Martinez’s UGA defense has become predictable

Tennessee knew what to expect from Prince Miller and the rest of the Georgia defense. (Associated Press)

Tennessee knew what to expect from Prince Miller and the rest of the Georgia defense. (Associated Press)

One of the more disturbing quotes that came out of the Georgia-Tennessee game was this one from Vols quarterback Jonathan Crompton, because I think it says volumes about Georgia’s decline as a defensive team over the past couple of seasons.  Explaining his unexpected success against the Dogs, Crompton said: “We got the right play calls because we knew what they were going to do.”

Which brings us to one of Willie Martinez’s chief weaknesses: His predictability and lack of adaptability. I know we’ve heard that, contrary to fans’ perceptions, Martinez does make midgame adjustments in his schemes. He just doesn’t seem to make successful adjustments very often.

The most recent example is Georgia’s failure to adjust to Tennessee’s play-action bootlegs, not exactly a New Age offensive wrinkle. Perhaps the problem was on the field, not the sideline, with players unable to make whatever adjustments Martinez called for. But the bottom line is that he trained them that way.

Of larger concern to many observers is that Martinez has the Dogs playing basically the same defense as when he took over from Brian Van Gorder, and he doesn’t change it much, no matter who Georgia’s opponent is.

Offenses keep evolving in the SEC, but the Dogs’ defense stands pat.

T Kyle King of DawgSports provides some historical perspective by taking a look back at how Georgia got back on course after a subpar year in 1974 that left Bulldogs fandom in a nasty mood. Among other things, Erk Russell scrapped a defensive alignment that wasn’t working.

King notes that “Willie Martinez has demonstrated no degree of schematic adaptability comparable to that exhibited by Erk Russell; clearly, a new direction — and probably new blood — is needed. Coach Martinez has had time to change his system, and all we have gotten is more of the same, which we do not need.”

I agree, though I part company with King (no relation) over his suggestion of Tommy Tuberville as the best choice for Georgia’s next defensive coordinator.

First, I doubt Tuberville would want to take an SEC assistant’s job. And I doubt Mark Richt would want a former rival head coach on his staff, possibly lobbying for elevation to the top position.

I think a younger DC with Georgia ties makes sense. As King notes, we can forget about Will Muschamp. He’s the head-coach-in-waiting at Texas. As have others, I’ve previously mentioned Kirby Smart, who has trained under a great defensive mind in Nick Saban at Alabama, but who is never going to get much credit for the Bama defense as long as Saban is around.

Of course, UGA ties are not a necessity. Got any likely candidates you’d like to suggest?

160 comments Add your comment

L-Dawg

October 16th, 2009
10:35 am

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!

WHAT TO GEORGIA TACH “FANS” AND UGA FANS HAVE IN COMMON??? tHEY ARE BOTH OBSESSED WITH THE DAWGS!!!!

GO DAWGS!!!

1-7 THIS DECADE. 12 WINS AGAINST UGA SINCE 1965

CANNOT WAIT TO BE IN NASHVILLE THIS WEEKEND TO ROOT ON MY TEAM!!!

should be a GREAT weekend

October 16th, 2009
10:37 am

for college football!!!

UGA should whoop up on Vandy, and Georgia Tech should get whooped by Virginia Tech.

It’s as if the world is back to normal for a moment!!!

GO DAWGS!!!!

ONLY 1,500 seats remaining!!!

October 16th, 2009
10:38 am

1-888-TECH-TIX. 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 cokes and a program…….

WORST, SNOBBIEST “Fans” in college football.

THWGT

Osama Bin Laden

October 16th, 2009
10:40 am

Good Luck my Jackets!!

BIGBOY

October 16th, 2009
10:41 am

There is no team in the history of college football that has ever had a good defense while rushing for under 100 yards a game.EVER

nyc dawg

October 16th, 2009
10:42 am

What about the former tech defense coordinator, Jon Tenuta. I know he’s at Notre Dame now, but Charlie Weis is sure to get fired if he doesn’t make a BCS bowl this year.

JB

October 16th, 2009
10:43 am

YA THINK……………….ANYBODY read the Knoxville paper on line Sunday. quote by Crompton
” we knew exactly where they were going to be, just like the coach’s told us. They never adjusted”.

RAMBLE ON!!!

October 16th, 2009
10:44 am

L-Dawg, who is OBSESSED with who?

Brad

October 16th, 2009
10:44 am

Suggestions for DC? Samrt seems like a good choice on the surface but I wonder. Besides him, Sly Croom, Ellis Johnson, or Tyrone Nix all seem like good candidates.

