UGA’s Bobo looks to do ‘better job’ with quarterbacks

Mike Bobo thinks the 2006 QB battle went on too long. (Associated Press)

Mike Bobo thinks the 2006 QB battle went on too long. (Associated Press)

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and some of the Georgia players chatted with the UGA beat writers on Thursday (among other places, you can find reports here and here and here), and while nothing really surprising was said, there were some things worth chewing over, particularly some of Bobo’s comments.

While the oft-criticized Bobo saying that losing five games last year was “not acceptable” and “lit a fire in everybody” was the marquee quote coming out of the session, that sort of statement is pretty well expected at this point. As was him saying that the main emphasis at quarterback this season will be “taking care of the football and not turning it over.”

But it’s notable that he seemed to put at least a bit of the onus for that on his own shoulders, saying, “We just have to do a better job of managing that position and managing those mistakes this year where [last] year we probably didn’t.”

As the Dogs enter the season with what Bobo called a “wide open” race between three quarterbacks with “not a clear No. 1 guy,” I thought it instructive that he thought the QB competition in 2006 went on too long. Back then, Joe T. wasn’t picked as the starter until less than two weeks before the first game and the position remained in flux until Matt Stafford took control midway through the season.

“We probably should have weeded it down a little bit sooner,” Bobo told the beat writers. “We went into two, two-and-a-half weeks of fall camp before we ranked them. It’s just tough to get that many guys reps and get them quality reps and get them ready for the season. I don’t see us going that far this year. Not to say it won’t go into the fall, but to wait until the second scrimmage, it’s a little bit difficult to get a guy ready to play for the first game. You’re trying to get them all an opportunity, but you’ve still got to get a guy ready for that first game.”

The former Georgia quarterback confirmed that Aaron Murray missing 21 practices with an injury last fall “sealed the deal” on him not playing. “It just hurt his progression of playing quarterback. It was not in his best interest or our best interest to play him based off of some potential we might have seen in the spring.”

The assumption made by many is that Murray, the presumptive starter in a lot of folks’ mind, has or quickly will make up the lost ground. But that’s no doubt one of the reasons the competition is still wide open.

As for howitzer-armed Zach Mettenberger and his much maligned “footwork,” Bobo said “he’s improved tremendously and a lot has to do with getting himself in good physical condition. … He’s never going to be the fastest or the quickest guy, but if he’s in good shape and good condition, he’ll be able to improve his foot quickness.”

Part of the problem with Mettenberger seems to be in his head, Bobo said. “People have told him all his life he’s slow and you’ve got to work on your feet. So a lot of times he overcompensates and tries to speed things up when he’s really in good timing and good balance, because in his mind, he’s thinking, I’m slow, I’m slow, I’m slow.”

A lot of fans will prick up their ears at the fact Bobo said he’d be comfortable playing more than one QB this season, but he also said that last year when he tantalized us with talk of Logan Gray and the “Wild Dawg” formation, which ended up being an isolated play here and there before being pretty much dropped.

From what Bobo said on Thursday, that might have been at least in part because Gray didn’t step up his level of play as had been expected. “We did hope to play him more last year going into the season and it just didn’t work out that way. Not that we had this game plan going into each game that we were going to play him X number of snaps. Certain games did not dictate that, and sometimes performance in practice did not dictate playing in games. He had a lot of opportunities to prove that you’re ready to play. He knows what he has to work on, he’s been working on it hard, and he’s excited about this spring.”

Bobo certainly has mastered talking the talk as an offensive coordinator. Now we’ll get to see how he manages a quarterback battle that doesn’t have a player of obvious star potential like Stafford in the mix.

Again, G-Day should be fun.

78 comments Add your comment

CovingtonDawg

February 26th, 2010
11:10 am

CovingtonDawg

February 26th, 2010
11:12 am

now for my opin…I think his remarks for Gray are telling. As bad as we thought Joe C was, and begged for Logan to get on the field more…I knew it had to be that Logan was not showing well in practice. For whatever reason, he didn’t give the coaches confidence.

