My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday's Reader Homework Project

OK, consider this prime fodder for anonymous posters arguing about nothing, but how about a conversation starter to kick off our Wednesday?

So, pretend you're head coach and answer these 10 questions that still don't have good answers for the 2010 season…

1.) How much should Aaron Murray throw the football?

Hey, Georgia has A.J. Green, and as Mark Richt said… if we're not throwing to A.J., we're not very smart. Add to that an up-and-coming group of receivers and a strong corps of tight ends, and you have the makings of a good passing attack. Well, except for the freshman QB. So, is a balanced offense a good call with Murray at the helm, or should the pressure go to the RBs?

2.) Who should get the carries out of the backfield?

Is a 50-50 split for Washaun Ealey and Caleb King a good idea? Sure they're both good, and both finished 2010 strong. But splitting carries just makes it harder for one guy to get in a groove. But how do you separate the two at this point? King is clearly the superior pass blocker and has a ton of talent. Ealey probably hits the hole a bit harder and finished with better numbers a year ago. So, does there need to be a winner in this battle?

3.) How do you handle the tight ends?

You have two great pass-catching TEs in Aron White and Orson Charles, either of whom could make a strong case to be the starter. Of course, neither are the prototypical blockers. Those jobs could be filled nicely by Bruce Figgins or Arthur Lynch. Of course, you also don't want to telegraph your plays based on which personnel is in the game. So how can this rotation be handled logistically?

(Side note: Yes, I understand that question #3 leads to some hilarious "that's what she said" material.)

4.) What happens if Trinton Sturdivant is healthy?

Hey, who wouldn't want an All-SEC caliber guy out on the field? Well, maybe the answer to that is an offensive line that really fit well together the latter half of last season and returns all five starters. Sturdivant is a total gamble after missing the last two seasons, but his potential payoff is huge. But at a position in which UGA is already pretty set and one that requires cohesiveness among the players -- is the gamble worth the risk?

5.) What do you do with Richard Samuel?

The kid is a freak of nature when it comes to his strength and speed. The problem is… he has never really had a home. So, should he be seeing the field and exploiting his talents at linebacker just a few months after transitioning from offense? After all, he is talented and Georgia is thin at both LB spots. Of course, he's also got a redshirt year to burn and could develop into a stud if given the time.

6.) Where does Darryl Gamble play?

Gamble opened the spring at inside linebacker and seems a good fit for the role. After all, physically he's probably better suited for ILB, and since that's the position that requires the most experience and smarts, he probably fits that bill, too. Of course, Georgia has a much bigger need at OLB, where there are only two experienced players currently on the depth chart. And Gamble faired well as an edge rusher last spring in fill-in duty.

7.) Branden Smith or Vance Cuff?

Smith is a five-star recruit with speed out the wahzoo (sp?) and a ton of up-side. Only, he didn't really do much to turn heads last year or this spring and found himself tied atop the depth chart with Cuff, a senior who has enjoyed a relatively unsubstantial career to this point. The problem? Well, Cuff had a huge spring, turned a ton of heads, seems to have adapted well to Scott Lakatos' new system and out-quicked (yeah, I just made that up) Smith during the spring combine with a ridiculous 40 time in the 4.2 range (which, granted, is dubious, but still well ahead of Smith). Of course, maybe it doesn't really matter if Brandon Boykin plays nickel and all three see plenty of action.

8.) How much action does Smith see?

While Branden Smith is battling for a starting job at corner, he's also a cog in the Bulldogs' offense. Last year, he made mild strides in both roles… fumbling too much on offense, then seeing minimal action on defense. Now that his role on the D is more important and the number of options on O are more significant, should his dual-threat capacity be scales back? With a bunch of hot games early in the season, that question takes on even more urgency.

9.) Which freshmen should play?

It's an odd situation this year for Georgia. There's a lot of turnover on defense, but really no clear-cut jobs for the incoming freshmen. And there are some positional needs on offense, but not any obvious freshmen ready to step in. So… is it worth burning redshirts for guys like Michael Bennett or Garrison Smith or Ken Malcome if their roles will be limited? Is there much point to redshirting anyone anymore?

And last, one question about the head coach rather than for the head coach...

10.) What happens if Georgia loses to Florida?

I'll be honest: The Mark Richt-on-the-hot-seat talk annoys me as much as anyone, and I don't really have a dog in the fight. But the best argument the Richt-haters have is this: 2-8. That'd be Richt's record against Georgia's arch-rival if he loses to the Gators again this season -- a year in which Florida is widely considered to be weakened after the loss of so many stars like Tim Tebow. So, yes, let's all agree Richt isn't on a "hot seat" this year. But for all the folks still squarely in his corner now… how would you feel if Georgia has a solid year (say 9-3 regular season) but still loses to Florida and falls short of an SEC East title again? How much do those feelings change?

