Replacing A.J. Green a major challenge for 2011 Dogs

The pressure is on Georgia's receiving corps to step up in the wake of A.J. Green's departure. (AJC file)

The pressure is on Georgia's receiving corps to step up in the wake of A.J. Green's departure. (AJC file)

I mentioned yesterday all the worrying that college football fans do during August preseason practices and all the questions that surround the Georgia Bulldogs as they approach the season-opener with Boise State.

Most of the fan worrying I’ve heard recently has centered on the offense and I think that’s on the mark, so let’s put aside for now former hard-hitting Dawg Thomas Davis lamenting how “soft” last year’s defense was.

As for the offensive fretting, much of it has centered on the patchwork, thin offensive line and the inexperience at running back.

But as I noted yesterday, replacing the offensive production of A.J. Green and Kris Durham at flanker and split end is going to be a major challenge. The success Georgia has doing that will have a lot to say about whether Aaron Murray has to go through a sophomore slump or not.

Along those lines, we’ve all been heartened by recent comments about incoming freshman receiver Malcolm Mitchell and how impressed the veteran players have been with him during summer workouts. Let’s hope their comparisons between Mitchell and the departed Green aren’t just your typical off-season talk.

Mitchell is expected to be a backup to Marlon Brown at split end and also to train at flanker, where Tavarres King will start. Receivers coach Tony Ball told The Athens Banner-Herald he hopes the youngster will light a fire under Brown, who so far has failed to live up to expectations. “Competition makes everyone better,” Ball said, adding of Brown: “He’s got to get better. He’s got to push himself fundamentally. If he does that, he’ll take that next step.”

As for Mitchell, I was really encouraged by something Murray had to say about him in The Red & Black. “The thing I like about him most is he works harder than anyone,” the quarterback said. “Every day after pass drills he’ll get with me and we’ll work on routes a half-hour or 45 minutes. That’s every day.”

Ball said of Mitchell: “We don’t know how quickly someone will come into their own and perform the way you hope they will or the way you saw them perform in high school. But what I will say is that I’m really impressed with his maturity, his intelligence and his ability to communicate.”

Of course, another positive aspect of the passing game that Dogs fans can latch on to while we’re worrying is having Orson Charles as a sort of hybrid tight end/wide receiver.

“Orson already thinks he’s a receiver and that’s how we use him,” Ball said. “He won’t be in our meetings though, but he will still be a big part of our offense.”

Georgia fans definitely will miss Green and Durham. But perhaps not for too long.

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242 comments Add your comment

RabidDawgFan

August 3rd, 2011
12:10 pm

I’d rather have Durham back than Green. Durham loved UGA and wanted to make plays for us and be the best he could be.

DawginLex

August 3rd, 2011
12:10 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGz3nDohWR8

Same Zabransky in this clip.

Got destroyed by us.

Beat Oklahoma

allwehaveishope

August 3rd, 2011
12:13 pm

AJ rarely dropped a pass thrown to him or thrown in his direction. He also excelled in yards after the catch. No matter who Murray throws it too they have to catch the ball. The O line and pass blockers have to give the QB enough time to survey the field so he can find the open guy. Marlin Brown has the size and good hands but seems to have trouble w/routes and getting open or seperation. He reminds me of SC’s receiver Jeffery. If MB comes around he can be a big weapon.

All the hype around the new guys in receiver corps and also the athletes that may be used in special formations have to be played if they’re that good. Bobo did try some trickery w/the wild dawg but the role players didn’t execute and the D of knew what was coming. Didn’t fool anyone. One of the knocks on the Offense was no imagination.

The talent is there to replace AJ and Durham. They were playmakers and go to guys. Throw the ball to those guys that prove they can catch and run. The cream will rise to the top and new stars will be made on this team.

Hankie Aron

August 3rd, 2011
12:14 pm

Jack,
Your delusional. Aaron Murray will be just fine. Go bury your head in a book or something fruitcake

Jack

August 3rd, 2011
12:16 pm

The way to beat Georgia has been, stay close until the 4th quarter, then Murray will fall apart.

As you can see here, Murray didn’t make the top 100 QB rankings in the 4th quarter accuracy.

http://www.cfbstats.com/2010/leader/national/player/situational07/category02/sort03.html

Richt’s core thing is “win the 4th quarter”. Murray crashed and burned there. Will be interesting to watch to see how long Richt stays with a QB who is the antithesis of his core value. 50% accuracy, ranking last in the SEC, almost last in the NCAA, in the 4th quarter, will not get it done.

AltamahaDawg

August 3rd, 2011
12:16 pm

UGA Insider

August 3rd, 2011
11:12 am
Because CMR believes in giving players a starting position based on seniority

No, it’s based on what is best for the team in an effort to win games.

