Thank goodness for A.J. Green and Orson Charles

The return of Kris Durham will bolster Georgia's receiving corps. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

The return of Kris Durham will bolster Georgia's receiving corps. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

Coming out of signing day this week, Mark Richt admitted that Georgia’s lack of depth at wide receiver concerns him, especially after the loss of Da’Rick Rogers to Tennessee left the Dogs with only one incoming freshman receiver this year, Michael Bennett of Alpharetta.

Speaking of his receiving corps, Richt told the Athens Banner-Herald, “We don’t have, at this moment, the number that we would feel comfortable having — and that’s always give or take one or two.” Which pretty much echoes a quote from Mike Bobo last April when it was announced that rising senior receiver Kris Durham would have to take a medical redshirt year because of shoulder surgery.

Despite being thin at receiver last year, Georgia wound up with a pretty decent passing attack, mainly because of A.J. Green. Junior star Green is back this season, of course, for what many think will be his final season playing in Athens, but the Dogs’ second-leading receiver last year, Michael Moore, is gone.

Returning behind Green are what so far has proved to be a middling bunch of wide receivers, with Tavares King the most productive. There’s also Rantavious Wooten, who showed flashes last year but wasn’t consistent; Israel Troupe, who didn’t do much; and the  heavily hyped Marlon Brown, who barely registered on the field in what probably should have been a redshirt season for him but ended up being wasted. It would certainly help if Brown finally started to live up to his potential this year.

On the plus side, the Dogs do get back fifth-year senior Durham, who if he is able to shake off the rust could provide a set of sure hands in possession situations. And, who knows, Logan Gray could even wind up at receiver after the spring quarterback battle shakes out.

Looking ahead a year at Georgia’s receiving corps in 2011, when Green likely will have moved on to the NFL, isn’t a very pleasant prospect right now. But despite the lack of depth I’m not really that worried about the receiving end of the passing attack this season, barring a rash of injuries.

And that’s mainly because the Dogs are well-stocked at tight end, including hybrid Orson Charles, Georgia’s third-leading receiver last year, and Aron White, who was fifth for the year in catches.

“The one thing that I’m excited about and confident about is our tight end position,” Richt told the Banner-Herald. “We’re blessed with four outstanding tight ends; tight ends that certainly are playmakers and we’ve got good solid depth with guys that can really play that position. I think that’s going to a little bit of the burden off the wide receiver corps.”

Like many, I still expect the running game to be the primary focus of Georgia’s attack in 2010, especially early in the year, to take the pressure off whichever inexperienced quarterback ends up starting. But with targets like Green and Charles out there, Bobo and Richt are going to put it in the air a fair amount of the time and should be able to maintain some of the balance that their offense is based on.

I believe the Dogs will be just fine at receiver this year. Beyond that, I’m not so sure. What do you think?

259 comments Add your comment

georgiabuckmaster

February 5th, 2010
10:36 pm

Maybe Bobo will realize to keep two of his best athletes on the field together and run more double tight end formations. White and charles are both good football players who need more touches. Also bang teams around with that potent rushing attack.

Carl Spackler

February 5th, 2010
11:36 pm

Guess we’ll see if the coaches can coach to their team make-up…hopefully, they’ll tailor their schemes and add some wrinkles, adjust their offense, and run some sort of spread to take advantage of the TE’s…run the ball? jam it down their throats, can anyone say Big Ten Football? News flash, Herschel Walker is gone and as good as Washaun Ealey, he’s still one play from going out w/ an injury, so let’s not put all your eggs in one basket…good play is infectious, and if Murray can make plays, like he’s capable and the coaching doesn’t get in the way, then the receivers should have a heyday and the running game should benefit greatly…you could have a thoroughbred at QB and all the coaches have to do turn him loose…the wide-outs will have a field day, he’ll find the open man, the one on one situations, or check down to the TE or RB…Murray is a smart, heady player…move the ball, eliminate turnovers, keep the other teams D on the field and UGA’s on the sideline…I just have a bad feeling that the coaches are going to mess this up…BTW, what’s up w/ Gray? sit him down, tell him he’s not going to play QB, and he can best help the team by learning the WR position…who’s the coach here, what’s best for the team, why waste snaps in the Spring…Gray has a good arm, but he gives up way too fast looking down field and relies on his quickness, instead of making a play with his arm and not his feet…this should have been coached out of him long ago…if by chance they go with Met, then you have him turning around and handing off the ball, while taking a shot down field every now and then (his learning curve is behind Murray in reading defenses, but by next fall he could be OK) …this style of QBing is what UGA is used to, relying on the running game more than passing to move the ball…yea, yea, when you pass the ball 3 things can happen and 2 of them aren’t good, but CMR recruited for speed and let’s have him turn Green, Wooten, Charles, Brown, King, et al loose and play SEC football…

