Stuck in the middle with you.

This has nothing to do with this post. It's just an awesome shot. (courtesy David Tulis/AB-H)

Judging from the comments here after the Auburn game, it’s fair to say that the fan base is still conflicted about where things stand with the program.  I thought I’d add my two cents worth with a couple of observations.

First of all, it’s a mistake to read the Auburn game, or, more accurately, the last three quarters of the Auburn game, as a binding referendum on Willie Martinez’ career as the Georgia defensive coordinator.  Whatever good we saw Saturday night has to be balanced by what we’ve seen out of the defense for the past two or three seasons.  Even with what’s been done on defense in the last two games, statistically speaking, Georgia is still awash in a sea of mediocrity.

It’s fine that the defense is starting to believe in itself a little.  But there’s still a ways to go with a Kentucky team that shredded this same defense last season and a Georgia Tech offense that, frankly, no one is giving Georgia a shot in hell of stopping.  Tech’s been held under 30 points three times in eleven games this year; jump in with that crowd, and maybe we can start talking.

Second, pardon me if I chuckle a wee bit after reading comments to the effect that the results Saturday night weren’t impressive because Auburn was a poor team.  Please – where were all those curt dismissals in the week leading up to the game?  I’m not telling anyone that Auburn’s a great team, but then again, neither is Georgia.  Yeah, Auburn lost to Arkansas and Kentucky, but the Tigers also went up to Knoxville and won.  And the fact is that they’ve played quite well on offense this season.  Auburn is ranked in the top twenty nationally (and second in the SEC) in rushing offense, total offense and scoring offense.  So it’s not like the Dawgs kept a Tennessee Tech or even a Vanderbilt out of the end zone on offense for three quarters.  Something good happened.

But I return to my first point, except that it’s narrowed to the perspective of one man.  I’ve said it before – Mark Richt has certainly earned the opportunity to right the ship.  Dumping a head coach who’s accomplished what he has is, well, prematurely premature.  And I don’t expect him to make any hard calls in the midst of the season.  That being said, if he’s taken what happened Saturday night for more that what it is right now, it’s a ginormous leap of faith that in my mind isn’t justified.

Based on quotes like this,

“The thing I would have really liked to have seen is what kind of defense would we have played all year long if we weren’t constantly turning the ball over deep in our own territory or throwing the pick six or having the kickoff returned for a touchdown,” head coach Mark Richt said. “All those things can deflate the energy of a team, not only a defense. If you could magically take away all the short fields we’ve put them in and all that, it would be interesting to see how it would have all stacked up.”

Rex Robinson is convinced that Richt has already made up his mind to stick with Martinez.  I’m not sure I’d go that far, but I do believe that Richt is hoping that the defense shows enough in the last two regular season games to give him enough of a reason to avoid making a decision that I have no doubt is personally distasteful to Mark Richt.  And, again, that’s his call and I’ll support his right to make it.

But he’ll be the guy that will have to live with the consequences.  There are plenty of examples of good people at the top being undone by their subordinates.  One thing we all know from following this program is that Georgia can’t be a successful SEC program with a second-tier defense.  And one good night against a better-than-average offense doesn’t change that.

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61 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

61 responses to “Stuck in the middle with you.

  1. Great blocking by Caleb King, loved watching the video of it posted below with Isreal Troup’s TD.

  2. Joe B.

    1. Caleb King owns Eltoro Freeman. That was as physically powerful as Caleb has looked. Absolutely ran over Eltoro, and knocked him out cold, as well as the block pictured above.

    2. I never called Auburn a poor team. However, they had played 11 consecutive weeks without a bye, and I thought they were absolutely gassed in the second half. Kudos to our staff for taking advantage and dominating them up front.

    3. That quote from CMR is again, very scary. I have no idea what short fields, KOR and turnovers have to do with the FIRST FOUR DRIVES against UF and AU. Additionally, Auburn lacked the one thing on offense that our defense has been totally inept against for the last 4 years: A mobile QB. It was a great performance, and I am proud of the players.

    I cannot believe that anyone would honestly think that CMR needs to go. That is ludicrous.

