Injury risk won’t stop Dogs from using A.J. Green on punt returns

A.J. Green might or might not return punts for Georgia this year. But if he doesn’t, it won’t be because of the risk of injury.

“People talk about, ‘Well, gosh, what if he got hurt?’” coach Mark Richt said Thursday. “Well, he can get hurt running down the sideline and getting hit while he’s trying to catch the ball. So I don’t know if there’s any more risk factor [returning punts] than any other play.”

The deciding factor, then, on whether Georgia’s star receiver doubles as a punt returner will be:  Is he the best player for the role?

Richt isn’t sure.

“I wouldn’t be against him doing anything for us that would help us win,” Richt said. “But the bottom line is, is he the best at that skill? If he is, then we’ll let him play. Or if there are certain times we feel like it’s important to get him in there and do that, we might do that, too.”

Green returned punts at Summerville (S.C.) High School -– he returned 12 for touchdowns –- and he told Richt during spring practice that he’d like to reprise the role this year for the Bulldogs.

He was among seven players who took turns returning punts in spring ball,  joining Branden Smith, Brandon Boykin, Washaun Ealey, Bacarri Rambo, Carlton Thomas and Rantavious Wooten. The job is open because of the graduation of Prince Miller, who had 19 of the Dogs’ 23 punt returns last season.

See also: Richt says no timetable on Logan Gray decision but position change possible if he stays

127 comments Add your comment

bkbroila4224

April 29th, 2010
10:11 pm

bkbroila4224

April 29th, 2010
10:12 pm

bkbroila4224

April 29th, 2010
10:12 pm

bkbroila4224

April 29th, 2010
10:13 pm

4th 5th 6th…ect….

bkbroila4224

April 29th, 2010
10:14 pm

Use him as much as possible…..I, personally think that Boykin would be the best bet at PR….

Delbert D.

April 29th, 2010
10:19 pm

AJ is much better running away from people. Don’t risk him.

Delbert D.

April 29th, 2010
10:20 pm

“Richt isn’t sure.”

That’s not news.

impressed

April 29th, 2010
10:23 pm

every major program (Alabama, USC, Florida, etc.) puts the best person for the job on the field for every play. not that it matters, but this makes me think Mark Richt really is serious about winning!!! GO DAWGS!!!

ps- I wanna see happen on the field before I believe it. ;)

Sonrisa

April 29th, 2010
10:36 pm

As always, the real question is whether the player can stay out of jail. With UGA’s players, that’s very much in question.

This simply isn’t a serious issue at 99% of US schools, only at UGA. I would really like to see an investigation into why UGA players are arrested so often, but the AJC doesn’t seem to want to upset anyone by asking the hard and embarrassing questions.

bufbox

April 29th, 2010
10:38 pm

The dif is when AJ makes a pass reception, he usually has from 0 – 3, maybe 4, people between him
and the goalline ….. not 11. Doesn’t make sense to worry about lack-of-depth at receiver on the one hand, and then put your main go-to WR back fielding punts on the other. I don’t think a good idea. Thomas Brown tore ACL returning a KO late in a game already won, and sat out the whole next season.

Sonrisa

April 29th, 2010
10:40 pm

Perhaps when we get a decent governor, we’ll get the investigation that’s long overdue. It’s going to be so much fun to see so many heads roll over the results.

And you thought things might change after Jan Kemp exposed UGA for the farce it is.

TashaB

April 29th, 2010
10:42 pm

Two words feared most in Athens: Jan Kemp (aka Saint Jan).

bufbox

April 29th, 2010
10:51 pm

You would think they would at least stick to the subject. But it matters not, trolls are everywhere on other sites I participate in, non-sports even. If no one would engage them and play along… they would move on.

Ace

April 29th, 2010
11:38 pm

Not a good idea with his excessive celebration history. Flags for days.

Ted Striker

April 29th, 2010
11:47 pm

As long as FATIGUE isn’t a factor, if Green is the best threat for punt returns — and that’s a big if — play him there.

