Coaching staff, restructured

I hope the old saw about having two quarterbacks isn’t analogous to having two special teams coordinators, because that’s what Georgia’s now got.

Richt has long resisted the idea of naming a special teams coordinator, choosing to spread the duties over four of his assistants. But now two assistants coaches will oversee the units, and carry the titles of co-special teams coordinator.

Tight ends John Lilly will coordinate units deemed as offensive special teams: Kickoff return, punt return and extra point/field goal.

Inside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler (hired last week) will coordinator defensive special teams: Kickoff, punt return block, and extra point/field goal block.

The division of labor there actually makes sense to me.  Which probably means it’s doomed.

By the way, note that Bryan McClendon is the new Rodney Garner.  I suspect that means less than it used to, other than that Bryan’s about to get a major, well-deserved raise with that new title.


Filed under Georgia Football

34 responses to “Coaching staff, restructured

  1. There’s been a lot of sense-making going on lately. I think it’s a good thing. Nonsense hasn’t worked. So why not try the opposite.

  2. As long as the long snappahs improve and the punt returners catch the darn ball, it has to be better. Kickoff coverage and return is less important with the changed rules. I want to see more aggression especially in punt return and block.

  3. sUGArdaddy

    It’s hard to return punts these days. The punter’s are much better and the college rules allow for kids to get down there too fast. Catching the ball would be nice.

    My biggest pet peeve is the holder. We have 17 QBs on scholly and we have a back-up punter holding. If we have a bad snap, we’re screwed. Plus, we have no threat to fake a FG. We’ve tried every kind of fake in Richt’s career, but we haven’t faked a FG because we have no capable athlete holding. I just don’t get why Bryce Ramsey can’t spend 15 minutes a day holding and working on a fake or 2.

  4. Rebar

    You know, this has been a really strange year. September was wonderful, we were 3-1 and feeling good. Then, the injuries piled up, the refs were the refs and we staggered through the rest of the season, that was disappointing, to say the least. Then we lost the damn bowl game, then Grantham bolted and the rest of the defensive staff left before the recruiting class of ’14 was in. Steadfast through all of that was Mark Richt, including his temper at the refs and his penalty; he made a great hire on Pruitt and most folks feel good about the other hires made on D; he helped retain a top 10 recruiting class also. Now you read he is changing Special Teams responsibilities. I really like his demeanor. Can’t wait for next year!

  5. mdcgtp

    my biggest issue with punt returns was the rotation of guys. Pick one and live with him unless he can’t catch the ball. Of course, none of our guys except McGowan caught the ball. Hopefully, we will solve that one.

    Now about the getting punts off…..

    does anyone have a final count on special teams blunders?
    off the top of my head

    clemson – muffed FG – difference in game
    SC – muffed punt/fumbled punt?
    north texas – kick off for TD, blocked punt TD
    LSU – None
    UT – blocked kick TD
    Vandy – fumbled punt and blocked kick that each led to TD
    Nebraska – fumbled punt lead to TD

    I know i must be missing a few in here.

    • Gaskilldawg

      At Auburn, illegal jumping penalty and UT illegal faking a rush or something penalty. Both really were refereeing boneheadedness, if that is a word, but both occurred on special teams.

  6. Cousin Eddie

    “punt return block” – those three words look good together.

  7. ctfain

    One question: with different guys coaching the punt blocks punt return, will teams be able to see who’s giving last minute instructions and know which we’re planning?

    • Trbodawg

      This was my initial thought also, but then I’m a UGA fan, I always look for how things could go wrong.

    • Chris M.

      I think what that means is one will be coaching when we receive the punts and the other when we are kicking the punts.

      • Trbodawg

        Maybe. The way I read it Lilly is handling punt returns and Ekeler is handling punt block. Regardless, I’m happy to see us doing something different. Cause doing the same thing and expecting different results is too close to what is happening at the North Ave. Trade School.

      • PTC DAWG

        I can’t imagine anyone would see it any other way…good grief at how folks want to confuse themselves.

    • GaskillDawg

      We can have both Lilly and Ekeler stand in front of the 11 players and both move their lips but only have one speak. Or, we already have a staffer experienced as a towel guy.

      Either way we can solve the problem, if there is one.

  8. SouthGaDawg

    Great leader I once worked for told me, “You don’t assign a task to a group.” I like the idea a lot better of 2 ST coaches rather than all of ’em having a duty. This staff looks buttah and buttah every day.

  9. At least we have specific names to ask for to be fired now.😉

    Really like the BMac move. Like Senator says, I don’t think this will actually change much in how we handle our recruiting, but it’s a way for Richt to justify more money for him.

    And despite my joke, I’m actually quite optimistic on the division of labor for special teams. Of course, I always get optimistic during the offseason, despite me best efforts not to!

  10. Skint

    Same old same old. Until we quit playing walk-ons on special teams, they will not be special. What were Lilly’s duties last year? He had basically two tight ends to coach, and one was hurt and the other couldn’t catch the damn ball against Mizzou, Fla., and Neb. Hopefully, the new defensive staff will motivate Richt’s and Dooleys’s buddies.

  11. Hogbody Spradlin

    Richt took jobs away from a committee. I’m down with that.

  12. Sh3rl0ck

    Who is responsible for the punt team? Ekeler?

    • PTC DAWG

      Is it really that hard to understand?

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        No, not really. When we are returning a punt Lilly will be the guy working with the players. When we’re trying to block a punt Ekeler will be working with the players. How long do you think it will take our opponents to figure out that when they have a punting situation, and they see Ekeler giving instructions to the punt return team, Georgia has the “punt block” on? They’ll have a GA on their sideline with binoculars trained on Ekeler.

  13. Big AL

    I think the important thing here is that Ekeler is in charge of kickoffs. Lilly is still guilty by association for the awesomeness known as directional kickoffs to the opponent’s 35 yard line. However, I’m not holding my breath that we are still not out of the Logan Gray punt return era.

  14. rocksalt

    BMac won’t be the Recruiting Coordinator in my eyes until he’s extorted some big time ca$h out of the program with a couple of job market flirtations. Then, the student will have become the master.

  15. rampdawg

    sUGAdaddy, I believe we faked a FG against Bama in the SEC Champ.Ship. Picked up a 1st donw and then scored a TD.

  16. Special teams is an area where you can judge the thoroughness of preparation along with the confidence of a coaching staff.

  17. Awreed

    Who’s got the punt team?