What has changed.

From Seth Emerson’s article at The Athletic ($$) about Sam Pittman come two very valid points about the way the football program has changed under Kirby Smart.

First, there’s Pittman’s contract.  He signed a three-year contract when he arrived, with a salary of $650,000 a year, just revised to $825,000.  Seth calls that “unprecedented for a Bulldogs position coach”.  He’s right.  For context, refer back to this piece about Mike Bobo’s last contract agreement.

Bobo will have an extra year added to his existing contract, a three-year deal that he signed last year. So he will now be signed through December 2016, or any bowl game in January of that season.

Other terms of the contract, including his $575,000 salary, remain unchanged for now, athletics director Greg McGarity confirmed.

If you want to keep valuable assistant coaches, you don’t screw around.  You go where the market takes you, a lesson that hasn’t been lost on Kirby Smart.

If that’s a lesson on the administrative side, here’s a fantastic quote from Pace Academy’s offensive line coach Kevin Johnson that illustrates what somebody’s learned on the coaching side:

“There’s two things that you need when you’re building a program: a good O-line coach and a good strength coach. Everything else? You’ll be OK. You can hide everything else. But O-line coach, you can’t hide that.”

No kidding.  And what a difference from Richt’s approach.

This is the kind of stuff I mean when I refer to Kirby having a clue.

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34 Comments

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34 responses to “What has changed.

  1. Derek

    It seems to me that that the OL coaches CMR hired were pretty respected folks at the time they were hired, the last one being a major exception.

    I don’t think we’ve had the recruiting/coaching combo that Pittman brings. But apparently that’s rare. Seems OL coaches tend to not be the likeable sort.

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    • … the last one being a major exception.

      Sale was the point of my comparison, but it’s not like any of Richt’s o-line coaches excelled at recruiting, nor did he care particularly much if they did. Giving Callaway carte blanche control over o-line recruiting was borderline coaching malpractice.

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      • Derek

        We did ok during the Callaway years: ‘01-‘06.

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      • Bulldog Joe

        http://www.savannahnow.com/sports/2006-08-30/ugas-offensive-line-almost-depleted

        OL performance was solid in Coach Richt’s first three years but declined significantly in 2004. 2004 was a solid team but the inability to keep David Greene on his feet was its achilles heel.

        The 2005 SEC champs improved but many of the OL problems were masked by a mobile QB and became evident when Shockley wasn’t in the game.

        Some of it was recruiting as you stated. Some of it was S&C as shoulder injuries became epidemic, and by 2006 it was off the rails.

        Today, we still have a ways to go in the middle of the line as evidenced by the second half of our last game. But happily, depth and S&C no longer appear to be the issue.

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        • JCDAWG83

          Sort of looks like when Donnan’s players left that was the end of having a decent OL to me. By then, Richt had worked his magic on the fan base with the “good man”, “coach other coaches would want their sons to play for”, etc. thing and knew he could mail it in and keep getting those big checks.

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  2. Jt (the other one)

    Football games are won and lost on the LOS. It really isn’t rocket science. As your OL/DL go so goes your football fortunes…

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  3. Greg

    ” This is the kind of stuff I mean when I refer to Kirby having a clue.”

    Boy, there sure was a lot of doubt in the beginning….and to be honest, I had doubts too. I have none now, glad I was wrong.

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  4. If Pittman leaves it will only be – because he is bored or wants to try something else. CKS isn’t going to let the best O-Line coach in the country get away… That’s a nice feeling…

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  5. Anonymous

    Oh, come on. We just need to get a group of guys that block well together and function as a unit. They just need to block the guy across from them just long enough for Knowshon to dodge the two guys that ran free when the other linemen whiffed on their blocks. You know, just go get some good Christian boys from GISA school or a Single A program that are 6’4″ 255 lbs and hope they can eat enough to become functional.

    I remember being in the Dome during the during the 4th Quarter of 2012 SEC Championship Game thinking about how we would be up by 30 points if we swapped Offensive Lines.

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    • Greg

      Scoring points was not Richt’s problem….for the most part. Relatively speaking that is.