I’ll tell you what I don’t want to see. What we absolutely can not afford if we want to have a prayer of catching up with Bama, Florida etc. We can not promote from within. If John Jancek or Rodney Garner is named DC, I might have a heart attack and I’m only 31 and in good shape. Seriously, we can not make that mistake and I don’t think we need to be shackled to the whole “UGA ties” notinon either.

murfdawg

October 16th, 2009
10:44 am

Bill,
When you line up at qb and you see cover 2 defense every play, what do you expect a qb to do? As soon as the ball is snapped the corners start backpedaling, the linebackers stand like Lot’s wife, and the four DL are being blocked by FIVE OL, and there are huge holes in the defense. and this happens every play!!!!I have not seen any adjustments all year.

As I have posted before, Mark Richt is a wonderful person and a good coach, but he would rather disappoint 92,000 fans than fire three assistant coaches and their families.

L-Dawg

October 16th, 2009
10:45 am

Ramble…….

Who is on WHO’s blog??

Princess Miller

October 16th, 2009
10:45 am

dunno how coach expect us to play better in all these games when all we been doin is practicin against the triple option since camp. dats whack.

RAMBLE ON!!!

October 16th, 2009
10:46 am

haha, the first 3 post are from fleabags talking about GT.

to funny, almost as funny as 45-42.

JB

October 16th, 2009
10:46 am

NO TENUTA……..research the guy at TCU……..He has taken marginal players and had them in the top 10 the last two years or so. now, i read this on this blog day’s ago. It needs to be researched.

Gordon

October 16th, 2009
10:46 am

Dave Wommack, the up-and-coming defensive co-ordinator at Georgia Tech. We’ll throw Paul Hewitt in as well.

RAMBLE ON!!!

October 16th, 2009
10:47 am

Keep your friends close…keep your enemy’s closer.

where is the D you need it?

October 16th, 2009
10:47 am

The Clemson guy might consider uga next year

mark

October 16th, 2009
10:47 am

While I agree with the part about Richt not wanting a former rival be his defensive coach but I don’t think he should be scared of Tubberville taking his job. Tubberville only won more than 8 games twice while he was at Auburn.

Why would Smart want to leave Bama?? That program is in a much better state than ours. Whose the d. coordinator at S.C.? Their defense has been excellent it’s the offense that sux there!

#1 TAH-NOO-TAH

October 16th, 2009
10:48 am

TAH-NOO-TAH BLITZ!!

JR

October 16th, 2009
10:49 am

Bud Foster from VT? I like the agressive defensive philosophy he has.

Hootie Bookems

October 16th, 2009
10:51 am

“Jonathan Crompton had a career day” The epithet on Willie’s career tombstone.

bigdawg88

October 16th, 2009
10:51 am

How about Marvin Sanders (Nebraska assistant) or Everett Withers (UNC DC)? Both did well coaching against the option and have some pretty good resumes. Not sure how good they are at recruiting, or if they are fiery, but they have good track records.

Bye bye Sweet William!

Hootie Bookems

October 16th, 2009
10:52 am

THE DC at TCU has the best stache in the business. Dick Bumpas

JB

October 16th, 2009
10:53 am

Brad, you better get a physical and keep 911 close by……….It will be inside and my hunch it will be Garner. one reason, Mark will feel like losing him would be a blow to recruiting. This would be a lose he would be afraid of………………………….also ( say this in whiny,girle voice) He’s been waiting patiently in our program for his opportunity and he deserves his shot. Think about how he thinks. Double his pay and make him the recruiting cord., but not DC.

mark

October 16th, 2009
10:55 am

Big Boy- I agree with you. However, it’s ok for our defense to stop the opposing offense on occasion. It’s ok for them to force turnovers as well. They aren’t required to get burned and abused on almost every single possession!!!!

Whopper Dawg

October 16th, 2009
10:55 am

Have to go outside the program. I am relieved to see that there is so much pressure on this situation, that Martinez leaving is starting to be a foregone conclusion, which it should be. I laugh out loud when we play now. The quotes from the TN game sum it up, it is like taking candy from a baby. The only plays our defense ever makes comes strictly from athletic ability, almost never from scheme or play calling. As far as adjustments go, forget about it, they don’t happen or if they do they are ineffectual.

Greg

October 16th, 2009
10:57 am

John Jancek needs to go along with Willie M. We need a BIG TIME Defensive Coord. When the season ends names will be poping up. I like KIRBY SMART!!!

Proud Nerd

October 16th, 2009
10:57 am

Richt will not hire a hot-shot coordinator. The GA decline is not over with.

BIGBOY

October 16th, 2009
10:58 am

true Mark.I’m just pointing out that it goes deeper than firing Willie.

