What’s your biggest concern about the 2011 Dogs?

Aaron Murray gives the Dogs hope in 2011, but what is the biggest concern? (AJC file)

Aaron Murray gives the Dogs hope in 2011, but what is the biggest concern? (AJC file)

Over at ESPN.com, Edward Aschoff took a look at the biggest reasons for hope and concern for the Georgia Bulldogs this season. As you’d expect, the return of quarterback Aaron Murray was one of the reasons for hope, along with a talented linebacker unit, which he said “could be the most athletic in the league.”

Biggest reason for concern, Aschoff says, is Georgia’s unproven offensive skill players: “The Bulldogs have a ton of offensive talent, but only Murray, wide receiver Tavarres King and tight end Orson Charles have really made any sort of impact. Those three are reliable, but the rest of the group has yet to prove themselves. The Bulldogs haven’t found that elite running back. Washaun Ealey’s future is unknown and senior Caleb King was solid this spring, but has yet to really break out. Ken Malcome and Carlton Thomas struggled with injuries this spring. Incoming freshman Isaiah Crowell will have a ton of expectations to live up to when he arrives and he will immediately be in the thick of the running back competition. At receiver, King will be the go-to-guy, but after him there is a cloud of uncertainty. Marlon Brown seemed to come along at times this spring, but was inconsistent. Rantavious Wooten might be the most athletic receiver, but he, too, was inconsistent this spring and didn’t play in Georgia’s spring game. The rest of Georgia’s group hardly has any experience.”

Do you agree that the offensive skill players are the biggest reason for concern? Bigger than the unsettled secondary, where one of the safety positions is still a big question mark? Bigger than the reshuffling of an already suspect offensive line after the injury of Trinton Sturdivant?

What makes you the most nervous about the 2011 Dogs?

NEIGHBORHOOD LEGEND

The only reason I was surprised by the news this week that Danny Birchmore was being inducted into the Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame was because I’d just assumed he was already in it.

Birchmore, who lettered on the Georgia men’s tennis team 1970-73, was the first Bulldog to receive All-America honors when he was selected in 1971, and he repeated as an All-American in 1972 in addition to earning four first team All-SEC awards. In 1969, he won the U.S. boys 18 clay court singles title, upsetting Jimmy Connors in the quarterfinals. He was part of that cadre of Athens tennis kids (including future UGA athletic director Greg McGarity) shepherded by the great Dan Magill.

I grew up living around the corner from Danny, whose dad is Fred Birchmore, a legendary figure in Athens known for riding a bicycle around the world as a young man and building a giant stone wall in his 70s. Danny is two years older than me but he and I were in Boy Scouts together (Troop 4’s Buffalo Patrol) and we usually had our patrol meetings at his “Happy Hollow” home, where I spent many an hour tramping through his “backyard” (known to local kids as Birchmore’s Woods and now a part of Athens’ Memorial Park).

Danny easily could have been an intimidating presence to other kids since he was a brilliant student (he’s now a doctor in Nashville and teaches at Vanderbilt), a tremendous athlete and just about the perfect Boy Scout. But on top of all that, Danny was one of the nicest, most humble guys you could ever meet.

I was sitting beside him at Camp Rainey Mountain in North Georgia the night he was tapped for the prestigious Order of the Arrow and I remember how thrilled the rest of us from Troop 4 were for him. I feel the same way about his latest honor.

Give it up for Danny Birchmore, a damn good Dawg!

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

389 comments Add your comment

Elvis is dead and so is Osama

May 8th, 2011
12:42 pm

And so is UGA’s offensive line……..

Red Panties

May 8th, 2011
12:50 pm

Will the UGA players be wearing their lucky red panties this season?

Run, Lindsay, run!

May 8th, 2011
12:53 pm

I wonder if any of the books about UGA football include the perspective of someone speaking for the late Jan Kemp? The perspective that “student” athletes like Lindsay Scott were playing years without taking college level courses? That the proudest moment of the football program was earned by players who never earned a single college credit?

Dawgtards love to return to 1980, but their memories are really short when it comes to remembering an earthshaking event that happened a few years later that showed the world what a joke UGA athletes were and what a scam artist their beloved Vince Dooley was (and is). So for all those dawgtards with short memories or who think their athletes are actually taking real courses and trying to graduate, here’s the quote that broke the trial wide open and showed what a slimeball Dooley is:

O. Hale Almand Jr., a lawyer for the defense, offered a justification for the favorable treatment accorded the athletes, citing a hypothetical player. “We may not make a university student out of him,” he told the jury, “but if we can teach him to read and write, maybe he can work at the post office rather than as a garbageman when he gets through with his athletic career.”

