Should UGA fans be optimistic despite all the question marks?

Aaron Murray is a big reason for optimism in Athens. What are some others? (Associated Press)

Aaron Murray is a big reason for optimism in Athens. What are some others? (Associated Press)

The players officially “report” to UGA today, though most of them have been in Athens working out and/or going to school all summer. The first practice is Thursday. And then we can all start obsessing over the reports over which line is dominating the other, who’s tweaked their hamstring, and all the other joys of college football in August.

Major questions remain to be answered before the Dogs meet Boise State in the Dome. Will anyone step up to fill the gaping hole in our offensive production created by the departure of A.J. Green and Kris Durham? Will any of the tailbacks look like they know what they’re doing? Will the offensive line stay healthy long enough to jell? Can the linebacking corps overcome its inexperience?

Lots to worry about if you’re the worrying sort, which it seems most college football fans are.

But on the other side, the infusion of fresh, exciting young talent is likely to be the greatest we’ve seen in several years in Athens. The Dogs finally will have a legitimate nose guard this year (maybe two) to help Todd Grantham’s defense work the way it’s supposed to. Aaron Murray returns as the consensus best quarterback in the conference. And Georgia’s stacked at tight end and has the nation’s best special teamers.

So before we get into the ups and downs of preseason practice, let’s put a positive spin on all this. What about the 2011 Georgia Bulldogs makes you the most optimistic? Murray? Isaiah Crowell? The schedule? Share your thoughts on why this should be a great year to be a Georgia Bulldog …

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412 comments Add your comment

Bippitty Boppitty Boo Boo

August 2nd, 2011
11:19 am

Carlton Thomas just got stuffed 2 yards behind the line on 3rd and eleven. Now we will try to reach for a long three.

Cobb Dawg

August 2nd, 2011
11:19 am

Of course there are holes — there are always holes. What I’m most excited about seeing is whether there’s been a tangible change in the team’s approach to games, meaning 1) the new attitude that should be there among the players given some recent departures and the emergence of a few emotional leaders like Murray and Boykin; and 2) the effects of a new S&C program that might make them a lot stronger late in the game (not making any assumptions here until we see some actual results, but things couldn’t get much worse than they already were). No telling what the new season will bring, but at this point it’s good to be optimistic — after all, we don’t really watch the games just to torture ourselves, do we?

JaxDawg05

August 2nd, 2011
11:20 am

I just wanted to thank SSIgator for adding so much to this UGA Blog on the AJC. Without your comments we wouldn’t have a clue who won’t be commenting on here after the calendar turns to November this year. Work em, you silly Gators!!!

b-ham dawg

August 2nd, 2011
11:20 am

SSIgator… Why are you on this blog? Florida has just as many if not more question marks with their own team. Shouldn’t you be on a florida site discussing how your team could get better and what your expectations are for your own team? Just asking, but not everyone can have the pleasure of bleeding red and black and you my friend are just a gaytor. So move the hell on.

GATA

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
11:21 am

“Georgia’s stacked at tight end”

Yeah, some of the cheerleaders are stacked too. What does that have to do with anything when da Preacha Man and the Straw Dawgs he has as a coaching staff are still running the show?

258DAWG

August 2nd, 2011
11:23 am

SSI. I’d rather have BOBO than an OC that cant beat the likes of Air force, Army, and Navy.

Chase

August 2nd, 2011
11:23 am

1953…

Aaron Murray is not a source of optimism for me, but I do feel solid about the QB depth, and feel good about Lemay & Mason. Plant High won Championships before & after Murray, it’s the coaching there and overall talent on the team, Murray had little to do with it.

Lemay led his team to it’s FIRST STATE CHAMPIONSHIP. Mason led his team further than they’d ever gone.

but again, Georgia’s good at QB either way, like I said, Murray might transform into a poised leader in the 4th quarter, or one of the poised QB’s will be starting by game 2 or 3.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 2nd, 2011
11:24 am

Damn I am ready for it to start. I am sick of these articles. No offense Bill I know this is legitimate to report. Lets just get it answered for better or worse already.

Tums anyone?