All of this, and I didn't even mention the name Logan Gray. Should be an interesting season.

So consider this a challenge to readers, anonymous commenters and any other bloggers looking for a jumping-off point in the middle of the week in the middle of June in the middle of a 12-pack of PBR. Have at it.


jferg said...

I'll take your challege....
1. Bobo would say "we'll be passing exactly 50% of the time--balance is the key". I don't argue with this because you can't not air it out with AJ, Orson, et al. You can't not run it with our OL and RB tandem. Should be a fun year offensively.
2. Play both--if we're running the ball as much as we all hope we are, they'll both need to run well. Start whomever has the "hot hand" as CMR would say.
3. Play them all, rotating frequently. Even if we "tip our hand"--it's not like Orson can't block or Artie can't run and catch. As long as we have 2 TE sets most of the time, I'll be happy and our opponent will not.
4. TS should earn his spot like everyone else. I'd like for him to come off the bench this year, take it slow, and get ready to be our LT next year once Boling is gone.
5. RS should play LB sparingly while he's learning and every single special teams package. You don't burn his Redshirt due to his special teams contribution.
6. Gamble should start and mainly play ILB...and spell the guys at OLB only when they need a breather.
7. Smith--I still don't trust Cuff *this could change if he's really turned the corner but flashbacks of GT haunt me
8. Smith will play lots on D and in special packages on O. Much like last year but with a stronger presence on D.
9. True Frosh that can earn playing time should play....RS the rest. I have no idea who is ready for SEC football?
10. Losing to UF is not a deal breaker for CMR's future. CMR will only be on the hot seat if he loses 4+ games year after year.

How'd I do?

Rob said...

1.) In my opinion, the best thing Aaron Murray can do this year is be virtually non-existent. To explain this, I mean that I don't want to see Aaron Murray winning lots of games for us. I want to see us have a very balanced attack with slightly more running than passing. When the game is on the line, I want the hero of the game to be either our All-American WR, either of our two great runningbacks, or one of the tight ends. I do not want the hero to be our redshirt freshman quarterback.

2.) I think a 50-50 split is a good idea to begin with, and I think we should stick with it unless one back proves he is superior to the other. Until that happens, keep it roughly an even split and give the ball to the guy who's running better that day.

3.) I think the best way to handle the tight ends is to use Orson in a mix of TE/WR, while rotating the others based on what you need. However, I think it's important to use a lot of two tight end sets with a combo of speed and size (Charles/Figgins, White/Lynch, Charles/Lynch, etc.) to keep the defense from loading up on one particular thing. Additionally, all of these guys are capable of blocking (some better than others), so at times, use Orson on the strong side on a weak-side rush to keep the defense off balance.

4.) If Trinton Sturdivant is healthy, make him earn the spot. I don't doubt he is better than some of our linemen when he's healthy, but he shouldn't earn the job just because he was All-SEC as a freshman three years ago. I want the five best linemen starting; if Sturdivant is in that group, good for him.

5.) I would redshirt Samuel. Granted, our depth is thin, but I don't see the value in burning a redshirt and giving him only one good year with us when he is obviously behind at the position right now. Let him stay on the bench one year, continue to develop physically (he's still just 19, right?) and then give him two good years in 2011 and 2012 playing alongside Jarvis Jones.

6.) Gamble should play inside unless we absolutely need him on the outside. I don't want him to be a starter outside, but if we want to rotate him between the two positions until someone else steps up, I'm okay with that.

7.) Again, I'll fall back on the "let them duke it out" mantra and say that the best guy should be on the field. Granted, I have ugly memories of Vance Cuff being stiffarmed by BayBay last year, but people improve (and it sounds like he has). Either way, both of them should get a substantial amount of work with the nickel.

8.) I think Smith's work on offense will largely depend on if he can manage his troubles holding onto the ball. I would still use him a good bit, but I would try to use him as both a weapon with the ball and without it. If we can simply put him on the field on a few designed runs to Caleb or Washaun, it will help to distract defenses and open up the end around, reverse, or what have you for him.

9.) The freshmen should only play if they're ready to play. Don't put a guy out there who isn't ready to perform in SEC games. If Michael Bennett is going to have the year that Marlon Brown had last year, then redshirt him. The same goes for Malcolme and Smith.