GeoffDawg

February 26th, 2010
11:16 am

I think it’s fair to believe at this point in his career at QB, that Logan Gray has just not progressed to the point where the coaching staff really believes in him as starter material. With the way our QB play progressed last season, you have to believe that we would’ve seen him a lot more if he had shown in practice that he could handle it. Given the reports seen on Murray (most recently by Colt McCoy), you have to believe that he’s likely to be most most physically and mentally ready to take snaps on day one.

L-Dawg

February 26th, 2010
11:27 am

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!

43 DAYS TIL G-DAY MY FRIENDS!!!

I BELIEVE 2006 WILL BE AN OUTLINE BOBO DOES NOT WANT REPEATED THIS TIME AROUND. THE QB NEEDS TO BE SET BY SEPTEMBER 4TH. SPRING PRACTICE WILL BE FUN, AND REVEALING, BUT IT MAY BE LATE AUGUST TIL WE KNOW FOR SURE. I HAVE FAITH THE RIGHT DAWG WILL BE TAKING SNAPS AFTER WE HEAR THE TRUMPET ON SATURDAY’S THIS FALL.

GO DAWGS!!!!

{{{{{30-24}}}}}
8-1
60-39-5
WE RUN THIS STATE

BigDawg

February 26th, 2010
11:55 am

i think everyone knows that unless mettenberger or gray has just an unbelievable spring that murray will be the starting qb next year. the great thing about the offense right now is that we have all the pieces: a more than solid OL, two very talented RBs, THE BEST WR in the nation and plenty of talented sophomores to back him up in travarres king and marlon brown. all we need now is a qb thats good. not GREAT but good enough to protect the ball and throw just well enough to get the ball to green and company. the QB for the Dawgs this year just has to be one that wont throw 17 INTs and fumble everytime hes hit (although I do think people were a little to harsh on Cox last year, it was his FIRST YEAR as a starter in the SEC, give him a break). hope Granthams D is good enough to keep teams like UF and GT from scoring 30 a game.

jack bull

February 26th, 2010
12:04 pm

i really hope Murray works out, but i am a little worried that he is simply too short. am i the only one that gets frustrated to see balls knocked down so much at the line of scrimmage? Spring should be very interesting, although i’d bet a whole lot of money that after April 10th, we still hear the battle for QB is still “wide open”,,,

my biggest question entering this spring is,, do we have enough “meat” on the DL??? seems we have a ton of guys that are 6-6 230 lbs. just not enough of those 6-1/6-2 290-300 lb. guys..sure we have 2 or 3 of em, but is that enough??? i guess that’s what the next few weeks are all about, right?

Dawg Tired

February 26th, 2010
12:06 pm

Bill – Have we hired regular “commenter” BuLLdawg to be our Head Football Coach yet? Until and unless we do we are in a hopeless situation. BuLLdawg has made it abundantly clear that Coach Bobo is too stupid to coach our offense and QBs. Which of course means Coach Richt is also stupid because he seems to think that Coach Bobo can coach when the contrary is obvious to BuLLdawg. I do point out that the self-proclaimed genius known in these here parts as BuLLdawg is somehow unable to connect the dots leading to the conclusion that Coach Richt has to be an absolute idiot if he thinks Coach Bobo can in fact coach.

Dawg Tired

February 26th, 2010
12:09 pm

BTW – I think both Coach Richt and Coach Bobo can in fact coach. Of course, that means I’m an idiot according to BuLLdawg.

DawgBuzz

February 26th, 2010
12:10 pm

Murray is more mobile than Mett which will help him seeing downfield. Mett has a cannon arm, has worked on his footwork, so don’t count him out. Regardless of who wins the starting position CMR needs to get both playing time. Murray has had some injuries in the past so better to get both guys experience just in case.