Vince Dooley, a very sound coach, underutilized UGA’s best ever talent. How much more effective could Herschel Walker have been if Dooley had been willing to pass to him out of the backfield?

Walker showed what he could do catching the ball in the NFL.

guy

April 29th, 2010
11:47 pm

There are some dumb people who comment on these articles. They don’t want to win or lose,they just want to argue and criticize. You can’t hide simple and childish minds! 1st,2nd,&3rd shows what level in school they made it to and it shows.

FL Dawg

April 29th, 2010
11:53 pm

If Smith has learned how to hang onto the ball he should be the man on pr. If not either Boykin or Green would serve well. Perhaps this will be the new role for Gray.

Delusional Dawg

April 30th, 2010
12:24 am

That would be another DUMB decision.

SEC Champions 2010

April 30th, 2010
12:43 am

I hear Murray and Charles plan on opening a 7-Eleven in Athens
this fall…Operating hours: 90 minutes each Saturday!

If you look up the term “one-two punch” in the dictionary, you’ll see
a picture of Thing One and Thing Two.

Ealey part Herschel; King part Walker (3)(4)

Advice for Murray: If you do decide to gamble in the passing game,
place your bet on the “Easy Eight”. You’ll come up big more often
than not!

Aaron Murray quote during his college football recruitment: “When I
left Florida with Georgia on my mind, I knew Athens was the place for
me.”

GT12

April 30th, 2010
12:46 am

I think it’s a great idea to use him if he’s the best for the job.
Conventional wisdom seems to be that you don’t want to use your best players on special times because of the injury risk. While that might make sense at first, I have to disagree. If you want to stock your special teams with scholarship rejects and walk ons, I think you underestimate how important special teams are. Look at VT. they put great scholarship players on all of their special teams, and beamerball has typically resulted in some of the best special teams in the country. Special teams can be a game changer, and there’s an argument to be made that it’s worth the risk.

st. simons boyfriend

April 30th, 2010
1:05 am

i don’t know why he keeps using girl names on these blogs.

GT3O

April 30th, 2010
1:57 am

I personally thought Boykin was a helluva threat back there. But Richt is the head man.

BuLLdawg

April 30th, 2010
4:11 am

QUOTE

by

jasont13

April 29th, 2010 11:02 am

Dawgfan80, if your looking at BuLLdawg’s list of graduation rates then your looking at the wrong things. BuLLdawgs is a Florida fan. There is no way and I mean 0 way they lead have a\a higher graduation rate than most of the other schools in the SEC. They way graduations are accumulated are by how many players graduate in 4 years, not 5. And if you have a player who leaves early after his junior year and comes back two years later and graduates, that is not listed. Also if you have a player who graduates in the summer that does not count either. BuLLdawgs you in my book will never be a UGA fan or alum and if you really are, what a disgrace you are to the Bulldog Nation!

END QUOTE guy who knows NOTHING about Graduation Rates and how they are calculated.

1st transfer ARE accounted for by the NCAA. They do NOT count against the school if they are passing and on target at the time.

2nd This is not MY LIST D.A. It is the NCAA list of Graduation Rates, the latest one just released 2010.

3rd UGA is 9th in The SEC in football graduation rates.

4th It is NOT determined by who graduates in 4 years as you LIE. It is based on the same 6 years given every student at every school. Outside 6 years, all schools have some that graduate. If all you do is take 3 standard classes and do not go to Summer School, you would graduate in 4 years, not the 6 given everyone by the NCAA and DOE. I graduated in 3 years by taking an extra standard class or 2 extra 3 hour classes every enrollment and I went actually 4 Summers. Dean Fluellen approved my schedule personally every enrollment. I had a 4.0 into my senior year and ended 3.88. I ended up with 239 hours not the 180 minimum required.

I do not hold the football players to that. I DO HOLD them to the same as every other SEC school and we are WAY FAR BEHIND in Graduation Rates around here in football.

I graduated in the Summer and SUMMERS DO COUNT in the NCAA calculation, D.A. Quit making up lies you know NOTHING ABOUT.

Latest Graduation Success Rates in Football according to NCAA :

GSR released 2010 by NCAA for Football SEC :
.

