Difference Between Good and Great

Saturday, November 27, 2004. 

The Georgia Bulldogs were about to face off against their instate rival, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.   It was a cold, rainy day.  If memory serves me correct, the rain started just after lunch and stayed until halftime of the 3:30 ballgame.  It was miserable game in the stands, and could have ended up being a miserable game on the field. 

David Greene had gotten hurt, but after getting out to a 16-0 lead, things looked like they were on cruise control.    Georgia’s defense would hold the hapless Jackets in the second half, and we could all get to our warm beds. 

Georgia Tech  had another idea.  They mounted a comeback, and were able to pin Georgia deep and then get the ball at midfield for what seemed like every possession.

Georgia was struggling on offense.  Shockley couldn’t get the team to make a play.  So, David Greene did what he did best…he was a leader.  He came off the bench with a fractured thumb and engineered a drive that led to a Brandon Coutu field goal to make the score 19-13 with just over two minutes left, forcing the Yellow Jackets to score a TD. 

We all know what happens next…4th and Reggie.  But this quote from Mark Richt sums up his quarterback:

“Greene wasn’t at his best physically, but he was at his best in the leadership role and leading us to that last field goal,” coach Mark Richt said. “Without it, we’re probably still playing right now.”

David Greene is one of the best quarterbacks in NCAA history and certainly the best to wear the Red and Black.  He wasn’t the most physically gifted QB, but while he wasn’t the physical specimen that Matthew Stafford was or the overall athlete that Aaron Murray is, he was a tremendous leader.  His intangibles won UGA many a ballgame. 

David Greene had a broken thumb on his throwing hand…pretty important for a QB. In his last game at Stanford Stadium and against a hated rival, he persevered through the pain and made a play for his team. 

Look at Matthew Stafford last season in Detroit, with his arm literally hanging limp at his side, coming back in and making a TD throw to win a ballgame. 

I am not a doctor, and I don’t pretend to be one on the blog.  But yesterday I saw Jay Cutler, who supposedly hurt his knee, on the sideline.  But what I saw was him at times standing up.  My mom always told me if I was too sick to go to school, I was too sick to go to Boy Scouts, basketball practices, etc…  If Jay Cutler was so hurt he couldn’t play, he shouldn’t have been standing up.  If he was too hurt to play, he should have been laying on the ground in agony.  Not sitting bundled up in his oversized jacket. 

There was all sorts of talk if Cutler could win the big game, if he could elevate himself from a “good” NFL QB to a “great” QB. 

Guess we got our answer.


6 Responses to “Difference Between Good and Great”

  1. 1 Bulldoginexile January 24, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I was watching with some rabid Bears fans. It was embarrassing, as a fan of an SEC school, to see him standing there but not in the game.

    The consensus is that he needs to have surgery in order to survive that blow in the Chicago fan’s minds.

  2. 2 Tuxedodawg January 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I don’t think it wasn’t that Jay Cutler wasn’t hurt. I think he was just as hurt as Green, Stafford, etc, but the difference is that he just didn’t want the win badly enough.

    What made Green the great QB that he was is like you said, not his physical ability but his leadership. He broke a thumb and came out to wrap up a game. He was a leader. Cutler, despite being hurt or not, stayed on the sideline and watched HIS team’s Superbowl chance disappear.

    That’s not the QB I want for my team.

  3. 3 vikingdawg January 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Agree on all counts…Jay Cutler didn’t WANT it bad enough, injured or not.

    But speaking of leaders and WANT, we have Aaron Murray boys and theres nobody around that wants it as much as he does. Its gonna be a fun 3 more (hopefully) years watching this guy.

    • 4 Corbindawg January 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      Not to dis on Stafford, but I don’t think he had the “it” factor that David Greene had. Murray seems to have both the physical tools and the “it” factor.

      • 5 Tuxedodawg January 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm

        You gotta remember that Green grew up down the road from UGA, and that was his childhood dream, to play QB for the Dawgs. Stafford was a Texas boy who just used UGA as a stepping stool to his goal — the NFL. But you’re right, Murray does seem to have the tools and the “it” factor.

  4. 6 Dawg3fan4 January 24, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Can’t say for sure with Cutler but I have been around a lot of injuries and knees are funny. Sometimes you are able to do everything with little pain but the knee not be stable at all. When the knee is not stable you are not able to push off with that leg at all and would make a qb a sitting duck in the pocket making him completely ineffective at even being able to do something as simple as drop back. Not saying this is the case but if it is is then toughness and it factor have nothing to do it. I am just not one to rush to judgement on something like this. Maybe I am naive but find it hard to believe that someone who has worked their whole life to get to a game like this that they wouldn’t play because a some minor pain(even major pain). Lots of people said the same thing about Colt McCoy last year and he is the only qb with more wins than Greene and often took a beating as he was Texas’s only running game his last two years. Also remember the beatings that Cutler took at Vandy and still put up some great numbers for them and can’t remember him ever coming out of a game for injury while there.

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