JJohnson

October 16th, 2009
10:58 am

I think that the wrong players are being recruited. I would recommend going for the smartest players because they are more easily coached and they will be able to better adapt on the fly. Why wait on the SAT scores, if a player does not have at least a B average in HS look elsewhere.

Fire Willie Now

October 16th, 2009
10:59 am

Bigboy firing Willie will be a step in the right direction!!!

joey

October 16th, 2009
11:00 am

Willie is just the man Vandy’s QB Smith needs to elevate his game.

JC

October 16th, 2009
11:00 am

Dick Bumpas of TCU would be the one guy I would want above all others to lead UGA’s defense.

Fire Willie Now

October 16th, 2009
11:02 am

I don’t know how good Kirby Smart is as a CO.Saban’s been running the same D for years

Crompton on the bootleg...

October 16th, 2009
11:03 am

The first four posts are all L-Dawg.

Buford T. Justice

October 16th, 2009
11:06 am

Ya’ll naysayers are makin us dawg fans look like a pile a’ monkey nuts!

Mutley

October 16th, 2009
11:08 am

Can we hire Kirby Smart and make him coach-in-waiting because CMR is not going to fire his bffs thereby creating a job opening.

Sly Croom

October 16th, 2009
11:09 am

Please look at my resume and tell me why you think I would be a good DC. I have not coached defense since the mid 80’s.

Winterville NC Dawg

October 16th, 2009
11:11 am

We’re giving up an average of 31 points per game so far this season. No chance of winning a title giving up so many points. Bye Willie!

firemarkricht.net

October 16th, 2009
11:13 am

So has Mike Bobo’s offense.

After watching the Cincy game last night, we need to get their HC Kelly down here and see what he can do with top-notch facilities.

Hootie Bookems

October 16th, 2009
11:13 am

Greg – you are right, we fail to mention that Jancek is the CO-Defensive coordinator. He has to take some blame as well

Palmetto State Dawg

October 16th, 2009
11:14 am

I’ve heard Tommy West, who is the HC at Memphis right now as some believe he will be relieved of his duties there at year’s end. Anybody but these same lame coaches that we have. If I hear Martinez say, “we just didn’t make the play” one more time I will puke. Martinez, Fabris and Janceck need to call the local Remax office and go ahead and put their houses on the market. Kirby Smart would be a great addition! I happen to like Rodney Garner, and he is a great recuiter. We just need someone new at the defensive helm, and a new linebackers and defensive end coach.

Top Dawg

October 16th, 2009
11:15 am

Kirby Smart, Jon Tenuta, John Chavis, Ellis Johnson, Charlie Strong, Brian Van Gorder, anybody whose last name is not Martinez and whose first name is Willie

jason

October 16th, 2009
11:16 am

BIGBOY, you are on your game today. You have some good posts on the blogs. When you said on the other blog and this one about the lack of run game. It shows that the problems are all around the team and not just confined to the defense.

If UGA goes outside the program for a DC, it will not be in the SEC. I don’t see how any HC would allow for their staff to move inside the SEC. I could be wrong and mayebe the HCs don’t have a say.

Doc Reem

October 16th, 2009
11:17 am

Yeah Buford T. Justice….Just like CWM has made our defense look like monkey nuts the last 4 four years. You probably want him around another for another four right? Whatever, the guy sucks monkey nuts…

getthepicturenow

October 16th, 2009
11:17 am

Make Kirby Smart the first call, i know its a “latarel” move but maybe the draw of coming home and getting out of nick saban’s shadow would be enticing. I mean, fans nationally still give CNS the credit for anything they do defensively. or what about Chuck Amato?? would “the chest” come to Athens??

RedandBlack

October 16th, 2009
11:18 am

Coach Richt will need Coordinators that the players will respect and listen to when coached. Those same Coordinators will need to have a resume of successfully coaching, growing, and molding players to learn technique and strategy and most importantly discipline to improve over time. Adaptability will be a strongpoint as well since some things tend to change very quickly. So, will Coach Richt be looking for young assistants or tried and true more experienced assistants?

It is still way too early right now. December will be the time to take care of business. Right now, it is time to support the Georgia Bulldogs. There are seven games left to go including the Bowl game. Go Dogs!!!

jason

October 16th, 2009
11:18 am

Hootie Bookems, excellent point. Why is not one those two upstairs with Bobo so they can see the entire field and looks that oppossing offenses are giving them?

firemarkricht.net

October 16th, 2009
11:19 am

New OC, new DC…if not, new HC.

I think...

October 16th, 2009
11:19 am

…that Pat Dye is available to be the DC!