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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The More Things Change...

Here are three quotes I got from three different sources following the loss to Tennessee.

First, from Joe Cox, who I asked about criticism aimed at assistant coaches. Here's what he said regarding Willie Martinez...
"In 2007, everybody was worried that Coach Martinez was going to get a head-coaching job somewhere, and he was going to be gone. Our defense had a great year, and then it's like when things start going bad, he's still running the exact same thing. He still coaches the same way. We're just not carrying it out like those teams have in the past."
Next, from Mark Richt, who addressed Georgia's lack of pressure on Johnathan Crompton...
“Most of the time when they were throwing the ball, where they had the most success was on the run downs. A great majority of their success came off the boot action… It was mostly hard running-game fakes. … It’s more difficult to get a great pass rush on a guy when you’re dealing with those kinds of things. Most sacks happen on third down, and we just didn’t get them in many of those. And they did a nice job of blocking.”
And finally, from Martinez, who addressed why Tennessee was so successful...
“I just think they executed really well and we didn’t. They did a nice job of mixing it up early on. We had opportunities to make plays and we didn’t. We got outcoached, outplayed, and they played really well and Tennessee deserves a lot of credit. … It kept us off balance. We were trying to bring pressure at times, but it seems like they were doing a great job of mixing it up. We weren’t able to get off the field and make plays. They out-executed us, out-coached us and out-played us, bottom line.”
Now, I'm guessing most of you already see the relationship between those three quotes, but let's point it out anyway.

Quote 1 boils down to: Martinez does the same things he's always done.

Quote 2 boils down to: Tennessee did some things that aren't "the norm" and that made it hard to get pressure.

Quote 3 boils down to: Georgia couldn't get pressure and so Tennessee was successful.

Now, I'm not exactly putting a ton of stock in Cox's analysis of Georgia's offense. Martinez is not Cox's coach, after all. But I've heard essentially the exact same quote from at least a half-dozen players or coaches in the past two years, so I'm inclined to believe it's valid.

And here's the problem: Martinez is doing the same things he's always done, but the rest of the SEC is not. Tennessee didn't. Georgia Tech hasn't. Kentucky didn't. Florida sure as heck isn't.

How many programs were running the spread in 2005, when Martinez took over the defense? How much has Georgia Tech's offense changed since then? How many QBs stand back in the pocket these days? Heck, how many even start out under center?

Georgia has been burned repeatedly by mobile QBs, by play-action, by diverse offenses. But the problem is, those things aren't the exception anymore. They're almost the rule.

The coaching in the SEC has changed. The offenses in the SEC have changed. The talent level in the SEC has changed.

I know Cox was trying to defend Martinez in his quote, but it comes out sounding more like an indictment.

Football is like any other business. In fact, take it from a guy who works in a dying industry -- if you're staying the same, you're falling behind.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hale-

Great work. I don't think you could have hit the nail on the head any better.

What do you think about the possibility of bringing in Tuberville to replace Martinez in the off-season? He's a defensive minded coach who has proven he knows how to beat Florida. Plus, he has a good relationship with Richt.

Question is would he return to coaching as just a coordinator?

Anonymous said...

Interesting take, please send this to CMR to maybe open his eyes as well.

Tubs would be a great DC, but I doubt he'd do that...but what do I know.

Anonymous said...

One other thing to add to those quotes is that it is always something that the other guy did.

We have heard similar quotes all year, starting with Okie St, they did something we had not seen.

On defense teams have been "taking away things."

Good team dictate to their opponent what is going to be done. UGA used to dictate what other teams were going to do in games, now we just react to what is being done to us.

At the very basic level, football is imposing your will on someone else's. Whether it is because of lack of talent or simply incompetent coaching, UGA has lost the ability to impose its will on opponents.

Ben Rockwell said...

Thanks, David, for the great work.

No way, no way, Tuberville comes over to be the DC. I can't remember which Bulldog blogger said it, but anything Tuberville would bring to the table would be gone in a year anyway when some other job opens up somewhere. That's just lunacy. It's like the Joe Lee Dunn rumors of the lates 90s when the Dawg Vent fell over themselves hoping Joe Lee Dunn would come and resurrect the defense.

