How long is too long for three quarterbacks?

What if Zach Mettenberger wins the QB race but has to sit out the first game? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

What if Zach Mettenberger wins the QB race but has to sit out the first game? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

I’ve heard several fans complaining about the way Mark Richt and Mike Bobo are handling Georgia’s search for a starting quarterback.

The gist of the complaints seems to be an assumption that the coaches are artificially maintaining the three-way race between Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger and Logan Gray, treating them equally in spring practice, when it seems hardly likely that all three are still completely even. And, so the thinking goes, if one of them is clearly more advanced than the other two (most folks assume that would be Murray), why continue to give the others the same number of reps with the first-string offense? Why not go ahead and annoint him the leader and give him more work so that he’ll be further along come August?

I find it hard to believe that’s what’s going on, though. More likely, I think, is that while the battle might not be a dead heat between the three, no one has separated himself enough from the pack for the coaches to feel comfortable declaring a depth chart at QB.

Plus, I’m not sure the treatment is really as equal as it’s being officially presented. I noted that after last week’s scrimmage, when Mettenberger and Murray’s passing numbers were clearly better than Gray’s, Richt pointed out that most of Gray’s snaps had been with injury-depleted second unit. So obviously Mettenberger and Murray were getting more time with the first unit.

Still, how long can this three-headed quarterbacking go on? Will we find out after G-Day who the leader is, or will it still be a three-man race come August?

UPDATE: Richt said after Saturday’s scrimmage that he will release a depth chart after G-Day, though he might not name a starter.

And David Hale of Bulldogs Blog raises another interesting point: Mettenberger likely will be suspended for the first game of the season as a result of his alcohol-related arrest. What if he turns out to be the best choice behind center? What would it do to the offense’s progress to have to start Gray or Murray against Louisiana-Lafayette and then turn around and switch to Mettenberger a week later in the SEC opener at South Carolina? Can you really prepare two starting quarterbacks in August without diluting your efforts?

Bobo admitted to Hale that would be a problem, but said, “Right now, we don’t want [the quarterbacks] looking ahead, and I want us trying to get better. We have a lot to get better at, and it’s too early to decide that. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes to it. In a perfect world, I don’t want to rep two or three quarterbacks before the first game because we’ve still got to get a guy ready. But all of that is the head coach’s decision, too, so we’ll see.”

So are you comfortable with that approach? Or would you rather see the future starter getting more work now?

TAXI TALE, TAKE 2

Some folks apparently took what I wrote Friday about the taxi cab incident allegedly involving Georgia football players to mean I was saying that being kicked of the team would be too harsh a penalty if it’s true. That’s not what I meant to imply at all.

And, in fact, I didn’t actually state what I thought ought to be done in such a case. In explaining the reasoning behind early calls in the blogosphere for such a dismissal from the team, I noted that it would be a pretty severe punishment for some slaps in the back of the head and threats. And certainly the alleged actions don’t rise to the level of some past transgressions by college athletes, including attempted armed robbery, beat-downs, drug-dealing and smashing a beer pitcher in someone’s face. But they still are not acceptable behavior for players representing the university.

I deliberately didn’t say what I thought ought to be done because I felt it was premature since we don’t even know that a college athlete was involved. But just so everyone’s clear, here’s where I stand: If the folks accused in the incident were UGA athletes, and if what was alleged in the police report was accurate — a mighty big if — then I think dismissal from the team would be in order on top of whatever legal sentence they got in court. If it turns out that what happened fell short of what is claimed in the report but still involved any threatening or abusive behavior, then that would probably merit at least a substantial suspension, possibly for a full season.

Let’s keep one thing in mind, though. The police report is just a record of what one side claims happened in the incident. And even then the details of what’s being claimed are in flux. The report has the alleged victims claiming threats of a sexual nature involving a swing, but a friend of the couple who was in the taxi with them told The Red and Black that what was actually said was, “Do y’all swing?” Not quite the same thing.

The bottom line is that we don’t know what, if anything, really happened, or even whether it involved UGA football players. Which is why I return to the point I made Friday: Everyone should emulate Mark Richt in this case and wait and see rather than rushing to judgment.

124 comments Add your comment

JMart

April 3rd, 2010
2:02 pm

How long is too long for three quarterbacks? Well it certainly isn’t any point in spring practice for goodness sake. Just ask the QB’s. They are all getting PLENTY of reps to learn the system and get better which is the whole point of spring practice.