Cuz

February 26th, 2010
12:12 pm

One thing we saw this bowl season is even the talented Mr. QB’s need a backup that can come in and take over the job. When Colt McCoy went down the Texas balloon ran out of air and settled on the ground. Colt and Texas may have still lost that game, but they had no chance of beating Bama with their backup.
I count myself as one of the Logan supporters who thought he should have been ahead of Joe Cox. I think I was wrong. Logan does not seem to have the potential to be a drop back passer. I think he would make a good spread QB but we do not run the spread. As much as I like the guy and appreciate the sweat and time for the Dawgs, I think it would be better for him to pull a Jaybo and transfer to a smaller school and become a starter. I don’ t think it will happen here.
The battle, IMHO is between Metz and Murray. I think Murray will come out on top, but I want Metz ready and able to go in and take the reigns should anything happen to Murray. I want two solid QB’s ready to play from the first snap of the game til the last.

AltamahaDawg

February 26th, 2010
12:16 pm

Making Coach Dooley an idiot for hiring Richt in the first place???? Making UGA an idiot institution for ever having Coach Dooley as the AD for so long? Does that mean that BuLLdawg is a fan of Adams?

DawgBuzz

February 26th, 2010
12:16 pm

Nice call Cuz….

Bill King

February 26th, 2010
12:18 pm

I agree, Cuz. Having a strong starter and unprepared backup is never good. The problem is that once we got past the Greene-Shockley pairing, Bobo and Richt have shown a reluctance to give their No. 2 QB any meaningful playing time.

Mike

February 26th, 2010
12:20 pm

There should be no expectation of Gray being the starting Georgia quarterback. He’s had enough time to take over the position, but has not been able to do so. He wasn’t able to beat out Cox and that says a lot about his potential. Mettenberger may be too close to the program to allow a meaningful evaluation. But, all of this talk is just that – talk. It doesn’t matter who the quarterback is or what defense Georgia runs, if Georgia doesn’t beat Florida and does not play for the conference championship this coming season, the “love fest” will need to stop.

WonderDawg

February 26th, 2010
12:22 pm

So a 10-3 record in ‘08, with 2 blowout losses, on a team with a bunch of NFL starters didn’t “light a fire in everybody”? Too bad …

Dawg 39

February 26th, 2010
12:29 pm

I still believe that the QBs we recruit come to UGA because they believe that CMR & CMB will help them to be winners in college & will prepare them to play in the NFL.

AltamahaDawg

February 26th, 2010
12:33 pm

I have yet to understand how 10 wins from a 3 man team surrounded by third strigers is somehow viewed as a disaster. What am I missing?

WonderDawg

February 26th, 2010
12:50 pm

Pardon me, but losing 31-0 at home to Bama at HALFTIME, squeaking by Vandy (so much so that we danced on their logo) getting blown out in Jax, losing a 16 point halftime lead at home to Tech after a bye week ….may not be disasterous, but at least should have “lit a fire in everybody.”

OEJ

February 26th, 2010
12:53 pm

Im seeing comments about Murrays durability. hes been injured in the past yes but this means nothing. he is young and still is young. Also after his first injury in high school(abroken leg) he came back and won his team the state championship, putting up good numbers. I think he should know now what to do to prevent from getting hurt, he will be fine, and besides ive heard coaches say that hes been kicked out of he weightroom a few times for working out to hard, so his arm is probably fine now. Im sure Murray will get the job , but if Mettenberger improves drastically and is better then so be it, whoever they feel can help us win. I dont think Gray is a college QB, i just dont see it, he wants to compete at qb but we al know its between Murray and Mettenberger

AltamahaDawg

February 26th, 2010
12:58 pm

As I recall, all the coaches said it (those things you mentioned) did. That’s what they said last year at this time. Maybe it’s not really that simple.

Dorsey Hill

February 26th, 2010
1:04 pm

Bill,

Nobody really gives back-up QBs meaningful playing time UNLESS the starter is not set in stone. When Shockley got meaningful snaps CMR was roundly criticized because all too often (see the pick-6 vs. UF) Shockley performed poorly. In fact, in the last regular season game before DJ was to be the heir apparent, Greene had to return with an injury to keep DJ from blowing the 2004 Tech game. All the snaps that DJ got were meaningless even up to the end of his junior season. When did DJ change? When he was the guy. When he wasn’t trying to justify his existence and earn even more snaps. Murray will be the guy. He needs to get the vast majority of the practice snaps and no one should be getting “meaningful” snaps but Murray. If he goes down then the next guy will just have to step up. I don’t think Gilbert for Texas got a lot of snaps before the BCS Title game, but he nearly beat Bama anyway.

