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Friday, June 18, 2010

Greene, Murray Talk Shop

On Thursday, Aaron Murray chatted with reporters for about 20 minutes, discussing his approach to his new role as Georgia's starting quarterback. Among other things, he mentioned he had spent some time chatting with former Bulldogs QB David Greene this offseason -- and planned to talk to Greene a lot more about how to approach life as a starter when you're a redshirt freshman.

As fate would have it, this morning I chatted with David Greene, and I asked him many of the same questions Murray was asked yesterday.

While Murray says he hopes to learn a lot more from Greene in the coming months, comparing what the two had to say leads me to believe he's already taken some very good notes.

Here are some highlights:

David Greene on how a freshman QB should approach his role…
“Both of our situations are pretty similar in the fact that we were playing as redshirt freshmen, and the good situation that he’s in that I also had was that he’s going to have an experienced offensive line in front of him. That’s such a big advantage to have that, and I’d rather have an experience offensive line with a freshman quarterback than I would an inexperienced line with a veteran quarterback. So the key really for Aaron is just like what Coach Richt told me when I was a freshman: ‘You’ve got good players around you, you’re just kind of steering the ship and distributing the ball to guys who are open. You don’t have to do too much, just take what they give you. Just take care of the football, manage the game and go from there.’ Sometimes that’s harder said that done because we’re all competitive, we want to make plays, but at the end of the day, he does have a pretty good supporting cast around him on that offense.”

Aaron Murray on his approach to the job…
"It’s pretty much being smart with the football. What Coach Richt always says is respect the football. That’s pretty much the main goal going into this year is not to be a superstar or make spectacular plays. It’s to respect the football, make plays, make first downs, just utilize the great weapons I have around me. Great plays are going to happen just from ordinary plays because of the athletes we have around us. You can give a 10-yard curl to A.J. Green and he’s going to turn it into a 40 or 50-yard play. Me respecting the ball and making the right decisions and letting those guys do the dirty work – I’ve just got to be smart.”

David Greene on the progression of a young quarterback...
“I don’t think Coach Richt or anybody wants to hold him back from going out there and being the type of player he is, but at the same time, you’ve got to play smart. You want him to think things through, where if you’re in the red zone, you don’t want him forcing a ball and throwing an interception. You’ve just got to play smart, and as a redshirt freshman, you don’t exactly know the speed of the game yet, and you really are learning on the fly. It’s going to be no different than anybody else. There will be bumps in the road, you’re going to go through a little bit of growing pains. But at the same time, the thing I like about Aaron is he’s a kid that’s tough, he’s a kid that wants to be great. He’ll call me up and ask about studying film. He asks a lot of questions because he wants to be good. I’m excited about him. He’s definitely accepted the challenge and is working hard.”

Aaron Murray on how he thinks he will progress…
"Coach Bobo always jokes with me that you’re going to be what Matthew Stafford was in 2007 when we won the Sugar Bowl. You’re going to have to show me what you can do and gradually earn more trust. What I’m going to have to do is continue to learn the defense and become a better quarterback."

David Greene on playing in front of a big crowd, as opposed to practice or G-Day...

“It’s definitely different going out there and practicing and scrimmaging vs. playing in a game. But most people probably won’t remember back in 2002, we had the worst spring game probably in the history of spring games. I played terrible, the team played terrible, and that was probably one of the greatest years we had. We went 13-1. A lot of times, you can’t tell what’s going to take place from the G-Day game. That’s really the first time Aaron got introduced to Georgia when everyone was wondering how this kid’s going to be. You can’t tell that off of one performance. A lot of times in those spring games, coaches are pretty vanilla because it’s on TV, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in that. But also, when it comes to game time, he’s going to have to be ready to go because it’s full tilt.”

Aaron Murray on his expectations for what game conditions will be like…
“I’ve pretty much envisioned by now all the games. I’ve gone through every team and pretty much pictured the stadiums in my mind going to bed at night – just thinking about my goals for every game. I’ve definitely envisioned that first game, but it’s not going to be anything compared to when we actually get out there in front of 90,000 fans. I’m definitely excited about that.”

David Greene on handling the responsibilities of the job as a freshman...
“Sometimes being young and naïve is a plus. When I was a redshirt freshman, what Coach Richt taught me – I thought I knew everything. By the time I was a senior, I realized I didn’t really know anything, I just thought I knew everything. Sometimes being naïve and having a young guy on the field is good because he doesn’t know any better. It seemed like every year, Coach Richt gave me more and more responsibility. Later in my career there were a lot more checks at the line of scrimmage, but my first year, it was Football 101. I was on a need-to-know basis. If this guy comes, you throw hot. Don’t ask why, just do it. That’s the way we did it.”