Also, I think with Cox's quote shows a misunderstanding of the fanbase. I'm pretty sure I remember those Willie Martinez coaching rumors, and I'm pretty sure most of the fanbase was hoping (praying to the divine being of their choice?) that someone would take WM off the hands of CMR much like UAB rescued us from Neal (sp?) Callaway.

David Hale said...

On Tuberville, Blutarsky wrote about this the other day, but I think it's a longshot for several reasons:

1.) I doubt he wants the job

2.) It would create some real tough dynamics with Garner, who UGA really can't afford to lose, and

3.) If UGA's D is any good at all, Tuberville will jump ship for an HC job a year later and then you're back to looking for a new DC.

Georgia really needs a better long-term solution.

Anonymous said...

When other teams get excited about going against our offense something is wrong. UT said they were excited to play Georgia because they run a basic offense and didn't have to worry about the spread etc. Kiffin has put a bullseye on Richt. I just hope Mark isn't asking CEO Bowden for tips.

Traderdawg said...

No problem, we'll just wait the rest of the league out. Eventually they'll come back to playing the old way and we'll be ready for them. Everything comes back around eventually. By 2020 we'll be cutting edge again.

Fl Dawg said...

As long as we continue to turn the ball over get lots of penalties and specialize in 3 and outs on offense , we wont have a good D. It's all about time of possesion and first downs and special teams in the SEC. Fl kills you with field positon and time of possesion that is why their D is so good , they are not on the field much. Our kick coverage and pretty boy offense kills our D. There are no pictures on the scoreboard it doens't have to be perfect or pretty(BAMA).

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Phillip Fulmer administration, circa 2009.

Anonymous said...

We can afford to lose any of our coaches. Football is a team sport and coaching is a team effort. There is not one coach on our team who can not be replaced. They all share in our successes and failures.

Anonymous said...

The UGA fanbase is so obsessed with the defense, and yes, there are problems that need to be addressed. (The defense was the strength in 3 games this season, the offense in 2, and last Saturday both were no-shows.)

But the most glaring area of failure this season is the OL. It is why we have been unable to win the field position battle, time of possession battle, run the ball for short yardage gains, have decent down and distance for 3rd down plays, provide rest for the defense, and open passing lanes by making defenses respect the running threat.

You can argue against WM all you want, but Parcells/Bellicheck/Saban couldn't put together a defense that woud save this team, even with Peyton Manning playing QB, with our OL problems. This isn't just a TN problem, we couldn't run effectively against the soft defenses of Ok. State and ASU. If you cannot make short yardage plays against those guys ONCE, how can you go against a godd SEC front? It is deepeer than you guys think.

At least the defense looked good in some games, the OL hasn't (and they were picked to be the 3rd best in America by Phil Steele).....what happened? And why are they getting a pass? What the offense does has a direct impact on the defense. Too many just focus on points scored, not the root cause of why they were scored. Some of that is on the defense, bt much is on the offense, STs, and trunovers.

Fl Dawg said...

I think the last anonymous is Joe Cox.

Anonymous said...

More teams are using spread variations because it makes sense to exploit space, generate 1 on 1 matchups, and put the ball in playmakers' hands. It is no longer a gimmick -- because it makes sense to do. (At one time the forward pass was a gimmck; eventually coaches came to see it as a worthwhile weapon.) Having at least some option element(s) in an offense makes life more difficult for defenses to prepare; Georgia has no such element in tis offense. Richt, unfortunately, is not an innovator (like Meyer, who blended elements of single-wing, run-and-shoot, and triple-option to create a new offense; or like Mike Leach, or like Paul Johnson), and neither is Richt one to show much curiosity about even updating his offensive approach. Georgia will continue to fall behind, Richt or no Richt, unless an offensive coordinator who is bold and open-minded is hired, and given authority to do his job.

Randall said...

