To be the best, you’ve got to play the best.

Let’s see… Julio Jones, whose career to date has clearly surpassed A. J. Green’s only as to the extent of his injury record, is considered a “likely candidate” to return punts and/or kickoffs in 2010 for a team that expects to compete for the SEC championship.  Meanwhile, in Athens…

This isn’t to say that A. J. should return punts just for the hell of it.  But if the coaches are convinced he’s the best option, they shouldn’t live in fear of what might happen if they put him out there.  We saw enough of that mindset last year – and look where it got ‘em.

About these ads

18 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

18 responses to “To be the best, you’ve got to play the best.

  1. Coach Saban said it best (and I’m paraphrasing): “If we’re worried about injuries, why are we playing him at wide receiver? He can get hurt there, too.” Yes, the more he plays, the more bad that could possibly happen, but the more good that could happen, too. Minimizing risk always minimizes reward.

    I’m also curious as to when Georgia fans will allow Green to stand on his own merit rather than constantly comparing him to Julio Jones. I realize that’s not the purpose of this post, but rare is the mention of Green without coupling him to Jones, and rarer still when a Georgia fan can do it. I suppose every fanbase has it’s chip on the shoulder, and it could be a lot worse. You could be Auburn.

    • Um… isn’t it sort of a natural comparison? I mean, considering they came in the same recruiting class, play the same position, play in the same conference, are arguably the single most talented players on their respective teams and are both likely to leave for the NFL after this season… of course, if you put all of that to the side, I see your point. ;)

    • hailtogeorgia

      Is it really just Georgia fans who compare? It seems to me that the comparisons go both ways…the Tide fans I’ve talked to have always been very eager to voice that Julio would be better in Georgia’s system, etc.

    • I’ve got to agree with hailto, it’s not just Georgia fans that make the comparisons. As the Senator states, it’s a fair comparison to make, but don’t believe for a second that the Alabama crowd doesn’t go out of their way at times to ensure that everyone knows that Julio is superior and that AJ couldn’t hold his jockstrap.

      I guess it’s almost standing up for your player, but we wouldn’t feel the need to stand up for our player if the ‘Bama fans were just so dismissive of him. I agree that both are great talents and have merits that should stand alone, but the reality is that both are inextricably linked for the factors that the Senator mentioned and you’ve got fans on both sides of the equation that argue the superiority of one of the two depending which colors you wear on Saturday.

    • Walker07

      I’ve definitely encountered more Alabama fans who feel the need to assert Julio’s skills as better than Green’s than the other way around. However, I’m camped out in Athens and I’m guessing a lot of Uga students “know” aj is better, and we feel no need to argue explaining why I haven’t found much resistance.

  2. FLdawg

    File under : Coach to your players strengths.

    Will someone please tell me why Boykin does not return punts?

    Brandon Boykin
    2009:
    *Earned team’s Most Improved Player award for special teams.
    *Set school records with 38 kickoff returns, 988 kickoff return yards and three kickoff returns for touchdowns.
    *In Independence Bowl against Texas A&M, set a school record and tied an SEC record with his third kickoff return for a touchdown on the season (81 yards);
    *Became the first player in SEC history to return two kickoffs 100 yards in a season doing so against S. Carolina and at Tennessee.

    Do we save Boykin only for ko returns? keep him fresh for ko duty?

    Is catching a punt so much diff from catching a ko?

    This is a no brainer.

  3. LC Dawg

    Boykin should return punts…end of story. How many players honestly get hurt returning punts?

  4. Derek

    A couple of things:

    First, if AJ truly is our best option to a degree that risk of injury is made insignificant then fine let him go back there. However, it does seem to me that we always seem to find someone who is really good at it: Gary, Henderson, Prince, etc… without the risk, even if it is a small one. Let’s face it, this isn’t the area that’s been getting us beat. We’ve recruited so many 5’8″ 170 guys who are practically useless anywhere else, let them do what they can actually do to contribute.

    Second, Bama isn’t going to be as affected if Julio goes down. They have a lot more options at that position than we do AND Bama KNOWS they can run the ball. We are still working on that realization. They also haven’t wasted a bunch of schollies on little bitty quick guys like we have.

    Third, to the extent the Bammers worry about the comparison to Julio, and beyond what the good Senator said, my issue is: 1) that Julio was unjustifiably ranked higher coming out of HS than AJ (I think due to AJ’s early commitment) and 2) I think, rightly or wrongly, that Julio is just another big bodied receiver like Calvin Johnson or Terrell Owens, etc… Sure he’s a great player and a tremendous talent, but IMHO, AJ is special. Future HOF special. Future GOAT special. His combo of his size, speed, hands and work ethic make him different and seperate him even from the very good players. So until everyone recognizes that, I will likely keep pointing out how much better our guy is than their’s and I don’t care if they don’t like it. I know that the Bammers point out how much better their 2009 team was than ours without much regard to how much I don’t like it.

  5. Father Guido Douchy

    One good thing about the Julio/A.J. debate is that we have stopped trying to come up with reasons why Herschel Walker was better than Bo Jackson.

  6. HamDawg11

    Living in Birmingham (hence the name) I’m around Bama fans daily. The AJ/JJ argument was strong from their recruitment through the end of their freshman seasons. I argued for AJ, they argued for JJ. But, after about game 3 of this year the voices for Jones began to dissipate because of his lack of production and AJ’s continued growth as a receiver. In turn, I didn’t have to tout Green quite so loudly anymore.

    They really are two different types of receivers. Nobody can argue with a straight face that Julio’s hands are as good as AJ’s. Also, nobody can argue AJ’s strength and tackle-breaking ability is near as good as Julio’s. So I guess you just have to look at numbers, and ours are better than theirs.

  7. Bryan Carver Dawg97

    Its simple – the national media drools over JJ as the premier receiver simply because Bama is a bigger national story right now. They basically dismiss AJ even though, as others have pointed out, AJ has the better numbers through 2 years of playing. AJ in 23 games vs Julio in 28 games: 109 v 101 receptions, 1771 yd vs 1520 yd and 14 vs 8 td

  8. Vious

    Our coaches have shown in the past that the best players won’t play at first….it will take an injury or atrocious play to get the best players in

    • FLdawg

      True, Vious

      Our coaches have admitted to some poor decisions (CMB, CMR, etc).

      We must hope and believe we have a new attitude in Athens now, a new toughness and sense of urgency.

      Go You Grantham Hairy Dawgs!