Damon Evans’ business decision

I am not big on doing the “inside source” stuff at GTP.  For one thing, I don’t have much in the way of it.  And for another, what little I’ve got is well placed enough that were I to disclose much detail, it would be fairly apparent where it was coming from and I’m not interested in disclosing a source here.

That being said, I was told one thing that I’ll share in an oblique enough way that I don’t think it’ll get anyone in trouble.  As you can probably guess, Willie Martinez’ fate was a constant topic of conversation this past week.  And one sobering comment that I got from someone who certainly is in a position to know is that Mark Richt is described as being “fanatically loyal” to his coordinators.

Now that doesn’t mean that changes aren’t necessarily coming after the end of the season, or that Richt isn’t doing some soul-searching this week.  But I feel confident in saying that of the vast majority of people who follow the program and saw the Florida game as Martinez’ death knell, Mark Richt isn’t one of them.

On the other side of the equation, while fan support of the program is still good, there’s a palpable ebbing of enthusiasm that was painfully apparent this past weekend.  In a time of a weakened economy, that’s not a good thing for an athletic director to have to deal with.  I expect the turnout for the Tennessee Tech game to be lacking – noticeably lacking.  And if this team struggles to a 6-6 finish with another loss to Georgia Tech, it’s going to be Defcon Level 3 for Evans.  Georgia coaching careers with multiple stumbles against Tech don’t have particularly high survival rates.

To be fair, in my mind, Mike Bobo deserves as much heat as Martinez is getting these days.  After all, statistically speaking, Georgia’s offense is performing at a lower level than its defense.  But the majority of the anger and frustration I heard this past weekend before and after the game was directed in Martinez’ direction.  And it’s in his direction that I expect most of the speculation to continue to be directed in the next few months.

Where things go from here is hard for me to say, though.  I don’t think anyone in his or her right mind seriously believes Richt’s job is in jeopardy after this season, even if the program finishes with an unprecedented number of losses in the Richt era and even if Richt refuses to make any staffing changes in the wake of that result.  But I also don’t think that Evans lets Richt have more than one season to turn things around in a major way if Richt elects to stand pat.

Which means it’s Richt’s call in the short run and Evans’ call in the longer run.  And if it gets to the second stage, Evans has proven with Felton (who, don’t forget, was Evans’ first big hire) that he’s not one to dither if things stagnate.

Keep in mind a few things that will be part of the decision-making process for both men as they wrestle with the call (or calls, if you want to think that both coordinators’ jobs are at stake):

  • Don’t expect money to be much of an object, particularly if it’s clear that athletic department revenues are likely to suffer otherwise.
  • If you clicked on the link to the NCAA stats page, you saw that Georgia is ranked 97th nationally in total offense and 68th nationally in total defense.  Trust me when I say that there are plenty of coaches out there who are capable of improving those performances and who will be available for hire, if it comes to that.
  • Removing a coordinator is bigger than just that one person.  Should Richt elect to replace either man, keep in mind that anyone he chooses to bring in who has a high profile-type reputation is going to expect to be able to assemble his own staff.  Richt, should he decide to pull the trigger, isn’t likely to make the same mistake Tuberville did with the Tony Franklin hire.  So there will be position coaches who will lose jobs as well.
  • Along those same lines, expecting Martinez to accept a demotion in order to stay on is a stretch at best, if for no other reason than it’s highly unlikely that a new coordinator is going to be comfortable having the old coordinator on his staff.
  • Timing is going to be awkward.  If Georgia goes 6-6, it’ll be bowl eligible.  If Richt decides to make a change, does he do it during bowl preparation, when a new coordinator can come in, evaluate personnel and staff and even begin making changes, or does he wait until the offseason?
  • If Richt does stand pat, the firestorm from the fan base is going to be white-hot, to say the least.  I’ve got no idea how Evans sells that to the fans.  He’s going to have to be prepared to take a short-term hit.  But he’s still got to give Richt that chance, because Richt’s earned it.
  • That being said, remember that buyout clause that we’ve all pointed to for years as proof of Richt’s loyalty?  It looks kind of expensive now that the shoe may be on the other foot, doesn’t it?
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85 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

85 responses to “Damon Evans’ business decision

  1. Batdawg

    Richt’s “Gimmie” was used THIS season with regards to Martinez (in my opinion; not that I really matter).

    If maintaining CWM means we lose Richt after 2010, so be it. It was a nice run.

    • sbdawg

      As far as the “Gimmie’s” go CWM is in year number two of his! Last year he was given the “gimmie” due to injuries to his side of the ball. With the amount of talent and experience he had returning on defense this year, it is unacceptable to even consider giving him another “gimmie”!

      As far as Richt being “fanatically loyalty”, where is his loyalty to the program and the contributing fans? What will it take to make him realize being “fanatically loyal” to bad assistants, senior quarterbacks and returning starters will not make your team better it will only make it weaker and more predictable to opponents.

      If Richt needs help in making any decisions, I wouldn’t bet on it being Damon calling the shots. If needed, It may be the folks who end up paying the buyout clause! After all don’t forget this is “Big Time College Football”!!

  2. joe

    If we lose to Gtu and CWM is not fired, the heat on CMR will be unbearable.

    Hartman donations went from 10k to 5k this season. It may be in the 1-2k range after this season.

