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

Auburn's Beeotch

May 9th, 2011
9:30 am

24 point comeback at tuscaloser

Inbred hillbillies fliiping their pickup trucks in anger.
3 losses even though self annointed preseason national champions

Saban you choked more last year than Grantham will in his entire lifetime. Put that statue on wheels boy, them farmers gonna run you out of town with pitchforks while spitting Red man juice at you.

Timbodog

May 9th, 2011
9:34 am

As UGA fans, we have absolutely NO room to make fun of Bama fans for falling short of expectations. 2008, anyone? Heck, last year some publications were picking us as a top-10 team.

If some Bama jerks want to come on here and talk trash, let’s ignore them. Let’s not make ourselves look dumb by hurling rocks from our glass house.

It Ain't Rocket Science

May 9th, 2011
9:35 am

Saban,

Get a life and try some maturity while you are at it. If you are going to go with that Boise score as your bet, I am willing to wager you can find a lot of people that would want to take you up on it. Until then, try a little maturity because your comments wear thin and make you appear to be about on the level of a 10 year old. Stay off the blogs and go help your folks recover from the terrible severe weather outbreak they need help with.

AltamahaDawg

May 9th, 2011
9:41 am

Timbodog
“I have too many to list, but #1 with a bullet is whether the coaching staff has got it together.”

Very well worded, and spot on.

Hooper

May 9th, 2011
9:43 am

Hopefully, Murray will get his first win against a winning team this season.

Went 0 for 6 last year.

Hopefully, he’ll compete against the best a little more effectively.

If not, hopefully, Hutson Mason gets a crack or Christian Lemay. Murray’s on a short rope, if he extends his record to 0-8 against winning teams in the first two games, pretty sure, Coach Richt will have to make a change at QB.

DawginLex

May 9th, 2011
9:44 am

Bama’s cheating and everyone knows it. They are paying for recruits and lead the nation in over signing. It will all crumble soon just like Ohio state.

I have said it before and i will say it again, 2011 will be the year that honesty and integrity gets rewarded in college football.

Mark Richt
Bob Stoops
Jimbo Fisher
Frank Beamer
Brady Hoke

Look for those 5 to have big years.

Lane Kiffin
Chip Kelly
Gene Chizik
Nick Saban
Jim Tressel

Look for these 5 to struggle, get into trouble with the NCAA and look for some of them to not be around in 2012 because of it.

DawginLex

May 9th, 2011
9:45 am

As far as percentages go, there is a 100% chance that Hooper is the 20th blog handle used by this same moron posting his inane drivel about Murray.

Give it up son. Get a job. Get a hobby. Get a blow up doll girlfriend.

Just leave.

Timbodog

May 9th, 2011
9:51 am

“Hooper,”
The whole team lost those games.

QBs always get too much credit in wins and too much blame in losses. Football is the ultimate TEAM sport.

DawginLex,
I might be in the minority, but I don’t think Saban is that bad a guy honestly. I don’t like the oversigning/”greyshirting” thing, but it’s currently within the rules, and Richt has walked the thin line before in this area.

It Ain't Rocket Science

May 9th, 2011
9:52 am

I,m not sure that LeMay is ready to step up to 1st team right now. If Murray got hurt, I would expect Mason would step in. Lemay is for sure athletically gifted but he has some catching up to do, since he hasn’t played in a live game for almost a year and a half, and still looks like he could use some more meat on the rack. He should be a good one some day though.

truedawg

May 9th, 2011
9:54 am

Yes we underachived, but so did Bama….I’m not saying we’d have beaten them last year, or this year, we have issues, but i think CMR took a big step in fixing some problems this year..so we’ll see how it works

Timbodog

May 9th, 2011
9:59 am

All the Lemay infatuation needs to die down. The guy hasn’t played in a live game in nearly 2 years now, and he’s NEVER played against college-level competition.

