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December 1, 2008

Richt doesn't expect any staff changes

Who has two thumbs and thinks this headline is awesome?* (Image: Hipple)

This is all in how you want to read it. Richt says he's not changing any coaches. On the one hand, what did you expect him to say? He's not, nor will he ever, throw any of his assistants under the bus. So to think he was going to come out and say "Yeah, I might fire somebody." It just wasn't going to happen.

Does that mean it won't happen? Or that a coach won't leave one way or the other? Who knows.

The other that he does acknowledge the severe tackling problems and proposes solutions such as more tackling to the ground in practice. That's a good thing. In his early Richt years, the Bloody Tuesday practices caused many of our injuries, but they also helped create our strong tackling approach. Richt also says that everything (other than coaching changes) is on the table in looking to take the program to the next level.


*Yes. I will never get tired of that joke / caption.


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that you shouldnt fire a guy after one season of sub par defense. Thoughts?

Muckbeast said...

The issue is 4 years of consistent decline on defense.

And every year we have 1 or 2 (now 3) games where we completely take a half off and let the team score a zillion points.

2005: WVU, Sugar Bowl.
2006: Tenn
2007: Tenn
2008: Alabama, UF, GaTech

Anonymous said...

Although I prefer CFB, one of the areas where the NFL is superior is in the accountability department. They don't suffer fools like WM long in the pros. For that matter, if you try to tackle sans arms or return kicks like a startled animal in the NFL, your ass is benched or cut. Before you say it, I know these are kids and not pros. But the coaches are, and WM is pulling down $211,666.69 per year. One of our starting safeties was the GA HS Player of the Yr, Rivals No. 1 player in Georgia, and Rivals No. 1 safety in the country and the other safety was SC HS Player of the Year. I won’t even mention a certain former starting CB now buried in the safety rotation. Not only is WM not a competent DC, he’s not even a decent DB position coach any longer.

Hopefully this “No coaching changes business” is just something Richt is saying so that recruits don't get scared. I say send WM packing, immediately name his successor, and then have the new DC reassure the defensive recruits that he's their guy. John Chavis is available. Orgeron can apparently be had. At least demote WM and let Coach Garner have a shot.

Anonymous said...

Most everyone is a manager and/or is managed by someone. If the vast majority of a middle manager’s (coordinator’s) subordinates (players) consistently looked clueless and inept while hemorrhaging money (points), then wouldn’t a competent CEO (head coach) recognize what must be done?

Also, I'm starting to see parallels between Bush/Rumsfeld and Richt/Martinez.

Anonymous said...

Richt is going to ride this ship to the bottom just to protect his friend. I'm starting to think he's not the football coach we need to get to the MNC!!!! Not just this years results play into that...we have always had off-feild problems. Last year was a fluke. The year before we were average at best. And to add to the list of games above...VA Tech jumped on us one half in a bowl game and we just happened to come everyone forgets about it.


Crane said...

I've flipped the script and am now using Tech Put Downs

Yes, it is sad and weak, but it is funny when Georgia Southern is ranked higher than North-Avenue Trade School

Anonymous said...

2005: GT 7, UF 14, LSU 13
2006: South Carolina 0, UAB 0,Auburn 13, Tech 12, Colorado 13
2007: South Carolina 16, GT 13, Hawaii 10.

If you point out the bad, let's point out the good as well. Is CWM the greatest DC? No. But let's be fair and remember the great defensive performances. And, to continue to be fair Muckbeast, many of those high scores in 2005-2008 were due to other factors other than poor defensive schemes. The defense seems to be constantly hamstrung due to special team failures and turnovers.

The Tech one hurts, but I am sure CWM did not tell his team
"Y'all make sure and don't tackle."

Criticism is fair, but let's be fair about how we go about it.

Anonymous said...

Van Gorder (4 years)- One 30+ point game allowed (2003 SEC Championship Game)

Martinez (4 years)- Twelve* 30+ point games allowed.

* could be one more or less, as I've lost count after this season.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Martinez's schemes are particularly terrible, and typically he makes good adjustments WAY too late (see: WVU/Sugar, VA Tech/Peach, Bama08, etc).

Saturdays are not the reason CWM needs to go. It's Sunday to Friday were he's not getting the job done. Bad tackling, bad angles, and more than anything else--poor mental preparation. How often have we seen his defenses get their pants pulled down and spanked? It's not a talent disparity; it's a motivation and mental edge disparity.

And Richt has decided that loyalty trumps competence. Well. We'll finish the long slow slide that began against WVU in the Sugar which we only thought was halted in late 06.

Anonymous said...

war willie!

Anonymous said...

We were down 28-0 in the Sugar Bowl. We also had 3 turnovers and Millner dropped a key third down pass on our first drive.