.
91 % Vanderbilt

69 % Florida

69 % Ole Miss

67 % Alabama

63 % Mississippi State

60 % LSU

60 % South Carolina

59 % Auburn

57 % Georgia

.

Here is your URL Link. Look them up yourself. I already did.

http://www.ncaa.org/wps/portal/ncaahome?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/ncaa/ncaa/academics+and+athletes/education+and+research/academic+reform/gsr/2009/841gfw951_2009_d1_school_gsr_data.html

BuLLdawg

April 30th, 2010
4:17 am

QUOTE

by

chazzo

April 29th, 2010 7:16 am

BullDawg,

Losing 14 games in the last 4 years is 3.5 losses a year. You are simply wrong in your negative outlook. 100s of teams would love to have that record. Other schools do have these problems.

END B.S. QUOTE

Well, chazzo, you and I have read each others’ posts for many years here and elsewhere, and there are NOT hundreds of teams who would love to have our record the last 4 years of 10-10 not a winning record in our own division of our own conference let alone be relevant on the national stage 0 of the 9 years of the Coach Richt Era having NEVER beat a Top 10 Final AP Poll team in any game and in fact having only beat 3 Top 10 Final AP Poll teams in the Coach Richt Era while having LOST 11. As for the other schools who have these problems, go ahead, name me a team with 4 Arrests / Suspensions since Spring Practice Started, name me a team with 3 kicked off their team since just Spring Practice Started, go ahead and name me a team with the 38 Arrests / Suspensions that David Hale of the macon.com just researched for you here at UGA in just the last 3 years.

I will wait for that response, while I point out we are 9th in The SEC in latest NCAA Football Graduation Rates, have lost to 5 SEC East teams the last 4 years who none of the 5 teams are Top 25 Final AP Poll teams.

Here is where we are in the last 4 years :

1-A Wins 2006-2009 (4 years)

1. Boise State 49
2. Florida 48
3. Texas 45
4. Ohio State 44
5. Brigham Young 43
6. Southern Cal 43
7. Oklahoma 42
7. Texas Christian 42
9. Cincinnati 41
10. Virginia Tech 41
11. Louisiana State 40
12. Penn State 40
13. Utah 40
14. West Virginia 40
15. Boston College 38
16. Central Michigan 38
17. Missouri 38
18. Wisconsin 38
19. Georgia 38
20. Texas Tech 37
21. Houston 36
22 Hawaii 36
23. Oregon 36
24. Oregon State 36
25. Rutgers 36
26. Georgia Tech 36

.

.

Which ones of these programs has had more than 94 Arrested / Suspended in the 9-Year Coach Richt Era ?

Go ahead make up your excuses.

There aren’t any and we are # 19 in the last 4 years.

IRRELEVANT.

.

BuLLdawg

April 30th, 2010
4:25 am

We have NEVER beat a Top 10 Final AP Poll team in a Bowl Game in the Coach Richt 9-Year Era.

We have played 11 games vs Top 10 Final AP Poll teams in the Coach Richt Era.

David Greene beat # 4 Final AP Poll vols in regular season 2001.

DJ Shockley beat # 6 Final AP Poll LSU for SEC Champs 2005.

Matthew Stafford beat # 9 Final AP Poll Auburn regular season.

We have LOST all other 8 games vs Top 10 Final AP Poll teams

3-8

0 wins over Top 10 Final AP Poll teams in bowl games.

This is the national stage at the end of the season to be rewarded with a game against a relevant team. Florida State had 5 losses in 2002, ranked # 24 Final AP Poll. Hawaii was ranked # 19 Final AP Poll, neither relevant wins on the national stage between 2 power houses on the national stage.

What we have done to get on the National Stage is to be Arrested / Suspended and to have the 9th WORST Graduation Rate in The SEC, along with going 2-7 vs Florida, losing 5 games to teams NOT ranked in the Top 25 Final AP Poll the last 4 years who all 5 were in The SEC East alone.

I am NOT SATISFIED with that.

What do I want ?

More.

