Big win doesn’t negate UGA’s need for change

Win over Tech shouldn't be a factor in the decision on Willie Martinez. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Win over Tech shouldn't be a factor in the decision on Willie Martinez. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

One game, victory or defeat, shouldn’t determine the fate of any college football coach or assistant.

That’s why Saturday’s big win by the Dogs over Georgia Tech should not be enough to deter Mark Richt and the UGA athletic association from making the changes that are needed in order for the program to once again rank among the SEC’s elite.

We’re talking, of course, about the future of defensive coordinator Willie Martinez, whose job security has been questioned for the past couple of seasons as the Georgia defense generally has underperformed and routinely has allowed more than 30 points a game. From all accounts, Martinez is a good man and beloved by his players. But the results speak for themselves.

Martinez is not without his supporters, and I will concede to them that he is capable of getting his players to rise to the occasion. He did it late in the 2006 season and again at the end of 2007. And he’s done it a couple of times this season, most recently against Tech.

But getting good defense a couple of times a season won’t cut it in the SEC. Georgia needs consistency in order to succeed, and that’s where the defense has fallen short. The true blame may belong with the players, but the ultimate responsibility is Martinez’s. And if change is necessary in order to get the Dogs’ defense up to snuff, that means a new coordinator.

There’ve been plenty of rumors about Martinez’s departure already being a done deal, but most of those reports sound more like speculation than leaks.  Richt might not want to get rid of his longtime friend and colleague, but at this point it seems unlikely that Martinez can stay. And you’d wonder why he’d even want to. It can’t be fun to be Willie Martinez in Athens any more; he gets blamed for everything that’s wrong with the program, even when it’s not his fault.

Hopefully, Richt and Damon Evans will bring in someone who can take the obvious talent that Georgia has on defense and make more effective use of it. That might mean cleaning house on the defensive staff, never a pleasant process or anything to celebrate.

But the good feelings generated by a season finale win over the traditional in-state rival shouldn’t overshadow the way Georgia’s defense has been trending ever since Martinez succeeded Brian Van Gorder.

Bulldog fans are delighted the Jackets were defeated and that a winning season was assured. We’re even pleased that the Dogs probably will get a slightly better bowl. But we’re not happy with 7-5 and getting drilled by the likes of Tennessee and Florida. And we haven’t forgotten the second-half collapse against an inferior Kentucky team.

It’s still time for Mark Richt to make a change. Judging by the noncommittal way he talked about his staff after the Tech game, he appears to recognize that fact.

273 comments Add your comment

Cuz

November 30th, 2009
1:57 pm

I believe in change for the future.

Bob

November 30th, 2009
2:01 pm

Ben

November 30th, 2009
2:01 pm

Willie is not without fault, but if you look at our commitments for next year (particularly from the state of Florida), he did have a mand in the majority of thise committing to the Dawgs.

It probably won’t happen, but it would be nice if they could keep Martinez on as a position coach, and bring in a different man to head up the D.

Ben

November 30th, 2009
2:03 pm

Pardon the misstypes. “Hand” and “those” instead of “mand” and “thise” in the post above.

Bryan G.

November 30th, 2009
2:03 pm

I feel this week about CWM like you feel about a bad romantic relationship. When you have a great night out with them, it makes you forget the crappy times.

Like, “oh, wow, what a great gift you gave me Saturday night” sometimes makes you forget “holy crap, you let Kentucky score 38 points last year” or “Alabama scored HOW MANY in the first half?” or “You let Garcia throw from HOW MANY yards?”.

Cuz

November 30th, 2009
2:03 pm

How did Montez Robinson get that alcohol? Could a coach have gotten it for him. And who dropped him off at 2:00 AM? Someone check the Athens Waffle House’s security cameras around 1:00 AM. I smell a smoking gun.

Cuz

November 30th, 2009
2:05 pm

There should be an opening in Atlanta after the ACCC.

Losing to UTK...

November 30th, 2009
2:06 pm

…was the nail in Willie’s coffin, or at least it should be. That was 4 times in 5 years that UGA had no clue against the team in orange and that is just sad, especially against them when their QB was just lost – and Willie and his boys made him look all-world – just disgusting.

