ATHENS — It’s called the “Silly Season” for a reason. As in, it’s silly to ever think Georgia considered Eddie Gran for its offensive coordinator position. Same as it’d be silly for the Bulldogs to consider Dan Enos for that position.
That’s the latest “fake news” that’s out there this morning. AL.com is reporting that Georgia and Miami and are “in discussions” with Enos, who is currently Alabama’s quarterbacks coach, about their coordinator openings. Only there’s two problems with that: One, there aren’t any discussions ongoing and, two, Georgia already has an offensive coordinator.
In case you’ve forgotten, his name is James Coley. He currently has a “co-” in front of that title with the Bulldogs. The only real question regarding Coley is whether or not the “co” part remains. And that will depend on who Kirby Smart adds to complete his staff. As it stands, he has an opening for a tight ends coach and a defensive coordinator and/or secondary coach.
It’s as a tight ends coach that the Bulldogs gave Gran a fly-by and I suspect it’s the same for Enos, if they’ve had any actual discussion at all. Smart might be able to grace those guys with a co-title to join Georgia’s staff since, in Gran’s case, he already has a coordinator title at Kentucky, and Enos reportedly is in line to gain that title with the Crimson Tide. But, essentially, Smart would be considering them only to come coach tight ends and recruit, at which both are reportedly really good.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are already well set at offensive coordinator. Coley can handle the job just fine, thank you, and that’s why Smart and UGA went to such lengths to keep him on staff a year ago. Jimbo Fisher wanted Coley to join him at Texas A&M as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, which are the positions with which Coley has the most professional experience and expertise. He also happens to be an all-star recruiter with the Bulldogs, particularly in South Florida, but not just there.
So, number one, Smart’s not going to go out and hire somebody over Coley. And, number two, he’s definitely not going to bring in somebody like Gran who comes from a completely different system. I probably don’t need to remind Georgia fans of what happened the last time the Bulldogs did that. It resulted in the Brian Schottenheimer Experiment, which you’ll recall was an unmitigated disaster.
No, with quarterback Jake Fromm, four-fifths of the offensive line and the majority of the backfield and wide receiver corps coming back for the Bulldogs, they’re looking for continuity, not a recalibration. There’s a lot of different ways Smart can go about that, but it starts and ends with keeping Coley primarily in charge of the offense and quarterbacks and finding somebody to succeed Jim Chaney as tight ends coach.
Here’s an idea, which I’m sure has probably crossed Smart’s mind — what about Tee Martin? It’s Martin, who led the Tennessee Volunteers to their last national championship as a quarterback in 1998, who is the big prize that is currently in play in the SEC. Martin was dismissed by Southern Cal coach Clay Helton in November.
Reportedly the Vols have had discussions with Martin, as one would expect. The problem is, UT doesn’t currently have an opening on their offensive staff. Nobody would put it past Jeremy Pruitt to chase somebody off his staff to make room for Martin and give him a co-coordinator title (receivers coach David Johnson is the name being kicked around in that regard up on Rocky Top).
What Georgia has on the Vols at the moment is it already has an opening and probably would be willing to give Martin a co-coordinator title as well. But you know who else has an opening and is surely thinking the same thing?
That’s right, Alabama.
It was reported Thursday that Alabama wide receivers coach Josh Gattis will join new Maryland head coach Mike Locksley as the Terrapins’ offensive coordinator. That would give Nick Saban another opening on his staff. You can bet the Crimson Tide is making a play for Martin, a Mobile, Ala., native, to come to Tuscaloosa.
If Smart could somehow commandeer Martin’s services for the Bulldogs instead, not only would he gain somebody who is considered a great recruiter of the Greater Atlanta area and now has ties to the West Coast, but he’d be able to keep Martin away from both Bama and Tennessee in the process. It would also exact a little poetic justice for Georgia on the Vols, who are spinning the narrative that they stole Chaney out from under the Bulldogs’ noses.
It’s unclear at the moment if Martin is interested in any of these openings. But it’s obvious that at least a co-coordinator title would probably have to be in the offing for him to join any staff anywhere. That (and receivers coach) is the title he held with the Trojans since 2016.
Hey, it may be a long shot. But this is why Smart continues to keep his options open. He’s going to take care of Coley, offensive line coach Sam Pittman and running backs coach Dell McGee first. But he’s going consider every possible angle before finalizing his staff and determining his salary pool.
This is what’s happening on the defensive side of the ball, too, by the way. Georgia will be in perfectly fine shape by promoting Dan Lanning and/or Glenn Schumann as coordinator or co-coordinators. They speak Smart’s language and know what he’s trying to do. But Smart’s also not going to make an announcement about his coaching openings for 2019 until he has exhausted every possible combination to be sure he has the best staff possible surrounding him.
That won’t happen until Silly Season is over. It tends to last until National Signing Day and sometimes lingers a bit past that.
But, for your own sanity, don’t entertain any “report” you see that involves bringing in a coordinator over Coley and disrupting what the Bulldogs have going on on offense. That’s not happening.