Just another day not at the beach

If you’re wondering whether Aaron Murray got anything out of his week with QB guru George Whitfield, Bruce Feldman has the story on that:

Among the things that Murray told Whitfield that he wanted to improve: his pocket protocol/pocket presence; his touch and becoming more consistent. Once in Norman, Murray realized there was something else that needed tweaking: his upper body rotation in his throwing motion.

In film study on Monday night, Whitfield showed Murray that the QB wasn’t really driving through with his left elbow. “I never realized how much my body was fighting it,” Murray said. “I just really wasn’t coming through. And when he talked to me about it, it made a lot of sense.”

To help Murray amp up his mechanics, Whitfield had the QB throwing from his knees to get him using more of his upper body. Murray said he has already noticed that he has been able to create more torque and, therefore, more velocity on his throws.

That will be something to watch this G-Day.  But it might not be enough to satisfy the part of the fan base that will remain convinced after the spring game that Mason needs to play.  (Turn on your sarcasm detectors, please.)  What will be more interesting to see is if increased velocity makes those back shoulder throws that Murray’s made a living on the past two seasons even more deadly.

As for the rest of his list, he’s done a good job of self-scouting.  And that’s the first step towards improvement.  If his receivers keep up, it should be a fun year.

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44 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

44 responses to “Just another day not at the beach

  1. Personally, I don’t even want Murray to play G Day. Let each backup QB get a full half – Mason, Bauta, Lemay, and Ramsey.

  2. uglydawg

    I’m not sure I want AM “tweaked”. If it aint’ broke, don’t fix it.

    • I’m as big a Murray fan as there is, but there’s little question his mechanics could still stand some improvement. Go back and look at his first half against Florida last year for examples.

      • Cojones

        Senator, those throws always seemed tailored for the receiver and likely as not, weren’t mistakes, but adjustments to unfamiliar receivers out of the backfield. More power on touch throws over the line isn’t worthy of this exercise. A pass through outstretched linemen’s hands is tough enough without lowering the ball flight.

        Seems to me that this exercise will straighten the rope in his downfield throws. If that happens then it would be Pandora bar the door. Just think of all the WRs and how they envision a hard catch to boost their stock. It will be interesting to see his new tweaking passed on to other QBs and new receivers.

        • “Those throws” – are you referring to back shoulder throws here? Of course they weren’t mistakes. Murray’s been brilliant using them. And if he’s actually able to deliver some of those sideline throws even more quickly, that would be something.

          • Cojones

            Yes, reference was to “even more deadly” on those throws. “…even more quickly,…” would require a better performance from a receiver (let’s say the Fullback) than was evident from a couple of plays last year. Those where Murray didn’t connect seemed more in the recever’s bailiwick. If they are faster, I see more misses faulted by the receiver.

            It’s still a lot of fun to speculate upon an improvement by Aaron that would leave a few pundits with a slack jaw. It’s even more fun to speculate his throwing a ball that “whistles”.

            • Yes, reference was to “even more deadly” on those throws. “…even more quickly,…” would require a better performance from a receiver (let’s say the Fullback) than was evident from a couple of plays last year. Those where Murray didn’t connect seemed more in the recever’s bailiwick. If they are faster, I see more misses faulted by the receiver.

              Not necessarily. It could mean that AM has a slightly greater margin for error from a timing standpoint.

              • Bo

                What throw was Murray trying to execute on the last play against Alabama? Must have been a back shoulder, because the trajectory was low. Pretty sure Alabama was expecting it the way they defended Mitchell and rushed Murray at the angle.

                • Not sure it was a back shoulder… sounds like more of a fade the way AM described it:

                  “Oh, it’s a touchdown,” Murray said Wednesday, as quoted by ESPN and several other outlets. “It’s a 50-50 ball, and the guy (Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner) is facing Malcolm and Malcolm’s supposed to just go up and catch the ball. It’s not like the guy’s facing me where he could have made a play on it. He would have had to, when Malcolm had his hands on the ball, had to strip it out of his hands. So it would have been up to Malcolm to make the play.”

                  Not sure I share his confidence there, BTW. Milliner played a whale of a game and broke up a throw to Mitchell earlier in the game.

                  • Bo

                    If Malcolm was supposed to go up to catch the pass, then the ball should have been thrown at a much higher trajectory. Malcolm would have had to go down on his knees to try and haul that one in by the time it got to the end zone.

