Friday, January 23, 2009

Heavy Cloud but...No Rain

(Cue live feed from Coral Gables...and powerful music reaching a crescendo...) Hurricane Willie Watch! Day Four.


And in other news...

Stafford was the heir apparent at QB from the time he stepped on campus in January '06. It took him the next 9 months to get some national play. It may have taken Joe Cox significantly longer to cement himself at the top of the depth chart, but he'll be televised on ESPN much sooner, as opposed to later.

Marc Weiszer of the Banner-Herald is reporting that the mutha of all things sports will televise the annual spring clash between red and black on April 11th, time TBD.

And I know what you're saying, "I've seen King carry the ball and I've seen Samuel. Who else will be competing for carries this fall. Dontavious Jackson and Carlton Thomas have officially taken off the red-shirts, but there is another stud that may figure into the mix. 

Bubba 'n Earl have an in depth look at a soon to be Dawg signee, Washaun Ealey. He may not avoid the red-shirt this fall. Then again, CMR may be more hesitant post-Knowshon to sit a hot phenom like this kid.

(Cue live feed from Butts-Mehre...and powerful music reaching a crescendo...) Hurricane Willie Watch!! Day Four. 

Bernie, this is BDB central. Can you hear any phones ringing? No, just cars starting in the parking lot as coaches head out on recruiting visits. Have you seen Coach Martinez with a resume in hand? Or maybe a suitcase? Ahh, no. I did see him with a newspaper though. Really! Yeh, it was the Miami Herald. Did he look intrigued, puzzled...? No, he was laughing.

Ok, well...speaking of recruiting...

Recruitin' Snacks
  • According to Jamie Newberg, Georgia is the leader for Marlon Brown, the coveted receiver out of Memphis. However, Tennessee and Coach Kiffy get his last visit. The Volunteer head coach is expected to have finished eating his vegetables by then. So he should be able to go outside and play.
  • Greg Reid went to every Florida home game the last two years and was their original commitment for this class. Young talent on the depth chart hurt them for the young DB who wants to play early, not to mention an Urban Meyer tirade. FSU is now the leader. This kid's drama is as thick as Urban's ego.
  • Jarvis Jones, the state's top uncommitted prospect will entertain CMR on Wednesday in his living room. The 6' 4" 220+ lb linebacker is also considering Florida, LSU, Texas and USC (the real one, not the wannabe).
  • And CMR plans to make a special visit to Lagrange late spring should future signee Chris Burnette finish as Troup County's valedictorian. Burnette ( relation to your humble blawgger) is the current leader and chose not to enroll early at UGA to pursue the honor. Richt has said if he makes it, he will attend the graduation ceremony to hear the speech. And Coach said he was too busy to come to my six year old's Hannah Montana birthday party...for shame!
Shout Outs
  • Randy Shannon. Willing to do whatever it takes to bring the U back to national prominence, including coaching the defense himself. Vegas would give us an over/under on the number of months he'll still be employed, but it's really inconsequential.
  • Obama. (There! I said happy?)
  • Terrance Moore, AJC columnist for giving us this warning before it was too late. I was all for the Falcons signing the loser until I read your article. I'm sure Blank thanks his lucky stars that you are there...a voice of abject lunacy amidst a storm of undeniable reality.
  • Mackie for giving the blogosphere a heads up on some movies we may or may not have heard of that some old guys decided are award worthy. Based on his analysis, my vote's for Slumdog.
  • And speaking of Oscar...the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for sticking with their historical and illogical thought processes and refusing to offer The Dark Knight as a possibility for Best Picture. I appreciate the reminder for why I don't watch your overblown, useless ceremony.
Trivia this week is brought to you by the Weather Channel - We've seen a lot of crazy stuff, but never a hurricane in January.

The format's a little different this week, but given the emphasis on weather...appropriate. The Senior Bowl is tomorrow and the Dawgs have two participants this year in MoMass and Corvey Irvin. How many catches will Massaquoi have and how many tackles will Irvin have? Participant that forecasts the closest receives a University of Miami poncho. And sorry emailers....only comments accepted this week.

Have a great weekend reader. And pray for me tomorrow afternoon. I'll be knee deep in 1st graders dressed up like semi-pubescent, quasi-pop stars. 

I'll pass on the cake. Honey...where's the bourbon?


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Willie Martinez to Stay at Georgia

First of all, I have no direct facts to support that headline. But in my thirty-(ahem!) years I have only been wrong about ten things.


If Willie is contacted, interviewed for, and offered the position that Randy Shannon needs to fill, I would not be surprised. However, if all that happens and he accepts the position, then that would be just the 11th thing I've been wrong about in my life.

