Notebook: Tony Dungy’s comments place Georgia QB Aaron Murray into NFL discussion

Slowly and surely, Georgia's Aaron Murray is climbing higher in the record books and into the conscience of the NFL talent scouts. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Slowly and surely, Georgia's Aaron Murray is climbing higher in the record books and into the conscience of the NFL talent scouts. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS – It may have been a lighthearted gesture from a personal friend or it could have been the firm conviction for a former NFL coach and pro football analyst. Whatever it was, Tony Dungy got a lot of folks’ attention with his answer via Twitter to a question about whom Kansas City should take as its first pick in the NFL draft.

“I would take Georgia QB Aaron Murray if he comes out,” Dungy wrote on Monday.

It didn’t take long for Dungy’s opinion to make its way to Murray.

“I’ve had everyone ask me about that,” Murray said Tuesday afternoon before the Bulldogs’ practice. “I’m like, ‘I don’t know.’ I’m not worried about that until after the season and then I’ll sit down with my family and make the best decision for myself and my future. I’m having too much fun right now. This season has been awesome. We still have so much ahead of us and so much excitement that I really don’t even have time to think about anything else. I’m just living in the moment.”

Murray’s NFL draft stock is an interesting topic. Though he’s on pace obliterate every quarterback record Georgia has and run down some pretty significant ones in the SEC as well, he’s knocked for his height (listed 6-foot-1) and is not generally talked about as breathlessly as other other college quarterbacks.

Murray is listed as the No. 2 quarterback prospect by NFLscout.com, but that’s for the 2014 draft. As for the one next April, Murray is listed behind at least six other quarterbacks by ESPN’s Scouts Inc.

Perhaps Dungy was just trying to help out a friend. Dungy’s son, Oregon wide receiver Eric Dungy, played with Murray at Tampa’s Plant High School. Murray said he remains in contact the former NFL head coach.

But Murray’s production should stand on its own. After his 330-yard, four-touchdown passing performance this past weekend, he moved into the No. 1 spot in the nation pass efficiency (174.3). This season, he has completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 2,986 yards and 28 TDs with 7 interceptions.

Murray now has 87 career TDs passes, which is fifth in SEC history, and has thrown for 9,184 yards, which is also fifth. He’s not far off from tracking down the players atop those lists which include Danny Wuerffel and Peyton Manning. But he’d probably need another season to do that.

“I’ve never been a guy who worried about records,” Murray said. “The only record I care about is the win-loss column. I came here to win championships and right now we have a team that has the opportunity to do that.”

Whether it’s after this season or next, there are many in Georgia’s camp who believe Murray will eventually be a pro.

“That’s going to be something for us to discuss after the season and him to discuss with his family,” UGA quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “I think his mind is in the right place right now, which is on Georgia Tech this week. But I think he has pro potential because of his intelligence. I think he’s a winner. He’s improved every year and I think he’s going to continue improving. The kid’s the type of guy that, what he sets his sights on, he usually attains those goals. Just look at his life history. Put something out there he wants to do and he gets it done. The No. 1 thing he wants to do right now is win a championship.”

Bobo bristled when asked how Murray’s decision might impact those of Hutson Mason, a junior who is redshirting as Murray’s backup.

“I’m not getting into that until after the season,” Bobo said. “I’m worried about Georgia Tech, really, and Murray better, too.”

Early wake-up call on Saturday

Georgia coach Mark Richt doesn’t mind playing early games, as the Bulldogs will do with Saturday’s noon kickoff versus the Yellow Jackets (ESPN). His only concern is that Georgia’s fans would be late to wake up and slow to arrive for the annual Senior Day festivities. The Bulldogs’ traditional graduation “walk” through the gauntlet of their teammates is scheduled begin at 11:46 a.m.

“I hope we can get the Dog Nation out there a little bit earlier,” Richt said. “The Dawg Walk will be about 15 minutes earlier (10 a.m.) because of the senior festivities and I’m hoping everybody can be in the stands in time to honor those guys. We’re hoping to send them off with a great moment and hopefully they’ll play great during the game.”

Georgia will have approximately 17 seniors going through the short ceremony, which includes their immediate families

A do-over against South Carolina?

