Chemistry

I’ll say this for Hutson Mason – he sure is clearheaded about what he brings to the table and what it’ll take for him to succeed this season.

“I already knew,” he said. I don’t blow myself up to be any more than I am. I know I don’t have a Matthew Stafford arm, I know that I wasn’t blessed with that just absolute God-given ability. But I have confidence in myself, and I know how this offense is going to run, and I feel it’s more about the mental side for me than it is just having this freakish athletic skill set.

“Do I have the strongest arm, no? But I believe I’m very accurate and I believe that I have great timing and I’m kind of building that chemistry (with my receivers). And knowing where I’m gonna go with the ball before the ball is snapped, I think that’s more important than how hard you can throw it.”

It helps that he’s got a boatload of skill position talent around him and a coordinator who has some idea how to deploy it.  But, yeah, it’s a huge summer for him to get on the same page with his targets.

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62 Comments

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62 responses to “Chemistry

  1. Timphd

    Hope the kid has a great year. He’ll be a DGD in my mind for hanging in and waiting his turn. Of course it will help if he has a big year, win wise.

  2. Huge summer is right. For everybody, really. I’ve been on board with this kid since very early this year. There just was no reason not to. Whatever problems we might have, I strongly doubt they’ll come from Mason.

    In some ways, and overall, I think he’s more capable of carrying this team than Murray. Not concerned at all about Mason.

    Concerns? Looking at OL, TE, S, and the defense as a whole. And most of my concern is the with the OL and TE’s.
    ~~~

    • Dog in Fla

      “he’s more capable of carrying this team than Murray.”

      Step away from the bus. You are too close to the bus.

    • hailtogeorgia

      Mason’s more capable of carrying the team than Murray and Rhett McGowan is the one player on offense who we’re really going to miss. Whatever it is you’re smoking, send it my way.

    • In some ways, and overall, I think he’s more capable of carrying this team than Murray.

      Really? Please, count the specific ways for us.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think Mason will be more than functional this season. But better than Murray was against South Carolina, LSU, Tennessee and Auburn last season? Not buying it. Plus, it’s not fair to put those kinds of expectations on him.

      • Macallanlover

        That’s where I am also. No one hopes Mason knocks it out of the park more than I do but it isn’t necessary for him to shoulder that expectation. Mason may be capable of doing that occasionally but to think he can play at 2013 Murray level coming out of the gate is unrealistic.

        Mason has already earned much respect for staying, competing, being ready when called on, and giving us hope for 2014 because he has done it all in getting ready for his big chance. With the best set of RBs in the country, maybe the best group of receivers in the SEC, and a top level OC, the offense should not need a heroic QB to be successful.

        • uglydawg

          See “John Lastinger”. Just need a handler that won’t make the big mistakes.
          But HM may actually be better at taking off on a bootleg run or QB draw than AM…Problem is HM won’t have as “ready” a backup as AM had, so we can’t get him hurt.

    • I like Mason but no doubt he won’t be Murray. I’m worried to death about the secondary. This team goes only as far as the pass defense allows.

      • Mayor

        +1. We may see teams throw it 50+ times against the Dawgs in 2014. If I were an opposing coach I would. Pruitt is going to have to earn his salary this year.

    • REAL DAWG FAN: ummm this is RDF to Ivyleaguer. Come back…..
      REAL DAWG FAN: this is RDF to Ivyleaguer.
      REAL DAWG FAN: Damn men …. Ivyleaguer has gone MIA.
      MEN: Damn RDF … what do we do.
      REAL DAWG FAN: We get us another Xpert. Someone find DIF. He can locate anything ….anybody on the net.
      MEN: How do you know he can do it.
      REAL DAWG FAN: Damn man… I’m a blog poster not a football guru. DIF knows the internet like the top of your girlfriends head.
      MEN: Say what?
      REAL DAWG FAN: Sorry… Navy joke. I think I heard it in the Lowes parking lot. ;-)

    • Dawgfan Will

      If Mason was more capable of carrying the team than Murray, he would have already been doing it. Still, I have high hopes for the kid. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders.

