I'm planning a ridiculously long post later as my return to the blogosphere, but I wanted to chime in on the latest "news" regarding our search for a defensive coordinator and the message board reaction to it.
According to UGASports ($), Vic Koenning has....well...maybe, possibly, talked to UGA about the vacant DC position. That's it. But that was enough to send the DawgVent into full-on meltdown mode, because....well...he's not Kirby Smart or Brian VanGorder, I guess?
The guys over at Catfish and Cornbread call it getting "greedy", and that's definitely part of it. It seems a lot of fans think that if we get anybody other than Smart or BVG, then Damon Evans and Coach Richt have somehow failed the program and the fan base. Of course, I would be happy to get either one of those guys (especially BVG...I would like to see Kirby do it somewhere other than Saban's staff before I anoint him as some sort of defensive genius), and I'm sure Damon and CMR would love to get someone of their caliber as well. But just WANTING them to come here doesn't mean that it's going to happen.
Brian VanGorder has never made any secret of the fact that he wants to be in the NFL...he left us to take a LB coach spot with the Jacksonville Jaguars, for crying out loud. I remember many Dawg fans (including myself) who looked at that as a step DOWN at the time, but he was willing to take it because he wanted to be in the NFL, and also to help him in his pursuit of a head coaching position. Why would he leave the NFL, where he is building a reputation by getting more out of less than just about anybody else in the league, to come back to a position he left five years ago? This is an obviously ambitious guy...why would he choose to go backwards in his career path?
Kirby Smart is a young, up and coming assistant coach. He is currently in a situation where he is the defensive coordinator at a national power who is about to play for the National Championship. He heads up what is widely considered to be the best defense in the country. He is learning from one of the most respected defensive minds in all of football, who is also the guy who has hired him and promoted him to every major job he's ever had. Why would he leave that situation to come to a place where he will be in a rebuilding mode? Yes, he would be coming "home"...but if I were him, I'd probably feel more loyalty to Saban at this point than to UGA, simply due to the way Saban has taken care of him and shown loyalty to him during his career. Yes, he could maybe enhance his reputation by coaching somewhere other than Saban's staff, but he just won the Frank Broyles Award...apparently his reputation is in pretty good shape. By staying at Alabama, he is set up for success and probably a head coaching job in the forseeable future, if that's the direction he wants to go. At UGA, he would still be in a very good job, but one that is not near the sure thing that he has by staying put.
My point (and I do have one) is that if these guys don't leave their current job to come to Athens, it doesn't constitute some "failure" on the part of Evans and Richt. What are they supposed to do, club them over the head and drag them back to Athens with them? Chloroform them and throw them in the trunk?
The Dawg fan base has been screaming for us to go in a different direction on the defense for at least the last year plus, some even longer than that. So now that we are, a lot of those same fans are pissing and moaning because we can't talk ambitious guys who are in very good positions to step into a situation that , by these own fans' admission, is going to take a good bit of work to fix.
Can't we at least give whomever the new DC is a chance to see what he can do before we turn on him and rip him to shreds?
And another thing...if people think that recruits and even potential coaches don't read message boards, they're fooling themselves. What kind of message is currently being sent when people are going nuclear on a coach that hasn't even been HIRED yet, much less shown up in Athens?
If it IS Vic Koenning, I'm going to support him with everything that I have. If it's Ty Nix, same thing. If it's Coach X, SAME THING. As soon as they take the job, they become Dawgs, and they will immediately start working on making this team better, and their job will be a lot easier if we aren't scaring potential recruits and assistants away by being jackholes.
By the way, Georgia Sports Blog points out that Koenning has a pretty good track record in the time before he got to Kansas State. And I don't think he has the talent at Kansas State that he would have at UGA, and he hasn't even been in that job long enough to make an educated judgment.
But since when do message board "fans" make educated judgments anyway?