To date, Georgia has one blemish on its ledger, and it’s a rather ugly one. The Bulldogs were dominated by South Carolina 35-7 on Oct. 6.

Senior linebacker Christian Robinson, whose father played football for the Gamecocks, if he would like to play them again.

“I would love to,” he said. “I think we kind of walked into a, well, whoever was there knows. My dad said he’d never seen anything like it. I think we walked into something we weren’t mentally prepared for atmosphere wise. Some things happened so quick. We can’t go back and change. They got us when they scheduled the game and they showed up at the right time. But me, a person who’s dad went to South Carolina, I’d like to just so my dad doesn’t have the last laugh. We’ll see.”

Of course, Georgia and South Carolina won’t play again until the second game of next season, and Robinson will be graduated and gone by then. Depending on how these next two weeks go, he could indeed have the last laugh

“We’ve got a lot more at stake right now,” Robinson said of the Bulldogs’ BCS title shot, “so I’ll take that.”

They said it

“I didn’t really think it was over. We had a lot of football left to play. There were six more regular-season games at the time. So I didn’t really think it was over then. Historically, South Carolina’s due to lose a few, so I wasn’t worried about it.”

– Senior flanker Tavarres King, on whether he thought Georgia’s SEC and BCS possibilities were over after losing to South Carolina 35-7 on Oct. 6.

Etc. . . .

The Bulldogs practiced for more than two hours Tuesday in full pads in preparation for Tech. . . . Georgia’s injury situation looks greatly improved. Starting right guard Chris Burnette (shoulder) is practicing without limitations and should start on Saturday. Fullback Merritt Hall (ankle) also practiced full speed. Tailback Keith Marshall practiced in a non-contact capacity due to a shoulder contusion but will play on Saturday. . . . The Bulldogs will be going for their 11th win of the season on Saturday. There have been eight Georgia teams to do that. Among them were Wally Butts‘ 1942 national championship team (11-1),  Butt’s 1946 team (11-0), Vince Dooley’s 1971 team (11-1), Dooley’s 1980 national championship team (12-0) and Dooley’s 1982 team (11-1). Richt has coached three: 2002 (13-1), 2003 (11-3) and 2007 (11-2). . . .

Georgia’s defense ranked fourth in the national in forcing three-and-outs with a rate of 59.3 percent. That’s an average of 5.4 per game. Florida leads the way at 6.8 followed by Florida State (6.8) and Wisconsin (5.6). . . . Tech and Georgia did not play from 1917-24 because of a parade float made by UGA students that ridiculed the Yellow Jackets for playing football during World War I. . . . The biggest UGA comeback against Tech came in 1978 when freshman Buck Belue came off the sideline with the Bulldogs trailing 20-0 and rallied them to a 29-28 win.

221 comments Add your comment

slawdawg

November 20th, 2012
10:44 pm

Great News for a great Quarterback!

bigDawg

November 20th, 2012
10:46 pm

Murray is having a great year.

Glory Glory

November 20th, 2012
10:57 pm

I am the biggest Murray supporter you will find.

That said, I truly feel Murray is a college quarterback, and will likely be nothing more in terms of football than a college quarterback.

I hope he says, and not just for selfish reasons. He has WAY too much going for him in terms of his (free) PhD studies to convince e he leaves early for the chance at being a backup or practice squad quarterback in the NFL.

In addition, his father’s battle with cancer (though things look very good for him right now, thank God) makes me belive that his father would like to see his son exceed as far as he can go in the classroom before he is drafted in the 5th or 6th round, no matter what Dungy proclaimed.

I set chances at 97% Murray returns for his senior season.

bigDawg

November 20th, 2012
11:00 pm

Dungy puts a lot on character, and he’s right, when a NFL franchise is making an investment, you want a good solid guy like Murray.

But Dungy also saw Murray lead Plant High to a State Chamionship. Dominating the competition while he was at Plant.

