“I can’t really hate them. I just want to beat them.”

Pretty good Pat Forde piece on Aaron Murray – yeah, he’s still affected by the SECCG outcome.  Who wouldn’t be?  But it’s hard not to be impressed by this:

Toward that end, Murray has been immersed in a remarkable leadership program of his own creation with the help of two Georgia psychology professors.

While completing work on his undergraduate degree in industrial-organizational psychology, Murray devised a goals program that basically has overseen Georgia’s summer workout regimen the past two years. Murray worked with professors Brian Hoffman and Karl Kuhnert on a project that began with the quarterback watching mic’d NFL QBs on film, and evaluating their leadership behaviors. From there, Murray solicited leadership feedback from his teammates and coaches through a survey.

(The biggest takeaway from it: Murray needed to be less nice and more demanding of his peers.)

That led to the implementation of the goals program. Murray identified 15 other team leaders, and put them in charge of player groups during offseason conditioning – which position coaches cannot be part of. But the overall leader was Murray himself.

“Aaron was responsible for administering and running the program with his teammates,” professor Hoffman wrote in an email. “He gave a speech to sell the goals program, a tutorial with other team leaders on how to set effective goals, selected the team leaders and assigned teammates to groups, and kept meticulous records of player goals and player daily attendance at the optional workouts.

“Last year I was much more heavily involved in setting up the program, discussing issues with Aaron, and maintaining oversight. This year, I have been less involved, as the program is up and running and Aaron has a handle on things. I worked with Aaron to set his leadership goal for the year, and then have been getting updates on the progress of the program from Aaron.”

When he’s done with quarterbacking, I’ll be surprised if Murray doesn’t pursue a coaching career.  And succeed with it.

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54 Comments

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54 responses to ““I can’t really hate them. I just want to beat them.”

  1. Cojones

    He has always looked at coaching, hasn’t he? Offering first hand experience for a leadership program with everyone involved is a tough nut for anyone in any endeavor, but Aaron has a grip on this from the start. I think his thesis may become a must-have for all college teams.

  2. Aaron wants to win badly. He is a DGD, and we all should be proud that he is our guy and not wearing the hated orange of UF.

  3. Bob

    You can say that again. He has given his all for this program and how some can’t see that is amazing. Great kid…young man.

  4. He is the most precious QB evah!

  5. Rebar

    Now that is leadership!

  6. Brandon

    First post back from my winter hibernation. Sounds like a really good thing, leadership makes an enormous difference in everything, football is no exception.

  7. charlottedawg

    Asa fan you want the team to win a championship every year but I don’t think I’ve wanted the team to win one for an individual player as bad as I want them to win one for Murray. Great kid and I hope he ends his career at Georgia with a title to accompany his passing records.

  8. charlottedawg

    I also think since Aaron is effectively a coach, it really is his fault when we lose.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Not wanting to be a dick…well maybe I do want to be a dick…but what does it say about your coaching staff when a player has to take charge like Murray has? Maybe the real reason we ever win is Murray. I have a bad feeling that when Murray leaves we are going to find that out. P.S. You will recall that at the end of the SECCG Murray was signaling to the sideline that he wanted to spike the ball and they overruled him. We all saw what happened then. Just sayin.’

      • Macallanlover

        You succeeded spectacularly at being a dick in that post. You took a shot at the best coach we have ever had at UGA and continued your hind-sight obsession with the non-spiking play. I have no issue with the different opinion about that decision since it didn’t yield the result we all wanted but nearly all the vehement proponents of that position were never exposed to the logical reason for not spiking provided by the coaches which clearly demonstrated they were in total command at crunch time. Anyone can criticize results after the fact, what you want is sometime who has fullay analyzed the options and made a decision based on the known facts.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Thank you. Being called a dick by you is a real compliment. :)

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          And the response above was because charlottedawg said in the post above that Murray ought to be blamed for losses “since he’s a coach.” Well, “since he’s a coach” maybe he ought to get credit for the wins, too. That was my main point.

      • Normaltown Mike

        Coaches can’t be involved with summer workouts for fear of unleashing the NCAA cracken.

        I think that’s where Double A – Ron is deploying & honing his leadership skills.

      • Ellis

        The article pointed out that position coaches cannot be involved in the offseason workouts. I am glad that Murray has inserted himself as a leader.

        I don’t question the call against Bama at all. Had the ball not been tipped, you and I both would have never commented about not spiking the ball, in fact everyone would have pointed out the genius of not letting Bama set up their defense. They had a guy that made a play, simple as that.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          I don’t really want to open up old wounds and I accept that there was at least a rational explanation for the decision but…that is not the same as making the right decision. The ball should have been spiked. Murray wanted to spike it and was motioning to the bench asking to do so. Virtually every expert football commentator said so after the SECCG. Bobo said post game that he wished they had spiked it. If the ball is spiked the Dawgs get 3 plays to score. If people do not understand that a mistake was made they’ll make it again. For crying out loud, that end of game decision cost us the SEC Championship and probably the BCSNC.

  9. fuelk2

    Forget coaching, this sounds like a guy who could make a fortune in business.

