Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Stafford / Moreno legacy

You are what your record says you are.
- Bill Parcells

Matthew Stafford on whether failing to win the SEC made leaving hard:
"It might have been a little bit of a consideration, but I don't think it's going to stick with me. I had an outstanding time here at Georgia, and I played in some big games. I played with some great players. That's what I'm going to take away from here."
Matt Stafford ends his career with 7,731 yards passing. That's No. 3 all-time for Georgia, after David Greene and Eric Zeier. It's more than 1,000 yards ahead of Quincy Carter and Mike Bobo.

Stafford tallied 51 passing touchdowns, also good for No. 3 all-time. He holds the single season record for most touchdowns, with 25. He won a Sugar Bowl, which only three other Georgia quarterbacks can say.

To put it another way, he's got more career passing yards than all but two other Georgia quarterbacks, and fewer SEC Championships than 10 of them.

Knowshon Moreno ended his career with 2,736 yards and 30 touchdowns. He averaged 5.5 yards a carry. He's 4th in career yardage, 3rd in touchdowns and 7th in average gain per carry. Herschel Walker is 8th, with 5.29.

Georgia was 21-5 in games he appeared in. We were 30-9 in games Stafford appeared in.

They remain very good players. I loved watching both of them play. They stayed out of trouble, and they brought positive attention to the University of Georgia. I think it's fair to say they're Damn Good Dawgs.

But they're not legends. And I wonder whether we'll see them around much in the future.

They seem to me like hired gunslingers, brought in from out of town. And they fought, and they led the team. But the team got shot up in the street by Tim Tebow and Nick Saban and Georgia Tech, of all people.

That doesn't seem to bother them much, and it doesn't have to. But let's just be clear: It's not even on the same planet as immortality.

Their leaving won't be addition by subtraction, but it changes the team dynamics in a way that could be positive. Please note I said "dymanics," not "total talent level."

When Spring practice opens, there's a question as to who's THE MAN on offense. There are no superstars, save A.J. Green, who's only a sophomore. Everyone will know they have to step it up from day one.

Superman's not there to save us anymore, and I'm betting guys get tired of hearing that real fast.

I'm not saying this makes the 2009 team better. I'm not saying that at all. But let's say they win zero SEC Championships next year. That's not exactly regression, is it?


"But I promise you one thing. A lot of good will come out of this. You have never seen any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of this season, and you'll never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of this season. And you'll never see a team play harder than we will the rest of this season. God bless."

That's what Tim Tebow says after his team loses by a blocked PAT.

Does anyone remember what any of our players said after Alabama kicked their ass up and down the field?

You're getting an o-line Matt Stafford never had, Joe Cox.

Make it happen.


Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you wrote, which is to say I'm not terribly sad to see them leave, especially Stafford. I think a part of it is homegrown guys, in general, seem to have a little more passion. You can't expect a guy from Texas or New Jersey to appreciate Clean Old Fashioned Hate or the Cocktail Party. I think Bradley also pretty much nailed it in his AJC blog. Check it out if you haven't already.

Anonymous said...

How many games did Stafford play in order to rack up the touchdowns, yardages, complete passes? I can remember many games when he should have been taken out, but was left in. So is it a fair comparision to the other quarterbacks if he played far more football than they did in order to rank #3 quarterback?

Nick said...

I think you are right on with this one.