Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Around the Tailgate: Aaron Murray in the pocket

 Yesterday we looked at the top game for 2012. Today the guys try and tackle our quarterback's career thus far. So let's all seal off our blindside and see where this goes.

Question: Fans either love Aaron Murray or are still unsatisfied with him as the starter. Is Murray the most scrutinized quarterback in Georgia's history? Follow there a game on the schedule this season that could be his "signature win" that so many fans are waiting on?

Joe Waterloo - Murray is the most scrutinized QB in UGA history - at least until the next one comes along. Seriously, I don't think Murray's anymore scrutinized than any other quarterback - I just think human nature is we tend to lose perspective on how things were a few years or more ago. Shockley was heavily scrutinized as well - both while taking snaps from Greene and when he was slated to take over when Greene left.

I don't think there's one game to circle for Murray. The biggest thing I would like to see is consistency in good decision making. He can make all the throws and can hurt a defense with his legs when needed, but he has the tendency to hit periods of making poor decisions/turnovers. I don't think he was any better last year with his decision making than he was as a freshman. As unispiring as the offense we run is, the one thing we can't afford is mental mistakes. They are a bit more acceptable in a wide open offense but when playing the plain jane offense we run under Bobo you better be willing to make the throw away and fall back on the punt team. Especially with a strong defense there to back you up.
Most scrutinized backup

Athens Homer Dawg - A good OL coupled with a fundamentally sound running game can make an average qb appear stellar. By the same token, take away those two premiums and a good quarterback will get happy feet, force throws, and appear devoid of that qb savvy that "you and I" just knew was there when we signed him. "Tryin' To Do Too Much" syndrome sets in, and it can get ugly. For Murray, Ugly last year was the South Carolina game. They call us arm chair quarterbacks for a reason. We all have an opinion of what is wrong with Murray. We watch his mechanics, time his release, evaluate his mental game, and questions arise. Are those happy feet? Is he keying on one receiver? Anyone remember how much Peyton got criticized for happy feet? Yeah, we have put Mr. Murray under the magnifying glass. We are fans... it's what we do. ;-) Murray hasn't lost a game against the gnats. In another high scoring affair .... similar to the Ga/uSC game (42-45) .... did our beloved Stafford throw a pick six against the Nerds in what ended up being a hedge rending heart breaker (again 42-45)? Murray needs a day like he had against Auburn last season and he will have atoned for the uglies against the chickens. But if he has an off game ...... the armchair qb's will be back with the "I told you so!"

Smoke Wagon - If he is most scrutinized, it is just because of more Internet, media coverage, and blogs, etc...Overall, I don't sense much unrest around Murray. To me, he is as steady as any qb we have had. I wish he were taller, but he plays with lot of heart and has numbers probably better than any other GA qb at this point in career. I also think that a lot of chatter is because we apparently have very solid backups that may also have great upside. I think David G had best career that Uga qb has ever had, but I often wonder how good DJ would have been had he played 3 or 4 yrs. After we get a chance to see the other guys, we may feel same way. I hope that doesn’t happen this year though. If we have qb change, the season is likely not going well.

On the follow-up, he has beat Florida, which is more than many UGA QB’s can say. I can’t justify singling out one game on this year’s schedule that I would call a “signature win”. I can’t make myself call beating SC a “signature win”. Wins in Jax have been so few and far between that each one of them is almost like a “signature” win. It is kind of ironic, but it seems to me that Murray’s signature game that won over a lot of fan support was actually the loss to Auburn in 2010. The personal fouls and his gutsy performance are the closest thing to a signature performance on his resume.

No Glory!

Da Mighty Fred - Murray is the best quarterback in the SEC, period. Strong arm, nice accuracy and technique (mostly), can get yards with his feet if he has to, and has shown improvement every year. You could question his decision making, but this should be the year that his head gets together.

Is he over scrutinized? C'mon, you play for the same school that put Zeier and Stafford on the map. You can't really be over scrutinized- it comes with the territory. It's just gonna be worse in the pros. A starting UGA QB really has to deal with it.

Signature wins? Murray came here looking for a championship. Make that statement in the dome

The Wrangler - I don’t hang the less than stellar seasons lately on Murray. He has made some poor decisions, but he is a real talent. Until last year, he didn’t have a lot of help from the defense. This year, he won’t have this crutch to fall back on, so it is time for him to put his talent on full display and be the leader of this team. The most important team addition since Murray has been at UGA is Coach Todd Damn Grantham. The D’s new found ability to create turnovers and change field position has greatly reduced the number of times Murray has taken the field with his back against the wall. I feel that the people who scrutinize his performance to date don’t always factor in the entire team’s lack of a killer instinct the last few years. With a stable of very capable running backs, Murray should be able to rely on play-action to pick up some big plays this year. 2 big keys to team success will be: 1) how quickly the offensive line gels, and 2) how much freedom Bobo will give Murray to utilize his legs. His scrambling ability is a real asset as long as he takes care of the football.

Murray doesn’t get the credit he deserves for the stats he has compiled. I know the bottom line on success is always tied to the W’s, but he has been a very effective quarterback. His skill set, coupled with his off-the-field maturity and success in the classroom are real testaments to this young man.

The signature win we are all waiting for will be in Atlanta in December. If he can win an SEC title this year, he will go down as one of the best to wear the red and black. DGD in my opinion!

Thanks for the S/O Nama!

Namaman - In short, I do not believe Aaron is the most scrutinized QB in Georgia's history. That honor still goes to Quincy Carter for me. Throw that many interceptions against South Carolina and start shaking defenders hands...FOR REAL????

Personally, I am a HUGE fan of Mr. Murray. I love what he brings to the table each week and feel he has the ability to make things happen on every snap. However, he is still an enigma. He can make spectacular play after play and then go through a series where you wonder who the heck came off of the bench and is throwing area passes (that aren't as accurate as the ones I used to throw on the Myers Quad). I think his signature win will be against the hated Gators. This year, I think he will make the passes though that won't leave us all yelling NOOOOOOO then YESSSSSS from the stands as his receivers some how manage to make circus catches in ridiculous traffic.

Two more pennies. Some great responses today. Murray has some great stats, just not as many W's as we would like. Not all his fault for sure. Yet, a lot of what #11 gets criticized for are things he can't help: his height, the schedule, some of the play calls. I agree that he can get us to the Dome again this December. Win that thing and the critics will only sound loonier.

Fair is fair. You read the whole thing. So now it's your turn. And tune in tomorrow when these tailgaters have a shot at Tailback Who?


Bernie said...

Hard to believe you guys think Fla was Murray's signature win? Look at his stats in that win. One thing for sure, didn't win because of Murray.

Bernie said...

Murray best in SEC? What? Stop it. That would be Ark/Tenn/Bama/LSU Qb's, or Connor Shaw (Shaw went 7-1 as starter beating 2 ranked teams without Lattimore). Bama QB played much better against LSU than Murray.
You guys overlook 1 HUGE thing:
Murray is 0-9 against team that finish top 25.
As such, he has got to be one of the worst QB's in the SEC. Does any other thing matter more than that for a QB? Td's thrown against Coatal Carolina or New Mexico State bigger than 0-9 vs. teams that finish top 25? Of course not.
After 2 years of creating all these losing habits (turnovers, sacks, interceptions, fumbles, pick six's), you guys expect him to flip the switch? rIDICULOUS.

Bernie said...

The fairest way to compare Murray is against Greene (as I did here about a month ago - Murray has Greene statistically in all but one category, as you point out, the important - W's. Beyond stats I think Greene'size is something we shouldn't overlook. That can help a lot with decision making as the pocket is breaking down.

Bernie said...

We can all agree that the most important think is to protect the ball. "The bottomline has been and always will be how well do you run the football, and how well do you protect it. Murray's stats dwarf Greene's in the first two seasons' comparison. Still, Murray garners a lot of criticism. Much of it unfair to be quite honest. But the one thing most everyone agrees on, from those of us outside the hedges to Coach Bobo up in the booth, #11 has to protect the football. As nice as those 35 touchdown passes were last season, fourteen interceptions is bad. Then add to it eight fumbles, three of which were lost, and you have a turnover margin issue that affects the one numeral that matters most - wins."

Bernie said...

Whoa there partner. Tennessee's Tyler Bray- better than Georgia's Arron Murray? Was the Taco Stand giving away free jello shots at lunch or did you accidently get the wrong brownie in the break room today? You're high on The Slash? The Tyler Bray who laid down at the Cantucky game and has the dubious distinction of leading a UT team that was the first UT team beat by Cantucky since Johnny Carson was still doing Carnac the Magnificent on The Tonight Show? The team leader who was quoted as saying he didn't want to go to a lower tier bowl? The nemesis of the Bamboo Warrior? The qb who after two years has yet to play an entire season? The Tyler Bray with the attractive and giant Pokemon style tat across his entire back? The 2011 1and 7 in the SEC, Tennessee QB? The quarterback with -173 yards rushing and one TD? That Tenn qb? Career Passing: 272 Cmp, 471 Att, 3832 Yds, 35 TD

Career Rushing: 46 Att, -173 Yds, -3.8 Avg, 1 TD

Career Scoring: 1 TD, 6 Pts......................... that Tenn qb? riDICULOUS! and let me add that that Tenn qb couldn't carry Aaron Murry's jock

School: Georgia

Position: QB

Career Passing: 447 Cmp, 745 Att, 6198 Yds, 59 TD

Career Rushing: 174 Att, 270 Yds, 1.6 Avg, 6 TD

Career Scoring: 6 TD, 3 2PM, 42 Pts

Bernie said...

Love Murray as a person and a role model - he is fantastic. But for me it seems the bigger the games the more he turns over the football. Hope this will be his BIG year!

Bernie said...

Shaw even won 2 games without Lattimore???? Murray won 10 games without Lattimore! Ark qb is only one you mention that is in conversation with Murray. W's a important, but not only measure of QB. By your rational, Belue is. Best QB ever. There is a difference between most successful and best QB. QB has as much or more impact than any other pos, but it is still a team sport. AL & LSU are good enough teams that they only need a QB that will not lose the game. At UGA, that has not been the case. If UGA had AL's QB, we would not have won 10. Don't get me wrong! I was not satisfied with season results, but I don't place blame on Murray. I think the production out the remainder of the backfield (tailback & fullback) during Murray's tenure is a more legitimate target for blame. When we are handing off to FB one time entire season and rotating Defensive backs through the tailback position I don't see how Murray was as successful as he was. Our running game in those 9 losses to ranked opponents was much more to blame than QB play.

Bernie said...

BS, fairest way is to compare Murray to current best in SEC in wins against ranked teams, accuracy, etc.