In the CFA Bowl, we were down 21-3 at the half. Va Tech picked off Stafford (common theme in 2006), had great field position. They also returned a kick to our territory and had good field position. They also scored a long touchdown on a gadget play that half our team had thought was blown dead after we tipped it.

So yes, it is easy to say "downward spiral" but look at the external factors and the big picutre.

PS: To show how fairweather our fan base has become, no one is calling for Dr. John Eason's head this year are they? Funny how better talent makes you a better coach. You all sound like a bunch of ungrateful Notre Dame or Alabama fans.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 8:25,

Are you really using UAB from 2006 to prove WM is a good DC? You've got to be kidding me.

Even if you don't look at the last three years, which weren't great by the way, just look at this year. UGA has given up 41, 38, 49, 38, & 45 points. That is beyond pathetic. We returned 8 starters from last year's team and our D has gotten worse each game this year.

We've been torched by a running team, a spread offense, and an option offense. There is no D we can defend. WM is in over his head and it's time for him to move on.

I know everyone is saying Richt won't fire Willie, but are there any chances that he steps down as DC? He obviously hears the criticism.

Anonymous said...

i think it's preparation, too, but, as pwd suggests, that's on richt--he directs the show. i just can't escape the conclusion that richt has softened his approach to running the program when he first arrived.

my hope is that he'll call a moratorium on bowling nights, going to the ole' swimmin' hole, pizza parties, and all other frivolities until he conveys to his team that they're actually NOT at uga just to have fun.

richt needs to decide if he's more interested in running an fca chapter or an sec football program.

Anonymous said...

You can't give up 40+ points three times in one season --- two of them at home, two of them against your most hated rivals.

Martinez is at fault. So are the players. What happened to Rashad Jones? Kid looked great early on, and now he just can't tackle.

I love Richt -- he is a helluva man and I'm proud to have him as our coach. I do think, however, that he thinks we're all a little too rabid. I think he underestimated that and he's uncomfortable with it.

That said, just like the celebration and black jerseys in 2007, the team needs a spark. Getting a stud/tough defensive coordinator might just do it.

The loss was tough to take - considering we had an outside shot at a BCS game. Now we have to focus on the bowl game -- hopefully Capital One.

Anonymous said...

How can we hold Tech to one offensive touchdown in the first half and them utterly collapse in the second half (third quarter)?

What was different? Did Tech adjust or did we just quit? What was said at the half that destroyed everything?

I have been one to defend CWM but I am done with it. I believe players are getting worse after they get to Georgia than they were in high school.

The tackling is inexcusable. Stephen Hawking with no arms and no wheels on his chair is a more apt comparison.

Anonymous said...

Anon - you are a fucking moron and you should probably KYS.

Trey said...

If you aren't football savvy enough to look beyond the scoreboard to see the dramatic decline of our defense, then chew on these numbers:

Georgia gave up an average of 5.1 yards per play this season. That ties Kentucky and Mississippi State for 9th in the SEC. Only Arkansas was worse this year at 5.6 yards per play.

The defense gave up 3.8 yards per carry. That ties Kentucky and Vanderbilt for 7th in the SEC. Only Auburn, Mississippi State, and Arkansas were worse. They also gave up 23 rushing touchdowns... worst in the SEC.

Georgia's defense ranked 10th in the SEC in passing yards per attempt. Only Kentucky and Arkansas were worse.

They also rank 11th in the conference in pass efficiency defense. Only Arkansas was worse. Georgia tied for 9th in passing touchdowns (17) allowed with Kentucky. Only Auburn and Arkansas were worse.

Georgia was dead last in sacks.

Georgia ranked 10th in first downs allowed per game. Only Vanderbilt and Arkansas were worse.

The defense also ranked 10th in opponents' 3rd down conversion percentage. Only Tennessee and Arkansas were worse.

This is despite the fact that Georgia's offense ranked 2nd in the conference in time of possession and 3rd in turnovers lost. The defense ranked dead last in turnovers gained.

One bright spot is that Georgia ranked 7th in red zone scoring percentage... although they gave up a touchdown on 28 of 43 red zone trips (ranks 11th at 65.1%. Kentucky is 12th at 65.6%). The 43 red zone trips are tied for the worst in the conference. The 28 touchdowns are the worst in the conference by 3 touchdowns. For comparison, Alabama allowed 7 red zone touchdowns on 16 chances. Tennessee allowed 14 touchdowns on 35 chances.

To me, most of these figures have nothing to do with short fields due to turnovers or special teams malfunctions. If you can't get off the field (3rd down conversion %, first downs allowed), then you are going to give up points. When you can't stop the run or the pass, it makes sense that you are going to give up points. When you look at the rest of the numbers, it only makes sense that Georgia ranks 10th in scoring defense.

