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Post Grantham confirmed as coordinator – additional reaction

Friday January 15, 2010

Confirmation comes this morning of the news that broke late last night: Todd Grantham is Georgia’s new defensive coordinator. We’ve learned some additional details since last night:

  • Grantham will finish out the season with the Cowboys. That was announced by Cowboys coach Wade Phillips this morning.
  • Grantham will be replaced by former Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni.
  • According to Phillips, “this came up” – apparently meaning Grantham’s decision – at 9:00 Thursday morning during the Cowboys’ practice.
  • Grantham’s deal is for 3 years at $750,000 per year according to Anthony Dasher of UGASports.com. That would make him the third-highest paid defensive coordinator in the nation.

Grantham stated that he looks forward to bringing a passive, uninsipred defense to Georgia that opponents would salivate over on film. No, actually, Grantham said this:

“I would like to thank Coach Mark Richt and Damon Evans for the opportunity for myself and my family to be part of the University of Georgia community,” said Grantham. “I’m very excited about being part of a staff that will work tremendously hard to return Georgia football to one of the premier teams in the SEC. To the fans and boosters of the University of Georgia, I understand the passion and standard of excellence expected. I look forward to developing an aggressive, physical, attacking style defense that offenses will not look forward to playing against.”

It sounds good…looking forward to seeing it in practice.

A few more thoughts:

  • In December, the Banner-Herald reported that “Athletic director Damon Evans said this week that Georgia would be ‘competitive,’ in attracting candidates for any openings with salary and possibly offering multi-year contracts.” Some were skeptical just how willing Georgia would be to open up the checkbook, but the outcome shows that Evans meant every word of it, down to the multi-year contract – a first at Georgia for an assistant.
  • Along those lines, I would imagine that Mike Bobo and his fellow assistants are smiling today. They’re not going to have their salaries more than doubled to $750,000, and they probably won’t see multi-year contracts. But the value of being an assistant at Georgia just went up today.
  • Grantham’s decision to remain with the Cowboys probably won’t matter with recruiting. Georgia has plenty of great recruiters elsewhere on the staff. What mattered from the perspective of recruiting is that the uncertainty was removed. Grantham has everything up to videoconferencing at his disposal once the dead period ends should he need to contact anyone. Do we cheer for the Vikings regardless?
  • Grantham, considered a 3-4 proponent, will surely be asked about what scheme he plans to bring to Georgia. I hope his answer goes something like this: “I have experience working with both a 4-3 and 3-4 defense, and I don’t intend to decide that right now. We’ll spend the next few months meeting with and getting to know the players in the program and decide as a staff which personnel and scheme gives Georgia the best chance to field a competitive and successful defense in the SEC.”
  • Along with assembling the rest of the staff, we’ve heard rumblings about changes coming to Georgia’s conditioning program. We’d expect that to be wrapped up within the next two weeks as mat drills and pre-spring conditioning usually kicks off around or just before Signing Day.
  • Wade Phillips had some very nice things to say about Grantham: “He’s grossly overqualified to be the defensive line coach. I knew that he would be a coordinator pretty quickly or even a head coach – he’s got all those qualities.

Grantham won’t be put to the test for another 7+ months, but for now Georgia has the man they’ll charge with rebuilding the Georgia defense that had deteriorated over the past couple of seasons. Fan reaction has been almost overwhelmingly positive, though it’s hard to tell how much of that has to do with relief over this long process finally coming to an end. The reality of getting down to work and producing results will come soon enough. For now, enjoy the weekend and tune in on Sunday at 1:00 to see Grantham’s current team and defensive line in action.

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