Greene: Cox has met the challenge

Advice to Joe Cox: Keep it up. (Jeremy Scott / Special)

Advice to Joe Cox: Keep it up. (Jeremy Scott / Special)

It would be tougher to play a better game than Joe Cox did last week, joining the elite group of Georgia quarterbacks who have thrown five touchdowns in a game.

So I asked another member of that club, former Dogs great, David Greene, what advice he’d have for Cox to avoid a letdown after his big game against Arkansas.

“I’d tell him to just ice his shoulder and do what he did last week,” Greene said with a grin. “Joe is playing some really good football right now.”

Especially, Greene, said, when you consider the situation Cox was put in after backing up Matthew Stafford for three years. “It’s hard to fill the shoes of the most talented quarterback to ever set foot on this campus. But Joe has clearly answered the challenge. He’s doing an outstanding job.”

Greene, one of the most beloved UGA QBs and now retired from the NFL and working on the Georgia football pregame and postgame radio broadcasts, was the featured speaker at today’s Lunch With the Dawgs hosted by voice of the Dogs Scott Howard at the Melting Point in Athens.

Greene noted that the biggest challenge facing the Dogs as a team right now is reducing the number of turnovers and penalties. He recalled that when he was playing for Mark Richt, if he threw an interception, “I was running the stands five times for every pick,” so he knows the current Dogs desperately want to eliminate the problem.

“Trust me, Coach Richt does put a big-time emphasis on protecting the ball,” Greene said. And, he noted, “at least the things we’re messing up on are things that can be corrected.”

Looking at Saturday’s game against Arizona State, Greene said when you think of the Sun Devils, you think of the passing game, and with rain forecast for game time, “I think that’s going to play in our favor. I think we’ll be able to run the ball [in the rain] better than they will. If it pours down rain, I’ll be one happy camper. I know Joe Cox won’t be. No quarterback likes to throw a wet ball. But I think the rain will help Georgia.”

Greene said the South Carolina game was the first Georgia game “I’ve ever really been to as a fan. I told a friend, it’s a good thing when I was a player I didn’t know all the stuff that goes on, or I’d have been really nervous. It’s incredible how fired up and excited everyone is.”

So far, he said, this season “has been fun to watch. We’ve turned the ball over three times every game and yet we put 52 points on the board last week. That’s incredible.”

Talking about his own playing career at UGA, Greene singled out four games as high points: the 2001 win in Knoxville, the 2002 game at Auburn, and the LSU and Florida games in 2004, his senior year.

He said the 2001 battle with the Vols was “my first away game as a quarterback. I was 18 and too stupid to know what I was going into, so I wasn’t nervous.” That is, until during a TV timeout when teammate Jon Stinchcomb, one of the offensive linemen, said to him, “Hey, Greenie, look how big those guys are.”

On the “hobnail boot” pass to Verron Haynes, he said, Richt instructed him to throw it to the open fullback if UT had two safeties and, if not, to throw it into the stands. When Tennessee lined up with two safeties, Greene said he was excited and also extremely nervous. But “in my four years there was not an easier play.”

The touchdown pass against Auburn that put Georgia in the 2002 SEC championship game was “one of the most exciting moments of my life,” Greene said. But when the play was called for Johnson, “I knew if I just threw it up there in a decent spot, he’d go up and get it.”

Greene said that contrary to what he and all the other players always tell the media, certain games do get circled on the calendar, and for him one of them was LSU in 2004, because Nick Saban’s national championship team had beaten the Dogs twice the previous season. “That’s awful to lose to someone twice in one year. I wanted to beat LSU at home worse than anybody.”

And then there was the win over Florida that season. Another game he said he had circled. It was “so gratifying, a good feeling” to finally beat the Gators, he said.

Before his talk, Greene stopped by to chat briefly with my brother Jon, who knows him through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and said he was particularly pleased that his pal Matt Stinchcomb is being inducted Saturday into UGA’s Circle of Honor, the highest tribute paid to Bulldog athletes and coaches.

“That’s quite an honor,” Greene said, “but Matt deserves it. He’s a class act.”

58 comments Add your comment


September 25th, 2009
2:12 pm

Enter your comments here3rd!!!!!!!


September 25th, 2009
2:13 pm

I’m not sure what i’m supposed to comment about.


September 25th, 2009
2:23 pm

How about a big GO DAWGS!!! for Matt Stinchomb.

