In need of assistants

ESPN’s Bruce Feldman posts his list of the top ten intriguing new assistant coaches… without mentioning any current member of the Tennessee coaching staff.  Considering that he got up close and personal with Orgeron in the writing of his terrific Meat Market, that’s an interesting omission.

Meanwhile, much closer to home, he may not have been particularly intriguing before, but Coach Jancek is now, by virtue of being named defensive co-coordinator.  Whether that’s a reaction to the USF offer or something else isn’t known, but it’s probably safe to assume that there’s a raise in there somewhere.

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UPDATE: Richt says Martinez is the “tip of the spear”, whatever that means.  Sounds vaguely FSU-ish to me.

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26 Comments

Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

26 responses to “In need of assistants

  1. HVL Dawg

    “Notre Dame has had its three worst rushing seasons in school history under Weis”

    ..ouch. There’s a lot of history there to be the worst.

  2. Ally

    Groo says it best on his blog:

    The obvious question is, “what does Rodney Garner think?”.

    Indeed. If not for Rennie Curran, I think we would’ve heard just as many cries for Jancek’s head this season as we heard for Martinez.

    I’d love to have a job where I can be so richly rewarded for mediocrity & failure as Jancek and Martinez. What the french Richt?

    • Ally, apologies to Groo, but I seriously doubt Garner cares. He’s making a lot more money than Jancek, and he’s got more titles than Jancek does, too. I suspect that this will turn out to be nothing more than treating Jancek in a similar way to Garner and Searels, since Jancek had a similar off-season offer. The title is cover to pay a higher salary.

      David, you make a fair point about last season’s injuries, but I don’t think that excuses the drop off in fundamentals we’ve seen at the position since BVG left Athens. Nor does it explain the difficulty Jancek had settling on his three best linebackers in 2007. Was it really so hard to figure out that Rennie Curran deserved to be on the field instead of Brandon Miller?

  3. David

    * Ellerbe got hurt on the first series against Alabama and was a shadow of himself the rest of the year.
    * Marcus Washington: injured, missed the entire year
    * Darius Dewberry: missed six games because of suspensions, injuries.
    * Charles White: injured, missed the entire year

    You’d think you superfans would cut the guy some slack, but I guess not. I’d argue the wheels really started falling off when Dannell got hurt against Bama. The defense had looked pretty good up to that point when the starters were playing. But feel free to rip mindlessly, football geniuses.

  4. Thomas Brown

    Waahhh, it’s football and UGA had injuries. We have 13 Scholarship Linebackers, and our Linebacker play last year was not a problem at all. In fact, the only injury where the players at that position did not step up was at SS where back-up SS Redshirt Sophomore Quintin Banks Number 31 of Warner Robins 6 feet 2 and 210 lbs. was unable to play and the player who did play, Starter CJ Byrd Senior, had a horrid football season.

    You can sit there and whine about injuries all you want. There is no excuse for what transpired David on our season last season. We played 4 teams who were ranked in the Final AP Poll Top 25.

    Michigan State beat no Top 25 team in the Final AP Poll and had no business being ranked in the AP Poll Top 25.

    The other 3, Alabama had a 31 point lead at halftime. Georgia Tech scored 29 unanswered points and Florida was ahead 49-3 when we pulled Matthew Stafford in favor of Joe Cox.

    If you cannot look at the assistant coaches on Coach Richt’s staff and say that other than Stacy Searels are all big huge disappointments in their coaching, then you sir know nothing of coaching 18 to 22 year olds, 103 of whom have been Suspended/Arrested since this Coaching Staff of Coach Richt got put together 8 years ago. 8 years of solid frustration because of an inept coaching staff of Coach Richt. They have no discipline, they have no fire and next year being year 20 two decades now next season, we have beat Florida but 3 times total in our Division of our Conference. We are not in the Elite College Football Programs because of our Division Foe of our Conference we cannot get past and we remain with bad press.

    So, you come running in here telling us that injuries and suspensions prevented us from being what ?

    Not down 31 to nothing at Half Time against Alabama ?

    Not down 49-3 against Division Foe Florida ?

    Not giving up 29 unanswered points to a coach who had never beat any Top 25 Final AP Poll College Football Team ever in his entire coaching history ?

    Get a grip.

    We have issues.

    The rest of the folks who support my alma mater are trying to get it out in the open that we are not at all satisfied.

    We want more.

    Cease with your flimsy excuses.

  5. Joe

    So let me get this straight. We are dating a pudgy girl with acne.

    Some other fat kid, just moved in from Florida asks our girl on a date.

    So, therefore, we ask her to move in together, take it to “the next level.”

    Man, oh man, I am really, really starting to worry about Coach Richt’s decision making.

    I hope that he has watched Fat and Tubs get fired because of their loyalty to mediocre assistants.

  6. ceph

    Do you notice that when assistant coaches leave the top programs they leave to become head coaches, hmmmm wonder why that isn’t the case at UGA? (excuse me I forgot Callaway, I imagine they would like to trade him back to us ) Of course he would still be at UGA if he hadn’t left on his own volition, yegads then there wouldn’t be Searles! Promoting Jancek is in name only , nothing will change!!!!!!

