Georgia Sports Blog FanShop

September 30, 2009

V for Vendetta

Did Willie Martinez kick sand on Mark Bradley at the beach? Or steal his lunch money in high school? Or his girlfriend? That would explain Bradley's second column in less than a week putting a cudgel to Willie Martinez.

The gist of the column is that when Les Miles determined his defense was substandard, he upgraded his defensive coordinator(s) by hiring John Chavis. And Mark Richt did nothing (save to promote Janceck to co-cordinator).

Who has two thumbs and gets no pressure...from his boss?

Let me be clear: I am not making the argument that Willie Martinez is as good as or better than John Chavis. Chavis's body of work is demonstrably better. But based solely on this season's statistics, I am puzzled by how Bradley supports his thesis. The numbers are postively underwhelming for both teams.
LSU ranks 49th nationally in total defense and 23rd in scoring defense; Georgia ranks 67th and 95th. The key difference: The Tigers are tied for fifth in turnover margin, having intercepted seven passes and recovered three fumbles; Georgia is 115th, having intercepted one pass and recovered two fumbles. (Neither team has done much sacking: Each has five in four games.
Four games into the season, LSU ranks 49th in defense and UGA ranks 67th. LSU barely cracks the top 50 against such august competition as Washington, Vanderbilt, La-Lafayette, and Little Miss State. So why is Chavis the answer?
But the belief in this space is that Chavis will instill the ethic of tenacity a big-time program must have. The belief is also that Martinez’s defense is based on the backpedal. Granted, Georgia held Arizona State to 204 yards and one offensive touchdown, but ASU might finish fifth (or worse) in the SEC East. There’s a higher standard in this conference, and Chavis has proved he can meet it.
I'll spot Bradley this: LSU's defense may not be very good right now, but it's not crazy to think Chavis will whip them into shape. Willie is what he is. But for now the jury is out until Chavis puts some statistical distance between his unit and CWM's unit.

Bradley hit the nail on the head when he identifies this key difference: LSU turns the ball over much less than Georgia. I suspect the winner on Saturday will not be the team that plays better defense; it will be the team with the fewest turnovers. If we spot the Tigers 2 TDs off turnovers like we did for the Sun Devils, we lose. Likewise, if Daryl Gamble (or anyone) can reprise last year's double-pick-six performance, Dawgs win another over LSU.


Anonymous said...

This column didn't make a whole lot of sense. If, as you concede, Chavis's body of work is "demonstrably" better than Martinez's, why does Bradley need to wait for Chavis's results at LSU to conclude that Miles upgraded his staff?

Miles, in response to his poor defense last year, went out and hired a brand name defensive coordinator.

CMR stuck with Willie Martinez, who is overseeing one of the worst defenses in the Southeastern Conference, one year after his defense got trucked in every important game it played.

You're defending the indefensible.

Dawgnoxious said...

I'm saying John Chavis is currently a poor example of Les Miles's brilliance/CMR's foolishness because right now LSU's upgrade wasn't much of an upgrade. The two units are pretty comparable.

As for defending the indefensible, CWM sucked hind teat last year and deserved to be fired. But UGA's defense played better last week, and if they play well in our upcoming big games, then the only reason to shitcan him is to satisfy bloodlust to atone for prior sins.

Skeptic Dawg said...

After reading Bradley's article, I believe that it was a shot a CMR, not CWM. Bradley points out early in the article that Miles took action and brought in new blood, while Richt simply added Janis as co-DC. The body of the article is simply stating the differences between the two DC's. While it does look like a shot a Willie, he is not incorrect in any of facts. I am be wrong, but this is a shot a Richt, and Bradley provides the stats to back up his believe that CWM needs to be shown the door.

rbubp said...

Not only is that not strong competition for LSU, but those two BCS teams are known for being terrible offensively.

Hobnail_Boot said...

