Hard to figure out what to think today as there are about eleventy-million thoughts swirling in my head, but this one is hard to stomach and argue. Take a look at games 2,3, & 4 in 2009. These are AJ Green's stats from those games:
6 rec for 86 yards, 1 TD (including several acrobatic catches)
We win 41-37
7 rec for 137 yards, 2 TDs & a 2-point conversion
We win 52-41
8 rec for 153 yards, 1 TD & a late blocked FG to save a tie and set up our FG winning drive.
We win 20-17
Guys, we're 0-4 last year heading into the LSU game w/o him. With him, we're 3-1. There are many people to blame for where we're at, but AJ Green put our young QB and our struggling offense at a huge disadvantage to start the year. I'm thinking that we've simply forgotten how good he is. Yes, we won some games w/o him last year, but that doesn't mean we should have been forced to. The funny thing is that I was thinking this today. Really, no matter what happens as this season plays out, AJ is going to be a public enemny. He sold this season out. If we win out with him, then we'll see him as sabotaging what could have been a truly special season. If we lose a lot, he simply got the derailing of the train started, especially mentally and emotionally. But…BUT…I thohght today that AJ has one shot at redemption. Come back in 2011. Make an announcement that UGA has been too good to him and he doesn't want this to be his legacy. That he owes the Bulldog Nation, his team, and his coaches his best and he still has one season to give it to them. Every junior we have considering leaving would return, and the Bulldog Nation would love him in a way we haven't seen since #3 was taking snaps. It's really his only shot at redemption. Me thinks there is a part of him that might do it.
The bottom line is that when we have all our bullets, I think we'll be a pretty good team, but we're not elite. And pretty good teams have a hard time losing their best players. And there might only be one elite team (the Tide) in the nation right now. Just take the best players on some of the best teams.
Arkansas - Mallet
Ohio St. - Pryor
Boise St. - Moore (QB)
South Carolina - Lattimore
Auburn - Newton
LSU - Peterson
TCU - Dalton (QB)
How good would those teams be to start the season w/o those guys? Do you think Ohio St. beats Miami? Do you think Arkansas beats us? Do you think Auburn beats Clemson? Do you think LSU beats UNC? Do you think Boise drives the field to win the game vs. VaTech? The answer is unequivacolly, no. Bama seems to be in a different league. They lost the trophy winner and didn't miss a beat. Most teams can't go all summer thinking they'll have their star and then not. Remember the clip of Mark Richt in practice saying, "When in doubt, just throw it up to #8…it's almost not fair." So now, what have we done on offense when there has been doubt? I'm not sure we know.
Mark Richt has a lot to fix. We've got to tackle better. We've got to stop making bone headed calls. We've got to play w/ emotion for four quarters. But I want to see us w/ #8 on offense. Bama is uber talented and loaded and beat a decent Penn St. team w/o Ingram. From the looks of yesterday, they've have beat them by 40 if he'd have been playing. Ingram's better than Richardson. Period. Jimmies and joes make a difference. It wouldn't hurt to have #1, #4, #38, and #79 all join in the fun, too. And on that note, the biggest piece of work Mark Richt, IMHO, has to do is to get more and better jimmies and joes. Guys get suspended. Guys get hurt. Have talented guys behind them. Recruit, recruit, recruit. We need Isaiah Crowell in a bad way. In a way, not to make too much out the whims of an 18 year-old, but if that kid chooses Bama over us it might be the sign that we need another direction. We have to get him. We simply have to. We need a RB to go w/ Aaron Murray the next 3 years. The kid grew up a UGA fan. We HAVE to get him. If we can't, I shudder to think about what that means. We'd be playing against Bama and Crowell his sophomore and junior years. That wouldn't be good.