  3. Chuck

    CWM is the one having the finger pointed at him because folks score on us a lot. Everyone, really. And all of this talk is fueled by chat rooms and blog discussion areas by people noticing all this scoring.

    But our offense is worse, imo. Time and time again it is the offensive mistake – wrong play called, busted play, fumble, interception and of course, the famous “false start” on 3rd and short that kills drives and all too often involves the enemy having a short field. I would blame Cox, but he is just the QB in the game at the time. Witness: Logan Gray threw an INT to a UF linebacker as if he were the intended receiver. Dude could have gotten on his knees and crawled into the end zone. There is more here at work than bad QB play.

    No defense is going to shut out a team like Florida, and if you give them four extra opportunities it is hard for me to blame the Defense. In fact, maybe I am wiping out the memory from my head, but the only real defensive breakdown I recall was Timmy’s scoot up the middle for a TD. The rest of the scores were either gifts from us or just getting beat by a better play such as Cooper’s one handed TD catch with Boykin all over him.

    If I were CMR, I would spend some time with my offensive staff and talk with them about getting their act together a little more.

    • The problem is it’s not just one game that calls for his firing. I agree that, by itself, the UF game is not enough to fire Willie. However, considering the statistical downswing he’s had us on for the past 5 years now, the trend is increasing. During my 4 years as an undergrad, I remember giving up 30+ points very infrequently, and usually only to really good teams.

      Look at the stats, and you’ll see a clear downward trajectory for our defense since Willie has taken over. Now, this may be he’s coaching against better offensive teams (in fact, I’d wager that’s 90% of the issue), but regardless, he’s so far shown an inability to rectify the problem. If we can’t stop spread teams, and everyone we play runs the spread, then what are we going to do? Decide it’s alright, because he’s coaching against tougher teams? Or are we going to get fed up with losing and make a change to someone who can come up with a scheme that can at least slow the spread down?

      And on your point regarding turnovers: I do not disagree. However, to some extent, this is irrelevant. Turn overs are horrible, no doubt, but we pay Willie to keep teams out of the endzone. Regardless of the situation. Our defense should be able to defend the field regardless of where they end up on it. I’m not happy that Cox and Co. are turning the ball over at a record pace, but to give Willie a pass because of this is stupid. They shouldn’t score once the defense is on the field to defend, period. That’s the job.

      Now, for people who argue Bobo’s doing a good job, well, I’d like to borrow those rose colored glasses when you’re done.

      Maybe he gets another year (less time than Willie to fail spectacularly), but he’s on a short leash going forward, at a minimum.

    • Brad

      Well said Chuck. The offense has repeatedly put our defense in bad situations all year. If we get a decent pass rush going, our defense looks a lot better, I think.
      The team, though, as a whole has got to learn how to stay focused. The mental mistakes are unbelievable. I say you tell the players that game time is all business. Staying loose on the sideline is good to a certain extent. Losing concentration because of a loose atmosphere is killing us, not to mention, making us look like bafoons. Tighten up on the sideline during the game, stay focused and celebrate like hell when we win.

      • Rbubp

        Anyone who thinks CWM shouldn’t go after this year is just an ostrich. There’s no way you can defend his track record.

        Bobo’s track record is much more a mixed bag, however, and you may recall that last year’s team was pretty successful offensively. (And before you get to the personnel…are you saying WM’s personnel over four years has been this bad?)

    • Russ

      How did the offense give up an 80 yard and 92 yard TD drive to start the game last week? I agree with David Hale, that if we weren’t in such a hole to start out with, maybe Cox is pressing so much to make dumb mistakes.

      Granted, the offense isn’t good, but it moved the ball against FL. The defense never stopped FL. Never.

  4. godawg

    If Georgia finishes 6-6 they don’t deserve to go to a bowl. We should just decline the invite and stay home and clean house.

    • D.N. Nation

      Bama didn’t turn down the Weedwacker Bowl in 2007, and that turned out OK.

    • Matt

      You can’t turn down the bowl invite no matter what or where it is. You lose a month worth of practice. Most coach’s look a the bowl practice like another spring practice session. With out a bowl bit you can not practice after the season until the spring.

    • jgwill

      Isn’t Tenn Tech an FCS (D-II) school?
      If so, doesn’t that mean we need to go 7-5 to get a bowl invite? I think we have to win 2 out of 3 against Aub, KY, and GT to get in. That is looking like a tall order right now…

  5. drewh07

    If Richt decides to attach his future to this current staff and Evans gives him the 2010 season to turn it around, what sort of turn around do you think Evans will deem acceptable? We don’t know what our final record will be this year so it is tough to answer this question…but would 9-3 be acceptable if we were not blown out in any of the three losses? Or does Damon say, “Mark, if you stick with this staff, YOU MUST beat Florida and win the SEC East or all of you are gone after this season.”

    • BeerMoney

      Given the fact that next year’s schedule allows for zero excuses since we play 2 cream puffs, draw the two worst teams out of the SEC west (this year at least) and get UTK and GT at home (with 2 weeks once again to get ready for GT). Given that UF will lose so much off its roster this year, and actually UTK will too, Richt will have no excuses for not winning the East next year in my mind. The table is set and he must put the pieces into place to make a championship run happen.

