Archive for January, 2010

Georgia, Tech send right message with Groh, Grantham hires

This is Al Groh. (AP photo)

Al Groh didn't always win at Virginia, but his prowess as a defensive coach can't be questioned. (AP photo)

One coach needed to fix his team’s defense to keep moving forward. The other coach needed to fix his team’s defense to stop sliding backward.

Our obsession with college football in the South and 24/7 blogging speaks to why relatively trivial matters like these have dominated the sports landscape for the past several weeks. But if you’re a college football fan in these parts, regardless of your allegiances, this is a day to feel good about your team.

Georgia and Georgia Tech fans seldom agree on everything. Or anything. But all fans have the same desires: 1) They want to know that their team has a chance to win; 2) They want to know their teams care about winning as much as they do. Mark Richt and Paul Johnson reaffirmed that Friday.

At Georgia Tech, Johnson just hired one of

This is Todd Grantham. (Dallas Morning News.)

Todd Grantham has worked for three of the best coaches in college: Frank Beamer, Bud Foster …

Continue reading Georgia, Tech send right message with Groh, Grantham hires »

Richt’s fourth choice (Grantham) could be right choice

Todd Grantham

Todd Grantham

Yes, I was hard on Mark Richt. I believe that while it’s great to shoot high in any hiring decision, the decision to pursue three high-profile candidates for defensive coordinator — none of whom had any real motivation to leave for a variety of reasons — exposed the Georgia program to the potential embarrassment of being rejected three times publicly. Better due diligence could have prevented that.

That said, there is no reason to believe Todd Grantham won’t be just fine as the Bulldogs’ new defensive coordinator. Yes, he was the fourth choice (at least). But it doesn’t mean he was the wrong choice.

Coaching hires never should be about winning the press conference. They’re about winning games.

In 2001, when Richt announced the hiring of Brian VanGorder — who had been at Grand Valley State, Wayne State, Central Florida and Western Illinois — few had ever heard of him. Several years later, VanGorder would be the coach Bulldogs fans were clamoring to get back.

The …

Continue reading Richt’s fourth choice (Grantham) could be right choice »

Groh a huge step forward for Georgia Tech (UPDATE II)

Al Groh will have to lose the orange in Atlanta.

Al Groh will have to lose the orange in Atlanta.

(Updated below with Al Groh confirming hiring.)

(Update II: For what it’s worth, Tech has finally confirmed the hiring, hours after the original story broke. I’ve copied and pasted the release below.)

At long last, our defensive coordinator nightmare may be over.

ESPN is reporting that after a long dance,  Georgia Tech has signed defensive coordinator Al Groh to be its next defensive coordinator. Assuming the report is accurate, we should have confirmation fairly soon. But so far there has been no announcement from Tech.

This comes on the heels of a report that Georgia has come to terms with Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Todd Grantham to be its defensive coordinator.  The Bulldogs are in a little different situation than the Yellow Jackets  because the Cowboys are in the playoffs and may not want to create a distraction before their game against Minnesota.

Groh’s hiring would be a huge boost for Tech. While he was not …

Continue reading Groh a huge step forward for Georgia Tech (UPDATE II) »

While Jackets, Dogs wait for coordinators, what do you think? (UPDATED)

Todd Grantham

Todd Grantham

(UPDATED BELOW WITH REPORT THAT TODD GRANTHAM HAS SIGNED A THREE-YEAR DEAL.)

All’s almost quiet on the Tech and Georgia defensive coordinator fronts, but probably not as quiet as the Jackets would like.

A couple of blogs back, I told you that Al Groh was suddenly being presented with job options other than Georgia Tech and I even threw out a few potential backup choice for the team’s defensive coordinator vacancy.

Well, with every passing day, this whole Groh-to-Tech scenario looks more fantasy than reality. At the very least, it’s getting crowded.

Tech Fans: Would you be happy with Al Groh as defensive coordinator?

  • Yes, he has a great reputation on defense.
  • No, hes struggled as Virginia’s head coach.

View Results

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Georgia fans: Would you be happy with Todd Grantham as coordinator?

  • Yes, he has shown he is ready do this job.
  • No, he struggled as the Browns’ coordinator.

View Results

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The New England …

Continue reading While Jackets, Dogs wait for coordinators, what do you think? (UPDATED) »

Falcons prep for another coin flip, and how about Spiller?

The Falcons need defense but would C.J. Spiller be such an awful first draft pick (if he falls that far)?

Yes, the Falcons need defense. But would Clemson running back C.J. Spiller be such an awful draft pick (if he falls that far)?

OK, let’s get this out of the way: Lane Kiffin is a slimeball and Ed Orgeron is a dirty, cheatin’ recruiter and USC just removed itself from BCS title contention for the next several seasons (assuming Kiffin is there that long). Now, moving on . . .

I figured this would be a good time to shift gears and talk about the NFL draft. Mel Kiper will be coming out with his first mock draft next week (I’ll try to post, even though that’s NFL “Insider” stuff and I might be breaking some rule in Bristol.) But I wanted to throw out five possible names for you and also note that the Falcons’ exact draft position has not been determined yet. They’ll select either 19th or 20th, depending on the result of a coin flip with Houston at the NFL scouting combine next month.

