Looking for an offensive coordinator after the Pruitt deal

I’ve seen/heard some suggestions in the wake of the Pruitt extension that it shows Georgia can and will do something on a similar level with the offensive coordinator hire.  Eh, I’m not so sure about that.

And I don’t necessarily mean that as criticism.

If I’ve slagged B-M and McGarity in particular for trying to ignore the reality of the market, honesty compels me to admit that the offensive coordinator market is a different beast from the market Georgia faced in Pruitt’s case.  Take a look at USA Today’s assistant coaches’ salary database to see what I mean here.  With Muschamp’s hire and Pruitt’s raise, there are now four assistants in the SEC making more than a million dollars a year, only one of whom, Cam Cameron, is on the offensive side.

And Cameron is clearly an outlier.  Roper and Kiffin were the next highest paid offensive coordinators this past season and each made about half of what Cameron did.

There is simply a higher premium put on good defensive coordinators in this conference.  Some of that is probably due to some SEC head coaches, like Freeze, Malzahn and Sumlin, still being heavily involved in their offenses’ play. Some of it is probably due to stopping an offense being harder to do these days than ever.  And some is due to there being plenty of talented offensive guys out there, particularly if you’re looking to run some version of the Air Raid.

Georgia doesn’t need to spend over a million a year to get a top-notch guy, in other words.  But it’s probably going to have to spend more than it did on Bobo.

The message here is that Richt should have some real flexibility in going after the coach he wants for the position.  I tend to agree with Emerson and Estes at this point that the next OC is likely not on anyone’s radar yet.

36 Comments

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36 responses to “Looking for an offensive coordinator after the Pruitt deal

  1. VoxDawg

    Wouldn’t mind seeing ECU’s OC get into the fray. I think he would be like a kid in a candy store with our roster.

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  2. Richt isn’t going to pay a mint for an OC in much the same way Spurrier wouldn’t. There’s no need.

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    • Chadwick

      It’s not that he won’t, it’s that he likely won’t have to. Any OC brought aboard isn’t likely to be bringing a full-blown scheme with him. It’ll be someone familiar with running Richt’s pro-set philosophy and who has experience developing QB fundamentals. It won’t be a bidding war hire and it needn’t be.

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    • Joe Schmoe

      I agree. It struck me that Richt prioritizes spending on defensive staff due to his offensive background and the fact that he already has an offensive scheme. I imagine he wants someone who will adopt his vision for the offense which leads to hiring a more up and coming type of coordinator.

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  3. Bulldawg165

    I really don’t care who we get as an offensive coordinator, I just feel like we should win the east next year and I don’t think a new offensive coordinator is an excuse not to (for a reason I won’t make you hear again unless you want to).

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  4. DCs get paid because that’s what makes or breaks a SEC team, unless that team is Auburn. Alabama, LSU and Florida all won championships with lights out defense. Georgia won 2 SEC East titles with a great and a good defense to compliment a blazing offense. Ole Miss won 9 games this year with a good defense. Oregon’s offense is on fire, but they thumped FSU by forcing turnovers (although the Noles simply handed them the ball a few times).

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    • Bulldawg165

      “DCs get paid because that’s what makes or breaks a SEC team, unless that team is Auburn”

      This sentiment gets expressed a lot, so I figured I’d do some research. Here’s what I discovered:

      The last seven SEC champions (as far back as cfbstats.com shows) have been ranked no worse than second in the conference in scoring offense except for one year, with 2009 Alabama being the sole exception at fourth.

      During that same period, those same SEC champions have been ranked outside of the top 2 in scoring defense on three separate occasions: 2008 Auburn at 8th, 2013 Auburn at 9th, and 2014 Alabama at 3rd. 

      Sounds like a good offense is more indicative of championships than defense.

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      • .Dash

        Which do you think prevented UGA from winning an SEC championship this year?

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        • Bulldawg165

          The lack of a decent defense. A good but not great performance would’ve been more than enough, which you can’t usually say about offenses.

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        • Bulldawg165

          By the way, our best year was 2012 when we were “five yards away” and all that jazz. Our scoring offense was 3rd in the conference while our scoring defense ranked 6th. That’s right, folks… The only time we’ve been close to doing something, our offense was carrying our defense. Same with Auburn and, to a lesser extent, Bama this year (although I must admit I feel silly including Bama considering their scoring offense was only one spot higher than their defense).

          I’m not saying offense alone wins championships. I’m just saying that defense alone doesn’t. It usually takes a bit of both, but so long as one side of the ball is at least average, the elite offense appears to be more important. (And of course, the usual caveats apply with a sample size as small as 7 years)

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        • Mayor

          Neither. The Georgia O was first and goal from the 4 with 2 minutes to go and down by 3 in the Georgia- South Carolina game this season. If Bobo would have handed the ball to Gurley the Dawgs would have scored and won the game, then finished the regular season 7-1 and winners of the East. They then would have played Bama in the SECCG and if the Bama team I saw the other night showed up, the Dawgs would have won the SECCG. It all gets back to that game and that call. Some fixate on the WLOCP but the Dawgs didn’t show up for that game–no chance for that game to be pulled out. But the USCe game, as bad as the D played at times, the D came through at the end and presented the O with a chance to win at the end. And Bobo blew it. That one call kept UGA from winning the SEC East and having a good chance to win the SEC Championship this year.

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          • AusDawg85

            What if our record setting PK makes those 2 FG’s.? Teams lose, not plays, players or coaches.

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          • Mayor, you are absolutely right. The offense played great, and Bobo had a good plan in Columbia. He made one mistake with a play call (as we discussed on the Bama thread on Friday), and Mason made a dumb, panicked decision (Morgan should have still made the FG).

