Richt’s actions speak volumes about assistants

Quiet. Quiet! Shhhhhhhh!

Listen closely. Can you hear that? Georgia football coach Mark Richt just made another statement. By now it ought to be coming through loud and clear.

Despite constant and often unbridled criticism of his coaching staff — and his defensive coaches in particular — by some of the more vocal members of the Bulldog Nation, Richt continually answers quietly and subtly through his actions. His message is, “I don’t agree with you.”

Not only has Richt retained all his assistants from the “disastrous” 10-3 season just past — Doc Eason’s move to administration and Bryan McClendon’s promotion was long in the works — he has given all of them raises and several of them promotions. The latest came Tuesday when he made linebackers coach John Jancek co-defensive coordinator. The new title was a reward for Jancek’s decision to forego this week an offer to become South Florida’s defensive coordinator.

This should in no way be viewed as demotion for current defensive coordinator Willie Martinez. Richt, who wasn’t available for comment, made that very clear and was specific about it in the official news release he had prepared. “Willie Martinez is our defensive coordinator and as co-coordinator John has been and will continue to be instrumental in our game planning on the defensive side of the ball.” In other words, Willie’s still the main man on defense.

Richt was at Lake Hartwell Tuesday and not available for interviews (but he will available via a teleconference on Wednesday). But, in reality, Richt had already said as much when he gave Martinez a $15,515 raise to $325,815 after last season. That figure grows another $10,000 with a retention bonus that kicks in for remaining another year. This was how he reacted to what was unprecedented criticism of his defensive coordinator.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo also caught some flak this past season, despite the big numbers Georgia’s offense rang up. All Richt did was give Bobo a $57,500 raise to $325,000 (not including a $10,000 retention bonus).

I don’t get paid to give you my opinion — we have excellent columnists that are highly skilled at doing that — and I’m not here to defend any of these coaches. They are well compensated and sufficiently jaded for that. Yes, I am aware of how Georgia’s defensive numbers have crept up each of the last few years under Martinez. And, sure, I’ve seen some redzone calls by Bobo that have left me scratching my head. But sooner or later don’t you have to let the head coach be the head coach and make those determinations?

Hey, I’ve gotten umpteen mileage and thousands of page views here from people complaining about “Soft Willie’s defense” and “BooBoo’s offense.” But every time I turn around I keep hearing Richt say, “I don’t agree,” in not so many words.

HERE’S AN UPDATE OFF OF CMR’S PRE-SPRING TELECONFERENCE CALL:

On how roles might change: “Well this is really a situation where his role is not going to change a lot because he really has been very involved in game-planning with Coach Martinez, as all are coaches do. But he’s had an awful lot of input the years he’s been here, so it’s not going to change really at all. Just to make it clear, Willie Martinez is our defensive coordinator. It’s not like two co-coordinators on an equal basis. Willie is the tip of the spear defensively, so to speak. He’s where the buck stops and he’s the leader of the group. But John has been very instrumental to this point in formulating our defensive plan and he’s gonna continue to do that. We’re just basically making public notice of it.”

Asked if a raise would come with Jancek’s new title: “I’ll just say this, the way I feel about salaries, I feel like salaries are a private matter. If it was up to me everybody’s salary wouldn’t be published. I’d never make any public comments on guys’ salaries.”

On keeping the whole staff together: “It means an awful lot. Number one, I think we’ve got a tremendous group of assistant coaches that do an outstanding job and have for quite some time now. To keep the continuity I think that’s extremely important. When it comes to recruiting I think it’s important; when it comes to our current players having the peace of mind knowing they don’t have to start all over, it’s important. I remember when I first came to Georgia and Brian VanGorder became the defensive coordinator, he was the fourth defensive coordinator in four years. Neil Callaway was the fifth offensive line coach in four years. It’s tough to be good, it’s tough to get anything going when your kids are constantly having to learn a whole new coaching staff or a whole new philosophy or a whole new way of calling a defense or an offensive line blocking scheme. To be able to continue to keep the same staff, especially when they’re as good as the one we have, is fantastic.”