Dennis G. Berdanis

February 5th, 2010
11:51 pm

I thought I remembered Troup making some big catches in the second half of the season. He and King have the potential to be good to great receivers.

Buddy El

February 5th, 2010
11:51 pm

If Aaron Murray is any where near as good as David Greene was our worries are over. Greene had only 2-3 bad outings in 4 years while becoming the winningest QB in history until Colt McCoy came along. Greene was the best college QB I ever saw and I am 71 years old.

FL Dawg

February 6th, 2010
12:07 am

The O line is the key to the offense period and end of story. If the line blocks well we will run the ball well, like we did the second half of the season and provide protection for the QB, regardless of who it is.

Napoleon

February 6th, 2010
2:00 am

Mark Richt stop worrying about Da’Rick Rogers. You will just have to develop the guys that we have.

BuLLdawg

February 6th, 2010
4:54 am

Fumbles, Interceptions and Penalties.

That is what I expect on Offense this season, and why not ?

Billy Jack could fight

February 6th, 2010
5:57 am

Buddy El ….watch he replay of the 1982 Sugar Bowl…..Dan Marino threw the best pass I’ve ever seen……I bleed red@ black…bit Pitt stole that game……

ckgator

February 6th, 2010
6:35 am

What do I think? I think the Gators win the East each of the next three years. And another 3 easy wins over the dogs in that same time. That’s what I think.

Spike

February 6th, 2010
7:08 am

Durham may not be as gifted athletically like Green(who is?), but he has just as good or better hands thatn Green. The dude can catch!!

BuLLdawg

February 6th, 2010
7:09 am

I am with you on that ckgator

We also cannot beat LSU

We also cannot beat Alabama

And, we always lose 1 game a year against a team who ends up NOT RANKED at all in the Final AP Poll Top 25 with 8 of those losses the 1st 9 years of the Coach Richt Era of dimwits on his coaching staff.

ed

February 6th, 2010
7:12 am

Green is not going anywhere. Remember lock out 2011. He will say because he has nowhere to go.

BuLLdawg

February 6th, 2010
7:17 am

Kris Durham is a redshirt senior. He has been here now this year, 5 years.

He has played in 36 games and has LESS THAN 1 catch per game for 1 Touchdown grand total all 32 games.

POINT 8 of a catch per game in his entire career.

How in the Hell can you tell he can catch ?

BuLLdawg

February 6th, 2010
7:23 am

AJ Green would have gone to the NFL last year, if he could have challenged it like Herschel did.

The world’s greatest sport gives the football players themselves about HALF the total revenue.

The player’s association wants more.

They will NOT stop the game.

There will be 3 billion viewers of the NFL Football Game this Sunday.

BuLLdawg

February 6th, 2010
7:31 am

There could be 4 billion watching the football game on Sunday

And, you think that the sport will end ?

Reality

February 6th, 2010
7:45 am

Prediction: UGA loses to SC, UT, KY, FL, AU and GT. Back to Shreveport…..

The HBC

February 6th, 2010
8:40 am

LOL. UGA’s second game will be against USC and what wil be one of the nation’s best pass defenses. QB in his first SEC game in a hostile environment. Meanwhile, Garcia (#2 passer in SEC last year) will be airing it out Alshon Jeffrey (6′3″), Jason Barnes (6′4″), Tori Gurley (6′5″ burner), DL Moore (6′4″), and Demario Bennet 6′3″. Plus whoever is the RB out of the backfield (Lattimore or Ga. kid Kenny Miles). Your new coordiator will be tested right off he bat., Oh, and don’t worry the line ill be very good this year. UGA loss that will turn up the heat on Richt.