  3. Russ22

    CMR’s job is safe and always has been safe, unless…He pulls a Fulmer/Tubby/Daddy Bowden and doesn’t get rid of Willie. Obstinance in the face of overwhelming evidence that CWM is outclassed and out-prepared more often than not over the past three seasons…to say nothing of the hemmorhage of points we give up on a consistent basis. Barring a miracle the Saturday after T’giving, that would put CMR on the hot seat next year if he keeps CWM because:

    1) He sets himself up for three losses in a row to Tech. The last two GA coaches who lost 3 in a row have not fared so well (Donnan, Griffeth) Free Willie, and CMR buys a couple more years regardless of this year or next year’s Tech outcome.

    CMR has a tough decision to make, no doubt. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, having to consider canning a close friend who’s been with you since the beginning.

    • Puffdawg

      You mean to tell me that you’ve not only mailed in this year’s game against Tech, but you’ve already mailed in NEXT year’s game against Tech? Yikes. That’s bordering on pessimism.

  4. aristoggle

    So, given that quote, are Bobo and Fabris on the hot seat?

    The only way that quote makes any sense is if he really is trying to rationalize a decision he’s already made.

  5. JasonC

    That Richt quote could have been from last season too, because there were plenty of times the offense and special teams screwed the defense (not to mention the injuries). However, if the offense doesn’t get better of at least consistently good, then we are going to need a solid defense to make up the difference. Come backs and late season rallies are great, but I prefer good old fashion domination from 1st game kickoff until 00:00 at the end of the bowl game.

    • J-J-Jimmy, Very Much

      JasonC, would it surprise you that Bobo’s inept offense is averaging more PPG vs SEC comp than are either Bama or UF?

      Bobo has room for improvement, no doubt. But I don’t see how he’s responsible for Cox’s bakers’ dozen INTs or Richard’s fumbles.

      I would have liked to have seen more Caleb and Washaun those first two drives, too…..On balance, it’s tough to complain about 31 points in an SEC game, though.

  6. Scorpio Jones, III

    Being a head football coach in the SEC must be sort of like being the daddy of a teen age girl who is also a movie and media star.

    Everybody in the known world has an opinion about her clothes, her makeup and even the songs she sings.

    And her fans don’t hesitate to vocalize their opinions in every possible venue, much to the joy of the media.

    But at the end of the day, or the end of the season, despite all the hue and cry, the star is still YOUR daughter, and nobody really cares as much as you do. Nobody.

    • aristoggle

      Point well taken.

      That said, I now have this image of Richt as Billy Ray Cyrus. Can he even grow a mullet?

      Thanks for that, Scorpio …

  7. Turd Ferguson

    I enjoyed the win against Auburn because of the rivalry. But I’m certainly not going to read much into it in terms of the actual state of Georgia’s football program.

    Maybe our running game is turning around … but it’s so far been against Tennessee Tech and then Auburn’s 91st-ranked rush defense. And they’ll probably have another solid performance against Kentucky’s 98th-ranked rush defense. But what does that mean, exactly? We’re still 11th in the SEC.

    Georgia … 11th.

    And maybe our defense is getting better … but again, this is based upon watching them beat up on a high school squad and then an Auburn team whose tank was close to empty after 10 straight games. And yet, they still came out and ran all over us in that first quarter. What, exactly, are we supposed to think about the fact that, for the first time in a long time, our defense actually seemed to make competent in-game adjustments? That things are turning around? We’ll see, I guess.

    And yes, Auburn beat Tennessee. But they also gave up 31 to Furman, 30 to Ball State, and got smacked around by an LSU team that we would’ve beaten had it not been for A. J. Green’s obviously unsportsmanlike behavior (/sarcasm). If Auburn counts as a formidable opponent these days, maybe that’s more an indicator of the state of our program than anything else.

    • The Realist

      My questions is… why did it take so long to bring in the nickel? I swear I saw a quote that discussed the spread offense and tipping your hand by playing the 4-3 against 3+ WR’s… basically giving away the fact that you’re playing zone. What happened the first two drives? Georgia played 4-3, and Chris freakin’ Todd ripped the zone to pieces, hitting fairly simple routes. He completes all nine of his passes for 117 yards and two TD’s. Georgia didn’t even create a 3rd down on the first drive, then proceeded to give up 3rd down conversions on 3rd and 12, 8, and 10.

      The play of the game, though was Joe Cox’s near interception. It that gets picked off, Auburn wins. Georgia got lucky for what seems like the first time in a couple of years.

    • rbubp

      (Or if our kicker could kick the dang ball the right way on a kickoff.)

      (-Sarcasm.)