      And LAST YEAR was Willie’s mulligan given all the injuries. This year there is no reason why we cannot field a competitive defense.

      • ArchDawg

        Just about everything that we were optimistic for, on a realistic level, this year (level-headed QB play, strong offensive line, slightly-though-not greatly improved overall defense, cutdown on penalties) we have regressed in. And quite frankly, I have seen nothing so far this season to think that’s going to change.

        Florida will still be good; even though they’re breaking in new players. I actually think their passing game will probably be better (b/c Brantley’s seems to be more of a passer), and that could open up their run game some. UT will be better, and you saw what they did to us this year. As will South Carolina, where Garcia has actually grown into a competent QB. We better get next year’s QB (Murray, I posit) some gametime experience NOW, or yes, that will be an excuse (among others) that we won’t win the East next year.

        • Ever think that’s why we’re not playing him? Richt’s building an excuse into next year’s team now, so he can fall back on that when we get blown out by the rebuilding Gators for a 3rd year.

  6. Scorpio Jones, III

    If you accept Mark Richt is the coach we all think he is, and he decides to keep Willie, is it not possible, despite all the expert opinion to the contrary, Willie not the problem?

    Richt may be “fanatically loyal” to his assistants, but in a larger sense he may also be fanatically loyal to making his own decisions and remaining in charge of the program.

    If a head coach submits to fan pressure through the AD he is quickly sliding down the slippery slope which winds up in a Tubberville hole at the bottom.

    The bottom line to me is how quickly the guy we thought was going to save our football program has become a guy we don’t trust to make key decisions.

    For God’s sake, and our own, I hope we don’t start making decisions based on incomplete, and oft-times incorrect information.

    For all the love Junior is generating in Knoxville this year the Vols have not won a game against a superior opponent, Richt on the other hand, had two or three big wins early on.

    The point is, is Tennessee any better off, really, than they were this time last year?

    Were we better off after Richt’s first year?

    Of course Damon is “concerned” that’s what he gets paid for. But to stick his finger into the machinery based on outside pressure is just as wrong as doing nothing.

    • It’s one thing if fan pressure is simply negative commentary on the Internet and criticism at Bulldog Club meetings. It’s entirely something else if the money train slows down.

      And Damon knows the difference.

      • Matt

        I can’t help but think the money train will slow after this year. I mean the problems have been obviously mounting for 4 years now. If you have the power to make a statement, know is the time. The best statement to make is stop sending money. I am in no position to do so my self, but if I was my contribution would be seriously lacking this year.

        • I can tell you this, I’m not buying tickets for next year as of now. Two years of losing to Florida and Georgia Tech, with some awesomely soul-crushing losses to bad Tennessee teams is enough for me. I’ll wait it out and watch on tv. I know I don’t put much in, but I’m sure others feel like me at this point. Emotional involvement is painful when the team doesn’t seem to care 1/2 as much.

    • Will (the other one)

      Can we back of the Tuberville comparisons?
      Firing his OC and bringing in Al Borges worked pretty well for him in 2004.
      It’s not firing a coordinator that’s a problem–it’s bringing in the right new one.

    • RealisticDawg

      Scorpio-

      YES!!! UT is way better off than they were a year ago. They have improved EVERY week this season. Unlike UGA, which has regressed each and every week.

      UGA doesn’t have the talent and definitely does not have the coaching. We have been “rebuilding” our offensive line for 3 years. Our defense (just check the stats) continues to get worse.

      For this season, Richt should concentrate on something he CAN control (penalties). That is nothing but coaching. It’s VERY simple to correct. After the season, Richt should clean house. If he decides to make no changes at season’s end, he should get one more season. If he that season isn’t up to par, he should be fired.

      Everyone should remember that CMR assembled this current staff. Does anyone think that even if he did “clean house” that he would make good replacement hirings?

      Damon Evans SHOULD stick his ‘finger in the machinery’ because the machinery is not producing like it should AND it doesn’t look like it will be fixed unless someone does something…and soon!

  7. Weaver D

    Senator,

    Is there a chance we could see something like what happened at Texas a couple years when Mack Brown brought in fresh blood at the coordinator level?

    At that point… Texas was still recruiting lights out but performance had stagnated. The Horns suffered a couple of disappointing seasons with back-to-back losses to A&M — UT’s version of GaTech (i.e. pathetic in-state rival you can’t lose to more than a few times without major grumbling). The OC and DC were taking serious heat.

    CMB might not be quite as “fanatically loyal” to his assistants as CMR, but he’s pretty damn loyal just the same. That’s one of his trademarks as well.

    What I admired most about the situation was that he managed to make major changes while more or less preserving continuity and his loyalty to staff. I was happy about the Muschamp and Applewhite moves then and I am even happier about them now.

    I really hope CMR is up to the task like CMB was.

  8. JasonC

    Before I read this post, I had this thought: Richt is known for his loyalty, but if Willie was as loyal to Richt as Richt has been to him, then he would do the right thing and leave. That would be real loyalty to a friend.

  9. Brown Paper Bag Over Head in Fla

    Global War on Marks and Martinez (GWOM) Crisis of the Day (COD) Piece, “Outside Consultant”, 2 November 2009

    0900 Butts-Mehre drill field:

    Damon, knowing full-well that Mark is not going to change his mind about anything about the so-called coaching staff (See, e.g., Cutcliffe’s departure from Ole Miss back to OC at Tennessee for historical purposes), had Loran try to resurrect Erk at a seance but no go.