And, for Mike Bobo to be FIRED.

bruce mac

April 30th, 2010
4:48 am

BuLLdawg, we got it man. How many of the arrests are for drinking with no one the worse for wear at the end of the day. What do you suggest CMR do about it other than kick them off the team which is what he is doing? CMR is supposed to know before hand that walks ons are going to drink? I do believe he may have been too willing to give a second or even third chance to some in the past but that is him. As to Bobo, this is his last year to make it happen IMO. Graduation rates are similar except Vandy, big deal. Football team is very similar to the rest of student body at UGA as far as rate.

Jen

April 30th, 2010
5:18 am

BuLLdawg, if your not happy, go be a GT fan…or a Scar fan, UT, Old Miss Miss St, Ky, Vandy, Duke, Miami, UV or who ever…..since they are soooo much better than UGA.

If you can’t be a fan, no matter what…STFU……Life ain’t perdect all of the time.
I would love a NC @ UGA as much as any UGA fan but life’s a bitch. Deal with it.

BuLLdawg

April 30th, 2010
5:20 am

On the street on his butt.

AM 690 The FAN has reported THIS on their media outlet I read myself.

2 other accounts, both first hand are not 3rd hand reports like AM 690 the FAN who quotes 3 SOURCES, and I have read both of those and have the URL Link for.

The Sorority issued a statement. I have that URL Link too. They said that they hope that he gets all he has coming to him.

Around here, oh we can’t talk about that.

Coach Richt was wrong to punish Montez Robinson by kicking him off the team for FAR MORE than Zach Mettenberger did.

THAT is what is said around here.

BuLLdawg

April 30th, 2010
5:24 am

They do whatever the hell they want to do. Which is to NOT GRADUATE. To lose 10 SEC East games the last 4 years. To have 38 documented arrests / suspensions in the last 3 years like these, according to David Hale of macon.com. To have lost to 5 unranked top 25 Final AP Poll SEC East teams the last 4 years, and YOU SAY I should be more positive.

Oh, I love this. This is just what I want to have all this going on.

Jen

April 30th, 2010
5:25 am

Wrong to punish Robinson?!!…are you on crack?

BTW, this is yesterday’s news get over it.

Gin

April 30th, 2010
5:40 am

BuLLdawg needs to go back to bed. DA.

robertussen

April 30th, 2010
6:33 am

i went to shs and saw aj play and return punts. i say use him in any way while you have him. the more hes on the field the more he has the opportunity to make a big play. he might not be back next year and i dont blame him. this is a big time nfl player.

Richard Tardits

April 30th, 2010
6:34 am

BuLLdawg, what do you do for fun? BTW I think you are confusing radio stations. It’s 680 The Fan and 790 The Zone not 690. I think 690 is the Mexican fiesta radio station.

[...] Mark Richt says the right things about A.J. Green, punt returner. [...]

Go AJ

April 30th, 2010
6:53 am

Go AJ!!!!!! Glad to hear he’ll get to return some punts. CMR coaching to win and coaching someone from getting hurt. I truly hope that was not the case, as some others on this board have been stating. An injury just happens and is not restricted to how, where, and what type of play that you happen to be in for. Bo Jackson going down, the wide receiver breaking his leg while running a pass route a few years back, a kicker jumping up and coming down wrong and blowing out a knee are but a few freakish injuries. Then you see someone take such a lick that you know that he must be dead, and then the player jumping up and running off the field. Coach to win and let the chips fall where they may. Glad to see CMR has changed his mind.

ATL XMAN

April 30th, 2010
7:01 am

bulldawg…bulldawg…robinson didnt slam her to the ground or up against any dumpster…the girl herself told the cops he didnt do anything other than walked away. she wouldnt get out of his way and he bumped/ran into her. he being as big as he is and she is all of 5′5 wouldnt have taken much for her to fall. get your facts right..think about it..if he slamms her to the ground she aint getting back up.

and you cant just pick and choose richts wins and losses, you have to grade his whole body of work, all of his 9 years here. he is top 5 easy in college football. thats why you will never get any respect on here..your a joke

82Dawg

April 30th, 2010
7:16 am

Jen ….Well said!!!!

