You folks are pretty astute observers of all things related to Georgia football, so I'm beginning with the assumption that you've already seen Chris Low's report that Mark Richt is interested in LSU's John Chavis as a possible Defensive Coordinator candidate, heard that Chavis isn't really denying anything, and that Paul Westerdawg already has a good handle on what Chavis brings to the table.
Now, the standard warnings:
- I'll guarantee you that Chris Low didn't hear this from Mark Richt, or anyone who heard it from Mark Richt. As with all information on this search, it's likely from Chavis's people, or people who are just guessing.
- The information is a little stale. The rumor's been all over the message boards (LSU and Georgia-centered) for days.This likely means that the outcome has already either been decided or will be decided very soon.
- Mark Richt would not comment on it if you threatened to slather him in butter and throw him onto Mark Mangino's dinner table.
Low's report does include concrete numbers (up to 3 years and $600k per season), which is interesting but not necessarily reliable. This sounds to me like Chavis's agent sending a message to LSU that he's underpaid, along with some handy guidance on what might be appropriate. The question then becomes whether the message will fall on deaf ears in Baton Rouge, but find a more receptive audience in Athens. Chavis after all has only been at LSU for one season. I don't get the impression that anyone there views him as irreplaceable. Valuable, sure, but not irreplaceable.
Joel at Rocky Top Talk, for one, is not enthused about the hire, which from our perspective is a good thing. Joel knows Volunteer football, and John Chavis spent two decades as a part of the Volunteer program. If Joel thinks Chavis's skill set makes our defense better, I tend to give that some credence.
As Paul notes, not all Chavis defenses at Tennessee were exceptional. The 2006 and 2007 units were dreadful. But that may be more a sign of the dropoff in talent in Knoxville at that point. His 2008 Tennessee unit was the lone bright spot in an otherwise abyssmal season, and one could argue that defense was simply the 2006 and 2007 units all grown up. And the LSU defense has improved dramatically under him in year one. If I were Mark Richt, that would be an important factor for me given some of the discontent surrounding the program. I don't know if Coach Richt has the luxury of a three year rebuild. Even if he does, I'm pretty sure he'd rather not have to expend that political capital.
Bottomline: We'll know when we know. Let's hope for the best, or at least the best available. Until the New Year . . .
Edit: Wrote most of this last night, and just saw that Tim Tucker of the AJC is now saying that Chavis's deal with LSU will be reworked and he will stay at LSU. Coach Richt now says the search could extend beyond the first week of January. As you'll recall, he had said the search should be over the fitsr week of January. In my mind, the only thing that's really changed since that statement was that the Dallas Cowboys, whose defensive line is coached by former Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, have earned what some thought was a longshot playoff berth. Make of that what you will.