If you look at how Murray compares to Russell Wilson’s season last year, and even Drew Brees Sr year at Purdue, it’s pretty good:
Wilson: 73%, 3175 yards, 10.3 yards per attempt, 33 td’s, 228 yards per game, #1 in pass efficiency
Murray: 66%, 2986 yards/9.9. yards per attempt, 28 td’s/275 yards per game(with 3 games to go), #1 in pass efficiency
Brees Sr season at Purdue: 61%, 3400 yards, 7.2 yards per attempt, 24 td’s, 12 int’s, 132 pass efficiency

Stinger

November 20th, 2012
11:10 pm

Is Murray going to the next Falcon game? Otherwise I don’t see him being discussed in a NFL discussion.

slawdawg

November 20th, 2012
11:10 pm

When you look at Murray’s stats, don’t forget about all of the 4th quarters he spent wearing a baseball cap, instead of running up his #’’s & the scoreboard!

monty

November 20th, 2012
11:10 pm

He needs to add 10 more pounds of muscle to take the pounding in the nfl. HIs only problem is his height. Look at what Vick has taken in terms of pounding and AAron isn’t near as fast.

FaithfulDawg 87

November 20th, 2012
11:11 pm

If Murray stays, UGA needs to start promoting him for Heisman asap. He has the stats and records and leadership ability, but that award is about a political campaign as much as talent. It’s also, historically, been about a player’s overall body of work, which is why it’s complete crap that Newton won it and that Manziel is in the running…

Rationale

November 20th, 2012
11:13 pm

I said at the beginning of the year that I hoped he had a good enough year that he would think he could go pro. So far, so good.

George Stein

November 20th, 2012
11:13 pm

This Tech fan is looking forward to giving a round of applause for the kids graduating, especially Marlon Brown, from whom so much was expected but saw a cruel end to his career. I hope all you UGA fans are there early, too, and cheer the kids who did it right.

bigDawg

November 20th, 2012
11:15 pm

ESPN KC Joyner wrote an article TODAY touting Murray’s Heisman credentials, and it’s pretty impressive the year Murray is having.

If Murray wins the next 2 games, and plays very well in both, which Murray has played lights out against GT so far, and Johnny football completed 78% vs. Bama, it’s possible Murray could complete over 80% of his passes in the next 2 games and throw for at least 6 or 7 more td’s, before the Heisman vote.

Murray really carried this team for the first 6 games, until the defense got back to norm.

if you look at how well Murray played in the biggest game in his college years against LSU, a team no one gave UGA a chance to beat, Murray really was locked in, particarly in the first half, before Honey Badger blew the game wide open with two big punt returns.

I expect Murray to play very well, like the first half against LSU, from here out. If he does, the NFL scouts will be fighting over him.

Murray has some clutch moments at UGA:
1- three HUGE 4th down throws vs. Florida 2011, two for td’s, to get the win
2- big fourth quarter drive vs. Florida 2012 (Florida is LIKELY who UGA will play for the National Championship in 2012–it’s an EXCELLENT team–beat a LOT of great teams–if Notre Dame loses, Florida vs. UGA is it) for the second UGA win over florida in a row
3- Big win over a ranked GT in 2011
4- Big win over a ranked AUburn team in 2011

SEC East is the best conference division in the country.

And Murray is the best and has his team #1 in the best conference and division in the country.

SEC East is ONLY division in the nation with 2 current top 5 ranked teams.

Tampa Nugget

November 20th, 2012
11:20 pm

Plant Plant Plant!!

RED DOG 77

November 20th, 2012
11:21 pm

Me?…………Yup, you got it………….I’m proud to be a Georgia BULLDOG …….always have, always will…………win lose or draw…………..I’m also proud of coach Richt and coach Bobo for putting up with the “fringe” element of bulldog nation………….GO DOGS……….LETS TAKE CARE OF TECH !!!…………………RED

good not NFL

November 20th, 2012
11:30 pm

I hope Murray comes back next year and I think he will. He is a very good college level player but i cant see him at the next. He is short and has too may balls batted at the line. This will be a major problem in the pros for him.

ARdawg

November 20th, 2012
11:32 pm

We run this state!!

Vampire Bill

November 20th, 2012
11:35 pm

You hit that nail right on the head Glory

bigDawg

November 20th, 2012
11:36 pm

Drew Brees and Russell Wilson never led their college team to a National BCS Championship, so if Murray pulls it off, he’ll be AHEAD of both QB’s.

Watch the video of the 2011 Auburn game, some fo the throws Murray made against a ranked Auburn team, had you shaking you head. He’s got the throws of an Aaron Rodgers, the mobility of a Wilson, the accuracy of a Brees, and the toughness of Rothlesberger.