DawgNole

April 30th, 2010
7:45 am

Good memory there, Striker. I believe Walker caught 18 passes his entire three years at UGA–then 60 or so his first year in the pros. Always wondered why we didn’t better utilize his open-field talents.

Mike in the SAV

April 30th, 2010
7:48 am

I believe Javier Arenas returned punts for the Tide and held down his regular role as a DB.
He was the best they had so they did not fear using him.

FORTY NINE POINTS to your ten points

April 30th, 2010
7:56 am

Doesn’t matter.

((((((((((((((41-17)))))))))))))))

Clarke County Correctional

April 30th, 2010
7:57 am

And those arrests just keep on coming.

James T. Kirk

April 30th, 2010
8:08 am

A.J. who? Stephen Hill will take over college football this year. The overhyped, overrated A.J. fella will be an after thought. Stephen Hill will win the Heisman contest if Nezbit doesn’t. Book it.

Jeckyll Island

April 30th, 2010
8:08 am

30-24!!!
30-24!!!
30-24!!!
30-24!!!
30-24!!!
30-24!!!
30-24!!!
30-24!!!
Dawgs whip the jackettes to claim the Governor’s Cup as state champions of Georgia in football!!!!!!

73-66!!!
73-66!!!
73-66!!!
73-66!!!
Overrated Tech could not even win their own state championship in basketball. LMAO

Why can't?

April 30th, 2010
8:09 am

Why can’t GA Tech ever sell out that tiny little high school stadium of theirs?

Clarke County Correctional

April 30th, 2010
8:12 am

Reality—how’s Jermaine Phillips?

Clarke County Correctional

April 30th, 2010
8:14 am

Jeckyll—you forgot Baseball. How could you forget, say,

((((((((((((((((((((((25-6)))))))))))))

The Dawgnation

April 30th, 2010
8:15 am

Mettenberger LIED to Mark Richt about the events leading to his arrest. When Coach Richt finally received a detailed report he then realized that Mettenberger had lied to him. Any coach with decent character would’ve kicked Mettenberger off the team after that! Mettenberger deserved to be kicked off the team. The Dawgnation does not want players that lie to their coach.

How about the Florida Gators policy of allowing players to have up to 5 failed drug tests before being punished?

FORTY ONE POINTS to your seventeen points

April 30th, 2010
8:16 am

Good morning losers.

(((((((((((((((((((((41-17))))))))))))))))

dap01

April 30th, 2010
8:17 am

Why is this an issue? Boykins seemed to be one on the best in the country last year.

Clarke County Correctional

April 30th, 2010
8:21 am

SINCE 2005 GEORGIA (30) ARRESTS

Michael Lemon (aggravated battery)

Justin Anderson (simple battery)

Trinton Sturvidant (simple battery)

Blake Barnes (furnishing alcohol to a minor)

Tripp Chandler (minor in possession of alcohol)

Brandon Wood (DUI)

Kelvin Perez (DUI)

Vince Vance (knowingly driving with a suspended license)

Donovan Baldwin (DUI, reckless driving)

Fred Munzenmaier (underage possession of alcohol)

Jeff Henson (public urination)

Clint Boling (DUI)

Jeremy Lomax (reckless driving, possession of a concealed weapon without a license)

Matthew Prick (underage alcohol possession)

Tanner Strickland (fake identification)

Paul Taylor (battery)

Shane McCleskey (battery)

Akeem Hebron (underage possession of alcohol)

Antonio Sims (DUI)

Ian Smith (public intoxication)

Marquis Elmore (driving with a suspended license)

Dannell Ellerbe (DUI)

Kedrick Golston (disorderly conduct, bar fight)

Derrick White (disorderly conduct, bar fight)

Tavares Kearney (simple battery)

Derrick White (DUI)

Zeb McKinzey (underage possession of alcohol)

Darrius Swain (driving with a suspended license)

Michael Turner (possession of less than an ounce of marijuana)

Rennie Curran (theft, taking a parking boot worth $350)