He needs to be redshirted. He looks to be a really good player down the road, but let’s let him crawl before we ask him to run.

Besides, we have a good quarterback.

truedawg

May 9th, 2011
10:07 am

I agree, LeMay needs to learn the play book more. We have a good QB, if he fails then lets see about LeMay or Mason then. If the O line is better this year then hopefully we’ll see improvement. Also dang guys he was a freshman..he was goign to have some jitters and make some bad decisions..part of learning..i think he might be the best in the SEC this year..

shankit

May 9th, 2011
10:14 am

Lady on Paul Fienbaum talk show out of Birmingham, said the reason
Auburn beat her Tide, was Auburn’s players were wearing these illegal
Power Balance bracelets, and that they should be investigated. Claimed
these bracelets gave them stamina in the fourth quarter. Claimed they cheated.
Maybe the Dawgs ought to check this out.

UGA Insider

May 9th, 2011
10:28 am

I think my biggest concern is the O Line. I was on the field spring game and let me tell you…….If we are half as bad as we were on that day then we have MAJOR problems in 2011. CMR is as nervous as a cat because McGarity has told him that if he’s starts 0-2 then he is gone, so there is no time to waste.

My 2nd concern is not so much and X’s and O’s issue. It’s the issue of constant partying and hanging out downtown for many of our players. Most of them who are supposed leaders of our team. I have had heard so many stories if only 10% is true it’s still enough for me to think there is a problem. I don’t know what the answer is to that. I guess if we go 0-2 then it will be a new coaches problem.

DawginLex

May 9th, 2011
10:34 am

Insider,

The o-line was trying to block Kwame. Could that have been the issue? Could it be that guy is pretty darn good?

The Most Interesting Man Alive

May 9th, 2011
10:34 am

Murray’s height or lack of it. It is why he has struggled against teams with winning records. He is the reason UGA lost against the worst Gator team since 1989 last year in Jax.

Larry

May 9th, 2011
10:41 am

What conerns me? Murray only threw 5 touchdown’s that were for real. Those were the 5 against ranked teams. 19 of Murray’s 24 were bogus td’s against weak unranked competition like Vanderbilt.

Mr. SEC

May 9th, 2011
10:42 am

My biggest concern is that “Bill are you going to start writing some articles with some “real information” about the dogs, or are you going to continue to shoot from the hip with stupid articles?” Give us some good articles to read and not just asking for opinions because you can’t think of anything to write!

UGA Insider

May 9th, 2011
10:42 am

Kwame did’t play against both teams. The o-line couldn’t block anyone that day. Not even 3rd stringers.

Twutter

May 9th, 2011
10:48 am

The big question is whether any of the UGA bozos will pass their remedial reading and writing courses. This is a big deal, really, since only the ones who pass will get free shopping carts.

chazzo

May 9th, 2011
10:50 am

James,
Come one, man. Really? the performance and ability of the O line in rushing situations is dependent on the QB? I guess you could argue that there were some audible issues, but, other than that, I just don’t see how you pin that on Murray.

Anyway, you have to factor in that 300+ yards against tech in to the average. that skews things. I think Cox takes a lot of flack he doesn’t deserve. But, I think your comparison is faulty on a lot of levels.

JB

May 9th, 2011
10:52 am

UGA Insider…………I enjoy your post, but I just don’t think Georgia is low class enough to Fire Richt in September at 0-2. I would expect something like that from Auburn due to the Athletic Dept. is not really running the show, but McGarity/Adams doing that, I just don’t see it.

JB

May 9th, 2011
10:54 am

Twuttwer………….I’ve heard some of your Ga. Tech “scholars” interviewed. No room to talk Techie..

JB

May 9th, 2011
10:56 am

Bt UGA Insider, I agree with you, if we can not open some holes this year and protect Murray, we’re looking at 6-7 again and a new staff in Athens come 2012.

Beast from the East

May 9th, 2011
10:57 am

Where’s Buckeye? Must be out car shopping.