    However, they were able to raise the spirit of R. Lee Ermy who Damon then booked to come in and help Mark show the troops how to get a little discipline to avoid those unpleasantries like personal foul calls, show them how to march in formation rather than jumping around like tinymites and show them the difference between their rifle and their gun. During a lull in the airstrike attacks, watch as R. Lee has not only the troopers but what’s left of the entire intact coaching staff fall in for a little fun…

  10. Castleberry

    Here’s my bet. No changes – Richt will see the conference schedule for the next two years and talent losses at our rivals as an opportunity to roll the dice with the current staff and turn in two more “good enough” seasons.

    Let’s wait and see.

  11. Bryan Carver Dawg97

    We all know Richt isn’t going to pull the plug, so Evans is going to have to. And honestly that’s fine. It saves Richt the face of having to ask for his coordinators’ resignations. Hopefully it is after this season, though sounds to me as if Evans is basically saying that Bobo and Martinez get 1 more year. But as drew07 said, what is the dividing line then? What is the standard that will have to be met? I’d have to imagine it if its not winning the East, then its got to be at least beat Tech and UF.

    • Please keep in mind that Evans isn’t saying anything. Everything in that post is my speculation, except for the “fanatically loyal” comment.

      • Bryan Carver Dawg97

        Understood. Unfortunately, I’m not the wordsmith you are. This was just my interpretation of how “fanatically loyal” plays out. If you were a betting man, who do you think makes the changes – Richt or Evans?

  12. I read this quote while at a friend’s house towards the end of the debacle Saturday: A good friend is there to bail you out of jail. But a true friend is right there with you.

    The last two seasons have proven that Willie doesn’t have the coin to bail anyone out. And I hope that Mark doesn’t choose to find himself alone in a cell with his buddy.

  13. heyberto

    I was a bit of a Willie apologist last year. Mostly because of the injuries. This year, there is no excuse for how bad our Defense is. I get how painful it is, and also how important stability in a program can be for the kids. I’ve met Willie, and what a great guy. He’s a competitor, and its not that he’s a bad coach. But these guys aren’t playing hard for him. Brian Evans being the epitome of what’s wrong. Talk about a guy with promise. So why isn’t Willie able to motivate?

    Sometimes, its just time for new blood. That’s where we are today. Willie has to go, and I hate that, but whats wrong with this defense is not something he seems able to correct.

    • Juan Solo

      “He’s a competitor, and its not that he’s a bad coach. But these guys aren’t playing hard for him. Brian Evans being the epitome of what’s wrong. Talk about a guy with promise. So why isn’t Willie able to motivate? ”

      Do you really think this is a problem with motivation???? If so, you are dead wrong. Our players have no clue what they are supposed to do at anytime. I’m talking about everything from being in the right position schematically to ball skills, to proper tackling technique.

      The weakest area of our defense is the secondary. Willie is the secondary coach. The weakest area of our team (over the last 4 years, starting with the 05 loss to Aubs) has been the defense. Willie is the defensive coordinator.

      He must be fired, and imo NOW.

      • Juan Solo

        Oh and I didnt even touch on Bryan Evans.

        That kid has blown a coverage in EVERY GAME he has played in going back to MSU 06 his r-FR season.

        The guy is terrible. It has nothing to do with motivation and the fact that he has basically started for the last 3 years is a failure in coaching.

  14. The years that we are the worst are the years that we don’t have a quarterback ready (see Joe T and Joe C). It would be to our greatest benefit to decide which of the three remaining underclassmen will be our starter next year and begin to PLAY HIM NOW! Thanks for your awesome work. http://www.wedgeorgia.com

  15. Farsider

    Good post, Senator. It definitely looks like the transition to the Richt staff 2.0 won’t necessarily be a neat and tidy affair, if it happens at all. And you’re 100% right that offense is as bad or worse than the defense. But all the bullets are getting fired at Martinez. I’m getting an increasing sense of crisis in this program. And as unthinkable as it would have sounded 6 months ago, will Richt even be here in 2010? Richt may leave before he revamps his staff.

  16. baltimore dawg

    when you say that “no one in his or her right mind believes that richt seriously believes Richt’s job is in jeopardy after this season,” i assume that what you mean is that no one should be under the illusion that damon evans is going to fire richt regardless of what has happened so far or what may happen in the rest of the season because richt’s accomplishments are strong enough to argue that the program’s longer-run chances for success are greater by giving richt the opportunity to pull out of the nose dive than by blowing up the program and starting over with a new head coach.

    and i would agree with that, but i think it’s a hell of a tough spot for uga football to be in, particularly since i think the challenge that richt has to meet now is more daunting than the one he met when he took over. and he hasn’t demonstrated (to me anyway) that he has much notion of how to change or even what the problems are.

  17. Chris

    My stance is that perhaps, despite all evidence to the contrary, it is not actually Martinez that is the problem.

    Fine.

    But something with the coaching staff is not up to snuff at the moment. The 30+ point statistic works. Whether it is an offensive or defensive or special team or whatever.