104 comments Add your comment

JB

March 4th, 2009
7:00 am

There are lots of folks in the work place who are paid the same or more who do not produce and contribute as much as others. That’s life. These coach’s by SEC and top 10 program standards were under paid.
We can argue all day about results, but we must have a history of raising salaries for future reasons. UGA will never hire a DC or OC for $250,000. It will be more like 700,000 to get a star.

paul in J-ville

March 4th, 2009
7:07 am

Whether we as fans agree with CMR really is insignificant. Ultimately HE and only HE is responsible for the W’s & L’s and at the end of the day (or year) the responsibility remains his. I do not personally care for several of the position coaches coach Richt has, however in the business world its results that matter and one cannot argue with CMR’s track record overall. Underachieve, maybe….dissapointing occasionally, possibly….would I want another person running the UGA football team, NO WAY.
There are but a few select coaches that can be considered top shelf and complete packages that can effectively run a program, delegate, recruit, motivate, and actively participate “teaching” kids the game of football and the game of life. Richt is right up there minus a national championship. So what if he decides to take care of his coaches financially. I’m confident they go to battle for him every single day otherwise they would have moved on to greener pastures.
Too many people that live in glass houses that want to throw the first stone.

paul in J-ville

March 4th, 2009
7:10 am

To further my last point read what coach Jancek said….
“We work for a great man in coach Richt,” Jancek said. “It all comes down to him. When you have an opportunity to go somewhere else it makes you analyze what you have where you are and you can do better than him.”

AltamahaDawg

March 4th, 2009
7:38 am

That’s a great point chip. I have said for a while that some folks in here are confusing thier arguments. It’s one thing to question calls or strategies of co-ordinators. Age old business of being a football fan. Will never stop, no matter who the man, or who your team is. Fair game, and pretty easy to critisize even the best names in the business at times. Everyone losses 20% of the time or more after all.

But what I see in lot of posts, some quite elaborate, is about how Mark Richt is not acting in the best interest of his progranm, how he is letting personal feeling get in his way. THAT arguments would be based the assumption that he feels the same way about the particular coaches abilities as the poster, and clearly he does not. So unless you want a head coach who would take actions contrary to his own opinion, and align his staff , not by his own evaluation, but by the wishes of his fans, thats a pretty silly waste of time and not a very well thought out argument. It’s also quite a lazy argument. I have a lot of respect for anyone, and some have, who come in here and have a serious (albiet virtual) debate with Mark Richt about the X’s and O’x. Easier to just make up some explaination as to why somebody isn’t do what you think you would do.

Red Elephant

March 4th, 2009
7:41 am

Richt is simply a class act. Other than my Alma Mater, UGA is the only school I would send my son to play football.

AltamahaDawg

March 4th, 2009
7:42 am

By the way, don’t do what I isn’t do, and proof before you post.

JB

March 4th, 2009
7:48 am

It’s a reasonable assessment to say that CR is one of the better coaches in the country. The numbers speak for themselves. On the flip, at some point, we’re gonna have to get to the big game for some to ease up. Just is what it is.

HBTD!!!!!

[...] In the AJC, Chip Towers writes that Mark Richt’s actions speak volumes about his assistants. [...]

jerry

March 4th, 2009
8:07 am

Why the “co” if it’s “status quo”?

Pago Flyer

March 4th, 2009
8:34 am

Can we just beat Florida and win the SEC!!

Chip Towers

March 4th, 2009
9:00 am

Two points:

(1) I don’t think CMR is keeping anybody around because he’s buddies with them. There’s way too much at stake for that.

(2) As fans it’s your rights to complain about coaching. Been going on for decades and will continue to go on. These coaches know it and expect it and keep it in proper perspective. They still don’t like hearing people think they should be fired, especially wives and children. But it comes with the territory.

Right On Time

March 4th, 2009
9:01 am

I agree, for the most part, with Paul and Altamaha. However, a raise for a DC that was clearly torchd last year is interesting. Also, the “co” title seems a little like the “head coach in waiting”, it is an appeasement title. That said, I want nobody but Richt coaching the team. He has earned the right to do anything he feels prudent.

Question: Does anyone else notice that these coaches all go on about how great it is to work for coach Richt but rarely praise the fact that they work at a great place like Georgia?

Chip Towers

March 4th, 2009
9:13 am

jerry: As for the “co,” there will probably be a little reconfiguration of responsibilities. But mainly it’s a title awarded to Jancek for his loyalty to enable CMR to get him a raise. Also it probably also designates as a sort DC in waiting should Martinez decide to leave for another opportunity.

Relax

March 4th, 2009
9:28 am

The ‘co-coordinator’ title carries little significance as to who is the final point of accountability on the Defensive staff. For the entire tenure of Van Gorder, he shared the ‘co-coordinator’ title with Martinez, but at no time was there confusion as to who was ultimately responsible for the defense. Resist the urge to build conspiracy theories about secret messages being sent or what this means as it relates to status-quo or not.

Zoomie

March 4th, 2009
9:49 am

It remains to be seen whether the defensive problems from this past year were wholly related to injuries. I personally noted too many things that are related to coaching: lack of team discipline, poor tackling with no improvement throughout the season, seeming lack of preparation for key opponents, inability to adjust/respond to adversity, to name a few. Most of the worst offenses were on the defensive side of the ball. I like coach Richt, and I trust his judgment; maybe the above shortcomings are as much his doing as anyone else’s. Maybe this is just the nature of UGA football under Richt. I hope not. I’d like to see him succeed at a higher level. I feel embarassed for him that the UGA football team is owned by UF. If UGA could, at least, become competitive with Florida, I’d wouldn’t feel quite so uneasy . . .