  8. The Realist

    If this were the last game of the season, then I’d be concerned. But with the Tech game looming in two weeks… not so much. The defense would have to pull the shock of all shocks and play the exact opposite of how they’ve played to date to keep that game close, much less winnable. Richt won’t have a “stellar” defensive performance to hang his hat on.

    However, when it comes down to it, I don’t have faith that Mark Richt has the balls to fire his college roommate. I think he’d walk away entirely before succumbing to fan pressure. Based on the story of BVG’s departure, he has shown what he does in the face of ultimatums. It is what it is. And, right now, it is a bunch of wasted talent.

  9. Dog in Fla

    “Rex Robinson is convinced that Richt has already made up his mind to stick with Martinez.”

    And it’s not only the victory hug between close friends – somewhere around, before or after the time we were on the 53 yard line, I think I heard the other TV announcer, Bob Davie, say that Willie was an excellent coach.

  10. The Auburn game proved we’re not consistently bad on defense. But it proved we’re consistently inconsistent, which to my mind isn’t much better.

    This season, our defense has

    · Contained a good, balanced Okie State offense;
    · Gotten picked apart by a bad Gamecock offense;
    · Variously corralled, and gotten carpet-bombed by, an Arkansas offense that has plenty of talent but has gotten smacked by the better teams it’s played;
    · Contained a so-so LSU offense right up until when it mattered most;
    · Been the unit that allowed Jonathan Crompton to morph into a hero;
    · Stomped on bad offenses from Vandy and Tennessee Tech;
    · Let Tim Tebow have his way with us, again; and
    · Laid down for Auburn for a quarter, then socked them in the mouth.

    Is that a defense that can play very, very well when it wants to? Clearly. But is it a defense that appears to be making any sort of progress toward a particular level of excellence? No, and that’s on Willie. As much talent as there is on this squad, there is absolutely no way to tell on any given series, against any given team, whether they’re going to make a big stop and force a punt or get laced for a huge gain. That’s not something I should have to be saying about this team as a fan, and it’s not something Richt should have to be saying as a head coach.

    • The biggest knock I’ve got on Martinez right now – not to say that it’s the only one – is that, after watching Saturday’s game, I can’t think of a single valid reason why Bryan Evans starts ahead of Bacarri Rambo. And judging from the relative amount of time each played in the game, I doubt CWM can, either.

  11. The Brain

    Simply put, in my mind there is no possible circumstance to conceivably justify Willie Martinez’s continued employment at the University of Georgia.

    The aggregate horror of our defensive meltdowns since mid-2005 cannot be erased by three quarters of solid football against Auburn. Should we not allow another point for the remainder of the season, the momentary success would be a mere drop in the bucket contrary to the mountain of evidence which exists as proof of Willie’s ineptitude. And were our beloved head coach to allow such a flash in the pan to blind him to the obvious and repeated failings of his DC, then he will call into question his own sanity, and place his continued employment into peril as well.

    Bear in mind folks, we gave up 17 points defensively. I’m not saying this is bad…I’m simply of the mind that this should be par for the course against top-shelf SEC competition for a UGA defense. A great defensive performance in my mind would be total domination (think Clemson in 2003). The fact that the performance Saturday against Auburn is widely viewed as some significant defensive event is an indictment of the Martinez era in and of itself.

    • D.N. Nation

      “The fact that the performance Saturday against Auburn is widely viewed as some significant defensive event is an indictment of the Martinez era in and of itself.”

      Yes. All this really looked like was Willie, circa 2005. Only we didn’t get blowed up at the end this time.

  12. D.N. Nation

    One game- really, 3/4ths of one game- does not a program make. If Richt decides to retain Willie, then he’s yoked himself with a demonstrative problem. If he can’t make the call in 2009, then Damon will make the call in 2010, and Richt shouldn’t want that to happen.

  13. JaxDawg

    If Willie stays (IF), then our D will not demonstrably improve and we will be having the conservations next year – and losing games again next year.

    Just how much evidence do you need coach?

    If Richt wants to fall on his sword for Willie then so be it. We will have to endure the pain but ultimately, Richt will be replaced as our head coach. He would be making a very poor decision to stick with his friend.

    Enough excuses Coach Richt.

  14. Thinking Bulldog

    This blog has the most astute commentators in all of the Dawgosphere. The comments are usually as insightful as the Senator’s posts.

