What a Friend he has in Will.

Reading the tea leaves about the Will Friend hire, it sounds like Mike Bobo was driving the bus.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo called the UAB offensive line coach to tell him he was interested in him for the job. “I told him I would be in Athens whenever he needed me,” Friend said. He met with Coach Richt last week and got the job last Friday. UGA announced the hire yesterday…

… On the returning players. “I know a little bit about the guys who’ve been here. …Just because when I left here coach Bobo and I have stayed in constant contact and you kind of watch people play and see game tape.”

Then, there’s this other bit.

… Searels also held the title of running game coordinator. Friend won’t.

“My job is going to be to train the offensive line,” he said. “That’s the No. 1 thing–to train them and teach them to block.”

I thought the title was given purely for salary purposes, but Friend’s quote makes it sound like there may have been a little more to it than that.  Or maybe Searels thought there should have been a little more to it than that.  In any event, if Friend takes care of Job 1, I’ll be a happy camper.

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “What a Friend he has in Will.

  1. TennesseeDawg

    A lot of Dawg fans poo pooing the Friend hire, but I think he’s a good fit. Successful player and has several success stories from working with the UAB OL. I think we’ve got a guy who will come in and work his ass off.

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    Is Bryan McClendon the ‘running backs coach’. Would he be the de facto ‘running game coordinator’, whatever that is?

  3. The Original Cynical in Athens

    Bobo the ace recruiter now surrounding himself with loyalists? Interesting.

  4. ZDawg

    Can anyone tell me what exactly a running game coordinator does (preferably without the words ‘running’ and ‘coordinate’)?

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      This past season anyway I would hesitate to say I saw any coordination in the running game, so maybe the title was just an excuse to pay more money.

      • Normaltown Mike

        the “coordination” part came from monitoring the police blotter, posting bail, etc. to ensure a running back would be available each Saturday.

        I think we might oughta require all RB’s to wear a “It’s Always Springtime at Aaron Bonding” T shirt at all times. You get $100 bucks off bail if you are arrested wearing the shirt.

    • Turd Ferguson

      Well, I was going to say that it’s apparently the job of a running game coordinator to take what was a pretty solid running game and then run it into the ground … but that uses the word ‘running’.

      • Go Dawgs!

        “Ramming” it into the ground. Try that.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          It is also the job of the running game coordinator to keep up with statistics like total number of fumbles, fumbles per game, total missed blocks, missed blocks per game, eye gouges received by RBs and post-game punches absorbed by RBs, etc.

    • Ausdawg85

      The person responsible for the rapid movement of feet towards the goal line while carrying the football during offensive plays during competition.

      Clearly, someone else is the “don’t fumble the damn ball, Ealey” coordinator.

  5. Turd Ferguson

    I like the hire. And really, I don’t understand why others don’t. The guy obviously knows what he’s doing — from his All-SEC days at Alabama to coaching a unit that gave up only 12 sacks last year. Plus he’s young, energetic, and eager to prove himself.

    • Doug

      What makes that sack statistic even more impressive is that it came the year after Joe Webb graduated. UAB began the season with David Isabell, a mobile QB in the Webb mold, as the starter, but Bryan Ellis, more or less a pure pocket passer, ended up seeing the vast majority of the playing time last year. So to only give up 12 sacks under those shifting circumstances is a pretty big deal.

      • hailtogeorgia

        I’ve been waiting on you to chime in on this hire. I was trying to compare numbers for sacks given up against common opponents. CFBstats didn’t have them for individual games (that I could find)…you have any insight on that? I think we had MSU, UCF, and Tennessee as common opponents last year.