AltamahaDawg

March 4th, 2009
10:10 am

A raise for WM (after last year) seems odd to be sure. At least to us poor slobs in the real world. I just don’t think it was a raise to say, “way to go”. I think its more like, IF this is the staff he wants to keep in place this is just what it takes to bring the compensation in line with the industry.

AltamahaDawg

March 4th, 2009
10:23 am

Zoomie, I would doubt that anything in football is “wholly” anything. Wouldn’t it be more a situation of several factors combined?

ElbowRoom

March 4th, 2009
10:55 am

What, if anything, does this mean for Coach Garner?

Zoomie

March 4th, 2009
10:56 am

Agreed, AD. I just think Coach Richt put a lot of emphasis on injuries as a problem last season, and many of the problems I noticed seemed to have little to do with injuries. Coach Richt and his staff have an inside view that I’ll never have, so I have to trust them. If he feels his defensive staff deserves raises across the board, I’ll support him (and them). College coaches get raw talent. Discipline, leadership, strict adherence to fundamentals, rolling with the punches, are not characteristics we expect out of an 18 year-old coming out of high school. These are characteristics that are ingrained through coaching, mentoring, and experience; and these are characteristics that seemed to be missing from the 2008 Bulldogs. It could be an odd mixture of people and talent that just didn’t quite gel — I don’t know. Hopefully, Coach Richt and company do know, learned their lessons from it, and have a plan to correct it into the future. I entertain hope that they will. At the same time, objectively, I have to consider that lack of some of the above-mentioned characteristics may just be the nature of Bulldogs football under Coach Richt — and that would disappoint me, because I really like what he does for the players and the university.

reservoirDAWG

March 4th, 2009
11:04 am

I’m sure CMR knows what he is doing. I hope he will have a little more input into the defensive schemes and we GATA this year. There is to much talent in Athens to be mediocre.

flats

March 4th, 2009
11:36 am

OH GREAT!!!!!!More on how good of a guy we have as head coach!!!!!!!!!BEAT FLORIDA!!!!!!!!!!!Only reason we won 2 sec championship is cause the conference was in the SHITHOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!

flats

March 4th, 2009
11:37 am

PAGO FLYER…I’m with you son!!!!!!!10 wins a year aint cutting it with this good ol southern boy from porterhouse south carolina!!!!!!!!!!!!

flats

March 4th, 2009
11:39 am

I know more about sports than yall think

reservoirDAWG

March 4th, 2009
11:43 am

The SEC was in the s house? I think not! You don’t know much at all.

flats

March 4th, 2009
11:45 am

yep blind dawg fan it was in the shitter!

shane#1

March 4th, 2009
11:56 am

I am wondering where the breaking poimt is with Div 1 programs and Athletic Department salaries during this economic crisis. I know that the football program at UGA is one of the most profitable in the country and that it brings millions into the University, but can’t these raises be bad from a PR point of view? Many coaches don’t seem to have gotten the message. Mike Leach’s hold out on a contract worth over twelve million is an example. He wanted a larger buy out, which, IMO, is nothing but a reward for failure. He got it, but he doesn’t get the big picture. Neither does Jim Calhoun. Thomas Brown made some intresting points on the last blog about the basketball coaching search. He said UGA should pay up to two million for a high profile coach and borrow millions to build a new arena. That might be necessary to have an elite bball program. Is it worth it? What do the rest of you think? I am frugal by nature, and while the recession hasn’t hurt my income it has hurt my financial statement. My contributions to the UGA athletic fund will be down this year and I will miss some games. I just can’t justify the expense of travelimg to Athens, hotel rooms, and etc. Is anyone else cutting back?

flats

March 4th, 2009
12:07 pm

DawgGirl32

March 4th, 2009
12:09 pm

Shane- I see your point and I think that if this was any other industry besides the sports industry you might right. The truth is, even with the bad economy the demand is still going to be there…especially at a high profile school like Georgia.

RxDawg

March 4th, 2009
12:12 pm

I don’t agree

Right On Time

March 4th, 2009
12:24 pm

shane:

The old saying, “you have to spend money to make money”, generally holds true. However, in light of the current economic conditions it does seem a bit of a PR risk. Most of us will not go over the budget for UGA r the Athletic Dept. so we are not aware of every condition. I do know that one has to feed the engine of any company. In this case, the engine is the football team. Evans just gave @$2 million to the University. I am sure that has helped keep more than a few non athletic staffers employed. It is a tricky sell though.

