All right, so I haven’t gathered enough emails to compose a full mailbag. Sadly, outside of the message board, I don’t receive enough questions about the team, entertainment, politics or outer space to round out a deep and glorious mailbag.
Don’t fret, because frankly, I’m kind of glad this is the case. Instead I went to message board for questions and statements. I hit the streets, called friends and made appearances on radio shows to fill out a full slate of topics to discuss.
Let’s get it poppin’…
Scrambledawg says: My guess is the coaches want to (redshirt) Hutson Mason, but I don't know if there's any way that's possible or even responsible.
Fletcher: Yeah, I think the coaching staff would prefer to shirt Mason. In truth, I think Mason would prefer to shirt Mason. In reality, it’s not fair to play Mason so early, because if he goes out and plays he’ll be in the same class as Murray.
Dean Legge, resident Dawg Post Kingpin, brought up a good idea recently: Mason should play this season, and take a redshirt next year. But then again, either way the young quarterback from Lassiter will be in the same class as Murray or Christian LeMay.
This is certainly a precarious position for all parties involved. The fact is, if Aaron Murray gets hurt, the season will dive-bomb. There just isn’t a sound back-up plan in place. Let’s not dwell.
As to what the plan is? Well, Richt and Mike Bobo pulled the okie-doke on us media fellas Wednesday. I don’t know why I’m surprised, since they trick us every time. Bobo faked left. He spoke to the media first, saying if the No. 2 quarterback needed to go in the game, Mason would appear. But he said it would depend on the game and circumstances. He added that we would have to ask Richt to know for sure.
Richt, who came up last, went right. He said Bobo was scheduled to meet with Mason to discuss whether he would play or not earlier in the day. Richt said we’d have to ask Bobo. Wait…damn.
As always, we’ll know when we know. But I tend to add this when asked about this: Just bank on Murray staying healthy. And knock twice.
Caben says: (How about) Bobo and wrinkles in the offense? I personally want to see them get creative in getting AJ the ball... I'd also like to see some more packages with B. Smith in the mix.
Fletcher: I think we’ll see Branden get some touches again this year. I watched a replay of the Georgia-Georgia Tech game last night. Remember when Smith came in during the second half, lined up as the running back, got a carry and fumbled? I still remember thinking before that play snapped, ‘Oh, man, he’s going to fumble.’
Everything was working smoothly with Caleb King and Washaun Ealey and then all-of-a-sudden, here comes Smith into the game. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust Smith with the football (Pro: long touchdowns versus South Carolina and Tennessee Tech. Con: Two fumbles on kickoffs). It’s just that I felt his insertion into the game in that moment felt forced. It felt like Georgia was outsmarting itself by putting Smith in just because it was a different, edgy thing to do. Just keep running King and Ealey, I said. Luckily Tech botched the recovery.
Anyway, I think we’ll see Smith quite a bit, and I think he’ll be in the game as part of an overall offensive plan. He’s too fast not to utilize. I don’t want to see him on the field in a position where the defense and everyone else in the stadium knows the ball is absolutely going to him.
I hold the same opinion for any trick plays involving Logan Gray, Ty Frix and Brandon Bogotay.
Cady says: You should start talking about shows on your website, kind of like that one guy on the Bulldogs Blog used to do.
Fletcher: Oh Cady, I like how you refer to the Dawg Post as “my” website. Unfortunately, I haven’t been as deep in the sitcom game as I could be. I am an avid Mad Men follower, although I haven’t gotten past the midway point of season three yet.
But I can make a comparison that just might entertain. After practice a couple of weeks ago, Mark Richt came into the media room and eyed a bag of pork skins, doused in hot sauce, laying on the table. And no, they weren’t mine. But Richt says, ‘Hey, you know, I’ve never had one of these things before.’ So he gives it a go, and proclaims, ‘Hmmmm, I guess there is something redeeming in these things. I’m not sure what though.’
That’s kind of where I am right now with Mad Men. There aren’t any characters on the show, at least at the point I currently am now, that has many redeeming qualities. I don’t think I would trade places with anyone on that show. At times, I love Don Draper. Sometimes I hate him. Other times I think he’s crazy. I hate Pete, always. Betty drives me nuts. Roger has made poor choices. Peggy is all over the place. The Draper’s children don’t do much for me either. So there really aren’t any characters I relate to or any I even completely pull for. But I still love the show.
