If you can beat ’em, join ’em.

Nick Saban just hired the former Ole Miss offensive coordinator who had quite the resume against the ‘Bama defense.

While at Ole Miss, Werner helped orchestrate back-to-back upsets over Alabama, beating the Crimson Tide 23-17 in 2014 and 43-37 in 2015. He nearly made it three straight games last season, coaching Ole Miss’ offense to a 24-3 lead. However, a second-half comeback allowed Alabama to leave Oxford, Miss., with a 48-43 victory. The 522 yards Werner’s offense put up against the Tide during last season’s game were the most by any opponent all year.

Once again, Saban stays ahead of the game on the analyst front.  I’m guessing he’ll have a few choice nuggets to add for prep against his former program.

Should I bother to point out that Kirby Smart, who certainly faced the brunt of Werner’s game planning in the Tide’s two losses, went hunting for an analyst of his very own and managed to grab the former Minnesota offensive coordinator whose offense managed to finish within fifty-five spots from Ole Miss in offensive yards per play last season.  (Even Chaney managed a better finish than that.)  Nah, I guess not.

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48 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

48 responses to “If you can beat ’em, join ’em.

  1. dawgtired

    I wonder if Freeze just had the feeling of playing ‘go fish’ with Saban. Hugh throws down a card and Saban picks it up and uses it to win the game. I guess Saban had to one-up Kirby. I keep hoping to see Bama weaken a little but Saban maintains the pressure…never relenting. It will be interesting to see how these ‘analyst’ play out in results on the field. I’m hoping that, as a whole, we are better as a team, with them working together, than each individual coach’s ranking. We HAVE to be.

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  2. Dawg-n-bama

    Dawg fans need to keep things in perspective, we still have O line issues. A completed overhaul won’t happen in 1 or two years. 2017 recruiting helped, but these guys won’t be on campus until June. Our O-line could be worse than last year.

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    • Sadly, that’s kinda where I’m at too. The OL is just going to take a while to fix between development and recruiting. The encouraging thing is that Kirby seems obsessed about building from the OL and I don’t think will ever let it get that bad again.

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      • Simple questions – when do the offensive coaches become accountable for their unit’s performance? When does Kirby get held accountable for results?

        We weren’t asked to accept increases in the minimum contributions and the ticket prices in anticipation of 2019 or, for goodness sake, 2020. I don’t expect an SEC championship in ’17. I expect an appearance in Atlanta and a New Year’s 6 bowl appearance and don’t think that’s too much to ask.

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        • Georgia’s talent deficient OL was still more talented than what Georgia Tech, Vandy, and Nichols were running out there. I also don’t remember where the OL gave up 45 points to a 5-7 Ole Miss team.

          I absolutely will accept at face value that Georgia lacked the talent to line up with the Bamas / LSUs/ Floridas in the conference. However, it’s the aforementioned turd games that can’t be explained away by lack of talent that is the issue to me. Pittman is getting paid a helluva lot of money because he’s considered one of the best in the business. Good coaches take the talent they have on hand and put in a position to succeed. Better stated – does anybody believe that if the two coaching staffs flipped sidelines prior to the Georgia Tech game last year that Paul Johnson wouldn’t have put a biblical beatdown on Georgia Tech with the Georgia players?

          For the life of me – I still can’t understand why they didn’t just decide to go full zone-blocking / pistol formation after the Tennessee game last year. It was the one game where the offense looked like it knew what the hell it wanted to be and could run it semi-succesfully. Then again – I believe the notion of throwaway seasons is BS.

          Barring a 2013 run of injuries, there is no reason why Georgia shouldn’t win the East this year. Get to Atlanta and remain competitive with whatever beast comes out of the West and I think most of us will be pretty happy (at least I know that I’ll feel a helluva lot better about the head man). Admittedly, I’d feel a lot better if he went ahead and ripped off the Chaney band-aid now, but I get the argument for continuity.

          The second year of a coach is when the big jumps happen, if they’re gonna happen. I think it’s fair to expect at least a trip to Atlanta this year and to consider anything less to be unacceptable (obviously barring some unforeseen circumstances).

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          • DawgPhan

            You can probably add Derek Mason to the list of coaches that would lay waste to Smart’s team if they flipped squads.

            Can someone point me to the list of coaches that Smart has outcoached?

            it’s probably somewhere. I am sure.