    Something needs to change and the staff seems incapable of the change. Best two examples of this:
    1. Bryan Evans still starts
    2. Walsh is still asked to directionally kick

    Given the schedule the next few years I sadly think that it is possible that the current staff might be able to hold on intact which probably does mean that we wont be able to make a real run at a BCS bowl/NC in either year when really we should be a favorite, given talent cycles and our schedule.

  18. The Realist

    Last year, it was not tackling to the ground in practice. Well, this year, they tackled to the ground, and the defense gives up 5+ yards on a play 40% of the time… which is dead last in the SEC. Against Florida, the defense gave up 14 points and 172 yards on 17 plays in the first quarter before the offensive meltdown, so it can’t be blamed on special teams and turnovers. What could it be?

    If Arkansas and Mississippi State can attack Florida’s offense with lesser talent, then Georgia has zero excuses.

    If Mark Richt wants to fall on the sword for Willie, then so be it. They both can be replaced. Richt might think that he has earned the right to run this program back into the ground like Bobby @ FSU, but Richt is no living legend. Georgia football existed before him, and it will exist after him. I would rather him make the right decision… the decision that most outside the arena have acknowledged for years now… and find a new DC. If he would rather stand pat, then there are a number of coaches who would line up for a shot at being a head coach in the SEC with Georgia’s resources.

    Giving this staff one more year would be a catastrophe.

    Btw, Richt has not made things easier on himself. By chastising the fans, he’s only brought himself into the crosshairs. Memo to future coaches: fans want to think you give two shits what they think. By alienating your fan base, you unnecessarily make adversaries out of your biggest supporters. This usually ends with a separation notice, and fans can’t be fired.

    • Macallanlover

      The fans deserve to be in the crosshairs. The only thing worse than the team’s performance the past two years has been the way our “fans” behaved. I can see CMR walking away after this year, he deserves better than this. Are there changes that need to be made? Yes, schematically and personnel wise. Should fans express concerns when they have them? Yes, but not in the destructive way they have on message boards, sports talk radio, and newspaper/blog comments sections. Very public and personal scathing attacks directed at both players and staff at the most inappropriate times. You would have to be very naive to think it doesn’t impact recruiting. I spend a lot of time on message boards across many schools so understand all fanbases have extremists, but at UGA the inmates are now running the asylum. Pathetic and harmful.

      • Yeah, it was rough when all of us crazy fans stuck it out during a THRASHING from Alabama and refused to leave or be quiet, trying to motivate the team to comeback. It was also rough last year when my whole section of Georgia fans stayed and yelled as loudly as possible for the defense against Florida when we were being destroyed by our rivals all the way to the end. We’re horrible fans.

        It must be tough to be on the inside and never see the sun through the clouds. I know it’s tough, because I know I never see fans doing anything to support the team here at Georgia. We’re completely horrible about supporting our team. If I were them, I’d get tired of people never showing up to fill the stadium or spending hundreds of dollars to drive 7 hours out of their way to support us, too.

        I also agree that we should never criticize, because we have no idea what it’s like on the inside, and none of us understand football at all. I know when I stare at the TV or the field, I’ve never once figured out what any of the colorful little figures are doing. I just like yelling loudly and barking, really. The mechanics of football are just too tough to grasp. I mean, really, it’s called football and they use their hands. I’m already at a loss.

      • Juan Solo

        You’re an idiot.

        Richt refuses to acknowledge problems and shows no heart or determination to make things better.

        He is constantly making excuses instead of presenting solutions to get things fixed.

      • The Realist

        You have the mentality of an abused spouse. It’s not Richt’s fault, or the coaches’ or the players’. It’s the fans. Because we have sooo much control over how the team plays. Fans have put forth legitimate gripes… obvious shortcomings that have gone uncorrected… and the Most High dismisses them like he would swat a fly… not just the ramblings from Billy Bob, the unemployed genius who rat-a-tat-tats on message boards, but the guys that foot the bill for his mansion on the lake and his new football complex expansion. The people that pump millions into the Athletic Department through the Hartman Fund. The guys that travel to all the damn away games, just to see the team get thrashed and quit half way through. Those are the ones to which Richt needs to be held accountable, and he’s raised himself and his staff onto a pedestal where he thinks they are insulated from legitimate, outside criticism.

        But, you’re right. It must be my fault for pointing out three years ago that Willie couldn’t hack it. It must be my fault that special teams are erratic. It must be my fault that there isn’t a pass rush.

      • Give me a break.

        UGA has been in a state of FREE FALL ever since the 2005 season Sugar Bowl.

        That’s over 4 years of ineptitude, and it gets worse and worse every year.

        2007 was a fluke, hidden by our extreme luck at playing Hawaii rather than USC in a bowl game.

        USC would have raped us in the face.

  19. The most frustrating thing about the defense is that they don’t seem to change anything from a scheme standpoint. The soft zone they have been playing all year is NOT working. Yet, we still give receivers 10-yard cushions on 3rd and 6. I don’t understand the scheming that CWM has them in most of the time.

