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

Athens= God's Country

August 3rd, 2011
4:01 pm

Nothing Could Be Finer

I find it hilarious that a South Cackalacky fan is talking trash. You lost 5, yes 5, games last year. You were blown out in three of those games including the last two. You talk like you are a powerhouse program that has actually done something in your 100 year history. Knock, knock. YOU HAVEN’T DONE SQUAT!!! You can talk trash once your team regualarly wins 10 games and wins an SEC championship at least once every hundred years. You really feel confident in your alcoholic, selfish Quarterback? Are you proud of your coach and program concerning Garcia’s troubles and SOS ignoring them with the “aw shucks, he’s in college. Kids make mistakes.” Not 5 times, Coach. Is winning at all costs what you will teach your kids or apply to your profession.

Think about it little boy.

I-DOG

August 3rd, 2011
4:01 pm

I’m not as worried about receiver as I think behind King, 2 others will step up. Not everyone will, but with Brown, Troupe, Wooten, and Bennet all competing plus the incoming freshman, we just need a copule. Charles and White will get plenty of opportunities at TE and while we might keep a TE to pass protect a little more often than we normally would… I don’t think we will need to do this as often as folks think if we stay relatively healthy on the O-line.

If Glenn or Jones go down with injury, we may need to do more of that, but can also use a 2 TE set with one staying in to protect and the other getting down field. We also have figgins at FB to pick up some pash rushing situations.

What is going on with the Columbus to USC situation? Anyone hearing if he will be missing time or not?

Athens= God's Country

August 3rd, 2011
4:02 pm

NCBF

Oh yeah, Larry David called. He said he wants you to stop using LOL. It’s for children and STUPID.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
4:03 pm

In high school……………

LOL

ARdawg

August 3rd, 2011
4:06 pm

Bill King, I think if you tried real hard you could come up with at least 4-5 other different ways to ask this question.

Yes, there will be another set of hands attach to a guy that holds the position formerly held by AJ Green. The question remains however, will the guy attached to those hands actually catch and hold on the the ball the way AJ did. AJ while a great player did not have a goos year last year for a number of reasons. Will THAT be missed? I say no

Athens= God's Country

August 3rd, 2011
4:06 pm

You have much to learn, little boy. Be humble in your accomplishments.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
4:07 pm

Last year Murray had 87 rushing attempts for 167 yds.

Yea, he’s the next M Vick

LOL

Athens= God's Country

August 3rd, 2011
4:08 pm

ARdawg

“Bill King, I think if you tried real hard you could come up with at least 4-5 other different ways to ask this question.”

Those are his next articles

SundriedBulldog

August 3rd, 2011
4:11 pm

A. Green only scored 9 td’s last year. T. King should replace that alone. O. Charles should replace K. Durham’s numbers and you’re all set without a hitch. If either M. Mitchell or M. Brown or R. Wooten surpise for 5 or 6 td’s, and 1 should, then you surpass last seasons numbers.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 3rd, 2011
4:15 pm

A. Green only scored 9 td’s last year.
——————————————————
Yes, thats averaging 1 td/game.

Doubt very seriously that T. King can replace that alone.

ClinchPanther

August 3rd, 2011
4:24 pm

Get over it Bill. You are as bad as Bradley. No we are not worried about the offense. You just need something to write. Why don’t you go cover the tiddly winks finals in orlando?

McDawg

August 3rd, 2011
4:29 pm

we need to teach all the receivers how to juggle

SundriedBulldog

August 3rd, 2011
4:35 pm

A. Green scored 6 td’s in 2009, and 9 in 2010. A. Green caught about 110 balls, and scored every 7.5 catches. T. King had 27 catches for 3 td’s so scored every 9 catches. Granted, will be harder when you’re the #1 WR and double covered on 3rd down, but M. Mitchell or M. Brown or O. Charles will get a lot of 1-on1 coverage and in the red zone, I like the size of the receivers O. Charles, M. Brown & B. Figgins are all really tall thick guys. So somebody will be 1-on-1 in the red zone. And then with the size and thickness of B. Figgins, J. Jenkins, R. Samuel for short yardage runs in the red zone should be a nice change.

shane#1 STREET AGENT

August 3rd, 2011
4:36 pm

I would split ouit Charles or White, they are hybrid TEs anyway. Lynch is 270 now and with a thin O line his blocking could really help. Wooten has good speed and runs routs as well as anyone I have ever seen, he just sometimes makes his break before securing the ball. Catch the ball Ran! Mitchell will play and Scott-Wesley needs to be on the field. Too much speed there. I don’t care if he catches the ball, just send him deep and somebody has to cover him. That’s one less man in the box. Seay can play some too, so I am not worried about WRs.