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          • I’m with you on Chaney and the whole pro-style offense as a whole. It’s time to run an offense that GA high school QBs can step right in and run.

            But yeah, I get it. 4 OCs in 4 years is a recipe for disaster.

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          • Audit, I completely agree with you about the Tennessee game. The offense looked good in that game until Chaney decided to call a slow-developing play-action pass off the goal line resulting in the sack/fumble TD. Why we didn’t take that game plan and tailor it the rest of the season is beyond me, and why we went back to the same old crap the next week against Vandy was borderline criminal.

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            • “Why we didn’t take that game plan and tailor it the rest of the season is beyond me, and why we went back to the same old crap the next week against Vandy was borderline criminal.”

              My thoughts exactly. The biggest question mark of the year in my book.

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        • Kirby is accountable for it all as far as I’m concerned, as well as the respective coaches. This year will tell us a lot, but it still feels like 9-3 is the ceiling to me (which should be good enough to win the East). The OL is what it is, I still don’t think there are game breakers at WR, and the DBs are small and can get picked on.

          But to your point, Kirby owns it. This year will be very telling. The on-field product should be a few games better, and the rebuilding of the roster will be another year closer.

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          • DawgPhan

            No way 9-3 is good enough to win the east. Or a finish to be happy about.

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          • Good comment except 9-3 won’t get us to Atlanta unless 2 of those 3 are out of conference. A loss at tech likely means we will lose more than 1 conference game. I don’t see how it adds up unless Florida and Tennessee absolutely crater this season.

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            • Don’t shit the bed in Jax, and they win the east. Same as it ever was.

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              • I get it, but I don’t see how that would actually play out. If we can’t beat tech in Atlanta and ND in South Bend, we aren’t beating UF in Jacksonville and UT in Knoxville unless both of them collapse.

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                • We’ll see. I personally think Tech is going continue to be a tough out until we can get back to 2011/2012 offense and stop playing their game. ND on the road? IDK. They lost a ton of close games last year.

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                  • If we’re now saying tech is going to be a “tough out,” then the recruiting gurus are completely wrong about talent levels. If Jimmies & Joes matter so much (which seems to be your perspective), we should beat them like a rented mule every year because I can’t think of a single player on their starting 22 I would take over our 22.

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                    • Every game since peckerhead has been there has been a 1 score game except for 2011 and 2012 when we had the offense to take them out of their game. This is what I mean by “tough out”. Until we can just score enough to put them down 3 possessions, expect a lot of 1 score, close games, which eventually even out closer to 50/50.

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                    • We had the offense in 2013 to do it to them as well, but Murray was hurt the week before (and Mason started his first game). We fumbled twice inside the 5 and blew the opportunity off that beautifully executed fake FG in 2014 (and that’s without talking about the absolute screw-ups at the end of the game). They scored late in 2015 with the assistance of a bogus call against Ganus, or we shut them out. We blew a 2 score lead with 7 minutes to go last year and had an opportunity to go up by 3 scores (except I Haz a Fat Pencil put the offense in a shell too early and then turned around to put the game in Eason’s hands when we should have been running clock and forcing them to use timeouts).

                      Bottom line is that we’ve had a LOT of self-inflicted wounds or bad luck in tech games since the 2012 curb-stomping.

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                    • Yeah, I don’t disagree. You beat triple option teams by getting them down so big that their methodical offense works against them. We just haven’t been there lately.

                      To my original point: we’ll have a much clearer picture of what we have and where we’re headed.

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                    • We didn’t have the big margin because of our own self-inflicted wounds:
                      2013 – our defense was awful early while Mason was trying to get his legs under him. When he did and the defense started playing, we dominated the last 37 minutes of play. With Murray, that game isn’t close.
                      2014 – if I remember correctly, we had an opportunity to be up 21-3 in the 2nd quarter, but Chubb and Michel both fumbled inside the 5.
                      2015 – our offense didn’t do anything of note, but the defense played lights out. Ganus should have never let that 4th down call be made.
                      2016 – that loss was the result of decisions from the sideline and nothing more.

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                  • DawgPhan

                    I dont disagree with you. ND was the best 4-8 team in the country last year. They have recruited well and they lost some close games last year. Brian Kelly is probably a better coach that Smart is right now.

                    We could easily lose the ND game on the road, same with Tech. CPJ is a better coach than Smart.

                    But I also feel like if we lose both of those games, anything short of an SEC Title and the season would feel like a complete failure.