August 2nd, 2011
11:24 am

Patriot fan

August 2nd, 2011
11:26 am

Nick Marshall

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
11:27 am

258DAWG -

“I’d rather have BOBO”

Gotta give him credit. That boy can pro-create.

tunnel screen

August 2nd, 2011
11:28 am

BoZo’s offense needs new wrinkles. We get very vanilla against SC.

Dirty Dawg

August 2nd, 2011
11:32 am

Hey Bill, I’m optimistic because I choose to be. The only reason for not being optimistic is that folks think if you set your sights low enough you ‘won’t’ be disappointed. So I’m looking forward to all questions being answered in the affirmative, a big bounce-back from last year and a season that we can all be proud of.

Of course, I have to wonder about those that not only are pessimistic about the coaches, the team and the coming season, they are also bound and determined to tell everybody about it. My guess is that they’re not Georgia fans at all, they’re trolls, and even if they happened to have matriculated there, with open criticism that only serves to discourage current and prospective players, they can’t really call themselves Georgia fans and be accurate…just a bunch of cynics that think their opinion matters more than mine does, and we all know that just isn’t so.

Positive is better than negative…if it’s not a ‘law of nature’, it ought to be.

tide roll

August 2nd, 2011
11:33 am

YES, DAWG FANS SHOULD BE EXTREMELY OPTIMISTIC. TREMENDOUS UPGRADE AT FULLBACK WITH FIGGINS AND OGELTREE SUCCEEDING CHAPAS AND MUNZENMAIER. TREMENDOUS UPGRADE AT TAILBACK WITH RICHARD SAMUEL.(6′2″ 240lbs). UGA”S MISTAKE HAS BEEN TRYING TO FIND ANOTHER KNOWSHON MORENO WHEN THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR ANOTHER MUSA SMITH. THEY’VE FOUND IT AND MORE IN SAMUEL. BEST STARTING OFFENSIVE LINE IN HISTORY OF UGA. BEAN ANDERSON AND KENARIOUS GATES REPRESENT A PHENOMONEL UPGRADE OVER BOLING AND TANNER STRICKLAND. WIDE RECEIVERS COULD SURPRISE. MARLON BROWN IS TOO SOFT. WOULD LIKE TO SEE COACH BALL DEVELOP ISRAEL TROUPE. THE KID DISAPPEARED AFTER HIS TD CATCH VS. AUBURN (ONLY AT UGA!). ANOTHER WASTE OF SUPERIOR TALENT.. UGA COACHES ARE ABSOLUTELY CERTIFIABLE IF THEY DON’T COMMIT TO THIS KID LEMAY. GREAT ATHLETE AND TEAM PLAYER. MURRAY IS TOO STUCK ON HIMSELF,AND THAT”S GOING TO HURT YOU. MOST HEAD COACHES WOULD RECOGNIZE THIS, AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, BUT YOUR’S CAN’T SEE IT BECAUSE HE SUFFERS FROM THE SAME PROBLEM!
t

papadawg

August 2nd, 2011
11:33 am

After the past two seasons optimism is all I have left

NFLDAWG

August 2nd, 2011
11:33 am

Blair Walsh and Drew Butler…..’nuff said!!

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
11:34 am

“this should be a great year to be a Georgia Bulldog”

As in it should be 1980 again?

b-ham dawg

August 2nd, 2011
11:34 am

SSIgator… What are you going to do when we start 2-0?

Mean Machine

August 2nd, 2011
11:35 am

I consider myself a realist, and I can be hard at times on CMR. That being said, there is an energy around the program this year, that I haven’t felt since the early part of the decade. I hate to sound like I’m living in fandom drinking the red ‘n black kool aid, but I believe this is going to be a special year, and I think the Dawgs could very well be 12-0 heading into the SEC Championship. Call me crazy!

AltamahaDawg

August 2nd, 2011
11:36 am

SSIgator is on here for the same reason that he tries to hang out and force his way into the social scene on St. Simons with folks 20 yrs. younger than him. No life.

Douglas

August 2nd, 2011
11:36 am

I’m really optimistic. Richt will underachieve again…he will get fired…and we can get a new coach who will inherit a lot of talent.

papadawg

August 2nd, 2011
11:36 am

SSlgator, you need to worry about your Gators and whether or not your coach will quit on you

Wonderful Ohio on the Gulf 'Dog

August 2nd, 2011
11:37 am

Opening against a really good team like Boise State stokes my optomism.