      • Yeah, I saw it the same. I think Murray’s arm was the difference, that, and Mason wasn’t as physically developed. We’ll see now if Mason’s intangibles would have proved to be a factor on the field, if he’d had the chance. That’s something nobody knows, but we’re all going to find out.
        ~~~

  3. Otto

    David Green didn’t have Stafford’s arm and he turned out pretty good.

    • ViningsDawg

      ^100% correct. Green was a
      manger. Sometimes that’s all it takes. We start 2-0…? GTFOH. We may have something special.

      • Go Dawgs!

        David Greene with an “e” was much more than a game manager. He wasn’t Matt Stafford, but as a collegiate quarterback he was much, much more than a game manager.

        • Vinings Dawg

          Good lord I forgot the “e” at 10PM at night. Does not mean I don’t respect the hell out of the guy and what he did for UGA. Thanks so much for setiing us all straight.

    • And if Mason’s got as good a defense to play with as Greene did, Georgia’s in for a helluva year.

      • Mayor

        The D-line is gonna be fine and the LBs may be the best collection in all of CFB. It’s the defensive secondary that will pose the problem on D. If the new DB recruits can play and the front 7 can get a pass rush this season UGA will be fine. If neither happens…….

        • uglydawg

          If Georgia can sustain long, slow drives that keeps the d off the field and causes the other team to gamble a little…it’ll help. No unit is an island in football…the o-line effects every other aspect of the team as does the QB and the d backs….How one performs effects the others. All the way around. I love the quick strike, but it scares me when the d is weak and tired.
          I think it was Butkus who said, “one cannot pick a flower without touching a star”. LOL. Butkus or DIF.

          • That’s a good point, Ugly.

            But there’ll be times when we need Mason to get us down the field in a hurry for scores. We have to have that quick-strike ability, and Murray was very good at it. Probably his best quality.

            All Georgia QB’s need to have that ability. So we need Mason to be able to do that. FWIW, I had considered it when I made the comment.
            ~~~

    • DawgPhan

      David Green’s best play was high fiving the punter.

      But David Pollack aint walking through that door.

      • Verne Lunquist

        Hey, did you know those two played pee wee football together? Isn’t that something…

        • awreed79

          And they had some pretty hot girlfriends too. Especially that quarterback..

          • Dog in Fla

            It’s a well-known fact according to Brent that QB’s always out-punt their coverage when it comes to scoring

            • Fake Isaiah Wannabe

              Damn dude, that’s fucking funny, you should do stand up, or enter that pun contest in Austin, or write for SNL, or for anyone, for yourself, quit wasting time on all us schleps here, you have real talent DiF, dude you crazy.

          • uglydawg

            As hot as AJ Mac’s?

  4. CannonDawg

    Mason’s in a really good position to win a championship. The comparisons to Shockley’s situation are hard to ignore, and especially so the opportunities. If the O-line can keep him upright, he’ll deliver plenty of offense. I agree with Ivey, my concerns are not with Mason. If we can see the sort of defense we saw in the Green/Shockley era, Mason will get us to Atlanta.

  5. Hobnail_Boot

    “And knowing where I’m gonna go with the ball before the ball is snapped, I think that’s more important..”

    Sounds great until there’s a DT in your face. Let’s hope the kid can make quick decisions on the fly.

    • I have my doubts, I know exactly where I am going to go with the ball before its snapped when I’m playing ‘OBannan NCAA 2012′ and when that receiver is covered, I still throw it to him for a pick. ;)

    • uglydawg

      Well…he has played a little QB in his life. He knows.

  6. Sh3rl0ck

    Mason’s success will depend on what Bobo can engineer for the red zone. In the Nebraska game, we had no problem marching down to the red zone. We mixed the run with the short to intermediate passing game. He really gets the ball out early before the defender can react on the route. Mason just doesn’t have the arm strength to fit the ball in the small windows required when the coverage tightens up in the red zone. If we run well in the red zone and Bobo can come up with some misdirection to get guys open in the end zone, the offense will be fine.

    • Well said but I would also add if receivers had caught balls in the red zone against Nebraska, probably no one is talking about red zone struggles.

      • Otto

        Agreed. Dropped balls at critical times has killed UGA for much of Richt’s tenure.

        Further on my point above, arms strength is great but more than a few QBs have used it as a bail out, only to get burned. Bama has won plenty of games and often with a QB whose arm is closer to Green than Stafford.