Losing to LSU, losing to OSU, heck, even losing to UK is not all that bad from a defensive standpoint when you look at all of the turnovers that left the team vulnerable and tired. But to get drilled by UTK, AGAIN, is totally unacceptable.

Getting drilled by UF is the norm, at least for UGA, as neither the offense nor the defense has a clue about how to go about defeating them!

Bryan G.

November 30th, 2009
2:06 pm

Oh, and by the way…if his players loved him so damn much, maybe they could have made some stops for him. Just saying.

Tee

November 30th, 2009
2:08 pm

YES, WILLIE HAS TO GO!!! There’s a Bingo Parlor somewhere that he could attempt to call numbers for…
My question is this…WHO DOES COACH RICHT BRING IN AS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR?
Thoughts – solutions.
WILLIE — BE A MAN AND GROW A PAIR! GIVE YOUR RESIGNATION, NOW!!!

L-Dawg

November 30th, 2009
2:08 pm

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!!!!

NESTLE BUTTERFINGER…. OFFICIAL SPONSOR OF DEMARYIUS THOMAS AND THE GEORGIA TECH YELLOWJACKET FOOTBALL PROGRAM!!!!

30-24!!!! SO SO SO GLAD THIS HURTS SO BAD!!!!!

GOING TO BE A GREAT OFFSEASON ON THE BLAWG!!!!!

GO DAWGS!!!!!!

Beermeister

November 30th, 2009
2:10 pm

Looks like not having AJ to throw to was a blessing in disguise for Bobo. He had to change it up, and fell into a good game plan. Maybe he should try it again, and maybe he shoulda been trying it all along.

Tee

November 30th, 2009
2:10 pm

When Notre Dame fires Weis, is there any chance that Richt would be considered for that job — or the Oklahoma job if Stoopes goes to ND?

Bobo Must GO

November 30th, 2009
2:11 pm

CWM has had his problems but our offense has performed poorly with lots of talent. The Defense has not had one top level performer since 2005. Several good but no greats, check the NFL drafts since 2005. The offense on the other hand has been loaded with talent and underperformed the last three years. Bobo craps his pants more than that google of rugrats he has spawned.

Cuz

November 30th, 2009
2:11 pm

Anti-Dawg

November 30th, 2009
2:11 pm

Know why L-Dawg is all fired up ? Because he and the Dawgs are (apparently) obsessed over beating Tech. I thought this wasn’t Georgia’s biggest opponent. Looks like that was B.S.

L-Dawg

November 30th, 2009
2:16 pm

OK….. IM ENJOYING THE TECH BASHING, BUT IM ABOUT MORE THAN THAT….

I FEEL MARTINEZ HAS TO GO. I WOULD ALSO NOT BE DISAPPOINTED TO SE HIM TAKE ON ANOTHER ROLE WITH THE PROGRAM, JUST NOT THE ONE HEADING UP OUR DEFENSE, WHICH IS KEY TO BEING SUCCESSFUL IN THE SEC. KIRBY SMART IS A FANTASY, AND I FEEL ONE THAT COULD COME TRUE, BUT DEF NOT BANKING ON IT YET.

I ALSO BELIEVE RICHT WILL NOT DO ANYTHING, AND WILL ONCE AGAIN BE MUM ON THE ISSUE FOR THE NEXT MONTH, PISSING OFF FANS WHO WANT IMMEDIATE ANSWERS. IT IS NOT IN HIS NATURE TO MAKE BIG MOVES OR ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THIS MANNER UNTIL AFTER THE FINAL SECONDS TICK OFF THE CLOCK IN THE BOWL GAME.

RICHT IS WELL AWARE OF HIS CHOICE. HE MUST MAKE THE CHANGES NECESSARY, OR HIS POSITION WILL BECOME THE CHANGE NEEDED.

GLORY GLORY!!!!

((((30-24))))

Liz

November 30th, 2009
2:18 pm

Tee, I miss you and your worm.

EB

November 30th, 2009
2:19 pm

I wouldn’t keep him as the secondary coach,….they are really bad and can’t tackle…Vance Cuff.

