On AJ

I won’t say much, largely because I don’t have much time. I do want to address something that has been driving me crazy though. A lot of people have said/are saying that had we had AJ these past 3 games, the outcome would have been different.

That is simply not true. Yes, AJ is our best player and is one of the elite players in America. But he DOES NOT make our offense. SEC defenses are good enough to limit individuals. It would have been nice to have had him, but it wouldn’t have resulted in any wins. One wide receiver can’t do that. And defenses can stop one guy.

I have talked to over a dozen football coaches the last 2 weeks about this, each of whom played college ball. Every one of them said the same thing- that AJ would not have changed the result of any game so far this season. One could argue that against SC he may have had a slight difference, but the point is that their D would have alienated AJ and left him worthless since all they have to worry about is that one guy.

Sorry, don’t have time to expand more, but I just had to get that off my chest. If you think I’m wrong, ask anybody with a true football IQ and they will quickly correct you. Not having AJ is not one of our main problems. Not having anybody else as a threat is.

ucheedawg

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13 Responses to “On AJ”


  1. 1 Bulldog Bry September 27, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Absolutely agree. The problems go much deeper than not having AJ. Besides, if we really had all our eggs in AJ’s basket, what does that say about Bobo?

    On the flip side, it would be nice to see his return spark….SOMETHING in this team. Cause Lord knows we need a spark.

  2. 2 Sanford222View September 27, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Totally agree with you on this. The problem is the O-line and the OC’s play calling/game plan. I can understand Bobo being more conservative with AM in Columbia but after her began showing that he is further along than expected at this point in his development he needs to let AM make plays and open up the offense more.

    I-formation, play action pass on 3 and 8? Who is buying that ball fake? How about we spread the field some and vary our formations a bit. Play action doesn’t work when you do it every pass play.

    The defense while not playing great or far from perfect thus far has played well enough to win games. I expected the defense to have growing pains and give up some big plays. It is a work in progress but the offensive issues are maddening. What happened to the 10 returning starters that were supposed to help AM out as he progressed? Instead he is helping them out.

  3. 3 Dienekes September 27, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Love the blog which I read everyday.

    I must say, I disagree with this point, however. Mindset in an important dimension in college football. AJ Green changes the mindset of both Georgia and the opponents. It changes the weekly preparation. It changes the confidence level of the offense. Mindset can change dramatically and suddenly when AJ makes a big catch. When Durham makes a big catch, the defense wonders: what broke down? When AJ makes a big catch, the defense thinks: uh-oh, here we go. This can cause a ripple effect to the other parts of the defense and offense. Suddenly, O-line starts to think they can score. Suddenly, Ealey starts to hit the whole a little bit harder. Now, the LBs and safeties are on their heels. I’m not saying this would have definitely happened in our last 3 games if we had AJ, because that is unprovable (as is saying it would not have happened). I am just saying it is plausible. We were in all 3 games in the 4th quarter. To suggest that having a top 3 NFL pick and the biggest game-changing WR in Georgia history would not have made a difference (with absolute certainty) is just not plausible in my book.

    Just to step back, I believe a key problem with Georgia is an inability to overcome adversity (which is something Alabama does not suffer from after watching them beat Arkansas). I wish the team had it but it doesn’t. That being said, this is a team with talent. And if Georgia gets a few breaks and AJ makes a few big catches, it can get the players (and coaches) out of their rut. I wish they could get out of their rut without AJ but I don’t see it happening. Will AJ break the rut for certain? Can’t say, but I hope he does. (Finally, I realize saying we need to “catch a break” sounds like loser-speak. But this is sort of my point. The reason we need AJ is because the team is not mentally strong enough to win without him. I just hope we are mentally strong enough to win with him. Time will tell.)

  4. 4 Andy Coleman September 27, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Can I play Devil’s Advocate for a minute?

    -Do you think AJ would have made that catch in the endzone last Saturday that Durham dropped?
    -Do you think AJ would have forced double coverage in all 3 games that we lost, potentially opening up the running game a bit. Not to mention opening up other receivers.

    I have coached at the high school varsity level, and I know a little bit about football. Do I think we would be 4-0 with AJ? Probably not. Do I think he could have potentially sparked at least one win out of the three losses? Without a doubt.

    • 5 ucheedawg September 27, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      Yes, you can play devil’s advocate…

      You’re right, he probably would have made that catch, and yes, he would have forced double coverage in every game. He’d force double coverage against all but maybe 1-2 cornerbacks in America. However, to say that AJ would have won those two games is a)speculation and b)wishful thinking. We haven’t done anything as an offense to think that one player would have made a difference. Had we looked the least bit competitive on that side of the ball, I would buy that he could have made a difference. But our O-line has been pushed around, our running backs have been mediocre, and Kris Durham has been our only mild threat, and even he can’t get into the end zone.

      I was not quite good enough to play ball at a major college, but I do know a thing or two about the game also (which is neither here nor there in terms of this discussion). And I know that football at this level is much different than when you have 1 stud player in AA high school ball where I played. The Defenses we play against are good enough to neutralize 1 player. These teams that put up big points have multiple threats. We have 1. It would have impacted the games to a degree, but to say that we would have won with AJ is not a fair statement- to him or to us fans. The other D’s are just too good.

