Monday, February 7, 2011

Is he a tailback, or a feature back?

Outside of Knowshon Moreno, Georgia hasn't had a "feature" runningback since Musa Smith. I'll hold to the idea that Musa was only a feature back because of lack of options. He was steady, strong, didn't fumble much, and was going to get the tough yards. But, he wasn't going to beat many in a foot race. Olandis Gary hit the backup-come-starter lotto in Denver (much like fellow Bulldog Terrell Davis) but neither was a dominant threat at UGA. Patrick Pass had success with New England but wasn't a homerun hitter as a Dawg. Jasper Sanks was a flameout. Musa was a good back, a serviceable one...and made a pro life in Baltimore. Verron Haynes was one of the hardest working guys I ever played with, and he was a third down man in Pittsburgh. Of the Ware-Brown-Lumpkin trio, it's Danny Ware who's made the biggest impact....and that's as a special teams man and late-game back, wining a Super Bowl with the Giants. King and Ealy? Again, serviceable backs...but not studs.

Simply put, Georgia has produced only two real prime-time NFL starting backs since Garrison Hearst - Robert Edwards (injury killed an All-Pro career) and Knowshon Moreno.

And we were somehow called "Tailback U" at one point? Of course, I guess that's the thing - Georgia has had a number of good tailbacks. GOOD tailbacks. What we need, well, what I want to see, is a GREAT tailback. I want to see the guy who, when you need the win in the fourth quarter, you can hand him the ball ten straight times, and he's going to carry your team to the finish line.

I watched last season, hoping we'd find him. When we tried it with Ealy, he fumbled. We lost. When we tried it with King, he fumbled. We lost.

Now, I don't know what will happen with Crowell...but I've watched him play a time or two, and there's one thing that he appears to have that I haven't seen out of many UGA backs in my 14-year association with the team - and that's touchdown-from-anywhere ability. That kind of ability smacks of "feature back." Still, he IS a freshman. But, Richt will not have the same mentality with Crowell that he did with Moreno. Crowell stated in his announcement that he wants to go to Georgia, be a freshman all-american, play for three years, and go to the league.

There is absolutely no hidden agenda there. The kid wants to play now, play alot, and then cash in. If he truly has that kind of ability, he won't be a tailback. He'll be a feature back...and we'll win a good many games.


Go Dawgs.

3 comments:

Dustin said...

I know that you the first person you mentioned was Musa but I am not sure he was the "home run hitter" so to speak, I think that you may have to go back to Robert Edwards, he may have also had a great NFL career if he did not shatter his knee in that beach flag football game at the Pro Bowl.

Just my 2 cents though

Ben Dukes said...

Actually, Dustin, I did address that. I said that Musa was really only a feature back because of lack of competition. He didn't split time. He was the #1 back and the #2 wasn't really running him down.

Dustin said...

Ok, I see where you were coming from. It is a great post by the way