Starter Should be Named by the End of Spring

ATHENS – Mark Richt was correct to suggest that he and his staff might name a starting quarterback at the end of spring practice.

Doing that would give Georgia the best chance to win the SEC East… and therefore the conference.

Right now, the Dawgs are watching a three-man race, somewhat like 2006, where it remains a mystery who the starter will be this fall. I've seen this before… it's not something Georgia is good at (I'm not sure if anyone is good at this particular thing). Confusion (even if is caused by competition) is not a good thing, and should be avoided at all costs – particularly when talking about quarterbacks. Sometimes it is a necessary thing (like during spring ball), but letting it fester… not good.

The problem with confusion at the signal caller spot is two fold. First, not having a number one at the quarterback spot leaves a leadership vacuum – even if the quarterback who would be the starter is not a natural leader. After all, someone has to organize the pass skeleton in the summer… someone has to do the little things, the details, that the coaches are prohibited by Big Brother (NCAA) from doing. At least the team knows, the fans know and the students (who would pester the players wherever possible – side note: students… let the players breathe) would know. Second, and perhaps most important of all, Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger and Logan Gray would know for themselves what the deal is. Dealing with the unknown is a difficult thing to do.

Perhaps that's why Richt and company named Joe Cox as the starter going into 2009 without a competition. They understood what they were getting with Cox. They were likely thinking that his leadership would bolster Georgia during the off-season, and that he would limit mistakes in-season. When the Dawgs asked Cox to play within himself he was a more-than-adequate quarterback… he was always a good leader. But vocal leadership cannot overcome on-field mistakes, and that, unfortunately, was Cox's downfall.

I'm not sure if any of the three quarterbacks are the leaders most programs want, but they have never had to the chance to lead at Georgia, so that is an unknown. None of them have the experience needed to just grab the reins. They have not had the chance to walk the walk, and only Gray was made available to the media after the first spring practice to talk the talk.

It would be wrong to do anything other than give all three the chance to win the starting job, but at G-Day, or shortly after it Richt needs to make his move and go with his guy.

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