Can Boise beat us? Yes they can.

But, I believe in my heart of hearts that we will be ready to play them and play them very, very hard. Harder than they’re expecting, in fact.

The key to the season-opener is Georgia playing four quarters of good, old-fashioned, in your face, never give up SEC-style football. If we do that, I think we’ll send the ponies back to Idaho wondering what hit them.

Otherwise, it’s too painful to contemplate.

Joe

August 2nd, 2011
11:38 am

Will any of the tailbacks looking like they know what they’re doing? What is that all about?

1953 was a lousy year

August 2nd, 2011
11:39 am

let’s interpret tide roll’s rant

The black fullbacks are much better than the white fullbacks from last year

The black offensive linemen are much better than the white offensive linemen

The black QB is the QB of the future because the white QB is too stuck on himself

BirdDog

August 2nd, 2011
11:42 am

I’m optimistic because it’s the start of a new season. Right now everyone is 0-0 and anything can happen, right? I’m not making any bold predictions, just looking forward to the season and some new blood. Go Dawgs!

UGA Insider

August 2nd, 2011
11:45 am

I had a friend who saw Spurrier in Augusta yesterday and he said if you are going to beat UGA you better do it in 2011. Because the talent level after that is going way up. 2012 is going to be the year of the dawg!

Topp Dogg

August 2nd, 2011
11:45 am

SSI Fla would love to have Murray and you know it dont be a dumb ass, with those remarks i doubt you even went to collage.

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
11:46 am

b-ham dawg -

“SSIgator… What are you going to do when we start 2-0?”

Me? I am not going to anything. Surley you can’t be talking about 2-0 in 2011. With da Preacha Man and his Straw Dawgs, going 0-2 in 2011 is already in the bank.

tide roll

August 2nd, 2011
11:49 am

DEFENSIVELY, GREAT SAFTIES AND CORNERS. SHAWN WILLIAMS IS A BEAST. WOULD LIKE TO SEE WHAT SANDERS COMMINGS COULD DO AT FREE SAFETY. INSIDE LINEBACKERS ARE QUESTIONABLE. WHO’S THE KID THAT TALKS A LOT YET HASN’T DONE ANYTHING? OH YEAH, CHRISTIAN ROBINSON. HE’S TOO SMALL BUT A WONDERFUL SPOKEPERSON. AMARLO HERRERA IS ANOTHER RAY LEWIS. OUTSIDE, IT WOULD BE HEARTBRAKING TO LOSE JARVIS JONES. WOULD BE NICE TO SEE CORNELIOUS WASHINGTON MOVED TO DEFENSIVE END. WHAT AN ATHLETE, AND 270LBS. IS ENOUGH. GRANTHAM NEEDS TO CONTINUE TO DEVELOP FALOUGI. DEFENSIVE LINE IS STOUT TO SAY THE LEAST. THE PLAN MUST BE FOR JENKINS AND GEATHERS TO TIE UP OFFENSIVE LINEMAN TO ALLOW THE MIDGET SPOKEPERSON TO MAKE PLAYS. YOU’VE GOT TO LIKE DERRICK LOTT AND NO.56 ( SMITH ) PROVIDING EXCELLENT DEPTH AS WELL.

EDawg71

August 2nd, 2011
11:49 am

SSIgator, you’re not real bright are you?

Chase

August 2nd, 2011
11:51 am

Schedule sets up. No Bama, Ark or LSU. And get all tough match ups either at home or on neutral field.

solja

August 2nd, 2011
11:52 am

I love the trailer nation bammer on here who thought he’d take a cute little off -the – cuff stab at AU (28-27 by the way), saying THUGA doesn’t have to play “the big 3 of the West” this season. So by your 3rd grade level education, who are your so-called “big 3″ in the west hotshot? You got your arses handed to you in your own house (well technically it’s now AU’ house since you’ve only beaten us 1 time in over a hundred years there) in what was the most humiliating loss in your pathetic program’s history. And you guys are STILL running your mouths. That is rich!! Too dam funny!!! What a bunch of red clay eatin’ fools!!

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
11:53 am

AltamahaDawg -

No. Actually I prefer to play golf and go fishing with my UGA pals that are far enough removed from da Preacha Man and his Straw Dawgs in Athens that they realistically see UGA for what it has sunken to. It is not until the last week in October that all of the Richtites shhow up in force and trash the beach.

