Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Remodeling: Martinez Out, Attitude Still Questionable

We have demolished the defensive staff in hopes of improving the overall value of our program. I can't say that I'm surprised by the move, or really even disappointed by it; Martinez had long used up any favor he had stored up with the fans. The real issue here - and my main concern - is what do we do now? See, it's like remodeling a house. Gutting the existing, albeit sub-par, structure is just the first step; what you replace it with is the true change. So, while it was a huge step to decide to fire Martinez and Co., we must act decisively in choosing their replacements. But, before we get into all that, let's look at what we're (hopefully) addressing:

Martinez: Seen as the root of the problem. He's a secondary guy and he calls defense like one: 'Keep everything ahead of you, don't get burned and cause turnovers.' Sometimes that works. Most often, however, it results in mediocrity in shades of '08 GA Tech or pure FAIL like TENN this year. Worse, we allowed over 24 points a game in '09 - the second worst ever - and forced just 10 turnovers this season, tied for worst in all the FBS. He also kept control over DB's and I think we know how that's been the last few seasons.

Fabris: Directional kicking. Christ almighty, dude! We have Blair Walsh and this mysterious transfer we brought in who supposedly puts it in the endzone every time and we stuck with directional kicking all season! Why? Do you know what it results in? Well, I guess all do now after seeing it for 12 straight games: POOR KO COVERAGE! Outside of certain special teams duties, Fabris was the DE's coach. In the past, we've produced some decent ends, but there's been some serious fall off in DL production the last few years. Maybe its part of Martinez's schemes more than Fabris' own decision making, but letting the dead weight go can open up staff room if we land a big fish coordinator who brings his own position guys.

Jancek: More suspect tackling in the vein of Martinez's DB's. While he did work some miracles with young players and injuries a few years ago, he's still a part of Martinez's defensive scheme and staff and as such, must have had to be removed to clear up some space.

What this tells us is that Richt is serious about a defensive overhaul and that we must be open to a big name guy with his own position staff. What it doesn't tell us is how serious the program is about the rest of the changes it needs to make, though. Poor caching has been a problem - DUH - but it's been on both sides of the ball. I'm not saying take the axe to the offense, I'm just saying that along with a defensive staff change must come an overall ATTITUDE adjustment. Penalties, intensity, focus, and determination all trickle down from the head coach. And while Martinez et al. might have been a clog in the pipes, it doesn't change the fact we weren't seeing enough fire at the top; this must change along with the staff.
So, who do we get? Well, it's the holiday season, so let's dream our little hearts out, shall we?

First: I'd love to see Will Muschamp back in Athens. God knows we have the money to break down his heir apparent deal...but we cannot compete with his situation in Austin. Still, a man can dream.

More realistically, but still great: How about another Georgia product: Kirby Smart. 'Bama's defense is good and rumor is he wants out of Saban's shadow...

Third: I've seen many-a-Dawgfan ballyhooing Dick Bumpas' name. TCU does have a tough defense and lord knows they play disciplined football. Good hire.

Fourth: OH DEAR GOD, I hope this isn't true. From
"Georgia: In terms of the defensive coordinator position, our sources tell us head coach Mark Richt will almost certainly ask for permission to talk with Kansas State defensive coordinator Vic Koenning, Duke defensive coordinator Mike MacIntrye, and Georgia State defensive coordinator John Thompson"
Two of those teams had WORSE defenses than we did this year! And the thrid team has NEVER EVEN PLAYED A GAME! However, the validity of this news is questionable at best. With our standing and money, there's no reason we cannot get a real name here. We cannot settle for Duke toss-offs and unproven guys from brand-new programs.

Also, I think it's time to invest in a proper Special Teams coach. No more of this split-duty special teams. It gets us nowhere.
UPDATE: Let's address this now: NO, we do not need to fire Bobo, too. You know what happens when you gut an entire staff? Nothing good. The defense was the problem and it's been addressed. Besides, Bobo's Richt's man. He will always work as a part of Richt's offensive scheme. You will not get rid of Bobo until you get rid of Richt. And, if you're calling to fire Richt before seeing how the defensive change pans out, you shouldn't be here reading this blog. You should be wandering around the wings, comments sections and message boards, ranting and raving to no one in particular and generally being ignored by the rest of us.


  1. I've seen Tuberville's name thrown into the mix as well.

  2. 100% agreed.

    Bobo Good.

    No way on Tubby, he cannot be a #2.

    I did hear rumors on though about a certain former bulldog DC possibly making the 50 mile trip back from Atlanta if there was a seven digit pricetag with his name on it. HMMMMM?

  3. Van Gorder would be awesome. If we paid him that much it would be worth it either way. If we got that D back, fantastic. If he failed, then he would have no excuses or hard feelings because he got PAID.

    With that said, I am wishful for Kirby but why make a lateral move to a program that isn't as good right now?

    I do feel like it will be a big name somehow, at least I hope. More than that though we need discipline, intensity, accountability, and a team that will once again, "Finish the Drill"!

  4. I'm agreed about Bobo. Play calling was good, execution was not.