Mike Bobo Offense

February 6th, 2010
8:41 am

Im worried about CB depth. otherwise we could use Branden smith as a percy type. Orson should line up wide like Kellen Winslow JR did.

JD

February 6th, 2010
8:51 am

The issue is not the players. It’s Mark Richt. All the excuses we have been given have been taken care of we hope. This guy needs to start coaching with discipline and structure. This team has underachieved for the last two years with high expectations. Although the other coaches around the SEC would never speak out publicly, they have to be wondering why the Dawgs have not been better and challenged for the SEC the last two years. You can’t recruit in the top ten every year and shoot the blame on everything and everyone else and not look at yourself. This time Mark Richt is under the microscope BIG TIME. He should’ve played Murray last year as a two quarterback system so he could have some game experience. Even if it was only to throw screens and short passes. At least he would’ve been able to see what the defenses were doing across the line. Now he is a little wet behind the ears still. I’m not annointing Aaron Murray but as far as talent and whayt this team needs he is the best we have right now and can get the job done with discipline teammates around him.

What??

February 6th, 2010
8:54 am

The truth is going to hurt some of you, but UGA needs to fire Richt.

Richt did not close the deal to get a receiver, did not make good decisions the past two seasons, made a circus act trying to hire a DC, and seems to have lost the drive and interest in advancing the UGA football program.

I say hire the Utah coach to take Richt’s place!

ES

February 6th, 2010
9:02 am

I ‘m glad to hear CMR is going to get back in offensive game planning cause Bobo hasn’t been getting it done. 15 screen’s in one game (SC game a couple of years ago)when they were not working.The commentators asked how many screens were we going to continue to throw.Middle screen for 4 yard loss first play of game against Fl 2 years ago,had no chance of working Fl’s line was small and had been packing 8 men in the box every first down because of their smaller DL that year.Your first play needs to be one of your best plays to grab momentum and you have 6 or 7 games to watch them pack the box and you call a middle screen?Welcome back coach Richt!!!!!!!!!!!

What??

February 6th, 2010
9:13 am

ES

I missed it. Where did you hear/ read that Richt will be calling the offense?

ES

February 6th, 2010
9:15 am

On signing day he said in a interview he was going to be in the film room more and help with offensive gameplanning.

BigNewt

February 6th, 2010
9:21 am

225…….The big question will be who will be the QB? The dogs will be more of a running team this year which could be a plus.

What??

February 6th, 2010
9:21 am

You have to wonder why he ever decreased time in the film room and stepped away from game planning.

Bobo should have been on a short leash the hole time considerring he had very little experience.

Hopefully Richt will get his act together. He can not afford to screw up this season.

Carl Spackler

February 6th, 2010
9:27 am

Concerning Gray and his moving to WR…read where Florida/Meyer “told” a bk-up QB that he’s moving to TE for the good of the team…interesting that UGA has a soap opera w/ a QB that couldn’t beat out Cox, nor relieve Cox no matter how poorly the play at QB, the coaches still wouldn’t put him into the game…playing wide-out isn’t all about lining up and just being fast, it’s when to know to be fast, how to run the routes in a controlled manner, when to accelerate and out of a route, building chemistry with the QB(s)… if Gray decides to move, it’ll take every bit of the off-season to get comfortable and learn the position…a football team is not a democracy, it’s a dictatorship, coaches coach and players are expected to do what is best for the team…I’d still like him as a 6′2″ 200 lbs DB w/ a QB’s knowledge…maybe he already “told” the coaches that he didn’t want to play defense…heck, PSU takes QB’s and RB’s and turn them into some of the best LB’s (Linebacker U)…I doubt that Meyer, Saban, Miles, Spurrier, etc. would allow a player to dictate to them…CMR needs to take control back from the team…

Pago Flyer

February 6th, 2010
9:29 am

Wait’ll next year (agin!)

GaDawg

February 6th, 2010
9:29 am

I too reiterate:RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRUN THE DAMN’ BALL!!!!!!!!!!

ugafan

February 6th, 2010
9:34 am

so what if we have a 0-12 season atlest we know we tried our best everybodys a winner (except alabama). that really all we can ask for aint it

What??

