ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia football coach Mark Richt is looking for redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray to display accuracy and intelligence this season.
Richt also hopes Murray can provide a little more honesty.
As a freshman last season, Murray developed triceps tendinitis but delayed informing the coaches about his level of soreness. He wound up missing 21 practices, which ensured the redshirt season for the 6-foot-1, 209-pounder from Tampa.
"We've got to keep a close eye on him, and he's got to be able to communicate better than he did a year ago." Richt said Monday as the Bulldogs began preseason practice. "A year ago he didn't tell anybody his arm was sore or fatigued or whatever. He didn't tell because he wanted to learn and he wanted to compete and thought if he didn't throw on a given day, he might fall behind.
"If he's getting fatigued, he needs to get out, and we may build a day or two in which he doesn't throw."
Murray admitted Monday that he might have missed only two or three practices last season had he not been so stubborn.
"That definitely was not one of the smartest things," he said. "I definitely was not mature in that aspect."
How Murray feels is of utmost importance to the Bulldogs, who don't have the luxury of carrying both David Greene and D.J. Shockley at quarterback like they did several years ago. Georgia had three scholarship quarterbacks go through spring practice, but redshirt freshman Zach Mettenberger was dismissed from the program and junior Logan Gray has been switched to receiver.
Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo want Gray to keep up with the quarterback position mentally in camp, because Murray's backups are freshman Hutson Mason and freshman walk-ons Greg Bingham and Parker Welch.
"Our quarterback meeting room has got to be the youngest room maybe in the history of college football," Richt said. "It's scary in there. Coach Bobo is going to really earn his pay."
Said Murray: "I feel a little bad for Coach Bobo, but he has like five kids under the age of 5, so he's a little experienced in dealing with this. Hopefully he can keep his hair."
Murray practiced this spring with a glove, but he has been without it for most of the summer workouts and has decided not to use one this season.
Richt is not asking Murray to be a hero on every down, and for good reason. The Bulldogs return every other offensive starter from a unit that ended last season with a 30-24 win at Georgia Tech and a 44-20 win over Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl.
As Richt pointed out, Bobo is having to take longer explaining things to his quarterbacks, but offensive line coach Stacy Searels is zipping through his meetings much faster than he was two years ago.
"It's nice for me knowing I have 10 other guys who are unbelievable," Murray said. "Our offensive line isn't just one of the best in the SEC but in the nation. Those guys have worked together for two or three years now, and they know everything. We probably have the best receiver in the nation, some unbelievable tight ends and some great running backs, so it's not going to be on my shoulders.
"I have to be smart and respect the football and when the play is there, make the play."