But I assume that you would be able to give us a short list of players that got starting position based purely on seniority, and not other factors.

(then I will give you countless example of younger players getting starts over seniority)

AltamahaDawg

August 3rd, 2011
12:18 pm

(I spot 3 right off by nothing more than reading the article.)

JaxDawg05

August 3rd, 2011
12:19 pm

Jack, you don’t know Jack.

Jack

August 3rd, 2011
12:20 pm

Phillip K, Auburn’s TE, was developed by Hutson Mason, Georgia’s QB.

Philip K is 2x better than Charles.

Scored 5 td’s on 15 catches.

http://espn.go.com/college-football/player/_/id/480384/philip-lutzenkirchen

RabidDawgFan

August 3rd, 2011
12:23 pm

The key thing is to get first downs and then score touchdowns. That’s the basics. You don’t need a dynamic receiver to do that. Just a reliable one. I think we have that.

Jack

August 3rd, 2011
12:26 pm

Auburn’s TE caught 2.5x more td’s than Charles on 50% LESS passes. Who developed him? Hutson Mason, Georgia’s QB, they ere teammates in high school.

chilidawg

August 3rd, 2011
12:27 pm

Did someone say Da’Rick Rogers? haha.

Record with New QB

August 3rd, 2011
12:27 pm

Also keep in mind Richt’s offense is very dependent on QB experience. I expect Murray to be even better this year.

5 years in which we had a returning QB – Total wins 13, 11, 10,11 & 10 – SEC wins those years 8, 6, 6, 6 & 6.

5 years in which we had a new QB – Total wins 8, 10, 9, 8 & 6 – SEC wins those years 5, 6, 4, 4 & 3. And the the year which we had a “new” starting QB and had 10 & 6 wins was with DJ and he had by far the most playing time prior to starting of any of the others.

JDawg1785

August 3rd, 2011
12:28 pm

I’m just not seeing the connection…

The Dawgs can’t finish in the 4th quarter last season: Murray’s fault?
The D gives up too many big plays on 3rd down: Murray’s fault?
Wasahaun fumbles in the red zone: Murray’s fault?

I know it’s common to blame those “in charge” when things aren’t going right, but y’all are sounding like those yahoos who blame the president when the power goes out.

chilidawg

August 3rd, 2011
12:30 pm

Okay, so Jack likes Mason but not Murray. Got it. Now move on.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
12:31 pm

Yep, the dogs could really have used Da’Rick Rogers this year.

jrmdvm1

August 3rd, 2011
12:33 pm

Jack,
Perhaps Murray’s 4th quarter “letdowns” were the result of a “team letdown” in terms of less production by others and less protection. The “out of gas” problem in the 4th quarter is supposed to be corrected by the new conditioning regimen.

Athens= God's Country

August 3rd, 2011
12:36 pm

Nothing Finer

Again, you come on here and make yourself look real silly. We could use Da’Rick like I need another hole in my head. We got damm lucky he didn’t sign with us, to be honest. Who did we sign in his place? The correct answer would be Kenarious Gates. Gates has already proven himself to be wayyyyyyyy more valuable than the cancer that is Da’Rick.

Please go crawl under a bridge, Troll.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
12:37 pm

The “out of gas” problem in the 4th quarter is supposed to be corrected by the new conditioning regimen.
————————————————
LOL

Any SEC Football program would have already have a strong conditioning program.

Next excuse please…..

Athens= God's Country

August 3rd, 2011
12:39 pm

It’s a new season with new players, Troll.

jdawg

August 3rd, 2011
12:44 pm

Dawgs gonna own! We got one piece missing from the dawgs 1980 champ team and that’s the tailback runner. Isaiah gonna run all over them gator’s just like the ol boy. My whole towns gonna be there to see it like always.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 3rd, 2011
12:45 pm

Noworried about losing AJ? You guys are on crack. AJ took so much attention away from King that it allowed him to make plays. Now King will be the one that will have attentioned payed to him. Can he still make plays? Can he still be a downfield threat? Then who will make plays opposite of him? Right now the WR’s are perhaps the most questionable group we have. AJ Green will be sorely missed by this group just because of the attention he got from opposing secondarys. That is football 101 guys.

Brian

August 3rd, 2011
12:45 pm

No one we have will be as good as AJ, but they don’t have to be if we can get solid production overall from the receivers and tight ends. Murray was really good last season and he was a freshman, so now he’s got more experience and time in the system so he’s more ready to improve his accuracy.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 3rd, 2011
12:47 pm

Hell forget Rodger I would rather had recruited Justin Hunter from UT. He looks to be a beast with his speed, size and leaping ability.

ugakev

August 3rd, 2011
12:49 pm

Jack, give murray a freaking break. The kid was a redshirt freshmen last year. Those numbers will change this year as he will have matured even more. The defense will also take the pressure off of Murray this season. Murray felt like he had to do too much in the 4th quarter last year, forcing him to make mistakes in the 4th quarter. I hope we have a healthy lead this year in the 4th so that we can cruise to the finish line with our defense.