T-Dawg

August 3rd, 2011
4:55 pm

Richt should have replaced Green with Jerry Rice. …What? Rice isn’t eligible? Fire Richt!!!!

Back on earth, the Dogs have tools at WR and TE — just need to use them well.

jd

August 3rd, 2011
4:56 pm

Feed some of the excess tight ends and wide receivers and put them on the line of scrimmage. Before UGA can win consistantly they must recruit and have on team at least 18 Offensive lineman. 10 that can play and 8 that are developing otherwise we will have a ton of receivers sitting on the bence.

SundriedBulldog

August 3rd, 2011
5:02 pm

If you break down A. Green’s year, he didn’t play against Carolina and scored 2 td’s against Auburn and 1 td against Florida. So of his 9 td’s, 6 wern’t a help. It was really only a few td’s he scored all year that mattered, and T. King beat him there because T. King scored against both top SEC rivals Carolina & Florida.

A. Green’s 9 td’s were scored in 5 games & break down like so:
2 were scored in each game against Idaho St, Colorado & Auburn
1 was score in each game against Florida, Vandy, Tenn
0 against 7 teams Ark, Miss St, SC, Kent, G Tech, UCF, LL

Dynamicbigboy

August 3rd, 2011
5:03 pm

Hey JACK, you really aren’t a very good judge of talent. I guess Orson was voted 1st Team ALL-SEC because he doesn’t have the talent. Not sure who you have been watching but OC will be one of the best receivers in the country not just the SEC.

SundriedBulldog

August 3rd, 2011
5:16 pm

I’m really interested to see J. Rome get some looks at Fullback in a TE hybrid role. J. Rome has great hands and would be a terror to cover coming out of the backfield across the middle. I Crowell’s speed on a wheel route or screen or in the flats?

BullDawg Rick

August 3rd, 2011
5:17 pm

This is getting sick adnasium!!!

AJ is no longer part of the program. He was a great talent, however he’s moved on to the League.

Good luck to AJ & for the love of God, let’s move on!

Go Dawgs!!! GATA!!

SundriedBulldog

August 3rd, 2011
5:19 pm

Here’s the order of which games we need our guys to play best in:
1) South Carolina
2) Florida
3) Tennesee

Win those 3 and you win the East.

chazzo

August 3rd, 2011
5:23 pm

Hey, Jack,

Good name today.

Dawg 39

August 3rd, 2011
5:28 pm

THE OL: In 2002 won the SECC using only 5 OL. In 2007 had arguably the best team in the nation at the end of the season. Had only 6 Ol & 3 of the starters were Freshman. Look for freshman help this year & we are deeper in 2011 than we were in 02 or 07. Now GATA.

Carlton

August 3rd, 2011
5:31 pm

No it’s not. Dammit Bill King. You keep disappointing…

AJ’s gone. Boo-hoo. But with that, UGA won’t have to rely on only one player to make a play anymore (ala, Knoshown Moreno). Who’s to say that our receiving corps won’t step up and do their jobs without #8 out there? I mean., they never had a chance to up until this season since AJ was the favorite target each game..

SundriedBulldog

August 3rd, 2011
5:50 pm

Wouldn’t hurt to be the UGA QB-talk about some BIG TARGETS:

6′ 5”- J Rome (230 LBS), M. Brown, A. Lynch (250 LBS)
6′ 4”- B. Figgins (290 LBS), A. White (240 LBS)
6′ 3”- M. Bennett, O. Charles (240 LBS)

Talk about some RED ZONE TARGETS?

Nikoli Volkov

August 3rd, 2011
5:57 pm

is there a more disliked state college within it’s own borders than UGA??? The only fans i know of are on the AJC blogs. Most people who have moved here from elsewhere cannot stand UGA and don’t understand the stupid pride in a program that hasn’t done anything in 3+ decades. war eagle! and war russian sickle! Your boy goldberg would not have gotten up from the sickle. another proud uga alum.

Thweety

August 3rd, 2011
6:29 pm

Nostradomus

August 3rd, 2011
6:58 pm

I see a great season ahead. Dawgs go undefeated. Only challenge of the year is SCAR,but dawgs win a close one. Everyone else is Alpo. Bank on it!

Dawg-Hatin' Jacket

August 3rd, 2011
7:07 pm

“UGA wide receiver cited by police”: Comments are closed.