                    So 9-3 and 7-1 in the SEC and ending up losing the SEC title game to finish 9-4 and be looking at a December bowl game in Florida against a middle of the pack big 10 team? Does that feel like a good season?

                    We havent lost in Atlanta in a long time. That would suck. Losing to ND would suck.

                    I also suspect that if we arent good enough to be beat Tech, we are likely going to slip up somewhere else on the schedule.

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            • DawgPhan

              It doesnt. but that wont stop them.

              9-3 would be a trash fire of a season. Another throwaway where we just didnt have the players to beat Tech, Notre Dame, or App St. 9-3 while it would be better than last year would be a disappointment.

              A season where we lose in Jacksonville or Mizzou comes and drops 50 on us @ home.

              Or Vandy extends their win streak against us.

              A 9-3 season would be very bad.

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              • If we were to lose to App State, you could probably say the Kirby experiment would be done. I don’t care how they played UTK last year or what they did in the Sun Belt. They shouldn’t be able to compete with a program with the resources and talent of a Georgia.

                If App had held on against UTK last year, I believe Booch would have been out on his ear.

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                • DawgPhan

                  put me down for if we dont have a 2 score lead heading into the 4th quarter against app st, fire Smart on the sideline before the final whistle.

                  At that point we could probably just let Sony and Nick coach the team and have things turn out just fine.

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                  • The Dawg abides

                    “Lulz.” We already put you down for firing Smart last January.

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                    • DawgPhan

                      I would love to see them fire smart WWE style in the field of the field at half time of the g-day game. that would be great. Loser leaves town match against goldberg or something.

                      Whatever it takes to get that bum out of athens.

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                  • PTC DAWG

                    We get it, you don’t like CKS….

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                    • DawgPhan

                      Yeah no shit. The real question is why you guys want to cape up for a guy that couldnt beat vandy or tech at home.

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                  • Brandon

                    I’m sure you were instantly an expert at whatever it is you do your first year on the job too.

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                    • Did you get $3m+ for your first year on the job? Why does being in your first year exempt you from criticism? The previous guy got roasted by media and the fans for a couple of games where the coaches made errors … by the way, rightfully so.

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      • Otto

        The OL needs another, it is the hardest position group to rebuild, the kids often get redshirted and are not fully developed leaving High School. Yes ’17 could be worse than ’16 with very good coaches.

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    • Woohoo! Throwaway season in ’17 for the win! How about ’19 or ’20 when we can expect to be in the SECCG?

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  3. W Cobb Dawg

    The rich get richer. Werner has a pretty solid resume, arguably better than Laner, Sarkisian, and bama’s current OC Daboll. He did a good job with QBs Wallace and Kelly. Is Werner better than Chaney? I think most people would answer yes.

    You’re not going to find many Broyles award nominees on our staff. With the exception of 2.5 OL positions, we’ve got experienced players coming back everywhere. I don’t fault Kirby for hiring Johnson, we need all the OC help we can get. If our assistant coaches don’t step up their game in 2017 I expect at least a few to be gone on 1/1/18.

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  4. NoAxeToGrind

    2018 will be the make or break year. Kirby shits the bed in 2018, he’s a goner. He ain’t getting a 10 year benefit of the doubt like a former “loved” coach. It will be interesting to say the least. Hang in there McGarity.

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    • I suspect if he wins the SEC this year, plays for it next year, and wins it again two years after that – he’ll have plenty of benefit of the doubt just like the last guy did and last year will just be seen as a blip in the learning curve as a first time head coach.

      I just refuse to buy into what some folks that comment around here keep pushing. This idea that Georgia was program with such talent deficiency that it is a 5 year rebuilding job or that it’s unacceptable to hold him accountable for any results until he gets all the throwaway seasons out of the system is absolute bullshit that far too many people subscribe to. This isn’t Vanderbilt or Purdue. Many of the missteps last year were completely self-inflicted by the coaching staff independent of the roster quality (again – hoping those missteps were just the learning curve for a first time head coach and not a deeper issue).

      All that said – we’re likely going to know everything we probably need to know about him and whether he’s going to be successful as the Georgia head coach by the end of this year, for better or worse. We’ll either see the obvious improvements and have a good sense that we’re on the way up or we’ll see the same dumbassery from last year and realize we might have Will Muschamp 2.0 on our hands. I’m not waiting til 2019 to make that judgment though – it should be pretty dang obvious at the end of this year which one it is.

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