GeoffDawg

November 30th, 2009
2:20 pm

I would hope that Martinez would step up and resign to save his good friend CMR the awkwardness of firing him but I can name one good reason why he won’t – the salary he’s getting as a coordinator at a major program like Georgia’s isn’t likely to be one he’s going to qualify for for a long, long time. When your next best option is secondary coach at Western Kentucky, absorbing some fan and media outrage probably doesn’t mean quite as much.

knoxdawg

November 30th, 2009
2:20 pm

It was great to win Saturday night but that was not enough. Tech still scored 24 points and still had big plays for touchdowns or to sustain drives. This game showed that the defense is not performing at the level it should and you cannot blame offensive turnovers for their lack of performance. Yes, they played better but in the end did any of us have the confidence that Tech would not score when they got the ball back w/ 3 minutes to play? Look at the Auburn game, had Rambo not made the hit he made it would have been tied and who knows who would have won. Granted, in the Kentucky game the defense got put in bad situations but EXCELLENT DEFENSES hold the opponent to a field goal at best, not touchdowns. An overhaul of the staff is needed and you need to look at both sides of the ball!!!

cajdawg

November 30th, 2009
2:21 pm

Willie killed UGA VII

L-Dawg

November 30th, 2009
2:21 pm

ANTI-DAWG…… NOTICE HOW YOU ARE OBSESSED WITH THEM DAWGS….BC YOU ARE ON A DAWG BLAWG TO TALK SMACK ABOUT SAID DAWGS…..

AND IF YOU HAVE READ THIS BLAWG FOR THE PAST YEAR, YOU KNOW GOOD AND DARN WELL WE HAVE EARNED THE RIGHT TO GLOAT OVER THE TECH VOCTORY FOR THE NEXT 363+ DAYS.

THERE WILL BE PLENTY OF GOOD, CONSTRUCTIVE TALK ABOUT THE UGA PROGRAM THAT DOES NOT INVOLVE GEORGIA TECH. HOWEVER, SINCE YOU CHOSE TO BE HERE, GET USED TO SEEING THE TERMS “30-24″ AND “NESTLE BUTTERFINGER” A WHOLE LOT FOR 52 WEEKS TO COME!!!!

GLORY GLORY!!!!!

GO DAWGS!!!!!

30-24….. NESTLE BUTTERFINGER

Beermeister

November 30th, 2009
2:21 pm

Bobo Must GO : the point about the offense/defense talent levels is a good one. But I wouldn’t expect any changes on the O side. And heck, there might not be any of the D side either. I think Dawgs can look forward to several more years of so-so performance. And I don’t think they’ll contend for the SEC East until they resolve their defensive problems.

Joe M

November 30th, 2009
2:25 pm

I’ve said my peace on these blogs a few times.

All I’ll say is this. I don’t care who the DC is, in respect to the person. All I care about is good consistent defense.

If the necessary changes are Richt putting his foot down with Martinez on the style of D we need and keeping him as DC, fine.

Whatever the changes are that need to be made, just make them.

B-DADDY

November 30th, 2009
2:25 pm

Bill, who do you think we CAN get to replace CWM? If CMR let’s him go.

outkasted

November 30th, 2009
2:25 pm

find something else to talk about…. richt will do what he thinks is necessary for his team… okie st 5 dropped ints and phantom block in back call on punt return to the 2 yd line… a crazy helmet hit that jones actually led with his shoulder pads and would’ve forced a long field goal try (the refs picked up a helmet to helmet contact against Lynch) forget im done…. im excited about next yr and the yrs afterwards…………

Anti-Dawg

November 30th, 2009
2:28 pm

L-Dawg, tell me where the Tech blog is and I’ll go there, too. Unfortunately, my only choices are Bradley, Shultz, Barnhart or King. You’ve been mouthing off about obsessions, though, and B.K. said last week that Tech obsesses over Georgia. Guess what ? Now it’s the other way around and you’re OBSESSOR NUMERO UNO !!!! Numbnuts.