SOUTHGADAWG88

April 3rd, 2010
2:14 pm

Bigboy I’m just trying to bring some reality to the discussion.If not some people are going to be crowning us SEC champs or going 6-6 based on “SPRING PRACTICE”.

Q Dawg

April 3rd, 2010
2:59 pm

What’s up with our top tailbacks’ knee injuries?

Yet again strength and conditioning?

GILLISLEE

April 3rd, 2010
3:00 pm

Somebody will win the job, most likely Murray or Mett who come September will have not played in a real game in about 20 months. There will be 2 unhappy campers on the bench not including Mason, the Parade “All American” who by the way doesn’t show up on the ESPN 150 or the Rivals 250. Say Murray wins the job and there is an early loss, then there will be talk of “Maybe Mett was the guy” or “Grays experience earned him the job.” Should be fun to watch!

bring on the kool-aid...

April 3rd, 2010
3:16 pm

written by: ATL XMAN

April 3rd, 2010
12:16 pm

“…..anyways when the season starts so sharing them now is no big deal.richt is doing the right thing as he always does. its his team and he knows more about his team more than any blogger does anyway so trust in richt…..”
****************************************************************

Yea right…fired and hired a new DC…getting more “Involved” w/ the QB’s and offense…changing the kicking game…all should have been taken care of LAST YEAR

These were all written about last year by people on this, and other blogs (along w/ benching Joe Cox)…yet the fans with blinders on kept spouting how CMR knew what would right the ship, that is, until he hit that ice berg…yea sure he does…last season was an embarrassment for the team, fans, and school…can’t believe they are having trouble picking a QB…if Met starts, he’ll be buried under the rush, or wind up throwing pick’s, an you’ll be singing the “Wait until next season” blues once again…

oledawg

April 3rd, 2010
4:11 pm

How long is too long? As long as it takes in this coach-pressuring blog. No matter the coachs’s decision, you are laid back to differ with it the way you outline the practice philosophy. You don’t speak for other alumni and certainly not for me, Bill.

The “Taxi Incident” is not dependant on your take on the transgression(”if this, then this should be the punishment if he didn’t do something else…etc) much less your remedy of punishment. If this incident occurred and if it was racially tinged then the perpetrators should be kicked out of UGA if they are students, much less if they are football players. You are couching you’re “ifs” and meting out punishment. Let’s all(including you Bill) let the proper people call such shots. Opinions are one thing, but there should be no tolerance of racial intolerance at UGA…period. And you should say so.

Dawg Stephen

April 3rd, 2010
4:24 pm

What oledawg above me just said at 4:11pm

http://www.dawgstephen.blogspot.com/

rodtacos

April 3rd, 2010
4:31 pm

To me it seems pretty simple. All I’ve heard all Spring is our lack of depth at WR. Put Logan over there. Great athlete with great hands. Start Murray and have a solid #2 in Mettenberger. Let’s tee it up.

oledawg

April 3rd, 2010
4:48 pm

SOUTHGADAWG88- Good post. Don’t pay attention to the nit-pickers. Yours is the type of post many fans need, but especially it’s needed for Bill. I grew up in SOWEGA and have enjoyed your posts about your buddies getting together away from everyone on game day. Both ends of the rah-rah is blurted all on here all the time and I think they may be kids and techies. Bill encourages a lot of that ilk with his judgemental/coaching blogs from time to time, but he is to be forgiven for allowing his motorboat mind to be overtaken by his steamboat a–.

oledawg

April 3rd, 2010
5:05 pm

Dawg Stephen- Thanks for your post and I just read your blog and Mike in Valdosta. Mostly agreeable with Mike, but one and the same with you. I have noticed throughout articles that you and Altamaha are the ones that I’m in full agreement with while not posting such. Youall and several other good fans keep me coming back to note what you have to say. It’s great to post with reasoning fans who go nuts on Game Day and hold it between the lines on other occasions. GO DAWGS!

georgiadawg70

April 3rd, 2010
5:29 pm

I dont really give a damn which one starts. Its not going to matter.