Should Georgia have the 10th best defense in the SEC? Should they be comparable to Vandy and Kentucky and Arkansas... or Alabama, Florida, and even Tennessee?

Anonymous said...

If it is so easy to shut out teams, we do it more often. That is what makes USC's streak so impressive. I think in 2006 it was the first time since the 1970s that we shut out two teams in back to back weeks.

Again, being fair weather. At the time, we were pumped about posting back to back shut out, even against crappy teams. And we play a few crappy teams every year.

Anonymous said...

Frank- Tech didn't do anything different in the second half. In fact, they whittled their play selection down to essentially two-three plays.

Anonymous said...

This loss hurts, no doubt.Blaming CWM is a "cop out". look at special teams .The problem is we don't have the size to match up see(35,2, 23)and our only real hitter is 35(he's too small for lb).I know he makes alot ofackles,mostly downfield because he is eaten alive by big linemen.Our talent on defense is more myth than substance.remember the old axiom"a good big man , beats a good little man everytime".

SDawg said...

I think that CMR's statement today that he's not looking to change coaches is the most troubling thing. CMR said that injuries were a big issue. CMR said that they would do more tackling drills next year, like that would fix everything.

In retort, I'll quote Kyle King:

"Injuries have played a role in the failure of this Georgia team to live up to expectations. However, the offensive line has been hit hard by injuries, yet Stacy Searels appears to have found a way to get his players who are healthy enough to play to perform well as a unit and Mike Bobo appears to have found a way to put together an effective offense despite the loss of some key players. This is called coaching."

While this year was a difficult year as far as injuries go, I cannot think of substantial injuries on the defensive side. Jeff Owens goes down early, then Dannell Ellerbie. Fine. Gamble stepped up very, very well, and Geno Atkins still had a fine year in the middle. Neither one of those injured players was in the secondary where Reshad "nudge" Jones lives. CMR said that we should have done more tackling to the ground drills. Fine. What I saw this year was that we missed some tackles but for the most part we tackled fine. Instead, I saw a team that was out of position, took bad angles to balls, and consistently failed to get pressure on the quarterback. I saw a defense that played with intensity but no discipline. I saw a bunch of bullies that backed down when they got hit in the mouth, not warriors that rise to the challenge. I saw a defense that gave up over thirty points IN A HALF THREE TIMES this year. I saw quitters. I saw a coach that jumps around on the sidelines like he's surprised at success. I saw a coach who jumps into his players' arms like he's their bitch. I saw a defense that acts like a team under pressure to do well but lacks the inner confidence to execute. I saw a poorly coached unit.

This has all been said before. What troubles me is that CMR is not willing to hold anyone accountable. Four years of a bad thing is not ok. It's plenty of time to make an evaluation. We have a body of work, and it's getting worse. Further, there was no reason for this defense to be any worse than those of years past. Solid corners, the SEC's best linebacker, a senior and a sophomore five-star beast at safety, and at least one tackle that is an All SEC candidate. Yes, we lack good DE's. Show me one other team without at least one weakspot on defense. Tell me why Bama went from having shitty recruits under their old coach to being a top-flight D in one year. Tell me why UF's maligned defense has been able to step up. It's because Defense is about scheming, coaching, at execution. We have none.

If CMR is not on board with making changes, then we will never be better than a 10 win team. With the best offense in UGA history this year (I said it), we lost three games. We may very well lose our bowl game. The NFL will institute a rookie salary cap in 2010, so 7 and 24 have all the reason in the world to leave. Why shouldn't they? They kicked ass this year and the result was not a championship. Why expect more next year? What else can they do?

Coach Richt came here and talked about knocking the lid off the program. He kicked PLAYERS off the team that didn't get the job done, that weren't buying in. He talked of championship attitudes and playing the best kids. Now, he's making excuses and not making tough internal decisions. That's a recipe for mediocrity. It's essentially a renouncement of his early philosophy. A coach has every right to remove an assistant who is not performing. He won't do that.

I hate to type this, but I've begun to question whether CMR is really up to the task of demanding the true excellence from all that winning championships requires. I can't fathom a better coach than him, but I can fathom him being better. That begins with assessing EVERYONE in your program.

And Bear Bryant would never not make his team tackling drills for fear of injuries, I can promise you that.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping that some scholar of the game could tell me that Tech did something different that I just could not recognize. It looked to me like they kept doing the same thing over and over and over again. It did not work in the first half but did work in the second and I still can't figure out why other than the fact that we must have stopped doing that we had been doing.

Tech completed one pass and yet they put up 45 points on us. We did not have the pass to worry about and could not stop the run.

