The money man

One thing you’ve got to say about Joe Cox – he’s more open about discussing what he brings to the table than any other quarterback of the Mark Richt era that I can recall.

As Georgia’s starting quarterback, Matthew Stafford developed a reputation for possessing a powerful arm and an ability make all the throws.

Joe Cox, in line to succeed Stafford this fall, just wants his throws to be on target.

“That’s always been something that I’ve had to pride myself on because I don’t have the strongest arm and I’m not a scrambler,” Cox said.

“Perrilloux has one of the craziest, strongest arms I’ve ever seen,” Cox said. “I’ve always had to work on my accuracy. That’s how I get by. I’ve got to be accurate, quick with my footwork and quick with my decisions and be on time.”

Mike Bobo describes the trade off from Stafford to Cox and what he hopes for this season.

“Matthew obviously has a bigger arm, but I think and hope off of production in practice and stuff like that, (Joe) might be more accurate and complete more passes,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “We may not have the bigger plays downfield with a big arm on a skinny post, but I think he’s capable of doing that. I just think he’ll complete a higher percentage. That’ll be my guess right now.”

Don’t forget that Stafford completed almost sixty-two percent of his attempts last year.  As I pointed out in another post, that was the highest completion percentage for a season of any Georgia quarterback who played under Richt.  According to georgiadogs.com, that’s the fourth best number of all time for the school.

Here are the top three:

  1. Mike Bobo, 65.03% (1997)
  2. Eric Zeier, 63,29% (1993)
  3. Hines Ward, 61.61%, (1995)

(As an aside – God, I love Hines Ward.)

For some context, Bobo’s figure would have ranked seventeenth last year nationally.  (Stafford finished 37th.)  The point here being that a high completion percentage has never been that key a component of the passing attack in Athens.  Should we expect some changes in the offensive scheme if it’s now coming into significance?

And don’t forget that while accuracy has its place, it’s not the be-all and end-all of a passing attack.  After all, as Weiszer notes “Cox wasn’t named most accurate passer at that Elite 11 camp. That went to Jake Christensen, who played for Iowa.”

That would be this Jake Christensen.  Let’s hope things turn out a lot better for Joe Cox.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “The money man

  1. NebraskaDawg

    What’s the dealeo with Logan. We never hear about this kid other than he can run. Does he have any QB skills at all (arm strength, accuracy, etc.)? I thought maybe this kid couls compete for the job this spring but the coaches don’t talk about him much.

  2. Oneviewdawg

    Granted there are (were) some differences in offensive style, here’s a note to the gentleman who claimed Buck Belue was the worst Georgia QB in the last 30-40 years.

    Best Completion Percentage: career

    6: 57.14 Stafford
    7: 56.60 Quincy
    8: 54.55 Buck

    Passing efficiency: career
    133.30 Stafford
    133.04 Johnny Rausch (after the war)
    130.21 Buck

    And I gotta tell you, for Hines Ward to have the second best career completion percentage is a truly amazing stat considering his situation.

    I am with you Senator, God Bless Hines Ward.

    And, on a final note (I hope)

    Average gain per pass attempt: Career

    7: 8.0 Buck
    9: 7.83 Stafford (he of the big arm)

  3. Bryan Carver Dawg 97

    I think the difference in the completion percentage between Staff and Cox isn’t going to be the actual number (but if it is an improved number, watch out for the offense again). But rather in that Joe’s going to complete the passes that keep a drive going or put us in a more managable 3rd down because it is going to be a more catchable ball than Staff threw.

  4. RaleighDawg

    First of all I do want to point out that my heart and prayers go out to this kid and I hope he makes a speedy recovery, but doesn’t the headline pretty much encapsulate what the UT program under Kiffen.

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/stories/2009/03/13/vols_player_hurt.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab

  5. 69Dawg

    Stafford’s big arm should have kept a lot of safeties honest but it didn’t seem to as much as it should. We had to keep people at home to block and when you only send two WR out it’s pretty easy to cover them. Our TE’s were just additional tackles this past season, if we can block with 5 OL and send more people down field Joes going to pick the other D to death. I for one think we will be pleasantly surprised. Also watch for the no huddle, we gave up on it when the refs didn’t know what to do with it but now more teams are running it and CMR will, as in the MSU, game run it. If they platoon Logan and Joe we could be a DC nightmare.