And if Murray leads with LEADERSHIP his team to the BCS Championship, he’ll pull off what Brees or Wilson or Manning or Rodgers or Brady couldn’t do.

ugadude

November 20th, 2012
11:41 pm

Big dawg don’t get ahead of urself w best conference division . he sec west is but the sec east will have the number one team after its all said and done in any conference

BjohnDawg

November 20th, 2012
11:49 pm

Murray has as good an arm as Drew Brees. If Brees can play in the NFLand be successful, so can Murray.
PERIOD!

kerryb

November 21st, 2012
12:24 am

Stinger
November 20th, 2012
11:10 pm

Is Murray going to the next Falcon game? Otherwise I don’t see him being discussed in a NFL discussion.

_____________________________________________________________________-

You haven’t beaten a Murray led Georgia team yet and he will surgically dissect your sorry defense on Saturday so just shut up and stay away. No one cares what you think.

Tampa Nugget

November 21st, 2012
1:22 am

Plant Plant Plant!!!

Preston

November 21st, 2012
3:30 am

The question is how many of his 7 INT’s came against ranked opponents? Hope the D can win these next few games.

around town

November 21st, 2012
3:36 am

kerry b obviously cares what Stinger thinks, don’t you think?

87dawg

November 21st, 2012
5:55 am

I love TK’s comments about Carolina. Sounds like he took a page from spurrier’s book of smart a$$ and it is funny as heck.

gomdawg

November 21st, 2012
6:08 am

Let’s just beat the Yellow Jackets
GO DAWGS

Destin Dawg

November 21st, 2012
6:25 am

yes… cut the distractions… just BEAT TECH…. Go Dawgs !!!!

dawgfan

November 21st, 2012
6:40 am

Murray is flirting with legendary status, but he isn’t quite there yet and he knows it. He needs a few more big wins (okay, a lot more) and a championship. I think he’s definitely coming back.

BobDawg

November 21st, 2012
6:47 am

Agree with you DESTIN… This week is getting out of hand with all the extra “stuff” floating around like this article… GEORGE STEIN.. thanks for the great comments… but I hope we beat you guys down like a drum this week….

GT = 10 time loser to Mark Richt

November 21st, 2012
6:52 am

Murray has 1 TD and 4 INTs in his 2 biggest games this year. He’s going to have to play lights out against Bama. No NFL team wants a player that only lights up bad defenses.

tony

November 21st, 2012
7:13 am

Now that I know that Murray was pulling for hawaii to beat uga in the sugar bowl, I have nothing else to say about him.

Texas Dawg

November 21st, 2012
7:14 am

Murry doesn’t do well in the big games….has thrown more pic six’s than any other UGA GB in my recient memory and throw them at the worst time.Loves to fumble in the bg games as well.

Murry has the stats but against weak team…..he has one qtr…the 4th against fla…..folks if fla doesn’t turn the ball over 6 or 7 times we loose that ball game.

For UGA to win against bama and then the NC murry will have to break his history of crap play against teams in the biggest settings……..

Hope he finally steps ups!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UGA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday morning buffet | Get The Picture

November 21st, 2012
7:15 am

[...] as much as I enjoyed this quote from Tavarres King about Georgia’s chances after the South Carolina game:  “I didn’t really think it was [...]

Hairy Dawg

November 21st, 2012
7:27 am

Couldn’t be worse timing for Dungy to have commented… What a possible distraction for Murray heading into such an important game…

Hoping he doesn’t even think about it, and focuses on the task at hand…

Speaking of Murray – why is he not in the Heisman talk??!!

He’s led them to a 10-1 record… (These other Heisman candidates have at least one or two losses on their resumes) He has led his team to the SEC East Championship… He has them playing for a birth in the NC game… And, He’s the number 1 rated QB in the country!

Chiefdawg

November 21st, 2012
7:42 am

How many good throws can you make while lying on your back? Because that’s where he is going to be against Alabama.

Texas Dawg

November 21st, 2012
7:44 am

Murry is the key….he plays well we win……plays with that dumbfounded..deer in the headlights look that he get’s in the big games we are in trouble……..