Brian

August 3rd, 2011
12:51 pm

I’ll say it again, no one we have is as good as AJ and we won’t have a WR like him again for a long time. But we’ve got a really good QB, so if we have several guys who are pretty good then we should be fine. Mitchell appears to really be impressing Murray and don’t forget about the other freshman wide receivers we have.

Jack

August 3rd, 2011
12:55 pm

It’s not just the 4th quarter, not conditioning. It’s choking in pressure situations.

If conditioning:
Why 61% accurate in 2nd, 71% in 3rd quarter?

It’s not conditioning, it’s choking.

3rd qrtr, 71% accurate, 4th 50%
2nd down 69% accurate, 3rd down 54%, 3rd & 10 42%
Own 1-20 yardline, 66%, red zne, 52%
Winning by 15+ 77% accurate, up 8-14 50%, tied 58%, down 1-7 points 51% accurate

Those numbers may not mean much, but Murray ranks neat the bottom 25% among all QB’s in many of these areas.

That’s why we went 6-7.

http://www.cfbstats.com/2010/player/257/1024001/passing/situational.html

gomdawg

August 3rd, 2011
12:57 pm

A QB is no better than the team around him .So get off Murray

Carl Spackler

August 3rd, 2011
12:58 pm

They said the same thing about Murray in H.S. when he lost two D1 receivers, and many here in Tampa started crying “Woe is Me”…well, Murray then took what receivers were left over and two of them went onto D1 schools (Orson Charles and Allen Sampson)…Murray will get the ball to whom ever is open…I worry more about Bobo’s play calling than I worry about who is going to catch the ball and how many receiptions they’ll have…Murray will make everyone better…

JB

August 3rd, 2011
12:59 pm

Cold ICB rootbeer in the bottle……..Some sharp cheese in a can and some wheat thins………..I’m ready for Boise.

gomdawg

August 3rd, 2011
12:59 pm

Jack , you need to get a life and why you are at it get some glass. You are down on Murray he will make you 3eat these words. PUT THAT IN THE BANK

Charlie Hayes

August 3rd, 2011
1:01 pm

Jack- It’s hard to argue against numbers. They don’t lie. But, you’re not giving Murray the credit that he deserves. We know for some strange reason that you do not like Murray and would prefer to start Mason or Lemay. But, let’s look back at some ‘numbers’ as they don’t lie either.

Your correct. Under Murray, Troupe’s average dropped as compared to the previous year with Joe Cox at the helm. However, what were Troupes numbers with Stafford at QB? 4 receptions for 39 yards. That’s 9.8 yards per catch. Sound familiar? Yep, it matches the numbers between Murray and Troupe at 9.3 yards per catch in 2011.

So are you saying that Stafford wasn’t a good QB either? Would you have started Cox over Stafford in 2009? Let’s hear your answer to this one…..

jrmdvm1

August 3rd, 2011
1:01 pm

Nothing, ( how appropriate a name for you ). We ( meaning real dawg fans ) have all admitted that we had a 4th quarter problem last year ( maybe longer ). You should be worried if we have successfully fixed that. Going into the 4th quarter last year, we were solidly in the game in all of our games. If we can now “finish” the 4th quarter, look out.

JB

August 3rd, 2011
1:01 pm

Murray will be fine. Although not Namath, he’s miles ahead of Joe Cox.

jrmdvm1

August 3rd, 2011
1:02 pm

Jack,
Maybe better in 3rd quarter because of that little rest they get at halftime.

NFLDAWG

August 3rd, 2011
1:05 pm

Murray is the complete package at QB. If he was such a “choker”, then why have the SEC coaches and media both voted him 1st team ALL SEC (as a sophomore no less)?

JB

August 3rd, 2011
1:06 pm

THE surprise this year on Georgia’s offense will be Samuel’s. He’s not 16 anymore. He’s been in the Georgia weight room for two years. He’s been preparing to HIT people the last 12 months. He’s 240 pounds of iron. I pity anyone past the front line trying to bring him down.

NFLDAWG

August 3rd, 2011
1:09 pm

Receivers, running backs etc. will do better than expected. When you have a star like A.J. everyone tends to look to “the star” to make a big play. Without that star you will see everyone stepping up their game to make big plays. The result is usually a better team.

gomdawg

August 3rd, 2011
1:10 pm

Georgia is very lucky to have 3 great QB’s and Murray is the starter , but if he gets bet out , I promise you Murray will the first to congratulate him.But I for one don’t see this happening,Murray is the real deal so get over it Jacky Boy

SC Fan

August 3rd, 2011
1:12 pm

last year all the comments were about the ” number 1 o line in the country.” how did that work out?

