We’re all sensitive people.

Granted, it’s dangerous to psychoanalyze from a distance, but after reading this, I wonder how much the team’s psyche was affected by all the criticism lobbed Joe Cox’ way last season.

Richt’s quote about Aaron Murray, “Hopefully our fans will understand he’s a freshman,” and Kris Durham’s comment that “He can’t sit there and worry about outside critiques and that sort of stuff” have a whiff of sensitivity to them that make me think that those guys paid a lot more attention to Internet chatter than they let on (or denied, even).  And I don’t believe it’s warranted in Murray’s case.

People were in Joe’s corner when last season started and confidence in him went sky-high after the Arkansas game.  It’s simply that the support started bleeding away as it became apparent that Joe’s interest in avoiding turnovers was casual at times.  Too many times, actually.

Richt’s done a good job of preaching game management with his new quarterback.  If Murray listens, he’ll be fine.

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15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

15 responses to “We’re all sensitive people.

  1. hailtogeorgia

    This is absurd. There’s inevitably going to be criticism. Murray, of course, will have much more leeway in his allowable mistakes (as he is just a redshirt freshman), but everyone is going to be criticized.

    I think a lot more of the criticism last year (particularly the more biting stuff) had more to do with how Joe responded to the initial criticism than it did with how he played. If Joe had responded by saying something like, “The fans have a right to be angry. I made some throws I shouldn’t have made and I have to do better in those situations of making more educated decisions with the ball to prevent this happening in the future,” then I think much of the criticism would’ve waned. However, Joe responded by getting defensive and alienating fans with the “In the Arena” comments, which just served to piss everyone off even more. A little humility never hurt anyone, and while Joe may have been a great team leader, he wasn’t the best with the fans and handling their ire.

    • SavDawg

      While I agree with everything else you said, I believe it was actually Mark Richt who made the “in the arena” comment.

      I think Murray has showed a good bit of humility so far, and I can see him coming out after a bad game and saying “Hey, I screwed up”, or “That was a bad pass.”

  2. Bulldog Bry

    I sincerely hope Murray doesn’t read anything related to the Dawgs. He’ll either read that the entire season is dependent on him OR that there’s no way a freshman QB can lead us to the SEC title. On top of that, everything he says will be put under a microscope and dissected, which I absolutely hate.

    I felt bad for Cox last year. There’s nothing you can say after throwing a pick that will satisfy fans.

    • The Realist

      As a fan, all I want to hear when a player makes a mistake is that he recognizes it was a mistake, and he’ll do all he can to not do it again.

      Joe threw the pick six against Sakerlina, and he admitted he saw Norwood and threw it anyway like it was no big deal. For the rest of the year, he displayed the same dismay for the football, and his turnovers cost the team games.

      If Joe had showed even the least bit of disgust at his mistakes, the fans would have embraced him much more. It was less what he said and more the attitude that he portrayed through what he said which was confirmed on the field.

  3. Biggus Rickus

    I thought the criticism came pretty quickly for Cox after his dead-armed performance against Oklahoma State. Granted, it did subside somehwat until the Tennessee game.

  4. Cynical in Athens

    If the guys are going to have a hurt psyche, then that pretty much sums up what has happened to the program the last few years.

    Do you remember the things that were said about DJ Shockley and Terrence Edwards?

    If you want the accolades and ass that come along with playing in front of 93,000 every week, then you have to deal with the criticism as well. If we have a bunch of guys who aren’t interested in the former two things, then we are not going to compete for championships.

    Hopefully, Grantham will grind the word “psyche” right out of them.

    • hailtogeorgia

      Exactly. If you soak in the adoration and cheers of the fans when you perform well, then you need to be prepared to take it like a man when you screw up. If we’re worried about hurting the feelings of the players, then we’ve got bigger issues than I thought.

      I’m not advocating death threats, but it’s okay to criticize the players. If the players own up to their mistakes when they make them and vow to perform better in the future, most people will be satisfied and will lay off of them.

  5. Scott W.

    If he didn’t suck he wouldn’t have been critiqued. Put your big girl panties on before you go into the arena. It would have been great if CMR had said you have to remember he been on roster for 4 years. Murray will be fine.

  6. thewhiteshark

    That does seem to indicate that Joe was sensitive to the criticism. Unfortunately, it is the nature of the beast. As the starting QB at UGA (pr any other school for that matter) you will be appraised, criticized, dissected and judged (even if sometimes unfairly). I like Joe — he was just the wrong quarterback for a team with a porous defense. On a team that could run the ball and play some D he would have been fine.

  7. Scott

    This is what you get when you pass out “participation awards”.

  8. FisheriesDawg

    We were all sold on the fact that even though Joe didn’t have Stafford’s arm, he would be more careful with the ball and be a great game manager. He was a fifth year senior, so most people at least initially bought into that notion. As it turned out, he was easily as careless with the ball as Stafford but lacked they physical talent to make the risky throws work that Stafford did.

    Murray should be compared more to 2006 Stafford than to 2009 Joe Cox. Even though he had growing pains, people gave him the benefit of the doubt and he showed improvement. There is no reason to believe that at the end of this season we’ll be scheming offensive game plans to take the ball out of his hands as much as possible to prevent him from losing the game for us. That’s what happened with Cox.

  9. 69Dawg

    Remember that behind Greene there was DJ and the fans would have been calling for Greene’s head and DJ to start but for the fact that Greene just kept winning games. For good or bad we have nobody behind Aaron this year. Hut may end up a great QB but even Matt Stafford could not get it done as a true freshman. The fan can complain all they want but it’s like the Richt hot seat thing we can’t do any better at least not this year. Instead of criticizing him I suggest we pray for his safety, because if he goes down we are screwed.

  10. BadM

    Yes if you play in this league you will get critcism. And you need to learn to deal with it. But there something stupid about the system of 30-40 year old couch potatos getting angry at kids for not making plays that only a few hundred guys in the country can actually make. Perspective.

  11. Joe’s play is what killed the team’s psyche, not fan reaction.

    As everyone has already said, if you want the adulation and hero worship, you gotta be ready to brave the criticism.