Yes, Yes, Yes. Thank you, David, for putting our defensive woes into such a compact and all telling package. I agree 100%. As for the coach Tubberville-no. For the reasons you mentioned. Garner is too valuable to lose. My thought is beg borrow and steal money to get a Gruden in here. Even if he makes more than Richt. Defense wins championships. Have it under a 3-5 year deal, with the option to stay if he likes it. Sell Athens as a great place to raise a family etc. Also, and this is key, have 2 very good assistants under him soaking up everything. If he leaves for a head coaching job after 3 yrs, hopefully the assistants can step up. Just my $.02

Anonymous said...

Offer Van Gorder a couple million to drive over from the atl

Anonymous said...

So Gruden is going to go from a superbowl winning head coach to a d cordinator for Richt. Come on

Randall said...

Yes Gruden will come. Beats being a talking head on the tube. He does not strike me as one that likes to sit still. And he will come for a few seasons, until the job market in the NFL opens up to his liking.

Anonymous said...

And Gruden is an offensive coach Kiffin ran his D

Randall said...

You are correct,we need innovative offensive help

Anonymous said...

Labeled as a whiz kid and bright offensive mind early in his career, Gruden was groomed in the NFL as an offensive assistant and wide receiver coach under Mike Holmgren in Green Bay. In 1995, at the age of 31, he was hired as offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles and in '98 became the youngest head coach in the NFL at the age of 38 when he was hired by the Raiders

Randall said...

Sounds better than Richt. the next Pete Caroll?

Anonymous said...

thought D won championships Randall

goalinestalker said...

Chavis is at LSU so much for the Fulmer comparisons! The guy can coach a little. As far as WM goes our D has been defending a short field the entire year!Two times I really think we could have manned up,after the pic 6 Sat and after AJ's catch.If we show any form of a spine and grow a pair and stop UT or LSU we change mo and win! For all the CMR haters you must have a case of short term memory loss? The guy has been exactly what we needed at UGA! FYI this is still his first gig as a head coach. Remember the dark ages with Goff and Donnan zero SEC titles!Lame Kiffen went a emptied the entire bank to put together a staff with zero loyalty the first job that opens half his staff will be applying. As far as the comments from Cox he is spot on! You game plan each week for your opp, He was referring to his philosophy of coaching. We lost Asher and still have zero pass rush our DB's cant cover for 5 seconds at a time. Unless your in every meeting or at every practice you really have no clue whats going on inside this program. Hale I read your stuff daily and also follow you on twitter you're the best at what you do!

Anonymous said...

I just had a scenario i was curiuous about, if anyone could help me out...
First of all, lemme start by saying we looked god awful saturday and in no way do i think this would ever happen but just enlighten me...
So we lost to UT, what if from here, we beat UF and run the table, UT loses to another east team and we have the win over the gators.. where does that put us?? Do we sneak into the championship or what?? I realize this is crazy talk but im just going over things in my head! Anyone care to help me sort it out??

Anonymous said...

Just a question about Garner...what is his importance if we keep recruiting highly ranked classes but subject them to horrible coaching? Is it just pride to say we have top notch classes who are woefully undercoached?

Anonymous said...

Just to make this clear, Garner is replaceable. Our defensive line has not played that well over the years. What did Alabama do to us last year?

UpDawg said...

Anonymous scenario - Florida would have to lose another game besides to us and South Carolina would have to lose another game besides to us. Then we would be in a 3-way tie for first. We should get the nod based on head-to-head versus both Florida and South Carolina. . . .in that scenario. But, that ain't happenin bro. Sorry to burst your bubble. Let's just beat Vandy and see what we got! Go Dawgs!!!!

bill said...

yep, changes are a coming , when you cant contain a qb u r beaten from the git go.

bh

Anonymous said...

defense and offense are to blame.
alabama defense makes the other teams offense defensive. how many times did our de crash down allowing the bootleg to work but we did not adjust and thats coaching.
spread/gun
-it works and is killing us
-david green would have won a nc if we had stayed in it he was the best i have ever seen in it but we only used in emergency.
-stafford would have won a nc.
-we have too many receivers to let them sit on the sideline
-fl has proven it
-do we have to stay 10 yrs behind fl on offensive schemes forever.
-we know our line can pass block and we know they can't run block againg coaching.

our coaching has been leapfrogged by our competitors, meyer, saben, spurrier, johnson. we may have a rough time ahead.