The others you ask:
  1. I was 12 years old and told my neighbor I could ride my ten-speed down suicide hill. I only made it halfway.
  2. Back in '86 when I told my younger brother he could not eat that plate full of jalapenos without drinking any water until the next morning. He was eight, stubborn and REALLY wanted that broken microscope.
  3. The answer to the fourth question on Coach Watson's pop quiz in 12th grade was actually "C. Papua New Guinea".
  4. That one night in February my junior year at UGA when I had a term paper due at 7:50am the next morning and there was a 20% chance of snow overnight. I rolled the dice on snow and canceled classes. Came up craps!
  5. The next night downtown, when I said we should order ONE more pitcher. (Ok, this one could be applied more than once...but it's my blawg, sue me)
  6. When Al Gore said he invented the Internet and I believed him. Later learned it was Tim Tebow.
  7. In August of 2000 at the annual Atlanta Bulldog Club meeting when Donnan made his guaran-damn-tee and exclaimed, "We're gonna get it done!"...and I clapped.
  8. That one time when I told Jennifer that I had indeed locked the front door. Oops! Sorry Honey.
  9. The time I agreed to go to the Fox and see Cats. (Honey...we're even.) CORRECTION - Jenn says we never saw Cats, it was Phantom. Either way, we're still even.
  10. And that one time I told Nama it was ON like Donkey Kong with Wii Olympics. Even holding numchuks, I am no Michael Phelps.
So there you have it. Argue with me if you think there'll be an 11th anytime soon. But I say the dominoes fall short on this one.

Willie's a Dawg!

Hurricane Willie Watch, Day Two

Stand in line Dawg fans...for your cold shower in reality.

While we try and hear the phone ring in Butts-Mehre today from a call way down in Coral Gables, let's take a big step back. 

Watch your step! Don't trip over my desperate Visor research. It's a big mutha!

There you go. OK...

The only person to mention Willie Martinez's name in relation to the defensive coordinator's position at Miami is a Miami Herald writer. When prompted for names, Hurricane head coach Randy Shannon gave no names, other than his own, as a possibility.

How'd that feel? Here's another wave coming...

If that phone does indeed ring and ol' Coach Willie gets an offer covered in ibis feathers, there are three people in control of the situation at that point. The captain, engineer and cruise director on a luxury cruise ship, if you will. 

You and I...we're more like Ed and Ethel Peters from Cincinnati. Involved, but on the periphery; out on the shuffle board deck, not inside the control room.

CMR wants to keep Martinez. Rest assured he will make a play to do so. He went to bat for Garner and Searels and they got paid! He'll do the same for his friend and DC.

Enter Damon Evans. 

Right now, the only coach assured of more than one year's salary from UGA is CMR himself. Miami may offer two to Martinez if they really want him. Subsequently backing Evans into a corner.

Evans could counter and keep his head coach happy. You some support. He could also stand pat, and placate the die-hard fan from Marietta who knows all there is to know about running defenses and Willie needs to go dammit! 

And either way, ol' Coach Willie could decide he's happy in Athens where even a one year contract is more secure than a two year one under Randy Shannon. Hell, even more secure than a ten year contract.

So I guess Hurricane Willie could be quickly downgraded to a tropical depression.

Question is, would you still enjoy the off season cruise...? THE VISOR, part III

Coaching Changes

The staff changes for Spurrier this off season is remarkably longer than the list of high school athletes changing their minds about furthering their education in Columbia and the list of student-athletes changing zip codes. Regardless of whether the coaches left voluntarily or were kicked to the curb, there are undoubtedly some name tags being worn at staff meetings this winter inside Charles F. Crews Football Facility.

And there is no guarantee that the same coaches that started the meeting at the table are still there when the meeting is finished. 

On November 29, 2008 the chickens lost to arch rival Clemson 31-14 in Death Valley dropping their record to 7-5 on the season. The next day Spurrier announced the firing of John Hunt (offensive line) and the resignation of David Reaves (QB, recruiting coordinator). Hunt spent four years in Columbia and Reaves had spent seven season with the Gamecocks, including two as a grad assistant. 

On the way out the door, the ol' ball coach commented at how much he appreciated the coaches' contributions and that Reaves had been presented a "wonderful opportunity". Reaves was on his brother-in-law, Coach Kiffy's staff by the time the words were out of the Visor's mouth. He had accepted the position of coaching QBs.

Turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg as other coaches began reading what was written on the barn's wall. Even as his coaches were securing interviews with programs near and far, Spurrier was spinning the new staff as his best ever.

All told, five assistants (so far) have left the chicken plant in Columbia since the Clemson game:
  • Hunt - fired
  • Reaves - "wonderful" opportunity
  • Safeties coach Ron Cooper was encouraged to find the door, landed in Baton Rouge
  • Strength coach Mark Smith followed the trail of crumbs Reaves left behind and secured a spot in Knoxville
  • And Robert Gillespie, RBs coach

Perhaps the most telling sign was Gillespie's departure for Oklahoma State. Gillespie has played for or worked with the Visor since 1997, minus the year in between DC and Columbia. They've hoisted championship trophies together. 

