A few thoughts on the staff changes

Why do I have the feeling that when Georgia fans saw the headline, most presumed that something was going on with the defensive staff (and were probably disappointed when they learned the details)?

  • The big plus to me is that it puts Coach Ball back at the position at which he has the most experience.
  • Richt must feel that McClendon has some real potential as a recruiter.
  • On the other hand, rookie coach plus inexperienced running backs make me nervous in one respect:  “I’m very familiar with their assignments and knowing where they’re supposed to be in protections,” McClendon said. We’ll see.
  • I’m glad Coach Eason gets to go out on a relatively high note.
  • Maybe it’s churlish of me to ask, but does anyone think there are any financial considerations behind the move?  I mean, I think it’s fair to assume that McClendon will be making a good deal less than Trooper Taylor.  And it looks like Damon’s going to be putting up some extra bucks for Searels and Garner.  This is what makes me ask:

Eason will make one final recruiting trip today. He held the title of associate head coach, which could go to assistant head coach and defensive line coach Rodney Garner, who stayed after interviewing for a position at Tennessee.

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28 Comments

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28 responses to “A few thoughts on the staff changes

  1. Joe

    This is not a good move. Look at the most successful programs in the country right now. They are hiring mercenary coaching staffs who are looking to make a name for themselves and win.

    We are hiring alumni who are familiar with the “Georgia way,” which, unfortunately, means getting your ass handed to you by UF every year.

    We need to be bringing in the best of the best from outside the program, just like USC, UF, Bama and Texas are doing. The move of hiring McClendon reeks of working on the cheap and settling for an easy hire. We saw what happened to Ufk when they continually went in-program for their hires.

    We need upgrades, not G.A.’s and this hire makes me worry even more that CMR is giving the program a slow death.

  2. Ben

    “Looking to make a name for themselves and win” has got to be the one of the last things I want going on the locker room at UGA. That is what reeks of selfishness and self-promotion, and that has got to be more damning to a program in the long run that hiring a few alums who know the “Georgia way” and respecting the rest of the coaching staff.

    Maybe I’ve just grown accustomed to mediocrity over my years as a Georgia fan, and I see what Richt has done for the program as a positive thing overall. I would prefer to have a consistent coaching staff who runs a program with integrity that competes for conference titles on a regular basis (who can honestly say we haven’t during the CMR era?) than seeing our athletic department sell it’s soul for the likes of a Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, or (gasp) Trooper Taylor.

    Of course I would love for that “Georgia way” to come to our sidelines in the form of someone like Will Muschamp, but who are we to say that may not ultimately happen sometime down the road? If I’ve learned anything from this coaching staff with reference to the way they run the program, it’s been to trust them. It’s not like Bryan McClendon has been given the reigns to run the linebacking corps or something. He’s played in this system, he bleeds Red and Black, and I’ confident that if it doesn’t work out all parties involved will work to fix the situation.

  3. The problem with hiring guys “looking to make a name for themselves” is that they’re usually looking to make a big enough name that some other program is eventually going to notice it. Getting hired for a bigger position at a possibly bigger school is not a long-term goal for them, it’s medium-term or sooner. Not to impugn the character of guys like Trooper Taylor or Gus Malzahn, but you can’t tell me that coaching under 5-19 Gene is the culmination of their every hope and dream — they’re going to spend one year, maybe two, trying to lift Auburn out of its morass and then jump at the first HC job someone dangles in front of them.

    I like the fact that Richt isn’t throwing millions of dollars around to buy a couple years’ service from a mercenary. Continuity and calm on our coaching staff has served us well for the most part — to my mind, it’s been one of the big differences between our program and one like, say, Auburn’s — so while I’m a little nervous at an important job like this one being handed to a young’un, I’m willing to give Richt the benefit of the doubt here.

  4. MontgomeryAlDawg

    Well said Doug.

  5. Jim

    I think everyone is willing to give Richt a chance. He has earned it. At the end of next year, Richt will have been proven correct or not. Promoting within is okay as long as they are competent. CWM should not have been promoted to DC. Bobo should have been made to go to another school to prove he could be an offensive coordinator before letting him have the job at Georgia. As it has turned out these were not successful promotions. Richt is now the longest tenured coach in the league. There is a reason why coaches turn over and one of them is that they get complacent and stagnant. I hope this does not happen at Georgia but it sure seems we are headed that way. We will know next year.

  6. Joe

    Doug, the point is that, if the guys are good enough to get promotions at other places after UGA, then that is good. It means that other assistants will want to follow. If your assistants aren’t getting hired or looked at by other programs, it means they are doing a poor job. That’s why nobody has been beating down the doors to hire Coach Eason or Martinez. Bob Stoops has had to turn over assistants frequently. He simply continues to evolve on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.

