NFL combine: Rennie Curran left early after coaches got fired

Rennie Curran was a tackling machine at Georgia. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Rennie Curran was a tackling machine at Georgia. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Indianapolis – University of Georgia linebacker Rennie Curran said he left school early in part because three defensive coaches were fired.

“I really had to sit down and make a list of pros and cons,” Curran said. “It really came down to the fact that my defensive coaches got fired. My linebacker coach (John Jancek), the defensive coordinator (Willie Martinez) and the defensive end coach (Jon Fabris) and they were bringing in a new system.”

Curran had 298 tackles over three seasons. He started 30 of 37 games. He measured 5-10 ½ and weighed-in at 235 pounds.

About the only knock on him is his height.

“Every one knows that it’s a little bit of a beauty contest,” Curran said. “I might not look as good as some of the guys who are 6-3 and 6-4 like the Rolando McClains and the Brandon Spikes, but I feel I can put my stats up against anybody. I feel that my film will speak for itself.”

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff is a fan.

“There are people out there that are going to question his height,” Dimitroff said. “Rennie is a really good football player. He has a really good feel for the game.”

Curran thinks he can overcome his height issue.

“I know that there are people out there that think he’s too small, but let’s toss that aside because there are players at a number of positions who were an inch shorter or a half of step slower and they end up being hall of famers,” Dimitroff said.

61 comments Add your comment

Mr Charlie

February 28th, 2010
1:44 pm


February 28th, 2010
1:47 pm

If losing Curran was the price to pay to make the much needed
coaching changes, so be it. UGA was not very good last year, in
spite of Rennie being all over the field.
Best of luck 2 U in the NFL.


February 28th, 2010
1:54 pm

Was not that good! Sensational as a freshman but coasted the last 2 years!


February 28th, 2010
1:56 pm

Can’t fault the man for wanting a future in the NFL. Hope he has a great career playing on Sundays. DGD


February 28th, 2010
1:57 pm

Renny will be a solid linebacker at the next level….I had no idea he was 5′10 tho, London Fletcher and Dumerrvile are 5′10 so im not worried about his height so much. He would be a good 4th round pick for us if he’s still on the board. Can we please stop with the Peppers to ATlanta garbage -we are not breaking the bank on this guy which is evident by Dimitroff saying he’ll be glad to see him leave the NFC South.


February 28th, 2010
1:58 pm

Ken – 115 tackles his So. year and 116 tackles his Jr. year is hardly coasting.

Bob in SF

February 28th, 2010
1:59 pm

Ken probably thought David Pollack was over rated too.

DH Dawg

February 28th, 2010
1:59 pm

Can’t blame Rennie. Go kick a*s in the NFL! Go Dawgs!


February 28th, 2010
2:05 pm

Piss on a dawg!!!


February 28th, 2010
2:05 pm

Dear Rennie, thanks for your help, remember we, us donors gave you a partial education at our expense…so when you make you millions don’t forget us….typical…it’s all about money. Just ask a former player, who got let go from a job….you will need that education someday….and maybe our new coaches can prove to you that they got the job done….


February 28th, 2010
2:09 pm

Dear jdawg:

I can always go back to school. I can’t always get drafted for millions of dollars. Might get injured. Tough job market out there. Might get a job for $45K if I am lucky. Think I will take my chances with the NFL. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t ditch your current job if someone offered you double your salary. Get real.




February 28th, 2010
2:59 pm

Smart thinking by Curran recognizing that his skillset wasn’t going to be the best matchup wit Ga.’s new Defensive scheme and his production might seriously go down thus damaging his future draft prospects compared to his current situation. Good luck to a d**n good Dawg!


February 28th, 2010
4:22 pm

Smart move. Hate to loose the man, but the right move was made on his part.

Boca Baby

February 28th, 2010
4:44 pm

Now come on Rennie don’t go trashing your school! Who knows how good your prospects would have been had you received better coaching. Well, you’ll never know now. But, on the other hand, you are not a prototypical 3-4 linebacker.

Boca Baby

February 28th, 2010
4:46 pm

And what is going to kill Rennie at the next level is his inability to cover backs coming out of the backfield. In the NFL most of those backs are bigger and faster than he is.

SoCal Dawg

February 28th, 2010
4:49 pm

I would of traded a few more players to get good coaches. Hate to see him go but if that’s why he left glad he’s gone.


February 28th, 2010
5:07 pm

I wish we could have done this three years ago. The DAWGS defense is going to be exciting next year.


February 28th, 2010
5:33 pm

Best of luck to Rennie, you will always be a DGD. You are certainly doing what anyone on this board would do, and that is make the best decision you can based on all of the information you have. I do hope you are drafted by Atlanta. Now GATA.