    As for the offense, i think it basically comes down to running the football better. We are 99th in the nation in rush offense. When we have committed to the run – i.e. not given up on it after three quarters, we have done well. On the second drive of the third quarter against the Gators, we didn’t give up on the run, and we scored! Nine of the 14 plays were running plays. On the next drive – AFTER we had stopped them – on 3rd and 2, in an obvious 4 down situation, we PASSED the ball. We had a nice drive going and chose a poor play. . . and it was picked off. Then, we stop them again, get the ball back and go pass, run, INT. Game over. I have a post on my blog – http://www.updawgs.blogspot.com – which gives a brief history of the Dawgs running woes compared to the nation’s elite teams.

    So, Bobo has to change his mindset or yes, he should be gone too. As the hated Tommy Tuberville once said, “you have to run the ball if you want to win in the SEC.”

    • Hackerdog

      Passing on 3rd and 2 wasn’t a bad call. It was a given that we would go for it, so we would have still had the run option on 4th down. The problem was that Cox made a stupid decision to loft the ball up for grabs.

    • Hackerdog

      You’re quoting Tuberville? What did Fulmer or Sly Croom say about winning in the SEC? Maybe we should take note.

  20. AusDawg85

    Cool heads prevail when it comes to money. CMR is in bunker mentality with the media since The Celebration, so fans are not getting to see his “inner-self”, and that’s frustrating. But the signs are there for us to read, since…”…we are not in the arena…” At seasons end, the evaluation will be (in no particular order): 1) Young team, 2) Weak QB, 3) Tough Schedule, 4) Loss of carryover from Spring/Fall practice focus on fundamentals to the season (i.e. penalties, tackling, assignments, etc.)…and THIS is the one area the coaches will own. Note how the player’s only meeting after the TN game resulted in only a modestly improved performance over Vandy, but certainly no follow-through to FL, other than pre-game confidence. Evans and CMR will come to agreement that this just simply was a young, bad performing team…it happens. That may not be the correct assessment, just the one they are likely to come to agreement on. And for Evans, what DO you expect for change if you get another Head Coach that you DON’T think comes from CMR and this staff? The only “deal” that will be brokered between the two is that Evans, not CMR, will begin to quietly find/promote interest in CWM at some other program to help find an honorable way out after the 2010 season for everybody with regard to that issue. That is sort of the model Mack Brown used at Texas. And probably a better long-term model than finding the next UM or Kiffen to “win at all costs”…we’re just not that kind of program. And shouldn’t be.

  21. Marion Campbell

    Willie has to go, that is a given. BUT, Bozo has got to go as well. He has no business as a OC at a BCS school. With outstanding talent last year (3 players now starting in the NFL) we were forced into playing street ball to win games because our offensive gameplan was predictible and weak.

    • Hackerdog

      Don’t forget that we had an offensive line that got shuffled between series and could not generate a push at the line of scrimmage.

  22. D.N. Nation

    We’ve got to come up with a term for where we’re headed…where the fans have it figured out easy but the coaches just don’t get it. It usually precedes terminations.

    I mean: Sticking with Evans. Directional kicking. Junk that doesn’t work, hasn’t worked, and won’t work, but the coaches stick with their guns and tell the fans to STFU. And then months later, wonder why they’re out of jobs.

    Whatever, really. Time to focus on basketball, where there seems to be actual coaching afoot. I think we all know what’ll happen if CMR supports CWM to the very end.

  23. Others seem to be hinting at this: When you think about everything that’s wrong with the program, does firing Martinez cure even half of it?

    That’s in no way a defense of our defense. That was a criminal amount of future NFL talent out there that gave up a 54% third down conversion to the Gators and only got two true stops all game. Surely, Willie is dead man walking, but that’s not the point.

    The point is, it’s either 1994 or 1999 — take your pick. We’re underprepared, undisciplined, gimmick-dependent, fundamentally unsound, squandering talent, and getting boatraced in the SEC’s coaching arms race.

    If you fired everyone who was directly responsible, you might be left with Lilly, Searels and Richt. And, after that much bloodletting, what’s the point in even bothering with those guys? Especially if there’s a strong likelihood that we’re looking at another 1995- or 2000-type season. We’ve seen this movie, so why relive it?

    Gary Patterson, Brian Kelly and Charlie Strong can be had now. Make the move, Damon.

    • Why does Searles get all this love? He’s now both the O Line coach, and the run game Coordinator, right?

      What two areas on offense are remarkably worse than last year with more experience and talent? Run blocking and the O-Line. Yes, Knowshon’s gone, but unless you’re telling me that Knowshon was so good he racked up all those yards behind an awful line, then what’s happening? And if you do think that, then Searles should be in even more trouble, since the love he’s getting stems from how well the line “played” last year without Sturdy.

      Either way, Searles is not doing a good job, either.

      • Dog in Fla

        “Why does Searles get all this love?”

        Fountains of Lil’ Wayne guessed he had ‘street cred’ because of this until they were severely reprimanded and told they were thinking of the wrong Mom. They were then told to behave themselves, go back to the ’80’s and stay there…

      • Hackerdog

        Yes. Knowshon was that good. Our red zone struggles last year were in large part due to the fact that our line could not move the line of scrimmage. Our only run option in the red zone was the toss sweep where Knowshon hit the edge and made people miss.

        The line is playing worse this year, but we see the difference much more clearly because we miss Knowshon.

