David Paschall has a piece up today in the Chattanooga Times Free Press about Matthew Stafford and how he’s progressing as a second year starting QB.
Something that’s starting to bubble up in the press is a comparison of Stafford and David Greene at similar points in their careers, some of which is likely the result of Richt’s statement a couple of weeks ago that Stafford is the most talented (which is not the same thing as saying the best) quarterback Richt has ever coached.
Obviously Stafford’s ’07 season is a far cry from what Greene accomplished in 2002. Richt is quick to tamp down any quick conclusions to be drawn from such a comparison by noting that Greene had a more experienced supporting cast surrounding him.
Guess who agrees with that? None other than David Greene himself.
“He’s definitely loaded with ability, but the toughest thing for him is that he has too many guys around him who still don’t have enough game experience,” Greene said. “When I was coming along as a freshman and sophomore, I had so many veterans around me that all I had to do was my job. I had Terrence Edwards at receiver, Musa Smith at running back, Randy McMichael at tight end and a bunch of veteran linemen.
“There never was quite as much on my plate as what he’s having to deal with.”
Greene remains a classy guy and as good a player as Georgia’s ever had at the position. How good? Ask Xavier Mitchell. This is what the Tennessee defensive end had to say in response to Paschall’s request for him to evaluate Stafford’s game on Saturday:
“It just takes a lot of knowledge and wisdom to be that good down the line, to get to where David Greene was,” Mitchell said. “When we played them this weekend, all they wanted to do was try to run the ball down our throat. When the ball was in his hands, he did an OK job of managing the game, but I think he’s middle of the pack right now as far as the SEC goes at quarterback.”
That actually sounds like a bigger knock on the Georgia offensive game plan than it does on Stafford, but I don’t think anyone would argue that Stafford doesn’t have some distance still to go, including Mark Richt.
“Matthew’s days of that are to come,” Richt said. “In these next couple of years, he’s going to be surrounded by a much more mature team.”