Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The DC Triangle

Let's approach this defensive coordinator search from three angles: defensive intensity on the field, recruiting quality athletes that can fit/match that intensity and lastly, personality to fit in well with current staff and personnel.

First of all, I am convinced we can all be sure that our defense is going to be vastly improved next year. Some of you may read that as a cheap shot at Coach Martinez, but I'm thinking broader. The new DC, whoever it is, will bring a new energy to the Dawgs' defense. Just having a new person around the sidelines, Woodruff practice fields and the recruiting trails will help words like enthusiasm, motivation and determination find their way back to Athens.

Almost immediately after the firings we heard rumblings of competition being open again, players (and coaches) excited about the possibilities. Regardless of how close Jancek, Fabris and Martinez were personally to the others on staff, there was tension...which always strains relationships and affects performance. They tried to address things on the field as a staff and it did not worked. As difficult as the departures were personally, I believe they were welcomed professionally, from the head coach down to the walk-ons.

So the new DC and his assistants will improve performance. And if we get a man who himself is truly hungry and desirous of devastation, we will experience something special in the seasons to come. The intensity will return to the Dawgs' defense and we will witness violence and discipline once again.

Hale has a nice perspective in his Wednesday Links related to NFL assistants, specifically Todd Grantham who we looked at Sunday. The Yahoo! News Flash simply suggests that Grantham is now the front-runner for the Georgia DC job.

Hale's point is that an NFL assistant in addition to Georgia's recent success in placing red and black talent on Sunday fields could play nicely in recruits' living rooms.

 And it's not that Georgia wasn't recruiting good talent on defense, but who was the last Georgia defensive player to get drafted high and really make a big impact in the NFL? It's been a while, and don't think for a second that recruits don't notice. Hiring an NFL guy is like a get-out-of-jail-free card for the Bulldogs on the recruiting trail. Now we have the answers, (Georgia coaches) can say.

I agree wholeheartedly. How many times can you remember hearing about Charlie Weis' ring in living rooms across the nation in the years after he left Belichick's shadow for Touchdown Jesus'? Grantham, Travis Jones and Bob Sanders may not have the ring (...yet..??), but they can bring a Super-Gulp sized cup of  first-hand knowledge that recruits would drink heartily from.

I'm not worried about recruiting in the least, to tell you the truth. I'm especially not worried about this year's class. Coach Richt has put his brand on this Georgia football program and he sells it well. If Donnan knocked the lid off of recruiting in the state of Georgia, Coach Richt has been finishing the drill for a decade now. Garner gets his credit for coordinating the madness that luring talent to college campuses is these days and it is surely deserved. But it is the head guy who closes the deal. And he does it more proficiently than I drink beer.

Paul Westerdawg perhaps put it best a few days ago when he typed:

I'd lose a recruit or three to get the right guy. But that's just me. I get why people are frustrated. I do. I just think when you take a step back from it...we're talking about a process...not an outcome.

If we get into the mix for some of these NFL guys (and I truly believe we have), the process could only lengthen. Of the three coaches mentioned above two are looking at potential deep runs in the playoffs. Sanders has been let go once the Bills' interim head coach was dismissed. If the search does extend well into January, we could lose a kid.

Just don't sweat know, unless Coach Kines approaches the Butts-Mehre dias.

A Matching Personality
This is where we are lucky to have one Mark Richt. I'm not gonna shove a load bull$%&! sunshine up your rear about knowing the man personally. I don't. But I have had the opportunity to meet him on several occasions. And while I also won't type to you that I have some mystical sixth sense about people, I do profess to have the ability to read people well.

Mark Richt is grounded and a very genuinely pleasant person. People want to work for him and they want to work hard. I couldn't have been more eager for a change in defensive leadership this season, but there's no debating that Coach Martinez didn't work hard. CMR will find a guy that not only fits his bill of sale for a defensive mind, but also will relate well with the other staff. The new guy will understand the importance of staff and team cohesiveness as much as he does wrapping up the ball carrier.

No matter how much we invest financially, emotionally or otherwise into this football program...Coach Richt is all-in, practically 24/7. As mentioned earlier, he's branded it. That's his face and it's his baby. As nice as they think they have it on North Avenue, Coach PaJammies will never match the stability that CMR has brought to Athens. And even if Slurban receives a clean bill of health from Dr. Phil, Gayturdsville is gonna see a steep drop-off from the ledge they've been dancing on.

So the next time you bend a knee, right there towards the end after you pray for the those starving little pygmies down in New Guinea and those winning numbers, give thanks that our head guy is one Mark Richt.

He'll get his guy...and the Dawg Nation will rejoice.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Grantham is my frontrunner. With a name like that, guy's gotta be a winner.