Dogs’ offense looks more versatile this year

Whether rolling out or taking off running, Aaron Murray should bring added versatility to the QB position. (AJC staff)

Whether rolling out or taking off running, Aaron Murray should bring added versatility to the QB position. (AJC staff)

Despite the uncertainty over who’ll be the Dogs’ quarterback, most fans I’ve been talking with this spring feel pretty good about the offense because of the returning experience on the offensive line and at tailback, and, of course, A.J. Green.

But the Macon Telegraph’s spring practice coverage has touched on a couple of other reasons to be optimistic about UGA’s offensive prospects.

One is the likelihood of additional mobility at QB if either Aaron Murray or Logan Gray is behind center. While Mark Richt’s teams haven’t generally been known for a dual-threat QB except during 2005 with D.J. Shockley — and last year that really wasn’t part of the offense with Joe Cox — Georgia’s coaches think Murray and Gray have that potential. (Zach Mettenberger, not so much, but he’s pretty much taken himself out of the starter’s race at this point with a suspension hanging over his head.)

Speaking of Murray and Gray, Mark Richt said, “I believe those guys are athlete enough to add a little bit of quarterback run, run a little zone read, run a little quarterback draw. I don’t see us running a true option, but … we’ll have quarterback run gamed for them, and you would expect them to make plays either crossing the line of scrimmage or scrambling right, left, buying time and finding someone downfield.”

We’re not talking about the Dogs relying on their quarterback to run extensively. But instead of just sailing the ball out of bounds when everyone’s covered, Richt said, the quarterback can move up in the pocket and maybe have room to gain 4 or 5 yards. “If two times a game the quarterback can cross the line of scrimmage and get the first down when it wasn’t designed for it to happen that way, that’s huge, and I think those guys can do that.”

And if that proves to be the case, it can help the passing game, Richt notes. “Defenders respect a guy who can run and sometimes will come off a coverage to come get him, and all of a sudden they can flip it to a guy who’s open.”

A more mobile quarterback also allows you to move the pocket while he searches for an open receiver, like Matthew Stafford did against Kentucky a couple of years ago. Cox really wasn’t able to do that, which resulted in quite a few of his inteceptions.

The other plus for the Dogs’ offense highlighted by the Telegraph is the potential mismatch with the defense that tight ends Aron White and Orson Charles offer since both are athletic enough to split out at receiver, especially if a linebacker is trying to cover them.

As Murray noted,  “It’s going to be good to have those guys just to confuse the defense, not knowing if we’re in a two-tight formation, or spread, or three receiver look.”

“It’s going to pose a great threat,” Murray said. “It’s going to be pretty hard for the defense … we come out with two tight ends, and they think we’re going to be in a two-tight formation and we split one out, or we split two out and they’re in a base defense. They’re not ready to handle four receivers. It causes it a lot of confusion just because of their athleticism.”

Yes, the Dogs will have an inexperienced quarterback this season. But barring any key injuries to the line, I’m still feeling really good about Georgia’s ability to move the ball and score.

What about you?

118 comments Add your comment

Go Dawgs!

March 23rd, 2010
11:10 am

I think this year is going to be a great improvement over last year, on both sides of the ball. I can’t wait till the season starts!!! Go Dawgs!!!!!!! first?

Bulldog

March 23rd, 2010
11:15 am

We’ll see how Bobo drives this bus…

Hot Mic

March 23rd, 2010
11:27 am

Lots of weapons, indeed! I’d really like to see 3 & 4 each rock out 1,000 yards…and have each of them hit the mark against Tech ‘tween the hedges.

DawgBuzz

March 23rd, 2010
11:29 am

Hope CMR takes more command of the offense and let’s Bobo handle the QB’s.

Hot Mic

March 23rd, 2010
11:31 am

BTW Bill, nice post.

11Dawg

March 23rd, 2010
11:33 am

Offense will not be a problem this year. If only I were that confident about the defense…

AceDawg

March 23rd, 2010
11:33 am

Bobo’s playcalling and the ability of the offense to stop penalizing itself is still a factor, but there are plenty of reasons to expect solid production. EVERY position will be better this year on paper, so how can that not be an excellent reason to be optimistic? I got the feeling that Murray is a “winner” with a competitive edge, but Gray looked good last Spring, and maybe just maybe he didn’t look good in a few game situations because he was so limited in opportunities.

dbc

March 23rd, 2010
11:39 am

UGA will be back in the SEC hunt this year. What worries me is, where in the he!! am I going to tailgate?

dawgs01

March 23rd, 2010
12:02 pm

Orson Charles was a beast last year and I think he has a great future ahead of him at UGA and in the NFL. Can’t wait till Fall, but spring is almost hear and i cant wait for the bikini’s. GOOOO DAWGS

bigdawg

March 23rd, 2010
12:04 pm

ive been saying this for about two months now. The offense has the potential to be the best its been in five years (with the exception of 2008).

tony

March 23rd, 2010
12:06 pm

I’m very excited about that Murray kid. I’ve been saying since last season that I think he is the best qb on that team. I really believe if Mr.Richt doesn’t try to play both qbs that Aaron Murray will flourish and lead the dawgs to an sec championship. If the defense is half as good as it was last season, I see no reason why they couldn’t win it all in 2010.

