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

SSIgator

August 3rd, 2011
9:36 pm

bigdawgfan -

And the point is?

bigdawgfan

August 3rd, 2011
9:44 pm

dont forget the score was gators 34 dawgs 31 in over time so gators
were not much better than we were

bigdawgfan

August 3rd, 2011
9:45 pm

is there a gator paper you should be there not here

SSIgator

August 3rd, 2011
9:53 pm

bigdawgfan -

“dont forget the score was gators 34 dawgs 31 in over time so gators
were not much better than we were”

You must be new to this blog. So now you are counting an almost win as a “moral victory” even though it is still a loss? I guess next year UGA will have in their game stats won/lost/moral victory. How many “moral victories” equal a win?

HardTruth Soldier

August 3rd, 2011
9:55 pm

Can ya’ll say Chris Conley, and Justin Scott Wesley? These two receivers who were both ranked in the top 20 in the nation as receivers, and Scott-Wesley whom many say is the fastest receiver in this whole 2011 class will bring major production. At this point, I don’t see MB being a factor any more. At 6′5 215 lbs he’s not shown anything at this point, and I think these young guys will be more than anybody expects.This is Georgia, and we want stay down forever. # 1 at the end of the year. That’s all that matters.

SSIgator

August 3rd, 2011
9:56 pm

bigdawgfan -

If you could not figure it out from my name, I live in GA. I did not know that there was a law against commenting on a GA blog if you were not a UGA fan. Sorry.

bigdawgfan

August 3rd, 2011
10:00 pm

no thats not the point we got our butts kicked by teams that
we should never have and the gators almost lost to the
dawgs a team with a losing record.bad bad losses.
anyway it a new season and we will see. got to go no more
time to waste with you

KeepDreaming

August 3rd, 2011
10:02 pm

AJ GREEN IS IRREPLACABLE!!!!!

SSIgator

August 3rd, 2011
10:03 pm

bigdawgfan -

Enjoy da Preacha Man’s KoolAid and while you are at it, have one of those LSD sugar cubes. They will block out all reality as the season moves along.

dawgforlife

August 3rd, 2011
11:27 pm

nothing…I think its funny when you laugh at compairing Murray to VIck…when who I want to compare to Vick is Garcia..well, lets compare their prison records anyway

dawgforlife

August 3rd, 2011
11:35 pm

and SSIgator…your right it has been a long time since 1980…the thing that amazes me though is with the Fla dominance of Ga over the past say 20 years, UGA still leads the all time record. you guys must have really stunk back in the day…and I am not sure how you stunk so much with all the amazing talent to pick from in the state of Florida…it is a mystery almost as big as the TV show Bonanza…a 50 yr old man has three 40 yr old sons…I lay awake at night trying to figure that one out.

just asking

August 4th, 2011
12:03 am

“da Preacha man” is that ebonics or just plain lack of a grasp on the English language?
What will be missed by not having AJ? The only thing I see is being double teamed. He could not take a hit, he cramped up. No big loss imo. I notice about 30 different names on this blog, compared to the thousands of real Dawg fans out in the world and funny thing is; those thousands of fans know that Georgia will surprise a lot of folks this year. The trolls and haters here are simply jealous their respective teams will not fare so well (why else would they be here all obsessed with everything Georgia?) SSIgator try the new “jorts are us” blog, seems to fit you.

RED DOG 77

August 4th, 2011
1:12 am

@Bill King…….I liked the way you ended your story by saying “Georgia will miss Green and Durham, but, perhaps not for long”………Me?…..I couldn’t agree more. Bill you still had a little of the glass half empty thing, but we’ll give it a pass this time. Georgia’s WR situation imo really couldn’t be in better shape………As has been pointed out, Murray will be making more progression reads with Green out of the way…….as long as he has the time, he will find some top notch targets, no need to point out all the options he will have, we should all know that answer by now. The keys will be: can we keep our Oline healthy? can we run the football? if [remember trolls, I said "if"] the answer to these two questions is yes, we will do considerable damage to our enemy with play action…………..And by the way Bill, you might be one of the so-called worrysome fans, Me? I am certainly not!!………The University of Georgia has a legendary football program, and being an alumni, I always have faith that “This year is THE year”………..Always have always will………Regards Bill, RED

