Aaron Murray lost “all of his friends on offense?”…Really?
I don’t wish to come off sounding too much like a “homer” here, but the above assessment seems a bit harsh given that Georgia returns two out of three of their top receivers in both Tavarres King and Malcolm Mitchell.
Although I am aware that Mitchell is slated to make a majority appearance on the defensive side of the ball this season, Richt has openly stated that Mitchell’s presence on offense will be felt. He may not be starting at wide, but he will certainly get his fair share of shots to do damage there once the secondary gets stronger heading into the second half of the season.
As for Orson Charles’ departure, yes that will hurt from a familiarity standpoint with Murray; the two were close friends and definitely had good chemistry. But, both Jay Rome and Arthur Lynch offer nice options at tight end and Lynch, in particular, could be a sleeper for his under-rated pass-catching abilities.
And lest we forget the dimension that Chris Conley, Michael Bennett, and a burgeoning Justin Scott-Wesley bring to the passing game.
As for the run game, everyone seems disturbed by the loss of No. 1, but as I’ve noted on more than one occasion, there was never a guarantee that Isaiah Crowell would have lived up to expectations had he stayed, given his inconsistent discipline. He is now playing at Alabama State, yes, but whose to say that his focus in Athens would have been where it needs to be in light of a pending court case that some feel could take a full season to come to trial.
Would keeping him, had Georgia found a way to do so, have been worth the distraction? Not in my opinion. That said, Georgia is in a much better position, talent-wise, in 2012 than they were in 2011.
Both Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are better second and third options than either Brandon Harton or Carlton Thomas—though both did respectable jobs in their limited roles last season—and if Ken Malcome can be as productive as the notes out of camp are saying he has been, then he should be a solid piece to the puzzle until either Marshall or Gurley are ready to fully take the reigns.
The only question mark, truly, is the offensive line, and there is reason to believe offensive line coach Will Friend already knows who he likes where and it’s just a matter of finding the best combination of guys come game time.
I’m not saying that Georgia won’t be without issues—special teams still has more question marks than I’d like—but I don’t believe there are nearly as many obstacles on offense as some continue to point out.
What say you?