Scout Dawg

March 23rd, 2010
12:21 pm

Yeah, I think we are going to be highly competitive on both sides of the ball. I am just praying that the dreaded injury “bug” flies on by Athens this year!

PeachJam

March 23rd, 2010
12:24 pm

Most excited I’ve been about UGA football since…in a long time.

Cuz

March 23rd, 2010
12:26 pm

Give us some offensive fireworks and a lights out defense.

Brandon Spikes

March 23rd, 2010
12:29 pm

Please let them run CMR.

Hope Floats

March 23rd, 2010
12:30 pm

I’m very excited about that Murray kid. I’ve been saying since last season that I think he is the best qb on that team. I really believe if Mr.Richt doesn’t try to play both qbs that Aaron Murray will flourish and lead the dawgs to an sec championship. If the defense is half as good as it was last season, I see no reason why they couldn’t win it all in 2010.

I love the idiots on this blog!

ESPN College Football

March 23rd, 2010
12:31 pm

UGA Crowned Spring Football National Champs Once Again!!!!

bigdawg

March 23rd, 2010
12:34 pm

@ESPN College Football yeah last year Florida won that award and this year its us :)

ESPN College Football

March 23rd, 2010
12:36 pm

No bigdawg, UGA wins it every year, since 1980.

[...] “a lot to grasp.”9.  This writer believes the silver britches’ offense will be more versatile in 2010.10.  Thanks to yesterday’s ruling by the NCAA, John Calipari is no longer the only Division I [...]

unweaned lil pup

March 23rd, 2010
12:36 pm

Tony … if the d is half as good as last year, we gonna stink up the sec east big time.
Success in 2010 rides on a much improved D more than any other facet.

jack bull

March 23rd, 2010
12:37 pm

asked the nephew over the weekend to give me a couple of guys flying under the radar who are looking good so far, he said, other than it still being really too early to say, but, Artie is looking real good at TE, DJ(Dontavious Jackson), looks pretty good a TB,(but Washaun looks REAL good), on D, he said Jordan Love looks good and has really good size to go with his speed, he also said himself, with a chuckle… i’ll talk to him again this weekend. i try not to bother him too much..

bigdawg

March 23rd, 2010
12:38 pm

well at least your not calling it delusion like most other SEC fans call us. We’re not delusional or dreaming. its called optimism and faith in your team to improve year-to-year regardless of ONE bad year in ten…

Just Sayin

March 23rd, 2010
12:38 pm

Tony, if the D is half as good then it will be the worst in the country. If you mean twice as good then you will be around # 40 in the country.

Dawg 39

March 23rd, 2010
12:41 pm

I am trying to find a reason not to be excited about the Dawg’s offense for the next 3/4 years. I Can’t find one. Check the HT. of our WRs & TEs, depth on the OL, quality & quantity everywhere.
CMR will still be working with the QBs & checking on CMB. I am in the minority that believe that CMB is an excellent QB coach & an excellent OC. I see No major problems for the offense .

ESPN College Football

March 23rd, 2010
12:41 pm

bigdawg, UGA gets the all time award for optimism. Do you think Murray will be better than Stafford his first year starting? Remember, you still have Bobo the clown calling plays.

jack bull

March 23rd, 2010
12:43 pm

oh yeah, i asked him about Murray and the glove thing and if he thought he was too short to play QB, and he wouldn’t comment on it. he’s the kind of kid that don’t say anything bad about anyone, so i’m not really sure how to take him not commenting on it..

LADawg

March 23rd, 2010
12:45 pm

I love the way Murray seems to be able to express himself and apparently has football knowledge that is beyond a redshirt freshman. The SEC East is going to be fun to watch. Where last year we had a chance of losing on any given weekend, this year will be just the opposite.

bigdawg

March 23rd, 2010
12:47 pm

did anyone ever say that ANY of UGA’s current QBs will be better than Stafford in their SENIOR years! Stafford was a dang gunslinger that I don’t see UGA gettin one like him for the next 4 or 5 classes. Bobo the clown? really?? this is an offense that ran ALL OVER tech, A&M, Auburn, SC, and Ark. i don’t see people pickin on Miss. St fans, Vandy fans, Ark fans, etc. their teams were just as bad, heck worse than UGA and their fans are just as optimist. the only difference is that UGA actually has a tradition of success under their current coach (not knockin miss st, vandy, and arkansas, I think they all have talent but lets face it their program is not UGAs) go troll them for a change…

bigdawg

March 23rd, 2010
12:48 pm

OK now that im off my soapbox… whats up everyone :D

LADawg

March 23rd, 2010
12:51 pm

ESPN College Football, will Murray be better the Stafford in his first year? I wouldn’t think so. But I do think he will get better results. Stafford was behind a make-shift line, had a not-so-good running game, and middle of the road receivers. You can’t judge a team just based on the QB position!

