Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Grantham Era Begins

What you want as a defense is, after the game is over, the team you played is 
happy they dont have to play you anymore. - Georgia DC, Todd Grantham

Bama can Get Smart all they want. The Hokies can continue to Foster more ACC crowns. And the Nerds can try and Groh a pair...whatevs.

Coach Richt got Grantham. He is a Dawg...and is ready to GATA!

Here's Hale's overview of the teleconference. If you frequent Scout, here's Legge's full transcript, with audio ($$). Some key points:
  • Grantham will coach the LBs in the 3-4 scheme and spoke highly of Rodney Garner.
  • There is absolutely NO question this guy craves the QBs head on a platter and will use whichever players are most likely to deliver it.
  • Assistants seem to be up to anyone's guess, including Garner. I like Grantham's reasoning for working with the LBs and that would seem to bode well for Garner staying (not to mention being two weeks from Nat'l Signing Day). But now that the DC has been named and other programs' staffs are taking shape as well, things will move fast. Hold on tight.
  • In the weeks leading up to Grantham being named, many potential candidates were 3-4 coaches. A popular question on the minds and the message boards has been who will play the nose, a key component. The words Grantham used to describe Jay Ratliff (Cowboys' NG) was technically sound, great initial quickness, relentless off the ball and understands the defense. Translation - mind over matter.
  • Todd Grantham wants to be a Dawg.
Perhaps that last point is most important. Coach Richt spoke of his search process being "deliberate" and patient for defensive assistance. While the media and many, many fans were craving the press conference where Kirby Came Home, CMR simply wanted the right guy.

Foster wasn't it and neither was Chavis or Koenning. Smart came very,very close...but in the end made the right choice for him. Hear me loud and clear reader, that was also the best case scenario for us. Smart didn't choose to stay in Tuscaloosa because of some supposed rift between current coaches. He stayed with darling Nicky because that was what made sense to him professionally. Bama, and more importantly UGA, are all the better for that decision.

Why? Because in turn, Todd Grantham fell into our lap. He's the more qualified candidate. And he wants to be in Athens. Don't let rumors and innuendo cloud your judgment on the matter.

Now, some full disclosure. I've made no secret as to being luke warm to Grantham initially. As the day drew nearer where it appeared he would be running the defense I yell and scream and bark for each fall...I did a little investigative blogging.

My main concern was the ending in Cleveland. You may read certain mindless assholes journalists in the coming days who point to Grantham's firing. Off the record, this was painted to me in a clearer light. In truth, Grantham was an outstanding coach in a very bad situation. The GM (no longer employed in Cleveland) was a dimwit. The coach (also no longer employed in Cleveland) had a difference of opinion as well as a separate supporting faction.

Grantham was given an extension and felt comfortable. It unraveled from there. Grantham likes to bring relentless pressure using stunts and bllitzes. Other coaches preferred to read and react. As things spiraled into a disappointing season, Grantham was the odd man out. He made some mistakes, namely failing to keep relationships positive. But Grantham was against the eight ball in a poorly run program.

As for him not being a players coach...that may point to a personality that will work better with kids out of high school as opposed to with kids who have money to burn. I think it was Tony Dungy that said he'd rather coach 19 year old poor kids than 25 year old millionaires. No offense to Sean Jones who is a heck of a player, but he may have been a product of his environment while in Cleveland.

In the end, Grantham was the scapegoat in a city where losing is synonymous with Sundays and landed in a great situation in Dallas. And as the Georgia DC search unfolded, a grossly overqualified coach walked away from America's Team to bring teeth back to a defense in the Nation's greatest city.

Welcome to Athens Coach Todd Grantham. We're so glad you've come.


MikeInValdosta said...

Absolute gold!

Unknown said...

yep, that about covers it.

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