Aaron Murray on his expectations of his role…
"I’ve never played a game before, so I can’t just go out there and he’s going to have me throw 40 or 50 passes a game. (Bobo) is going to slowly build me up in the offense. The better I do, the more I show him I’m capable of completing certain plays, the more he’s going to trust me in the offense.”

David Greene on how a young QB earns a leadership role...
“When you come in as a freshman and you haven’t really played and you’re surrounded by a bunch of guys that have played, you have to lead by example. You can’t come in there and talk in front of those guys like they don’t know what they’re doing. You have to go out there and earn their respect. That’s the only way you’re going to get it is to go out and work hard every day. Hopefully your play on the field will earn their respect. That’s the only way you can do it.”

Aaron Murray on how he's trying to earn respect…

“It’s not going to be given to me right away and I’m not going to earn it in a week or two from just working hard. It’s going to take some time because we have a very senior group – a bunch of seniors who are good leaders on this team. I just need to be me, not be someone I’m not. I’ve got to find my way of being a leader on this team, my way to motivate people and figure out ways to push them and make them do stuff they never knew they could do. That’s not going to come in a week or two. It’s going to take some time to better understand the guys and what they can do and motivate them and hopefully by this summer hopefully I’ll make some strides in that category.”

* I also want to remind fans that David Greene will be part of a Bulldogs charity auction in Buckhead tomorrow night. You can find details on the event HERE and I'll post a bit more on that this afternoon.

8 comments:

Ant123 said...

Good article David. I would feel alot better if we had a back-up QB that I knew could perform adequately. The QB is one of only two players that touch the ball on every offensive play. But, he is the only one of those two that has alot to do with the sucess or failure of every play. A simple hand off is not simple if not excuted. Do you think this respect the football is really sinking in? Judging from the spring game one would say no. But that performance could be the best thing that could have happened to him in the long run.

JakeG said...

I'm really excited about Aaron Murray. I 100% believe that he is listening to the coaches and understands his role next year.

I've heard a lot of people compare comments about Murray to comments that we've heard about Cox. I can't say that I understand the comparison between the two quarterbacks. Cox was on the bench every season until his senior year (with the exception of minimal playing time during Stafford's freshman campaign). When he got his shot at starting, he wanted to prove his worth. He wanted to prove that he was a good QB. But, he only had one year to do it. He made a lot of risky throws and paid the price with a good number of interceptions. He also threw a lot of TDs and was one of the most productive QBs that year. I think the important thing to remember was that this was his one and only shot, so he was more eager to prove his worth.

Murray, on the other hand, has 3-4 years infront of him. He's not going to try to go out his freshman year and prove that he's a great QB. He has 3-4 years to do that. He knows that. I think that he will absolutely protect the football, make smart throws, and rely on the guys around him. It seems like he understands the fact that earning the trust of his coordinator and head coach by protecting the football is the number one priority.

Again, Murray has 3-4 years to be great. Cox had 1 year.

Anonymous said...

In Georgia's first game, I would guess Murray will only see at most three quarters of the game. More than likely, he'll only throw the ball 10-15 times if they decide to focus on their run game. Instead, I'd like to see if they can give Murray about 20-30 throws during his limited time. Just getting him game reps will help, but I would like to get him the most experience possible reading coverages in game time situations. He'll need it for South Carolina's tough D.

X-Dawg said...

David,
Nice article, but you may want to fix this:

"Aaron Murray on his execrations of his role…"

ex·e·cra·tion – noun
1. the act of execrating.
2. a curse or imprecation: The execrations of the prophet terrified the sinful multitude.
3. the object execrated; a thing held in abomination.

Andy said...

Great quotes David. It is good to compare Richt's most successful qb with our next one.

Anonymous said...

Good article, David...I'm glad to see Greene having the opportunity to help the new QB. I also hope that people now realize that Murray didn't just fall off the turnip truck as it rolled into Athens..he has football sense..he has been subjected to a lot of preperation and study..he will succeed! Get behind him, Bulldawg Nation...He's OUR quarterback!!

Anonymous said...

AM is going to be fine. Will he have some miscues - absolutely - but the good will outweigh the bad by a huge margin - the kid is a ball-er. Nice to see DG offering advice - he is a damn good dawg.

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