The CCK era has begun, and while personally I thought he would have been a great candidate for DC once Al Groh retired or moved on...fate has a way of laying the opportunity at your doorstep. An Auburn alum, a disciple of Pat Dye, and a former HS coach at the school that brought us Orwin Smith and Deon Hill...Coach Kelly is in his 7th year on the Georgia Tech coaching staff ( and the longest tenured coach) coaching the Secondary.
So the obvious answer to my headline is...we need him to succeed because we want to WIN. Bowl eligibility is still an achievable goal. Beyond the upcoming BC game, Tech faces resurgent squads from BYU, UNC, and Duke that are proving to be much improved squads (especially Offensively) than in recent years...and Maryland is overcoming the mess that derailed their season last year. And let's not forget about the Saturday in Athens.
The shift in defensive philosophy moving forward, with CPJ having a more visible role in gameplanning, will shift towards the fundamental. Instead of the previous 2-gap philosophy of "building walls and making runners go laterally"...the vibes from CPJ indicate it's going to a more simpler "line up in a gap, beat your blocker, and make the tackle" (it's more complicated than that, obviously, but that's the gist). Where I think this benefits the defense the most is on the defensive line, where a DL is at a schematic disadvantage in the 2-gap scheme. Why? To ask a DL to play 2 gaps to control the run, anticipate a double-team, but then ask him to develop an effective pass rush if pass...is quite frankly asking a lot. I think the vision under CCK is to have a defense that is simpler, but more aggressive.
But it goes much further than than X's and O's. Coach Kelly is arguably our best recruiter, and has developed relationships in Alabama in recent years that has brought us Tevin Washington, Orwin Smith, and Justin Thomas...among others. Since his first year on staff, the players he's credited (not including the assists on others) for bringing to Tech are...
2007 - Nick Claytor, Logan Walls
2008 - Tevin Washington (AL), T.J. Barnes (AL), Rashaad Reid, Jaybo Shaw
2009 - Julian Burnett, Orwin Smith (AL), Jemea Thomas
2010 - Deon Hill (AL), B.J. Bostic
2011 - Jamal Golden (AL), Corey Dennis (AL), Anthony Harrell, Trey Braun
2012 - Justin Thomas (AL), Anthony Autry, Tyler Stargel (AL)
In case you missed the new defensive coaching responsibilities, here they are summarized...
Charles Kelly - Defensive Coordinator, Secondary
Andy McCollum - Inside Linebackers
Joe Speed - Outside Linebackers
Dave Walkosky - Defensive Line, Special Teams Coordinator
J.R. Dorman - current staff assistant who will replace the on-field spot of CAG, will assist Special Teams
So how do you think Coach Kelly will impact the defense moving forward?