        • Macallanlover

          There was a time when dropped balls were a big issue but that has been several years ago so I wouldn’t say “much of Richt’s tenure”. The Nebraska game was notable because there were two drops at critical times that we all recall vividly, by two different receivers. In fairness, it was a new QB throwing to them and it was a wet ball. I believe we are beyond the “dropsies” stage and I wish I could understand what ever caused it. Made no sense then, or now.

          • Cojones

            Correct . Time to talk about the receiving corps in the light of receptions against FU two yrs ago and extending to present day. They all have done great overall and represent a stake to drive into a few opposing hearts this year. These aren’t false hopes cheered on by fan bravado. The O has been proofed and we await opening game to see how the injuries go. We do this every summer; make comments about the team that cannot hold together by kickoff. No one has that kind of luck from this time of CFB year. Patience is the bigger part of summer in our world.

          • I believe we are beyond the “dropsies” stage and I wish I could understand what ever caused it. Made no sense then, or now.

            I can answer that one, Mac. The difference is Eason – then, Ball – now. Since Ball, we’re much better fundamentally (which helps a lot), with a much better mentality. They know they’ll get to play. Just much better overall. And it’s not just catching the ball, it’s blocking and everything else.
            ~~~

            • uglydawg

              Good points here, but also consider that if the coverage is too tight for him to get the ball out…there’s always that safety valve toss to Gurley.

            • Macallanlover

              Not taking anything away from Ball but those young men came to UGA as athletes who could catch the ball. Something in the water for 2-3 years I guess because it is like they forgot all their natural ability when they donned the red jerseys. Hell, we even tried the tennis ball machine to help…now that is getting desperate.

  7. Dawgwood

    I just don’t see Mason being the QB who can will the team to a victory like Murray did last year. However, if all the offensive weapons stay healthy and on the field, I don’t see why he cannot be successful. This isn’t a Joe Cox situation, he’s better than that.

    • Go Dawgs!

      Well, I jumped into the comments section specifically to utter the name of Joe Cox. Joe was a bit of a dumpster fire when it was finally “his turn” to be Georgia’s quarterback, but it wasn’t necessarily all his fault. The degenerative thing with his shoulder limited him somewhat. But all this offseason happy talk about Mason reminds me of the summer we all convinced ourselves that Joe Cox was going to be great for Georgia because he was a DGD (which he was and still is) and because he knew the offense so well and he was selfless and dedicated. We learned that year that it takes more than knowing the system. With all due respect to Hutson Mason, the bowl game scared the living daylights out of me.

      I don’t think there’s any question that Hutson Mason is a better quarterback than Joe Cox turned out to be in his last year. He’s going to have to show me something against the Palmetto State for me to believe that he can take this team where it needs to go, though. Every bit of success that UGA had last year was owed to Aaron Murray and the offense. The offense, loaded though they may be across the board, is probably going to have to carry the defense again at least in the early going. You have to have a quarterback. Do we have one? We’ll see.

      One thing is for sure: the assertion by Ivey Leaguer above that Hutson Mason is more capable than Aaron Murray is laughable and the best example of offseason happy talk and delusion that I’ve ever seen.

      • Normaltown Mike

        I’ve been thinking the same thing. Of course we all hope for the DJ Shockley or Tee Martin story but I would shade my expectations more towards the Joe Cox line of success.

        As an aside, Joe was shopping at the TJ Maxx in Athens a couple weeks ago, I tried to convince my kid to pose for pic with him but she was horrified at the idea of being embarrassed by her Pop.

  8. DawgPhan

    Complete faith in Mason to be very good. Defense is the problem.

    OL will be good. WRs will be very good. RBs will be great. TE will be good.

    Defense front 7 should be very good to great. Secondary is a huge question mark.

    Any improvement on ST and secondary and this team is a championship team.

  9. hassan

    Nobody on here mentioned #3 as a pretty good crutch for Mason to lean on?!?

    • John Denver is full of shit...