And the fair feather'd fans of Columbia may not be done watching the program's assistants hop the nearest Greyhound just yet. The Indianapolis Colts are eyeing the coop to fill a spot on their staff and the mighty Saban himself may raid the barnyard as well. Rychleski (tight ends, special teams) and Lawing (d line), respectively are returning the calls.

"Honey, where'd we put the boxes?"

Has the image of the Visor with a half empty pack of gum, chewing madly and desperately trying to fill holes in an overburdened levee come into focus yet? 

Chances are that image is a harsh, cold reality to rooster fans.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hurricane Willie Watch begins...

According to multiple sources, Bill Young has indeed left Miami to take the defensive coordinator position at Oklahoma State. Dawg fans have been bombarding blogs all day offering their help in relocating Willie Martinez to Miami to take Young's place.

They could get their wish.

However, Young leaving is just one domino that 
has to fall in place:
  • Miami will interview multiple candidates
  • If contacted for permission to speak to Martinez, CMR would surely grant it
  • When permission is granted, CWM would surely listen (it's his Alma Mater, NC there as a player, grew up in Coral Gables and still recruits the area...)
  • But would he actually leave if offered?
  • Shannon's place at UM isn't exactly stable; CMR's at UGA rivals Stonehenge
  • If UM offered a substantial pay raise, it is unlikely Evans or CMR could/would counter given the discontent with the defensive performance this season. I don't think... So that and the fact that UGA refuses to offer multi-year contracts to assistants could be the tipping point.
And should Martinez go (hey! now that the first domino has fallen, I'll at least entertain ideas...ideas within reason):
  • Garner is atop the list as a replacement, surely....
  • If I'm wrong, who realistically does CMR go after? (No mention of Coach Tubs here...that's ludicrous!)

Willie Martinez Rumors

Toledo hired Oklahoma State's defensive coordinator Tim Beckman over a month ago. Barely a ripple in the coaching world news...right?

Oklahoma State has offered Bill Young $700,000 to be its new DC. He is weighing the decision. It is a decision that could create waves in Athens.

Bill Young is the Miami Hurricane defensive coordinator. 

Should Young leave lovely Miami, it is reported (very loosely I might add) that the Hurricanes would look to a former local player and Cane defensive back to fill the slot - Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez.

Young, who just finished his first season at Miami and played at Oklahoma State in the '60s has said he is "torn" between staying on Randy Shannon's staff and heading home to Stillwater. 

Now, if and when Young leaves Miami...and if and when Shannon calls Butts-Mehre for permission to talk to Ol' Willie...there's no guarantee Martinez takes the job. Shannon's own job seems precarious at best. 

CMR is the very definition of stability.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday's Meatloaf

What's better than a big Sunday dinner of meatloaf and mashed potatoes?...Monday's leftover meatloaf sandwich. Dig in!
  • With Branden Smith's commit in their supposed pocket, the '09 recruit Dawg fans are most interested in is the Under Armour Wonder Greg Reid. The Lowndes Co. DB de-committed to Urban and sent the two time National Champion coach into a tizzy. Reid honored his official visit this past weekend, but failed to re-commit to playing in the swamp.
  • How long will the gator staff honor their offer? Will the close ties to other Dawg commits made in Orlando be enough to lure Reid to Athens? A canceled visit to Starkville, a de-commitment to Urban, a visit to Athens January 30th....this could be a recruit that is the Dawgs' to lose.
  • Nearly 89% of Bobo's offensive production left town earlier this month. We know Joe Cox will enter spring ball atop the depth chart and that the RB position will be hotly contested. For a (much) more comprehensive analysis, check out Hale's Early Look Ahead on Bulldogs Blog.
  • As mentioned earlier, Cameron Kenney of Dacula canceled a visit to the Visor and now has 2008's Heisman winner in his ear. Bradford may be the only weapon that could keep the JUCO WR from playing down the road from Mama.
  • Surely BDB's knowledgable readers remember Albert Hollis...right? Well the former Cali Star is just one of the 102 graduates the football program has had since 2004. This December's class included 11 morterboards. 
  • And for a more complete catchup on the much heralded Donnan signing, check out Paul Westerdawg's Feb 2007 interview.
  • Future bartenders.

  • Friday's Trivia - congrats to Allen who typed in the correct answer, the football team occupied the Lady Dawgs' new locker room space. Cord wrote in as well and added that the football team's occupancy was between the years of '64-87.
  • Great work gentlemen. Take careful aim...
  • And lastly...the men's basketball team lost.
Don't forget your veggies...

If you have the day off, enjoy it. If you do not...get back to work.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Before Bryan McClendon Coached RBs...

...he also ate punts. A look at the man who will be deciding which RB plays what downs in the 2009 season. Here he is against Yech. (Pardon Munson's inability to recognize numbers...he'd sunk at least two beam and cokes before the blocked punt..)

And to watch an exclusive interview with the man, check out Brett Jensen's exclusive sit down with new RBs coach (not to mention a brief look at Claude Felton, the country's best SID).