I'm not buying the whole "if we turn the ball over 3 times, LSU will kill us" meme. Why not? Because all we've done this year is turn the ball over and we're somehow 3-1.

On top of that, LSU hasn't proven themselves to be demonstrably better this year than anyone else we've played. They may be by December, but not yet.

As Georgia fans, we know that recruiting rankings are important but not that important. LSU is learning that this year as they grow into their new OL, DL, and QB.

I'll take it the other way: If Georgia takes care of the ball for the first time this year, they will steamroll LSU.

nemov said...

Bradley's thesis is simple. LSU's defense wasn't up to their high standards so Miles made a change. CWM has sucked for years and keeps his job.

Anonymous said...

"CWM has sucked for years"

No. He hasn't.

Andy said...

And why is it that when Vanderbilt plays LSU I think "Vandy has a shot." Or when Mississippi State plays LSU I think "of course it's down to the wire, Go Bully!" But when we play them, I fear the wrath of Mike V and everything Yellow, Purple and Geux.

I think I think this because every game is different. Somehow, I believe that if we throw for 500 yards, turn the ball over zero times, it's still going to be a fight.

CWM doesn't suck, so put me on the list for a keeper.

Anonymous said...

"CWM's defense has vastly underperformed for years and he SHOULD be held responsible."


Skeptic Dawg said...

Anon. 8:06...What year has CWM not blown? Take a look at the numbers, the points allowed under Willie have increased each season he has been DC with the exception of 1. How does that not stink? Take a look at the big numbers our D have surrendered as well. Not too sure what you consider to be not sucking.

Beave said...

Did Boykin and Rambo intercept the same pass?

Johnny Blaze said...

Wait, so CWM doesn't suck anymore? When did this happen? I didn't get the memo.

wayne johnson #18 said...

To be fair...Bradley didn't write an "article." He keeps a blog on the AJC. And he updates it pretty consistently, 3 or 4 times a day, good topical conversation. Nothing wrong with that.

This is a topic in the Atlanta & Georgia sports scene that unlike benching Greg Norton or praising the genius of Matt Ryan is a complex issue and question.

Unpacking such a question isn't a personal vendetta. Isn't that what an interactive blog is for?

Anonymous said...

Forcing turnovers...stripping the ball, recognizing routes, and playing the ball instead of the receiver.

Chavis' defenses do it.

Martinez' defenses do not.

It is the #1 thing holding Georgia back.

JasonC said...

Maybe Bradley found out that Richt, Martinez and Smoltz are all good buddies.

Anonymous said...

Coach Martinez's winning record is the same as the Dogs. I just want it to be recognized that many people want to fire a defensive coordinator who has averaged 10 wins a season. I do not know of any coaches we can hire that has a better record.

Chris said...

It baffles me that so many are pointing to the ASU game as some sort of validation for CWM.

1) The ASU QB is horrible
2) The ASU OL is horrible
3) The game was played in a monsoon
4) ASU WRs dropped a lot of passes that would have resulted in 1st downs

Moreover, the defense still isn't forcing turnovers or consistently rushing the passer. The Arkansas and South Carolina games didn't get erased because the defense was marginally better against ASU.

Dawgnoxious said the the only reason to "shitcan" Martinez is out of "bloodlust." Its amazing to me how far UGA's expectations for a god defense have dropped. CWM should be retained now because he's fielding a serviceable defense? That's insanity. UGA used to field a defense that actually dictated games. It wasn't that long ago.

Anonymous said...

"CWM sucked hind teat last year and deserved to be fired."

Haha! The phrase, he "sucked hind teat" may well be the one of the funniest things I've read this year!

matt b. said...

I remember Auburn 2003 at Sanford Stadium, when our defense imposed its will all evening long.

We flew to the ball, we hit hard. We were forceful, and we attacked.

Those were the days...

Anonymous said...

matt b....I remember that game also....I'm not a CWM hater, but it is embarrassing. Say what you want, it just is.

Anonymous said...

