What’s Georgia defense’s biggest problem?

Anyway you look at it, Georgia is lucky to have won its last two games considering that its defense ranks 112th nationally in pass defense, 108th in scoring defense, 97th in total defense and, as the Athens Banner-Herald points out, has given up the fourth most touchdown passes (nine) among 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

The undisciplined, unfocused play by the Georgia secondary has justifiably come in for a lot of criticism after its performance last week against Arkansas, especially covering the long ball.

Others have pointed to the lack of an effective pass rush as a major contributing factor, putting additional stress on the secondary.

Still others, including Mark Richt, have put most of the blame on turnovers and other mistakes (such as giving up long kick returns or kickoffs going out of bounds) that often have given the Dogs’ opponents a short field to work with. David Hale of Bulldogs Blog provides a detailed look at how costly Georgia’s mistakes have been, contributing to 70 percent of opponents’ scoring drives this season.

Which is the biggest problem for Georgia's defense?

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It’d be wonderful if all those problems could be rectified this week against Arizona State, but even improvement in just one of those areas would be a big step forward.

So which one do you think is the biggest problem for Georgia’s defense? The secondary, the pass rush or turnovers and mistakes? Share your views in the comments, vote in the poll or both.

163 comments Add your comment

Cuz

September 24th, 2009
4:03 pm

Lack of a pass rush, that is where it all starts.

j

September 24th, 2009
4:03 pm

where is the “all of the above” choice?

reebok

September 24th, 2009
4:03 pm

Tech fan here. Considering the Dogs have tremendous talent and great facilities, the biggest problem would seem to be caoching…don’t you think?

reebok

September 24th, 2009
4:04 pm

That’s ‘coaching,’ sports fans…I said I was Tech fan, I didn’t say I could spell.

Sam

September 24th, 2009
4:09 pm

I have finally accepted that it is coaching.

BugKiller

September 24th, 2009
4:11 pm

Why is COACHING a choice to choose?

Why isn’t WILLIE MARTINEZ a choice to choose?

Come on Bill. You’re not being honest if you don’t honestly portray the root cause of these issues, which is coaching. Which is Willie Martinez.

SimpleDawg

September 24th, 2009
4:12 pm

Outside of having shut down corners, the easiest way to defend the pass is by knocking the QB on his butt every time he drops back to pass. Without a pass rush even Joey Harrington can light up the scoreboard.

Let the LB’s and safeties worry about the screens, draws, swing passes, and dumps over the middle.

Pressure, pressure, pressure with the front four.

DawginLex

September 24th, 2009
4:13 pm

I’m interested to see if the trend of stopping the run continues. It could be because folks knew they could move the ball via the air but, no one has run the ball on us with much effectiveness.

I’m no genius but, I have always thought if you stop the run, you make the opponent one-dimensional and that is when the sacks happen.

I guess we will have to see.

Where's Choice #4?

September 24th, 2009
4:14 pm

I guess you left off BAD COACHING as the 4th choice because all three options are a result of it?
Get Willie out of here! These problems have carried over from LAST YEAR. Get Willie out of here!

Cuz

September 24th, 2009
4:14 pm

If Bill put Willie Martinez in the list, someone would complain that he is just piling on Bradley’s coat tails. Since he did not, now there are complaints that he did not add Willie. Bill, you faced the classic no win scenario, The Kobe Ashamaru.

HH

September 24th, 2009
4:15 pm

1) Richt’s lack of backbone. 2) Martinez’ ineptitude. 3) A high-paid athletic director whose function I have yet to ascertain. I stand to be enlightened about reason #3.

John

September 24th, 2009
4:22 pm

Replace 2 DT’s with LB’s that are more quicker and harder to block on 3rd downs. Expecting to bull-rush and get to the quarterback hardly ever works nowadays where college coaching and conditioning programs have improved across the board. Replace 1 LB with a DB to stop teams from creating mismatches with fast receivers being guarded by a slower LB. ADJUST…be the hunter, not the prey!

DAM IT BOYS WE'RE LEAKING

September 24th, 2009
4:23 pm

The simple fact is that we have gone nowhere but down in every defensive category, each year since Slick Willie has been in charge. Nuff said lets play ball!

DAM IT BOYS WE'RE LEAKING

September 24th, 2009
4:26 pm

Even my old roomate from college can see what is wrong and he was from Kentucky for goodness sakes!!

