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

Dawg Tell

August 3rd, 2011
1:33 pm

WR’s will not be a problem.It starts in the O/L.What I saw last year was a weak and no fire O/L.Hope the new O/L coach does a great job on turning our line into a pyscial,hard hitting line.If not,it will not matter who the WR”S are.Until I see a change in the first game;Iwill not change my mind about the talent or drive in our O/L.Go DAWGS!

Some of you people are embarrassing yourselves

August 3rd, 2011
1:35 pm

Auburn’s Philip K better than Orson Charles. I bet even the Auburn coaches would laugh at that one.

The people who write about sports for a living, and opposing coaches, all hold a much higher opinion of Aaron Murray than some posters on here. Who do believe, some guy who doesn’t like UGA, or Spurrier, Saban, Miles etc?

AJ Green was a major talent, who will make a name for himself in the NFL, but there are ways to compensate for his loss. I will give you two historical examples.
1. Dominique Wilkins leaves Georgia early for the NBA, the Dogs go to the final four the next season
2. Peyton Manning leaves the Vols for the NFL, Tee Martin leads them to a NC next season.

UGA Insider

August 3rd, 2011
1:36 pm

Lowcountry,

I’m with you, can you believe there is a USCe fan on here talking smack? I bet they wonder why Sports Illustrated did not do a commemorative book and football after that 5 loss season. I guess it those last two embarrassments to Auburn and FSU.

In seriousness, I do have USCe as my pick to play OU in the MNC game. Their schedule is easy and they have some serious athletes. I just wonder can they handle the hype?? This is the first time they have ever dealt with it so I’m anxious to see what they do. They only have 2 tough games that I can see… at UGA and at Arky. Win those two and beat Bama again in Atlanta and they punch their ticket. I think they have a pretty good chance really.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
1:40 pm

The Lattimore Show – Part Deux
September 10, 2011
4:30
Don’t Miss It

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 3rd, 2011
1:40 pm

South Carolina may blow UGA out but really until they show that they can handle success I would never pick them to show up and play for a MNC. To many games like UK last year in the history books for me to think that they will lay a egg at some point this year. I am not anti-Carolina. I am against UGA but I know they are heartbreaking to to many of my friends. Believe you me they are very nervous about this season. They know how important it is. It is almost a show me what you got type of attitude by many. If it is no this year in Columbia many think it never will be.

AltamahaDawg

August 3rd, 2011
1:45 pm

I guess the Lattimre show is going to skyrocket SC up to 6th in the SEC rushing this year.

Athens= God's Country

August 3rd, 2011
1:47 pm

Jack is the only person in the Southeast that thinks Murray isn’t 1st Team Quarterback in the SEC.

Murray did struggle when he was playing Linebacker, Nose Guard, Corner Back, Safety, Kicker, Punter, Long Snapper, Right Tackle, Defensive End, Left Tackle, and Running Back.

Oh wait… HE DIDN’T PLAY ANY OF THOSE POSITIONS.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
1:49 pm

Look for Alshon Jeffery to rip up Ga’s secondary on September 10.

While the dog defense will be desperate to stop Latti, Alshon will be all over Ga’s smaller, weaker secondary.

Charlie Hayes

August 3rd, 2011
2:00 pm

Lattimore is in some serious trouble this year against UGA. There are a couple of 350 pound behemoths in the middle and two studs at DE for UGA. It will be hard for Lattimore to run on UGA this year. Can’t wait to see the smack down get laid on Garcia. Spurrier should bench Garcia for his off-field issues. However, Spurrier is a dirt bag and will play Garcia turning his head of any wrong doing. Our D will make sure Garcia misses a quarter or two. You can consider it a SEC Level I primary violation with a quarter penalty for Garcia’s alcohol substance abuse courtesy of Big John Jenkins. I bet USC has to bring Connor Shaw into the game in the third quarter to try and pass on our secondary.