My family and I are cutting back as well. Not reactively but proactively as nobody is sure where or when this will all end. I just cancelled our trip to Breckinridge for Christmas and I will not be going to Stillwater for the game as I did to Phoenix. Tough times my friend.

BugKiller

March 4th, 2009
12:28 pm

The thing is Chip, and all the blind loyalists, you all assume that Richt is right.

You assume he’s right about Willie Martinez.

That Martinez isn’t over his head, that he isn’t terribly unimaginative, that he hasn’t overseen a defense of diminishing returns for four straight years.

The thing is, he’s wrong.

A coach can win ten games a year and win a SEC championship every five years or so and be wrong, actually, he can do that and be wrong a lot, when there are three coaches in the league who done much more with their time. Three other coaches in the league who are not afraid to make the hard decisions to win MNCs.

Les Miles fired his defensive coordinator and most of his defensive staff because of ONE year. ONE YEAR! You don’t think Saban or Meyer wouldn’t do the same?

Under Martinez, the Bulldog’s defense has gotten worse EVERY YEAR for FOUR YEARS as the players who BVG coached and taught has left the program and Willie’s guys have taken over.

Last year’s crazy year of injuries would be an excuse if the previous three years haven’t shown us in FACTUAL INFORMATION, that Willie’s defenses have gotten worse.

I maintain that Coach Richt is a very good coach, much better than the two guys who came before. But he refuses to do what is necessary, he refuses to make the hard decisions to make his team great, to become a great coach, and to do more than win 10 games a year and maybe a SEC title every 5 years or so.

He refuses to be cut-throat, both in games and out. He doesn’t have the extra level that Saban, Miles, and Meyer do.

He’s too decent a guy. He’s far too decent a guy to look at his friend and fire him for his gross under performance as the wide receivers coach or defensive coordinator.

Richt has an established pattern of doing what is not in the best interests of his team when it comes to the need to fire coaches who do not belong in the program.

He did it first with Eason and now with Martinez. He blames the players, constantly, for his coaches lack of performance.

Over 8 years, who was the lone constant with the wideouts? We had no 8th year seniors, so the lone constant was Eason. How many years have our receivers been frustratingly inconsistent, always seeming on the cusp of breaking out only to have a game where they drop 20 passes? Eason just wasn’t getting it done as a teacher as a coach. But Richt blamed the players.

Ever since Martinez has become Georgia’s DC, as BVG’s players have graduated, the defense has not only statistically gotten worse EVERY YEAR from the year previous, but they have lacked fire and passion, and they have lacked DISCIPLINE. They play stupid, they play like a team full of MeAngelo Hall’s, with all of their ridiculous and totally unnecessary 15 yard personal foul penalties.

And yet, Richt blames the players and blames one year of injuries (which in no way explains the previous 3 years).

But who really is at fault? Who is the lone constant in the equation of our defense getting worse and more undisciplined?

Willie Martinez.

You want more damning evidence against Martinez? NO ONE WANTS HIM. Not even his own school, Miami. No one wants him. When Richt gave Martinez his inexplicable raise, he was bidding against himself, because no one wants Martinez.

And yet Richt keeps this clown around.

Richt is wrong, Chip.

Richt is WRONG, AltamahaDawg.

It happens. He was wrong with Eason, and he is very, very wrong with Martinez.

And because he doesn’t have the stomach to do what’s right, he’ll be the guy who wins 10 games a year, not 12.

He’ll be the guy who wins an SEC championship every 5 years or so when his team should be so much more than that, when they should be top-5 every year.

Again, Richt is quite content to be a regional program when he should be like Florida, LSU, and now again Alabama, and be national.

He’s fine being Chik-Fil-A when he should be Apple.

And there is going to come a point when the Georgia people and the Georgia leadership are going to have to ask the very tough question if they are okay with that attitude.

AltamahaDawg

March 4th, 2009
12:46 pm

zoomie, I think you hit the nail on the head.

“It could be an odd mixture of people and talent that just didn’t quite gel — I don’t know. Hopefully, Coach Richt and company do know, learned their lessons from it, and have a plan to correct it into the future.”

That might be as wise of a statemnet as has been out here this week.

The injuries deal only compounds the infinate combinations of trying to get that mixture of talents and people to jel. would hope the staff learned a thing or two this year…and lets be fair…….this is NOT a very old HC, with a couple of relatively new co-ordinators, with some assistants that are still finding thier way……..and what staff doesn’t have room to learn?

