About “hands-on” and staff decisions

As we sit here, Kirby Smart has two open spots on the coaching staff, one being the newly authorized one for a tenth assistant and the other to fill the hole created when Shane Beamer left for Oklahoma.  I have no doubt these are high priority decisions for Smart, but unlike a lot of other head coaches, he hasn’t rushed to fill them.  I’m not burning with desire for final decisions, but I am curious about what he’s taking his time over.

One reason I wonder about that — and keep in mind this is the purest, rankest speculation on my part, totally unsupported by any evidence — is whether it’s an indication that he’s pondering the possibility of restructuring the responsibilities of the staff in the course of making these next hires.  What set that off in my mind is something Marc Weiszer tweeted yesterday.

Now, that could mean very little more than the usual talk about getting the tight ends more involved in the passing game, something we’ve heard so often over the years that we discount it a lot more than newly enrolled players seem to.  Or it could mean something more.  Could Smart be thinking about making Chaney a de facto tight ends coach?  If so, would that have any effect on Chaney’s official role as the quarterbacks coach?  While I have a hard time buying into that last possibility, as Chaney has a good record developing quarterbacks, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for an offensive coordinator not to be the QB coach also.  (Saban just elected to go down that road, for example.)

Again, I have no idea about any of this.  I’m just spinning off the top of my head, so don’t take it any more seriously than that.  I’m sure Smart has a lot of options to choose from at the moment.  I’ll be curious to see the result of what he’s looking for and thinking.

Speculate for yourselves in the comments.


Filed under Georgia Football

40 responses to “About “hands-on” and staff decisions

  1. Derek

    It’s very possible that his targets aren’t available until after signing day. That isn’t atypical. See Roquan.


    • Oh, I don’t doubt that. But that still doesn’t tell me what kind of coaches he’s looking at, and for what roles.


      • Derek

        True dat. My speculation is that he’s trying to keep our TE’s in a decent mood. Between lack of targets in 2017 and the post-early-signing day change. He’s got some attitude reclamation to do.


  2. SC has that model now too. Our boy McClendon got moved up to OC, but is not coaching the QB’s. Hope he does well 11 games out of the year. 🙂


  3. Jack Burton

    Imagine if we decide to use our highly skilled, big target TEs to fill the void of Wims. Think split out wide like Gronk and Kelsey. Would be a beautiful thing to see is all I’m saying. Would also keep defenses off balance before the huddle is broken. Two TE personnel but one ends up being split wide. One can dream…


    • Bright Idea

      Chaney often split the TEs over the last two seasons but they still seldom got the ball which I think we tend to over fret. Kirby could be waiting on the status of Kevin Butler before deciding on the coaching staff but that’s just me speculating which we all are so good at.


  4. I would like him to hire a QB coach who actually played the position … someone young with Georgia ties and is loved by the Bulldog Nation. I wonder who that could be.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Kevin Butler promoted from GA to special teams coordinator.


    • Russ

      I’d like to see Butler become this generation’s Coach Hartman.


      • My only question would be whether KB wants the job. I think he enjoys his life – do a little radio, play in charity golf tournaments, hang around Athens and head back to Duluth to enjoy the fruits of his NFL labors. I wonder if he would want the recruiting grind and all of the crap that goes along with coaching as a job rather than a retirement hobby.


  5. Charles

    “Being more hands on with tight ends” sounds like the kind of thing that would get you in trouble in Hollywood these days.


  6. Bigshot

    James Coley is going to coach QB’s.


  7. Raleigh St. Claire

    James Coley didn’t turn down the OC job at TAMU for nothing. I suspect he’s going to be the new QB coach, Chaney to coach TEs (which he’s done before in the pros, and we hire a WR coach and fill the 10th coach with a guy dedicated to STs.


  8. DawgPhan

    I also noticed that Dan Enos, who I believe was one of the first calls Smart made, was just named QB coach at Bama.

    There are probably a lot of previously untouchable coaches that are now very reachable.


    • Stoopnagle

      Yeah, I’m wondering if we were fighting Bama for Enos.


      • Uglydawg

        Assistant coaches aspiring to some day land a big-time HC job will probably choose to work for Saban if given the opportunity. Resume building.


        • Tony Barnfart

          and we’re not behind… and Kirby might just wear him down enough to retire him soon. He’s going to tire out playing with a man 20ish years younger playing the same game.


  9. Jack Klompus

    Me thinks that Kirby wants Jonas Jennings on the road so he won’t fill that spot until after NSD part deux.


    • DawgPhan

      I know you can sub in for a coach in recruiting but I wonder what the rules are.

      Could a crafty coach then use that open spot to rotate recruiting coaches?

      Say if you keep the spot open, but you can only use 10 on the field coach spots as an on the road recruiter.

      You could keep that spot open, send one guy out on that spot to recruit, when his visit is over and he isnt “recruiting” anymore, you sub in the next guy who has already traveled to his spot, he takes subs in, recruits, and then subs to the next guy who is traveling. Basically never hire that spot and rotate 5 really good off the field recruiting coaches through that spot to increase uptime of that recruiting spot and reduces on the clock travel time.


  10. Former Fan

    Since the big signing day is over, there’s not near the rush to get those spots filled at this point. Are any of the kids still on the recruiting board at a position that would be coached by the new hires? Having the big signing day behind you gives you more time to think this through.

    I suspect he’ll still want to go with a special teams coach because of how important those teams are to the game Kirby wants to play. When a big part of your game plan is field position, then special teams matter. Who knows about the reshuffle of everything else. With a year like we just had, I would imagine some titles are going to be changing so that the raises can flow.


  11. Erk’s Forehead

    My apologies for this being unrelated, but since this is the only UGA blog I frequent, I would like recommendations in downtown Athens for dinner with Mrs. Erk. I haven’t spent time downtown in quite a while. Not looking for a club scene. Comfortable dinner. Italian, Pub, Steak. Along those lines. Within walking distance of Thomas & Broad.


  12. W Cobb Dawg

    Considering we have 3 current or former OCs on the extended staff – Chaney, Coley and Jay Johnson, I can see where there was no room for Beamer to move up. The good thing about the 3 named above is they appear good at splitting the various offensive positions – QB, WR, and OC duties. Throwing TE in the mix shouldn’t be much of an issue, particularly if Johnson moves from analyst to assistant. Perhaps Kirby is waiting on a Johnson announcement because the recruits we’re still pursuing are on D – where Summers might be more effective.

    I’m inclined to believe Kirby gets a known/proven commodity for STs, and shifting TE responsibilities elsewhere makes sense. Replacing both Beamer and Fountain is a tough act to follow after the year STs just had, no need to add TEs to that task.

    That’s my contribution to the speculation bonanza.


  13. Bulldog Joe

    As always, recruiting comes first.