10.) Richt losing to Florida will not lead to his demise. The past nine years (and his 2-7 record) have shown us that. The only thing that's going to hurt Richt is number of losses. If he has a good season but loses to Florida, then that's what it is. It sounds bad, but it's par for the course. Georgia won the SEC in 2005 and 2002, losing to Florida both of those years. In fact, only once in Richt's three Sugar Bowls has he beaten Florida. He can have success without it and he will. That being said, I really hope we beat Florida.

Universal Remonster said...

1.) How much should Aaron Murray throw the football?

I still like the 50/50 pro-style split, although if that number does skew one way, I'd prefer that we run it more. We showed we can dominate by just running over GT, but nothing strikes fear into a defense more than knowing you can throw it anytime.

2.) Who should get the carries out of the backfield?

Again, I say 50/50 split. If one guy gets groovin out there, let him have the next series too. i have a feeling it'll be one of those years where Caleb has 20 yards one game and 148 the next, with the same going for Ealey.

3.) How do you handle the tight ends?

Play Figgins and Lynch for most power-I, goalline, and 2-back sets. Play Charles and White out of the two-split I, shotgun, and single back formations.

4.) What happens if Trinton Sturdivant is healthy?

Have him work every other series or so alternating between both tackle positions, spelling the guys out there.

5.) What do you do with Richard Samuel?

Redshirt him.

6.) Where does Darryl Gamble play?

i think Darryl is smart enough to play anywhere, so I'd stick him at one of the OLB positions to start out the year. He's effective against the run.

7.) Branden Smith or Vance Cuff?

Play Vance until there's a problem. Have Smith play a utility role and as a backup or 3rd DB.

8.) How much action does Smith see?

No more than a snap or two a game, IMO. Bring him in as discreetly as possible.

9.) Which freshmen should play?

Mike Bennett will play, and probably turn some heads IMO. other than that, it's a wash.

10.) What happens if Georgia loses to Florida?

If we win 10 or 11 games, there will be grumbling, but i don't see it being an issue that sticks until the offseason. If we win less than that, i think Richt still has a year because he's implementing the new defense, but that's it.

Buster said...,1487999

gene said...

Wazoo, Whazoo or Wahzoo, or whatever the hell you want it to be. It's your word Dave, be a man and stick up for yourself despite the lysdexia.

Tim McFadden said...

This years Florida game is a MUST-win for Georgia in terms of national respect. If we can't beat the gators I don't know how we're ever gonna get to the National Title game. Richt's only wins versus UF have come when the gators were down; the year after they won it all in 2007 and when Ron Zook was a lame duck in 2004. We have to take the attitude that losing is not an option, without playing desperate. How do you respect an SEC champ or National Champ that loses to the same team every year?


10.) What happens if Georgia loses to Georgia Tech?

Bwaaaa haha.

David Walker said...

1. I think Murray, espcially early on, shouldn't be throwing it more than 20 times per game. Maybe up to 30 by the end of the season. Yes, he's a RSF and he's had 2 springs in the system, but he hasn't had any game experience and I feel like the coaching staff did a similar thing with Stafford when he was a fresh. You can throw it 20 times per game and still be balanced, and why not play to our strengths of an experienced o-line and a great running back duo?
2. I'd vote 60:40 Washaun:Caleb. Ealey looks to be more powerful at this point, and the fact that everytime I see King running the ball is in his right arm worries me.
3. I think either White or Charles should be on the field for the majority of the time, and then rotate in some 2 TE sets with the others.
4. If TS can play, play him. If he's a starter, start him. If he throws off the line continuity, don't play him.
5. I say redshirt him. Give him a year to develop as a defender and then unleash him for 2 full years on the defensive side of the ball. If you don't redshirt him, you're going to essentially get 1 year of meaningful production out of four possible years, and that's a waste of his talent.
6. I say primarily as ILB, rotating outward if need be.
7. Right now I'd vote for Cuff as the starter and Smith in the nickel, but that's definitely subject to change depending on how fall camp goes.
8. I like the idea of throwing Smith in on offensive as a nice change of pace, but not every play he's in on needs to mean he's getting the ball otherwise it's really obvious to opposing teams where the ball is going. Also, if he can't hang on to the ball keep him off the field offensively.
9. If they're ready to play, play 'em. If they need development time, don't give them a 2 catch season when a redshirt would have done (IE Marlon Brown).
10. I'd be disappointed, but heating up on the most successful coach in our program's history over one game when there's no obvious replacement available is really silly. Better to suit it up and try again next year.