Regrets, I’ve had a few…

I couldn’t help but play the “what if” game for a moment after reading this exchange from yesterday’s presser:

… Moreno, 21, who talked to family and coaches, said financial considerations were a factor. So was the short shelf life that NFL running backs sometimes have, which prompted Richt to remind him about his redshirt year.

“That’s a whole year’s worth of hits you didn’t take there,” Richt said.

“I appreciate it,” Moreno said laughing.

How different would the ’06 and (early) ’07 seasons have been if Knowshon hadn’t been redshirted?  I’ve got to think that having Moreno in the backfield for his true freshman year would have taken a significant amount of pressure off of the quarterback corps that struggled noticeably through most of that season.

I don’t think it’s a big enough deal that it’s going to haunt Mark Richt for the rest of his life, but I don’t think it’ll be out of his head totally, either.

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Regrets, I’ve had a few…

  1. peacedog

    I think the fact tht Richt has broached the subject here and there over the past year and a half shows it’s not totally out of his head. I’m not sure how big the impact in the weird 2006 is, but you kind of feel he swings another chit into the win column at least, don’t you? Dawgs lost several swing games that year, and Knowshon Rockwell Moreno is the kind of guy who can make up for those breaks. One redzone appearance here or there, and suddenly we don’t have another FG but rather a TD, and maybe a game goes in our favor.

    I think the bigger impact might have been 2007, but for the nature of our losses. What Knownshon couldn’t do well yet, for one, was pass protect (he really came into that this year, though). Does he develop more quickly as a pass blocker, and possibly more importantly as a receiving threat, if he plays in 2006? Surely.

    That might swing the SC game, where Knowshon had one long run to pad stats that were otherwise somewhat pedestrian because the OL was still green and had a tough time with the Cocks’ front 7. Perhaps that’s where his passing game presence makes it’s mark, and we eek out that one. Ut was a disaster and I’m not sure there’s any avoiding it (or, avoiding it has nothing to do with another year of experience for Knowson, anyway). But a win against SC puts us in Atlanta with a chance to go much, much farther.

  2. dean

    I don’t think CMR will dwell on redshirting Moreno but I do believe he’ll put more thought into whom he redshirts from now on. In this day of college football you’re only going to get 3 years out of players like Moreno and or Stafford. Might as well be on the field.

    It seems like CMR is slowly coming to that realization. He seems to be letting more true freshman play, either on special teams or sparingly at their future positions, than he has in the past. I appreciate and respect why CMR wants to redshirt players but kids good enough to play major D-1 football aren’t going to college for a degree. Obviously exceptions exist but for the majority (specifically high profile players) they’re plan before they sign their LOI is 3-n-out.

  3. Irishdawg

    dean echoes my thoughts, and I hope Richt learns not to redshirt stud skill players. Unless it’s guys who grew up loving Georgia football like Green and Pollack, you’re going to get only 3 years.

    And yes, with Knowshown in 06, we win Vandy and Kentucky, and hell, maybe Florida.

  4. I feel you peacedog. I wrote a whole piece about it…..

  5. peacedog

    Richt has often played freshman who have earned it. If there is a learn-able lesson from all of this, I don’t believe it is “play kids who are good enough”.

    Also, the majority of kids who come play college football clearly don’t have a 3-n-done plan. The # of kids who play football after college is small. Underage entrants to the draft remain a small subset of that group.

  6. SCDawg

    Weren’t we supposed to have the 3-headed monster of Brown, Ware, and Lumpkin in 2006? I would have redshirted him, too. KM’s pass protection would have been spotty and he probably wouldn’t have played that much anyways, though I see the point re: the red zone.

    I think Richt’s comment is pretty funny. Sucks we only got to see two years of KM. He is so much fun to watch run.

  7. peacedog

    SCDawg – yes. Obviously, that didn’t work out like we hoped (Brown finally broke out his Sr year, with excellent numbers in what wound up as the backup role), and Moreno was better than all of those RBs (and every other RB we’ve ever had, except Herschel for sure. There are arguments for others but I’m not concerned with them right now).