AltamahaDawg

February 26th, 2010
1:18 pm

Got to go with Dorsey on that one. I don’t see ANY team running thier second qb out there for meaningfull time, unless he is a designed change of pace (which was a bit of why DJ came out there). But as a direct replacement, we dont see back-up in the game, unless the game is out of hand. Not to mention, when you have a first years starter, who needs more significant snaps than he does?

On a related matter, I see a few folks on the other blog, still waiving that worn out “loyalty” banner. So Gray clearly couldnt win the job, and probably can’t beat out freshmen, so whatever time he got, which wasnt pretty, would NOT have been preparing us for this year either, and Murray missed basically all of fall with a bum arm, Mett self-proclaimed wasn’t ready………and Joe Cox only played because Richt is loyalty to a senior? yea, sure. (and don’t to let the faces of all of those freshman on the field last year get in the way of a good accusation)

Dawg 39

February 26th, 2010
2:13 pm

Agreed. We did not have any QB but Cox last year that was ready to play.
Playing a FR. last year would have wasted a year of eligibilty. Glad we now have them for the next 4 years. 2 spring practices & 2 fall camps competing against each other & against an SEC defense (ours) & both FR. QBs s/b ready to go in 2010. The O will be fine in 2010.

ButlerDawg

February 26th, 2010
2:20 pm

Bobo,
You are on notice this year, son.

Debose

February 26th, 2010
2:42 pm

“Bobo,
You are on notice this year, son.”

Is Mark “2-7″ Richt on notice this year too?

Minnesota Dawg

February 26th, 2010
2:59 pm

Whoever is quarterback, we need to teach him to go for the gold. No hesitation, pull out all the stops. Be aggressive, and don’t fear all our opponents. Also, let’s get our running ame back so we can have a balanced attacked. Let’s get that quickness back on defense so we can bring terror to all those offensives we will face. Come on Georgia, let’s stopped listening to the polls and play Georgia Football!!! Let’s play up to our potential and surprise all the naysayers. I’m ready for 2010 season to begin! Go Dawgs!

RDU Dawg

February 26th, 2010
3:00 pm

Prototypical size for an NFL QB, howitzer arm, slow feet…this is all we ever hear about Metz…all that tells me is that his parents were of above average size and had a big kid. What I want to know is how is his decision making, accuracy, leadership skills…you know like things a QB actually needs to be successful. From what I’ve read and from his exploits in high school Murray has these qualities. Gray should have taken the hint and moved to WR if he has any real desire to get off the headset and on the field. Murray, barring injury, will be the starter come fall…and Bobo needs to make that clear before Fall practice begins.

Minnesota Dawg

February 26th, 2010
3:02 pm

I ain’t finished. We need to have a good line that can protect our quarterback. A good line can make a quarterback good! Also, a good line makes running backs good too!

Bulldog59

February 26th, 2010
3:27 pm

Let’s hope we’ve finally learned our lesson with the 5th year senior, one year starter plan. It worked with Shockley, failed with Tereshinski, and failed again with Joe Cox, a.k.a. Joe Average. Great coaches always have a Plan B ready to go. In 2009, we simply didn’t have it. Don’t expect CMR and Coach Bobo to make that mistake again.

Minnesota Dawg

February 26th, 2010
3:45 pm

Bulldog59, you never know sometimes until you try it. It’s nice to have a back-up plan, but not always possible. Hopefully that can happen this year.

Dorsey Hill

February 26th, 2010
3:58 pm

Bulldog59,

Exactly which “great” coaches are you referring to? Did CMR suck in 2005 because he won the SEC but Joe T was his back up QB? Do you know what Bama would have had to thrown out there if McElroy had gone down? It would not have been a guy as good as Texas’ Gilbert I can assure you. Does that mean Mack Brown is better than Saban? Does Pete Carroll suck because he had to start a true freshman after Sanchez left early? Did Barry Switzer become a terrible coach when Aikman got his leg broken and he just had a 5′8″ freshman to go in. I mean the guy only had one of the highest winning %’s in NCAA history, but without that backup plan, he’s a dud, right?

