July 27, 2010

What does Shockley think about Murray?

From one quarterback to another, D.J. Shockley has some simple advice for Aaron Murray - trust your teammates.

Shockley made those comments during Georgia's recent Countdown to Kickoff festivities at the Bulldog practice facilities.

"I think he has to use that to his advantage. He's got all those guys back, guys who have been in the SEC, guys who have been through the battles before," Shockley said. "If he will just go out and do that, then I think he'll be fine. He just needs to go out and take it one play at a time, one game at a time. He just has to understand he doesn't have to do it all by himself."

When Georgia begins preseason drills on Monday, the redshirt freshman will have the benefit of lining up with an offense that returns 10 starters, with the Tampa, Fla. native being the only player to have not been through the rigors of a brutal SEC schedule.

But with a veteran offensive line and two running backs the caliber of Washaun Ealey and Caleb King, Shockley said there's no reason Murray can't succeed.

"He's got some good running backs, so if it were me I'd use them to help take pressure off you," he said. "My senior year we had (Danny) Ware, (Kregg) Lumpkin and Thomas Brown. We had some good running backs then and he's got some good running backs now. When you've got guys like that it will help you get into your rhythm and that's when you can open up the passing game."

Shockley also had some advice for verbal commitment Christian LeMay, who could have three seasons of waiting his turn behind Murray as the starting quarterback.

That's a spot Shockley - who backed up David Greene for three seasons - knows all too well.

"He'll just have to come in and do everything he's told first off. Once you get in camp, get into school and make sure he's doing everything else before he starts worrying about football," Shockley said. "He's definitely going to have a lot of hype coming in, but hype is simply that, just hype. He's got to come in and perform first in practice and show coaches that he's able to perform on this level."

Although he's not currently in the NFL after recently being released by the Atlanta Falcons, Shockley's not about to hang up his shoulder pads.

Shockley recently took part in minicamp for the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL, which he hopes to use to get back to the NFL.

Meanwhile, Shockley said he keeps close tabs on the Bulldog program. Like many fans, he's predicting a successful year.

He also predictably blew off the notion that's been offered by some that head coach Mark Richt is on some kind of hot seat going into the upcoming campaign.

"No, not at all," he said. "That (talk) comes with the territory. When things don't go as well, people are always going to wonder what's going on. But Coach Richt knows what he's doing. He's been doing the same things ever since I was here. He's going to be successful."

Shockley also offered his take on Georgia's strength and conditioning staff.

Although some outside the program have questioned its effectiveness, the former Bulldog quarterback insisted that he would not have enjoyed the career he has had to date if not for the training he received while in Athens.

"I think I was over-prepared for the NFL. They (Georgia's S&C staff) put you through a lot of drills and when I got to the NFL we didn't do half of the stuff that we did at Georgia. They definitely work you a lot harder in college because the NFL is all about maintaining and making sure guys are healthy. In college they pushed us to the limit to make sure we're ready to go."


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