Bill Shanks(yeah, from Fox Radio 1670) says: Fletcher, who do you think could have a breakout season for the Bulldogs? Justin Anderson could be that guy, and now that Brandon Wood is listed as a starter, he could be too. What do you think?
Well, I think those choices could pan out…wait, is that…no, it can’t be. Yes, there’s a distinct smell of philly cheese steaks entering the mail bag. Ladies and Gentlemen, all the way from the mean streets of Philadelphia, welcome to the stage a man you intimately know and love, DAVID HALE.
Hale: Thank you, thank you. Hold the applause until after the show. Tell you what... I've been studying a lot for fantasy football so let's break it down "sleepers" style...
Obvious sleepers: Aaron Murray and Cornelius Washington. Both are guys we've talked about endlessly all offseason, so it's fairly cliched to call them potential breakouts this season. But at year's end, if you're looking at all of the first-year starters on both sides of the ball, I'd say these are the two most likely to have had the biggest impact overall.
Medium sleepers: Rantavious Wooten and Marcus Dowtin. Neither guy has an official starting gig lined up, but most fans are familiar with their obvious talents. I could see Wooten becoming an exciting No. 3, slot receiver type that made for an inviting target for Murray on a regular basis. Dowtin has superstar potential, but his head has always been in it. That's something Warren Belin's going to demand, so I think Dowtin either turns into an All-SEC caliber guy or he won't see much of the field. If I were a betting man, I'd wager on the former.
Deep sleepers: Artie Lynch and Shawn Williams. Neither guy is likely to see a ton of PT early in the year, and maybe they won't become factors at all. But there's a lot to like about both guys and there might be an opportunity under the right circumstances. Williams got a ton of reps on special teams last year, and I could see him turning into a big hitter on the coverage units and blossoming into a decent role player on defense, too. Lynch showed during the spring game that he's got receiver skills, and while Orson Charles and Aron White will likely get the bulk of the receiving yards and Bruce Figgins returns as a featured blocking tight end, I can envision a scenario in which Lynch manages to become a nice all-purpose guy who ends up getting his fair share of reps by November.
Fletcher: Fair enough. Say, while I’ll got you here David, if you had to rent a houseboat and stay on Lake Burton for a week with three current Georgia players, along with Derek Dooley and Nick Saban, who would it be and why?
Hale: Great question, and I'm glad you asked. 1.) Artie Lynch. When you're in a harbor somewhere drinking with a bunch of sailors, you need someone with a New England accent on your side. 2.) Kris Durham. I've seen enough Gilligan's Island episodes to know that you need at least one really smart guy around in case you are marooned. If anyone on the UGA team can turn 3 coconuts into a satellite dish so we can still tune in for some college football on Saturdays, it's Durham. And for No. 3, how about Brandon Boykin? He seems like the type of guy who could bring a certain T-Pain-esque, "I'm on a boat" attitude to the party.
Fletcher: I’ve missed these types of discussions. What are your thoughts about Murray? Will he handle the pressure of being a first-time starter?
Hale: Short answer: Yeah. Longer answer: Maybe not right away. Look, Murray has all the tools to be a great QB in the SEC. And he's got a good head on his shoulders, too. He says and does all the right things, so you have to believe he's eventually going to handle the position really well. But what about the short term? The pressure is going to be high, the spotlight is going to be bright and there isn't going to be any safety net for him. I think by the end of the year, he's going to be a QB everyone is excited about. But I also think there will be a handful of growing pains along the way.
Fletcher: Who do you have in the Caleb vs. Washaun rushing free-for-all debate?
Hale: Caleb -- and I would have said that even before the suspension for Ealey. I know that King hasn't really lived up to all the hype that surrounded his arrival, but he's also not a typical college football player. It's taken him a little longer to get used to his surroundings and become comfortable with his role. I think he's at that point this year and he really sees this as an opportunity to take that next step. Hopefully Ealey learns something from his week (or more) off and comes back with a great attitude and Georgia has two strong RBs. But I'd bet Caleb ends up with the better numbers at year's end regardless. (By the way, you should consider getting some Team Caleb/Team Washaun posters for your bedroom to replace those "Twilight" ones you currently have hanging up.)
Fletcher: In all fairness, I was in a transitional period in my life. Lastly David, I know life has been tough without “Lost” to keep you occupied…
Hale: First it was awful, then Shark Week came and went, now it's awful again.
There you have it folks…I’d like to remind you to tip your waitress. Don’t forget, the 10:30 show is different than the early gig. Stay classy, and check back every Thursday night for the Dawg Post evening mail bag…