Dawg 39

April 3rd, 2010
5:34 pm

I enoy this blog. I usually agree with Altamaha Dawg, The Mayor of Dawgtown, Dawg Stephen,Mike in Valdosta, &oledawg (Maybe because I am an Old Dawg & I am an optimist as well as a realist.
3 QBs in spring practice works for me. The competition is good for all 3. No one has won the starting job yet. A pecking order will be established soon but it will not be set in stone. That works for me.
Everything I read helps fuel my optimism. If there is a major problem anywhere I have yet to find it. We could end up with the best team the Dawgs have put on the field since 1983. Only a super game from Bo Jackson kept the Dawgs out of the championship picture that year. (without # 34 ) (What If ?).

Stinger

April 3rd, 2010
6:35 pm

Guilty until proven innocent. 4 UGA thugs attack man and his wife. Thug university.

Observer

April 3rd, 2010
6:51 pm

The taxi driver was white.

bigdawg

April 3rd, 2010
6:56 pm

@Stinger…

of course coming from a university located in ATLANTA for pete’s sake you have NO room to talk. I won’t pretend to know if and how many Tech students, players, etc. have been arrested… but to say that 4 people are to be an accurate description of a University of THOUSANDS is more than a little biased. then when we attack you if YOUR players are ever arrested or accused you want to turn it back on us…

I love how tech beats us in football ONE YEAR and beat 10 A-SHE-SHE schools and think they own us lolololol.

we own tech

and how does this make you feel.

no matter how good you do in the All Cupcake Conference you will ALWAYS be the little brother who punches the big brother then gets his leg broken when big bro tosses him off the porch.

))))))))))))))30-24(((((((((((((((

bigdawg

April 3rd, 2010
7:04 pm

btw…

what your players did to our hedges 2 years ago could technically be taken as vandalism however we let you have your fun the when right back to making you our whipping post.

I guess what I learned in Biology was true…

one a Yellow Jacket stings you it then dies a slow, painful death.

)))))))))))))60-39-5((((((((((((((((

bigdawg

April 3rd, 2010
7:04 pm

btw…

what your players did to our hedges 2 years ago could technically be taken as vandalism however we let you have your fun the when right back to making you our whipping post.

I guess what I learned in Biology was true…

one a Yellow Jacket stings you it then dies a slow, painful death.

)))))))))))))60-39-5((((((((((((((((

Bill King

April 3rd, 2010
7:14 pm

Oledawg:

I was explaining why I didn’t express an opinion Friday on any prospective punishment. But since folks insisted on assigning an opinion to me, I decided to make it clear what I think would be appropriate IF the incident involved Georgia athletes and IF it’s determined it happened like the alleged victims say it did. And that’s regardless of the race of anybody involved. And then I made again the point that I made on Friday: No need to rush to judgment; sit back and wait on the facts like Richt is doing. As for expressing an opinion, yes, that’s what I do here.

Dawg Stephen

April 3rd, 2010
7:27 pm

Have I been blocked? Wow, the techies can post, but I cant. Nice.

ga gator

April 3rd, 2010
7:41 pm

your have a good blog Dawg Stephen.

Dawg Stephen

April 3rd, 2010
7:46 pm

Since I cannot post my link, I will paste my dissertation here. (thanks ga gator)

No matter if the players at UGA are guilty or not, the damage has been done. Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty?”

And according to NBC.com…The players dont even get a chance to answer the charges and there is NO need for an investigation. The headline reads “Georgia Football Players are very sensitive about their bratwurst”. HUH?? Do we get a chance to investigate? Is there a chance that MAYBE someone can explain? Nope. I guess NOT….guilty with no need to find out.

So let me get this straight…
No need to investigate, forget that the couple waited 3 days to mention an incident that happened that late at night, (2:04 am per police report) when they were too intoxicated to drive home, or even walk. They were attacked totally unprovoked immediately upon letting the suspects in the cab, and then just let them out of the car, with no help from cab driver, or no fighting back at all, or even TRYING to get away, or get out of the cab?

So instead, these accusations are made, and REGARDLESS of guilt or innocence on the players part, our coaches, staff, players, and university have to deal with this mess. I have already stated, if the players are involved, so be it. No matter who it is, they have to be prosecuted and dealt with accordingly, and in my opinion, REMOVED from the University not just from the team. Shoot, get them out of TOWN.

If they however are INNOCENT, then someone has a lot of apologizing to do, and the accusers need to pay. No matter what, Georgia has suffered, and will not win, no matter what. The damage has been done.

Delbert D.

