Warren Belin Was A “Special” Coach

Last year, most of us were disappointed that Warren Belin left the UGA coaching staff after one season for the Carolina Panthers.  Going from college to the NFL was an upgrade, and if there was one defensive coach who earned an upgrade in 2010, it was Coach Belin.   Now, Kirk Olivadotti has done a tremendous job coaching the inside linebackers this season.  Absolutely tremendous hire by Coach Grantham. 

Even though Coach Olivadotti has done a great job with the inside linebackers this season, Warren Belin’s influence has been sorely missed.  I caught a lot of crap around here for saying this, but I thought that after last season, the 2010 team played better football than the 2009 team.  Sure, the win/loss record was worse, but look at the stats.  The 2009 team was BAD and was the recipient of some very close victories (South Carolina, Arizona State, Georiga Tech). 

The 2009 UGA squad was last in the SEC in turnover margin, kick off coverage, and penalties.  They were much worse than the 8-5 record indicated.   The 2010 squad improved to 2nd in kick off coverage, 2nd in turnover margin, and 3rd in penalties.   The 2010 squad was two games worse.  That was one reason I was optimistic about the 2011 season.  You could see a team in 2010 that was playing much better than their record indicated, and the dumb, undisciplined, self inflicted wounds  that haunted the team throughout the 2009 season had been addressed. 

This past year, I think we can all agree that Special Teams was the biggest problem.  We won’t get into Blair Walsh.  There is only so much you can do about a kicker.  Either he makes it or he doesn’t.  He has talent; Blair Walsh’s struggles were in between his ears.  Not much a coach can help him.  Let’s look at kickoff coverage.  In addition to the inside linebackers, Coach Belin’s special teams responsibility was kickoff coverage. 

Georgia ranked last in the SEC in kickoff returns in 2009 and 2011, but 2nd in 2010. 




Warren Belin’s departure wasn’t felt on the defense, but boy it sure was felt on Special Teams. 


*stats courtesy of www.cfbstats.com

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