February 6th, 2010
9:43 am

I agree Spackler.

The players should not have the “say” in postion assignement. Do what is best for the team.

Again, I just do not get Richt’s logic.

gomdawg

February 6th, 2010
9:47 am

I wonder why we anf hires Coaches when got so many right in our back yard if all of you know so much about coaching then why in the hell haven’t you appilled for the JOB. Please let the coaches do their job .This coming year we will see what the changes have done.

What??

February 6th, 2010
10:06 am

gomdawg

Do you know how to build a car?

Can you drive one?

The same can be said about coaching. The coaches job is one that will always be critiqued and scend guessed. You do not have to be a coach to recognize when the acting coach has screwed up.

Richt has screwed up big time the last 2 years.

Why are you so willing to follow Richt so blindly??

Do you understand the game??

JFKDawg

February 6th, 2010
10:14 am

GA will be a run offense primarily next year as the QB’s get their feet underneath them.
Richt’s comments were made to get Logan Gray to move over from QB.

ozzfest

February 6th, 2010
10:27 am

HOW CAN WE BEING RUNNING A MAJOR PROGRAM WHERE YEAR AFTER YEAR WE HAVE OUR OWN COACH POINTING AT A DEFICIENCY….IN 2003 IT WAS THE OFFENSIVE LINE, THEN AGAIN IN 2008…I NEVER HEARD PETE CARROLL COMPLAIN ABOUT HIS LACK OF STOCKING A POSITION.

Carl Spackler

February 6th, 2010
10:50 am

gomdawg…you are probably of the same crowd that defended CMR’s playing of Cox at the beginning of the season and then turned on the coaches at the end…you’re probably one of the guys who spout off about CMR averaging 10 wins a season, yet hung Willie M. out to dry because the O couldn’t move the ball, or keep the ball via turnovers by the O…2 seasons ago UGA had 19 injuries and the defense was disseminated, yet the TEAM pulled it together for a good season (except the loss to Tech) and Willie was on the coaching staff…last year you have a banner year recruiting on the offensive side of the ball, yet the needs at LB, DE, and a pass rushing specialist were not filled…UGA was so loaded on the O side of the ball that it was felt that they would score more than the other guys…I was OK w/ playing a 5th yr senior who knew the team and plays, however CMR being a former QB coach and OC should be able to judge talent to the point that Cox just wasn’t the man for the job…the BS being that Murray’s arm was hurt must be a ploy to apply for an 6th yr injury RS some where down the road like they tried at Ark w/ Mallett in case he gets hurt…so, the O tanked w/ the QB not taking care of the ball, the QB hung receivers out like a piece of meat and cost you your play maker, yet CMR stayed the course, until the heat was on, this after he perceived himself to be untouchable and cost his ex-roommate and best friend his job…well, how did that work out for ya SUPER FAN…take the blinders off…course if anybody on the football staff reads these blogs, UGA is in more trouble than I thought

What??

February 6th, 2010
11:10 am

As soon as Richt started talking the CEO crap the program sufford.

He was trying to be more like Bowden. Problem is, he didn’t have the same level of experience or as good of staff to support Richt getting lazy.

More time in the film room and game planning should have ALWAYS been top priority.

Richt gets paid one heck of a salary to sit back and get lazy!

hope

February 6th, 2010
11:37 am

the recievers we got need to learn how to catch the ball.

shane#1

February 6th, 2010
12:33 pm

Murray had tendonitis in his throwing arm and didn’t even throw in practice for five weeks. I have suffered from tendonitis in my right elbow since 1987 because I never gave the tendons time to heal. Taking a true freshman that has missed that many practices and throwing him to the wolves during the meat of the SEC schedule would have been the height of stupidity. Playing Murray too early could have ruined that kid. As for Murray’s injury being a “ploy”, Richt may not be the world’s best coach, but he is certainly no liar! He is also not stupid, if playing Murray at the end of the season could have salvaged the season and eased the pressure on Richt, Murray would certainly have played.

chazzo

February 6th, 2010
2:11 pm

Receiving or running… It will all come down to the O-line. I think it will be solid, but they didn’t quite live up to the hype last year. Given a solid and consistent O-line and a productive running game, I honestly think that any of the three QBs are capable of doing just fine.