  24. shadrach

    Richt is one hop away from pissing this job away over loyalty. I for one, feels he has earned the right to call a mulligan on this year, but without action on his part in the off-season to correct some SYSTEMIC deficiences, then I’ll be one of those in the fire him now cue. If loyalty to assistants trumps trumps that of the overall health of the program, then fire him now to speed up the recovery.

  25. Knowledge

    CMR did you remember to…

  26. Robert

    CMR should have fired CWM last year. Maybe it is okay that he didn’t due to the injuries, but this year in hindsight shows he should have been fired last year . If he doesn’t fire him this year, then ADDE should seriously question CMR’s ability to run the football program. Loyalty shmoyalty, get somebody in there with fire in their belly and that can discipline the players.

  27. Turd Ferguson

    Two things you can always predict after a loss, and especially during an awful season like this:

    1. More and more people sharing their opinions about what needs to be done, even if that involves firing someone.

    2. A smaller — but, by my lights, more annoying — contingent of people puffing up their chests with a deep breath of self-righteousness, saying something that implies those in group (1) are not real fans, and insisting that everyone focus on only the positives (usually by saying something nice and condescending like, “You all need to have a little perspective”).

    • Turd Ferguson

      And for the record, I agree that Richt needs to get rid of Martinez, and that Evans ought to throw some serious money around in order to bring in a stud DC.

      I just really doubt that any changes at all are actually going to be made between now and January 2011.

    • Dog in Fla

      “everyone should focus on only the positives (usually by saying something nice and condescending like, “You all need to have a little perspective”).

      Or, Turd, they could be trying to communicate one of two things to directly to you –
      #1: flush it, or
      #2: their perspective may in some ways be compared to the same Paranormal Activity that this guy has…

  28. LOBO

    Good read, If one were to grade every UGA fb coach , how many would have pasing marks ? CWM,CMB,CSS,CRG,CJB all have given us an awful excuse for fb .Did the “KEYSTONE COPS” remark not hit home ?

  29. Rich Texan

    If the money train is slowing down, then why DE throw down major clams for those shiny black helmets? Shoulda given that to Marcus Lattimore in a manila envelope.

  30. Juan Solo

    I would love to have Brian Kelly.

  31. Hogbody Spradlin

    I look at this fairly simply. If we’re getting the same or comparable players as Florida and Alabama, and ours are consistently over the very long run giving up 30 points a game, the change needs to be at the coaching level. Over one or two seasons it isn’t fair to say: Van Gorder 30 points per game, ergo Martinez bad, but this is the 5th season. That’s roughly 70 games.

    Bobo is in his second full season and might be worth another look. I disagree with those who say get Murray his reps. A coach’s first game day duty is to put the best team on the field, and Joe Cox is still our best quarterback.

    This season seems to be snowballing. Players and coordinators can read and hear radio. They know what’s going on, yet nobody can channel them in the right direction. Martinez’s ineffectiveness is probably compounded because he’s acting like a man with a noose over his head. The team doesn’t just lose, they’re sloppy and undisciplined.

    If Mark Richt is the man we think he is, he will before it’s too late realize his loyalty and duty are to the players, not the coordinators and assistant coaches.

  32. 69Dawg

    OK, we have a couple of options on the CMR thing. Either he knows what the causes of our problems are or he doesn’t. If he doesn’t know the causes then he can’t fix them. This is not a good thing for a Head Coach to admit.

    If he knows the causes then he has two options. He can fix the problems or he can ignore the problems. So far CMR is ignoring them since there has been no outward signs that they are being fixed.

    IF he is not capable of fixing the problems then he is not capable of being a Head Coach and should do the honorable thing and resign and enter full-time Christian Service. This is after all what is going to happen eventually anyway. I hope he has enough integrity to accelerate his retirement before he ends up killing the UGA program.

    You may now flame at will.

  33. Dawg N Suds

    Count me as one who must not be in his right mind.

    I seriously believe Richt’s job is in jeopardy this season.

    Dr. Adams and Damon were around in 2000 and have seen this situation before.

    They knew then that true culture change very rarely occurs without new leadership.

    They know this still holds true today.

    • Connor

      Unfortunately, I agree with you. For college football coaches, being on the hotseat is a bit like being in a recession; you may not realize until a year later that you were on/in one all along. Some fans started wondering about Richt last year this time, and if that’s the case, he just failed a big test. 1 year later, we don’t appear any closer to UF. At some point it’s less about whether Richt can turn it around, and more about whether the balance of the fanbase thinks he can. I think we’re closer to that balance tipping than some of us would like to admit. The fact that we’re talking about all this means that Richt’s job is on the line right now.

  34. I agree with just about all of y’all….except for Mark Richt, posing as macallanlover, who blamed it on the fans…….c’mon coach get out of here and prepare for Tennessee Tech damnit.

    I’ll offer another POV on what I see as a glaring deficiency………Conditioning.

    How many times did Knowshon take himself out of the game last year? How many times do you see our best players on the bench in critical situations? Rotate, smotate……not in key down and distance you freakin morons. I have wondered about this for the last three years…it just hasn’t seemed like we were bigger, stronger or faster than anyone(except Hawa’ii). Are injuries not a by product of poor conditioning? I think our S&C program has become less than acceptable. Our big guys get pushed around and beaten consistently, they can’t maintain blocks or get off of blocks. I haven’t seen an opposing offensive lineman get blown up in quite sometime……and a pancake block left with Max Jean-Gilles.