It Ain't Rocket Science

May 9th, 2011
10:58 am

UGA Insider,

I think traditionally, the defense almost always dominates in spring games. The offense is typically still trying to get it all together and the defense is a lot easier to learn. On G day, their aim is to just get to the QB, and register a quasi sack. The line that will start also didn’t play as a unit on G day. It is too bad they can’t have like a preseason game or two, or at least something close to that. It get’s old pounding your team mates all practice and you just look forward to the real games to start. I am hoping for a much improved O line also, or it will be 2010, part 2 I am afraid. Got to get the QB some protection and the running backs some lanes to run through. If we get good play out of the O line, we can win 10 games this year.

It Ain't Rocket Science

May 9th, 2011
10:59 am

Twutter,

Don.t be late for your shift at Mickie D’s. If you get fired from there, your engineering degree will go to waste.

DawginLex

May 9th, 2011
11:02 am

rocket science,

twutter got fired from mickey d’s. He is at jiffy lube now in Bay 2. they have a comoputer down there so he can post.

It Ain't Rocket Science

May 9th, 2011
11:06 am

DawginLex,
LOL, gotcha. Gonna make sure I don’t get an oil change at his station. Now he has another reason to have a sticky keyboard.

chazzo

May 9th, 2011
11:12 am

UGA lost to SC because Lattimore ran amuck and SC controlled the clock.
UGA lost to Arky because Mallet picked the D apart.
UGA lost to AU because they were a better team with Cam and that jerk on D.
UGA lost to UF because… well it looked to me like UGA had not practiced overtime situations or any kind of game plan for short time at the end of the game (two minute drill?). I put the UF game on the coaches. A lot of the Richt era losses to UF have simply been UF getting the ball one more time than UGA. A couple have been ugly. Payback was hell. Georgia just needs to decide to own Jax again and go do it. No tricks. Just win.

Ultimately, though, you can’t pin that on Murray. He did throw 3 picks. He also threw for over 300 yards and took it into overtime.

chazzo

May 9th, 2011
11:17 am

The jury is out on LeMay. he’s not even in the courtroom. The Gday game is his only college experience and the only game he has actually played in in two years. I think/hope the kid will be great. I don’t think we’ll see him in games this season.

Dawg Gone

May 9th, 2011
11:22 am

I think the OL is the biggest concern since they will face real tests the 1st two games. The traditional “tune up” game has always benefited the offense the most and the OL most of all. We will need to be able to control the line on both sides of the ball vs Boise but being able to have long ball control drives will be a key to a win.

Bodda Getta

May 9th, 2011
11:23 am

Everyone is Auburn’s Beeotch. Take a number.

DawginLex

May 9th, 2011
11:24 am

I’m still not sold on the idea that Lemay will redshirt. I believe it could be Mason.

If Insider is even close to the truth, Richt can’t afford to let a potential playmaker sit for a year.

I don’t think he is ready to start but I can see him being used some. I would love to see Richt use him like Meyer did with Tebow his freshman year. They don’t win that title without Tebow saving Leak on several key series throughout the year. With the defense they had plus Tebow energizing the fanbase, it was win/win all the way around.

Is Richt willing to override Bobo and be that creative?

Could mean the difference in still being around in 2012……..

cantondawg

May 9th, 2011
11:24 am

My biggest concern is the FANS..Just think how many will get hurt jumping back onto the bandwagon after we win our first two games.

DawginLex

May 9th, 2011
11:25 am

bodda,

Enjoy your return to mediocrity in 2011.

6-6 for the barners

LawDawg

May 9th, 2011
11:29 am

My biggest concerns:

1. Offensive line

2. Safety play

3. Everything else

LawDawg

May 9th, 2011
11:30 am

#3 is a long distance behind 1 and 2.

Also, Orson Charles does not have to prove himself? Seriously? He has been mediocre AT BEST so far in his career at UGA. He is more Martrez Millner than Ben Watson or Randy McMichael at this point.