For example, how does cutting back drills earlier in the year to help heal that week, come back to bite you 3,4 games down the road. On the other hand, how many fans would have been bloggin furious had the report come out that the last 3 healthy LB on the team has been injured in practise the week before going to LSU? And Richt’s responce was, “oh we were trying to make sure we tackled better 6 weeks from now, so we never adjusted our pace, despite the numbers”.

MoDawg

March 4th, 2009
1:10 pm

BugKiller, I am willing to give Willie another chance, and this may be exactly what Richt is doing with this co-coordinator position. He is basically giving Willie a little more rope, in the person of Jancek to try and salvage his diminishing stature and if the numbers continue to fall, he has done all that he could do and has no other choice than to let him go.

Willie has shown glimpses of being very good, but at some point those glimpses need to become steely stares across the gridiron daring our opponent to try and score. We as fans should expect nothing less.

Richt knows what he’s doing.

AltamahaDawg

March 4th, 2009
1:20 pm

bugkiller, I don’t assume he is right or wrong. Not sure its really that simplistic anyway. I don’t assume he thinks WM is the best DC in the world. I can observe that he has decided he wants to keep him though. I am certain that he is far better position to make that call, but that IS NOT EVEN THE POINT.

The point is that he knows what he thinks. And you do not.

And now you start morphing your argument as if he is “right or wrong” about football? YOU are the one making assumption. You assume that he sees the football the same way you do. Never mind that everyone else on that staff is also his friend, and that would harm them. You have been very vocal all year in saying that it is a given that he ONLY keeps WM on the staff out of some misguided loyalty to his freind. Never mind that his wife , kids, and extended family would be harmed by him purposely destroying the program. Your argument all along has been that he agrees with you about WM, and just chooses to not take the action you demand about it. You just said it again.

Make up your mind, is the man football dumb, or just trying to keep UGA down, despite that making no sense to anyone, and nobody benifititng from it?

You know whose side I am going to take on the football part.Insider or observer? I don’t know the answers, so I go with the professionals.

Obviously YOU and HE disagree on the football, but I will be damn if I am going to buy the case that somebody should take some action contrary to what THEY think is right due to arguments presented based on assumptions that they obviously don’t agree with. Would you do that?

The most obvious thing to me is this: He didn’t fire WM. Fact. Are you trying to bend time and space now or what? What is your plan given this reality?

AJ

March 4th, 2009
1:41 pm

I have been a UGA fan for as long as i can remember, and i will continue to support the team. But i have gotten to the point where i get fed up with seeing the same mistakes made week in and week out. I know that the injuries could have played a small part in what happened this year, and caused some distractions to the team but at some point you can’t use that as an excuse any more. The missed tackles on defense got worse and worse as the season went on! I just hope i don’t have to say maybe next year for the rest of my life!

I-DOG

March 4th, 2009
1:42 pm

I understand that we had a 10 win season and that is good. However, I liken this past season to the 1992 team. They both had amazing weapons on offense and both teams underachieved.

Zeir Hastings and Hearst. 10 wins, but nobody in Dawg Nation felt good about it.

Stafford, Moreno, and AJ. Same result

Stafford will likely be the number one overall pick in the draft even after coming out early. Moreno is simply the best back we have had since #34. The guy ran behind two patched together lines in his two seasons and still was electrifying every time he touched the ball.

Which team would you have rather coached. UGA coming off a bye week so that they have 2 weeks to prepare for the option attack of GT with 4 and 5 star athletes all over the starting lineup and 3 absolute superstar talents on offense and PLAYING AT HOME OR:

GT coming off a game week, with a new coach and a completely new scheme, with the starting lineup being comprised mostly of 3 star recruits and having to play against a more talented UGA team on the road in front of 92,000?

Hats off to GT for getting the W. Our superior talent was outplayed and our staff was outcoached. There is no other way to look at it.

The season was not a success.

'ol sport

March 4th, 2009
1:45 pm

Bug Killer,

I agree with what you say. While I am a great admirer of CMR and am glad he is OUR coach, he is much too loyal to some. Good management is in knowing where success comes from and where failure is. CWM just may be the difference in being 10-3 as opposed to 12-1, 13-0. It is like having the door open, but never going inside. As a person I am sure CWM is a fine one, but he is not Brian Van Gorder and could not carry Erk Russell’s “athletic supporter”. I do wonder if he does not have a job until he decides to leave himself. As for Jancek, I have wondered is he also was not weak. Hard to know.

I suppose if we all were so smart, we would be making 2.8 mil also!

The Wizard

March 4th, 2009
1:50 pm

I absolutely love it……just goes to show you how far CMR has brought
this program when a 10 – 3 season is described as “disastrous”……huh?

GO DAWGS……we’ll take 10 wins every year, in spite of all our ‘rocking chair’ quarterbacks and coaches!!!

