Saturday, December 12, 2009

The DC search and message board fans

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?


Bernie said...

My sister's ex-boyfriend saw a guy at the Publix on Atl HWY who once went to high school with Kirby's sister-in-law's cousin. He said Kirby's coming home.

GENXDAWG said...

Classic, Bernie. Classic.

Anonymous said...

if I was Kirby,I wouldn't leave Saban either...when Muschamp takes over at Texas,Kirby could lateral to there for some big bucks...

I'm so disillusioned by the UGA situation that I can't wish Kirby to get in the middle of it...

what UGA situation?since you asked...nobody comes after any of our coaches (except Searles and Garner)...for several years we have essentially led the planet in penalties and we have to call too many time outs just to get the right people on the field.

we had Stafford for 3 years and we never even won the East with him...

I need a drink... :-(

Anonymous said...

It is so nice to read a Georgia blog that is fill with common sense.

The Watch Dawg said...

Anon @ 12:53

That's not true about our assistants. You forget that between the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Miami was coming after Willie Martinez hard (bet he wishes he had taken that job now). Brian Van Gorder, obviously, was approached with a head coaching offer and took it. The only reason we haven't had an offensive coach being approached, is because prior to Bobo taking over, CMR was the play-caller. Bobo hasn't been the OC long enough to get that kind of attention yet. But I feel pretty sure that another couple of years at the pace Bobo has set, and he will be getting offers. Rodney Garner obviously always has people coming after him, and Searels as well. Exactly how many assistants on any given team do yo think get bigger offers from other schools? It's naive and pessimistic to parrot that crap about how "UGA's assistants aren't sought after by anybody, so that should tell you where we stand." It's just not true.

The Watch Dawg said...

BTW, completely agree with everything in your post (with the exception of your lack of confidence in Kirby Smart). I'm fully expecting a large contingent of Georgia fans to bitch and moan immediately upon the announcement of a new DC being hired. And it won't matter who it is.

Raleigh said...

What a relief. I thought there weren't any sane Dawg fans left.

One other thing about "coming home". It seems a lot of folks think that trumps all when it comes to Smart's career decisions. Maybe he doesn't give a rip. UGA is where the guy went to school, that's all. How many UGA grads stay in Athens after they get out of school? How many of them think that the key to their happiness is some day getting back there? Smart is one of the most successful and promising young coaches in college football. I would think that his family and his career development will drive his decisions - not his location. And even if you throw in geography, Bama is not far from his roots.