I guess with 30-24 kind of ruining the omigodpauljohnson’schanginggeorgiafootballasweknowitforevah narrative that was popular at the AJ-C until, well, 30-24, it’s time to try out a new theme.

But Johnson’s decision to fire his defensive coordinator should make most Tech fans smile because it reaffirms what we already knew about the man: He’s not the settling type.

Johnson acknowledged he had made this decision a while ago — sometime during an 11-win season. Contrast that with Georgia’s Mark Richt, who seemed to be the last person in Athens to acknowledge that defensive coordinator Willie Martinez needed to go. Richt made that decision over five weeks ago. At least two of his top candidates have turned him down (Virginia Tech’s Bud Foster and LSU’s John Chavis). How will it go over if Johnson fills his staff opening before Richt does his — and does it with a long-time impressive defensive coach like Al Groh, a rumored candidate?

To answer Schultz’ question first, why should we care?  It’s not like these coaches are trying to be the first person responding to a new blog post at the AJ-C; they’re guys making critical hires for their programs.  I want Mark Richt to get the right guy far more than I want him to get the first story and I strongly suspect that any sane supporter of the Tech program feels the same way about Wommack’s replacement.

And as for all these names Schultz mentions in the space of one paragraph, let me point out some of the most recent items on their resumes, via

  • Georgia:  339.4 ypg in total defense; ranked 38th nationally
  • Virginia:  358.4 ypg in total defense; ranked 52nd nationally
  • Georgia Tech:  360.3 ypg in total defense; ranked 53rd nationally
  • Georgia Tech:  24.8 ppg in scoring defense; ranked 56th nationally
  • Georgia:  25.9 ppg in scoring defense; ranked 63rd nationally
  • Virginia:  26.3 ppg in scoring defense; ranked 65th nationally

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not seeing a whole lot of compelling differences in those results.  That’s not to say that Martinez and Wommack deserved to keep their jobs; Martinez in particular oversaw a defense that underachieved based on the level of talent that had been recruited to Athens.

But that’s just it.  Who’s to say that bringing Al Groh to the Flats is a home run move, whether it’s made before or after Mark Richt gets his man?  Tech’s next defensive coordinator looks to have less Jimmies and Joes to work with than his counterpart in Athens and scheme only takes you so far.  (With one exception, that being if Johnson wants to junk the 4-3 and commit to a 3-4 and bring in somebody who knows how to run that.  Which may very well be what’s going on with the Tech program.)

So, bully for Johnson being decisive.  Personally, I’ll take getting it right over being decisive every day – even at the expense of some short-term impatience.  Then again, I’m not somebody who races to be the first one to respond to a blog post.



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

14 responses to “First!

  1. Todd

    Bud Foster and John Chavis never “turned the job down.”

    Why do the facts keep getting twisted to make UGA look bad?


  2. Scorpio Jones, III

    Well, first you are forgetting that Schultz has inside information about the time-frame for Richt making a change, and more inside information for Johnson making his change.

    Do you really think Johnson went back to Atlanta after the bowl game, watched film and decided to fire Wommack?

    Do you really think, based on the careful search for a replacement, Richt’s “Willie Decision” came as a result of this year’s play alone?

    But the most important thing is that nothing Schultz writes matters.



  3. Reptillicide

    Schultz is a UGA-hating asswipe.


  4. i enjoy much of schultzie’s stuff, the man can be funny. when he puts on his mr. critical hat he reaches too far, too often, methinks.

    but he is my fav hockey writer


  5. Julie

    With each passing day, Jeff Schultz is filling the void that was Terrence Moore.


  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    How will it feel if Johnson fills his slot before Richt? Pretty good next November.

    Oh, and Jeff, just because Mark Richt doesn’t tell you what he’s thinking all the time doesn’t mean he’s not aware of the situation. Fish gotta swim and columnists gotta pump out words, but it isn’t always about you.

    Congratulations to Coach Richt and Coach Johnson for having the discretion to keep their thoughts to themselves, the patience and character to work with the former coaches cordially and productively right up to termination day, and the wisdom to announce their decisions when least disruptive to their programs and to the coaches they let go.


  7. D.N. Nation

    Mercy, Schultz is a sniveling little prick.

    We don’t care about what Trek does, you asshat, because we beat the bejesus out of them every. single. decade. The Noids won a grand total of 2 against Georgia in the 00s; Richt is now 8-1 against the Flatlanders. This, presumably the Best! Tech! Team! EVAR!, wet their pantaloons at home against a Georgia team presumably in Complete! Disarray!

    GFY, Schultz. When you wonder why people mock you for being a Tech-fellating jackoff, think harder.


  8. Never mind about all this. The question will be, what does Adam Krohn think of the respective hires?


  9. Paul's Johnson

    Senator, you’re correct that both programs fired their d-coordinators perhaps from a different mindset—-but the ultimate point is that these moves were made because defense was seen as a barrier keeping both programs from getting where they want to go. For all the pot-shots at the ACC, the coastal division where we reside is stout; Georgia’s division is in flux, but the conference is super strong. Its a fair point that Johnson acted quickly when he saw a problem while the perception is that Richt did not. But the bottom line is that these moves are not risk-free and nothing is guaranteed. Its like a coaching arms race out there, and everybody knows that God is always with the big battalions.


    • rbubp

      “But the bottom line is that these moves are not risk-free and nothing is guaranteed.”

      Thanks for illustrating why a coach likely ought to move slowly on said large changes. All the fans and writers love a reactionary, even if the real world moves at a difference pace.


  10. Left to Right

    The AJC is now pushing columnists for page views over anything else. After some firings, Schultz and Bradley have gotten the message-and have decided to let Finebaum be their guide into the new world of journalism. Expect many more columns short on reasoning and long on “hot button” material.