BirdDog

August 2nd, 2011
11:53 am

Tide Troll is a racist. He’s the epitome of reverse discrimination..

b-ham dawg

August 2nd, 2011
11:54 am

SSIgator… You seem pretty sure of yourself and the dawgs. What about the Gators in 2011? Challenge to you… If uga does start 2-0 you will eat crow on this site in front of the red and black nation. If UGA beats the mighty gators you will leave this site forever. The last part isn’t much of a challenge because your ugly mug definitely won’t be back if that’s the case.

Gator Mike

August 2nd, 2011
11:54 am

I expect UGA to be very good this year, and the game in JAX should be a nail biter.

EDawg71

August 2nd, 2011
11:55 am

Sing it b-ham dawg. Lay down the challenge. He ain’t up to it.

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
11:55 am

EDawg71 -

And the E in EDawg71 stands for Einstein?

RedandBlackDAWG

August 2nd, 2011
11:56 am

The greatest game ever played,

By whom may I ask? Maybe techs. greatest game, considering you have won 1 game out of the last 10.
Check out this video clip of the 2002 game, between UGA and Tech. What is that called by you then? The worst game Tech. ever played?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mcg4mRyndg0

UGA Insider

August 2nd, 2011
11:56 am

tide roll,

You forgot to mention Nick Marshall who is our first shutdown corner since Champ Bailey. Also, Damien Swann I hear may put Williams and or Rambo on the bench. JJ I hear has major issues so I’m thinking its Ray Drew time already. He is the leader of the class and may be all we have on the outside. The loss of JJ really hurts this defense and with him I thought we had a top 20 nationally ranked unit. Now we will have to see what Drew has.

EDawg71

August 2nd, 2011
11:58 am

SSIgator, comparatively speaking, to your crap on these blogs, yes it does. My fellow bloggers, this poor soul trolls UGA blogs all day everyday to get a rise out of folks. What a life that must be.

George Stein

August 2nd, 2011
11:58 am

Absolutely no reason for y’all not to be optimistic. You have a sound, competent QB, a key NT, and a strong LB corps. There are reasons for concern as well, but that doesn’t mean UGA fans shouldn’t be optimistic.

George Stein

August 2nd, 2011
12:00 pm

That was definitely in the top five worst games we ever played, RedandBlack. Now it you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go tie a plastic bag around my head.

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
12:00 pm

b-ham dawg -

“If uga does start 2-0 you will eat crow on this site in front of the red and black nation”

Sure, if you lay off of the KoolAid and the LSD sugar cubes when they start 0-2. Mind-altering drugs are not good for you. They blind you from reality.

1953 was a lousy year

August 2nd, 2011
12:03 pm

SSI

Isn’t it time for your Social Security Income to arrive?

Go cash it and buy your beer and cigs and leave the blogging to the Dawgs

BigTimeTechFan

August 2nd, 2011
12:04 pm

From Tech fan:
I think UGA will have better year then last year, they can win SEC East and then it up to 1 game to win SEC, by that time they will have big mo on their side and anything can happen. Also I think they will be better at the end of the year then at the start, wish Tech played them early.

but I also think USCe, Florida, have same shot as UGA, just a matter of which team steps up. If I had to pick I would say Florida but it just a guess.

Wish you guys the best of luck, hope your players stay healthy, and UGA vs Tech game is between two top 10 teams. With a Tech win.

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
12:04 pm

EDawg71 -

“SSIgator, comparatively speaking, to your crap on these blogs, yes it does”

Well, you learn something new everyday. I never knew Einstein prefered fictional literature. I always thought he dealt with reality.

JE

August 2nd, 2011
12:05 pm

For all you Murray bashers and LeMay disciples…..Do not forget that Murray started 13 games in the SEC last year as a red shirt freshman……What did LeMay do in the 2010 season?????? If the SEC is as tough as everyone says, there is a big difference in the 2010 experiences each QB had. I will dare say if Nick Marshal were to play QB, LeMay would have his hands full also athletically.

Athens= God's Country

August 2nd, 2011
12:06 pm

I hate AJC blogs. Journalism just isn’t what it used to be.