  10. Bryant Denny

    I like Murray as a quarterback and he’s had a phenomenal career, so please don’t take this comment as being snarky, but…

    1) Do any of y’all think Stafford or Greene had to visit psychology professors to determine leadership style?

    2) It seems like the coaching staff would be responsible for administering the off season conditioning programs.

    Or, maybe I just misread this whole thing…

    Anyways, have a good day,

    BD

    • None taken. IN GEORGIA, we have excellent Phychiatrist’s who know just how to give us the tools to use our minds to the fullest.

    • Rival

      Pretty sure coaches are forbidden from running off-season conditioning or practicing of any kind, per NCAA rules.

    • Bulldawg165

      1) No. That doesn’t mean I would look at them negatively if they decided to go above and beyond though. Would you hate on AJ McCarron if he was working on passes today, because, you know, there’s plenty of other quarterbacks who probably don’t really need to be working on that stuff.

      2) I’m assuming the coaches gave them the program they wanted done but you do realize coaches aren’t supposed to have contact with players during the summer, right? Hence the need for leadership. I guess Bama doesn’t follow that rule…?

      • Bryant Denny

        I have no idea what the rules are. :)

        I would guess, though, that strength and conditioning staff members would be present.

        • Bulldawg165

          I’m just giving you a hard time :)

          Back to number 1: I kind of assumed that he had to do some type of leadership/goals project for his major anyway and since he was the QB of the football team he was probably more interested in seeing how pro QBs lead their team as opposed to how a CEO might lead a company. While he’s at it he might as well compare what the pro QBs are doing to what he’s doing though, ya know?

        • sUGArdaddy

          Coaches nor strength coaches can administer on-field practice. If players want to practice skelly or 7 on 7 or inside drill or whatever, they have to do so themselves. If they want to study film together, they have to do so themselves. Coaches might want them to do things or give them a plan, but they can’t discipline a kid for not showing up or whatever. It’s not like missing practice. It’s an expectation, not a requirement. The proof is in the August pudding for the player, and he’ll ride the bench if he’s behind physically and playbook-wise from the rest of the team.

          Most college QBs take some sort of off-season approach to leading this kind of stuff. Murray has simply taken the accountability to another level. And, FYI, Stafford was no leader. He could have used a good head doctor. Greenie was a leader, but more quiet than Murray. Murray’s a football nerd, which is a good thing for a QB to be. He loves it and lives it. I truly believe some NFL team is going to get a steal on him. Underrated arm strength. Makes every throw well. Reads Defenses. Good at play action. Can move around. Four year starter in an NFL-type system. Knows the playbook forward and backward. He can’t make himself 3 inches taller. I don’t think he’s going to need to. If I had an older franchise QB, he’d be a great back-up that I could count on and could groom to take the reigns. Maybe Denver, NE, or NO snag him up.

        • Nick Saban

          Rules are for chumps, BD. Roll Tide!

    • Dawgfan Will

      1) Maybe not, but it was well-documented at the beginning of Saban’s current run of success that he consulted psychological and motivational experts to maximize his teams’ potential.
      2) Like the others here, I’m fairly certain coaches are forbidden from managing the particular workouts the article mentions.

    • BD, no offense taken, but Murray is a graduate student in psychology. He has worked with one of his grad school professors to develop his leadership style. Greene was a natural leader especially calm and cool under fire. Stafford had great physical tools but didn’t appear to have the leadership skills. Murray has the leadership of Greene with a different set of athletic skills from Stafford.

    • Darrron Rovelll

      Not trying to be snarky back Bryant Denny, but AM is not visiting psychology professors on a whim. He is a graduate level student in Industrial Organizational Psychology.

    • Dawgy45

      “Aaron took doctoral level statistics and psychology classes in our PHD program last year,” Hoffman wrote. “Our program is internationally ranked, so he hung in with some of the best students in the nation. He has also delivered multiple conference presentations on his research studies. All of this would be extremely impressive for any undergraduate, much less someone navigating Aaron’s schedule. As you can tell, I have the utmost respect for his scholarly efforts.

      “He could have taken the easy road with soft courses (which is what I probably would have done in his position), but he wanted to get a feel for whether he would be interested in getting his advanced degree in business psychology for life after football. So, he chose to take PHD-level classes. Suffice it to say that he is as motivated to achieve in the classroom as he is on the football field.”

      Visiting the psychologist and being the psychologist are two very different things.

    • Normaltown Mike

      BD:

      In Re Stafford, he was focused on mentoring Joe Cox and an Auburn co-ed at Talladega for any of this bullsh*t!

      http://deepsouthsports.blogspot.com/2007/05/talledega-days.html

  11. Dawgfan Will

    Lordy, I love this kid.

  12. Bobby

    Oh, God. I got so tired of hearing announcers filling dead air time w/ speculation about how AM’s psychology studies are playing a role on the field. They acted as if AM, while dissecting the pre-snap defensive alignment, was analyzing survey data to try to predict linebacker behavior.

    There will be no end to it after this story.

  13. W Cobb Dawg

    If Bobo ever does leave, we’ll have his replacement ready.

    AND, you know what clowney is scared of?? Opening his grades!