7576DAWG

August 4th, 2011
3:00 am

I think our success will depend on getting about 10 of the Freshmen as much playing time as possible. Mitchell is one that needs to be playing in the first game. He is a play maker and can easily make a difference. It will also make Brown give it his all on every play.
Also, CMR needs to get LeMay as much playing time as possible in case Murray gets hurt. On the job training in just one game will teach LeMay faster and more than all the practices combined and it will get him ready to play in front of 100,000 people. The black team would have lost the G game if LeMay had not been the QB. Murray was totally bogged down and couldn’t move the team. Herrera, Drew and Marshall should all play against Boise State.

UGADawg83

August 4th, 2011
7:34 am

Today Bill has informed us we are going to miss A.J. Green. Gee Bill, I hadn’t thought about that, thanks for the “fresh” update.

F100Dog

August 4th, 2011
9:27 am

2 things weird about Murray.
1) Very surprised he and Charles wern’t able to connect more than 2 times a game, 26 passes, 2 td’s, not much, thse guys went to high school together so unreal how little Charles was used by Murray.
2) Murray’s figured out if he keeps games close, Richt won’t put in his backup. So Murray doesn’t get big leads because he doesn’t want his back up to have a chance to take his job. Hopefully, Richt will see through this little ploy in 2011.

AltamahaDawg

August 4th, 2011
9:32 am

No law against it. I would think that self respect would be the rule though.

RedandBlackDAWG

August 4th, 2011
10:08 am

It really has nothing to do with Murray worrying about losing his job to a backup. He did not audible much because they did not want him to do it. That leaves the offensive plays largely in Bobo’s hands. As Bobo said in a recent interview, he failed to trust his players, especially the young ones so he called a conservative game plan. Obviously, he was way too conservative, but I would bet you the TE’s will play a much bigger part in the offense this year.

He did nada

August 4th, 2011
10:16 am

Gene Washington of 1970s UGA fame and his catch vs Florida from T.E. Richard Appleby will be remembered forever. I could name other great moments …… like Jimmy Shirer’s TD catch vs GT late one night on nationwide color TV. LONG ANDY JOHNSON TD drive that ate up the clock at Grant Field. Shirer TD !!!

AJ Green? Colorado game that we lost? He said “when I return someone will pay” and he was right …………………..UGA paid in 5 or 6 losses. AJ might be a quiet, nice kid ………………he did nothing for UGA and unlike these two no body receivers listed above ……………….. he will not be remembered in three more years. It is what it is.

You earn your rep. in colleg lore and AJ earned nada. Congrats to him on his NFL $$ deal.

Go Dogs.

Twin UGA fullbacks for dump offs

August 4th, 2011
10:29 am

Without a great O line, UGA needs a plan B to control the ball. Install a twin FB sytem with either Zander Ogletree( he supposedly likes contact) or Figgins AND Rome. Both of these last two FBs are around 6′5″ and weigh around 270. We must utilize the FB AND TE positions in order to sustain drives.

Going deep to Troup or Marvelous Marlon Brown or to Tavarres King wil result in 3rd and 15 situationa. No, we want to move the chains this year. Mix it up, folks.

Allow the TWO HUGE FBs to block for our fine running backs over and over and then dump that ball off to our FBs often. Let them ramble for 10, 20 yds at a clip. Move those chains. First and 10 !!

Bobo will throw long on first down, then run lil Carlton Thomas up the middle, resulting in a 3rd and 8 thing and then hum it 28 yds incomplete, then punt and Butler continues to build his NFL resume. Nice. Forget that system. No linemen.

No, this year we need to show a wishbone set up that we can throw from utitlizing our HUGE FBs and mix it up with a Brandon Smith end around with HUGE FBs out in front.
With them being off balance, a quick burst up the middle by Samuel or Boo Malcom or Crowell will do nicely.

Same old same old begets same old. THIS YEAR the coaching staf had better show that they can coach.

