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Mark Richt Rounds Out Georgia Bulldogs' Defensive Staff by Hiring Warren Belin

Fortunately, vineyarddawg was all over this story when David Hale brought us the news that Warren Belin is Georgia’s new linebackers coach, completing the staff that has been at least a man down since Willie Martinez and two other defensive coaches were sacked.

I know what you’re thinking . . . we’re hiring coaches from Vanderbilt? Yes, that’s right, and here’s why:

Who was Bobby Johnson praising two days ago when he announced his best recruiting class ever?

His recruiting coordinator, Warren Belin.

And now Belin, who is also the Commodores' linebackers and special teams coach, is joining Mark Richt's staff as linebackers coach at Georgia. You can read the entire press release and get some analysis on David Hale's excellent Georgia blog.

Belin was with Bobby Johnson for the past eight years and helped develop linebackers Hunter Hillenmeyer, Marcus Buggs, Moses Osemwegie, Jonathan Goff, Patrick Benoist and now Chris Marve. If you're a Georgia fan and don't recognize those names, let's just say that all those guys were two-star recruits who developed into All-SEC players under Coach Belin's tutelage. Most of those guys are playing or will play in the NFL, and Hillenmeyer is the son of a stockbroker and the Bears linebacker who stripped the ball from Adrian Peterson in overtime of a late-season Monday night game to stun Farve and the Vikings.

Imagine what Belin can do with four- and five-star talent, if those guys are willing to learn and achieve their potential.

After the disappointment of this year’s signing day, that ought to be music to your ears. Since poor recruiting efforts can doom a program long-term, Coach Richt decided to cure what ails us by bringing in a coach who can (a) improve our recruiting down the road and (b) get the most out of athletes with fewer stars in the interim. That sounds to me like a smart hire for now and a smart hire for later.

Bear in mind that Coach Belin’s service on the Commodores’ staff has included stints as linebackers coach, recruiting coordinator, and special teams coordinator. Had I asked you twelve hours ago to name the Bulldogs’ five or six biggest areas of need, three of them likely would have been coaching up the linebackers (particularly in the 3-4 scheme Georgia will adopt under Todd Grantham), recruiting, and special teams. Also, Coach Belin brings what Coach Grantham and Scott Lakatos lack: SEC experience.

Joke all you want about how it’s just Vanderbilt; even leaving aside the fact that Coach Belin was there for the most successful period of Commodore history in nearly three decades, the fact is that Brian VanGorder’s resume consisted of coaching stints at Grand Valley State, Wayne State, Central Florida, Central Michigan, and Western Illinois before Coach Richt tapped him to be the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator. Say what you will about the ‘Dores, but at least they don’t have a directional indicator in their nomenclature and at least you’re 100 per cent sure of the state in which their campus is located, which is more than you can say about any institution that employed Coach VanGorder prior to his arrival in Athens. Did that hire work out for us? Well, then trusting Coach Richt on this one wouldn’t be altogether out of line, then, would it?

All three of Coach Richt’s recent staff hires have been light on the sizzle but strong on the steak. That’s fine with me. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my fill of sizzle in Sanford Stadium lately. Sizzle is breaking out new uniforms for big games. Steak is wrapping up when you tackle. Sizzle is a long bomb on first down. Steak is establishing the run. Sizzle is a preseason No. 1 ranking. Steak is a postseason No. 1 ranking.

Enough with the sizzle, already. We need steak, because it’s time to let the Big ‘Dawg eat.

Welcome to Bulldog Nation, Coach Belin.

Go ‘Dawgs!