April 3rd, 2010
8:21 pm

CMR will present the depth chart but not who is the starter??? He must have in mind a bottom-up depth chart with the worst of the 3 on top, and the other 2 as actual players. Typical CMR, can’t quite pull the trigger on any decision.

chazzo

April 3rd, 2010
8:24 pm

Small Johnson,

If you dont want to count UGA’s victories over UF when UF had a young team, then let’s don’t count UF’s victories against UGA’s young teams (last year being one of them). All these speculative scenarios don’t mean squat. A W is a W a W and an L is an L. Bottom line. I want my team to beat the Gators as much as anybody. But, throw stats and lines and uniform changes and any other BS out the window. The Gators have bragging rights, quite frankly until our Dawgs get at least two Ws in a row. We can all grin and bear it until that happens. The key, I think is not to out think Meyer. It is to out man him (in the Pat Dye sense of the word).

chazzo

April 3rd, 2010
8:40 pm

That taxi story sounds real fishy to me. Three drunk white males, a couple, and four black males in a taxi eating brats. suddenly the football players for no reason whatsoever start punching a white couple in the back of the head. This story stinks. It is a set up. Quite frankly I have wondered if a lot of these things are set ups to some extent.

buzzDawg

April 3rd, 2010
9:11 pm

Maybe it was a poor re-enactment of the scene from Animal House where the black guys at the black nightclub ask to dance with the Delta frat boys’ dates. My man Otis!
Frankly, the story sounds hokie and I hope it turns out to be fiction.

PowerDawg

April 3rd, 2010
10:10 pm

Pure, baseless speculation. I don’t believe a word of it. It will be determined that no one from the football team was involved, I’d stake my tickets on it!

These so-called victims are a married couple that attend the university and they “think” the men are on the football team? Why? Because they’re big muscled-up guys? Because they’re black?

C’mon now.

When I was in school, everyone knew who the athletes were, especially the football players.

I’m sure all our enemies will be glad to read the headlines about this, but guess what?

They will all need cold showers when the story is over. Better luck next time, losers!

RED DOG 77

April 4th, 2010
12:27 am

Dawg Stephen……………..While I enjoy your blog, in fact it is first class ! I couldn’t disagree more with your statement, that if UGA football players are indeed innocent, then the accusers have alot of apoligizing to do…………..Hog wash !!! If some young men, be they football players or not, have been falsely accused, then the sorry scum that has damaged UGA’s image by falsley accusing them should be doing a little jail time…………….and to hell with apologies………That’s the way I see it……….Regards, RED

Joe Cox

April 4th, 2010
11:19 am

I hope it’s Logan.

Willie Martinez

April 4th, 2010
11:36 am

If you guys take me back, I’ll promise to be more aggressive, coach tackling, blitz, run a 3-4, kick the ball into the endzone, do squat thrusts, eat 50 eggs in an hour, whatever it takes!

You guys were right, I was wrong. I see that now. I can change!!!

I’ll even come back for less money! Take me back!!! Please!

Millie Wartinez

April 4th, 2010
11:41 am

Yes. I agree with what Willie Martinez said. We should take him back. I believe he can change.

We are going to totally regret hiring this new guy from “the pros.”

As if.

Millie Wartinez

April 4th, 2010
11:46 am

But I think we should hire him back with a HUGE raise.

He’ll be totally motivated.

But what do I know? I’m just a motivational speaker and and expert on collegiate football with a certificate in defense and coaching.

Willie Martinez

April 4th, 2010
11:49 am

Wow. Thanks Millie!

Whoever you are.

pot calling kettle...

April 4th, 2010
11:58 am

So if the 4 drunk guys are cretins, thugs, degenerates, possible rapist, etc etc for acting like @sses when they get drunk, what does that make a white guy who gets drunk and does the same thing on a nightly basis in downtown athens or a Frat party?

pot calling kettle...

April 4th, 2010
12:07 pm

Let me clarify. I am not condoning the actions at all. I think they all need their @sses kicked. Just the harsh langauage and name calling in the previous posts smacked of a little racism.

dawgfan

April 4th, 2010
12:09 pm

I guess I’m in the minority of folks who doesn’t care that much who our QB is this year. They all sound capable to me. Even Gray, who isn’t as talented as the other two, would probably be a solid starter as long as he protected the ball. Bobo is a mediocre play caller but is excellent at developing QBs. I’m not that concerned about it. I just don’t care. Our success in 2010 and beyond is dependent on the defense, offensive line, and developing a formidable running game. These things win you college football games and championships, not the quaterback. I’d like to hear more about those things. The QB race gets too much attention and is a distraction.