      #3 will be a pretty good crutch for Mason to lean on.
      Also, he could be like Greene, but knowing where to throw the ball before the snap is not the same as it used to be. Teams can scheme to trick him with say a DL dropping in to coverage…

  10. charlottedawg

    Shockley had a defense, mason does not. Mason is not as good Murray; There WILL be a drop of at Quarterback. Also, if the secondary and defense as a whole manages to not suck all the time it will represent significant progress of their part. I hope mason has a great year but there are many many things that could go wrong for Georgia this year.

    • I hope mason has a great year but there are many many things that could go wrong for Georgia this year.

      No question. In a sense, it’s a pretty young team. If Pruitt isn’t the coach most of us think he is, we’re really in trouble. But we’re due for some good things to happen.

      I wouldn’t have said this, or anything close to it, without the 2014 changes. But with the Staff we have now, and a QB who is very strong mentally, I’d say the odds are just as good that things will fall our way.
      ~~~

  11. Bulldog Joe

    I have confidence in Hutson.

  12. Every now and then I stick my neck way out there, and guess I’ve gone and done it again, with the Mason comment. Like anybody else, when you’re speculating about what’s going to happen on a football field, I reserve the right to change my mind, before the thing begins to unfold.

    During the season, I’ll change my mind several times during the week of a competitive game, and rarely have a solid take before Thursday. But wherever I end up on something, if I’m wrong, about whatever it is, I always make a point of coming back and saying so.

    But I’ll stick with this one, for now. First, by “overall” I was thinking about Murray’s entire career, not just last season. I disagree with most of you about the quality of QB Murray was his first 3 seasons, stats notwithstanding, and that was because of some mental hangups he had. The big question some of us had going into 2013, was whether Murray had really overcome those issues, and therefore his play would then be consistent, for four quarters, in the big games, which is what we need.

    Because up until the Bama SECCG and 2013 Bowl Game, that had not been the case. Nobody was happier than me that he finally did it, but Murray went into the 2013 season with that proverbial monkey on his back. And nobody was more aware of it than Aaron Murray himself. So it was a big deal for us, his team, and for Murray’s future.

    Mason has just one year to play, but I don’t think he’ll need 3/4 of the season, much less 3 years, to deal with the pressures of the big games and all that comes with it. This is where he’s superior to Murray (or Murray his first 3 years). I just like his mentality. And I think that makes a huge difference, and constitutes a big advantage for Mason and the offense. I know it does, if I’m right about him.

    So we’ll see. Murray’s arm strength is better, he could move better and run better. But Mason can do those things too, and better than he’s been given credit for, IMO. And I think we’ll see an improvement in his throwing, generally.

    hailtogeorgia: Mason’s more capable of carrying the team than Murray and Rhett McGowan is the one player on offense who we’re really going to miss. Whatever it is you’re smoking, send it my way.

    OK. But I warn you, it’s really green, strong-smelling, and sticky.

    So yeah, I was painting with a broad brush, not just the Murray of 2013 (“In some ways, and overall, I think he’s more capable of carrying this team than Murray.”) Not that that makes much difference to most of you, as I explained above.

    And I do think we’ll miss McGowan’s production, if we lose a starter or two. But mainly his presence. It’s great to have a guy like that on the bench, who you can depend on if you have injuries. And we didn’t lose much else on offense.

    And BTW, I was joking above … don’t do drugs. :)

    Senator Blutarsky: Don’t get me wrong, I think Mason will be more than functional this season. But better than Murray was against South Carolina, LSU, Tennessee and Auburn last season? Not buying it. Plus, it’s not fair to put those kinds of expectations on him.

    Wasn’t saying Mason would be better than Murray in those games, but you know that by now. Not saying he won’t, either.

    As to expections, I agree. I hate putting high expectations on players, and would never do that. But this is a blog/forum, where we talk openly and frankly about everything Georgia. I would never write such a thing in a published article, or say it publicly where it might have an affect. I can’t imagine what I say here could have much impact. Besides, he’s not listening, or at least trying not to.

    BTW, I don’t consider what I said about Mason to be any more delusional than the talk about having “the best group of LB’s in the nation”. That seems far out there to me, though I expect then to be much better than they were last year. And unlike what I said here, that is a real burst of unfair expectation with an impact, that our LB corp will have to deal with, coming nationally from Phil Steele and trickling down to the Southeastern media.

    eethomas: I like Mason but no doubt he won’t be Murray.