  15. The Brain

    JaxDawg…I think the defense will probably improve next year, and I think that’s also a big problem for our program overall. Our defensive ends should be very good next year as should the linebackers. The secondary with Rambo, Boykin, and Branden Smith also looks very promising.

    Improvement from such a low baseline however is not indicative of any type of brilliance; it’s simply indicative of the inevitability of “things can’t get any worse”. We’ll improve over the next two seasons and the defense will pay well in certain games, play very well in other games, but still melt down enough to prevent any sustainable excellence. We’ll improve and become the defense of ’06-’07, which will be enough to quell the CWM uprising into mere grumblings but will not be good enough to beat Florida, prevent the trademark CWM blow-ups twice a year, or bring us any sort of SEC or national title.

    Bottom line…I believe if Richt allows CWM to continue as DC, he will continue to coach just well enough to provide his friend plausible rationale for his employment. He will not coach well enough to allow the talent on hand to fulfill its potential and to restore Georgia to the national prominence enjoyed under his predecessor. CWM will continue to drag the program into a mediocre purgatory in which we look back at a bevy of 10 win seasons with no hardware and think…”Man, if we hadn’t allowed those 39 points to Auburn and blown-up in the second half against UF, we would be SEC champs! There’s always next year I guess…”

  16. Irishdawg

    I’m not going to take Richt’s comment as some sort of indicator of a decision to stick with Martinez. He’s not going to comment on decisions mid-season, and he’s damn sure not going to slam his friend in the media (nor should he). Richt’s a smart guy, and he knows UGA has had a significant defensive drop off in the last 2 years.

    And Caleb King seems to have become the tough, physical back I thought Richard Samuel would be. He runs hard, and blocks like an animal. Ealey’s quickness and King’s toughness are going to be fun to watch, as long as the O-line keeps blocking for them.

  17. I guess I’m the only who thought this as Richt and Willie embraced at the end of the game:

    “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart.”

  18. JaxDawg

    Re: Caleb King:
    His recovery from the high school injury looks to be complete. Much like Lumpkin and Charles Grant, the big-deal knee surgery and recovery period is two years – I don’t care what Courson and the doctors say. 1 year to rehab and 1 to recover.

    Will be the same for Sturdivant, particularly with his weight, and the same for Benedict – the commitment from Bolles in Jacksonville.

    I look for King to be a beast the next two years.

  19. Rocketdawg

    I think CMR had already decided to retain CWM before Saturday’s game. I also think that our defense will be significantly better next year as well and everyone on here will be raving about what a wonderful DC CWM is when we win the East and play for the SEC championship. Now before you all accuse me of smoking something illegal let me make a couple of points.

    1) The scheme that CWM and CBVG run/ran here are predicated on the D-line generating pressure so you don’t have to blitz and can play primarily zone coverage and react to the ball. Last year our Defensive melt downs were a result of no pass rush from the DE position allowing Offensive lines to double down on our DT’s basically negating the pass rush from the front 4. As a result CWM resorted to blitzing to create pressure leaving a poor secondary in man-to-man situations. This year up until a few weeks ago has been more of the same. With the emergence of Cornelius Washington and Montez Robinson and the continuted improvement of Justin Houston and Demarcus Dobbs we are going to have some beasts at DE for the next couple of years. Granted we are losing 3 senior DT’s, but Abry Jones and DeAngelo Tyson have both played very well this year. Our LB corps should be deeper and more experienced even if Rennie decides to go to the NFL early. Nick Williams, Christian Robinson, and Marcus Dowtin have all played well this year not to mention Daryl Gamble and Akeem Dent (who appears to be healthy for the first time all year) also return. I am really excited about the secondary we have for next year with Boykin and B.Smith as starting CB’s, Sanders Commings (who is huge for a CB) in the nickel and Vance Cuff who has played alot the past two years all returning. We should also have the Safety play we have become accustomed to at UGA with Rambo becoming the full time starter at SS and Makiri Pugh or Quinton Banks at FS. This has the potential to be a REALLY good defense. With 10 starters returning on Offense (and everything I have heard about Aaron Murray is that he is as advertised) the next two years have the potential to be very special.

    We should beat UK on Saturday night (they haven’t won in Athens since 1977 and have brought much more talented teams in here since then) and I am going to go ahead and call the win over the NERDS right here right now. I don’t think that there is anyway Owens, Adkins, and Weston go out losing to the insects.

