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Inside Look: Martinez on CBVG


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I found this today and thought I would post it.


Published: Saturday, March 03, 2012, 8:08 AM

AUBURN, Alabama -- There are few who know the philosophy of new Auburn defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder better than the man who has worked with him at four colleges.

New Tigers defensive backs coach Willie Martinez says his boss is driven.

"From the beginning, he was a very detailed, an excellent teacher, very consistent," Martinez said. "There's no gray area. He has a plan and, obviously, he's a great motivator. He has all the things you need to be successful in this game."

Auburn hopes so. VanGorder and Martinez are the Tigers' new defensive coaches, and the order in which they were hired was a logical progression. VanGorder was first and Martinez followed. They had already worked together at Georgia, paired as coordinator and assistant there as well, and before that at Central Florida and Central Michigan.

"Just like everywhere across the country, there are certain guys that work well with certain guys," Martinez said. "You have some core beliefs that are very similar. We're different in our personalities, but from a football standpoint we believe in the same things. The delivery might be different, but the message is the same."

The trust factor is there. Martinez is the only secondary coach this season after Auburn coach Gene Chizik had Tommy Thigpen and Phillip Lolley coaching the defensive backs the three previous seasons. Martinez said he'll recruit a graduate assistant coach to help him, but otherwise will go it alone.

"There's a comfort level. That's what I've always done," Martinez said.

Martinez is the third -- and last -- coach to join Chizik's staff since the end of the season. He figures he's not too far behind in implementing VanGorder's defense.

"The great thing about it is I know what to expect," he said.

But Martinez said the terminology is different than the last time they worked together at Georgia in 2004.

"There are things that you can go from one program to another, whether you're some kind of a 2-deep defense, 3-deep defense, there's going to be some carryover, but the verbiage is all different. We're all kind of learning that," Martinez said.

Martinez said he is laying the groundwork for his first hands-on work with his players when spring practice begins later this month. He's been preparing for that day by watching game film and talking to his cornerbacks and safeties, but said he's trying to stay away from preconceived notions.

"I want to go through spring ball and the offseason stuff. A lot of time watching film doesn't tell the story," Martinez said Friday at the end of his second week on the job and during his first meeting with the media.

Martinez will put his stamp on the secondary but he'll also rely on history.

"I don't want to neglect and not be aware of what they've accomplished here, or if they've struggled, or why have they struggled," Martinez said. "If you see the same patterns, something is up, figure out a way to change it, build off it. People like to say, 'I'm here now, I don't care what you've done before.' I don't really totally believe all that. There are positives and negatives from before that can help me coach them."

Martinez didn't rule out the possibility of moving players around.

"Schematically, we'll do some different things than what they've done in the past," he said. "Maybe the kid moves from corner to nickel or vice versa. Maybe he's a better strong safety or free safety. That's going to happen."

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