                    The more I review that play, the more I come to see it was pretty much Murray’s responsibility to at least give Mitchell a CHANCE to make a play. Mitchell has shown the ability to do that at times, like the Florida game, but who knows, he could have dropped it too?

          • Bo

            Alabama was hoping Murray would throw the backshoulder at the end of the SEC Championship. It’s an easier pass to defend because with Murray’s height issue, you can tip the ball if you pick the right rush angle. Richt said that play is impossible to defend because if the DB plays in front of Mitchell, you lob over their head, if they play behind him, you backshoulder.

            No one must have told Nick Saban that you couldn’t stop that play, because his defense did.

  3. Ubiquitous Ga Alum

    Would like to see AM work on the slip screen … Stafford was deadly with it when he’d get the defender airborne & then side arm the ball under him. AM tries to loft it over the defender … seem to recall Clowney spiking one back in his face last year.

    • JRod1229

      One day.. I’d love to see the (any) QB get the defender in the air like this and have the QB just unload one right to the gut of the DE. Would it be a penalty? Bet the DE might regret that one come a few minutes when his abs are spasming with a welt. No?

      • 81Dog

        you are referring to a Paul Crews-style throw from the original “The Longest Yard,” and I like it.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      I guess qb’s have their favorite pass. Bobo hit the tunnel screen once back to back against Tech. Ward caught plenty of them. Greenie was money hitting the rb out of the backfield and nobody has the fake to the running back and turn your back to the D, then hit a long one down field like Greenie. The back shoulder pass is one of Murray’s best. And it is fun to watch!

      • Chris Weinke begs to differ.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          Nice find. It’s interesting to note that Richt picked that play up from Bowden. It’s a dangerous call to make. Unless I’m mistaken Weinke threw it once in his career …. although his toss was from the most vulnerable spot on the field.
          Does being able to repeat something make you the master of it? If it does …..Greenie was the best!

          2001: David Greene went Hollywood and caught Auburn off guard and he was able to complete a 67-yard touchdown pass to Fred Gibson on the first drive of a 24-17 loss to the Tigers.
          2002: Greene did it again, hooking up with Terrence Edwards for a 65-yard score in a 48-17 win over Vanderbilt that kept Georgia undefeated. This one was a thing of beauty…… everyone from the announcer to the refs and Defense were faked out.

          YOU CAN”T TOUCH THIS>>>>>>

          CAN’T TOUCH THIS>>>>>>

          2003: One more time for Greene when he found Gibson for a 46-yard catch, no touchdown. But the Dawgs beat the Engin-nerds 34-17 that year.

          2007:Stafford got blown up by Norwood during his attempt.

          2012: Murray studies Greenie film and after being sacked a number of times against Ole Miss….. tosses a 67 yarder to Brown. Wonder if we see that play again in 2013?

    • 69Dawg

      I’ll second the work on your screen pass. He gets killed because the other team seems to always have the screen covered.

    • Bo

      Agree, Aaron Murray would be more effective if he occasionally hit a secondary receiver or checkdown instead of chunking it 50 yards downfield to the primary receiver, especially since Murray only completes 50% on throws of 10 yards or more, if he’s AJ McCarron, and hitting 70% on those throws, forget the screens and bombs away, but he’s not AJ.

  4. Hobnail_Boot

    He’s poised to have a monster season.

    Get through September….

  5. Cojones

    If we get through the first two games unscathed it will be hard as hell to keep them focused. That could explain the tactical thought of a bye game before TS; time to recover and put in new plays for LSU.

  6. AusDawg85

    Pffttt…Mason already has the upper-body throwing strength with all his time working from the bench!

  7. Debby Balcer

    No complacency from Murray. What a great example of a leader.

  8. Bo

    Didin’t Murray train with the Mannings last offseason? Did it help? I didn’t see more poise. Like most, except for the terribly naiive (Hi Senator), we don’t put much stock in this offseason hype. After all, Murray still performed pretty poorly in every big time SEC opponent, South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama. Yeah, he had a good 2nd half against a Nebraska defense that yielded 70 points to Wisconsin, but really, not much of a banner year for Aaron, the NFL didn’t come bangin down his door, as usual, he tended to lose his poise in big games, don’t think his issue is technique, Mark Richt does a good job there, his issue is between the ears.

    Hopefully, they practiced spiking the ball in end game situations.

    • Dawgfan Will

      For sure. That way they could tell Conley to let the ball drop if it came to him.