Joe M

September 25th, 2009
2:27 pm

Why is Joe Cox over there high fiving the fans in the pic up top? My guess is most of those folks never played a down of football in their lives, so how can they tell if he played well or not?

Until he shuts his mouth about being critiqued in weeks 1 & 2 I’ve got nothing for him. Starting QB’s and “leaders” need to learn how to handle that stuff better than this cat does.

Blow Hard

September 25th, 2009
2:33 pm

Joe M, Cox was only critiqued in week 1. Against SC, he actually played a pretty good game besides the pick 6 to Norwood.


September 25th, 2009
2:34 pm

Joe M get off joe cox’s ass. hes playing some damn good football and without him performing the way he did the last couple weeks, we would probably be 0-3


September 25th, 2009
2:40 pm

Cox kind of reminds me of Mike Bobo when he played at UGA. There were games where Bobo was awful, and then there were games where he played great. Both guys had to follow talented QB’s in Eric Zeier and Matt Stafford. I don’t recall Bobo throwing 5 TD’s in a game but maybe he did? I think the key for Joe is to take the good with the bad. He’s not Stafford or Greene and he doesn’t need to be. As long as he limits his mistakes and plays within himself, he’ll be fine.


September 25th, 2009
2:51 pm

Despite disappearing for over a week now, it is still the case that I am very g@y.


September 25th, 2009
2:52 pm

Glad Greene is giving his thumbs up for Joe. Since his shaky start in at OKS Joe has preformed well with last weeks game being his best. Lets just hope that he did not peak already and maintains that intensity that got them through South Carolinian. I sure hope he has, as well, shown the leadership that is said to be one of his strong suits with his defensive unit and got after them to step up and produce. Nobody is taking AZ State seriously but they had better take care as I heard all the “no way we lose” talk with OKS. Hard nose Georgia football. Play your assignments and keep your heads in the game. Minimize the mistakes and just play up to your potential.


74 Dawg

September 25th, 2009
3:00 pm

Which SEC quarterback has played better than Cox so far this year? Tebow if you count his fullback duties. Mallett? Cox out performed him head to head. Garcia? Same thing. Snead? Hnh.
Maybe the Alabama kid Mcelroy. Auburn’s Todd hasn’t played anybody yet. If Cox becomes consistent, he might be the best of class when it’s all said and done. He at least deserves the support of Dawg fans.

Johnny DangerDawg

September 25th, 2009
3:12 pm

Good stuff from Greene. There’s some new things I hadn’t heard before. Greene redshirted during Donnan’s last season; I’d love to hear his thoughts on what Richt did to change the culture at UGA in his first season.


September 25th, 2009
3:16 pm

I agree completely ‘74 Dawg’. Cox may not have the heat on the ball like Stafford but he accuracy is terrific to see. The South Carolina defense is pretty good and to see what he did to them gets me really excited at the potential for this offense. I just hope we don’t get into a shoot out every game.

September 25th, 2009
3:21 pm

David Greene hasn’t bought an Uga VII Replica jersey, yet. Come on over to and get a jersey for your dog. I’m holding one for you David.

The Ol Ball Coach

September 25th, 2009
3:42 pm

Looks like them ‘Kocks busted a Nutt last night.


September 25th, 2009
4:04 pm

he’s high fiving fans because we just won a tough game on the road and he wants to thank the fans for their support —idiot


September 25th, 2009
4:08 pm

I just checked with my source at NSA. Out of the three fans shown, one played high school football and two played Pop Warner.


September 25th, 2009
4:15 pm

Good to hear from Greene. He’ll always be one of my favorite Bulldogs. Wish he was still playing though. Not sure what went wrong there. Anyway, looking forward to tomorrow night.
Go Dawgs!


September 25th, 2009
4:16 pm

Joe has the confidence now to get us past stronger opponents. However our secondary may cause us to have a few more losses this year. When are the coaches going to find out what is wrong with our pass defense???

Bob Horner had a sweet compact swing

September 25th, 2009
4:30 pm

Cox has gotten better EVERY game…….I’m excited about the dawgs season…..

Paul H

September 25th, 2009
4:41 pm

NO QB in the SEC has played better than Cox this year, especially if you count the level of competition. I’m sorry we don’t get to play teams like Charleston Southern, etc.