Where's Choice #4?

September 24th, 2009
4:28 pm

Without adding Coaching as an option, you’re kind of just whistling in the wind a bit. Say what you think, Bill. Regardless of what one thinks about Bradley’s post, at least he looked at the facts and had the backbone to state an opinion.

T-Dog

September 24th, 2009
4:30 pm

The numbers and stats don’t lie. We’ve been on a downward trend the last several years with our defense. I think its time to shake things up and make some changes with our coordinators!

BILLY JACK

September 24th, 2009
4:31 pm

The secondary cant blame the pass rush-the safeties and corners look confused in what def is called most of the time.The corners are letting recievers go with no safety help behind them.The secondary stays in a soft zone 80% of the game and teams 6 and 8 yard you to death.This is Martinez specialty,the secondary.He coaches them personally.I heard Nick Saban on a radio interview last year and he was asked what is his coaching philosophy on def and he said we teach our defensive backs and linebackers to contest everything on every pass play.That way of coaching def is about as different than ours as you can get.

Joey

September 24th, 2009
4:37 pm

Easy, the biggest problem is the one in charge…

dawgster

September 24th, 2009
4:40 pm

All of the reasons above are ledgit, but the players have to make plays, if you look at several games the last 2 years and the game against ok. state, we had balls in our db’s hands and could not come up with the interception, is this a talent issue or coaching or what, coaches get the players in the right schemes and positions, but its still up to the player to make the play or make that tackle when given the opportunity…we can continue to bas CWM for the poor play, but i know from experience that we as players have to step up and do the job…its easy to critisize if you never played the game, and i don’t know who here has or has not, but if you have, then you know that players have to perform..does the Coach play a huge part in that, you bet they do, but talent at the right positions sure does help, and i’m just not convinced we have that complete package yet, but there is alot of potential on this team….

AltamahaDawg

September 24th, 2009
4:40 pm

Bill, Clearly instead on working on things in practise, they should be trying to figure out the best use for CAP LOCKS.

AltamahaDawg

September 24th, 2009
4:40 pm

Bill, Clearly instead on working on things in practise, they should be trying to figure out the best use for CAP LOCKS.

AltamahaDawg

September 24th, 2009
4:42 pm

You guys must be drunk, I see 2 of you.

The Blue Gill

September 24th, 2009
4:44 pm

What’s Georgia defense’s biggest problem?

Pissy ass fair weather fans.

AltamahaDawg

September 24th, 2009
4:45 pm

John the problem with that is we have had 2 starting LB out for 2 weeks, which is why Washington can’t take more snaps at DE. One back this week.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

September 24th, 2009
4:48 pm

Cuz, didn’t Kobe Ashamaru pitch for the Tokyo Giants? or maybe I’m not thinking straight.As for the defense, I vote for all of the above. But if you can pressure the QB then the secondary will get a lot better. And the offense and return men better start holding on to the ball. The road doesn’t get any easier as we go down it this year

Dawg

September 24th, 2009
4:54 pm

Dawgs have fair weather fans? Yes, that’s why we sell out every game and there is a waiting list to get season tickets–idiot.

T.O

September 24th, 2009
4:56 pm

Head Coach. No team discipline. 14 penalties, costly fumbles, poor substitutions. Watching the same guys get beat over and over. I agree we need to put more pressure on the QB but the mental errors is a direct effect on the poor leadership and coaching staff. Willie is a complete joke and he’s going to take Mark Richt down with him. If we had a capable defense to go with these offenses we should have 3 or 4 top 5 finishes.

disgruntled Dawg

September 24th, 2009
5:02 pm

These problems have been ongoing and the problem is that the coaches simply don’t know how to fix the problem. Instead CMR coddles his players by taking them to the movies, bowling, swimming or to a prayer breakfast. These hot dog playa’s better get focused and the coaches need to make them run the damn stadium and do up downs. Get their frikin attention ! BTW Fire Willie too.

Cuz

September 24th, 2009
5:05 pm

Chin, that Kobe pitched for the Tokyo Giants then openend up a chain of steakhouses after the Nagasaki Godzilla’s ate him up for twelve runs in one inning.

