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January 18, 2010

Lakatos Hired as DB Coach

David Hale has the press conference notes from the Scott Lakatos hire. My overall reaction is mixed. He's qualified for the gig, and that's no small thing. Plus, Grantham knows/trusts the guy. Both of those things are huge in building a staff.

However, the lack of deep Southeastern / Georgia recruiting ties isn't ideal. The good news...not having in state recruiting ties isn't the worst thing (in small doses on the staff).

Georgia Football isn't like Georgia Basketball. Area high school football coaches will give you the time of day simply because of who you represent. Building the relationships from's up to him. In other words, I'm not worried about the lack of southern connections as long as the guy is a lights out position coach AND he can build those relationships over time.

There is still one open position on the coaching staff. It will either be a full-time special teams coach, which I'm totally against due to a parade of reasons too long to get into tonight. Or it will be an outside linebackers coach with the staff sharing special teams responsibilities.

Update -- You guys in the comments asked why I'm against a full-time special teams coach. Several coaches have an area of responsibility in special teams currently. For instance, Searels handles field goals and extra points, Coach Ball (pretty sure) handles kickoff returns, and Fabris handled punt returns and kickoff coverage. Not sure who handled punting in general. All of our special teams are NOT broken. Kickoff returns coverage were badly broken and the coverage of fake punts were broken, and we fired Fabris who ran all of that.

The solution there isn't hire a new special teams coach to manage all special teams. The solution is hire someone better than Fabris. The solution is also to put better athletes on special teams which UGA started doing mid-2009, and the solution is to spend more time on special teams in practice.

Spending more time on special teams in practice is tricky. It's not an issue of coaching staff bandwidth. The problem is that the same players who are doing offense or defense drills are the same ones needed (except kickers) to do special teams drills. So, let say we're spending 20% or even 30% of our time in practice sessions on special teams. That means we're could be paying a special teams coach to spend 70-80% of his time either A. Standing with his finger in his ear. or B. Talking to the kickers. The kickers clearly are not the problem. So why hire a dedicated special teams coach to do nothing during most of practice?

In my opinion...if we have a dedicated special teams coach, then his name should be Mark Richt.



Ryan said...

I for one would love to see Richt handle the special teams a la Beamer and Corch Meyers...

The Watch Dawg said...

I would love to hear your reasons why you are against a special teams coach.

Anonymous said...

Rather have Coaches than recruiters*

Crane said...

That would assume he would be good special team coach.

CarolinaDawg said...

I think a full time special teams coach is exactly what Georgia needs. How many wins did it cost Georgia because there was a breakdown in some phase in the kicking game last few years?

Wasn't that the main reason why Jon Fabris received so much criticism? I understand that he was mainly responsible for punt returns and kickoff coverage, but he became the whipping boy for all that was wrong with the kicking game.

Anonymous said...

I think he'll be fine recruiting. A cursory search of the UConn roster sees a bunch of kids from PA, NJ, and NY, not to mention Florida.

Maybe now that we have a legitimate in, we start getting some top talent some of those northern states and this thing works itself out...

Darth Scooter said...

Wow, why are you so anti-special teams? In light of what has happened over the past couple of years I'd say having a guy on staff who does nothing but special teams would be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

If Lakatos is as good as his resume proves & is as dedicated to fundamentals as he says, then his lack of relationships here won't matter.

Fact is, kids want to work for the best Coaches, best teams & get to the Pros. They won't come to UGA if the Coach sux but still is liked by HS Coaches. That doesn't make sense & isn't factually true. Just ask Alabama & Florida. Bottom line, the relationships with Coaches will come with his success here.

Brad said...

Good call Anon 8:56. I never thought about using northern ties but we have gotten some good players from up north (Musa, Kade, Knowshon) Who wouldn't want to go to Athens after living in Harrisburg or Trenton?

Sam, Dawg Fan said...

Brad, kids tend to stay pretty close to home no matter where home is (pretty much). There was an analysis of where recruits come from and it was overwhelmingly clear that kids tend to stay close to home.

A few schools (Notre Dame, the service academies) are truly national. Yes, every major school has a kid from far away. USC gets a McKnight from time to time, but the vast majority are fairly local kids.

I do not think it is an issue. If he is a good coach and if he could recruit well in PA (against Big 10 teams) then he will be fine. If he is good, the players will want to come.

His northern/mid Atlantic ties are really a plus.

Anonymous said...

i hate the north

jflo said...

Just so you know...John Lilly was in charge of Kickoff returns and punt team during the season...once Fabris was fired he took over the Punt return and kickoff outside of the field goal unit, Lilly was the special teams coach at the Independence Bowl, and I think he showed some remarkable results...the man is an excellent coach and should be allowed to coach our special teams

Anonymous said...

"In my opinion...if we have a dedicated special teams coach, then his name should be Mark Richt."

All we know of Richt as a Special Teams Coach is that he fiercely defended directional kicking even amidst astounding evidence to the contrary.

No thanks-he's clearly not an Urban Meyer type Special Teams Coach.

Football Dude said...

There is more to special teams coaching than just working with the players. There's film study. There's working on the scheme. And there's evaluating the players while they are doing other drills. To state that a special teams coach would be useless 70-80% of the time is a bit of a stretch. I'd venture to say that he would stay busy almost all of the time.

80DAWG said...

Paul, spot on about special teams!

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