Former Georgia great Terrence Edwards explains what it’s like to play with rotating quarterbacks
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#DGD: Catching up with former UGA great Terrence Edwards
We’re kicking off our weekly #DGD or “Damn Good Dawg” series, catching up with a former UGA football player. In recent years, Georgia has had a number of prolific receivers whether it be AJ Green, Chris Conley or Malcolm Mitchell. But statistically speaking, Terrence Edwards is the best to ever play for Georgia.
Edwards, whose four-year career at Georgia spanned from 1999-2002, is the Bulldog’s all-time leader in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns. He was also a key member of Georgia’s 2002 team, which won the SEC Championship and helped returned the team to prominence just a short while after a new coach, Mark Richt, had taken over the program.
The 2002 season also saw Georgia rotate between David Greene and D.J. Shockley at times. It’s because of those experiences that Edwards has some good insight into the current Georgia football team. Here’s the interview with #DGD Terrence Edwards:
DawgNation: During your senior season, you dealt with something where you have an established starting quarterback in David Greene but you also have another talented player at the position in DJ Shockley and that’s similar to this year’s team with Jake Fromm and Justin Fields. As a wide receiver is there any sort of adjustments you have to make because quarterback is the one position where you normally don’t see guys rotating in and out?
Terrence Edwards: In 2002, DJ had already been in the program, so we already had a good idea of how talented he was. But it was totally different having two different types of quarterbacks. And for us there was the added element of having to deal with a lefty and righty and having to deal with the ball spinning a different way … With Fromm and Fields, I can see that Fields has a stronger arm than Jake so the velocity off the ball comes different. You have to get your head around a little sooner and be ready. But with Fromm, sort of like David Greene, he throws a very catchable ball that comes with a little bit more touch.
DN: You still own a number of UGA receiving records even though you played in a different era that wasn’t as pass friendly. Are you surprised that your records have been able to hold, even with Georgia having the likes of AJ Green, Malcom Mitchell and Chris Conley come through in recent years?
TE: You know I am surprised, even if I don’t own all of them. The one that really surprises me is that I’m still the only Georgia receiver with over 1,000 yards. AJ [Green] would’ve eclipsed the mark if he didn’t get suspended for those four games, but I’m still really shocked that no one else has done given how much they throw the ball over the years. I know Georgia is really balanced over the years, but with Matthew Stafford and Aaron Murray I’m shocked no one else has been able to do it.
DN: Now that your playing days are done, what have you been up to?
TE: I am the head JV coach at Pace Academy and the wide receivers coach for the varsity team. I also have my own wide receiver academy, where I train kids starting from middle school all the way up to professional athletes.
DN: You’re working with a lot of young wide receivers and you yourself played the position at a high level. Over the years, how has the position sort of changed?
TE: It has changed a lot. Now they throw more bubble screens and screens to receivers. So now which is something I didn’t really have to deal with. So now I have sort of have to teach them the whole route tree because now with the RPO’s (Run-Pass Options), another thing we didn’t run, teaches those guys to just run to a spot. So I’m just trying to teach all these wide receivers the route tree along with being able to read a defense, because again that’s not something you do a lot with RPO’s.
DN: Sort of looking at your post UGA career, you spent a decade playing in the CFL, and that’s something a lot of people give much thought to. What was it like to go and grind a very successful professional football career, even if it’s not in a traditional way?
TE: It’s a little different. It’s not something an American kid thinks about growing up with having dreams and aspirations of being a professional athlete. I really didn’t know anything about the CFL before I went up there. It was a culture shock. But I did get a chance to live out my dream and play for my home-state Atlanta Falcons. But that wasn’t in my plans and God had a different plan for me and it happened to be up north … But like you said, 10 years up there and a had a great career. And last year, last season I got inducted into the [Winnipeg] Blue Bombers Hall of Fame. I have no regrets about my career and more people should look at that route because it’s a great game and if it doesn’t work out in the NFL, you can still get paid to play the game you love.
DN: Even though you’re more than 15 years removed from your UGA days, is there still a moment or play you find yourself just thinking back on?
TE: There’s two for me that really stand out. The first is winning the SEC Championship [in 2002] for the first time in 20 years, and then right after that getting to represent our school in the Sugar Bowl. I think those two experience really helped put our program back on the map as being one of those programs that can be one of the best programs, year in and year out … That season was very special to our senior class and winning that SEC championship is something that we will always be remembered for.
DN: You’re someone who has a very good, critical eye in terms of evaluating wide receivers. What have you sort of seen out of the UGA wide receivers this season, as guys like Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley and Jeremiah Holloman have had breakout seasons?
TE: I’ve gotten the chance to watch those guys those guys on an intimate basis and be in meetings with some of those guys. And they’re really just showing their talent right now. Mecole is something special with his ability to make plays and his speed. Riley is someone who just continues to grow as a wide receiver and just continue to show that the national championship game wasn’t a fluke. Tyler Simmons has come on, Jeremiah Holloman as well … That group has shown that it’s very deep and all those guys can make players when their number is called.
Is Kirby Smart the sixth best coach in the country?
Are there five coaches in the country you would rate ahead of Kirby Smart? Because based on coaching salary, that is where Smart ranks. According to new data released by USA Today and their Coaching Salaries database, Smart is the sixth highest paid coach in the country, as he will make $6.6 million in 2018.
The five coaches that rank ahead of him are Nick Saban ($8.3 million), Urban Meyer ($7.6 million), Jim Harbaugh ($7.5 million), Jimbo Fisher ($7.5 million) and Gus Malzahn ($6.7 million) He is one of eight coaches to make more than $6.0 million as Smart ranks just ahead of Clemson’s Dabo Swinney ($6.5 million) and Florida’s Dan Mullen ($6.0 million).
The No. 6 ranking is a big move up for Smart, as he made $3.75 million during the 2017 season which saw him lead Georgia to the school’s first SEC Championship since 2005 and had Georgia playing against Alabama in the national title game. His 2017 salary had him as the sixth highest paid coach in the SEC. But even with the big raise, Smart still only ranks fourth in the SEC.
Smart has gotten the Bulldogs off to a 5-0 start in his third season as Georgia’s head coach and has the Bulldogs ranked as the No. 2 team in the country. Smart also has things rolling for Georgia on the recruiting front, as he brought the No. 1 class in 2018 and is poised to bring in another highly rated class in 2019 as well.
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Good Dog of the Day
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— Jillian Christine (@JillEngel_) October 3, 2018
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