      • Bo

        Murray tipped off the linebacker by locking down on his primary receiver. Murray threw the ball too low. Murray didn’t spike the ball to allow for two to three plays. Conley’s 1 mistake is minor in comparison to Murray’s mistakes on that play. There’s a reason the NFL teams took a pass on Aaron.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          Goodness …. it’s hard to believe that after all that has been written here by some very savvy posters that this is still being touted as reasonable football “acumen” or fact. Did I get that right Hijo? ” Play it again Sam.” You see what I did there Bo? Here let me help.
          http://smartfootball.com/game-management/should-georgia-have-spiked-the-ball
          NO NFL team passed on Murray. Thank me later.

          • One thing about that link – it’s clear that Murray was throwing a fade, not a back shoulder. So you got that part wrong, Bo.

            • Bo

              If it was a fade, it was thrown too low, a fade is usually a high pass with a high trajectory, and then it’s a jump ball, this was a low pass, so I do think it was either backshoulder or a poorly thrown fade.

          • Bo

            Most agree Murray should have spiked the ball there, even homers like Mike Bobo agree.

            And the espn guys McShay + Kiper suggested Murray stick around college another year. I think Murray got back that would be at best maybe 3rd round draft. Hardly what you’d expect for someone with so many SEC records. Wonder why scouts didn’t advise him to go Pro?

        • Play was designed to go to whichever outside receiver didn’t have safety coverage on his side of the field. King did. AM read the defense correctly.

          • Bo

            Sure would have been nice to have had a tall guy like Bennett or Brown there.

            A little surprised no one called a play to the tight end there, both UGA tight ends are 6’5” or taller and a red zone mismatch.

            Murray will have some tall targets for the red zone if everyone stays healthy, and Bobo’s got to go to the tight ends more there, since they’re so tall, they’ll win the jumpball. Rome had already made one big catch in that game. And the other tight end looked like Gronk on the last drive with some clutch catches and runs after catch.

            Bobo needs to call a play that allows Murray to put some air under the ball in that situation and going to a tall 6′ 5” guy.

        • 69Dawg

          Bo don’t know shit.

          • Bo

            Actually guys, Richt said it WAS a backshoulder in a post game interview.

            And Mike Bobo agreed he should have called for a spike there.

            Richt: “To us offensively, there (are) no shutdown corners. There’s no coverage that if the ball is placed properly, the (defender) can win. If the guy does a good job on the jam and doesn’t get beat deep, than he’s more vulnerable to the back-shoulder throw. If he’s lagging for that or trying to be a hero, than he can get run by. The quarterback has to recognize the coverage and throw the ball according to what he sees.”

            The best pass Murray throws is the back-shoulder ball, which can seem like an underthrow but isn’t. He used back-shoulder balls to spectacular effect in the comeback victory over Florida in 2011, and it was a back-shoulder ball he loosed on the final play of another furious rally.

  9. Cojones

    Going back to one of your earlier statements about the FU game, don’t you think that a great deal of Murray’s problems come from nervousness? If a guy doesn’t have it in the first place, how would he suddenly gain “it” in the second half?

  10. Mayor of Dawgtown

    The Senator’s post was about a flaw in Murray’s throwing motion that was spotted (and hopefully fixed) by an outside consultant. Now that it has been explained, my question is this: Why did it take an outside consultant to spot this? Why didn’t our all-world OC/QB coach (who just got a big raise and a contract extension) catch it before this? This smacks of the staff’s failure to fix a simple mechanical problem with our kicker in 2011 that plagued us all season and cost us at least one game–a problem that the Minnesota Vikings special teams coaches fixed in one session. Stuff like this makes me want to scream!!!

  11. Bo

    I don’t agree with Bruce Feldman’s statement in the article:
    “While Murray has continued to improve each season in Athens”

    For example, vs. ranked teams:
    Accuracy:
    2010: 57.2
    2011: 54.6
    2012: 53.1

    Getting worse each year, not improving.

    Murray’s pass effic rating, vs ranked teams:
    2010: 133
    2011: 128
    2012: 133
    Murray is back, after 3 seasons, to where he was as a freshman.

    Against ranked teams Murray in pass yards:
    2010: 238 yards per game
    2011: 234 per game
    2012: 240 per game

    Murray is back to where he was as a freshman there too. Not much improvement, less than 1% better as a Jr than his Fresh yr.

  12. Bo

    Also, in interceptions, Murray went from:
    8 in 2010
    14 in 2011
    10 in 2012

    So Murray is worse there than he was his fresh season too.

  13. Trbodawg

    A question for Bo – Is your given name Hutson?
    Just wondering :-)