with a undermanned and inexperienced O Line. This often led to hurried and ill advised throws.and odd interceptions. He also did not have a true game breaker with experience at WR. MoMas was good but not a real burner that put pressure on a defense and eliminated double coverages. We can only guess what he could have done with a bigger and more experinced A J Green along with the other weapons. Such is the life of a Dawg fan waiting till next year. When will next year come?

NoVols

June 25th, 2009
8:35 am

Certainly not the best the school has ever had at the position. Stafford may have been the most naturally gifted or talented player. But that does not make him the best. His career has to be looked at as a bust. He made strides towards improvement each season while the team declined during his junior campaign. Many other quaterbacks at UGA have done more with less. And the entire offensive effort was geared towards improving Stafford’s draft status. When did Georgia become a spread offense? How many times was there an empty backfield and four or five wide-outs? Bobo was going to make sure Stafford had the chance to get the Bulldogs a win. Still came up short overall. He’ll be a nice pro, but you cannot honestly say he’s the best UGA quaterback ever. That’s a slap in the face to a lot of other quaterbacks who may not have been as physically talented but accomplished so much more.

OSDawg

June 25th, 2009
8:38 am

Stafford never seemed to quite get over that hump that kept him from being a great QB. As you stated, that hump being consistency. He missed the long man many more times than he hit, and his strength made even the short passes difficult to catch. His mechanics seem sound and his strength is above all others, and he’s smart, but he doesn’t have the touch with the football as David Green, nor the leadership or determination.

His time at UGA was just another period in history that won’t stand out in my mind as dominate. However, I’m certainly giving respect to CMR for putting together 10+ wins seasons, though. Stafford was overrated and accomplished nothing more and possibly less than any starting QB during CMR’s time at UGA.

I’m as hardcore as any UGA faithful, but it’s good to see a change and I’m looking forward to Cox’s leadership and ability come through on the field. He has determination like no other. If one of the new kids comes through, that’d be great too. It’d be nice to see a QB as highly regarded as Stafford have a shot to do what Stafford couldn’t accomplish with an SEC Championship and a potential run at the MNC. I had gotten burned out and disappointed with Stafford.

It’ll be nice to see our TEAM pulling together as a TEAM again, instead of it being the Stafford/Moreno show. There’s been too much focus on those two for a team to act as one unit. A TEAM mentality and good health will contribute to another great season put together by CMR.

September can’t get here fast enough.

OSD

response to I wish stafford success

June 25th, 2009
9:07 am

Dude you are an idiot. First of all, Michael Jordan was considered the best college in the country during his time at North Carolina. So don’t act like his career was a disappointment there, he was on the cover of every major magazine every year. Secondly, Stafford and Moreno were both great players in my opinion. To say you lost respect for Moreno for a hit he took from a player is flat out stupid. Its one play man and thats football. Nobody wins every battle. There was a play later in the game where he absolutely jooked Spikes out of his shoes.

I get so sick of so called GA fans bashing on Stafford and Moreno because we had a disappointing year. Sure the expectations were high, but we had so many issues on the O-line, defense, and penalties to be a championship team. And don’t forget, we’re not losing to rags of a team. Florida and Bama were both top five teams all year long. Tech was a horrible loss because of our defense, not Stafford who threw for over 400 yards and 5 Td’s. He was the only person on our team who actually showed up that day. (and Massaquoi). Stafford is one of the best we’ve ever had in my opinion. The inconsistency was not there in 2008. One bad game vs. Florida cannot sway someone’s opinion on his entire career. Moreno was absolutely spectacular. Any UGA fan who doesn’t think so is retarded. What he did for our team in 2007 and 2008 was unbelievable. No doubt they are the best QB-TB tandem ever at Georgia.

Dave-O

June 25th, 2009
9:21 am

Stafford wasn’t that great folks. A strong arm yes, but I felt his entire collegiate career was just a stepping stone to the NFL. As a dawg fan I almost feel used by him. Moreno gets the grade for me as running backs don’t have the same sort of shelf life other football players have. For 3 years it just felt like Stafford was going through the motions, never getting fired up, never being a leader, always trying too hard to not screw up. He should have been trying to win the game, to carry the team, to be “the man”. Sort of like a certain heisman QB residing in Florida. I hate Tebow as much as the next GA fan, but I’m not going to delude myself-I would have taken him over Stafford as a college QB. These kids play off emotion and leadership, Stafford was just getting tail, drinking, and thinking about the dollar signs. Georgia will be much tougher to beat as a team and not a highlight reel.

Stafford holds no special place for me in Georgia lore. DJ Shockley was twice the QB Stafford was in my book. Greene is probably my favorite recent QB. Stafford will be an afterthought, time to move on folks. Let’s get ready for the fire Cox will bring, and the youngsters that will hopefully get UGA the attitude and luck needed to get to the MNC.