For those of you quaking in your boots about using A.J. Green to return punts, check out who’s in line to succeed Javier Arenas at Alabama.
If A.J. is the best Richt’s got, use him, damn it.
Filed under Georgia Football
We’re using Gilmore, probably our best defensive player. If you’ve got a player that you think can break the game, you should use him. Just maybe tell him not to be shy about faircatching.
I like Gilmore, but Cliff Matthews is still on the team, right? Might want to be careful with that moniker. I was watching AJ Green highlights the other day and was mesmerized watching Matthews catch AJ about 35 yards downfield and nearly decapitating him.
Doesn’t Carlton Thomas look like he born to return punts? I am still surprised that he has not taken that job and run with it. Last year, I would have said it was because Logan Gray was getting all of Thomas’s practice reps, but goodness knows, the lunatic special teams days of having a “designated fair catcher” are over….right?
Per Bulldogs Blog: Asked to name their punt return guys, Richt said AJ Green, Branden Smith and Carlton Thomas, Bacarri Rambo and Logan Gray.
I’m all for whoever is best taking the job, but please. Let’s stop comparing Julio to AJ until he earns that comparison. And he hasn’t at this point.
Get your best athletes on the field with access to the ball and in as much open space as possible….pretty simple formula…..getting bogged down in whether it is an offensive snap or special teams snap is pointless….TDs scored on special teams count the same as those on offense and the injuries suffered on offense suck just as bad as those suffered on special teams….NFL teams play with just over 1/2 the roster players as D1 teams and the special teams players are bigger, faster and stronger….I know the NFL vs. CFB is an imperfect comparison, but the point is you can’t give lip service to how important special teams play is and not put your best cats on the field….if AJ is the best return guy we have, put him out there….high performance sports cars are made to be driven, not stored up in a garage avoiding scratches and dings
“If A.J. is the best Richt’s got, use him, damn it.”
AJ has yet to stay healthy a full season & our WR corps is pretty thin. Throwing him in on special teams just increases the odds of him getting hurt. If he goes down with another injury & misses games i highly doubt y’all will be singing the same tune.
Should Richt also limits the routes he’s allowed to run to just those most likely to keep him healthy?
Evidently you don’t know our fanbase real well. I said the same fans here wanting to throw AJ out on special teams will be singing a very different tune IF he gets injured and misses games. Don’t believe me? Come back here the Sunday after a loss without AJ. That’s all i’m sayin.
Y’all are a bunch of video gamers used to pushing reset when your best player gets injured, but real life isn’t like that. A. J. hasn’t had an injury free season yet, and even though we have several players that can do the job, y’all want to risk the best player that we would really, really, miss on offense. Grow up, dudes.
And I thought the point to playing the game was scoring, not injury avoidance.
I’m not suggesting A.J. return punts, if, as you say, “we have several players that can do the job”. But if he’s clearly better at it than anyone else on the roster, you put him out there.
Didn’t A.J. return punts/kicks in HS? It’s not like he never has done it before. Plus, I heard that he wants to do it.
Using that logic then we should not risk AJ getting injured at WR, after all we have “several players who can that job.”. It is about using the best players to do a given job and having a fetish about what type is snap an injury occurs on (offense vs special teams) is pointless as neither scenario is good.
By the way, I am not gamer and sadly I turn 40 on Saturday so I all too grown up, dude.
And AJ would not have to field EVERY punt. But he should be the guy in there when the game is 17-17 halfway through the 4th quarter and the opponent is punting from their 10 yard line. The punter is going to be a lot more apt to shank one when he sees #8 back there than if he sees #6.
It’s all about putting the opponent in a pressure situation, and AJ would damn sure do that.
Logan Gray allows the punt team to relax, and he also allows the punt return team to relax, knowing that they do not have to block for a return, making them more susceptible to a fake. Conversely, the guys on the return team know that all they need to do is make one or two blocks and AJ can take it to the house, it gets the adrenaline going.
I remember Fred G. winning returning that KOR for a TD in the ’02 Clemson game.
Sean Jones singlehandedly keeping us in ’02 Auburn game with his punt returns (and INT’s).
Seems like when CMR first got here he put his best players on special teams and let them make WINNING plays.
Unfortunately, just like the entire tenor of the program, CMR’s special teams personnel decisions have reeked of timidity and playing “not to lose.”
Championship teams win games with Special Teams. The aggressor wins football games. Time for CMR to go back to his roots and play to win championships.
Indeed. CJ Spiller was by far Clemson’s most dynamic offensive weapon and he set a Divsion I record for most career KO returns for TDs (7).
My only problem with AJ is I like to see small, shifty guys return punts versus tall, lanky guys. I’d rather see AJ return kickoffs where his gazelle like speed can really burn folks. Punt return, many times, is about making the first guy to two miss and then using your speed.
Ever seen Randy Moss return a punt?
Re: Carlton Thomas being “ideally suited” to return punts.
Uhhh…that dude is ideally suited to wear pointy toed shoes, bake buttery cookies and live in a tree.
LO f’n L.
To read some comments here, you would think fielding punts is the most dangerous job in the world. I can’t think of the last punt returner who got injured — not hurt — fielding/returning a punt. I know I’ve railed on the cliche, but those “in the arena” can’t and don’t play with the what if mentality. Football is a violent sport that features grown ass men running into each other as fast as they can. Injuries can happen on any given play. It’s a part of the game… but to think you can protect a player from getting injured by keeping him from a handful of plays per game… that’s just inane.
Why not put the best players on the field… no matter the position… no matter the “type” of play?
I like Baccari Rambo on return. Exciting.
Sadly, Arenas is gone. He was a game changer. I, too, like the smaller, shiftier return men to return punts. Bama has a few freshmen that fitthe bill. I wish Saban would put one of them back there to return punts.
Love “The Time” Jesse now Jerome!! I’m all for putting #8 back there.
Good catch, my man.
Other than the fact he makes incredible catches in traffic, what makes AJ so exciting for punt returns?
He doesn’t blaze people with speed. He doesn’t break tackles. He isn’t slippery and shifty. I know he had a couple of nice YACs last year, but AJ is not Dez. I think ya’ll are projecting on AJ the skills you want him to have instead of the amazing ones you’ve actually seen.
Put the best one on the field. I don’t think AJ is our best punt returner.
So, AJ is not fast, slippery, shifty and can’t break tackles. Why put him on the field at all?
Because he’s GREAT at this- when you throw it near him he catches the ball- even when he is double covered and being interferred.
I was wondering the same. What PR skills has he ever shown. He burned some Vandy guys on that long return but I can’t ever think of him continuously breaking tackles or blazing speed. Only that he will catch a ball thrown in the same time zone as him. Is he really the best return man? Why not boykin? What makes a kick off a tee so different that he can’t field punts?
Who was it I kept seeing takin it to the house last year? Give it to Boykin. The offense will usually have the ball after to allow him a rest. Unless he scores…and if he does he would deserves a rest anyway. And B. Smith can fly too. I don’t mind seeing AJ get it, but those guys have skillz and need the ball in their hands as much as possible.
If Branden smith can be trusted with the ball, he’s perfect for the job. My guess though is that AJ is only being considered because ball security is an issue for the other guys. Ball security should be valued higher than any other consideration including aj’s health. If however one of the others can be trusted to field the ball and not fumble it, then you don’t use aj.
Offensive Players at Georgia, have NO HOPE
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