Actually the Kobe Ashamaru is the no win scenario that every Starfleet Cadet has to face in a simulated attack on a Constellation class Starship. The only one to ever defeat the no win scenario was James Tiberius Kirk. I must suffer from Herschel Walker Syndrome. I am a redneck and a Star Trek fan.

bkbroila

September 24th, 2009
5:05 pm

Well, I believe the position they are put in does have alot to do with it…OkSt scored only once when they had to drive the field….SC and Ark….TWICE…I have hope for UGA and Martinez…After the 1st quarter in both SC and Ark…the defense adjusted nicely. Hell, Ark didn’t even score in the second quarter, and were held to 2 FGs in the 4th…Petrino adjusted in the 3rd to UGA’s effective adjustments…and not so much in the 4th, and ultimately..the best team won…which is all we can ask for. We have put our Defense in TERRIBLE SITUATIONS ALL YEAR…Come on guys…hold onto the friggin Football…How many times did Knowshon lose a fumble in his Career…Samuel gave Tech the game last year with his FumbleItis, and has continued to put it on the ground. The whole thing starts with Time of Possession…and we lost that battle against SC(twice as many plays as UGA) and OkSt(how was that possible) and beat Arkansas in that category by less than 2 minutes. Take away turnovers and UGA is ranked in the top 10 already…Would have beaten SC and Arkansas by 24+ and OkSt would have been much closer…the difference in the game was 14 and they got 17 off of turnovers…Can’t predict the outcome of that game…they won fair and square, and that’s all that matters…But UGA is sitting 2-0 in THE SEC…we need better play in the secondary!!!!! Otherwise, this UGA defense is going to be fine this year, I hope…Damn, I am putting myself out on a limb on this one, but I have faith in our Head Coach…ultimately, he’s the one it falls on!

Okefenokee Dawg

September 24th, 2009
5:09 pm

I rewatched the game last night, and their is enough blame to go around for everybody – including coaching – but offense and special teams are in for a large share also. Not only in terms of field position, but also changing mighty mo. It looked like everytime the defense was about to get into some kind of rhythm a blocker would step in front of a punt receiver, a fumble etc., etc.. Two things to look for this weekend – penalties and special teams. If we could put it all together for any one game, we could play with anyone!

dawgster

September 24th, 2009
5:12 pm

great comments bkbroila, you can see it for what it is, i am with you out there on that limb, but yes things do need to improve in all areas with this team if it is to be a very good year. i still beleive CWM can turn it around, but again the players have got to step it up…

coach smith

September 24th, 2009
5:13 pm

Here is the LINK to the ASU Newspaper that wrote that AND their BLOG where ASU fans are predicting that ASU will blow UGA out on Saturday

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/asu/articles/2008/09/23/20080923spt-boivinasu.html#comments

Go there and read the CRAP those Fans are spouting and stick up for the DAWG NATION

Starring Zulu as Kono Kalakaua

September 24th, 2009
5:14 pm

Chin, I think we need more Samoan’s on the defense.

Sautee Dawg

September 24th, 2009
5:16 pm

Bill, i checked the one labeleb secondary problems. I watched both safties stand dead still last week and watch a reciever run past for a touchdown. Now that being said i also watched our tightend (Orson Charles) do the same thing to ARK. secondary. So there’s your answer, move Orson Charles to saftey.

Okefenokee Dawg

September 24th, 2009
5:17 pm

As Pogo used to say … ” We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Mutley

September 24th, 2009
5:28 pm

Bugkiller said it best WILLIE MARTINEZ. The defense has been going down since 2005 and only Mark Bradley will acknowledge that fact.

jcdawg1966

September 24th, 2009
5:30 pm

Willie is the problem with the defense . Richt don’t have the guts to fire him . Maybe Damon Evans ?

Minnesota Dawg

September 24th, 2009
5:31 pm

We need to fluster the quarterbacks where they can’t get into a rhythm. Any team can get open when you have all the time in the world to throw!