NCMTNDawg

November 30th, 2009
2:29 pm

CWM has had his moments, for sure. However, to many 30+ games and uninspired and undisciplined D’s to let him stay. Also, anyone associated with the special teams (Fabris, etc.) needs to be let go, period. If these are to happen, when? Do you do it now or wait till after the bowl game? I prefer now allowing more time to find the guys you want and also let them get acquainted with the recruits.

30-24! Go Dawgs!!!

B-DADDY

November 30th, 2009
2:30 pm

Hey Anti-Dawg …….30-24 lol

L-Dawg

November 30th, 2009
2:34 pm

Anti-Dawg

TRY THIS ONE OUT FOR SIZE

http://blogs.ajc.com/techfans/2009/11/29/thoughts-on-the-morning-after/?cxntfid=blogs_techfans

UNFORTUNATELY, YOU AND THE OTHER TECH NERDS THAT OBSESS OVER THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA FOOTBALL PROGRAM HAVE UPSET QUITE A FEW OF US WITH YOUR CRAP THIS PAST YEAR. THEREFORE, THIS BLOG IS OPRETTY OVER-RUN WITH DAWG FANS GETTING THEIOR RIGHTFUL REVENGE.

HOWEVER, I POST ON THIS BLAWG, ABOUT THE DAWGS, AND CELEBRATION OF A BIG RIVALRY WIN THAT EXCITES ME BEYOND BELIEF BC A LOT OF IDIOTS LIKE YOURSELF WILL NOT COME ON HERE FOR THE NEXT YEAR. BUT I CAN PROMISE YOU, YOU WILL NOT SEE ME POST ON THAT BLOG I JUST LINKED YOU TO, AND IF YOU DO I PROMISE YOU IT IS AN IMPOSTER.

GO ENJOY YOUR MISERY WITH YOUR FELLOW TECHIES. MAYBE YOU CAN HELP THEM GET THE FOOT OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS TOO.

GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!!

30-24!!!!! NESTL BUTTERFINGER, OFFICIAL SPONSOR OF DEMARYIUS THOMAS AND THE GEORGIA TECH YELLOWJACKET FOOTBALL PROGRAM!!!!!

Barker

November 30th, 2009
2:37 pm

Seems like maybe the Dawgs should have been a power running team all year? Or, were the previously mediocre offensive linemen just able to push an undersize Tech defensive front around? Sure would like to know. The bowl game could give some answers if they will stick with the Dooley-esque offense for one more game.

hic

November 30th, 2009
2:40 pm

Can’t find UGAY ranked in any football polls!!! It sounds as if “one game” did make the season for the UGAY fans!!! Enjoy the Dalton Carpet Bowl.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/ncaa/polls/bcs/

Chad

November 30th, 2009
2:42 pm

I just hope it’s not Van Gorder. He wouldn’t stay for long. He reminds me of Larry Brown, who used to bounce around in college and the NBA.

Also, I think Bobo will probably stay as OC but he worries me when he makes calls like he did on the 3rd down screen pass on the next to last possession. That was the same play that was intercepted in the Ky game.

Otto

November 30th, 2009
2:47 pm

Bobo and Fabris are far greater problems than CWM

Vast majority of the defense’s problem would be fixed with a fired up assistant that would get after the guys to finish the tackle, no more shoulder tackles, they need to wrap up.

Fabris with his directional kicks gives far to many teams great field position.

Bobo 3rd and long all to often is a draw or screen. Bobo cost UGA the ‘07 title not CWM.

All Points Bulletin

November 30th, 2009
2:47 pm

I just heard that UGA blog guy Bill King will be named the new defensive coordinator at UGA. Seeing as how Mr. King has played the game of football and knows so much about it, it would only makes sense to name him DC. Good luck Bill!

tomdawg

November 30th, 2009
2:47 pm

did any one pay attention to CMR during the game. bout time he put a head set on an got into the offense! should have done that along time ago! an bout time they stuck with something that has worked! if we could have controlled the ball an turn overs like that all year we would not be all on CWM as much or the defense. he needs to go but joe cox leaving will help everything!

L-Dawg

November 30th, 2009
2:47 pm

hic….

HAHAHAHAHA!!!! DENIAL TASTES GOOD DOESN’T IT!!!!