Anonymous said...

Updawg,
ok, so theres alot more that needs to happen to make us slip there.. thanks for the response!!i posted the sanme thing on AJC but instead of a intelligent response i get called names and cussed out.. I know its not gonna happen, just my homer tendencies!!

Anonymous said...

TCU's Dick Bumpas is a great D cordinator. Does alot with lesser talent.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone thought of bringing Kirby Smart over from Bama?

Anonymous said...

The majority of turnovers are caused when the defense properly reads its keys and disrupts the anticipated play.

This year, of the 120 teams in the NCAA FBS, only Nevada has done this job more poorly than Georgia.

Last year, we were also last in the SEC in this category. Only 7 of the 120 teams did this more poorly than Georgia, so you can take "luck" out of the equation.

These results tell us our current players are not getting the proper instruction on how to execute these reads and properly disrupt the play.

This is the main reason why our field position has been so poor, even though we have two of the best kickers in the nation.

Blaming the offense provides an excuse and takes the accountability away from where it belongs.

I doubt Coach Richt says the same thing in his staff meetings that he says in his press conferences.

Regardless, whatever he IS saying is not working.

Anonymous said...

Great work....I would like to know how many times the defense has posted a 3 and out series this year versus previous years? I honestly don't remember a single one against UT. That is the real test of a D imposing their will upon the O.

James said...

What is the definition of insanity....doing the SAME thing over and over and expecting a different result!!

Hale has it right, everything else has changed in the game, but we are still running the same defense and for that matter the same offense. Many say that if Bobo were fired the offense would stay the same because he is running Richt's offense. I don't disagree, but I think we can come up with a better mix of calls. Everyone knows that on 1st down out of the shotgun with a running back lined up next to Cox, we are running a delayed draw. When Bobo first started we saw such more imagination and mix of the calls. Even on the first drive against OSU we kept the defense guessing. So I have to ask....where are all those plays?

On offense, defense, and special teams we are doing the same things over and over and expecting things to change. Need I remind you we could so easily be 1-5!

David Hale said...

Anon 11:35 -- Bumpas always reminds me of "A Christmas Story." Plus, imagine the hilarity of Dick Bumpas being a name we get to say every day. OK, I'm all for a hire like that!!!

Anon 12:01 -- Here's an article about Smart & UGA...

http://blog.al.com/kevin-scarbinsky/2009/10/smart_move_is_to_stay_as_long.html

NoRecycledMediocrities said...

Heaven help Georgia if Gruden or some recycled, uninnovative pro or college coach was to be hired as new OC or DC. Here's hoping a search is made all over (FBS teams, FCS teams, small college teams, CFL, Canadian college) for young (preferably), hungry, successful, bold, unafraid-to-be-unorthodox coordinators.

Gruden? Yecht. There's a guy who thought that operating from the shotgun was too exotic.

Anonymous said...

I love the logic of fans. Maybe we can get Kirby Smart. Maybe we can get Jon Gruden. Maybe we can bring Erk back from the dead to coach defense.

If Martinez is fired after this season, and that is by no means a certainty (or dare I say, a likelihood). The best we will get will be someone like Bumpas from a smaller school. And that would be fine with me.

Anonymous said...

David ,

Would you call him Dick or coach Bumpas?

Anonymous said...

Look at TCU's D over the past few years.

Anonymous said...

Just not sure I agree that we have to change styles on defense. Any defense will do if the players execute. Now, perhaps a change is what the players need in order to shake things up, but CWM's scheme will work just fine against any offense.

Anonymous said...

I think Garner is the most likely candidate to replace CWM. If Richt hires outside of the family, I would expect Garner to bail.