    No. But like I said, in some ways he could be better. And I think he will be.

    I’m worried to death about the secondary. This team goes only as far as the pass defense allows.

    Well, that’s certainly true. Not saying I’m not concerned about the secondary stuff, of course I am. Just not as much as OL and TE, at this point. And that’s because of Pruitt.

    If a kid can play, and has a good head on his shoulders, all he needs is good mentoring and coaching to function well in the secondary positions. If this secondary can function, even adequately, it’ll be because of Pruitt, not players. And not Pruitt as a DC, but Pruitt as a hands-on secondary coach.

    That’s the only reason they’re not my top concern.

    Go Dawgs: One thing is for sure: the assertion by Ivey Leaguer above that Hutson Mason is more capable than Aaron Murray is laughable and the best example of offseason happy talk and delusion that I’ve ever seen.

    Well we’ll see, want we? And we’ll know almost immediately. Speaking of pressure, how’s Clemson and then South Carolina in Columbia for a healthy dose? For any QB, much less a new one. We’ll see how Mason handles it all.

    One thing, though. If he can handle that? Watch out.
    ~~~

    • Mason has just one year to play, but I don’t think he’ll need 3/4 of the season, much less 3 years, to deal with the pressures of the big games and all that comes with it. This is where he’s superior to Murray (or Murray his first 3 years). I just like his mentality.

      You’re certainly entitled to your opinion on Mason, and it would be great if you’re right. But I don’t see where your opinion is coming from. If the bowl game was indicative of Mason’s mentality, I can’t say I’m as optimistic as you.

      He certainly sounds focused in the offseason, but so did AM.

      The best thing Mason has going for him is that right now, he’s not being counted on to carry the team as Murray was, especially after the opener when the first of the injuries hit. And that may be enough.

      • Appreciate that.

        But I don’t see where your opinion is coming from.

        It’s nothing tangible. Just experience, observation, and overall instinct. That’s unusual, because most everything I say has something solid behind it, usually film. I haven’t re-watched the Bowl Game at all. But I will, and then see if it has any affect on me.
        ~~~

        • This is what I wrote about his performance against Nebraska:

          It wasn’t Hutson Mason’s finest hour. There was a long stretch when it seemed like the only person in the entire stadium he trusted was Todd Gurley. His best attribute is supposed to be his ability to lead his receivers with his throws, but that came and went all afternoon. He got rattled in the pocket often, particularly in the red zone, which led him to miss seeing a wide open Michael Bennett a couple of times. At least two of the sacks could be attributed to him holding the ball too long. It’s clear he lacks Murray’s arm strength (remember that one completion on the sideline that came off a pass that seemed to hang in the air forever?) and that, along with Georgia lacking a deep threat at receiver, meant that Nebraska could clamp down on Georgia’s receivers and shovel defenders towards the line of scrimmage without much concern. (I noticed several times that Nebraska deployed ten defenders within eight yards of the line of scrimmage.) The interception was just a bad throw, which is going to happen sometimes. What’s going to need real attention in the 2014 preseason is what felt like a lack of chemistry between Mason and his wideouts and between Mason and Bobo.

          I think Bobo will do what he can to work with what he’s got, so I’m not particularly concerned there. But as I said in this post, Mason’s got a lot of work to do building a rapport with his receiving corps this summer. And not just so he’s got a better feel for where to place the ball; his comfort level with the offense needs to be higher than it was in January, even if nobody’s expects him to be the man in the same way Murray was.

          • Thanks. I’ll re-read your post as well. Certainly agree about the chemistry, and I didn’t know you’d mentioned it back then, after the game. Good catch on that one.
            ~~~

    • PTC DAWG

      You like to hear yourself talk, don’t you?

      • DawgPhan

        You know he coined that phrase.

      • Not at all. I just like talking Georgia football.
        ~~~

        • Macallanlover

          And you do it well, carry on. You express yourself well, are always civil and balanced, and provide a basis in fact for your conclusions. Nothing wrong with venturing an opinion based on what you see/know; we all have to go out on a limb occasionally…..especially in the off-season when so little is known about the team that has yet to play together. Nothing wrong with other fans feeling differently, it is often more about how they express their differences that is so annoying.