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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.


Anonymous said...

To keep up with innovations in the game over the last 5 years, Georgia needs to go to the 3-4 on defense and run the spread on offense.

Both moves, of course, necessitate a change in coordinators.

Andrew said...

I don't remember anyone going after Willie in 2007 for a headcoaching position. I think Miami might have contacted him for the DC position...and many of us wanted to see him take the job...but headcoach? Don't remember that.

jferg said...

A couple of things to consider:

1. Georgia is considered (or has been, rather) Tailback U, Tight End U, and Defensive Tackle U, and Safety U because we run pro-style offense and 4-3 defense--both of which allow us to recruit great RB's, TE's, Safefy's and DT's.

2. I think 4-3 can be very effective against the spread (since you usually walk a LB down in a 3-4 to create a 4-3 situation). You do, however, have to have a few things to stop the spread. a) need run stopping DT's and MLB who basically stuff the middle third by themselves. b) you need extremely athletic SLB and WLB who can run in space and cover the short pass routes. c) you need DB's who can cover man-to-man and jam at the LOS. Our 2010 Defense looks very much like this, fyi.

3. Pro-style offense is just fine. Teams that run the ball effectively and pass via play-action usually win--given a dominant defense--because that style offense takes time and is generally not "quick strike" like the spread offenses. However, to be successful in pro-style you need: a) a great RB b) a great fullback c) a great OL. I'm not sure how well stocked our pantry is anymore...

Chodawg said...

I agree. Last year we saw (in a cloud of dust) Tech's new triple option. This year, we saw the new Arkansas offense and got a fresh look from Tennessee, and we didn't exactly look like we had a clue on how to stop either of them. Based on that track record, does anyone think we won't be absolutely dumbfounded by Auburn's completely revamped and innovative style?

We need to face it, this isn't our granddaddy's SEC anymore, it's not even our older brother's. So yes, to add to the chorus, we need to make drastic changes in our approach to defense.

Trey said...


I think you mean "Cox's analysis of Georgia's defense."

Kevin said...

From what I've seen from WM the past few seasons it's pretty obvious that he cannot adjust, or get our D to adjust. I stopped counting the amount of times Crompton ran that f*&^ing bootleg and completing passes around 9, which coincidentally, was around his first incomplete pass on that play. I know he ran it more and kept moving the ball after but by then I think my friends were tired of hearing me say "awesome, another naked boot for a first down"

If I'm playing UGA and I find one play that works, I run it into the ground until Willie adjusts or they stop it, and neither seem possible at this point.

MoDawg said...

The pro syle offense is fine. Honestly, if we had an RB capable of running 100 yards or more per game, it would take a lot of pressure off our passing game and we've seen that our passing game can be very good.
Joe's answer actually sheds more light on what I have been talking about with Willie being able to make adjustments, at all. Either during the game or at halftime, and apparently, based on Joe's answer...EVER. Bottom line is that we have the right pieces to make the puzzle work, but if the person putting the puzzle together refuses to pick up the pieces that have fallen under the table, the puzzle will never be complete.
We don't need a new puzzle, we just need someone who knows how to put it together.

Anonymous said...

I have friends who go to the gators coaching clinic and this is what they told me. 1. Georgia is the most simple game to prepare for on both sides of the ball. 2. The coaches say there are just some things Ga. defense never ever covers. 3. The Fl. defense has keys they read on Ga. offense. 4. Talent about equal but you can not beat better coaching. Now what does that tell us HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!! DAMON GATA!!!!

jferg said...

Any practice updates? Walking wounded updates? Are our boys feeling sorry for themselves or is there a renewed fire to win out?

Ubiquitous GA Alum said...

I'm not a Willie appologist and I think it's time for him to move on after the season .... however to say he's running the same D over and over is wrong ... He's also dialing the blitz ...

We ran some 3-4 against FL in 2007 & 2008. In 2007 Tebow took one look at it and called a timeout in the first quarter. In 2008 they expected it and it bottled them up for most of the first half, but their defense dictated that game to us.

Last Sat we did an overload blitz on the Rambo pick 6. Sent a CB & LB to the weak side. Crompton made the right read and through to the WR on a hot route, but he threw it to hot and Rambo snatched the deflection.

I've seen us run stunts, corners and straight up blitzes countless times this year. Problem is we're not getting there.

It all comes down to exeuction, which ultimately comes back to coaching.

john r said...

Andrew, I believe it was Florida International that was after Willie as head coach.


doofusdawg said...

i said lst year that the spread offense was the achilles heel for cwm... it turns out it is not just the spread but anything with misdirection... thats somewhat ironic considering how we play on our heels most of the time... the other point i made last year is i wondered how effective bvg would be in defending today's college spread offenses... would he be this anemic or would he adapt.