            I said it in September and will say it again. When Bobo retires from coaching, he will probably say that call was the single worst play call of his career.

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      • I imagine some of those SEC Champ offenses were rated higher because their defense could get other team’s offense off the field resulting in more offensive possessions per game. In 2012 or 2013, if our defense could have given the offense 2-3 more possessions per game by getting some 3 & outs or relatively quick stops it would have been nice. I think this year the defense created more possessions for our offense, which was nice.

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  5. AthensHomerDawg

    Both the D and the O took a step back at LSU. Now that Chavis has departed I wonder if Cam gets more attention from that fan base.

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  6. Jack Klompus

    Interesting that it seems DCs are in higher demand and getting paid more than OCs while offensive HC coaches seem to be what is sought out this season in CFB and the NFL.

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  7. jermainesdye

    Radar: on.

    Look, I found him!

    Mike Bloomgren!

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    • I would really like that hire, he is an O line guru, Stanford had very few holding penalties this past year, I believe it was like 4, and then hire a good QB coach like Weinke and I doubt you see any dropoff in production

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  8. Will

    Going back and watching Roper’s Duke teams make me think that the problems in Gainesville weren’t related to him, at least not totally. I’m hesitant to pick up anything from Florida, but I think Roper’s connection to Cuttcliff probably means he’s got some idea of how to effectively tutor QBs and call plays. Plus, given his situation, he can probably be gotten for a relatively small salary (600-800k) for an outside hire.

    Positives from this?
    1) Fresh offensive outlook from new blood
    2) Another great teacher for BMac, probably with eyes towards grooming him for OC position in future (Richt thinks ahead?)
    3) Kills 2 birds with 1 stone again with OC/QB coach hire.

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    • there’s a reason why McElwain did not want to retain him at UF, and don’t give me it’s because McElwain works with QB’s that’s horse shit

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      • Will

        I guess, but I have some slight bit more faith in Cuttcliff’s QB coaching over McElwain’s. If Cuttcliff thinks Roper is a good guy, I can’t see not giving it a chance. Plus, it’s not fair to judge Roper off the dumpster fire that was Jeff Driskell. Let that anchor weight down Charlie “Decided Schematic Advantage” Weis.

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        • Cojones

          What is this “fresh outlook” of which you speak? That is not a positive, it’s a confuser to O players. Gedouttaheah with that weak sauce.

          Lilly is thebest choice for continuity in our O program that has been set in place by Bobo..

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          • Will

            I’m okay with Lilly being promoted as well, but at that point I still think we need to bring in a great QB coach, as Lilly has spent his time with TE’s.

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  9. Dawganova

    The first thing that came to my mind when Pruitt got the pay increase was that, after that impressive move, now McGarity can’t afford to make a big time OC hire (at least in his own mind) and will go for the cheaper option of an internal hire a la John Lilly. Which seems to fit with the postulating above that there is really no need for a big time name/expenditure. I just don’t expect the Butts-Mehre tiger to completely change his stripes in a day. He could probably pay an unproven Lilly the same amount he was paying Bobo while simultaneously giving him a pay increase. Even though the brain trust of Senator, Emerson and Estes are predicting someone not on our radar, I’m throwing my chips in on Lilly.

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  10. Mike Cooley

    I doubt it ends up being Lilly. I don’t know exactly what has been going on between our coaches and AA and I don’t know if Pruitt’s raise is indicative of the AA having been farces to change its philosophy. But I just don’t see an internal promotion. Even if you still think McGarity is a tight wad who is behind the times when it comes to coach compensation, I don’t think he’s stupid. And promoting Lilly to OC would be massively unpopular I believe. Remember, McGarity just sent out his grovel for more money/promise that he gets it, email. Somehow a big fizzle like promoting Lilly doesn’t square with that. I really don’t know much about Roper so I won’t say anything beyond I think judging solely on what happened at Florida is probably a mistake. I don’t know why people seem so down on Sanders. And I have no clue about whether or not it will be someone nobody has even thought about yet. Somehow I kind of doubt that too. It just isn’t in line with how things seem to be trending. But I’m just a fan an really know very little when you get right down to it. The people who claim inside info always make me role my eyes,

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  11. Mike Cooley

    I meant forced when my iPad thought I meant farces. Then again, maybe the iPad knows better.

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  12. The iPad always knows… Can’t wait to see who will fill Bobo’s shoes. So excited about the prospects, even though we have no idea, it will be someone who understands The Georgia Way. The good and honorable Georgia Way.😉

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    • Cojones

      Lilly.

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      • Really ? What makes you so sure? ⛺️

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      • SouthGaDawg

        Hiring Lilly to me seems kinda like if USC would’ve hired Orgeron after their bowl win last year. One game does not make a head coach or OC. I’m not on board with Lilly. Most OC/play callers are also the QB coach. Some OCs are OL coaches if the HC is the play caller. I think Richt goes after a multiple pro guy like Sanders or Roper who is also the QB coach. The next step would be to then go after an OL coach who coaches in a run oriented offense. Richt still wants to run the inside zone, outside zone, iso, toss sweep, and play action. He also want to run much of the offense from under center. This flash & trash Air Raid stuff won’t work in the SEC. (Hal Mumme disagrees with that last sentence…)

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  13. What about an assist OC or QB coach from the NFL. Might have to pay him but he would know the NFL offense. Seems like all the creative college offensive guys are Air Raid HUNH guys.

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  14. david shiflett

    What about Mike Martz formerly coach of the “Greatest Show on Turf” Rams with Kurt Warner etc.

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