ATHENS, Ga. — After three of Georgia’s defensive coaches were let go two weeks ago, fans have been waiting for the final member of the staff to head in another direction, too.
That won’t be the case in the short term, defensive line coach Rodney Garner said. But asked whether he had been approached by other teams about potential jobs, Garner said he was only focused on Georgia’s bowl game.
Asked whether he is interested in the Bulldogs’ vacant defensive coordinator job, Garner said he has faith in head coach Mark Richt to make the right decision on a replacement for Willie Martinez.
Asked whether he wants an opportunity to be a defensive coordinator somewhere, Garner offered a firm yes but provided little context to go with it.
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“At some point, obviously, if you’re in this business, you’re always looking for upward mobility,” he said. “But I’m not sitting here with a timetable saying it’s got to happen now. It’s not that type of scenario. I have faith that Coach Richt is going to do what he feels is best for this program. He’s been very good to me, very good to my family, so I’ve got the utmost faith in him that he knows what he’s doing.”
With the dismissal of Martinez, linebackers coach John Jancek and ends coach Jon Fabris, Garner remains the lone holdover on the defensive staff and a crucial cornerstone to Georgia’s recruiting efforts.
He said he understands the rumors swirling about his future, but he said staying at Georgia remains the goal — for now.
“Obviously, you plan on it,” Garner said. “People ask questions and all that, but you can only try to control the things you can control, and you play the cards you’re dealt.”
Not looking ahead
Linebacker Rennie Curran and safety Reshad Jones are considering leaving a year early for the NFL draft, and both admitted that losing their coaches could push them in that direction.
“It’s huge,” Curran said. “Those are the things you think about scheme-wise and how you’re going to fit in, the coaches coming in and his mentality. But that’s something I’m going to worry about later on. Right now is just to win this bowl game and finish up strong.”
Jones has a similar plan but said the loss of Martinez will certainly factor into his ultimate decision.
“I haven’t really looked at it like that, but it will have a little effect,” Jones said.