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Friday, August 14, 2009

Deleted Scenes: Uphill Battle for Freshmen QBs

While a lot of the focus this fall has been on the battle for a starting tailback job that may not really exist, I've found the competition at quarterback to be a pretty interesting saga. I think the coaches would like to be able to give some playing time to one of the two freshmen just to give them some separation for the future, but at the same time, Logan Gray has played really well, and Mark Richt says he's not likely to play three QBs.

So... what's going to happen? I have a story in today's Telegraph on how the battle is shaping up and how quickly Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger have gotten acclimated to life in the SEC. Not all of the quotes I got for the story made it into the paper, however, so the rest are here...

Mark Richt on the QB competition for the No. 2 job...
"Logan is in a strong position right now, but it just takes a while to get enough reps to really get a feel for it. We've really got to get a gauge of where Zach and Aaron are as far as their knowledge and comfort level stepping in the huddle and taking charge."

Mettenberger on how the freshmen improved this summer even without coaches around...
"We pretty much have another coach out with us in Joe. He's been here five years, and he knows pretty much everything about the offense. So whenever me and Aaron had a question, we'd just go to him."

Mettenberger on what he needs to do to improve...

"For me and Aaron, we're just going to have to study our tails off to know everything about the offense. We need to know every defense out there. We're kind of a step behind with that compared to Logan, who has been here three years, but whatever happens, happens."

Michael Moore on how the freshmen QBs improved since the spring...
"Them coming in early probably helped them the most coming through spring. They both have a lot of poise and pocket presence. They stay in there and will stick a throw right on the money and be willing to take a hit."

Aaron Murray on what the learning curve is like this fall...

"We pretty much installed the playbook during the spring and then reviewed it over the summer. Joe worked with us over the summer making sure we knew it pretty well. There's some new stuff we've installed, but we've got the basics and we continue to work it every day."

Murray on the importance of having Joe Cox around...
"It was huge. Joe knows the playbook inside and out, so to bounce questions off of him and have him quiz us was very beneficial."

Murray on the hardest obstacle to overcome...
"The speed of the game, I'm still trying to get used to that, but I feel more comfortable and more confident."

Logan Gray on how far along the freshmen QBs are...

"They obviously have not been able to grasp every concept we've thrown at them so far, but if they could do that, they'd be inhuman. There are so many concepts and ideas and things you have to do that no matter how hard you study, there's going to be things that will take a while to get a hold of."

Gray on what the work over the summer did for the freshmen QBs...

"I think it's been a chance for them to get better, especially when you have guys that really want to get better. You can see the difference from the first day of spring practice when they first got here to the first day of camp where they actually have a good idea and know some of what they're doing."

Mike Bobo on what he needs to see from the freshmen QBs...

"They've got to be able to step in the huddle and run a good portion of our offense. Are they going to know everything that's going on? No, but they've got to have the confidence that they can get in there and play – behind the hedges, not just out at practice when I'm standing by helping them with every little thing. They've got to show the leadership even though they're young to lead those other 10 guys in the huddle, and they've got to show the ability to get it done."

Bobo on what he's seen from the freshmen since the spring...
"Both of them are very conscientious, both of them have studied extremely hard and have a better grasp of what we're doing. There's still a little bit of confusion because we've installed a whole new set of plays and we're really not repeating anything."

2 comments:

dyana said...

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________________
DyanaDevis

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Anonymous said...

For what it is worth,

I seem to think that if two freshmen who are all-awesome coming to UGA and can't even make it to the no. 2 spot on the depth chart then Cox and Gray are a lot better than the situation after Shockley left.

I think that we are much better off with Cox in the QB spot and the only thing to concern ourselves with is RB. However, even then I think that RB is squared away.