    Getting assistants quality promotions is akin to having your players getting drafted. Bill Walsh is judged on his ability to find and groom the best assistants in the business.

    Unfortunately, it looks like CMR is taking the Fat Phil approach of surrounding yourself by “yes men” who fail to challenge the status quo and allow the program to fall behind. Their loyalty is to the head coach, not their own careers.

    I think it behooves a program to have a staff filled with some loyalty guys and some guys who are outright climbers. The climbers challenge the loyalty guys to be innovative and work harder. I am afraid that our staff is being allowed to be stagnant and satisfied.

    Comfort is a very dangerous thing in business.

  7. Ball was good as RBs coach (and he has coached them before he came to UGA); I’m fine with him moving to WRs and I Think he’s a good coach. Staff clearly considers McClendon a rising star. That may prove inaccurate in the long run, but it’s a fine move.

  8. Prov

    Jim: “Bobo should have been made to go to another school to prove he could be an offensive coordinator before letting him have the job at Georgia”

    Really? Look at where the Dawgs offense ranked in the SEC this year.

  9. SLH

    People forget that Urban has carried the same staff with him since Bowling Green, except for Strong of course. Continuity on the staff is paramount. The fine line is when it leads to apathy. CMR is too smart to let this happen.

    Hell, our alumni and supporters are too impatient to let him not notice it.

  10. Sorry but I think bobo is a good OC but we’l find out a bit more next year when we don’t have stafford and moreno.

    as far as the whole only hiring from within thing. searles was stolen from LSU. Richt has shown he is willing to go out and get people. what we haven’t seen yet however is richt cutting any staff yet. perhaps not necessary but I wonder what his criteria is for that. Callaway thankfully left for a HC job.

  11. “Bobo should have been made to go to another school to prove he could be an offensive coordinator before letting him have the job at Georgia.”

    Yeah, I was really displeased with the offense this year too. WTF, man.

  12. NM

    “I think it behooves a program to have a staff filled with some loyalty guys and some guys who are outright climbers.” — Of course, Garner, Searels, Martinez when he was hired, and probably Lilly all qualify as “climbers”, so I think we have that. We just keep our climbers…

  13. Julie

    Jim: According to your way of thinking, because Glen Mason was already a head coach before Dooley hired him, having him as a head coach at UGA would be better than having CMR. Beautiful.

  14. Jim

    Guys, We scored 14 against South Carolina.
    Zero in the first half against Alabama game and the second half did not count against as Bama quit playing defense. We scored 10 against Florida. We scored 17 against Auburn. Another good season like this with our defense and you can expect a lot more losses. Bobo is dawg but he has yet to prove he can beat a quality opponent. Running the score up on Georgia Southern and Central Michigan does not help us.

  15. Beave

    A long time ago, there was this man named Mark Richt who was a grad assistant and eventually became quarterbacks coach at FSU. Look at their before and after with him as an assistant there.

  16. sUGArdaddy

    Jim & others, if you don’t think Bobo is a fine OC, then you obviously have little knowledge about offensive football. We were the first team since 1966 to have players lead the league in receiving, passing, and rushing. We also were at the top of the league in offense. I’m assuming you didn’t see how many points we put up at the end of ’07? The 3 TDs in the 2nd half in Orlando were simply brilliant calls. Those were touchdown plays and touchdown calls. Almost every school in the SEC would love to have Bobo. I’m guessing since Tripp Chandler fumbled on the first drive in Columbia, that must have been Bobo’s bad play call. Our play-calling didn’t lose us 3 games this year.

    McClendon might be just what we need on the recruiting trail. We basically traded Eason for McClendon on recruiting trips. I’m just going to guess that’s a good switch for us. Personally, I believe in the Georgia Way, and I can’t wait to win a championship with a bunch of guys that believe the same thing. I’m pretty sure CMR knows what he’s doing, and I’m pretty sure he knows how crucial ’09 is, so I’m pretty sure that he made the best hire for the program. Just a guess. Eason will be awesome in football operations.

  17. Hill Dawg

    It never ceases to amazes me how so many people can have such strong opinions about subjects that they know nothing about. Two, maybe three indicate that they have a grasp of college coaching. None have watched the current UGA coaches on the practice field and none have been coached as a college football player. Yet you act like you know the coaching methods of every UGA coach and watch them on a daily basis. Please go get a life and maybe try to do your job as well as the UGA coaches do theirs. Are you among the top 5% of your profession? Go write about some other school. Please!

  18. Aligator

    Maybe in a couple of years, when Dan Mullen gets tired of losing at Mississippi State, he will come and work for Coach Richt. He will not turn MSU around.

  19. Jim

    No, I have been watching Ga football since 1975. I have seen the good and the bad. We disagree but next year one of us will be wrong. This offense all year long put the defense in bad situations. It was not just a bad defense and injuries. Next year will tell which one of us is full of shit.

  20. I can’t help it. I laughed my buff off when I read this comment:

    > We are hiring alumni who are familiar
    > with the “Georgia way,” which,
    > unfortunately, means getting your ass
    > handed to you by UF every year.

    Hahahahaha. Man, that is harsh and true.

    But… I don’t think this is because of Mark Richt’s coach hiring philosophy. Our coaches (well, other than CWM) are constantly getting interviewed by other schools. I think it is pretty clear that they are well respected and sought after.

    And seriously… can we cut it out with the doomsday crap about CMR? All this garbage about him being stagnant, out of touch, etc. He has won 82 games in 8 seasons. Whenever you read an article about top teams in winning percentage, ranking, etc. we are in the top 10.

    We have *** SIX *** 10 game winning seasons in the last 8 years.

    We have 2 SEC titles in the last 7 years, after going *20 YEARS* without an SEC title.

    No matter what you think about this season, the last few seasons, or the coaching hires, it is absolutely asinine to start making absurd negative judgements about CMR. For my money, he’d have to screw the pooch for another 3-5 years in a row before I’d seriously think he’d lost it.

    He clearly loves UGA, and has stated on numerous occasions he would like to coach here for his whole career. We have the potential to have what so few schools get to have: a 15-20 year coach who piles on conference titles, 10 win seasons, top 10 rankings, and most likely a few MNC sprinkled here and there when the chips fall right (or perhaps we can get a playoff system and won’t need that luck).

    Yes, our record against Florida sucks. But against UT, GaTech, Auburn, etc. we are owning.

    So cut the crap when it comes to slagging CMR.

    -Michael
    Muckbeast – Game Design and Online Worlds
    http://www.muckbeast.com

  21. DoveDawg

    First, I want to thank the Senator for always having timely and excellent posts on Get the Picture. Clearly the best Dawg site going.
    Next I look forward to next year. A healthy off and def line will help the Dawgs to another great season. I beleive the ’09 Dawgs will be a great team, despite the loss of our 3 superstars.
    Finally, I completely trust CMR. He is a great head coach who goes about his job the right way. He has shown that he is willing to make adjustments in order to improve. I’m sure that he sees that we need to step it up in some areas in order to keep our program strong and one that will challenge for the SEC title and beyond. Continuity on the staff speaks volumes about the situation at UGA. We have another difficult schedule next year, but if we can stay healthy, I like our chances as good as anyone’s. Yes, UF is very good, but we can compete, and next year have 2 weeks to get ready for them. GO DAWGS!

  22. john

    Dear Coach Jim,
    Thanks for being such a good coach. You really made our team better with your coaching. You being there, coaching, every day really paid off for our team.

    . . . wait, what? You’re NOT a coach? Just a guy with internet access??

  23. james

    Response to: “The offense put the defense in bad situations.”
    UGA’s offensive time of possession rank in the SEC: 2nd.
    UGA’s defense’s average yards given up per play rank: 11th.

    The offense did enough. Bobo is a DGD.

  24. sc

    Guys,
    I think we all need to calm down… and “This offense all year long put the defense in bad situations” Jim if you watched the games the offense did put the team in a bad situation a couple of times but I don’t think they did anymore than any other program does… The real problem with UGA is the special teams in particular the kickoff coverage/return and the punt coverage wasn’t great… Also I remember CMR being compared to Coach Beamer at VaTech with all the great kick blocks early in his years @ UGA. I remember a blocked kick against Arizona St but did we have any others?
    I still don’t understand why we don’t have a special teams coach? Or can’t UGA go to the soccer fields and find someone who can kick a football through the back of the endzone for crying out loud. Special teams play lost the GT game not the defense. Check the field position of every drive Tech had the ball… Please CMR get someone who can kick the ball 75 yds!!!

  25. Coastal dawg

    McLendon is clearly viewed as an up and comer. He is often mentioned by players as someone they respect. Keep in mind his dad coached RBs for a few years so he has some mentors.

    I question why not make him the receivers coach, but other than that, not a bad move.

  26. dean

    sc,
    I belive Renner(?) blocked one in the Alabama game or at least got a hand on one.

    I question why not make him the receivers coach, but other than that, not a bad move.

    I questioned that move myself then I saw where CTB asked to be moved. After I thought about it, it occurred to me that CTB is a genius. He coached one of the greatest running backs in UGA history and will now get to coach one of the greatest WR’s also.

  27. Hill Dawg

    Jim, when you started “watching” UGA football in 1975 I had already been recruting for UGA for two years and “watching” UGA for 18 years. I don’t have to wait until next season to know who is full of it. Do you feel like you need to burp, again?