RC said...

Yeah, regardless of who came after Willie after that 2007 season I don't recall any gnashing of teeth over his possibly leaving. I can honestly say that, while I haven't ever really been a hater, I would have gladly bought him a gift basket and given hi the number for Allied Van Lines at that point in time, whereas now I'm looking for pitchforks and lighter fluid.

If I hear one more coach or player run that tired old line about the right plan being in place, but we just aren't executing I may spontaneously combust. You know where good execution comes from fellas? Good coaching. As the old sales adage goes, Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

BullyMack said...

Great points as usual. Willie is more or less running the ole Tampa 2 Defense Daddy Kiffin has been running for years, correct? I would be interested if someone could shed some light if and how Daddy Kiffin has modified his version over the years and maybe specifically at Tenn. now to keep teams off balance vs. what Willie is doing or better yet not doing. Also if our schemes both offensively and defensively are too complex to carry out or allow us to get the young talent on the field why are we not simplifying? For instance Bryce Brown is getting plenty of PT and shows flashed yet we are too scared to get Ealy, Marlon, Wooten, Cummings, Rambo, the game consistently. Isn't it better to be good as one or two things opposed to sucking at everything?

Trey said...

Listen... I want Willie gone as much as anyone. But if fans can't get this into their heads then there's a problem.

A defensive coordinator can only put players in the right position. He doesn't talk for them, and he doesn't cover for them. Georgia has had a problem with tackling since 08. Look at the GA Tech game... it has carried over until now. Willie cannot tackle for the players. A lot of times, if the players brought the offensive player down at initial contact our defensive numbers would look a whole lot different. Also, how many times have players just completely blown coverage? Is that Willie's scheme? No. That's players making HUGE mistakes. A lot of this falls on the players, not just Willie.

Trey said...

That's suppose to read "tackle" not "talk"

Ubqiuitous GA Alum said...

BullyMack, I'd say CWM is more often running the Cover 2 instead of the Tampa 2. They look very similar except in the execution.

In Cover 2, the safeties take the middle and deep WR, whereas in Tampa 2 the MLB takes them.

That's what made the Tampa 2 effective. The QBs are taught to read the safeties, but in the Tampa 2 the MLB is the first key for the QB and the safety is free to charge the line/pass. Since it's easier to run towards the play, safeties tend to blow up the play.

Anonymous said...

there is one solution left and only one solution to rebuild the team for the next 3 years to catch up since the elite recruits will decomitt and not only will you have 1 star players but a bad coaching staff if this is not solved this week

dump all the seniors and juniors and start fresh with the freshman and sophs so you can entice new recruits to understand they will play right away

before any genius starts telling me we will lose to vandy and tech we already lost those games in advance even if we win since the season is over forget bowl games sec finishes

this university needs to start from scratch and find a new head coach and copy the new innovations out west -------something must work since utah creamed a beast of a team in the tradition of old grit sec in alabama
there is no way anyone can believe utah was more physical than alabama

times change and it is not as important as win or lose but at least not get beat like we are a high school team

again look at the denver broncos with a 35 year old coach
richt reminds me of wally butts who lasted way past his prime
of course most of the people here dont remember those years so think richt = fulmer

i can support a losing team as long as they are competitive and adapt to the new era

something is very very wrong with our administration and board of trustees if they cannot understand this

change must come and not at the end of the year but now

look at michigan rodriguez was not afraid to play a freshman and they are at least entertaining

georgia football is not entertaining and it is hard to get excited as a fan so consider what those 5 star prospects are thinking

i would rather hire a B student that tries his best instead of the heralded future nfl prospects we were told played on the line and safety this year who have not shown up with fire

it may be they are not on fire because they are not being coached that way so i wish the best to jones and atkins and the others

we all remember some of those backs especially the ones who did not play much at georgia who became stars in the nfl ie denver

maybe there are freshman who are much better than richt understands

my opinion is bobo and martinez will leave town of their own accord anyway at end of the year to try a fresh start since most understand the handwriting on the wall and i assume their resumes are out there now

so why wait fire them or replace them now and start an exciting new beginning and at least get in the national news we have an all freshman soph tema

Anonymous said...


Whose job is it to make sure the players learn to tackle?

Anonymous said...

Okay. Here is a question that can be hard to ask but needs to be answered.

Do we have too many players that are simply uncoachable?

JJ said...

It was Florida International that interviewed Willie late in the 2006 season, and I can assure you that NOBODY outside of his family, friends and maybe a few players were at all worried about him leaving. NOBODY.

Joe didn't remember that one correctly.