BOTTOM LINE, WE BEAT YOU, AND YOU ARE ON A DAWG BLAWG TO TALK ABOUT IT…….

30-24!!!!!!!!

UGA = STATE CHAMPS = ACC CHAMPS!!!!!

Stupid Buffoons

November 30th, 2009
2:51 pm

This coaching staff almost blew it again. UGA was very lucky that the Tech player dropped the ball on 4th and ten which again was wide open.The play before the 54 yard field goal attempt was a stupid call and play by Cox. WTH is wrong about our K O team still doing directional kicks. We gave Tech great field position after we score time and time again. I say clean house and let Garner go too because he hasn’t signed his contract anyway. Tech doesnt throw the Damn ball and made a crucial 4th and 9 play. Richt needs a new staff with new ideas and new schemes. If not , then he too should be shown the door . BTW Charlie Weis has been fired at ND. Time for UGA to ACT!

Black Cloud Syndrome is Back

November 30th, 2009
2:52 pm

This same coaching staff ended up #2 in 2007 you nitwits.

Why is a staff that can get a team to #2 so DEFINATELY BAD all of the sudden?

What if it’s not coaching, it’s STRATEGY!!!! Duuuuh.

Willie hasn’t given up a single 100 yard rusher this year, Richt normally wins 93% of those games UNTIL THIS YEAR.

4 out of 5 losses have been because of Bobo’s 3 to 4 turnovers/OFFENSIVE giveaways per game and lack of a running game.

Dean

November 30th, 2009
2:52 pm

So Bill….shall we blame Willie for the Special teams? Play calling on Offense? lack of execution on both sides of the ball? lets see, what else can we blame him for? Stupid penalties (facemask etc), how about conditioning/strength…as we were winded in the 3qtr of Okiestate game. Yep- you have the gall to write an article clearly calling out martinez…if we go by your stupid logic, we should fire everyone and start over. God, i cant beleive you went to school at UGA with the crap and slime you smear. if you goinbg to write at least call it ALL out

SwimtrunkDawg

November 30th, 2009
2:53 pm

Mark runs this team (and therefore this University) not Damon Evans or Michael Adams, if Mark wants Willie to stay then Willie stays. That’s all there is to it.

crazy dawg

November 30th, 2009
2:54 pm

I would like the dawgs to make a push for Kirby Smart to come home as the DC would like to keep slick willy as a db coach i dont think we will do this but I would hate to put any loyal dawg out of work this time of year. Also think we should find a spot on the staff for muschamps brother who is coaching at lovett now. What ever the dawgs do as for hiring a new DC they must be sure that it is a up grade and not just a move to be making a move. Good luck Willie with what ever comes your way.

Dean

November 30th, 2009
2:56 pm

Kirby Smart??? You’ve got to be kidding me. That guy goes so much into the grey area with NCAA rules, we would be on probation in a few years….just watch Bama……

45ACP

November 30th, 2009
2:56 pm

Now that is the L-Dawg we all know and love.
You go boy!

jayb

November 30th, 2009
2:56 pm

GA recruits some of the best player but if players are not coached effectively, then top recruits mean nothing. As reflected in so many games, the players are not being coached right. There are too many times when it is obvious that players are confused and are not clear on their assignment. The team needs to be better disciplined and Mark needs to step up and tell Martinez to pack his bags! Also, Bobo better start making some smarter calls offensively or he will soon find himself in the same situation…Great win against tech but I haven’t gotten over the loss to Kentucky…

jimmy

November 30th, 2009
2:58 pm

who are we going to hire.which grade a dc would come to athens

45ACP

November 30th, 2009
2:58 pm

I believe Willie Martinez is gone.
Coach Richt will handle it with class as usual.

SwimtrunkDawg

November 30th, 2009
2:59 pm

We are most certainly the best 7 and 5 team in history. I challenge anyone to find a better 7 and 5 team than us.

SHOCK

November 30th, 2009
2:59 pm

Can’t find UGAY ranked in any football polls!!! It sounds as if “one game” did make the season for the UGAY fans!!!

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/ncaa/polls/bcs/