February 28th, 2010
5:37 pm

If he gets an NFL contract, will babydaddy Curran start making his child support payments?

Inquiring minds would like to know.


February 28th, 2010
5:48 pm

Don’t sell Rennie short, so to speak. A friend of mine was coaching HS ball in Metro Atlanta when the Adams kid from College park was a senior. A former teammate of his that was an asst coach at Clemson called asking about Adams. My friend said that Adams was too small and would probably never start a game at Clemson, but he was a tough kid and smart and he would be an asset to any CFB program. My friend he was shocked that fall when he watched the Clemson-Tech game. Not only was Adams starting at LB, he was leading the team in tackles. Adams went on to play for the Eagles for several years.


February 28th, 2010
6:02 pm

rennie curran is not on child support and gladly pays any amount for the baby and the mom.dont you think there would be public papers citing his court dates? and the required monthly amount he is supposed to pay? i think you should try to get your facts straight.

big south mike

February 28th, 2010
6:07 pm

Leavin’ early ain’t gettin no love here shorty.

I agree with scouts that sat he’s too small.

He won’t make it in the NFL.


February 28th, 2010
6:35 pm

This is nothing NEW, he stated this all before. He said based on the fact that he had he daughter, the did not want to spend the time learning a new system for one year, then have to learn another system when he got to the NFL. It would take too much time and focus away from his family and daughter. Rennie does not do things half way, so he felt it was better to go now, and make the effort to learn a new system ONE time. AJC has to hype up every negative thing they can on UGA!!! It gets SO OLD!!!

big south mike

February 28th, 2010
7:54 pm

passed up the Natinal Championship year, learning form Grantham, winning All-American, and learning about Leadership in his 4th year in the character program from Coach Richt himself.

Probably would have got him into the 1st or 2nd round, if he had stayed. Cost him a few million. NFL not big on small lb’s.

Oh well. Missed his chance.

Buckhead Bulldog

February 28th, 2010
8:13 pm

Considering the story of where Curran’s parent’s came from, Liberia, and him wanting to provide for a 16 month daughter I think he made the right choice. More power to Rennie, and good luck to him at the next level! Good for him, and I’ll pulling for another Dog on in the NFL. Sic”em Rennie Woof Woof.


February 28th, 2010
8:27 pm

Good for Rennie…I hope he does well as a Tackling Machine…Just like he was for the bulldogs…He may be able to stack up his Tackling #’s with anyone in the country, but Spikes and McClain did it all…covered backs, picked up TE’s in the flats and how many INT’s did Rennie have in his career??? I remember an absolute ton of balls bouncing off his chest or thru his hands….We loved you as a player Rennie, and just because Martinez was your buddy and spoke of you as a God, doesn’t mean he made you a complete player…You were no better as a Junior as you were a freshman for a reason….You weren’t coached…Think how much of a complete player Rennie Curran would have been if his job wasn’t just…”go tackle the man with the football…” He would have been a first rounder, and UGA would have won more games…

The Truth

February 28th, 2010
9:17 pm

Pros vs Cons = $$NFL Millions vs No Money


February 28th, 2010
9:28 pm

Rrnnie is a stud, a hundred tackles a year every year, he’ll be missed.


February 28th, 2010
10:16 pm

Rennie was a good dawg.


February 28th, 2010
10:18 pm

Good luck Rennie!


February 28th, 2010
10:24 pm

Anyone with brains is glad that all 3 of those “coaches/buddies of CMR” are GONE. Thanks for the 100% effort Rennie, but don’t let the door hit your backside on the way out. New scheme scares some, it excites me !!!


February 28th, 2010
10:33 pm

I hate losing Rennie. I’m not convinced he would have stayed either way. But the coaching change was first priority in that deal!

The Arches

February 28th, 2010
11:18 pm

Good luck in the NFL, Rennie. We sure did enjoy watching you play in Red and Black. Great player with a lot of talent and a lot of heart. We respect your decision and we’ll be cheering you on at the next level.

Rennie Curran is a Damn Good Dawg.


February 28th, 2010
11:48 pm



March 1st, 2010
3:02 am

If you go back and watch some replays, Rennie was in on a lot of tackles; but you can also see him being blocked pretty easily sometimes. This is just an opinion, but I think he was out of position many times in pass defense. Again, just an opinion: I see him as a journeyman, special teams player in the pros..


March 1st, 2010
6:20 am

If Curran can actually look someone in the eye and tell someone that he felt like the defense was getting it done the past two years, then he really is deluded. The statistics showed Georgia was near the bottom of the SEC in a number of defensive categories and the coaches merited their dismissal. If he can’t handle that kind of honesty with himself then he really should be moving on to the NFL.