    • Joe B.

      Rocket, you make very good points.

      But, the one thing that CWM’s defenses have very rarely stopped is a mobile QB. Our schemes work well when the DE’s are able to get upfield AND we are working against a QB who will stay in the pocket and take a sack.

      There is an unbelievable amount of young talent on both sides of the ball.

    • D.N. Nation

      “I also think that our defense will be significantly better next year as well and everyone on here will be raving about what a wonderful DC CWM is when we win the East and play for the SEC championship.”

      Nah, I think everyone on here will note our easier schedule and the fact that we won’t have a dominant rival in the division.

      Now, the AJC’s sports columnists and AM radio are different animals entirely.

    • Ausdawg85

      But look at the other side of your rationale. We have (and have always had) tremendous talent on defense. If Willie’s not getting his rush…why? If the blitz exposes weakness in resulting man coverage…why? Pointing ahead to the amount of talent we’ll have “next year” is what we’ve been doing for several years, and the defensive stats continue to spiral downwards. Methinks that just might be a consistent coaching weakness. I would bet that Damon is shopping CWM around to help everyone off the hook, but if there are no takers, Willie’s back and he and CMR are going to have to decide if it’s time to rethink this scheme. I think the talent will be up to the task, just hope the coaching is.

  20. Me

    If CWM is the friend to Richt I believe he is, then why doesn’t he step down on his own? Why put such a good friend in a place where HE is forced to put your friendship over his job? I know it would be hard to walk away from a job paying the type of salary he is getting now, he will land on his feet and get another job coaching.
    I do believe CWM is a good coach. Many of his problems have been put on him by the turnovers and KO returns but ultimately someone his to pay. I think some of his problems are that he followed BVG and a hungry staff that wanted to win. I think the problem is a systematic problem with the entire staff. Maybe they have become blind to the truth due to success, or maybe they have gotten soft but the entire staff has baffled me. I don’t think Richt should clean house but they all need to replace the mirrors in thier offices and get a clean lok at the job they have been doing the last few years.
    BTW, if things don’t work try something different, i.e. toss sweeps, soft zone and directional kicking.
    OK, who’s next on the soap box.

    • Hackerdog

      I have friends, but none that I would give up $400k a year for. And Martinez MIGHT get another job, but it sure as hell won’t pay $400k per.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I don’t know. According to Bob Davie CWM is “one of the best defensive coordinators in all of college football.”

  21. JaxDawg

    FWIW – rumor is Martinez to Memphis. But don’t hold you’re breath.

    • Will Q

      Yeah, I might’ve believed that two years ago, but I have a hard time believing that anyone would want him as a head coach now.

      • Don’t underestimate Memphis’ desperation. Historically, they’re a 5-win team in C-USA that plays in the creaky old Liberty Bowl, which hasn’t been remodeled since the ’60s, while their basketball team plays in the shiny new FedExForum.

        They hired Tommy West, for chrissakes.

    • Turd Ferguson

      Hasn’t Bud Foster expressed interest in the Memphis job? If so, why on earth would they choose Willie?

    • Dog in Fla

      Having heard the reliable intel from Get The Picture this morning and learning for the first time that Tommy West was saying sayonara, even though it wasn’t his idea, Willie’s agent (Chuck Berry), Mark (John Lennon) and consultant Yoko get together to make it happen so another one like FIU last year doesn’t pass by. Their theory is that, after all, Neil went to UAB didn’t he…

  22. Dawg N Suds

    Our DE’s and OL have improved, Caleb is healthy and Ealey has provided a spark.

    But the other fundamental issues remain.

    If UGA is committed to playing at a championship level, there will be changes this winter.

  23. Dawg N Suds

    Good to see Caleb take the bull by the horns.

  24. The Brain

    Ok RocketDawg…I’ll bite.

    I noted earlier that I, like you, think our defense will be better in the coming years. I guess the difference between our views is the level of expected improvement and the blame assigned to past transgressions. Yes, we have been hurt defensively by our relative lack of a pass rush. However, if you believe our deficiencies in this area to be the primary cause of Willie’s woes the past four seasons, I think your making excuses for our performance that simply don’t match up to reality.

