ATHENS -- It's not always about how many passes a quarterback completes.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt, a former signal caller that has coached the likes of Charlie Ward, Chris Weinke, David Greene, Matthew Stafford and Aaron Murray, is well aware that the end result doesn't always justify the means of how someone got there. How accurate a quarterback will play a big role in this year's quarterback decision between Brice Ramsey, Faton Bauta and Greyson Lambert more so than simply completing passes.
Of course, a number of possibilities can occur when a quarterback lets a pass rip. It could go off target but still be completed. It could be intercepted. It could be a perfect throw that isn't caught. The receiver's timing or route-running could be off, resulting in a poor pass that appears to be only the quarterback's fault. Richt hasn't talked to offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer about how important accuracy ranks on his criteria for a starting quarterback, but it's something the two coaches will certainly mull over this preseason.
"I haven’t talked to Schotty specifically about this but we like to have an accuracy grade. Not a completion grade but an accuracy grade," Richt said. "Meaning, did he hit his target? If a guy dropped it, he dropped it. But it’s still an accurate pass. Sometimes a guy may have a bad ball and a DB bobbles it and a receiver catches it. Well that’s a completion that should have been a pick. You can keep track of picks, they may have dropped two of them. But he still threw a ball that should have been a pick. Either the decision wasn’t good or the accuracy wasn’t good in that case. So you can’t just go by completions, yardage, touchdowns. You have to go by is this guy processing the information the way we know to process it.”
In limited action a year ago, Ramsey completed 61.5 percent of his throws. Most came in mop-up duty, though Ramsey was thrown into the fire in the Belk Bowl against Louisville. But against the Cardinals, Ramsey went 4-of-9 for 51 yards and an interception in the second half. Ramsey also tossed a pick in a blowout win against Charleston Southern.
Bauta only attempted five passes in 2014, completing four in games against Troy and Charleston Southern. The guy with the most game experience is Lambert, who completed 59 percent of his passes for Virginia a year ago. Most concerning with Lambert is that he threw at least one interception in eight of the nine games he appeared in.
Last year's starter, Hutson Mason, was as accurate as a Georgia quarterback has been under Richt. Though Mason didn't possess the kind of arm strength past Georgia quarterbacks Stafford and Murray had, he stayed within his ability and completed a school-record 67.9 percent of his passes while only throwing four interceptions. With a strong running game, this year's quarterback doesn't need to do too much.
The lone thing Georgia, or any team for that matter, can't afford is to turn over the football.
Hitting the links
The Athens Banner-Herald's Mark Weiszer writes about athletic director Greg McGarity hitting the five-year mark on the job and how the program has evolved under his leadership.
Weiszer also writes about the relationship between McGarity, Mark Richt and school President Jere Morehead and what the relationship between the three is like now.
Westlake recruit Jaden Hunter has Georgia under Florida State and LSU in his updated list, writes the AJC's Jeff Sentell. Alabama has fallen to No. 5.
The Lady Sportswriter notes that tight end recruit Isaac Nauta, who de-committed from Florida State on Tuesday, appearing homesick down at IMG Academy could play a major role in Georgia's chances to get him.
The Red & Black's Connor Riley breaks down Nick Chubb's outlook for the 2015 season.
Song of the day
"The Creator" by Pete Rock