  6. Carter

    Cox will be more accurate because he will read through all his progressions more often than Stafford did. Stafford could have been more effective if he checked down to the RB rather than showing off his cannon on low percentage passes to downfield receivers.

    It’s also worth noting that the 2 Cox plays I most remember were TDs to the TE (’06 Milner Colo. & ’08 White UF).

    • Matt completed 61+% of his passes last year. How bad could he have been on finding open receivers?

      Besides, that RB you mention that he could have checked off to – how many times was the RB needed in blitz pickup because of the offensive line shuffle?

      • Carter

        Point taken.

        Maybe I came across as too critical of Stafford.

        However, I did notice (w/ a fair amount of frequency) the RB standing out open in the flat, looking back towards Stafford while he whistled a ball downfield that had at best 50/50 shot of being completed. And when we were in I formation (our base), I don’t think the FB & the TB were usually called upon to both pick up blitzers (unless we were in max protection).

        I think Knowshon could have been a Marshal Faulk-like presence in the passing game if he had a more stable OL.

    • Carter

      Addendum:

      I think we will have fewer 3-and-outs in ’09.

      I would also like to see a WildDawg package w/ Gray.

      • kckd

        We ranked third in the conference last year on 3rd down pct. I don’t think we’ve had any years under Richt yet where we haven’t struggled at times on offense during segments of a game. Last years was one of the best, if not the best, we’ve had under MR.

        I will be happy if our offense is just as productive on third down next year. Actually, I’ll be happy if it is just really close to as productive.

        The other side of the ball is the problem.

        • Carter

          It seemed to me that we had a number of very short possessions that resulted in a punt at the most inopportune of times.

          That can be chalked up to the QB, the OC, the OL, and a variety of factors.

          The problems that we had on D were many times exasperated by the lack of sustained drives by the O. The first half versus UA, and the UF game were examples of this. The only loss that can be almost totally attributable to the D was GTU.

          • ArchDawg

            The ‘Bama game can almost totally be attributable to the D as well, though of course not to the degree that the Tech game was.

            • Carter

              The Bama score was 31-0 at the half.

              I’d chalk that up as equal parts fail for the O & the D.

              We made JPW look like Joe Montana, but Bama had great field position that whole half from what I remember. The caveat being “what I remember”: I only watched the game live and could never bring myself to even watch the highlights. If only our beautiful gazelle AJ hadn’t let that ball slip from his grasp, perhaps it could have been a different game.

  7. ceph

    Cox just needs to shut up and quit telling people what he is going to do. He has spring practice ahead of him which will allow him to show what he can or cannot do. Personally i’m not that impressed with him (ala Tereshinski) I think the QB position whould be thrown open and let the best man win. This is Searles approach and McClendon is saying the same thing about the RB’s so why is the QB position any different? As Pete Carroll said,” I will take talent over experience any day.”

    • Bryan Carver Dawg 97

      Cox might not have the pure QB talent of Staff, Murray, Mett or Gray. But there is something to be said for experience in particular at the QB position as opposed to other positions where talent can simple just make a cut, burst through a hole, wrap up a runner or make a break on a ball for an interception. Think of it this way, most would say that Stafford’s talent was never in question and that as a freshman he was still probably better than Murray or Mett are as freshmen. They put him in in 06 and you saw the results – a 9-4 season that played out predictably – sluggish start, good finish as he finally learned the ropes.

      I’d venture that’s what we’d get again with a true freshmen leading the way the whole season, regardless of talent. I’m not saying Cox is going to repeat DJ’s season (but I sure hope so), nor is it a direct correlation, but look at the difference between 05 and 06 in terms of the product put on the field and the experience at QB.

      I think the other difference is going to be as the Senator has pointed out – less reliance on getting by just on talent and more of a team mentality. Which is where Joe’s fiestiness is coming from I think.

  8. siskey

    I agree with the posters that say that we will have a better completion percentage but 61% is pretty good, if you are not running a West Coast offense. I doubt we will throw it down field as much and hopefully we’ll be better at tight end and can take advantage of those match-ups.
    I have always loved Hines. He seemed like the only talented guy we had during his era that played hard ( not counting 1997), and did everything asked of him to the best of his ability. Plus he hits linebackers harder than any receiver I have ever seen.