Let me explain something: When you sign the top QB in the nation and start him as a freshman, HS qb’s go where they can play. So do you want to sign great players that will scare of new recruits or do you want to be stacked with such mediocrity that everyone thinks that they can win the job?

Standing on the sidelines

February 26th, 2010
4:02 pm

Bobo will be the next to be “thrown overboard” by Richt after this season, if things don’t pan out.

hop

February 26th, 2010
4:04 pm

this is a critical year for the dawgs,but the players on offense should really help the young qb turks,as we have much depth there.

unless there is a clear choice at qb,dawgs need to consider using two both metz and murray.

logan needs to move to wide receiver since we are short of players at this position.

dawgs will be the surprised team in the SEC this year..

Joe

February 26th, 2010
4:06 pm

I hope it’s not “Logan Grey gives us our best chance to win” this year……

Chief

February 26th, 2010
4:40 pm

These coaches get paid enough not to have to have an 8-5 season to light a fire under them. They should have a fire lit all the time. As a dawg fan I worry a little when I hear comments like this.

AltamahaDawg

February 26th, 2010
4:55 pm

JoeT was NEVER the plan A. Surely you know that.

Does Bobo Get It?

February 26th, 2010
4:56 pm

I don’t think Bobo gets it.

The UGA QB’s keep throwing 10-15 int’s per year, and the offense is giving up 8-11 fumbles per year.

Nobody cares how many yards and td’s our QB’s throw for when we lose 5 games and are getting beat by the likes of Kentucky.

Why do the turnovers keep re-occuring, season after season, year after year, under his leadershuip?

Joe Cox was ranked #5 in INT’s out of 120 QB’s.

UGA deserves better.

I’m not sure what Richt sees in Bobo’s coaching.

Cuz

February 26th, 2010
5:43 pm

Standing, wasn’t everyone hollering at Richt to throw Willie overboard in shark infested waters with nothing but a side of beef to hold onto?

What will be the amount of time between the first Fire Bobo and the first interception of the 2010 season. I am thinking nanoseconds.

RDU Dawg

February 26th, 2010
6:04 pm

Bobo’s politician like “fire” statement make me worry as well. Bulldog nation has a “fire” lit 24/7 all year round and we don’t get paid 6 figures to maintain it. However…I can’t blame him for the turnovers the past few seasons. Stafford had a green light to make plays which his talent merited…which inevitably lead to INTs as he would try to Favre it and make something out of nothing…Bulldog receivers didn’t help all that much in his tenure if my memory serves correct. Far as last season with Cox is concerned…he had to roll with the 5th year senior cause he had the respect of the players and knowledge of the playbook…unfortunately for us he just didn’t have the talent. Couple that with being forced to play in shootouts every week thanks to Martinez and company’s 2 hand touch D and you’re going to have a season like our last one.

The new D coordinator will be just as responsible for our QB’s success next season as Bobo…if we begin to create turnovers, win the field position battle, and keep opponents in the teens and twenties than the turnovers on offense will go down as well.

All I’m saying is Martinez deserved what he got this past offseason…I don’t think Bobo deserves the same treatment…even if his “fire” comments were admittedly lame.

Dorsey Hill

February 26th, 2010
6:24 pm

Bobo has been OC for three seasons 2007-2009:

Since 2003, the top 2 years for 3 down conversions has been 2007 & 2008

In total offense from 2003-2006 we ranked 6th, 4th, 3rd and 10th in the SEC. From 2007-2009 we were 6th, 2nd, and 8th.

In number of interceptions thrown between 2003-2006 we were 6th, 1st, 3rd, & 10th. In 2007-2009 we were 2nd 4th and 10th.

In scoring offense between 2003-2006 we were 8th, 6th, 2nd, 8th. In 2007-2009 we were 6th, 2nd, and 7th.

In rushing offense between 2003-2006 we were 7th, 10th, 3rd & 7th. In 2007-2009 we were 4th, 5th & 9th.

In TOP between 2003-2006 we were 5th, 5th, 8th, 5th. In 2007-2009 we were 4th, 2nd, & 8th.