UGA man,

Class of 71 & 73

F100Dog

August 4th, 2011
10:51 am

It’s bizarre how Auburn & Florida let their QB run, and won National Championships, but Georgia won’t due to fear of injury. A QB with great mobility is a sharp advantage in the SEC, but doubtful Richt will have the guts to go big. Richt seems to afraid to fail to win a National Championship. Wasn’t Murray the #1 rated dual threat QB coming out of High School? Didin’t he score over 10 td’s with his legs one year? With a weak inexperienced offensive line, you have to adapt and make changes and go big if you want big rewards.

F100Dog

August 4th, 2011
11:01 am

you got to use your tight ends. in the backfield, and as receiver. Figgins & Rome seem to be the best choice for the backfield on 3rd down as they are both 6′4 240-290 so they’ll double as huge granite blocks for blocking force or Pass Pro, and double as big potential receivers. Stick Charles & White on the ends in a 2 TE set, split out King & 1 other WR:Mitchell/Bennett/Brown. Gives you 4-5 receivers depending on who stays in to block.

Also have to move over some big bodies from D-Line & Tight End to O-Line. Have to.

Buckeye

August 4th, 2011
11:08 am

USA Today Coaches Poll

We out-rank the dogs pre-season and we’ll out-rank the dogs come January 2012.

Word

Bank

Buckeye

August 4th, 2011
11:09 am

dogs are 22nd. Will be under the “others getting votes” after Boise and Mr. Lattimore!

F100Dog

August 4th, 2011
11:23 am

Jay Rome reported to camp. 6′ ‘6′, 250. Kid has great hands.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/gavarsity/football/recruiting/player-Jay-Rome-85785

F100Dog

August 4th, 2011
11:47 am

USA had Georgia at #21 in 2010, finished #42. Had Florida at #3, finished #38. Had Auburn at #23, finished #1. So this poll is off.

F100Dog

August 4th, 2011
12:05 pm

Good to be in the top 25 starting out. Gives you a chance to move up the polls if you win big games. That’s all it’s good for. Doesn’t mean that’s where you’ll end up.

Win the first two even if UGA is rated # 67,

August 4th, 2011
12:51 pm

UGA wants to really enjoy a great season?? Then win the first two games and UGA will be ranked in the Top 12 after two weeks, possibly higher. Then, play em one at a time. Avoid injuries and all along develop some ball players.

Win vs Florida and the monkey on CMR’s back will be lifted. He MUST DEFEAT FLORIDA> so must our QB Aaron Murray, who failed miserably vs Florida last season. He stunk it up but good.

If this scenario develops, UGA will sign some highly regarded kids come Feb 2012 and CMR has a job. To stumble around, losing the first two, moaning about O line deficiencies, and winding up 8-5 or 7-5 etc. we make changes.

The new coach will need to go out and recruit maybe 15 linemen ( wide bodies) and maybe 1 great back and a stellar QB and some LBs, and a safety or two and with the recent departures, that number will be greater, so as to fill in with the 6 or 7? departures.

It is what it is.

goooooooooooooooooooooooo Dawgs !!

F100Dog

August 4th, 2011
12:58 pm

Not really. Rarely does a team finish #1 who wasn’t pre-season top 25. It’s too far to go. Top 10 pre-season teams get preference for multi-year consistency.

F100Dog

August 4th, 2011
1:03 pm

SEC Champ usually goes to the Natl Champship, so win the East, and the SEC Champ, and you have a real chance.

James T. Kirk

August 4th, 2011
1:10 pm

What a joke. Green was the most overrated player in the history of college pigskin. Cavlin Johnson would toss his salad in a heartbeat. He would eat him for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

RedandBlackDAWG

August 4th, 2011
2:18 pm

F100dog,

Both florida and Auburn built the offense around Tebow and Auburn, to take advatage of the run, because both were big, strong and fast Qbacks, that suited that style. A. Murray, although fast, is no where as physically big and strong as these two guys. Running the football, should almost always be the last option for a QB, unless there are specific plays set up to utilize him that way, because of his size and style of play. Just as easily as it can be an advantage while in a college game, it can be a disadvantage in the PROs. Otherwise Tebow would not still not be trying to become Denvers regular QB, and Newton would not be being questioned about his passing ability by a lot of NFL teams. Both will succeed, but both are and were a couple of years behind, other QB’s drafted with them, in passing skills. It took Mike Vick a few years to become a decent passer and get him to stop having happy feet.