September 25th, 2009
4:45 pm

I recall seeing Bobo go 33 for 36 in a bowl game. One of the most dominating passing performances I ever saw. When the guy was hot he was hot.


September 25th, 2009
4:45 pm

He did a really nice job with the media coming off of the win last week too. Seems a lot more comfortable now being the guy, not worrying so much about what is said.


September 25th, 2009
4:47 pm

GWB, I think Bobo got the record for most completions in a row that day also. I could be wrong, it has happened once or twice.


September 25th, 2009
4:47 pm

I was hopin somebody found out who RAMBLE ON!!! was and whooped his a$$ and locked him away somewhere…

George G.

September 25th, 2009
5:01 pm

Joe Cox = Brandon Cox

The Truth

September 25th, 2009
5:32 pm

Great football Joe……….so far. LSU will maul you, Tennessee will bite you, and the Gators are going to eat you for lunch. Tech may or may not sting you. And the Cowboys already shot you.


September 25th, 2009
5:37 pm

I thought Joe Cox’ comments were pretty darn funny, because you just knew that a handfull of people wouldn’t be able to help themselves and raise thier hand, announcing to the world, “Yes, I am one of the the dumbasses he was talking about”.

Kentucky is next

September 25th, 2009
5:48 pm

If our defense shut Stafford down we will surely shut this guy down.

Big Dawg

September 25th, 2009
5:52 pm

Fellow Dawgs you want to know what is wrong with the defense- Martinez just proved what I have been saying for the last three years on these blogs- Dave Johnson, Charley Strong and several other friends of mine all say the same thing about this guy- That he is an arogant know it all who doesn’t listen to anybody and is in way over his head.

Said Martinez: “I don’t pay attention to [the criticism], but obviously it’s not fun, you know, [not] playing the kind of defense that we were accustomed to playing around here.”


September 25th, 2009
6:01 pm

I respect everything the “Great Greene” aims Cox’s way. EXCEPT: “replacing the most talented quarterback to ever….” Sorry, Stafford was not what was described. He had his big game against UA in ‘06, and that was about it. Even Florida in ‘07 was all Knowshon.
David Greene, Joe is filling your shoes if you ask me.


September 25th, 2009
6:03 pm

Wow, more Martinez bashers on an unrelated blog.
Go to ESPN, there, you can start your own circle of friends.


September 25th, 2009
6:38 pm

Tech fan here…I confess I thought Joe Cox was going to be Joe Tereshinski…after the Okie State game, I felt vindicated…now, I admit the young man looks a lot sharper than I expecvted him to…and I wish him great luck in every game except one this year…see you on the Flats in November, gentlemen!


September 25th, 2009
6:39 pm

oh, and ladies too, of course

Miss Hattie

September 25th, 2009
7:16 pm

reebok, you suthun gentlemen just make me beSIDE mahself !

The Ghost Of Coach Johnny Griffith

September 25th, 2009
7:21 pm

There Once Was A QB Named Joe

Whose debut was ranked rather low

He fumed and he fussed

Threw his fans ‘neath the bus

And bandanged his fragile ego


September 25th, 2009
8:33 pm

Joe Cox has 7 TDs and a completion percentage of 71% the last two games.
Two SEC opponents.
Not bad.

J Dog

September 25th, 2009
10:14 pm

Joe Cox deserves all the praise he can get for what he has acomplished thus far. Write off the first game when he was sick as vertually all QB’s have a bad day for one reason or another. Also I read where some of the UGA defensive players feel a lot of fans are blaming them as well as the DC for the Bulldog’s problems on defense. In my opinion, we need to stay behind the players and not blame them in any way (like on this blog) for whats going on over there. They did’nt create the problem , so they shouldn’t recieve the blame.


September 25th, 2009
11:19 pm

Cox has a 71% completion rate but they they were merely SEC opponents. Lawd, Miss Daisy how you do go on!


September 25th, 2009
11:40 pm

Joe Cox has 7 TDs and a completion percentage of 71% the last two games.
Hoke it gets better for your team.

Joe T Fan

September 26th, 2009
7:12 am

Hey reebok, rather than worrying about whether Joe Cox is another Joe T, you need to worry about Josh Nesbitt not being Joe Hamilton and Jonathon Dwyer being a pu$$y that sits on the sideline with a “hurt” shoulder.


