It is a hard thing to do – there is no question. Replacing a legend, which is what Matthew Stafford was no matter if he won a title or not, is a very difficult thing to do. That's the task Joe Cox was asked to complete, and he was unable to do so.
For most of the season Cox didn't have a run game to depend on. The times he did have one he was much better as a passer. However, too many times in 2009 Cox was the reason Georgia lost a game or the reason they didn't win it. Cox was limited physically with some throws, but many of his interceptions were just plain throwing mistakes.
It is unclear who will be the starter going into the 2010 season, but I think whoever the starter is will be an upgrade by the time the fall rolls around. The smart money is on Aaron Murray to win the spot as Logan Gray has not produced under center when given the chance. Zach Mettenberger has the top physical skills of the remaining quarterbacks at Georgia and should not be undervalued – he has tremendous potential. But the 2010 season will not be about potential it will be about production. As it stands right now, Murray likely gives the Dawgs their best chance to be productive in 2010.
If Murray is the starter – or any of the three are – there will be some learning curves, but it is hard to think any will be as mistake prone is big moments the way Cox was, which, in the end, mean the position will be an upgrade in 2010. How much of an upgrade will depend solely on how well the position holds onto the ball.