This morning, as I was driving up I-575 to go to class, I turned on the radio to 96.1 FM to listen to a conversation between the radio hosts (The Giant Show) and former Bulldog great Fran Tarkenton.
The discussion focused on this year's Georgia team, and Tarkenton made an interesting comment, stating that "Joe Cox brings more to Georgia than Matthew Stafford."
Hmmmm? I think over the summer many people would have gone bonkers after hearing that. But after the past two ball games, Joe Cox has looked like everything Stafford was...and, dare I say, more.
Tarkenton thinks Joe Cox has all of the intangibles that Stafford lacked, and he thinks Cox is just as talented as Stafford when it all comes together. Tarkenton stressed that arm strength is well overrated.
He brought up JaMarcus Russell and compared him to Matt Ryan. He then said that Stafford was not a play maker and was a bad decision maker, and proceeded to claim that Cox is on the other end of that spectrum.
I know it is early in the year, but Fran might have a point. As a matter of fact, agreeing with Tarkenton's claims, I also thought Cox showed off quite the arm in last week's victory of Arkansas.
Essentially, Tarkenton thinks Cox brings an energy, leadership, and enthusiasm that Stafford lacked.
You begin to look at the outstanding confidence of Joe Cox and think, "This team might go somewhere this year."
Yeah, the two opening wins were ugly. But, Georgia has in more than one way shot themselves in the foot...scratch that, Bazooka'd themselves in the foot, and still won both contests.
A mistake free Georgia team, with the talent they have, could be even more dangerous than the team last year.
Georgia's resiliency in last year was hard to come by. They lost in every big game. Against Alabama it was 41-30. They lost to Florida 49-10. Georgia Tech even came into Sanford Stadium and threw up over 300 yards rushing and won 45-42.
And, within that, Georgia seemed to lack that "enthusiasm" and "energy" that this year's team has already shown; the same type of energy we saw in 2007. That energy comes from a spark. In 2007, it was Knowshon who provided that spark; this year it might be Joe Cox.
In contrast to those debacles from last year, Georgia has already had two fiery comeback wins. But, it was not like they were getting manhandled, they were simply hurting themselves and still had what it took to come back and handle business.
Georgia turned the ball over twice in the first quarter against South Carolina and was close to putting the game away before Joe Cox threw a costly interception that was returned for six. Last week, Georgia did the same thing, fumbling the football and giving the opponent a short field.
We have not seen a settled down Georgia defense yet. A settled down Georgia defense has potential to be a pretty good one. Their interior is fantastic, and the numbers have been skewed by all of those possessions the opponents have had gift wrapped for them.
Georgia also killed itself with penalties in the first two ballgames. But, they didn't lose either game 49-10 or fall behind 30-0. Instead, they won them both with a quick strike offense Georgia has not seen in years.
The explosiveness and talent on the offensive side of the ball has proved to be the strongest part of this team (shows how pointless preseason publications are).
A.J. Green has continued to play remarkable, and instead of falling back into the crowd with the loss of Mohamed Massaquoi, Green has made highlight play after highlight play.
Oh, and as for the compliment receiver, I want everyone who is reading this to go back and look at my preseason predictions. While every publication and writer claimed Green was going to get double covered and Georgia would have to look for help from freshman wide out's due to lack of depth, I was one of the few who enthusiastically praised Michael Moore.
Moore has two touchdown catches so far this year, and has proved to be a very reliable hands guy on third down.
He goes over the middle and makes plays. At 6'2", 200, dare I say NFL draft pick? I love when I'm onto something that is so seemingly blatant in my eyes, yet so difficult for others to digest. Michael Moore is everything Mohamed Massaquoi was. K' Thanks!
Green has hauled in 17 balls for 275 yards and 3 touchdowns already, which leads the SEC. Moore has 10 catches for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Also, the tight ends, which was not a strong area during the Tripp Chandler era (I had to say it), have completely opened up this offense. Aron White and frosh Orson Charles both had downfield touchdown grabs last weekend, and Charles in particular has been a major weapon.
Richard Samuel is fast, and by fast I mean faster than Knowshon Moreno. Don't let Samuels goofy bulk and size fool you...an 80-yard touchdown run where you blow by every defender untouched is as impressive as it comes.
Caleb King's season debut was a solid one as well. King showed off that "ooh" and "ah" running ability that had fans so excited two years back.
Also, Tavarres King showed off some gamebreaking speed last week.
Add Branden Smith and Rontavius Wooten into the mix (oh, and we still have Marlon Brown and Washaun Ealy in the arsenal) and Georgia looks as scary as ever on offense.
I wrote an article on Tim Tebow and his role in Florida's offense over the summer, and stressed how important it is for a team to not only have a central focus of playmakers, but playmakers all around.
I get the feeling this Georgia team imposes that all around threat that last year's two headed horse may have not.
Every defense last year knew two things. Knowshon is getting the ball, a lot, and Stafford is going deep. Simple right?
Try dealing with the best receiver in the country (aside from Dez Bryant), 4.3 speedsters like Tav King and Wooten, the chain mover in Michael Moore, and a slew of weapons at tailback. Oh, and this year, you also have to worry about Georgia's tight end...they play with 11 players on the field, not 10.
And the quarterback has proven that critics really, REALLY, tick him off.
Georgia may go anywhere from 8-4 to 10-2 this year (according to me) because they face a tough schedule.
But, I definitely do not see this team losing any games by huge amounts of points. I see this team competing and improving every week. We might just be able to get to the SEC title game, heck we are 2-0 in conference so far.
But, if we don't, a spanking win over Florida and Georgia Tech this year, with that "Ginger at quarterback, weak receivers, inconsistent tailbacks, and porous defense" would be almost as sweet as that 29 year old sugar Georgia fans continue to oogle over.
Cox has gone 50-80 for 738 yards and 8 touchdowns so far this year. Matthew who?