      This is not meant to take anything away from AJ at all. I just bought my wife an AJ jersey (not one that he wore in a game). But I just think, and so do alot of other folks whose football opinion I respect, that it’s a ridiculous argument that UGA fans are making that with AJ our Georgia Bulldogs would have won. It says a little something about our program that 3 conference losses in a row are pegged back to one player being out by some folks, in my opinion.

  5. 6 PA Dawg September 27, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Dienekes, I completely agree with you. Teams are completely stacking the box and bringing heat every down because they don’t fear anyone on the outside. They don’t think Murray can beat them with his lack of experience. With AJ in there, no one’s going to put single coverage on him…they’ll have to account for him with two defenders leaving one-on-one coverage for our other receivers. Defenses won’t be able to put 7 or 8 in the box leaving AJ with single coverage. AJ will kill them as Murray will find him all day long. Now the O-line is the most underachieving group I have seen with all their experience; however, they’ll start blocking much better because teams will have to drop into coverage and not bring so many blitzes….less people to block. Our entire offense will open up this week. With better protection and a stronger running game, the TE’s will get into the mix as well. Now, the team has some serious issues; I don’t doubt that. However, we haven’t been blown out by anyone like UT and UF last year. We’re a couple plays from winning these past 3 games. We just need someone to step up and make a play. AJ will do that starting this week.

  6. 7 Tom Jones September 27, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Don’t agree. I do 100% think there are problems AJ alone cannot fix but, to say he wouldn’t have changed the outcome is akin to says UGA would have still won the National Championship without Herschel Walker. S. Carolina & Ark are definite wins with AJ IMO, if only for the fact we would have kept the other team’s offense off the field by converting on 3rd down more.

  7. 8 Maeble miner September 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Sounds like excuses to me. Bama or Florida wouldn’t hang their hopes on one player. Not even the “great Tim Tebow”.

  8. 9 S FL Chapter of the Bulldog Nation September 27, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I would have won the lottery…if I played!

    I don’t know. I do feel like AJ would have had a positive effect on every game he played in. Obviously if he had been able to. The outcome…it’s very hard to say.

    The fact that Ealey’s having trouble holding onto the ball is dishartening. The fact that we can’t find the TE down the seem is equally dishartening.

    Our D has done enough to allow us to win the games we’ve lost, but overall their not getting any push up front. No pressure.

    Not so much by the score but by the yardage our O put up we should have taken that game in Starkville. I stated this to others and I’ll say it again. Bad teams find ways to loose games. We blew that game. You can’t turnover the ball inside the 5. You can’t have points taken off the board because of penalities. (looked like a weak holding call to me though) Untimely penalities and bad luck or bounces such as the punt play that cost us a Defensive stop. Stuff like that cost you football games. Then when you add in a QB

  9. 10 S FL Chapter of the Bulldog Nation September 27, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    ….who looks like a deer in headlights at times, a underacheiving O-line, tailbacks who aren’t getting much, if any, yac.

    I think that list goes on and on…

    The entire Bulldog Nation is very frustrated and looking for a spark. Who knows, maybe AJ’s return could be that spark.

    Why did Caleb not see the field until after the first quarter? At least that what it seemed like at least.

  10. 11 sUGArdaddy September 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    In case you were wondering about last year as a comparative analysis, in games 2, 3, & 4 last year, here are AJ’s stats:

    South Carolina
    6 rec for 86 yards, 1 TD (including several acrobatic catches)
    We win 41-37

    Arkansas
    7 rec for 137 yards, 2 TDs & a 2-point conversion
    We win 52-41

    Arizona St.
    8 rec for 153 yards, 1 TD & a late blocked FG to save a tie and set up our FG winning drive.
    We win 20-17

    We’re 0-4 w/o him last year, no doubt. He changed the games. He was the leading receiver in every game he played in last year, including the Auburn game, in which he lasted about a quarter.

    Add those stats into these 3 games and we win, guys. He’s that good. That’s not to say we don’t have problems that I’m not sure Richt can fix, but don’t diminish AJ’s impact. The biggest problem, then, is recruiting. We don’t have another stud to fill in the gaps or enough talent around him. However, it’s a hard point to sale that, too. How would these teams be w/o their best player?

    Arkansas – Mallet
    Ohio St. – Pryor
    Boise St. – Moore (QB)
    South Carolina – Lattimore
    Auburn – Newton
    LSU – Peterson
    TCU – Dalton (QB)

    Not so good. The fact that we couldn’t mentally pull this group together to regroup after the devastating news about AJ is the most disturbing. The other thing that is disturbing is that we didn’t lead AJ well enough so that he’d never think of selling a jersey.

  11. 12 Dazzler September 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    UGA led the SEC in scoring offense last season in conference games. UGA had a problem putting it in the endzone.

  12. 13 scdawg September 27, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    AJ single handly beat Arizona St. last year. I think Georgia beats Arkansas with AJ. AJ isn’t on defense and couldn’t tackle Lattimore. These problems are very very big. No heart on this team and they will quit.


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