Mark Bradley’s memory loss

He writes about Matthew Stafford today, and, so typically, finds it hard to boost one person without taking another down a notch.

… Remember the bit about it being a funny position? The quarterback is expected to lift the rest of his team, but it’s possible to wonder if Stafford hasn’t been dragged down by Georgia’s ongoing struggles to build an offensive line. Would Greene, who left school as the biggest collegiate winner ever, have won so often behind a collection of freshmen?

Actually, the answer to that question is yes.  Mark Bradley, meet the 2003 Georgia Bulldogs, who finished the year 11-3 and played in the SECCG.  That was accomplished despite the fact that Greene’s team wound up tenth in the SEC in rushing offense (with a mediocre 3.4 ypc which ranked last in the conference) and finished last in the SEC in sacks yielded, an incredible 47 of them.  For some perspective on that number, keep in mind that the next worst team in that category gave up eleven less sacks and almost 100 less yards in losses.

Greene’s 2003 team didn’t have a running back in the top ten in the conference in rushing; Stafford has Knowshon Moreno.  Greene’s line was recruited and coached by Neil Callaway;  Stafford has Stacey Searels coaching the big uglies.   The cupboard’s not as bare as Bradley tries to make it seem.

There’s no denying Stafford’s obvious physical talents.  And I like the way that Stafford has progressed and think he’s going to keep getting better at Georgia.  But the way Greene was able to hold the offense – and the team – together in ’03 was remarkable.  He deserves a lot more credit than Bradley is giving him here.

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12 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

12 responses to “Mark Bradley’s memory loss

  1. 69Dawg

    It would appear from review of the Ala game that Matt got a case of the “Happy Feet” he would not step up even when he should have. I think the coaches, Bobo primarily, made a big mistake trying to scheme around ALA’s DL. Start the game playing your game, if that fails go to a plan B. We started with plan B and when it failed we had no good Plan C.

    For this reason UT scares the H out of me.

  2. montgomeryaldawg

    69, could not agree more. I believe our own coaches, reading too much into bama’s press clippings and scouting report, got into our kids heads. Line up and play our game…without so many penalties!

  3. Greene was the best quarterback in UGA history….Stafford will have to win a natty to catch him IMO….

  4. UgaMatt

    One huge difference with regards to that 03 team was that it had the best defense of the Richt era and probably one of the 5 best defenses in UGA history. As bad as that O-line was, Greene wasn’t put in a situation very often where he had to WIN the game, he just had to not screw it up. The games that we needed him to make big plays in, we struggled.

  5. joe

    I still say if Kregg Lumpkin catches that ball on the pass over the middle, maybe its a different game. Oh well.

  6. Sam

    Nathan, David Greene was a great leader, and a very good college QB, but it is very disputable that he wasn’t the best quarter back in UGA history. In my opinion, he wasn’t even the best Qb on that team.

    I don’t like arguments about absolutes because inevitably you have to belittle someone else to make your case. We can both agree that David Greene was a very good fit for CMR’s offense, and ended up as the winningest QB in NCAA history. Since football is a team game, much of the credit goes to the players and staff around him….I doubt he would argue with that.

  7. Christian

    Sam – great point about DG and about having to use the errors of others to make a point.

    No one can argue with DG’s being a perfect fit for CMR, DJ’s character and MS’s uber athletic ability. Frankly it is a very nice discussion to have only 8 years into CMR’s reign.

    Go Dawgs!!

  8. kckd

    2003 was David’s best year IMO. He never had a super year like Manning or the slew of Gator QBs Spurrier had. In fact, Casey Clausen threw more TD passes over his career than David Greene. But David was great at hanging in the pocket despite a suspect OL. Technically Senator, Bradley is right. Greene didn’t have as many freshmen as Stafford has had. But the RS sophomores he had certainly weren’t any better.

    Greene also had a better defense by far. Mainly because VG never had to worry about a pass rush as long as DP was on the line.

  9. sUGArdaddy

    It is an interesting discussion, and a good one. We’ve had a pretty lucky run here with QBs. It’s very hard to compare. The team in DG and MS freshmen years both lost 4 games. Sophomore years? DG – 1 and MS – 2.

    As of now, it’s hard to argue against DG as the greatest UGA QB ever, but I’ve always thought our opinions of him were so colored by some incredible plays early in his career. The hobnail boot was so vivid and changed UGA and UT football forever, but it was really followed by some pedestrian outings here and there that season. Same goes for 2002. The fact is, David played terrible about Clemson and SC (can I say that?). He threw a bad pick against ‘Bama…but we won those games, somehow. Then, he made history in Auburn and looked like an NFL QB to close the season. That’s what we remember. ’03 and ’04 were flooded w/ brilliant and average performances. Mostly solid and great stuff, but some bad (’04 UT comes to mind). Still, he endeared himself to us that our minds kind of rewrite history. That championship changes everything.

    I wonder how Stafford to Massaquoi (’06 GT, ’07 Fla, ’08 Aub.) will be remembered in years to come. I wonder how we’ll think of that overtime bomb in T-town in future years. The difference is that while I don’t know if it was his best, but we certainly saw David’s most memorable and defining moments in ’01 and ’02. I think Matthew’s best and most defining moments are yet to come.

    Matthew will be judged on championships. Here’s hoping there’s no discussion in January 2010 when we’re shining up our second straight crystal football.

  10. kckd

    The bad pick against Bama was not his fault. Look at it again. Threw it right to Fred, who bobbled it and had a DB take it right from him. The one against Wisconsin and the one against South Carolina in his senior season were. But every QB has thrown pick sixes.

  11. HVL Dawg

    All the players on David Greene’s team knew that when the chips were down, David was going to get us points. I don’t care about the other stats, all he did was win.

    Having said that- Long live Stafford! He’s got the tools to win the division and then the conference.

    And next year- Long live Logan Gray, then two years later- Long live Aaron and Zach.

    Have we had some good QB’s or what?

  12. kckd

    Stafford’s winning pct. is virtually the same as David’s as a starting QB.