September 26th, 2009
7:54 am

Oh Lordy I’m gettin a funny growth in my pants. That Tech calendar has some real beefcakes on it! All those hunks with no shirts on makes me want to make my wang tap out!


September 26th, 2009
8:11 am

GWB, i think it was more like 22 of 25 for bobo against wisconsin in the
outback bowl around ‘97


September 26th, 2009
9:44 am

Had to catch up on the reading. The defensive problems are mostly of the field position problems provided by the TOs from the ofeenses and STs. Also add to the fact that the confidence of the defense as a whole to defend the short field. The defense looks defeated after every TO. The fans also fell defeated. After evey TO deep into the oppsing team’s territory, every one knows the opposing team is scoring a TD. With all this going on, the UGA defense is not forcing TOs, because they don’t want to force a play (jump a route) for fear of giving up a big play. Also when Jones consistently gets flagged for being an aggressive player and big hitter, that kind of stops the big hitting for frar of getting a 15 yard PF.

The key in my mind for winning tonight is simple. UGA has to do 2 things: 1)establish the run with King and Samuel. We have to win the clock. Also we have to protect Cox. When he is protected he will get the ball to the right person. He has shown this all season, so far. On defense, we cannot force TOs, we can’t get pressure on the QB. So, why blitz? Blitzing is susposed to allow for those 2 things to happen. Rush the DL and play your zones. Play them tight. We have to get Houston going at DE, we also need to get Washington more playing time; he has earned it.

As far as Cox goes, he has performed remarkably. I think better than anyone would have guessed; including CMR. We all thought “just manage the game.” He has shown on more than one occasion that he can shoulder this team and give us a chance to win, provided the defense allows it. I was one who, not bashing him, but calling for Gray. I owe him and DAWG Nation an apology for not believing in what he brings to this team. While I don’t believe in his arm strength or his long, slow delievery, what he does bring to the table in regards to his leadership, and puer knowledge of the playbook and what to do in any given situation is way past what I thought he would be able to do. Cox has stood in the face of alot of pressure placed by the our DEMANDING fans, and he has not waverd. In fact he has only gotten stronger. And he will only get better and better as the season goes on.


September 26th, 2009
9:45 am

LOL. Two weeks ago you yahoos were ripping Cox for his weak arm and poor performance. HAHA, you were even calling for the punt returner to come in and start getting his playing time. HAHAHAHA. I guess Cox is safe now that you have fire willie dot com on your collective homepage. I hope the weak azzed PAC 10 hangs 50 on you.

The Penguins of Arizona State

September 26th, 2009
9:55 am

Skipper: Kowalski, what is that wet stuff that is falling from the sky?
Kowalkski: Skipper it appears to be some amalgamation of hydrogen and oxyegen.
Skipper: What will those dawgs think up next.

Bigshot Dawg

September 26th, 2009
10:04 am

Big Dawg. I was reading your comment from 5:52PM, and I don’t understand what you are saying about other coaches criticizing Martinez? I was at lunch Thursday with some of my good friends and they were very complimentary of Coach Martinez. Van Gorder said he was proud of the way that Willie was working to improve the D, and Monte said he was hoping to lure him to UT as secondary coach/assisitant DC next season?

Oh wait…Charlie just called and told me that you misquoted him slightly. He said YOU were an arrogant know-it-all who is way upset over Willie not giving you some head? I think that’s what he said…I’ll clarify that when Charlie and Urbo drop by my pad after the game today…I’ll get back to you.

Look, a Spam filter!

September 26th, 2009
10:46 am

The reason I don’t like to comment here is the spam email that this blog generates. BEWARE!

Darn, I just got another one.

coach smith

September 26th, 2009
11:11 am

DAWG fans….Watch this and get Pumped up!

This is just another reason why ITS GREAT TO BE A GEORGIA BULLDOG

other schools just don’t understand what they are missing….

they don’t understand how much it means to be part of the BULLDAWG NATION and BULLDAWG TRADITION

How Bout Them Dawgs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


September 26th, 2009
2:18 pm



September 26th, 2009
3:01 pm

I think it is now safe to say that Cox’s troubles in the Oklahoma State game were due to the flu virus. Since then (other than the bad pick-6 against South Carolina), he’s looked as good as any Georgia quarterback has in a long time. In the Arkansas game, you could tell that Mallet starting tightening up as the game got competitive while Cox just got better and better.