In pretty much every category you can find we have performed better on offense or remained the same since Bobo. One stat I could not find, but I am certain favors Bobo is TD% in the red zone. remember how our kickers kept breaking scoring records every year? We are getting 6 rather than settling for field goals alot more now than we used to when CMR was calling the plays.

In any event I fail to see how Bobo is the problem.

ThreeSheets

February 26th, 2010
6:45 pm

Standing on the sidelines

February 26th, 2010
6:46 pm

Cuz, I am not blaming Richt for ditching Willie. Richt did it to buy an extra year’s grace. If 2010 goes down the tube, look for Bobo’s butt to be next. However, if that does happen, that ain’t going to buy Richt anything. After 2012 is history and there isn’t any fancy SEC championship trophy in the trophy case, Richt will be walking out the service exit. 2012 will tell the tale.

JDM

February 26th, 2010
7:17 pm

Bobo should have been fired along with the rest. If he was any good he would have been hired by someone by now. He has a down field passer for three years, but insists on throwing the fade because that was all he could throw. Richt showed he is willing to make changes, now he needs to take over the play calling. Just because Bobo has a baby breeding factory in Athens does not mean he should not be canned.

Va Dog

February 26th, 2010
7:39 pm

Murray will start. I saw a special report the other day on the top quarterbacks to EVER go through the ESPN Elite 11 camps. Murray was second all time. Ahead of Tebow. Behind only Stafford. The only thing that worries me is all this talk about “protecting the ball.” Yes, that’s critical. But if you beat that drum too much your QB gets too tight and unwilling to take any risks. Sometimes, with AJ, you just throw it out there and let him make the play.

1eyedJack

February 26th, 2010
7:55 pm

We scored about 26 points a game last year. Offense was not the problem, other than turnovers, and Bobo had zero interceptions and zero fumbles. Inexperience and injuries were the only real problems on offense in ‘09.

tony

February 26th, 2010
8:26 pm

Aaron Murray will to be the reason why Mike Bobo keeps his job after the 2010 season. Aaron’s ability to hit his target and execute plays will make Bobo look like a genious. Aaron Murray looked very sharp and poise in that g-day game last spring. He should have been the starter last season. Mike Bobo, Aaron Murray is your bread and butter sir.

Pitbull

February 26th, 2010
8:51 pm

Lay off of Bobo, numbnuts, or I may get some tweezers and pluck that gray beard out of your face one hair at a time.

Old Coach

February 26th, 2010
8:56 pm

jdm
You are an idiot!!!

Big D Dawg

February 26th, 2010
9:15 pm

Tony and any of you others that keep beating the drum about Aaron Murray should have started last year….. where have you been?? your head up your a$$… Murray had a bum arm all year and could not play. they did not want to risk injury and ruining his career!!

Paul Harvey

February 26th, 2010
10:02 pm

and now, the rest of the story. Interesting that Tim Tucker has an article making it sound that all of the QB’s are still in the hunt, while this article has two of them needing to step it up a notch. Not saying that Gray and Met can’t be there by the fall, but it sure sounds that Murray is the front runner at this time.
As far as Murray getting hurt, well I was at the game; he got flushed out of the pocket and was running to the sidelines while keeping his eyes down-field looking for an open guy. He reared back and a defensive player caught up and starting climbing up his back, well he set his feet and threw a pass and Murray and the guy went to the ground and Murray’s ankle twisted to the point that it dislocated and broke at the same time (I guess 400 plus pounds coming directly down on a single appendage was a little too much). So this thing about him being injury prone just doesn’t cut it. He threw out his arm running the scout team plays for Okl St game. We all know how kids who want something so bad that they overdo things while trying to stand out from the rest of the pact. Well someone allowed Murray to throw, and throw, and throw until he developed triceps tendinitis. BTW, he was back throwing pretty well within three weeks, but I’m glad they held him out and made him rehab, because he wanted to go right back out and start throwing again.
BTW, although Murray completed the pass (at least I think so, everyone was watching the Doctors popping his ankle back into place). I do know for certain that his first play back was a 30 something rope for a TD.