chazzo

February 6th, 2010
2:23 pm

Spackler,

In regards to those of us who hung Willie out to dry: I defended Willie for a couple of seasons. I definitely thought it would have been stupid to fire him mid-season. I still blame turnovers and not Willie in the Kentucky debacle. But, UT was all Willie. Tech last season sits squarely on his shoulders. The killer for me was that when UGA was throwing up 30 and 40 points, the D couldn’t keep the other team out of the end zone. Special teams were terribly inconsistent (take whats-his-name out too). Thirdly the linebackers coach was co-d-coordinator. That solution didn’t work. Willie may be a great guy and a good coach, but it wasn’t working. In my opinion Richt just ridded himself of a lot of disfunction.

As for others, who make statements about the man being lazy, I only have one question, how much time have you spent in the locker room or film room or on the recruiting trail with him??? How can you make any reasonable judgement. It is all speculation, and thin speculation at that. Get some facts (and not BS gossip), and then talk.

shane#1

February 6th, 2010
3:01 pm

Chazzo, I hope the O line can stay healthy next season. I also hope that Sturdivant can contribute. IMO, Vance was never the same after his knee injury. Can Sturdivant return to pre-injury form? I was not one of those screaming for CWM’s scalp, I think as long as Richt is HC he needs to choose his own staff. UT suprised me as much as Willie in that game. Who knew that “Incrompetent” would suddenly look like the next Fran Tarkenton? What I do blame Willie for was not making adjustments when it became obvious that UT was throwing the ball and doing a good job of it. Richt may have thought the problem on D was as much the fault of the scheme as the coaching. Hence going to the 3-4. It is intresting that the only DC’s actually offered contracts were from 3-4 defenses.

chazzo

February 6th, 2010
3:25 pm

Shane,
Absolutely about the adjustments… Excellent point regarding the 3-4.

PS I said it before. Richt did the right thing to get the big three out of the way before getting Grantham. Let there be no speculation about should would could have hired Smart. If I knew Smart wasn’t coming to UGA mid-season last year, I am fairly certain Richt and Company had at least an inkling.

Jackson

February 6th, 2010
5:46 pm

Wow, how about this thought. What if Richt is a challenging his receiver corps to improve or b, plaing the old chess match. If teams think UGA is focusing a lot more of their practices on the passing game, the may assume they are not focusng as much on the run. The thinking would be to shut down UGA’s passing attack. Indeed we spent too much time pracicing passing and not enough on running scheme. Run game puts you in better position to pass. I don’t believe you can be successful in the SEC without running the ball…. insert Bama fan comment here or UF lament here.

Water Hill

February 6th, 2010
6:59 pm

What?? you don’t get a lot of things. You’re dumber than a box of rocks.

browndog

February 6th, 2010
7:54 pm

I have never heard so many experts in my life talk about everything wrong with UGA. Who would you want as head coach that would be such an improvement over CMR? I believe that CMR has made the changes required and the experts should give him time to see how it works out. UGA could easily lose five games in 2010, so if that were to happen is it fire CMR time? He is a good head coach and will bring UGA back.

What??

February 6th, 2010
8:11 pm

Water Hill

I may be dumber than a box of rocks, but I am smarter than your average Dawg.

All of this talk about Richt being the second coming of a great football coach is a load of crap!

Discipline, film study, game planning, understanding the staff you hired and their limitations, and on and on and on!

Richt is in over his head if he thinks being a CEO means less work on his part. Sadly, that is exactly what he thought!

browndog

Utah’s head coach!

Dawg fans had better wake up or we will be so far behind we will not be able to see the light for years to come!

What??

February 6th, 2010
8:15 pm

All of you Richt lovers need to get your head out of your A$$ and start thinking about what is best for the overall good of the program!

That my ffriends is not Mark Richt!

UGA loves a Mark Richt!

Dawgs 2010

February 7th, 2010
12:25 am

T. King was really good at times last year. He’s goign to be a sophomore, so I think he’s going to break out with everyone focusing on AJ.

Good play by him here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BQANvZZ6FY&feature=related

Dawgs 2010

February 7th, 2010
12:46 am

kb

February 7th, 2010
6:13 pm

NFL scout= Very jealous blogger