Nothing has changed at UGA, they just do a slightly better job of keeping things quiet, but that’s hard to do when 45 of your player-thugs have been arrested, isn’t it?

UGA: WINNER OF THE FULMER/RICHT CUP

AltamahaDawg

May 8th, 2011
12:56 pm

Interesting that you feel like you think you needed to i.e. what party school means to all the other trolls?

dawgfan

May 8th, 2011
1:34 pm

Bill, I’ll tell you what is NOT our biggest concern and that would be Georgia Tech football. We have pounded these sissies in to the turf so many times for so long that I’m surprised the NCAA hasn’t implemented some kind of mercy rule in this series. Quite frankly, its a little embarassing that a proud football state like Georgia has such a lopsided in-state “rivalry,” if you can even call it that. I don’t know what is going to happen this season but we can be confident that whatever happens it will end with Techies walking away from Atlanta Sanford Stadium with their tails between their legs.

Thanks.

jaxdawgfan

May 8th, 2011
1:54 pm

Offensive coaching: play-calling, running backs and the line.

jaxdawgfan

May 8th, 2011
1:59 pm

Hey Red Panties. What do think is behind your sudden urge to mention those on Mothers Day?

Ed (The Original)

May 8th, 2011
2:14 pm

Coaching, especially Mark Richt. I don’t expect him to suddenly become a good coach this year. And there isn’t enough raw talent in the world to overcome that.

All the comments about CMR ...

May 8th, 2011
2:32 pm

… Makes me realize how little a lot of UGA fans know about football. Has there been issues? Yes – Could there be improvement? Yes – Do teams, coaches, etc have ups and downs? Yes – Some folks just don’t know how bad it really can get. ( Question: All those posting about CMR in such a strong negative tone are they: really UGA fans that don’t have much of a clue, or GT fans that hope they can energize the UGA bottom feeders in an attempt to run him off?)

AltamahaDawg

May 8th, 2011
3:13 pm

Dear other SEC fans: Please do not laugh at Snoop any more.

Fidlin1

May 8th, 2011
4:04 pm

The O Line is the hindge to kick the door in for the Dawgs. All the tools are in place to take advantage of the time and holes they can create.

SEC Fan

May 8th, 2011
4:15 pm

We’re not laughing at Snoop.

We are laughing at your athletic progam and your university.

AltamahaDawg

May 8th, 2011
4:23 pm

Now, now, we didn’t laugh at yours.

chazzo

May 8th, 2011
4:33 pm

@Walt and others: Could we please end the Murry padded his stats against easy teams argument. It simply aint true. Check it out:

#11 Aaron Murray Att Comp Int Pct Yards TD Long Sack-Yds Effic
——————————————————————————
UL……………….. 26 17 1 65.4 160 3 41 0-0 147.46
South Carolina…….. 21 14 0 66.7 192 0 55 3-23 143.47
Arkansas………….. 27 15 1 55.6 253 1 47 6-37 139.08
Mississippi State….. 31 18 0 58.1 274 1 40 1-6 142.95
Colorado………….. 27 16 1 59.3 221 3 50 2-17 157.27
Tennessee…………. 25 17 0 68.0 266 2 33 2-18 183.78
Vanderbilt………… 24 15 0 62.5 287 2 55 0-0 190.45
Kentucky………….. 12 9 0 75.0 113 0 34 0-0 154.10
Florida…………… 37 18 3 48.6 313 3 63 2-23 130.25
Idaho State……….. 27 19 0 70.4 228 3 46 1-7 177.97
Auburn……………. 28 15 0 53.6 273 3 40 3-23 170.83
Georgia Tech………. 19 15 0 78.9 271 3 66 1-10 250.86
UCF………………. 38 21 2 55.3 198 0 30 3-29 88.51
TOTALS……………. 342 209 8 61.1 3049 24 66 24-193 154.48

The only game I think his performance was questionable was the bowl with UCF. He did throw three pics agst. the Gators, but he also threw for over 300 yards. Passing efficiency was outstanding for a Freshman, and the kid just looks to me like he wants to win. Not everyone looked that way last season.