Happy Easter.

MIke Bobo

April 4th, 2010
12:27 pm

Nah. Let’s talk more about the QBs and how well I develop them. Not so much about how I’m a bad play caller. Maybe we could even talk about me getting a raise?

I wish everyone an even happier Easter than the guy in the post before this!

Rush Limbaugh

April 4th, 2010
12:35 pm

Pot calling kettle…

“…what does that make a white guy who gets drunk and does the same thing on a nightly basis in downtown athens or a Frat party?”

We’re called idiots. Especially that Glenn Beck clown…who is totally doing MY schtick!

Blue eyes and Norwegian heritage? #%@$#

April 4th, 2010
12:56 pm

If you have long flowing blond hair, and blue eyes and you can with DNA prove that you are the great,great,great,great,great grandson of a Norwegian Viking king and if you board a bus and rattle a married couple ( married or not ) and if you make threatening head slaps and utter vulgar words toward the couple, trying to engage the ONE guy ( one guy is the key here ) THE #3? or 4?? men??need some time in the jail house and some classroom instruction on how not to be an animal. You also need to learn how to count. 4 on 1??? 3 on 1??? COWARDS, PUNKS and THUGS.

Coversely, if you are not of Norwegian royal heritage and say, are from another area of the world like Asia or Austrailia or Antartica, S. America or yes, ………..AFRICA and you do the exact same things listed here …………………YOU STILL NEED SOME TIME IN THE JAIL HOUSE for PUNKS. THUGS. The alleged behavior is animalistic and will not work with GE or IBM or Delta or Citibank or wherever you end up in life ……………..unless you want to end up in JAIL.

Deal with them harshly IF TRUE and let the chips fall.

Tom

April 4th, 2010
3:28 pm

On the bright side if one of them was Montez, he’s gone anyway (just arrested for battery).

To be honest, I seriously doubt ANY uga football players were involved in this taxi nonsense.

FLMoonpie

April 4th, 2010
4:11 pm

Way to go UGA. The end result of signing those Rivals and Scouts.com thugs. If charges come on the four involved in the taxi incident, that will make six in the past couple of weeks. The tradition continues.

TechMaster

April 4th, 2010
4:19 pm

Richt (not the athens police) is “conducting” an investigation. The results should be available “soon” meaning “indefinitely” if those thugs are starters.

Montez Mania

April 4th, 2010
4:52 pm

Wow, there are some bad Bulldogs around. There is an early report that Washaun was in the Taxi, uh oh.

dawgfan

April 4th, 2010
5:53 pm

This comment concerns the Martrez Robinson kid. He’s bad news and obviously has some anger issues. Send him back to Indiana – we don’t need him.

Gosh Dawg

April 4th, 2010
6:15 pm

Looks like crow is back on the menu for a lot of people.

Thug Ville

April 4th, 2010
6:38 pm

Will Richt be able to field a competitive team in the fall after all these arrests? He may break bobby bowden’s record at fsu of arrests and coverups!

George

April 4th, 2010
6:51 pm

Recruit thugs, thugs you get. Need changes in leadership to stop embarrassement.

The Eternal Pessimist

April 4th, 2010
7:38 pm

George is a poet!
But seriously, the official story is still that Robinson’s arrest is unrelated to the taxi incident, so until we get a clearer picture of what is going on all of this is just useless speculation.

Bama Ramma

April 4th, 2010
7:40 pm

Georgia needs to clean house with all those arrests. Richt should contact Saban and learn how to run a first class program and win titles. Ga’s getting so many players arrested, I heard that to save money, they may start holding weekly practices in the jailhouse yard in Athens. But, crime prevention in Athens is a lot easier than most cities—when a crime is committed, there’s no need usually do to any lineups or long investigations. Instead, the police just has the victim look through the Ga football program to find the perpetrator.

Shame

April 4th, 2010
7:43 pm

That boy had a free ride to an education and possibly a career in the NFL. It appears the charges relate to domestic violence as did his charges last year. Good riddance thug, we don’t need your kind at UGA. Violence against women is cowardly and there is no place for a coward on our field or anyone elses.

Hey Bama Ramma

April 4th, 2010
7:44 pm

Pot…Kettle