Wow!

March 4th, 2009
2:02 pm

That must have hurt….IDOG

CalDogg

March 4th, 2009
2:45 pm

Wow, some pretty severe feelings out there, with a lot of insightful analysis sprinkled in.

Personally, I prefer the analysis, particularly of trends in offense/defense over time. One-year anomalies do occur (in both directions, as UGA has proved with UF and last year with HI). Trends are, to my way of thinking, more indicative of the base line of a program.

As for Altamaha’s apparent problem dealing with Bug, this sounds like something that should be settled in the ring, with big, squishy gloves that can’t really hurt anybody (much). Get it out of your system.

I do think that your suggestion, Altamaha, that “…his wife, kids, and extended family would be harmed by him purposely destroying the program” is a bit over the top. I sincerely doubt that shaking up the defensive coaching staff, or offensive staff, position coaches, special teams, you name it, is going to “destroy” the UGA football program.

You saw the note about Les Miles. Didn’t see the LSU program destroyed.

But, as far as I can decipher your point, and it’s a bit garbled to tell you the truth, you are apparently saying that, so long as MR believes he’s right, he’s right. And Bug and the rest should just shut up and be thankful. That’s a new one. And, sorry, but I don’t think you’re getting Bug’s point (and that of others saying the same thing) at all.

They point out why they think CMR is wrong from a football perspective (which is any fan’s right) AND that he’s perhaps not tough enough to make the hard decisions that have to be made in this business. And, that’s what it is, a business (totally aside from the dollars and cents issues). Where success is measured on the field, like it or not. This is not Northwestern (my friend’s alma mater) where they are content with a flash of purple every few decades.

And another note to bloggers. Good points about the SEC but let’s not fall into a trap. We are not competing with Florida. That’s a cop-out and, IMO, too small a target. We’re competing with Southern Cal (the #1 program in college football at the moment). And Texas, Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Michigan (maybe again one day), Oklahoma, Penn State…. and yes, Florida. But beating Florida, despite recent experience, is not that big a thing. UGA matches up just fine with UF on a talent level.

Is everybody aware of why Steve Spurrier has always had such a “thing” for UGA when he was coaching at Florida? Because he played for UF, as did most of his coaching staff at the time. And, he said it himself. They NEVER beat Georgia. UGA owned them.

Unequal talent? No. Did UGA win those games because they were more “loyal” ‘to their staff than Florida? Because they broke out the black jerseys? Because they jumped up and down in the end zone? No. But, does the name Erk Russell still mean anything? Do you think his defenses had anything to do with it?

Let’s put it this way. A guy from the other team has the ball, nearing the sideline, in a deadlocked game and I’m the defender. Would a true “Junkyard Dog” (sorry, I don’t think this team is qualified to use that title at the moment) arm tackle him? If Erk were on the sidelines, you better put that guy in the first row of the bleachers.

That’s the standard against which UGA defenses are measured, like it or not. Willie Martinez might be the nicest guy in the world, or the meanest, who knows. He might draw a mean X or O. He might be the smartest or dumbest (not likely) guy around. He might throw a mean BBQ. Who knows. And finally, CMR might like him a lot and think, in his mind, he’s the greatest DC he’s ever known or will ever know.

But the harsh reality is that the game is played on the field. That guy with the ball ended up in the end zone, not pasted to a sideline marker. It is what it is, and it’s a tough business but that’s what these guys sign up for.

This is not a place where “the head coach, right or wrong” is going to cut it.

Do I think CMR is “wrong” about Martinez? I’ll take a middle ground. This year should tell us a lot more about that question.

But this I do think. CMR has the unalienable right: (A) to stick to his guns, and (B) to be wrong. They both go with the territory.

Dawg1

March 4th, 2009
3:07 pm

Count me as a ‘blind loyalist’. How quickly we forget. We were consistently 3rd in the SEC East before CMR arrived. We have won a couple of SEC Championships and been in the hunt every year. That used to be UT’S slot. Florida is going to tough every year. Last year, what could go wrong did go wrong, but we have been in the game pretty much every year with CMR. You have to go all the way back to CVD to say that.

The Yellow Jackets finally won one. 7-1. That had won 3 in a row before CMR got here.

UGA’S coach does it the right way. His assistants are very good. It they are as poor as some of you seem to think, then why does the phone keep ringing? CWM – you loved him the year before.

Oh and a little thing called Academics have improved EVERY year.

So, I’ll take the ‘blind loyalist’ title, while you can take ‘fair weather fan’. Don’t worry, we’ll beat Tech next year. You can put your UGA Cap back on then. Mine never came off.

BugKiller

March 4th, 2009
3:24 pm

Thank you CalDogg.