    I think RBs will remain early entry candidates. I think the thing that could affect that is increasing the NFL season – a foolish move that could drive up the # of entrants. If that happens, RBs have an incentive to come out ASAP because of the stats showing what happens based on career carries. I’m not sure how much pre-NFL carries affect those numbers (obviously, a highschool carry << college carry <<< NFL carry, and that’s being generous perhaps), but one might reason that the fewer the better. Not everyone really looks at this stuff, but this kind of stuff is going to get further investigated and the knowledge will slowly permeate (the same way it has with sabermetrics on the Baseball side).

    For the rest of the player pool, the decision probably becomes heavily weighted towards personal situation. Even in a rookie cap world, a kid coming from a poorer background has a lot to gain from coming out if he can go high.

  8. Ally

    Irish – Pollack actually grew up a HUGE Clemson fan and almost committed there. Proximity, conference, & Coaches ultimately swayed his college choice.

    The notion that only die-hard UGA fans will play 4 years is a fallacy. So is the notion that Staff & Moreno sisn’t/don’t love UGA as much as those that grew up cheering for the Dawgs.

  9. dean

    Also, the majority of kids who come play college football clearly don’t have a 3-n-done plan.

    That’s really no more clear than me saying they do. Neither of us knows what’s in a kids head. My opinion is based off the instant gratification era we’re currently in and the trend of underclassmen declaring for the draft (2008 saw the largest number of underclassmen ever declare for the draft). Plus hearing a couple of current NFL players say exactly that. I understand the number of underclassmen declaring for the draft is small compared to the number of underclassmen in the NCAA D-1 but so is the number of elite players coming out of high school. That’s to whom I’m referring. Now maybe plan was the wrong word to use. Goal may be a better word. Nevertheless I believe all kids playing college football have dreams of playing in the NFL. Some are more realistic than others. The ones with that opportunity are going to take the shortest path to achieve that dream or goal. I know I would.

  10. Jay

    Yep. . . and I am sure though that Richt is happy that Jim Donnan decided to redshirt David Greene

  11. Dawg93

    Jay – I think it’s the opposite, actually. Had Greene played in 2000, he might’ve had a smaller learning curve in 2001 when Richt took over. Maybe we post an extra win or 2 that year (S. Carolina specifically comes to mind.)

    And Greene would’ve graduated after the ’03 season, leaving DJ Shockley as the starter in ’04 and ’05.

  12. Macallanlover

    Generally I feel “special” players who are RBs or WRs should be allowed to play their freshman year because these positions lend themselves to early contributions (HW, A. Peterson, AJ Green, C. Johnson, etc.), and because they are more likely to leave early for the NFL. OL, QBs, etc. are examples of positions, on average, that need time to fully develop and make contributions.

    That said, I fully understand CMR’s decision to RS Moreno. In retrospect, he should have allowed Moreno to play some in 2006 after injuries hit us at RB. But with three RBs that would eventually ALL make their way into the NFL ahead of him on the depth chart, Richt’s decision felt right at the time, and I would have made the same call. Hard to use hindsight to be critical of him at this point.

    Of course, none of us saw what he saw at practice every day. He may have been so impressive you had to roll the dice, or he may have been sloppy on pass blocking, or didn’t protect the ball. Had he known what impact KM was going to have, or that he would grow into a 1st round pick after two years of play, it would have been a no-brainer. We saw the finished product after a year of running with the scout team against the #1 Defense. Keep in mind, he hadn’t earned the #1 spot at the beginning of last season.

  13. I think if they don’t redshirt Moreno, UGA wins a national championship in 2007.

    UGA doesn’t lose to South Carolina, and the extra experience makes him even better in 2007.

    Furthermore, Stafford is better, since he doesn’t spend 2006 getting sacked so much.

    -Michael
    Muckbeast – Game Design and Online Worlds
    http://www.muckbeast.com

  14. ugafish

    “Jay – I think it’s the opposite, actually. Had Greene played in 2000, he might’ve had a smaller learning curve in 2001 when Richt took over. Maybe we post an extra win or 2 that year (S. Carolina specifically comes to mind.)

    And Greene would’ve graduated after the ‘03 season, leaving DJ Shockley as the starter in ‘04 and ‘05.”

    Richt might not be our coach if DG had not redshirted. Donnan would not have been fired after a 9-3 season imo.