Ju Ju

May 8th, 2011
4:36 pm

Love our O-Line. Under Joe cox, the same o-line gave up 3x less sacks than Murray, and got 175 yards a game rushing with Cox and only 90 with Murray. It’s a terrific O-Line, hopefully Murray will get 2-3x better this year. Got to read defenses faster, decide much faster, get rid of the ball fast, and get much better on run audibles. If Murray gets 2-3x better, O-Line is great, team will be much better.

ET

May 8th, 2011
4:40 pm

It’s is true, Murray only threw 5 td’s against winning teams, 19 of his 24 td’s came against a much lower competition, losing teams. Murray’s accuracy dropped from 67% against losing teams, to 55% against wining teams. Murray’s record was 6-1 against teams wiht losing records, and 0-6 aganst teams with winning records. Murray really struggled in scoring, accuracy, and wins, against good competition.

ET

May 8th, 2011
4:52 pm

Murray faced 5 ranked teams:
SC- O Td’s
Ark- 1 td
MSU- 1 Td
Aub- 3 Td’s
UCF- O Td’s

He basically averaged 1 td a game against the 5 good teams, 2 1/2 Td’s against the bad teams.

ET

May 8th, 2011
4:56 pm

Murray’s accuracy against 5 ranked teams:
SC- 67%
Ark- 56%
MSU- 58%
Aub- 53%
UCF- 55%

chazzo

May 8th, 2011
5:01 pm

ET: You cant pin the win loss record on Murray. That’s just not a fair assessment. I’m not saying the kid is perfect. I am saying he had a good Freshman year. That’s all.

chazzo

May 8th, 2011
5:03 pm

By the way he got 3 TDs against UF. 3 against AU. 3 against Tech.

ET

May 8th, 2011
5:04 pm

Cox did the same stuff in Cox’s 1st full year as a starter, Cox & Murray both threw 5 td’s against ranked teams, and 19 against unranked teams. Murray’s at Joe cox’s level, that’s it. Murray was better than Cox at interceptions, worse at Cox in wins, sacks, so you’d have to put them at about the same. Cox didn’t get any NFL invites.

It’s my #1 concern.

chazzo

May 8th, 2011
5:05 pm

JuJu. I have defended Cox a lot from some unnecessary criticism. With all due respect, though, Cox threw a lot of picks. Murray was coached to play it conservative.

ET

May 8th, 2011
5:07 pm

Tech & Fla were not ranked lsst seaosn, they were bad teams.

Murray was productive in that 1 game against a ranked team, against Auburn.

In all 4 other games against ranked teams, Murray was scoreless in 2, and scored 1 td in the other 2.

chazzo

May 8th, 2011
5:07 pm

Cox was a fifth year senior with no playing experience. Of course he didn’t go pro. Besides, what does the NFL have to do with anything? There have been plenty of excellent college QBs who have not gone pro.

chazzo

May 8th, 2011
5:09 pm

In all fairness, he faced the ranked teams you mentioned very early in the season. He still put up some impressive yardage and without AJ, fumbling RBs, and half a play book. Cut the kid some slack.

chazzo

May 8th, 2011
5:12 pm

It dawns on me that UGA was putting points on the board. Only 17 against USC and 24 against MSU, but every other game was 30 plus. Maybe they were running TDs and FGs. Is the only mark of a good QB passing TDs?

ET

May 8th, 2011
5:17 pm

If you feel great about a QB who averages 56% accuracy against ranked teams (ranked below 80 there amond all college QB’s), and 1 td a game against ranked teams, and has an 0-5 record against ranked teams, if you want to get behind him as the future, feel free. But don’t blame last season’s 0-5 record against the good teams on an O-Line that had 150+ games of experience and performed highly for Joe Cox. Don’t blame it on running backs who averaged 80 more yards a game with Cox. Don’t blame it on the receivers, AJ & Kris both got drafted.

Captain Allen Waters

May 8th, 2011
5:20 pm

midland Dog said it best! How could you not get a td being that close to the goal line and even think of a fg? I was so disappointed and at least if we did not score they would have been on the goal line going the other way. That set the tone for the rest of the game. We never scored a touchdown against a pretty good UCF team. What a shame to have a losing season. Remember what we did in scoring 30+ in a row against other teams. Hopefully this year will be better and more like GA football! Think about the 8pm start in ATL being 530am Sunday morning in India and know there will be GA fans watching. Only reason I would not is if we have a flight that evening or afternoon. Go Dawgs!