Guys like Altamaha will never get it. Ever. They’re like the Bobby Cox disciples who refuse to hand any blame to Cox for taking some of the best teams in baseball history and running them down in the postseason due to absolutely horrible crunch-time, do-or-die decision making.

And the thing is, Mark Richt now has a pattern for refusing to do the right thing and fire terrible coaches on his staff.

First Eason, now Martinez.

As far as Martinez’s performance, our defense in his ten years has gotten progressively worse, just about across the board, but most importantly in yards given up per game and points given up per game EVERY YEAR. You can check the stats yourself. They’re all there anywhere you want on the ‘net to find them.

Also, the Dawgs on defense have gotten progressively more undisciplined under Martinez. From undisciplined fundamentals, like tackling and assignment football, to just plain undisciplined, with the kind of idiotic and completely ridiculously stupid personal foul penalties Falcon fans were used to seeing from MeAngelo Hall.

These FACTS, which Mark Richt and guys like Altamaha refuse to acknowledge, are damning evidence of Willie Martinez’s straight-up ineptitude as defensive coordinator.

And yes Altamaha, it IS to the detriment of the team. How can anyone say having Willie Martinez as our DC ISN’T a detriment to the team when faced with those UNDENIABLE FACTS???

Again… Les Miles fired just about his WHOLE defensive staff after their horrendous year. After ONE YEAR.

Les Miles is willing to make the hard choices a head coach must make in order to win.

Does ANYONE here, Chip or anyone else, believe Miles, Saban, or Meyer would have held on to John Eason for 8 years?

Does anyone here believe Miles, Saban, and Meyers would have held on to Martinez for four years, and then after his worst year EVER, given him an indefensible raise?

Again… guys like Altamaha talk in circles and circles, but they refuse to answer the hard questions and they are totally unable to refute any facts made to the contrary of their blind arguments.

Mark Richt was WRONG to not have fired John Eason, and blaming his players for his coach’s shortcomings.

Mark Richt is WRONG to continue to employ Willie Martinez, and to blame the players and one year’s worth of injuries to excuse Martinez’s four year run of inept coaching.

Provide some facts as to how those two statements are wrong.

FACTS.

Not idiotic statements about how Richt wins 10 games a year and wins an SEC title every 5 years or so.

In the the SEC of Miles, Saban, and Meyer, Richt has fallen back to the pack.

And while he is undeniabley better than the two guys who came before, his teams always seem to have a way of underperforming when the pressure is on. While he is better than the guys who came before him, he is unable or unwilling to make the decisions to get his team to the elite level Miles, Saban, and Meyer have gotten their team.

Umm… Dawg1… WHO called for Willie Martinez?

WHO called for John Eason?

For you to insinuate that I’m saying ALL the Georgia coaches are terrible is a flat out fabrication.

Unfortunately, the man who is terrible is in the most important position on the team outside of head coach, which is defensive coordinator.

Unfortunately, Richt refuses to make the hard decision, decisions that Miles, Saban, and Meyer would never hesitate to make, and fire Martinez.

WHO called for Martinez?

He’s so bad his own school didn’t want him. He’s so bad the head coach at Miami, instead of bringing back an alumnus, decided to be his own DC this year.

BugKiller

March 4th, 2009
3:26 pm

Of course, I meant in Martinez’s FOUR YEARS. Four years.

Chip Towers

March 4th, 2009
3:58 pm

**FRESH OFF CMR’S PRE-SPRING TELECONFERENCE, here’s his thoughts on the promotion of John Jancek, etc:

“Well this is really a situation where his role is not going to change a lot because he really has been very involved in game-planning with Coach Martinez, as all are coaches do. But he’s had an awful lot of input the years he’s been here, so it’s not going to change really at all. Just to make it clear, Willie Martinez is our defensive coordinator. It’s not like two co-coordinators on an equal basis. Willie is the tip of the spear defensively, so to speak. He’s where the buck stops and he’s the leader of the group. But John has been very instrumental to this point in formulating our defensive plan and he’s gonna continue to do that. We’re just basically making public notice of it.”

Asked if a raise would come with Jancek’s new title: “I’ll just say this, the way I feel about salaries, I feel like salaries are a private matter. If it was up to me everybody’s salary wouldn’t be published. I’d never make any public comments on guys’ salaries.”

On keeping the whole staff together: “It means an awful lot. Number one, I think we’ve got a tremendous group of assistant coaches that do an outstanding job and have for quite some time now. To keep the continuity I think that’s extremely important. When it comes to recruiting I think it’s important; when it comes to our current players having the peace of mind knowing they don’t have to start all over, it’s important. I remember when I first came to Georgia and Brian VanGorder became the defensive coordinator, he was the fourth defensive coordinator in four years. Neil Callaway was the fifth offensive line coach in four years. It’s tough to be good, it’s tough to get anything going when your kids are constantly having to learn a whole new coaching staff or a whole new philosophy or a whole new way of calling a defense or an offensive line blocking scheme. To be able to continue to keep the same staff, especially when they’re as good as the one we have, is fantastic.”