Charlie Hayes

August 3rd, 2011
1:13 pm

Jack- Your last post about choking in the 4th quarter cant be put all on the QB. It depends on the plays that are being called by the OC. The plays being called also depend on the momentum of the game. If my memory serves me correctly, four of the games lost last season were in the 4th quarter with just a few minutes left on the clock. The O (Ealey’s fumbles, wrong blocking scheme and others) turned the ball over for several reasons that wern’t related to Murray. Your barking up the wrong tree if you think that Aaron Murray is the problem…..

Jack

August 3rd, 2011
1:13 pm

Actually, Troupe & Wooten had the biggest drop offs under Murray, but every single receiver got worse under Murray than the year before, except Brown. If you want to blame that on the receivers, I’d disagree. Murray also made the O-Line worse as they gave up 25 sacks under Murray to 10 under Cox. Murray also made the running game worse, dropped from 250 a game last 5 games with Cox, to under 100 a game under Murray.

Let’s see, under Murray’s “leadership”:
Every receiver, except 1, got worse
Running game got 2.5x worse
O-Line got 2.5x worse

RedandBlackDAWG

August 3rd, 2011
1:14 pm

It would be impossible to not say Green had an impact when he was playing but let’s not forget, he broke a rule knowingly, got suspended the first four games and let his team mates down. It should also be noted that the OC, built way too much of the game plan around Green, and the defenses figured out that easily enough. I think the young men we have now will collectively, be better than one super star receiver. I am more worried that we lost a team player like Durham than Green. Green had NFL star eyes frorm day one, and you knew he was only in college to get ready for the NFL. Give me two Durhams and I would have a better team than with one superstar receiver.

Charlie Hayes

August 3rd, 2011
1:16 pm

Is Jack not online anymore? Did his mommy make him shutdown his computer to go eat his lunch?

b-ham dawg

August 3rd, 2011
1:19 pm

jackoff go back to the barn ur mom is calling you

Dawgfan in FL

August 3rd, 2011
1:21 pm

Jack/Marcus/Name du jour:

Several questions/points: 1. Why do you constantly change your name? Are you a coward, or do you think it gives you more credibility because it appears like there are many individuals that share your opinion? If it’s the 2nd, don’t bother, because everyone knows it’s the same person. 2. You constantly use completion % (especially 4th Qtr)…how do his stats look when you use passer rating? When you take into account his completion % WITH his number of touchdowns vs interceptions, suddenly Mr. Murray doesn’t look so bad. 3. You seem obsessed with his 4th Qtr completion %, and I would make the arguement, that if you’re trying to say that most, if not all of UGA’s wins should have have happened single handedly by a redshirt freshman pulling it out in the 4th Qtr, you don’t understand how that speaks volumes about other parts of the team and their ability/inability to execute whether it’s the 1st or 4th Qtr.

Charlie Hayes

August 3rd, 2011
1:23 pm

Jack- I am calling BS on the stats in your last post. What does the QB have to do with the running game performance of the O-line? The running game is supposed to open-up the passing game. Do you think it should be passing first to open up the run? What in the world could Murray have done differently to help the running game? Come on man…..

RedandBlackDAWG

August 3rd, 2011
1:27 pm

Darn’ Jack,
You seem like such an expert on TE’s. Ummmm, no pun intended. Did you ever stop to think that the reason your TE got open for those 5 TD’s is the QB you had scrambled around until he could find an open receiver. He was a master at that, and anybody that knows anything at all about football, knows that the defense will drop off of the TE once the QB starts leaving the pocket and scrambling. That is why he got those TD’s, certainly not because he is a better athlete than any TE UGA has. There are basic fundemental 101 courses for beginning football. CMR even has one called, “Football for Wives”. Perhaps he would let you enroll, so you could begin to understand the game.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 3rd, 2011
1:27 pm

SC FAN need to worry sbout your own O-Line. You are not returning four this year, only two. So those holes Lattimore will tighten up just a bit. Becareful of that type of smack talk son.

DawginLex

August 3rd, 2011
1:33 pm

stats that mean something

2001-richt’s 1st year, 1st year qb 8-4
2002-Returning QB 13-1 SEC champions
2003-Returning QB 11-3 SEC East Champions
2004-Returning QB 10-2(11 game season)
2005-Starter didn’t return but DJ had played a lot 10-3 SEC champions
2006-New QB 9-4
2007-Returning QB 11-2 # 2 Final ranking
2008-Returning QB 10-3
2009-New QB 8-5
2010-New QB 6-7