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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Notes: Depth Chart Won't Affect Murray's Summer

In the next few days, Aaron Murray and the rest of the world will get a big clue as to who might be starting at quarterback for Georgia in the fall, and while he’s anxiously awaiting head coach Mark Richt’s first post-spring depth chart, he’s not going to allow the results to change his focus.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it just so we know where we stand heading into the summer,” Murray said. “I don’t really think it’s too much of a difference. I know what I need to work on, and Coach (Mike) Bobo’s going to tell me what I need to work on. So if I’m No. 1 or No. 3, I’m still going to have to work on the same stuff fundamentally and with the playbook.”

Murray looked sharp early in the spring, but his G-Day performance – 8-of-19 passing for 96 yards and an interception – was hardly the crescendo he was hoping for.

The slow finish wasn’t ideal, but Murray said he wasn’t exactly planning on a relaxing summer regardless.

Throughout the spring, Murray said he has been keenly aware of a few shortcomings in his game – including his footwork and making quick progressions – that will require some tinkering regardless of his play on G-Day or his position on the subsequent depth chart.

“A lot of times I’m out there, and I’m stuck on one receiver, I’m hitching, hitching, hitching, and I just need to check it down to the running backs,” Murray said. “I need to work on getting through my reads faster and then – boom – hit the running back on the check down and get what you can get or run the ball. Just not stick on one receiver. I’ll be working on that, working on my footwork and making sure I know the playbook as best as I can.”

While Murray struggled in the final spring scrimmage, fellow redshirt freshman Zach Mettenberger shined, and junior Logan Gray continued his consistent progress.

Still, the eventual depth chart will consider more than just the spring game, Richt said, and the No. 1 quarterback going into fall camp isn’t guaranteed to be the starter when Georgia opens its season.

That means the next few months will be crucial for all three quarterbacks, Murray said, regardless of whether they open the fall with the first-team offense or the third.

“I’m just going to go out there this summer and work on the things (Bobo) tells me to work on and the things I think I need to improve on in my game, and use those two months to get better,” Murray said. “I’ll watch the spring practices, see what I can work on, and hopefully have a good camp and take it from there.”


With two minutes left in last week’s G-Day game, a minor skirmish broke out between tailback Washaun Ealey and safety Nick Williams. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham immediately intervened, sending Williams to the bench with a stinging dose of criticism to boot.

When the game ended, Grantham was there again, patting each of his players on the back – including Williams – for a job well done after his squad held the first-team offense to just seven points.

That’s a perfect example of his style, Grantham said. He likes being a part of the action, and that’s why he plans to spend the upcoming season working from the sidelines, too.

“I like to get a feel for the players,” Grantham said. “I like to get a feel for the physicalness of how the game’s going, the protection, those kinds of things. Then also I think it helps you in the playcalling a little bit being down there.”

Grantham said it hasn’t been decided yet which of his assistants will work games from the press box, but he said those coaches will have a vital role on game day.

“You can’t see as well, so you have to have stable eyes in the box,” Grantham said. “At the same time, you kind of know who should fit where, and you’ve got a feel for those things. You’re going to rely on your eyes in the box for the breakdowns, but overall, I think it’s better for the coordinator to be on the field.”


As a sophomore in 2008, Akeem Dent made huge strides, starting 10 games and earning the trust of his coaches. His future looked bright.

Things didn’t exactly play out the way he had hoped last year, however, as a myriad of injuries derailed his junior season. He missed much of fall camp, then was limited to just four starts during the regular season, finishing 32 tackles – the lowest tally of his career.

When the Bulldogs wrapped up spring practice last week, however, Dent was among the first players Grantham complimented for a strong performance, and Dent is hoping to keep that momentum rolling for a full season this time around.

“Last year was kind of disappointing for me, but injuries are something I really can't control,” Dent said. “Sometimes, it kind of hurt to sit at home while my teammates were traveling and things like that. I feel like this year I have to come out, and keep fighting, and stay healthy. I just want to stay injury free.”


Anonymous said...


This is a little off-topic, but could you offer your thoughts on the offensive line? The O-line has gotten a lot of hype based on its performance late last season. But looking at the end of last season suggests that maybe this hype is somewhat unjustified. We ran the ball well (and the O-line played very well) against Tenn. Tech, Auburn, KY, Ga. Tech, and TX A&M. None of those teams had even good defenses or good run defenses--in some ways, I was surprised and disappointed we didn't block better against Auburn, KY, and TX A&M (at least in the first 3 quarters). Should we all be this excited about a line that performed well only against sub-par defenses?

Anonymous said...

I agree that the O-line is probably being overhyped again. We have much better depth than we did a couple of years ago and it can be a very good group if we can keep our best guys healthy. Trinton Sturdivant, Clint Boling, Ben Jones and Cordy Glenn need to be on the field the majority of the time against quality opposition. Chris Davis is okay and has at least been through the wars for 3 previous years and Josh Davis is a functional backup to Sturdivant and Boling. Beyond that, we've got a bunch of young, unproven guys who will probably look pretty good against Louisiana Lafayette, but not very good at all against better SEC teams. Maybe this will finally be the year where we can keep most of our key guys healthy. DT and WR are two other positions where we can't afford many, if any, injuries. Obviously, if DeAngelo Tyson or AJ Green get hurt, we are in trouble at those positions.

Cojones said...

David, I know that you are busy, but since the two excellent postings above went unanswered, why should I pose a question? I'm sure you are thankful of that anyway. Besides,the word verification was irrat and I know that you did that on purpose.

Cojones said...

Hell, at least smile. This time it was inkyds. That's the place that you send my comments.