Chip Towers

March 4th, 2009
3:59 pm

**FRESH OFF CMR’S PRE-SPRING TELECONFERENCE, here’s his thoughts on the promotion of John Jancek, etc:**

“Well this is really a situation where his role is not going to change a lot because he really has been very involved in game-planning with Coach Martinez, as all are coaches do. But he’s had an awful lot of input the years he’s been here, so it’s not going to change really at all. Just to make it clear, Willie Martinez is our defensive coordinator. It’s not like two co-coordinators on an equal basis. Willie is the tip of the spear defensively, so to speak. He’s where the buck stops and he’s the leader of the group. But John has been very instrumental to this point in formulating our defensive plan and he’s gonna continue to do that. We’re just basically making public notice of it.”

Asked if a raise would come with Jancek’s new title: “I’ll just say this, the way I feel about salaries, I feel like salaries are a private matter. If it was up to me everybody’s salary wouldn’t be published. I’d never make any public comments on guys’ salaries.”

On keeping the whole staff together: “It means an awful lot. Number one, I think we’ve got a tremendous group of assistant coaches that do an outstanding job and have for quite some time now. To keep the continuity I think that’s extremely important. When it comes to recruiting I think it’s important; when it comes to our current players having the peace of mind knowing they don’t have to start all over, it’s important. I remember when I first came to Georgia and Brian VanGorder became the defensive coordinator, he was the fourth defensive coordinator in four years. Neil Callaway was the fifth offensive line coach in four years. It’s tough to be good, it’s tough to get anything going when your kids are constantly having to learn a whole new coaching staff or a whole new philosophy or a whole new way of calling a defense or an offensive line blocking scheme. To be able to continue to keep the same staff, especially when they’re as good as the one we have, is fantastic.”

AltamahaDawg

March 4th, 2009
3:59 pm

Sport. I “got it” about 4 times before you were born.

But speaking of answering questions. I notice you simply refuse to answer mine and repost the exact same thing over and over and over. Bobby cox, Nick saban, yea, we heard ya.

He didn’t fire WM, now what? What is your plan? Cry about it in a sports blog all summer? Did you visit the many off campus appearances he makes to voice oyur concern about his intentional descruction of the UGA program due his not wanting to hurt somebody’s feeling? How about emial, letter, phone ? anything? huh? crying in a sports blog? Do you “get” what I am infering about your own willingness to make hard decisions?

AltamahaDawg

March 4th, 2009
4:13 pm

BTW caldog, read what I said. which was the exact opposite of your comment.

I said that the idea that Richt would endanger his family and the other members of his staff because he was too much of a coward to fire somebody is pretty rediculous.

As if sticking to your guns and taking abuse and critisism is the cowards way, he picked a damn tough way to do it. Not to mention the pressure and vileness toward WM isn’t exactly doing him any favors. All because he is ACTUALLY trying to do what he think is best, not what others wanted to hear. Firing WM would have been the easiest thing in the world to do.

gdawginkalamazoo

March 4th, 2009
4:23 pm

Ouch! Dammit Chip got to bring up the same old Martinez arguments we hear over and over. It is what it is and WE as fans certainly can’t change it. Talking about all the injuries being a possible reason for the so-called let down last year. I suppose that there is a difference between the first stringers and the third or fourth string players. First stringers play because they are the more athletic,i e, able to tackle better, run faster, jump higher, handle the ball better, more disciplined overall in their approach and preparations for the games. Sure the 2,3,4th stringers are good players but not quite as good as the starters. Little less disciplined, not quite as athletic but can still play. They just don’t have the God given talents that the starters do but they will suffice to get 11 players on the field. Coaching can only go so far in that situation. Sure in our perceptions the coaches should be able to coach anybody up to a new level. Maybe they did coach them up and they just couldn’t cut it. One thing for sure I do not want to hear about any injuries this spring. Just keep it quiet.

AltamahaDawg

March 4th, 2009
4:24 pm

I was right there in the Erk days. I’ve meet Erk. Followed Erk at UGA and GSU. I loved Erk.

Erk’s defenses lost a LOT of games. Embarrasing losses at times. 5 and 6 loss seasons. Erk should have been fired 3 times by Dooley using the standard advocated in here today.

gdawginkalamazoo

March 4th, 2009
4:40 pm

Chip, is that posted twice for double emphasis?