    So…..while were heaping blame on Slick Willie…let’s not forget DVH and all he hasn’t done for Georgia football.

    I won’t be attending any more games, buying any licensed products or buying a Ford truck until I see people in the “arena” being held accountable for their complacency and sheer ineptness.

  35. Lets get real here.

    The DC needs to go. He’s had 5 years and our defense is crap.

    The OC needs to go. He’s had over 3 years, and our offense is crap.

    Nobody wants to hire these guys away from us. After 3-5 years, most OC/DCs get hired away to be a head coach somewhere.

    It is time to get rid of them both. Nice guys maybe, and in the case of Bobo a DGD, but its time for him to find a new place to learn something new. Heck, it is probably in his own best interests as well if he ever wants to be a head coach.

    The program is creatively stagnant and that results in performance decline. You can watch film of this team from 2002 and it is the same as the team now, 7 years later.

    We need new ideas, new concepts, and new schemes. That can only happen with coaches at the high levels – if not the head coach, at least the coordinators and position coaches.

  36. Scorpio Jones, III

    Ah yes, the “money train” issue.

    Is it possible that a slow down in the money train has as much to do with the economy as what happens on Saturdays in the fall?

    Certainly not saying losing to the big 3 every year has no effect, but, could it be the economy, Senator?

    For some reason it became Mark Richt’s job to take the Georgia program to a level where it had never, ever been before.

    Now that every swinging dog can add his two cents worth to the argument via the Web, it would appear we have completely lost sight of where Georgia has always been as a football program.

    And that is good, but only great periodically.

    Given the margin for error is now smaller than ever before, I hope, for the sake of the program, Mark Richt is man enough.

    Because if, as so many of us seem to be saying, we need new blood, then we are going to change coaches every six or seven years, as new blood becomes stale.

    Richt comes from a background at FSU which would tend to reinforce loyalty to assistants, and frankly I am not sure how realistic that situation has been.

    I suspect we will find out how tough and how smart Richt really is in the next few months.

    I have heard it said about Georgia that “when the assistants all are buying houses, things go downhill” and that from someone who spent half a century or more at the very vital heart of Georgia football.

    I don’t know if assistant coaches are the problem here or just unrealisitic expectations and economic pressure.

    We have to trust Mark Richt and Damon Evans to do the things they need to do to get the program back on track, if it is off the track.

    We have to trust them because we have no choice.

    • All I can say is that it wasn’t me talking about knocking the lid off the Georgia program.

      That was Richt.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        And Richt did knock the lid off the program with 3 SEC East titles and 2 SEC Championships in his first 5 years. The 2007 team finished the season ranked #2 in the nation and would have been National Champion if it had been allowed to play in the BCSNCG. VD had a 5-5 season in 1969, a 5-5-1 season in 1970, a 5-6 season in 1977, and a 6-5 season in 1979 (the year before his 12-0 National Championship season). Sometimes it just doesn’t work out the way you want. The other teams have good players and coaches, too. 2 years ago Bama was 6-6. Look where they are now. My point is that this too shall pass. We all just need to make sure we don’t do anything stupid like fire the best coach in school history (based on winning %) because of 1 off season, or piss him off so badly that he goes somewhere else. How about a little support for the team when they need it most instead.

        • Bryan Carver Dawg97

          But are we losing because the other teams have better players? Or because we keep making the same mistakes – penalties, turnovers? Mistakes that the staff insists are being addressed but for 2 years now, we’ve seen a team that regresses as the season goes along.

          If we are losing because the other teams have better coaches, then we need to get better coaches ourselves.

          I don’t think we need to fire Richt because outside of maybe Tuberville or Peterson from Boise, anyone else would be a gamble.

          But as the Senator often notes, there are some pretty systemic problems in the program that continue to crop up in our losses and they seem to be getting worse and more numerous as time goes by.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            I do not agree that the team has regressed over the course of the season the last 2 years. Face it, the teams that beat UGA in 2008 were better teams ( some may argue Tech was not because of Tech’s bowl game, but look at where they are this year with basically the same personnel). This year who did the Dawgs lose to who they should have beaten? UT? Turns out UT is better than everybody thought they would be. Just ask South Carolina. LSU? They are in the top 10. And remember except for a bad call the Dawgs probably would have won that game. Florida? They are ranked #1. Okie State? 6-2 and been ranked all season. The season is not over yet. Let’s assess where the Dawgs are after the dust has settled.

        • To your point, here is an excerpt from a post on my blog a few weeks ago:

          As it relates to Coach Richt, here are just a couple of key stats i think we should reflect on that hopefully will put things in perspective a bit when we think about his future with the Dawgs:
          Coach Dooley’s career record over 25 years was 201-77-10, a 71.5% winning percentage. CMR career record so far is 85-25, a 77.3% winning percentage.
          Coach Dooley won one National Championship. . . .in his 17th year of coaching. CMR has been here 8 years.
          Coach Dooley won 7 games or less in 12 of his 25 years of coaching, nearly half of his seasons. CMR has won 8 games or less once, that’s a 12% clip.

          You can read the entire post at http://www.updawgs.blogspot.com. Thanks for being reasonable, Mayor.