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      • Anonymous

        My point was more about the quality of Bama’s OL in 2012. It was a thing of beauty. Friend was a quality OL coach. The real problem with the OL was the 2008-2010 timeframe.

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        • Greg

          No doubt about the ’12 game, their OL just took over. But our DL depth is what got us beat that year, they gave out…”their wagon was draggin”. That is what got us beat imo. But that gap (depth), has closed.

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          • JCDAWG83

            17 player recruiting classes don’t help build depth. Going into the 2012 SECCG with 59 healthy recruited scholarship players was borderline criminal. Roster management may have been the worst of Richt’s shortcomings for his whole career at Georgia.

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            • Greg

              Pretty sure you will not see that anymore. I love where we are now. Depth definitely got us beat that game, especially on the DL.

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    • That David Andrews guy from Wesleyan really sucked.

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      • Anonymous

        Oh, wow. You totally changed my mind. He was a hell of a Left Tackle protecting Murray’s / Mason’s blind-side. We totally need to pull the scholarships we have awarded to guys like Thomas, Cleveland, Hayes, Salyer, Mayes, etc. Those 5-star types of guys might not pan out. We should go get some more guys like Jonathan Owens or Chris Davis.

        Boss was a really good player for us, but he is the exception that proves the rule. The best offense is a great defense. The best defense is a dominant Offensive Line that can eat clock and keep the defense on the bench.

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        • My point is your generalization is exactly what it is. Boss worked hard to develop. I love what Pittman is doing on the offensive line. I’m just making the point that it’s more than just the star ratings. It’s not that the previous guy didn’t offer the 5-Star types we’re getting now. For whatever reason, he didn’t close the deal (except with Cleveland) with those guys.

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    • Uglydawg

      And you used the adjective “Christian” because??? I don’t think CMR ever had a religious litmus test for his players. Some of his biggest stars were of other faiths. But my question (first sentence).is rhetorical. I know the reason.

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      • Anonymous

        My comment on the “Christian” schools is about the quality of the opponents faced. Richt had a habit of signing kids from small Christian private schools and from A or AA programs. The kids that played at AAAA to AAAAAA schools tend to have proven themselves against better competition.

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      • Anonymous

        But my question (first sentence).is rhetorical. I know the reason.

        I missed this bit the first time I read it. White Christian Americans are the only majority on this planet that think they are a persecuted minority. Y’all didn’t pick up Jesus’ sense of morality, but y’all sure did mix his martyr complex with your cheap grace. If you want to feign persecution, I give you some. “We’re being persecuted cause we ain’t allowed to beat up them faggots no more”. “We’re being persecuted by Atheist Libruls cause we can’t use the Bible as the text book in Science class.” WOMP WOMP.

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        • Mike Cooley

          Anon, I initially didn’t get the same thing from your post as Uglydawg did. But that cow pie you served up right there just proved that he was right. If you truly think most Christians meet that ridiculous description then you aren’t nearly as smart as you want to believe you are and have made your ignorance loud clear with such a post. Womp womp? Yours needs the Looney Toons music as accompaniment.

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          • Anonymous

            I was just giving the guy the persecution he was looking for. You may think I ‘m displaying ignorance, but I just made that guys day. Reasonable people don’t assume that every mentioning of Christianity is some kind of attack. My comment was very literally about the competition level faces at the small religious schools. That is why I grouped them with SIngle A level public schools.

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            • Mike Cooley

              And I took your original post as such. Then that steaming pile of ignorant crap that you followed it up with just made him look like a mind reader. Instead of showing him he was wrong, you made him right.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Hillbilly Dawg

    I hate the vawls. I’d love to see Chaney-Pittman & Co let Holyfield et al rush for 500+ yards this year.

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    • Whiskeydawg

      Yes, me too, though it might lead my brother to jump from Rocky Top.

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    • Uglydawg

      I would love to see the urnge defensive backfied refuse to go back on the field because they are so beat up from trying to tackle a full steam Holyfield. If it happened after the first UGA drive it would be even better.

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  7. Whiskeydawg

    I’ve always thought that one of the main factors that lead Bielema getting fired at Hog College was not buttoning down Pittman. He’s lines were never the same after he took off to Athens.

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