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How Not to Hire an Offensive Coordinator

Doug Gillett is making good sense . . . right up to the point at which he plunges headlong over the cliff.

Doug argues, quite plausibly, that Mark Richt's steely resolve and icy calm were tremendous assets for the 'Dawgs while Brian VanGorder was on hand to provide emotional exhortations to the troops, but, in the absence of the Broyles Award-winning defensive coordinator's passion, Coach Richt's demeanor serves to steady but not to inspire.

Brian VanGorder . . . the Ben Grimm to Mark Richt's Reed Richards.

Such situations certainly are not without their parallels in the annals of Georgia football history. Vince Dooley was cool and collected, while Erk Russell fired up the team. The performance of Coach Dooley's squads dipped slightly once Coach Russell had a Statesboro mailing address and that scenario may be duplicated under Coach Richt now that Coach VanGorder has followed in Erk's footsteps at Georgia Southern. To a lesser extent, the loss of Chris Scelfo had noticeable repercussions for Jim Donnan's final Bulldog squads, as well.

I have full faith in Coach Richt's ability to right the ship. He is, after all, 15-5 without Coach VanGorder and he managed to win an S.E.C. title without his defensive coordinator, David Greene, or David Pollack. Clearly, the man knows what he's doing to an extent not seen in the Classic City since at least the late 1980s and, arguably, earlier.

Nevertheless, Doug makes a fair point that the coaching staff needs someone to fill Coach VanGorder's role, emotionally as well as strategically. Since Willie Martinez clearly is not the proper person to serve that function, Doug has looked to the other side of the ball.

Doug wants Mark Richt to hire Rick Neuheisel to be his new offensive coordinator.

No, seriously.

Doug defends this choice by comparing Coach Neuheisel to Bill Clinton and Steve Spurrier.

No, seriously.

Doug . . . dude . . . that is not the way to convince citizens of Bulldog Nation, who have made Georgia a Red State in more ways than one.

Let us not mince words here. Rick Neuheisel is a weaselly little worm who left not one, but two, storied college programs in an absolute shambles. He utterly wrecked the Washington Huskies and he mishandled the Colorado Buffaloes so badly that Gary Barnett was an upgrade.

Thinking of hiring this man? Alert the N.C.A.A. and put the lawyers on retainer now.

Coach Neuheisel's recruiting decisions ranged between the dubious and the foolhardy and his recruiting methods were, at best, ethically questionable and morally repugnant. He played fast and loose with every rule, blamed everyone but himself for his astoundingly bad judgment calls, imposed no discipline whatsoever, and acted immaturely and irresponsibly while considering his behavior cute and endearing.

Rick Neuheisel is a third-rate con artist with a quick-fix mentality who knows nothing about building a program and whose teams invariably go downhill after the first year or two. He isn't a fairer-haired Steve Spurrier, he's a skinnier Jim Donnan and the last thing in the world we need is for a restored Georgia program to be saddled with the toxic baggage of one of the game's worst ambassadors.

Rick Neuheisel is out of college football. Woe to the program that makes the mistake of bringing him back to the sport that is better off without him. We should bid good riddance to bad rubbish.

The last time Rick Neuheisel set foot in Sanford Stadium, he was playing quarterback for the U.C.L.A. Bruins in the early 1980s. Reportedly, Uga, who had been eating some grass on the field, walked over to Neuheisel during the national anthem and threw up on the golden boy's shoes. Neuheisel, nervous at the prospect of facing what was then the most dominant football program in the country, is alleged to have looked down at America's most famous mascot and said, "I know how you feel."

We all know how Uga felt, Ricky Boy, and I, for one, have every confidence in the University of Georgia mascot to be a good judge of character.


Read the Doug, but heed the Ug.

I appreciate Doug's efforts to come up with helpful ideas, but this is a bad one.

I agree with Uga . . . puke on Rick Neuheisel. The guy's a cancer and we need to stay as far away from this unsavory charlatan as humanly (or doggedly) possible.

Go 'Dawgs!