UGA Insider

August 3rd, 2011
2:03 pm

Ashlon is about to meet Nick Marshall. UGA’s first “shutdown” corner since Champ Bailey. Boykin will be on the other side shutting down whatever loser you have over there.

Say What???

August 3rd, 2011
2:04 pm

So does anyone else think that Jack might be related to Mason??

From what I have read online and in all the college football reviews, Murray is considered one of the top QB’s in the SEC. Why, on God’s green earth, would you replace that veteran player with one that has seen hardly any playing time in college football. Murray is not Joe Cox!

And another thing, how are you giving Mason credit for developing a tight end at his high school? Did the Lassiter coaching staff find themselves too busy to coach that young man? Did they decide that Mason had enough time to be the Tight End coach?!?!

Here’s another stat for you: there was a huge let down in the quality of posts to the AJC UGA board by posters named Jack when they hit the bong too often.

b-ham dawg

August 3rd, 2011
2:05 pm

Enter your comments here

b-ham dawg

August 3rd, 2011
2:06 pm

just testing they must have not allowed what i wrote about nothing could be finer to be posted

Charlie Hayes

August 3rd, 2011
2:14 pm

Here are some ‘numbers’ for Jack to chew on……
2008: Joe Cox 11 for 15 151 Yards 73.3% 2-TD 0-INT 201.9 PR
2009: Joe Cox 185 for 331 2584 Yards 55.9% 24-TD 15-INT 136.3 PR
2010: Aaron Murray 209 for 342 3049 Yards 61.6% 24-TD 8-INT 154.5 PR
2010: Hutson Mason 9 for 17 102 Yards 52.9% 1-TD 0-INT 127.8

Why in the world do you think that Hutson Mason would be a better QB than Aaron Murray? Your logic above was “Mason had better timing in the G-Day game”. Yeah, that’s wearing a green no-contact jersey playing touch football on the QB. What do you say about these numbers Jack?

DawginLex

August 3rd, 2011
2:16 pm

Jack brings up G-Day stats when they fit his agenda.

Funny, this time he fails to mention Mason’s interception in the G-Day game while Murray had ZERO.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
2:20 pm

LOL

A freshman CB trying to shut-down Alshon?

5-foot-10 runt of the dog litter, Boykin, trying to stop SC’s bigger and stronger WR’s?

Too funny.

WDE

August 3rd, 2011
2:24 pm

Best thing about the Dogs spanking the chickens this year is it will ruin the Visor’s chances of a SEC championship and lead to his much deserved retirement. He has this last chance to go out a SEC winner and once we wrest control of the East from him he will slink on off to the golf course.

UGA Insider

August 3rd, 2011
2:33 pm

I hate to tell USCe fans but the receiver that hurt us most last year was Gurly. And he got some bad advice and is going to be on some NFL Scout Team somewhere. Ashlon may catch 3 or 4 little dink passes. No worries with him.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
2:37 pm

Tori Gurley signed a contract with the Packers last week.

His down-field blocking will be missed, but last years mediocre o-line will be much improved, giving Lattimore even more room to run.

Watch Out!

DawginLex

August 3rd, 2011
2:39 pm

Sc scored 17 points on us last year and we should be trembling?

Gator Gus

August 3rd, 2011
2:40 pm

Please keep Murray. He’s a great QB. All the SEC coaches agree. please keep him. Please. Please start him against at the end of October. He just had some bad luck last game with all those turnovers. I’m sure he’ll do terrific this year. And I speak for all SEC coaches who want you guys to please keep starting Murray, that’s why we all voted for him.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
2:40 pm

BTW, Gurley had 1 catch for 14 yds vs. Ga last year.

Alshon had 7 for 103 and no td’s. I’m thinking he’ll get at least one on September 10.

UGA Insider

August 3rd, 2011
2:41 pm

The only thing I’m watching out for is Steve Garcia stealing my hubcaps.

Priceless!

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
2:42 pm

SC scored on 17 pts because they controlled the clock.