    This season in the SEC, LSU is 9th in the league with 16 sacks, yet is 4th in total defense and third in scoring defense allowing over 12 points less per game than Georgia (3rd in the conference in sacks w/ 25). Tennessee is also 9th w/ 16 sacks, but 6th in total and 6th in scoring defense. Both teams have bemoaned their lack of a pass rush this season yet have managed to hold up defensively FAR better than Georgia, despite Georgia having generated a significantly greater amount of “pressure”. The pressure we have generated this year is greater than almost all of our conference brethren, almost all of it has come with the front 4 (which per your explanation should help Willie’s case), and yet still we have managed to be an utter disaster defensively on the season. 2008 tells a similar story….Alabama was 7th in the conference with 26 sacks on the season (3 more than UGA in one more game), yet was 2nd in scoring defense and 1st in total defense (10 ppg less than Georgia). Tennessee was 9th in sacks (exact same as Georgia), yet was 3rd in scoring defense and 1st in total defense.

    These stats tell us two things unequivocally. 1) It is certainly possible to produce a competent and downright dominant SEC defense without having a dominant pass rush 2) For Georgia and Willie Martinez, a dominant pass rush (at least relative to others in the conference) does not produce an equally as impressive defense (see 2009).

    If other teams can design a defense which plays well w/o the elite rush, why can’t Willie? Is it nice to have? Definitely. Is it necessary to avoid the level of ineptitude we have seen? Hardly. And if our previous defensive meltdowns were a result of no pass rush, why have we continued to melt down this year, when statistically, we have seen an improvement in the pass rush? The answers to these questions lead me to believe that our problems are more systemic in nature.

    I guess I can’t see how any reasonable investigation of the facts supports a claim that Willie is 1) a good coordinator, or 2) should be allowed to continue in his current role. Unfortunately, I have a sense amongst the powers that be that they don’t, or worse yet choose not to, see the facts as I do.

    • Rocketdawg

      I don’t necessarily disagree with you that a lack of pass rush means that you can’t be a dominant defense. That being said the years that we have had a dominant defense (and this from memory, if someone has the time to google and compile the stats to either support or refute this point then that would be great) we have had a dominant DE (i.e. Pollack,Moses, Johnson, Howard). In theory a good pass rush doesn’t force your DB’s to cover as long whether in Man or Zone and expose their weaknesses. Honestly when was the last time we had a shut down CB? Asher and Paul Oliver were good but I would hesitate to call them shut down. If you look at the top Defenses in the SEC they all have very good DB’s (UF, Ala, Tenn, SC) so they don’t need as good of a pass rush to suceed. Those teams also play a more aggressive style of defense so they tend to recruit guys who can cover man to man.

      Believe me I wouldn’t shed a tear if Willie packed up and left for Memphis or where ever, I was just making the point that if Willie stays I think our Defense will be much improved over this year due to the sheer amount of talent and experience.

      • Joe B.

        That is the other end of why Martinez needs to go. He was a GREAT DB coach.

        We did not have Patrick Peterson, but Tim Wansley, Decory Bryant, Tim Jennings, Bruce Thornton, Demario Minter all maximized the athletic talent they had under CWM.

        You could bet that a CB in his third season in the system would be very good.

        Boykin looks like the best athlete we have had at CB since Champ; Asher Allen regressed during his career and Prince Miller has regressed as well.

  25. Irishdawg

    “The scheme that CWM and CBVG run/ran here are predicated on the D-line generating pressure so you don’t have to blitz and can play primarily zone coverage and react to the ball. ”

    That’s part of the problem. When we don’t get that, our defense looks like it belongs in the Big 12 North. Great coaches make adjustments when their primary scheme isn’t working. I know people are tired of comparisons between Martinez and Van Gorder, but look back. Game after game, BVG’s defenses came out in the second half and would stuff opponents. Martinez’s, not so much.

    There’s a difference between having a competent defense and a championship level one. I just don’t think Martinez can give us a championship level D, even with the amount of talent we got coming back.

    • Hackerdog

      Count me as one of the guys tired of the BVG comparisons. The fact is that BVG is a proven, NFL defensive coordinator. We were lucky to have him. But we should not expect to replace an NFL-caliber DC with another guy who is just as good.

      I’m not saying I want Martinez around next year. I think he’s obviously one of the poorer DCs in the conference. But I think the fair comparisons should be between Martinez and other SEC coordinators, not between him and NFL coordinators.