Tax Man

May 8th, 2011
5:24 pm

Doesn’t take much to impress you guys.

A QB scores 19 of his 24 td’s against unranked teams and you think you have a star?

What’s Murray’s signature game so far, isn’t it La Laffayette?

the biggest concern = richt

May 8th, 2011
5:46 pm

1 will we do what we need to in order to win games or will we stick to the infallable game plan?

2 will a few victories (even against cream puffs) cause CMR to get soft AGAIN this year and lighten up when he needs to be putting the hammer down?

3 we got about two weeks until we start our annual sprint to the top in the fulmer cup standings. what’s it gonna be this year?

4 will mike bobo be able to call plays to win a game when he has the ball in the closing minutes. (see arkansas and colorado highlights…see stupid going for 2 vs gators when 1 pt wins the game.)

5. will coach richt’s family have a prayer session on the field this year like they did in the middle of the losing streak? or will coach richt realize that discipline and consistent intensity will get the job done and quit begging God to help and blaming “not executing the gameplan.”

all in all, i’, not worried. CMR knows what the hell he is doing. Just look at our record vs SEC East in the last few years.

Elvis is dead and so is Osama

May 8th, 2011
5:53 pm

UGA’s O line is weak as baby’s pee.

Elvis is dead and so is Osama

May 8th, 2011
5:56 pm

My biggest concern is Drew Butler leg in hoping it wont give out while the offense chokes down in the red zone.

SEC Fan

May 8th, 2011
6:20 pm

Drew is a smart player who made the right decision coming out of high school.

He picked the best coaching staff to showcase his talents to the NFL.

He will have a monster season.

SEC Fan

May 8th, 2011
6:39 pm

If the NFL needs a specialist who can kick 18 to 25-yard weird angle field goals, Blair is your man.

Georgia Fans Eats Idiots Sandwiches

May 8th, 2011
7:08 pm

Richt will go 6-6, entire UGA coaching staff each will receive $1000,000 raise at end of 2011 season. new ball coach @ Florida will beat Georiga. SWEET!

Murray The Midget

May 8th, 2011
7:13 pm

Remember folks I put no points on the board against UCF. it was BOBO fault !

Noodle are stafford

May 8th, 2011
7:16 pm

aint’t I great?

Big Rich

May 8th, 2011
7:17 pm

hope everyone gets in with no problem.

Dawg Tell

May 8th, 2011
7:18 pm

Offensive line PERIOD..Drive off the ball and make holes for the backs,we could have a very good season.If the line is bad,be prepared for a long season.

1eyedJack

May 8th, 2011
7:31 pm

Tech gives away free hot dogs and cokes, and still can’t get anybody to come. What’s up with that?

Plan B

May 8th, 2011
7:35 pm

Boise State 66. That’s all you need to know. :-)

Ceasar

May 8th, 2011
7:39 pm

Is Muarry any taller??

1eyedJack

May 8th, 2011
7:44 pm

Boise State will be a tater in a whopper chopper.

1eyedJack

May 8th, 2011
7:46 pm

Chopped, scattered and smothered.

LakeDawg

May 8th, 2011
7:47 pm

My biggest concern is CMR won’t really commit to the run first and will not have physical practices.
He has given lip service to the idea of physical practices before and we all know how that turned out. For some reason, he has stubbornly held on to the notion that UGA can practice like FSU did and win in the SEC.

Better Dawgs!

May 8th, 2011
7:47 pm

Not anymore concerned than every other program in the league. Actually a lot less concerned than most.

It Ain't Rocket Science

May 8th, 2011
8:05 pm

ET,

Call home and when you leave take your meaningless statistics with you.

It Ain't Rocket Science

May 8th, 2011
8:07 pm

Plan B,

Is that the 66 ncaa infractions for Boise State this year?

Mike Bobo garbage play calling

May 8th, 2011
8:13 pm

the o line is the biggest concern

It Ain't Rocket Science

May 8th, 2011
8:13 pm

SEC Fan,

Isn’t it time for you to go home and do your homework now. &th grade is tough I know but give it a try. Shoot, you should graduate in about 9 years.