        • UAB
          Tennessee: 0 sacks, 115 yards allowed on 32 rushes
          UCF: 1 sack, 116 yards allowed on 35 rushes
          Mississippi St.: 2 sacks, 118 yards allowed on 33 rushes

          Georgia
          Tennessee: 2 sacks, 136 yards allowed on 36 rushes
          UCF: 3 sacks, 82 yards allowed on 32 rushes
          Mississippi St.: 1 sack, 113 yards allowed on 34 rushes

          Final tally: Against those three opponents, UAB gave up three sacks and averaged 3.49 yards per rush; Georgia gave up 6 sacks and averaged 3.25 yards per rush. With, it goes without saying, a dramatically higher level of raw talent on the roster.

          Granted, the sample size is small, but when you consider that UAB basically gets second crack at the Southeast’s recruits after teams like Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee have picked them over, that performance ain’t half bad. Combined with the crackdown in terms of strength/conditioning/training, I think this will prove to be a good hire.

          • hailtogeorgia

            Thanks, I was hoping (and had a feeling) that the data would turn out this way. I didn’t expect our line to have given up twice the number of sacks as UAB’s, but I assumed that it would be more.

            On a side note, I think all of the fuss about this not being “new blood” is a lot of people getting worked up regardless of what happens. If we went with someone completely new, people would be complaining that the line was going to have to learn all new terminology and our veterans were no longer “veterans”.

            Any word on continuing heyjennyslater?

  6. W Cobb Dawg

    At least the guy had a steady job and makings of a resume when he was hired. It appeared recent hires like Brown and McClendon were picked from the unemployment line, and qualifications were an afterthought. But it still bothers me when we perform hires via the ‘buddy’ system, rather than an organized, methodical search. I’m somewhat surprised McGarity doesn’t require a more professional selection process. I wish Friend the best. We desperately need a good OL coach.

    • Go Dawgs!

      The “buddy” system is how coaching hires get done everywhere in the country, West Cobb. It’s pretty rare for a guy who is a complete stranger to everyone on a coaching staff to walk in and get a job. If you don’t know one of the coaches, you’d better at least know someone who does pretty well.

      • W Cobb Dawg

        Not suggesting we hire a complete stranger – although I have no objection if he’s got cred. But a Bobo phone call, followed by a meeting with CMR last week, then hired by Friday, strikes me as a second-rate process. Haven’t we learned our lesson about nepotism (i.e. ‘buddies’) with CWM? My thought is if you do the hard work of a professional search in the beginning, the chances that you’ll be sorry later are greatly diminished.

        “I know a guy” might work when looking for somebody to haul off an old sofa, but is it a professional way to do a coaching search after a 6-7 season? But again, at least Friend has some qualifications and I hope he comes through.

        • Bulldog Bry

          I think most coaches keep a running list of other coaches they’d like to work with, based on what they’ve seen. Occupational habit.

          • Very true, McGarity was on 790 a couple a weeks ago and was asked if they had a short list already to replace Richt and his response was that he did have a short list to replace Richt and every other coach on the team bc he never knew when someone would leave and it would be stupid not to always have a backup plan. Occupational habit indeed.

  7. Will Trane

    When you look at the rushing numbers the past 2 seasons, the shifts in the O line, the lost yards, the decisions to go for a FG when you are perched inside the 5, and you all world O line coach leaves, you have to wonder … will any hire be better than what has become customary from a program that at one time could line up and say we are going for it even if it on our 30. Time will tell. It will tell if Bobo can plan and complete 4 quarters. Does McClendon understand coaching RBs. If give Bobo and McClendon next season, to be named top coaches and to be sought by every other program in the country.
    I think Friend has the credentials. Will we see some if it in a few days. Contacting the recruits was a good move. Now we need to hear from those guys on campus. I’m sure they will want to see some film from UAB when there coach talks to them.

    • 69Dawg

      From what has been written CSS used about the same system that Neil Callaway used and now Friend is coming in with much the same system. This could have been deliberate on CMR’s part so we would not have to go through a new set of calls and blocking assignments. The system has worked in the past but the player have not performed enough except for Ben Jones who must be ready to kill about half of his fellow Oline players.
      If coach T conditions the Oline the way the Oline should be conditioned and he finds out who has the “Want to” Friend’s job will be easy.