Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Help Wanted, Defensive Coordinator. Really?

There are many in Bulldawg Nation that have had it with Willie Martinez and are calling for his dismissal. These are not fair weather fans, these people have impeccable Bulldawg bonafides. They have charts and stats to demonstrate the steady decline of our defense in the years since Brian Van Gorder departed. They even have last Saturday night to show the trend is in tact.

They want him gone and they want him gone now.

Don't count me among them, at least not when I am sober.

Am I satisfied with the defense? Of course not. But I am not ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as they say.

Take a deep breath and think about it. What are the ramifications to firing Willie? Who are we going to hire? What will be the domino effect of the firing on the rest of the coaching staff? These are questions that must be addressed in detail prior to making any decision on Willie.

If Willie were to be fired, we probably end up in a situation where Rodney Garner has to be promoted or he leaves. It is also likely the bi-directional loyalty built between Mark Richt and his staff would be gone, leading to more coaching turnover in years to come. If we don't promote Garner or Jancek, then who do we bring in?

Is there anyone that could step in and hold the remaining staff together? I think it is unlikely.

The reality is Rodney Garner is as vital an assistant as there is in college football. Richt has done an excellent job of handling all of his assistants' egos over the years. He has kept them happy and they have stayed.

If Richt is willing to throw Willie under the bus, do you think Searels won't listen the next time the phone rings? Bobo? Do we want to run a Tommy Tuberville style game of musical chairs with our assistant coaches?

In my opinion, if Willie is fired, we are building a defensive staff from the ground up. Are we ready, Bulldawg Nation, to tackle that? Are we ready for the instability that will ensue?

Even if you are, who is the coach worth all of the turmoil? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please, let's be realistic with our suggestions, no Marion Campbells.


Hunker Down said...

I am never one to jump on the "Fire the coach" bandwagon. Our defense clearly looked disoriented trying to cover the Arky receivers. But... I am confident we will see improvement in that area as the young talent gets more experienced and comfortable in those situations. It has to happen soon or we will lose again. I think it will happen because I believe in the talent of these players. I hope I am not wrong.

If we continue to yield 500 yards and 40 points per game this season, then I will accept a seat on the bus at the seasons end. Time will tell.

Go Dawgs! GATA!

MikeInValdosta said...

I share your optimism, and pray we are rewarded for it.

Anonymous said...

I share not only your optimism, but your pessimism. Most of the "fire Willie" crowd think it would be a trivial matter to bring in Kirby Smart, Will Muschamp, or Charlie Strong to replace him. That's not happening.

The only coach I think we could definitely bring in that would be a certain and significant upgrade would be Dick Bumpas. I would be willing to risk losing Garner if we could add Bumpas.

MikeInValdosta said...

Anon, I have heard Bumpas mentioned a few times over the last few years. I believe LSU may have looked at him when Pelleni left.

Some say he is just riding Patterson's coattails. I really don't know. But if you are going to lose Martinez AND Garner, don't you have to bring in a guy with superb recruiting ties to the area?

I realize Richt has hedged himself with regard to Garner with the hiring of John Lilly, but I still see recruiting taking a major hit with this option.

Bernie said...

There have been many times the last year that I have proclaimed myself to be the best candidate...but those proclamations were tailgate induced.

I'd be very disgruntled if any change was made this early in the season. But when and if a change is ever made, I be very disappointed/surprised if Garner did not get the opportunity.

Hunker Down said...

Dick Bumpas looks good on paper (or blog: http://hunkerdowndawg.blogspot.com/2008/12/back-up-brinks-truck-to-dick-bumpass.html#links) But I don't know if he would be a fit for CMR.

I also don't know that Garner leaves if he is not made DC. He has a beautiful home in Athens that he truly enjoys, is paid well, has all those daughters in school here, etc. But if he is clearly ambitious about being a DC somewhere and we do need to make a change, why not give him a shot?

I hope CWM can make this a moot point. Strides should be shown this Saturday night. Come on Willie, reward our optimism buddy!

MikeInValdosta said...

Obviously, I don't want it to happen because it would mean a terrible season took place.

However, if it is to be, I would fully support giving Garner the reigns and going after Kirby Smart to come in as DB Coach (DC in waiting). Kirby has shown himself to be one helluva recruiter. Just don't think Kirby would come without the DC title.

So we better get things turned around!

Anonymous said...

O.K. don't fire Willie. What happens if things never improve? Do you keep the "coaching family" together at the expense of the program's success on the field?

When is it time for a change? When it puts every coach on the staff's job in jeopardy? I submit that's closer than you realize. Ask Phil Fulmer who was 1 yr. removed from the SEC CG.

With all the talent on this team there is not a viable excuse for such a underperforming defense.