That first drive for a TD look over half the quarter!

They couldn’t tackle Latti.

LOL

Gary

August 3rd, 2011
2:42 pm

Folks should check out the wall street journal article on gambling on the early lines in Vegas. Georgia was one of the teams people focused on because Vegas apparently has them underperforming compared to where the money thinks they should be. The lines moved significantly since they first posted based on the money being placed on the dawgs. The Boise, Florida, and Auburn games all moved significantly in Georgia’s direction. I doubt homers have that kind of influence. Maybe good things are coming.

JMan

August 3rd, 2011
2:46 pm

Hutson looked sharp all Spring, led the Georgia QB’s in td’s. Loved the late drive to help his team take the lead. Guys were making plays down the stretch all over the place for Hutson & Christian. Guys really trusted Christian too at the end of the game, looked like a cool Senior there just money when it matters. Nice to see that kind of chemistry between QB & teammates. Sure was missing last year.

negadawg

August 3rd, 2011
2:55 pm

Herschel Talker are you the one who calls in to road rage

WDE

August 3rd, 2011
2:58 pm

@Nothing Could Be Finer I couldn’t agree more we couldn’t tackle Lattimore LAST year…what should concern you is that we were in place to make those tackles at the line or in some cases behind the line…so we were coached to be where the ball was..and second most of the guys that couldn’t tackle are gone. Do us a favor see if you can keep Garcia sober till kick off we really need him !

EZone

August 3rd, 2011
2:59 pm

Here’s a recent Wall St. Journal article that’s pro-Georgia.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903520204576484343392095726.html

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
3:01 pm

Not concerned because reports from the summer say that Latti has gotten bigger AND faster.

We’ll see if those “new guys” will be in position this year.

LOL

If it fits, wear it

August 3rd, 2011
3:03 pm

It will indeed be hard to replace Green. There are few athletes with Green’s combination of thug mentality, me-first mindset, and extreme lack of intelligence. Fortunately, Mark Richt has already signed most of the ones with these qualifications.

BulldogBen

August 3rd, 2011
3:14 pm

If we’re putting any hopes into Marlon Brown, we’re screwed.

He’s been a total bust.

WDE

August 3rd, 2011
3:14 pm

@Nothing Could Be Finer now its my turn to not be concerned as I doubt he will top 300 lbs and last year I don’t remember him out running anyone. Now if you can just keep Garcia sober….

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
3:20 pm

I don’t remember Latti out running anyone either……………….Just through them.

LOL

DawginLex

August 3rd, 2011
3:23 pm

NCBF

You still haven’t answered my question as to what will SOS do if SC loses to UGA?

Bench Garcia
Kick him off the team
Fire Mangus and coach the QB’s himself
Make a tee time

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
3:25 pm

Exactly what you don’t want to hear from your WR coach:

‘I hope we’re OK’

http://redandblack.com/2011/08/03/bulldogs-receivers-coach-tony-ball-i-hope-we%e2%80%99re-ok/

LOL

DawginLex

August 3rd, 2011
3:28 pm

Still won’t answer?

Don’t want to face the reality of a complete meltdown in a year where all the pieces are supposedly in place?

Dawg Tired

August 3rd, 2011
3:29 pm

If Mitchell is as good as the players seem to think he is, he should start in place of Brown. Brown has shown nothing.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
3:31 pm

1. Bench Garcia
2. Kick him off the team
3. Fire Mangus and coach the QB’s himself
4. Make a tee time

I don’t know, all of the above?

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
3:33 pm

It will be very tough for Mitchell, as a freshman, to make a significant impact at WR.

Boise in ATL

August 3rd, 2011
3:38 pm

Not sure if UGA will miss Green or Durham or not.

Who were UGA’s receivers in 2002?
Who were UGA’s receivers in 2005?

Sometimes – having no name WR corp is the best thing for the team.