  26. Bryan Carver Dawg97

    Weren’t we supposed to be better on D this year compared to last year with losing only Asher but returning a stud DT (Owens) an up and rising DE (Houston) and essentially 9 of 11 starters? Weren’t we supposed to be better on D this year compared to last because we went back to fundamentals and tackling to the ground in fall camp? Shouldn’t we be better because of less injuries?

    The same systemic problems still plague our defense this year. So who’s to say that we’ll be better next year? Other teams simply know how to beat Willie’s D. Either he or the scheme has to go.

  27. LOBO

    I have to ask , does the fire CWM group want make CRG the dc ?If no is the answer , how do you plan on keeping him ? Can UGA fire their top 2 recruiters in one swoop(firing wm and not moving rg) ? btw CBV (falcons)has a defense that sucks too

    • Joe B.

      1. There is no need to retort about BVG’s Falcons. They are starting Thomas Johnson at DT and Brent Grimes at CB.

      2. UGA will always have great talent, no matter who is recruiting. A great coach can make a 3* talent into a 5* Saturday player. A mediocre coach can turn a 5* talent into a 3* player.

      Rodney Garner is as much about hype as anything right now. We have whiffed on Alan Bailey, Cam Heyward, Morgan Burnett, Jermaine Cunningham, Perry Riley, Cliff Matthews, Omar Hunter, Jarvis Jones, Ted Laurent, Greg Reid, Darren Myles and Eric Berry over the last couple of years.

      Would we lose some kids from this year’s class? Probably. But we will still get great talent. Recruiting in Georgia is about evaluating the BEST 25 kids every year, and getting them. We have lost out on a bunch the last couple of years.

      Morgan Burnett is still the biggest killer of all of those to me. Our defensive backfield would look significantly better with him back there.

      • The Brain

        I agree Joe (except for the Rodney being hype part)…I don’t think that many of the Fire Willie crowd want CRG as the new DC (btw…are we really a “crowd” anymore? I thought the incompetence of Willie Mart was the default position of general humanity by now…).

        Something to conside though is that I don’t necessarily believe Rodney will leave. Sure, he might leave for a coordinator position, but no one’s been knocking down his door to make those kinds of offers yet so I’m not sure we really risk that. And do you think he would leave for a lateral move at another institution out of spite? This is a man who has turned down huge sums of money from other schools out of really nothing more than respect and loyalty to Mark Richt. I have to think their relationship, which is obviously strong, would at least stand the chance of overcoming his being passed up for the position.

        And yeah, as a Willie hater myself, I don’t compare him to VanGorder. That is largely irrelevant in my thinking. I compare him to our peers in the conference. It’s not that Willie’s D’s are worse than BVG’s that is the problem…it’s that Willie’s D’s are worse than Vandy’s.

    • Hackerdog

      I think there are two scenarios for replacing Martinez. First is promoting Garner, which probably means maintaining most, or all, of the current staff. Second is bringing in a (hopefully proven) coordinator, who will probably want to shake up the staff and bring in his own guys. In the latter case, I don’t know that maintaining Garner would be an option, even if he would be willing to stay.

  28. Hobnail_Boot

    Loved Israeli Troop’s play against Palest.. err, Auburn.

  29. LOBO

    Adults don’t use spite for career decisions.I think CRG may see he must start smaller.Charlie Strong is said to be waiting til after the bowl, to become the next Memphis coach(let it be true).

  30. Junkyard Dawg '00

    Anyone else heard the rumor that Tommy Tuberville will be our next D coordinator? I just got the call from a friend today… I’ve been wondering though- does TT have a defensive background?

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      TT was DC for Miami when it won the NC (twice, I think) in the 90’s and also DC at Texas A&M when that team was undefeated.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I had heard in the past that CMR and TT were buddies but I find it difficult to believe that TT would take a job as DC as there are going to be lots of HC vacancies in the next couple of years and he would undoubtedly be a logical candidate for damn near any big opening (i.e. ND, Mich, maybe even Miami if the current coach falters a little more). Personally, I think it would be a major coup if that happened. You could actually retain CWM and make him DB coach again but give him a fancy title like Asst Head Coach. The odd man out would be Fabris. Problem is, that would be a short term fix as TT would surely want to be a HC again–and soon.

    • Mike Slive

      That’s just baseless speculation. TT wants to be a head coach. And there are a thousand other reasons why he won’t be our next DC.

  31. Coastal Dawg

    Radio show in Jax today has Tubbs going to Texas A&M for what its worth. I can’t see his ego letting him be a DC.