When Mark Richt had to look for a new defensive coordinator in January, he didn't stage a national or even regional search.
Richt already had taken care of that four years earlier when he put together his first staff at Georgia.
Richt's choice to head the defense was so obvious that he immediately named Willie Martinez at the same time it was announced that Brian VanGorder was leaving the Bulldogs to take a job with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.
Martinez, in fact, was a candidate for defensive coordinator in 2001.
"It just as easily could have been him four years ago," Richt said. "Now, it's his time."
Martinez is adding his style to the defense. The scheme isn't changing, but his players say they will be on the attack more as Martinez seeks an increase in turnovers forced by the unit.
The defense had only five interceptions in 2004.
"That has been the number one thing we have stressed this fall," Martinez said. "You can't play defense if you don't get turnovers."
Even though the defense has lost such standouts as end David Pollack, linebacker Odell Thurman and safety Thomas Davis, the goal in 2005 is to increase the pressure and force more turnovers. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 13 in the Associated Press preseason poll released Saturday.
"I look for more intensity with coach Martinez," said senior cornerback Tim Jennings. "There will be a lot of pressure from the cornerbacks, a lot of man (coverage). A lot of enthusiasm. We've still got the same scheme. You'll probably see more aggressiveness on the outside, a lot of pressing on the outside. We want to make them try to throw the ball to the outside."
Martinez, 42, played with Richt at Miami and worked with VanGorder at both Central Florida and Central Michigan. He was Central Florida's defensive coordinator in 1995-96.
As Georgia's secondary coach the last four years, Martinez has sent such players as Davis, Sean Jones, Bruce Thornton, Terreal Bierria, Jermaine Phillips and Tim Wansley to the NFL.
Now, as he prepares for Georgia's Sept. 3 season opener against No. 18 Boise State, Martinez took a break to send a playful dig to his buddy VanGorder in the NFL.
Asked how he is different than VanGorder, Martinez said: "He's overweight. He's got wiry hair. He's louder than I am. He's fatter than I am. Make sure that all gets to Jacksonville."
In a more serious moment, Martinez said he was influenced by VanGorder but will have his own style.
"There's always stuff that rubs off on you," he said. "Our philosophies are similar, but we're two different style guys. I like to get after it."
Under VanGorder, Georgia finished 17th or better nationally in scoring defense four straight years, including top 10 finishes each of the last three years.
It was no surprise, then, that Richt sought continuity in promoting Martinez to replace VanGorder.
Added Richt: "He looks like a coordinator out there, but of course, he's been one in the past."
So far, the players agree that VanGorder is louder than Martinez in practice.
"They're both cut from the same tree, so to speak, as far as how defense should be played," said defensive tackle Kedric Golston. "Maybe the biggest difference is in their voices. Coach VanGorder's voice kind of shakes the whole room when he speaks where coach Martinez isn't quite as loud."
Because VanGorder was so successful, Martinez is prepared for the inevitable comparisons _ especially with Georgia having to face a dangerous Boise State offense in the opener.
"All I really care about is how we play," he said. "We've obviously got to play good defense to win. I'm just about results and the style we play and getting after people. I can't worry about other people's opinion."