From what I have seen of UGA – T. King looks pretty good and Wooten looked pretty good.
I do not know much about M. Brown or Bennett. Maybe the Mitchell kid is the real deal.
Employ your TE’s – UGA should be in great shape.

None of this will matter if your O-Line is mediocre, your RB’s are only average at pass blocking and your plays are slow to develop.

I think it will take UGA several games for their Offense to develop – so many question marks. Bobo will be very conservative for the first few games.

Boise will be wide open – and a high scoring game favors the BRONCO’s.

UGA will start 0-2 – but will turn into a very good team by seasons end.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
3:41 pm

As a freshman, AJ Greene didn’t really get started until week 4. Its just tough for freshmen WR’s to get hot early.

2008 OPPONENTS No Yds Avg TD
Georgia So. (Aug. 30) 2 40 20.0 1
Central Michigan (Sep. 6) 3 40 13.3 0
at South Carolina (Sep. 13) 3 61 20.3 0
at Arizona State (Sep. 20) 8 159 19.9 1
Alabama (Sep. 27) 6 88 14.7 1
Tennessee (Oct. 11) 7 53 7.6 0
Vanderbilt (Oct. 18) 7 132 18.9 1
at LSU (Oct. 25) 3 89 29.7 1
Florida (Nov. 1) 5 91 18.2 0
at Kentucky (Nov. 8) 2 53 26.5 1
at Auburn (Nov. 15) 5 81 16.2 1
Georgia Tech (Nov. 29) 4 64 16.0 1
at Michigan State (Jan. 1) 1 12 12.0 0

SundriedBulldog

August 3rd, 2011
3:44 pm

Likely gonna see these 4 receivers:
1) T. King
2) M. Bennett
3) M. Mitchell
4) M. Brown

At TE, you got O. Charles who could split out as a hybrid TE/WR, and leave A. White or J. Rome in at TE.

You got B. Smith & I. Troupe & R. Wooten for 10 plays a game with track speed.

At fullback, you have B. Figgins, a converted TE, who can catch balls in the flats as a safety valve.

At QB, A. Murray can move, to make up for the inexperienced line and make stuff happen with his feet like M Vick does, M Vick has a weak O-Line but mobility offsets it. B. Rothlesburger makes his best plays when plays break down and he scrambles.

Should be a potent combo.

Joe

August 3rd, 2011
3:44 pm

The best basketball team UGA ever had was the one after Dominique went pro. They came together as a team and finished in the final four. Maybe if Bobo will call plays and teach the team as a team the same thing may happen. Hear is hope that this will happen. No star to throw to so it opens up the game to all the players on the team and not just one star. Right now only one will be suspended for the first game.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
3:46 pm

LOL at comparing A Murray to M Vick

WDE

August 3rd, 2011
3:47 pm

@Boise in ATL I agree we will be conservative ,we are going to simply line up and run right at you with a 220 RB and a 270 lb FB behind 300+lb a man line …all day long. When you stack the box we will go to the TE and WR’s and then right back at you….stop us if you can.

SundriedBulldog

August 3rd, 2011
3:47 pm

The thought of Murray dropping back to pass and having 2 tall thick guys in to block in B. Figgins & R. Samuel means a lot of beef there to get through. Pass pro will undergo serious upgrade because of these 2 tanks.

RedandBlackDAWG

August 3rd, 2011
3:48 pm

Gator Gus,

So you have started wearing big boy pants now and are one of the SEC coaches. It has got to be nappy time for you little fellow.
Man, the things these UGA haters try to come up with, LOL.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
3:50 pm

The thought of Murray dropping back to pass and having 2 tall thick guys in to block in B. Figgins & R. Samuel means a lot of beef there to get through.
—————————————
Meanwhile, all of Murray’s receivers will be coverred.

;)

SundriedBulldog

August 3rd, 2011
4:01 pm

If the receivers are covered, Murray can run, he ran for 12 td’s and 1000 yards in 1 season in high school, threw 50 td’s for 4000 yards, same year. :)