I'll never get over this one. It was so unnecessary and inexplicable. I keep hoping that I will wake up and it will be Saturday morning and the game has not really been played yet.

Anonymous said...

Screw the defense. Let's talk about Fabris and our crappy DE's with no pressure on the quarterback and he's the special teams coordinator. Special Teams is a big problem for us. I'm so tired of that directional kick crap. We're crippling our defense with poor field position before they ever get on the field.

Anonymous said...


"Is Roddy Jones still runnin'?


Anonymous said...

"Frank- Tech didn't do anything different in the second half. In fact, they whittled their play selection down to essentially two-three plays."

Spoken like a true football know-nothing bull-puppy. Yes, the QB and the RB were doing the same thing over and over (taking it to the house and making your defense look like confused little girls), but if you pay attention to what is going on the block schemes change and Tech tries to isolate different defenders. In that sense its the same play, but there are major blocking adjustments being made.

Hobnail_Boot said...

Special Teams is a MUCH bigger concern than defense right now.

Anonymous said...

No, it's not. Special teams suck, but it doesn't matter where the hell the other team gets the ball right now. They can drive it 10, 30, 60, or 90 yards against this D.

On drives that Tech started back, they drove the ball. On drives that they had good field position, they drove the ball.

God forbid that we turn the ball over or have a special teams miscue and the D forces 3 downs and a field goal. Remember when that used to happen? That's what a good defense does. I don't want to hear anything else about starting position or how the other team only had to drive 40 yards. Come on. At some point make a stop. Until that happens it doesn't matter what the Special Teams do.

SDawg said...

FYI, in 1999 we had one of the best defenses in the country talent wise. Every player went on to the NFL, and the worst player on the D was Josh Mallard, later a starter for the Falcons. That was one of the worst defenses we've ever had... until now. The opposite can also happen with undertalented folks, Saban turned a poor defense into overachievers.

Defense is not entirely about who is playing, but how they are played. Anyone who thinks we're suffering on D because of injuries or lack of personnel is kidding themselves. Ask Kevin Ramsey.

Anonymous said...

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a coach, nor was I a player. Just call me an "idiot with a TIVO". However, in just 15 minutes with the TIVO you could see what Tech was doing, over and over and over again, with absolutely no adjustment whatsoever from our defense. The fact that the same play worked over and over and over is proof enough of problems in D coaching.

Watch the game. Tech would load 2 receivers on one side. We would match each player on D. Then, before the snap, the wingback (or whatever Tech calls it - the tight end spot off the line) on the side with the 2 receivers would shift to the opposite side, and often would receive the ball on the pitch to him. THEY KEY IS - OUR DEFENSE NEVER SHIFTED WHEN THEY DID. NEVER. the time the ball is snapped, Tech has an extra man in the running lane where the play is going, and we have a player doing nothing (actually, they always watched from their position as the play and their player went to the other side of the field). This is actually the same thing that happened in the WVA bowl game - they always put more players in the running lane than we did.

I'm not sure, but I call that getting outschemed...and that my friends is a coaching problem.

Did anyone else see what this "idiot with a TIVO" saw??

Anonymous said...

Just a year ago, we were #2 in the SEC in scoring Defense, second to Auburn, according to Phil Steele. I am sure some of you know it alls would disagree, but facts are facts.

Seems harsh to say our defense is broken after a successful year. We had a bad year. It sucks. Deal with it. Another bad year, then let's talk then. For now, let's focus on getting back to the top of the SEC and get ready for next season.

Anonymous said...

i vote to fire bobo..he makes the dumbest calls ever!! omg!! its 2nd and 2 and he calls a qb sweep ..stafford is not teabow not chase daniels he is quick but bobo calls to many qb run plays for a pocket passer qb and gets stafford killed! and then wat game was it he called like 3 str8 fade routes and later n the same a fade route that turned into a int i think we need a new off cord..

Anonymous said...

All this firing this person and this person is ridiculous. Did you really expect him to answer the question of coaching changes with a "Yeah. Willie's done." Do you really expect Coach Richt to get rid of his assistants right before our bowl game? What kind of message does that send to kids we're trying to recruit? Coach Richt said he was going to be very honest in his evaluations of everyone's performance this year. He's not stupid. We had a really good defense last year....when CWM was still the DC. Putting all the blame on him is an excuse to try and justify the fact that we didn't live up to expectations. Guess what? It happens. It happened to Florida last year with their 9-4 season. How did they have the Heisman Trophy winner and a 9-4 season? They had what their coach described as a "soft defense." Looks like they did an okay job of bouncing back from that this year. Give Mark Richt the benefit of the doubt. His record with us proves that he deserves it.

Anonymous said...

Willie Martinez for the Mississippi State head coach job.

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