Sunday, September 25, 2011
About a QB Competition
I've already read one post today vehemently denying the need of a QB competition in Athens. The author cites statistics praising Aaron Murray and discounting the work that Hutson Mason has done. I have a problem with this. I have a problem with it only due to the fact that Richt has high praise for Mason, and says he has earned more playing time.
So why didn't he receive it against Ole Miss?
I understand the coaching ideal of keeping players in the game to get more practice, build up game stamina, etc. I understand the thought that you don't really play reserves until you have a "Comfortable" lead, and a 2-touchdown lead doesn't always qualify. Still, here's something I don't understand - why are you running your star TB with 2 minutes remaining in a 2-score game? Why do you need to have your starting QB handing him the ball?
Now, these snaps do not always mean a hell of a lot in terms of experience. But, it's another GP for Mason if he gets in there. It's another team's defense to which he's had exposure. It's another bit of confidence for a kid who, by all public accounts, is simply doing everything expected of him. The fact is, Richt, Bobo, and Murray all say the kid could run the offense in the event of Murray going down with injury. So, why not put him in, at least in the tail-end of a game we've dominated?
Here's the argument against - any mistake: a fumbled snap, handoff, audible into a pass becomes an interception,etc...any mistake like that could result in Ole Miss having a chance to win.
We played "preserve the win" football late in the fourth. I understand that, too...as the team needs wins - both in the SEC and out. I'd like to think, though, that a Mason-Thomas or a Mason-Harton handoff would be just as effective at killing clock as a Murray-Crowell handoff. In fact, it may be even more so, as Crowell quite obviously was not trying to do much at the end of the game. Maybe he was told, "Just don't fumble." If so, he did that job admirably.
I don't know that Hutson Mason is actually in position to compete with Aaron Murray. If he were, I'd like to think Richt would give him opportunities. Why? Because Richt wants to win games - which means fielding your best 11. So, Murray must be a better option. We don't see practice - we only see Saturdays and read clippings. This is where for many people, being a fan is maddening. You have zero control over anything, and always glorify the unknown. The potential of a kid on the bench is, in the mind of the fanship, nearly always better than the performance of a starter who isn't wowing us. It's a dumb point of view, but it's one that many share.
Still, Gary Danielson said something during the Alabama-Arkansas game that stood out to me. It was a statement that very simply put in perspective just why Alabama is seemingly always in the mix for a title. He said, paraphrasing - 'There is a lot of competition all over the field for Alabama. If you don't play with intensity, you might not be there long, because there are kids on the bench who want your job just as much as you do.' Does this attitude exist at Georgia? Does it exist at the QB position? Competition can be healthy.
I'm not suggesting an open QB competition. But, putting Hutson in for a possession or two in the game, I think that could be good for Murray - if for no other reason than just to help him understand that he needs to stay on-point. We had what, 5 or 6 drives which resulted in no points? Surely one of those could have been a Hutson Mason drive and we wouldn't have suffered much worse of a fate. Just Sayin.