The Bulldog nation is up in arms about the direction of the football program and rightfully so. It appears the Willie Martinez is on is way out. Our friends over at ugasports.com have already released their top candidates (subscription required) for the defensive coordinator position, so it is becoming very clear that Martinez will be released of his duties.
The Bulldog defense has been in gradual decline since Brian Van Gorder left Athens, and the last two years the bottom has completely fallen out. Since 2007 , against Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech the Dawgs have given up over 31 points per game. The last three games against Georgia Tech, Tennessee, and Florida, the Dawgs have given up 45, 45, and 41 points per game. Unacceptable!
However, Martinez should not be the only defensive coach shown the door. In fact, Rodney Garner should be the first coach let go. According to sources close to program, Rodney Garner is a “cancer” on this staff, and one of the reasons Kirby Smart is not on this coaching staff today is due to a falling out with Garner.
Dawgs fans would love for Kirby Smart to head back to Athens and take over this defense in 2010. Why not? He’s a Georgia alum and grew up in Bainbridge. He is arguably the best up and coming young coach in college football. His wife is former Lady Bulldogs Basketball player Mary Beth Lycett, and she used to work for Claude Felton in the Sports Information Department. It is believed by some that Mrs Smart wants to get back to Athens. However, it doesn’t happen with Coach Garner on this staff! This rift is not only between Smart and Garner. Sources say it also occured between Garner and Brian Van Gorder.
Coach Garner is about Coach Garner! When Garner interviewed for a position on the Tennessee staff last season it is believed by insiders that he sought the position. Garner even went after a position EVEN THOUGH Ed Orgeron had already been hired as D-line coach.
Bulldog fans give too much credit to Garner for our recruiting success. Let me point out some flaws the Dawgnation are missing.
1. Jonathan Dwyer was kicked to the curb and picked by Georgia Tech due to UGA focusing only on Caleb King. How’s that turned out?
2. Georgia lost Eric Berry to Tennessee arguably the most athletic player this state has seen since Herschel Walker.
3. Garner lost Morgan Burnett to Georgia Tech even though his brother played at Georgia under Jim Donnan and Mark Richt. Sources claim that Garner assumed Burnett would be a Dawg and let his guard down. It would be nice to have Burnett at safety instead of Bryan Evans.
4. Georgia made some disastrous decisions on O-line recruiting. Through 2007-2009, Georgia has been forced to use inexperienced O-lineman due to bad recruitng decisions and not making the position a recruiting priority. Just look at the lineman from the state of Georgia that star or have stared other teams. Chris Scott- 2nd team ALL SEC at Tennessee, Ryan McMahon-ALL ACC Honorable Mention at Florida State, Sergio Render -ALL ACC Va Tech, 2008 ALL ACC Andrew Garner from Georgia Tech. Garner flat out blew it from 2003-2005 in the area of O-line recruitng.
The University of Georgia has one of the nation’s top football programs and is the flagship university in a state full of high school football talent. This program sells itself. It doesn’t need to put with Rodney Garner to be successful. Which is why the Monday after the Georgia-Georgia Tech game, Garner should be the VERY FIRST COACH called to Richt’s office and immediately shown the door.