Ghosty

August 4th, 2011
4:07 pm

Fran Tarkenton wasn’t big, scrambled to compensate for bad offensive lines, won a bunch f games, didn’t get hurt often.

powerhouse?

August 4th, 2011
7:07 pm

Replace Green. Run the ball….I’ve seen it work!

wes

August 4th, 2011
9:05 pm

Got damn Bill King is ugly.

RedandBlackDAWG

August 4th, 2011
10:30 pm

Ghosty,

How many years ago did Tarkenton play? In the last 20 years, linemen have gotten a lot bigger and a lot faster on both sides of the line. Give you an example. Bubba Smith who recently passed away, was one of the most feared Defensive Lineman in the NFL when he played for the Baltimore Colts. His highest playing weight was 278 pounds and he dominated men of equal size or smaller on the offensive line. How many defensive linemen are there in the NFL today that weigh 278 pounds. There aren’t even that many college linemen that are that low of a weight anymore. The size of the people playing the game has changed drastically in the last 20 years. Do you remember, Larry Csonka or Alan Amechie? They were two unusally big backs when they played and though both were never exceptionally fast. They plowed through the defense in their day. They were almost as big as the lines on both sides of the ball. All this to say, that a person of a small stature like Tarkenton, would never spend that much time scrambling or if he did, would have had little success given the size and speed of the guys these days. It takes a big kid like Tebrow and Newton, to do that today. Tarkenton would never be fast enough, to do a Mike Vick type scramble today. Even Vick is considerably larger and a whole lot faster than Tarkenton.

Columbus

August 4th, 2011
10:48 pm

Man everytime I read this guys blog it is usually all negative, negative negative overtones and topics. The receivers corps are going to be a strength. No problem there. The defense was soft because it was a new system and the right type of players needed were not yet recruited for the most part. The defense was better than before. Do I need to remind you of the game in South Carolina when our defense was just as good as their highly touted D? They were not as hard hitting overall but they were somewhat timid and lacking at positions but that will not be the case this year I assure you. Coach needed to bring in some guys and he has done so. Can you say Jenkins? Drew, etc? I am so tired of the negativity from this guy. He is the worst of all at AJC and he is supposedly a HUGE fan. I think he was bought out by Auburn to help their recruiting.

RED DOG 77

August 5th, 2011
12:34 am

@Columbus……..I couldn’t agree more, however be very careful my friend, ‘ol Bill King will delete your post if you disagree with him……….deleted two of mine last night, only left the one where I gave him a moderatly supportive grade. ………….Regards, RED

RED DOG 77

August 5th, 2011
12:46 am

@RedandBlackDAWG………One thing for sure, you do know your football. It is a pleasure reading folks who post with a degree of intelligence………..wonder where my buddy Altamaha is tonight, I guess I should know, Thomas Brown………aka………”BuLLdawg” says we are joined at the hip……….I know you warned me about this type of behavior, but RedandBlackDAWG, you know me, I just can’t control myself………always have to poke the ‘ol bees nest with a stick…….well at anyrate, my best regards to you my BULLDOG brother………and by the way, you sound like an old dude like me with your knowledge of football history………..RED

RedandBlackDAWG

August 5th, 2011
9:09 am

RED DOG 77,

Thanks for the comliments, and yup, an ole fart here at 62, but I do love football.
Know what you mean about selective post allowed to appear here. Oh well, it is their blogs, so they can do what they want.
I usually try to refrain from responding to all the negative crap posted here, but sometimes I just go off.

GO DAWGS

GO DAWGS

gomdawg

August 5th, 2011
9:28 am

Please get off A J Green he is gone we need to talk about 2011 team only

aarh

August 6th, 2011
11:36 am

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan- After 2004 we lost WR Ronnie Brown? No, it was Reggie Brown…Ronnie was a RB at AU. Oh, & you’re right about the So. QB thing, but we also had a pretty good yr. w/ Shockley at QB as a Sr. as well.