BDAWG

September 24th, 2009
5:33 pm

You can’t just blame one aspect of the defense, it is the whole defense. When Brian Van Gorder coached the defense it was a smart, fast, aggressive, and hard hitting defense. The defense has gotten worse each year. There is no discipline on the defense and that starts with the head coach and the defensive coordinator. Offense will make turnovers, but if you have a good defense you want have to try to point the finger at the offense. Instead of of the head coach blaming the offensehe should be a real coach and make the coaching changes that are needed. Any good coach that wants to win a championship would not continue to make excuses for the offensive and defensive coordinators. I understand why gator fans and alabama fans want the dawgs to keep Mark Richt as the head coach, because as a couple of bama fans said “as long as CMR is at UGA they will never win a national championship. With top ten recruiting classes, UGA should never have to worry about a defense being this sorry. While recruiting top players at UGA, maybe we also should be recruiting a top notch defensive coordinator and a not so predictiable offensive coordinator. Ten wins every year is great but, when more is expected it gets old. TRY TO WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS NOT JUST TEN GAMES!!!!!

Brad in Jasper

September 24th, 2009
5:34 pm

You know what guys, I think in the last two weeks I’ve read every possible article on every possible nit-pick on the UGA Defense from any possible publication. Can we beat a dead horse any more? Are there any other tidbits of news out there? I acknowledge the weaknesses, I’m not happy about them, but there is next to nothing we as fans can do about them (I think the cries for Willie’s head have been heard by his superiors, rest assured) and dangit let’s talk about something else!

BDAWG

September 24th, 2009
5:40 pm

Ok bkbriola , adjustments are made throughout the game, not just in the second quarter. One problem is that UGA does’nt make adjustments until they are down by two or three touchdowns. Another problem is maybe UGA practices are not tough enough.

Bigboy

September 24th, 2009
5:43 pm

Blah,blah,blah I will wait until I see the Sc/Ole Miss and Ark/Ala games before I pass judgement.we will have a better idea by Sat night

bass stringerfish

September 24th, 2009
5:49 pm

Its both Fabris and Martinez….we have as much talent as anyone, but the coaches do not place the talent in a position that is effective. I understand this is college football and we are YOUNG on defense and of course we will have blown assignments, but kick the ball straight, stay in your lanes and lock up…how fundemental is that? If the player can not do that then get someone who can…pressure the QB with inventive schemes using the speed and quickness of those involved…I was holding out on my judgement of these two coaches, but after two horrendous games against two lower tier SEC teams, nope…too much talent going to waste…..we have to make the move to get some new philosophy in the game.

Carl Spackler

September 24th, 2009
5:56 pm

Making adjustments on the fly…what are they robots…are they sooooo well coached that the captains can’t read what’s in front of them and make the reads to shut down/take away or at least disquise their defensive set-up…or, obviously the present defensive set-up with what ever new wrinkles they throw in from week to week aren’t getting the job done, so where are the adjustments needed aginst the team being played that particular week…the only thing that saves them is that UGA has superior athletes and someone makes a play that changes the out come of a game…I wonder what a OC thinks when they look across the line and see the same thing week from week…

Bigboy

September 24th, 2009
6:00 pm

Im also getting a bit tired of hearing about BVG,Saban etc they don*t coach at UGA.BVG was a good guy and all but he was not perfect at UGA but more importantly to me..he is gone.GSU fans dont seem to have a high opinion of the guy…just saying.

kauai dawg

September 24th, 2009
6:00 pm

The sad part is that it appears to be a combination of all three. The article sited is very good and helpful. Knowing that 70% of the scoring has come off turnovers is rather eye catching. Still the defense has not played well. Looks a little snake bit. I hope we can stop with the turnovers and see how they play under those circumstances. In all honesty with the amount we have had we should be 0-3. Thankfully we are resilliant and scoring a bunch of points. Go DAWGS!

BDAWG

September 24th, 2009
6:00 pm

Speaking of putting players in the right position. Starting RB Richard Samuels was one of the hardest hitting linebackers in the nation, but coach Richt wanted him at RB. He is OK at RB but, since he can’t hold on to the ball, maybe he should play on defense where he is really needed.

AltamahaDawg

September 24th, 2009
6:01 pm

BDawg certainly last year, we never regroup when we got down, but there has been no game this year that UGA got down by 2 or 3 TD by any way other than flat out spotting the other team points by mistakes. The guy is right, the past 2 week this team spent the first half catching up out of a hole, and by midway through the third quarter gave up very little afterward.

BDAWG

September 24th, 2009
6:05 pm

Regardless of you getting tired of hearing about BVG, it’s still true and some people are not cut out to be head coaches. The Falcons defense seems to be doing pretty good with the defensive coordinator that they have. I’m just saying, find somebody that can do a better job at coaching the defense instead of making excuses.