Bodda Getta

May 9th, 2011
11:32 am

UGA lost to SC because they were physically dominated.

UGA lost to ARK because they were outcoached.

UGA lost to MSU because they were physically dominated.

UGA lost to CU because they were physically dominated in the running game and AJ wasn’t in shape to go the entire game.

UGA lost to UF because they were outcoached.

UGA lost to AU because they were outcoached at the half and physically dominated on defense.

UGA lost to UCF because they were outcoached and physically dominated on offense.

It Ain't Rocket Science

May 9th, 2011
11:32 am

I’ll take four Bodda,

Like in the number of armed robbers recently let go from the Auburn team. Don’t you have some trees to dress up in TP or something to do in Alabama? I am sure they could use your help in Alabama with the severe weather damage. It was in the news and you probably do not get TV and It appears you probably can’t read above a fourth grade level, so you may not have read about it.

Larry

May 9th, 2011
11:41 am

O-Line is best in country, surprised didn’t win mroe games. Loads of experience. Ended up upswing in 2009, top 5 in the country rushing. Protected Joe Cox superbly, less than 10 sacks. Then Murray came on board, and the rush game shrunk by nearly 100 yards with the same backs and line, and the sacks balooned to 26 from under 10 with Joe Cox. I’m a big fan of the o-line, lot of nfl talent there, and delivered for Joe Cox.

Dawg Gone

May 9th, 2011
11:47 am

Larry great comments but help me connect the dots please…the rush game shrunk by 100 yards and that is Murray’s fault? Really I don’t remember Joe Cox being that good a blocker yet some how in your mind the fall off of the running game is Murray’s fault??

dawgfaceboy

May 9th, 2011
11:48 am

Murray, Charles, Butler, and Walsh are about the only “non concerns” for this team. The front 4 on the D side SHOULD be pretty darn good but who knows. The secondary, o-line, and offensive skill positions,imo, are a HUGE concern. Coaching, preparation, and conditioning should also be in the “concern” column.

Thankfuldaddyd

May 9th, 2011
11:49 am

My biggest concern is the inconsistent and unimaginative play calling of Mike Bobo. The defense should be much better and the offense would be fine under the right leadership. We still may win the east despite Bobo if we stay healthy and Crowell is what we think he is.

red&silver

May 9th, 2011
11:49 am

Defense was the problem last year! Some of you look for a specific stat on defense and, use it as your argument. 3rd down defense was horrible,4th quarter defense was horrible! You blame Bobo and the offense look at the other SEC teams ppg against ranked teams and you will see why we play in the toughest conference in football. Football is a team sport. How do you expect for a team to light up the scoreboard when you constantly are starting drives deep in your own territory?

DawginLex

May 9th, 2011
11:57 am

red&silver

Winner winner chicken dinner

Drop the PPG allowed to 14 or 15 and the Dawgs can win every game.

continue giving up 3 TD’s per game on avg and we are looking at 6-6 or 7-5 and a new coaching staff.

No one will care that we are only scoring 20 something because we will be

WINNING!!!!!!!!!!!

John

May 9th, 2011
11:59 am

Murray can’t generate points in the big game, he gets his stats when the opposing teams are up by a few touchdowns and playing prevent defense. His overall stats may look great, but nothing when it counts.

red&silver

May 9th, 2011
12:12 pm

Thanks DawginLex! UGA gave up 25ppg in the SEC and, people want to blame the offense.

Dawg Gone

May 9th, 2011
12:12 pm

John as a redshirt freshman Murray took the Gators to O.T and came from behind to do it. He destroyed the Vols and gave us a lead against the Barn…he didn’t play defense that game and maybe he should have. He wasn’t the one who couldn’t stop Lattimore in his first start in a SEC game either.

Joey

May 9th, 2011
12:21 pm

Mike Bobo’s play calling.