“It doesn’t parallel that last flip we had for the third pick overall,” general …

Continue reading Falcons prep for another coin flip, and how about Spiller? »

If Groh says no, Georgia Tech should look at Diaz, DeRuyter (UPDATE)

Former Virginia coach Al Groh suddenly has options other than Georgia Tech.(UPDATE BELOW ON DIAZ)

For the past few days, Al Groh has been steadily transitioning from the likely next defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech to the  likely next defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins.

We have only circumstantial evidence of this: 1) Groh, once seemingly locked on Tech as a destination, suddenly has options with other college and NFL jobs opening up, and clearly is taking his time; 2) He interviewed for the Miami Dolphins job Wednesday, where his long-time friend and coaching buddy, Bill Parcells, is team vice president.

While it’s not clear whether Tech coach Paul Johnson has actually offered Groh the position, there have been strong indications that he is waiting S28-03-01D Football H&Sfor Groh to decide on his job preference. Regardless, I’m guessing this coaching search will not last much longer because Johnson is not exactly known for his patience.

One important factor in this search is the Jackets have significant budget constraints, unlike Georgia, and therefore …

Continue reading If Groh says no, Georgia Tech should look at Diaz, DeRuyter (UPDATE) »

It’s an all-out assault on Kiffin, Garrett and USC

Lane Kiffin not surprisingly is getting hammered, but so if everybody else involved with his move.

Lane Kiffin not surprisingly is getting hammered, but so if everybody else involved with his move.

It could be that Lane Kiffin and USC are a perfect match, after all. Hard to say which side is getting ripped more: The coach who vowed loyalty to the Volunteers and is leaving after one season, or the school that just handed its high-profile program over to a guy who has coached one season of college football and went 7-6.

Of course, if the Trojans end up on NCAA probation (courtesy of the now-departed Pete Carroll) and the program is run into the ground with Kiffin at the wheel, then everybody outside of Los Angeles will find this whole episode hysterical, right?

OK, enjoy these excerpts:

Gene Wojciehowski of ESPN.com slams Kiffin as a used-car salesman. No, actually worse:

If there were a stock car race between all the frauds, egomaniacs and two-faced weasels I’ve ever covered, Lane Kiffin would have the pole position all to himself.

Kiffin is a spin doctor without a medical …

Continue reading It’s an all-out assault on Kiffin, Garrett and USC »

Kiffin is another low point in college football’s ugliest season

Lane Kiffin tells the masses in Tennessee that he's gone. Already.

Lane Kiffin tells the masses in Tennessee that he's gone. Already.

At this risk of sounding like the old guy on the porch – put down my lawn gnome, slacker! – my level of disgust coming with college football just reached an all-time high.  Let’s run down the last few months:

Lane Kiffin just left Tennessee after only one season to take the job at USC, a mercenary program if there ever was one. Personally, I think Kiffin is a knucklehead and there’s a chance his antics during a short period of time will land the

And this is what the masses think about it.

And this is what the masses think about it.

Volunteers on probation. Regardless, what does it say about the substance of a man who will leave after only one season, other than that he’s only slightly better than Bobby Petrino, who did not make through one season? And what would be going through your mind if you were a recruit?

Pete Carroll left USC. The story he’s putting out is that it’s all about getting an opportunity in the NFL and with almost total …

Continue reading Kiffin is another low point in college football’s ugliest season »

If this was Richt’s game plan, it’s blowing up in his face

Mark Richt has won his share of games, but his search for an assistant has caused embarrassment.

Mark Richt has won his share of games, but he has led an embarrassing job search.

Mark Richt is trying to fix his football team. There’s nothing wrong with that. But a guy needs a plan. If this was Mark Richt’s plan, he has serious deficiencies as an administrator.

Richt made a conscious decision to go after Bud Foster, John Chavis and Kirby Smart — three of the highest profile defensive coordinators in the nation, none of whom were lacking in job security, none of whom were upset about their current situation, none of whom were looking to leave.

There’s nothing wrong with shooting high. There is something wrong when you’re made to look foolish by three consecutive candidates who play the game publicly but ultimately leverage job offers to get themselves raises at their existing schools.

bud-fosterOnce you cut through the business side of things and the emotional tugs and whatever special place Athens may hold in the hearts and minds of some of the world’s defensive …

Continue reading If this was Richt’s game plan, it’s blowing up in his face »

Countdown goodbyes: Mora, Carroll, Jeter’s harem (oh my)

Even The Count couldn't compete with Derek Jeter.

Even The Count couldn't compete with Derek Jeter.

Once upon a time, Jim Mora wasn’t a psychopath. Or so the story goes. The Count still remembers when Mora wowed the Falcons owner Arthur Blank with his 729-point plan for success. The problem was that nobody stopped to realize that even job candidates who might possibly be one taco short of a combination plate can have a plan. The first hint of a problem came right after Mora convinced Blank to hire him when he walked outside, adjusted the tinfoil hat on his head and transmitted his secret notes back to the mother ship on the Planet Dumdum. And to think, we thought dad was the crazy one in the family. In case you haven’t heard, Mora continues to burn bridges on this and all neighboring planets. Nurse Ratched, I believe it’s time for our Happy Pills. We count down . . .


10. Ruskell to Mora: Et tu, Brute?

Nurse_RatchedJim Mora made it through one season as the Seattle Seahawks coach. That’s two less than he made it with the …

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