  7. Ally

    looks like you’re in the monority senator. If you think this doesn’t matter to Garner, you’re off your rocker. You seem to forget that Garner didn’t stay here because of his salary – so that argument is bogus. And this isn’t about semantics. Jancek was just given a title he didn’t righly earn over Garner (as you yourself just pointed out-thanks btw) and most definitely doesn’t deserve.

    If titles didn’t mean something than they would all be the Head Coach.

    • If titles didn’t mean something than they would all be the Head Coach.

      Ironically, one of Garner’s titles is assistant head coach.

      Also, it’s probably just the cynic in me saying this, but in general I find that when folks say it’s not about the money, it’s about the money (at least in part).

  8. Ally

    ASSISTANT is the opperative word. And he’s also called a Coordinator of Recruiting. Neither of which puts him on the level of Jancek’s new Title alongside DC Willie Martinez…..where Garner has openly (numerous times) professed he wants to be.

    • Ally, Richt’s already made it clear that Jancek’s and Martinez’s areas of responsibility aren’t changing a bit. So, in the end, it really does come down to semantics. And I have a hard time believing that Garner’s got his panties in a wad over a mere title.

      But if he does, I suppose there’s no rule against having three defensive co-coordinators, is there? ;)

  9. peacedog

    Blutarsky is right and until actual evidence presents itself, we need to nip the “GARNER WILL BE PISSED ZOMG” meme in the bud.

    IMO – and I have no information that isn’t available to anyone else here, this is a guess and I freely admit it – the title for Jancek is more about getting him a bigger raise. It also shows we’ll use that title to get guys money if need me, which might matter in the future but isn’t something I consider a major selling point of doing it.

    If Garner really wanted to be a DC, and Richt really wanted to keep him around, Garner would already be Co-DC, either newly named or within the last year.

  10. Dog in Fla

    Other than keeping intact his good won-loss record of not having coaches hired away from him, is there a performance based reason why Richt would want to keep any defensive coaches other than RG?

    In addition to pay raises or titles being bestowed like bankers, or both, a primary reason why our assistant, associate, and co-coaches stay is that they won’t be fired when their unit underperforms. This cannot be a good morale booster for those coaches whose units do perform well.

  11. David

    Who gives a crap whether Garner is upset at an unimportant title change simply to reward Jancek for staying, anyway? He can cry himself to sleep on the extra $127,000/year he makes more than Jancek. Too many people operate under the false impression that Garner’s irreplaceable. He’s a recruiting coordinator in one of the most fertile states in the country and an average position coach. I assure you, they wouldn’t have shuttered the program if he’d taken any of the half-dozen jobs he’s interviewed for in the last several years, before strong-arming Richt into giving him yet another raise.

    And on the injuries thing, if you think Dannell, Marcus Washington and Darius Dewberry all missing at least half the season didn’t make a significant difference for the linebackers and the overall quality of the defense, you really don’t know squat.

    Also, Rennie wasn’t competing with Brandon Miller for playing time (Dent and Dewberry were). They play entirely different positions, and I’d be willing to bet Rennie didn’t even practice at SLB that year, first of all because he was a freshman who was already working at WLB and MLB and second of all because he’s 5-foot-8.

    Don’t want to come off as a big-time Jancek defender here, but it’s absolutely illogical to judge him based on 2008 when injuries essentially robbed him of three veteran guys who would have been factors. Hell, Washington, Ellerbe and Dewberry would make a formidable starting lineup if they’re all healthy.

    The truth of the matter is the only year that Jancek hasn’t dealt with major LB injury issues since he’s been here was 2007. I don’t recall there being too many complaints that year. Continue to fire away, though, Internet geniuses.

    • Also, Rennie wasn’t competing with Brandon Miller for playing time (Dent and Dewberry were).

      I never said they were. But the fact of the matter is that Jancek spent the summer and first part of the fall trying to find a place to fit Miller, while Curran wasn’t in the mix to start anywhere.

  12. Will Q

    I would think that in the realm of meaningless titles, Assistant Head Coach would trump Co-Defensive Coordinator.

  13. NebraskaDawg

    I’ve recently been named assisstant co-blogger. This new position came with no pay increase.

  14. I don’t necessarily think that Garner’s ticked; I fact I would doubt that he is. As puzzled as I am by the move, I also don’t think Richt would do something so clumsy and careless as to adjust his staff without considering the dynamics of the people involved or even consulting some of them.

    I’m more interested in what this tells us about Garner’s ambition and priorities. His plate’s already pretty full with his dual responsibilities. I can’t think of too many coordinators who are also in charge of recruiting.

    After the Tennessee offer, he decided (at least according to his public statements) that his heart was on defense. If his ambition were a coordinator position, he could have had that in 2005 when LSU offered it to him (which was also the last time he was passed over for the UGA DC job). And if Richt is going to hand out the co-coordinator title after an interview with USF, surely Garner could have wrangled that for himself after his own interviews this year if it really mattered to him.

    I think if he leaves, it’s going to be for a head coaching opportunity.