I do not have any answers, but I have two questions: "What could Coach Martinez do with Florida's defensive players?" and "What could Coach Strong do with Georgia's defensive players?

Scott said...


Anonymous said...

Chavis is not demonstrably better than Martinez.

Compare the Chavis with Martinez the years Martinez has been a DC.

Points Allowed Points/game
2005 205 18.6
2006 254 19.5 2007 382 27.3
2008 201 12.0
TOTAL 1042 20.8

Points Allowed Points/game
2005 213 16.4
2006 229 17.6
2007 262 20.2
2008 319 24.5
TOTAL 1023 19.7

Martinez gave up fewer points per game 3 of the 4 years. Martinez's team played 52 games from 2005 through 2008. Chavis's team played 50 games. Therefore, Martinez gave up fewer points through more games. Chavis did better in 2008, but Martinez had better results each other year.

Another measure. Chavis's teams had losing seasons 2 of the 4 years. Martinez's didn't.

Chavis is not demonstrably better than Martinez.

gumborue said...

i sympathize with uga fans about cmr holding on to cwm. cmr has an obligation to uga, the players, the fans, the boosters moreso than to cwm.

BUT the uga defenses do not have the studs that vangorder had. this D has maybe one in curren. cmr should not make a change JUST to appease the proletaire. there is good reason to think it is not xs and os that are the problem.

lsu in 08 was different. the coDCs were in over their heads, had no body of work to draw confidence on, and had at least 4 studs (tyson jackson, ricky jean-francois, chad jones and patrick peterson).

Anonymous said...

How many of Greg Blue/Thomas Davis/etc.'s hits would be personal fouls now? Not because they were or weren't clean hits, but because flags just seem to fly on hard hits nowadays.

The game has changed since the early 2000s. It's not the only reason our defense has struggled, not by a long shot. But it's important to remember that a lot of teams are running a different style of offense than was popular then. We're not, but a lot of teams are.

KingDawg said...

Offenses in the SEC are better now than in the BVG years. Points per game will increase as offenses increase.

CWM is the DC and he will be DC until the end of the year at least. Just support the players and coaches.

I'm confident that CMR wants to win as much as anyone.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:05-

Here is the only Chavis v. Martinez comparison I'm interested in...

Chavis hasn't given up more than two offensive TD's to the Dawgs in a game since Willie became our DC. Even last year's game, when Tennessee was terrible, they only gave up two offensive touchdowns. We had the ball 42 minutes and couldn't put it in the endzone more than two times.

Compare that to Willie's track record against Tennessee...UGA gave up 6 offensive touchdowns in 1 game...a game that we were up 24-7...and 5 offensive touchdowns in the next game against the Vols...a loss that ultimately killed UGA's chances at an SEC/National Championship.

I could give a crap what Chavis does against other teams...I know he has done a great job of shutting down UGA and that Willie has not done a very good job of shutting down Tennessee.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of the above posters that just looking at the increase in point totals being scored against us isn't a fair comparison. As someone mentioned, opposing offenses have changed even in the past decade. There was actually an article concerning this same statistic last year when everyone was calling for Martinez's job. There was a chart posted in that article that compared point totals scored against teams for every team in the SEC and wouldn't you know, the point totals had increased for every team. I don't know where to find that same chart but I think it might put a little bit more in perspective.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:28:

This time last year were you arguing that Willie Martinez was a lot better than Charlie Strong at UF based upon that type analysis?

2005 Strong gave up 10 to UGA, Matrinez gave up 14 to UF.
2006 Strong gave up 14 to UGA, Martinez gave up 14 to UF.
2007 Strong gave up 42 to UF, Martinez gave up 23 to UF. Through 2007 UF scored 51 points and 7 TDs against Martinez and Strong gave up 66 points and 9 TDs to UGA.

Surely you were saying, a year ago, that martinez was a better DC than Strong, weren't you?

Copyright 2009 Georgia Sports Blog. Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan