Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Two things I'm sick of - black jersey chatter and Stafford comparisons

Yes, I understand fans' fascination with the black jerseys. Whether you are pro-alternate uni or against, I know that it's not your fault the discussion is so lively and energetic each season as to when/if the black ones will be donned and displayed.

I'm just sick of hearing about it. Who really cares? Ask yourself that question. Even if you have a strong opinion one way or another, do you really care which jersey your team wears? I mean, haven't we explored the "Black Jerseys" from every possible angle six ways from Sunday?

I've long been over it. I really, really wish UGA would just keep it all under wraps and make it a surprise so that the only discussion happens the day after rather than the weeks before.

Or, just scrap the black ones and wear road whites all season!

Now that we've re-established that I'm eternally in the minority, onto the next topic. Matthew Stafford was a great quarterback. People who take the time to watch NFL games tell me that he still is a great quarterback. But he's no longer in Athens, so it's really none of my business.

Just like with the black jerseys, I guess I understand the comparisons some are dying to make with Jacob Eason and Stafford. They're both prototype quarterbacks in stature and arm strength. Like Stafford, Eason was destined for an NFL mock draft before he even finished his senior year of high school.

But that's about where the comparisons should end (for now). I've mentioned before that I think at this stage in his development Eason is making decisions based more on his vision than his arm. That's something we couldn't always say about Stafford. In fact, as good a talent as Stafford was and as many games as he won for us, there was always that tendency to make plays with sheer arm strength. That's a trap even the best quarterbacks can't get by with in the SEC.

My hope for Eason is beyond that. Again, it's still early, but I think it's fair to say that we're seeing a young quarterback that sees the field and works through his progressions more and more with each game. Stafford had 10 interceptions his junior year. Eason stands to attempt more passes than Stafford did that season and currently has half as many interceptions.

Now, part of that is coaching. How many throws have you seen Eason make deep and between the hash marks? Most of his deep passes are safer and down the sideline. I think that goes back to what we were hearing during August, that Eason was steps ahead of the experienced guys but not reading things well enough to challenge the heart of the defense. Stafford might have had security clearance for more of the field when he dropped back to pass.

Regardless I think it's not an apt comparison to make and ultimately I hope we are more likely to compare Eason to someone like Murray who lead the team to two SEC Championship Games. Preferably with the win-loss record in Atlanta flipped in Eason's favor.   😎