    • I also don’t think Richt would do something so clumsy and careless as to adjust his staff without considering the dynamics of the people involved or even consulting some of them.

      I agree completely with that.

      As for your last comment, I think that’s the primary reason Rodney didn’t wind up in Knoxville this year. It wasn’t a position change that would help him in his quest to be a HC.

  15. David

    “I never said they were. But the fact of the matter is that Jancek spent the summer and first part of the fall trying to find a place to fit Miller, while Curran wasn’t in the mix to start anywhere.”

    Yeah, that’s insane trying to find a place to play a fourth-year senior (who by the way is now on an NFL roster, so he’s obviously not talentless) instead of an incoming true freshman in Game 1. The coaching staff openly admitted (and Rennie probably would, too) that he wasn’t ready to play much at the beginning of the year. Your points are typically on point, but you’re way off with this one.

    • Yeah, that’s insane trying to find a place to play a fourth-year senior (who by the way is now on an NFL roster, so he’s obviously not talentless)…

      The fact that Miller’s on an NFL roster as a defensive lineman today doesn’t mean that he was a suitable SAM linebacker at Georgia in 2007.

      As for Curran not being ready to play, he wound up the ’07 season fourth on the team in tackles, fourth in tackles for loss, fifth in sacks and third in interceptions, despite only starting five games and playing in eleven. I guess you’re saying that Jancek did a helluva job coaching him up before his start against Florida.

  16. Bryan Carver Dawg 97

    David,

    I’m not going to get into too much of an argument because you are obviously smarter than the rest of us. What I find ironic is that you essentially call everyone else a moron, I mean, “internet genius” when they profess their opinion based on what they see going on with the program, but somehow your own insights allows you to be elevated above such a title. Of course it is fine to disagree with people’s assertions, but take the attitude back to the AJC message boards.

    As for Rennie vs Miller, you are arguing against Thomas Brown – a player who was actually on the team at the time of said situation. I’m not saying either one of you are right or wrong, but again, to dismiss everyone else’s opinion, in particular someone who actually has first hand knowledge, seems awfully short-sighted. Unless you aren’t sharing your official team title with the rest of us.

  17. Dog in Fla

    David -

    Do not think that any of the internet co-geniuses here have ever said that injuries to key players did not play a significant role last season. Richt said they did, and he isn’t even a self-proclaimed internet genius like the rest of us. Most know that Andre Smith missing the Sugar Bowl for Alabama shows what missing a key player can do. Ellerbee looked to me like a player who was injured, and who should not have been playing, trying to play for the remainder of the season after he supposedly came back from his injury. So none of us discount the injuries.

    Recall that RG was beating our tails in recruiting metro Atlanta when he was at Tennessee, which was why Donnan hired him in the first place. Do think that when RG leaves, especially if for another school in the Deep South, he will make Richt and Lilly work a little harder to get recruits ito Georgia. Do think that Richt did great job in keeping RG and Searels. Richt obviously thought Jancik was worth keeping and he knows more than those of us who wondered where the defense went.

    Do think that some of the internet co-geniuses here have wondered, in the back of their minds, is it just a rough stretch of almost unheard of very bad injuries that make us lead the league in personal fouls, have little or no useful special teams play, sometimes forget to tackle, ought to be more than one or two deep for a team that recruits as well as we do with a roster of the size available to college teams and then get absolutely blown out in portions of games more so than ever seen before during the Richt era.

    When you think you see a Bobby Bowden pattern of loyalty to all coaches that appears not to have worked well for FSU, you wonder whether Richt may be approaching the same pattern as his mentor. Bowden is still trying to recover from replacing Richt with Bowden’s son, not to mention the lost years while the son was still there. We’re still trying to recover from replacing Van Gorder with Richt’s friend. Or maybe you just wonder that when you live in a Georgia fan’s version of football hell, Florida.

  18. Dog in Fla

    Re: Update – Tip of the Spear is very FSU.

    If Willie is the Tip of the Spear, that must mean that Jancek is the Head of an Arrow.

    I can almost smell the manure of Renegade from the rear of the horse Chief Osceola rode in on re the coaching titles being doled out. Maybe it’s because I’m closer to Tallahassee.

    Next season, instead of a Blackout Day, which for the sake of the physical well-being of our players won’t be coming back anytime soon, maybe we’ll be asked to wear Braves’ hats and do the Tomahawk Chop while the Redcoat Band plays the Warchant.

  19. 69Dawg

    You guys are great, lets fire CMR and the rest of them and bring in a NFL coach that hasn’t had a winning season. I’m 62 years old and have watched more UGA football than any of you. CMR is a great coach and he is better than any coach in the history of UGA including Dooley. The UGA fans are the biggest group of whiners in the SEC. We are not UF we don’t have the talent pool of UF. I live in Florida and there are more great football players per square mile down here than any where east of the Mississippi. UF gets the 25 best every year, because FSU and the U have stunk up the joint for a while. If they get better then UF won’t be getting the cream and we will get competitive with them again. The coaches coach but the players win the games and the team with the best players wins. Give all the whining a rest it really is getting old.