March 1st, 2010
7:26 am

Whatever, tell the truth you’re going for the pro bucks (which I don’t blame you) or you thought you wasn’t going to fit in the new defense but please don’t cry you’re leaving cause they fired your coaches.

Ponte Vedra Dog

March 1st, 2010
7:34 am

Geaux on Rennie

March 1st, 2010
7:45 am

I can still see the “Great tackling machine” being RUN OVER by Charles Scott—LSU WINS!!!! Rennie Curran-OVERRATED!!!


March 1st, 2010
8:19 am

Did anyone ever see him nail a guy by himself like Brandon Spikes nailed Knowshon Moreno on Georgia’s first play from scrimmage in 2008? Now, he did have a ’super’ game against the Gators/Percy Harvin his freshman year. I think his job that game was to spy Harvin.

Magic Man

March 1st, 2010
8:21 am

Wow, I didn’t know he was that tall. I thought he was more 5′9″ than 5′10.5″. Good for him. The hieght isn’t as big of a deal as I thought it would be. Either way, he is a 4-3 WLB that will run well at the combine. I bet he goes in the 3rd or 4th. He would fit best on a team like the Colts we value undersized, rangy guys like Brackett.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

March 1st, 2010
8:24 am

Didn’t think I would ever say this but I’m glad Currne is gone then.

Snoop Dawg

March 1st, 2010
8:25 am

Snoop Dawg didn’t see any leadership from the defense by Mr Curran. He’s great pound for pound but unremarkable by NFL standards. He’ll be another unemployed wannabe in a couple of years without a college degree that he would have otherwise been given for free by the people of the good State of Georgia at their best university for playing football there… It’s kind of sad that Curran didn’t have the red and black truly rolling through his blood. Bottom line: I think everyone’s better off with this and Grantham can mold his own defense instead of having to deal with resistance from the leftovers.


March 1st, 2010
8:36 am

As Rennie Curran went to school at Brookwood, I watched him every play I could find him on TV. Everything about him being quick to the ball and a tackling machine is true. Very few missed tackles (exception, LSU?) and all over the field.

However, I cannot remember one interception. Not one. He knocked down a pass once in a while, but 3 out of four pass plays with him as the closest Dawg had the pass being complete. Does that reflect coaching? Or does that fact reflect that he doesn’t have the instincts against the pass? He surely doesn’t have the resume against the pass that he does against the run.

And last, against the pass, the Dawg defense seemed to assign Rennie to a pass defense role, and the rush might not get the QB. In this case, Rennie would change from pass defense to rushing the passer, and be just a few steps away from the QB when he would throw a TD pass. I bet I saw a dozen of those. Was always painful for me to watch, too.

So, best wishes to Rennie, in any case. I don’t care anything about Rennie’s height. He can tackle anybody, for sure. But against the NFL pass oriented offenses? His best hope is to be teachable and this time have coaching that allow him to break on the ball before its thrown and intercept, rather than break after the ball is thrown and make a tackle while the opponents get the first down.


March 1st, 2010
9:43 am

You couldn’t have three or four Rennie Curran’s on the same field at once in the NFL, but one undersized guy can be just fine if you balance his talents with others. Anyone that can instinctively fly to the ball and hang on to make tackles will be wanted, and I’d think you’ll see Curran do that in the NFL for a number of years.

hind tit

March 1st, 2010
10:09 am

what he said don’t make sense. if he makes a pro team is going to quit if the team changes the head coach and brings in a new coaching staff or the team owner orders the coach to fire the some or all coaches on defense. think not.


March 1st, 2010
10:27 am

Well for starters this is no surprise. We all knew Rennie would leave. 90% of the time these kids do, especially at UGA where there is NO loyalty to the program whatsoever these days. And why would he stick around for an 8-4 or 9-3 season?

Its understandable that he formed a bond with a lot of his defensive coaches and its equally understandable why they were all let go. Sorry, but when your defense gives 45 points to JONATHAN CROMPTON and implodes vs. Kentucky, changes are going to be made. It’s too bad Rennie didn’t want to stick around and learn from Grantham. I think he could excel in Grantham’s system. But honestly, I think Rennie would have left after this season even if the defensive coaching staff was retained.

[...] press session at the NFL combine.5.  In case you missed it, former linebacker Rennie Curran says he left school early because his defensive coaches were fired.6.  Mark Richt isn’t the only Georgia coach who can hit trick shots on the basketball [...]


March 1st, 2010
11:58 am

Geaux on Rennie:

rennie was not the guy charles scott ran over at the end of the game.

Dawg Fud

March 1st, 2010
12:20 pm

Ken – you have no idea what you are talking about or even what coasting means.

If Rennie is coasting, then you are asleep at the wheel.