He writes about Matthew Stafford today, and, so typically, finds it hard to boost one person without taking another down a notch.
… Remember the bit about it being a funny position? The quarterback is expected to lift the rest of his team, but it’s possible to wonder if Stafford hasn’t been dragged down by Georgia’s ongoing struggles to build an offensive line. Would Greene, who left school as the biggest collegiate winner ever, have won so often behind a collection of freshmen?
Actually, the answer to that question is yes. Mark Bradley, meet the 2003 Georgia Bulldogs, who finished the year 11-3 and played in the SECCG. That was accomplished despite the fact that Greene’s team wound up tenth in the SEC in rushing offense (with a mediocre 3.4 ypc which ranked last in the conference) and finished last in the SEC in sacks yielded, an incredible 47 of them. For some perspective on that number, keep in mind that the next worst team in that category gave up eleven less sacks and almost 100 less yards in losses.
Greene’s 2003 team didn’t have a running back in the top ten in the conference in rushing; Stafford has Knowshon Moreno. Greene’s line was recruited and coached by Neil Callaway; Stafford has Stacey Searels coaching the big uglies. The cupboard’s not as bare as Bradley tries to make it seem.
There’s no denying Stafford’s obvious physical talents. And I like the way that Stafford has progressed and think he’s going to keep getting better at Georgia. But the way Greene was able to hold the offense – and the team – together in ’03 was remarkable. He deserves a lot more credit than Bradley is giving him here.