Cowards.

Jacket Hatin DAWG

August 3rd, 2011
7:21 pm

Pound Sand DHJ

LogicalUS

August 3rd, 2011
7:38 pm

Awww. come on Bill, UGA doesn’t miss 1st round draft picks, why they just reload with another 1st rounder. Same with losing their top rusher for the PAST two years and the only quality backup RB.

Every UGA can tell you that the mighty Dawgs are four deep at every single position. Right now, the Patriots and Steelers are just bidding their time for the 3rd team UGA players to become draft eligible!!!!

Now one question for these idiots….how the bejesus did this team of 4 deep supermen go freaking 6-7 last season?

SSIgator

August 3rd, 2011
8:06 pm

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

No. The real challenge for UGA this year is replacing da Preacha Man and his Straw Dawg coaching staff in time for the 2012 season. 1980 – so long ago.

Dawg89

August 3rd, 2011
8:15 pm

Gotta believe we can do better than 6-7 even without Green and Durham. That’s not a high bar to clear.

Troupe should have taken the money for baseball. He has been a let down in football.

SundriedBulldog

August 3rd, 2011
8:18 pm

Bill,

With B. Petrino getting his “We didn’t come to paint” thing trademarked, any chance M. Richt and McGarity could trademark

“We ain’t dead yet”

It’s my favorite quip by M. Richt last year, and I’d like to see it on a coffee mug or a t-shirt, with a Big GM I’d buy it.

SSIgator

August 3rd, 2011
8:22 pm

Andy Reid, coach of the Eagles, is quick to dismiss that he’s coaching a “Dream Team.”

“Right now, we’ve got a lot of good looking guys standing around watching,” Reid told ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning on Wednesday. “Obviously, dreams aren’t reality, so the reality will come when I get my hands on them and we get them into practice and start grinding here like the other guys are grinding. That’s reality.”

I guess he doesn’t agree with da Preacha Man’s assessment of a “Dream Team”.

bigdawgfan

August 3rd, 2011
8:35 pm

HEY JACK Murray threw for 3,049 yards last season — second-most ever for a freshman in the SEC — and threw 24 touchdowns and eight interception. iam no pro like you but i think thats pretty
freaking good

Dawg Whisperer

August 3rd, 2011
8:51 pm

Way too much negativity from the usual suspects (mostly UGA haters) about the UGA O-line. How many other SEC schools have two pre-season All-SEC picks on the offensive line? Depth may not be the best but if the talent is there, experience will take care of itself in time.

SSIgator

August 3rd, 2011
8:54 pm

bigdawgfan -

Correct on your stats, but he did not beat a team with a winning record. Easy to pile up stat numbers against teams with losing records.

Swampdawg

August 3rd, 2011
9:03 pm

Once again… IT AIN’T the offense that got us the 6-7. Our Quarterback looked great and only had one off game. Our problem was the defense. The Dawgs defense looked and played like Grambling last year. Too many boys and not enough men. No hard hitting! They couldn’t stop anyone but the “Sisters of the Poor”. We miss you Larry!

moleman

August 3rd, 2011
9:14 pm

who is Larry?

bigdawgfan

August 3rd, 2011
9:16 pm

still the facts are facts had a better d and less fumbles and dropped balls many records could have been broken

SSIgator

August 3rd, 2011
9:19 pm

bigdawgfan -

That is called woulda, coulda, shoulda or whistling past the graveyard if you prefer.

Dawg Whisperer

August 3rd, 2011
9:21 pm

We’ll keep “da preacher” and Murray. I guess we’re stuck with one of the winningest SEC coaches and the pre-season SEC QB.

bigdawgfan

August 3rd, 2011
9:22 pm

either way we will see new year got to be better team so we will see
soon enough

SSIgator

August 3rd, 2011
9:24 pm

Dawg Whisperer -

Believe me. I hope you never get rid of that clown. Of course Murray the Midget will run out of eligibilty.

bigdawgfan

August 3rd, 2011
9:25 pm

oh that right the gators were so great last season

SSIgator

August 3rd, 2011
9:32 pm

bigdawgfan -

You are correct. They were not very good, but at least they did not go 6-7 and lose to a C-USA team.

bigdawgfan

August 3rd, 2011
9:33 pm

2010 gators sec (4-4) dawgs ( 3-5) whoo hoo

SSIgator

August 3rd, 2011
9:35 pm

bigdawgfan -

Are you bragging or complaining?

bigdawgfan

August 3rd, 2011
9:36 pm

making a point