Clemson Rules!

March 23rd, 2010
12:53 pm

HAHA even Florida players are glad Tebow is gone so they will have a “real QB”. And Alabama just vacated a ton of wins for cheating. What a couple of scum bag filled programs. LOL

run the ball

March 23rd, 2010
12:53 pm

CMB must establish a power running game and control the clock. What’s CMR’s record when we have a back go over 100 yds? Really, Bobo, let the offensive line and our fullbacks control the game. Play to our strengths instead of asking an inexperienced QB to throw for 300 a game and getting killed in time of possession.

If we beat TN and Fla this year we could play for the NC. I’m just sayin.

GATA Dawgs!

March 23rd, 2010
12:54 pm

Here’s my biggest fear: that Richt doesn’t make up his mind about who starts and we end up going back and forth between two or three guys and it takes 3 or 4 games for him to finally make up his mind.

I’m also beginning to wonder if the injury “bug” isn’t more about bad conditioning rather than bad luck.

Hairy Dawg

March 23rd, 2010
12:57 pm

Stafford came in as a true freshman and didn’t have the talent surrounding him like Murray has. Murray will have 2 spring practices and an entire season of practice and bowl practice under his belt. I say Murray has a much better freshman season than Stafford. Add a more experience OC in Bobo and I just don’t see how you could even think that Murray won’t be able to perform better that Stafford this season. I’d venture to say that Murray could possibly even outplay Stafford in Stafford’s junior season this year.

bigdawg

March 23rd, 2010
1:01 pm

I agree. better than Stafford in MS’ junior year probably not. better than MS’ FRESHMAN year. probably yeah. not that hard really considering stafford had twice the ints to tds (even cox had more tds than ints) lol

ESPN College Football

March 23rd, 2010
1:02 pm

run the ball, and when was the last time you beat Tenn and UF the same year?

Hope Floats

March 23rd, 2010
1:04 pm

You guys crack me up. Has any actually seen Murray perform in game conditions?

Hairy Dawg

March 23rd, 2010
1:06 pm

Not exactly necessary to beat UF and UT in the same season. It would help, but history for the SEC and national champ hasn’t shown that it’s necessary. That’s the SEC. If you’re a Nerd fan, then you better run the table since you don’t play anybody in your conference worth claiming you beat.

Hairy Dawg

March 23rd, 2010
1:08 pm

Hope Floats is the type that sees the results of a game and says “I knew they’d win” or looks at the lottery results and says “I was going to play those numbers.”

Alabama Dawg

March 23rd, 2010
1:16 pm

Murray play better than Stafford in his Junior season? Maybe. Playing better than Stafford in his Sophomore season? I doubt it! Here’s hoping the Dawgs have a memorable season this year, whoever the QB is!

Hope Floats

March 23rd, 2010
1:21 pm

Hope floats see’s Dawg Fans as hilarious. See’s Dawg fans as wanting to win a NC so bad that they are still stuck in 1980.

james

March 23rd, 2010
1:22 pm

how is this guy still writing for the AJC? its just sad. NO insightful opinions offered, beyond “hey! we might have a mobile qb this year – that’s what we’ve been missing.” For that level of analysis, I’ll just talk to another fan…wait, that’s exactly what this sham of a “blog” is.

Team Doctor

March 23rd, 2010
1:22 pm

What happens to your hope when Murray starts missing games because of injuries?

ESPN College Football

March 23rd, 2010
1:24 pm

Hairy, if you would have beat Tenn and Florida in 2007 you would have won the SEC East and not left whining how you were cheated out of the BCS.

Hairy Dawg

March 23rd, 2010
1:32 pm

As usual ESPN… you don’t read very well.

jzdawg

March 23rd, 2010
1:33 pm

Any of these guys will be better than an non-mobile Cox. Cox had his flashes of being a good QB last year against Ark. and a few other games but when pressured he panicked and either got sacked or threw a INT because he couldn’t run.

Brandon Spikes

March 23rd, 2010
1:39 pm

jzdawg, Logan Gray didnt set the world on fire either.

ESPN College Football

March 23rd, 2010
1:40 pm

No, Hairy what I said is you MUST win the East to have a shot. Jawja didnt win the East in 07.

Lizard King

March 23rd, 2010
1:40 pm

We’ll have Aaron Murray dancin’ back there in the pocket like Arthur Murray…