Why not the Heisman at this point???? Are you kidding??? The two biggest games of the year..SC (did you see him play) and FLA (did you see the 1,2, and 3rd qtr………Horrible PLAY!!!!!!!!

Did you see Jonnie Football in the biggest game of thier year? He lead his team to win!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If Murry finally get’s it done these last three games then yes I agree he should be considered…….but he has to be on!

7 turnovers and the D won the game for us over Fla………….Bama will convert Murry’s turnovers into TD’s……….

Calistoga Dawg

November 21st, 2012
7:48 am

I find it funny that people think that the players are getting ahead of their selves just because people on this board are. Our players know good and well what’s at stake this weekend. They won’t be surprised. I expect Tech to move the ball and score. But we should be able to do the same. Should be a good game.

oracle of marietta

November 21st, 2012
7:49 am

Murray going to the NFL could be an opportunity for Georgia. He is an average College QB, but CMR adores him and would never consider open competition for QB job. We have amazing talent on our team, but Murray isn’t one of them. If you have watched every second of every game the last three years you know that Murray is a disappointment in the clutch. His stats are big, and he can torch bad opponents well, but when the chips are down I haven’t seen him come through. Maybe it’s time to see what our depth chart is like.

Mark

November 21st, 2012
7:51 am

This conversation needs to happen after the season is over…No distractions. Beat Tech.

Neutral

November 21st, 2012
7:51 am

I vote that he sets all the records this season and then go pro. I think he only needs to average 7-8 TD passes per game against GT, Bama and ND, but that is cool with me…..why hold back when you are the best!!!! I’m glad to be a Georgia BullDawg!!!!

Neutral

November 21st, 2012
7:53 am

I agree Mark…..later on this discussion.

Atticus

November 21st, 2012
7:54 am

Look at all the very good QBs in the NFL and name for me how many of them came out early?

Brady
Peyton
Roethlisberger
Rodgers
Ryan
Rivers
Brees
Eli
RG III
Schaub
Stafford is one and his play has regressed

NCDawg

November 21st, 2012
7:54 am

It’s way too early to talk about this. Aaron Murray still has some things to prove. Until he actually does his best against the best it is all pretty much hot air. You can’t do the things he has done without top shelf ability. He now has to defeat his own demons and step up big in a BIG game. He has 1 opportunity for certain. If he looks good against Bama then the talk will start for real.

Tampa Gator

November 21st, 2012
7:56 am

“Florida leads the way at 6.8″

:roll:

Yes…..Florida’s defense is really that good. Just ask Aaron Murray.

And…yes…..Florida’s offense is really bad. Just ask Jarvis Jones.

Tech smells like cabbage!

November 21st, 2012
7:58 am

Tech needs a Murray. Man i have a feeling he is going to have a career day against us.

Tech smells like cabbage!

November 21st, 2012
7:59 am

Uf is waaaayyyyyy overrated and has a coach the CMR OWNS!

Joey

November 21st, 2012
8:00 am

“Loves to fumble in the bg games as well.”
*********************************
Murray loves to fumble? Could more ignorant words be written?

Just remember, Murray isn’t alone on the field. You ever consider if he had better protection in those “bg games” he wouldn’t “love to fumble” so much?

Or maybe if his receivers catch all of his catchable passes in “bg games,” we may have won a few more?

Or maybe if our special teams didn’t give up TD after TD in “bg games” we may have won a few more?

It ain’t just the QB who lost those “bg games.”

Tech smells like cabbage!

November 21st, 2012
8:02 am

Oracle Marietta what is your mom serving, meatloaf?

Rainbow tide pride

November 21st, 2012
8:05 am

John

November 21st, 2012
8:09 am

To the players who say they would like to play South Carolina again, you may not realize it, but you play South Carolina every year. Based on the lack of performance by the Dogs over the last few years, I assume they are not aware that they play USC every year. South Carolina has beaten UGA 3 years in a row. 4 out the last 6. Spurrier is 4-4 at USC against UGA after taking over Lou Holtz’ shambles. The loss to USC in 2007 kept UGA out of the National Championship. The one this year may do the same. Think of that as you play your next two games.

Leg H U M P E R Revisionist History

November 21st, 2012
8:15 am

Since 1980 and Uncle Hershel something or somebody has always screwed Jawja’s season.