clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Is Coaching or Talent More to Blame?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

First of all, my thanks go out to Travis for pointing out Omarr Conner's recent injury, which I just flat missed. Saturday's starting quarterback for the other Bulldogs will be Michael Henig, whom I could have sworn I saw killed in the South Carolina game.

Anyway, it appears that I could play wide receiver for Georgia, because I just plain dropped the ball and I am thankful to my loyal readers for setting me straight. My bad. It won't happen again . . . until the next time it happens, of course.

Now, to the matter at hand. Paul Westerdawg offered an excellent breakdown of Georgia's 2006 defensive personnel, ably refuting the erroneous thesis that Mark Richt's success has come with Jim Donnan's players but noting that it isn't all Willie Martinez's fault because the 'Dawgs lost a ton of talent from last year's S.E.C. championship team.

Paul's point is a good one, but his argument has drawn some responses from commenters who noted, also correctly, that talent differential alone cannot explain why Georgia defenses have underachieved in the Willie Martinez era, particularly when it comes to fundamental flaws such as poor tackling and a lack of halftime adjustments. Also, as Doug observed, the defense just doesn't look fired up out there.

Much like the argument over nature versus nurture, it isn't a binary either/or question; obviously, both talent and coaching play an important role. Which is the more significant contributing factor to the Bulldogs' recent poor play, though?

Is it primarily a matter of talent and experience, in which case the program should stay the course without any changes to the coaching staff and expect to see improvement as young players mature, or are there flaws in the defensive coaches' methods and schemes that produce lackluster play and misalignments that may be exploited easily by opposing coaches, which suggests the need for changes on Mark Richt's staff? Which is it?

Go 'Dawgs!