Should Richt have gone the NFL route from the start?

Another bonus for Todd Grantham in taking the UGA job: He won't have to wear orange again. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Another bonus for Todd Grantham in taking the UGA job: He won't have to wear orange again. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Are we there yet?

Yes, at last. This morning Mark Richt has confirmed Rivals.com’s Tom Dienhart’s report that he’s hiring Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Todd Grantham as defensive coordinator. No details on the terms of the deal yet from Richt but Dienhart Tweeted that it is for three years and will make Grantham “third highest paid DC in the nation.”

I think Richt has made a good hire. Not a hire that will leave Bulldogs fans with stars in their eyes, but one that probably would have been hailed as a fine move if it had come more quickly and if it hadn’t been preceded by the Georgia coach going after bigger college names who were long-shots to start with and eventually turned him down.

Grantham, who formerly was defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, seems like the best of the “realistic” candidates for the Georgia job.

He’s another Nick Saban disciple and reportedly came highly recommended to Richt by Virginia Tech’s Bud Foster, one of the earlier candidates for the UGA job. If that means he brings a more aggressive brand of defense to Athens, I’m all for it.

It’s true Grantham has been out of college ball (and its recruiting wars) for a decade, after working with Saban at Michigan State, but his NFL experience ought to be enough of a selling point to young players to balance that out.

It will be interesting to see whether Grantham will leave Dallas before their season is over.

How do you feel about how all this has played out? Should Richt have reached for the stars even though he was bucking the odds or should he have gone the NFL assistant route from the start and just gotten it over with? And if the report about Grantham’s pay is accurate, is that just the reality of where the Georgia DC job should rank pay-wise, or is UGA paying more than it ought to for a guy who wasn’t first choice? (Update: Grantham got a three-year deal worth $750,000 per year.)

Of course, we won’t really know how good a hire this is until we see how Georgia’s defense plays.

But at least we now know Grantham is indeed the guy.

WAY TO GO, YATA!

If you haven’t yet seen former Bulldog Sundiata Gaines’ buzzer-beating winning three-pointer to give the Utah a win over Cleveland, take a look. Gaines, playing in only his fifth NBA game, has been trying out with the Jazz on a short-term deal, but hopefully that will get him signed at least for the remainder of the season.

ANOTHER HONOR FOR BUTLER

Congratulations again to Georgia punter Drew Butler, who has made the ESPN.com All-America team.

193 comments Add your comment

Hank Reardon

January 15th, 2010
1:29 pm

I have very high hopes and I’m glad the search is over. Welcome to the Bulldog Nation Coach Grantham!

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
1:30 pm

I will credit to CPJ….he has done well where ever he has been,……I cannot see ANY NFL team giving him a shot. I like how some Tech fans are bragging about: Thomas, Morgan, Burnette, Dwyer going to the NFL….the ironic thing…..CPJ did not recruit any of them.

Hank Reardon

January 15th, 2010
1:32 pm

Someone should hire Willie Martinez as their secondaries coach. He was excellent in that role under BVG. He’s an awesome recruiter as well. I wish he’d come back to Athens for that position. He was just in over his head as DC, IMHO.

KG24

January 15th, 2010
1:34 pm

For all you haters out there, look at this guy’s resume’ and realize other than his one bad year in Cleveland his area has been a bright spot for that particular team His first year in the
NFL he was one of the main reasons that the Colt’s went from 3-13 to 13-3.They registered 56 sacks over his two years which is still a franchise record. His defensive lines in Houston and Cleveland were solid and if anyone doubts what he has done in Dallas the last two years then you just shouldnt be allowed on here.

Welcome to Dawg Nation CTG, now lets some assitants in here and make the SEC fear the Dawg D again

Technophobia

January 15th, 2010
1:35 pm

Hank, you’re probably right about CWM but I doubt you’ll get him back.

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
1:36 pm

Hank:

I agree someone may hire him, but IT SHOULD NOT be UGA.
That just does not seem good on either side…I am sure Willie is a great guy……but UGA needed a change and I am thankful for it!

GeoffDawg

January 15th, 2010
1:38 pm

Is that the best you can do Technophobia? Should I respond with a joke about Spock ears or grazing cheerleaders?

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
1:40 pm

I hope Travis Jones comes too!

Hank Reardon

January 15th, 2010
1:40 pm

NC, that was just wishful thinking but I do wish the guy well. I can’t believe nobody has scooped him up yet.

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
1:45 pm

Hank:

I can believe it, he was fired and was the DC for a team that was viewed as being very poorly coached on the Defensive side of the ball. What do you know/think of Travis Jones?

TOMMY BOY

January 15th, 2010
1:54 pm

im very glad mark richt hired Tommy Boy’s dad. he should be a great fit

J. Jones

January 15th, 2010
1:58 pm

From Americas Team to a Second Tier Team.

Chipped Tires

January 15th, 2010
2:00 pm

Derek Dooley will keep the UGA beatdowns by Tenn. intact ! Rocky Top is smiling!

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
2:13 pm

Dooley……was not at the “top” of UT list……..La. Tech only won 4 games this year.

Vickers

January 15th, 2010
2:14 pm

UGA may have gotten the best man for the job after all. His bio looks impressive and the Cowboys have a tremendous defense. I know that sounds like a blind loyalist but I really like the results Grantham has gotten over the years. Plus he will bring an aggressive defense. I feel really good about it.

DILLIGAF

January 15th, 2010
2:14 pm

A Dooley coaching at UT. What is this world coming to!
Seriously, that would be a great hire for them. A solid, respectable guy who will bring alot of fire and passion to get the program heading in the right direction.

Chipped Tires

January 15th, 2010
2:16 pm

NCDAWG … Dooley must have been near the top because it didnt take long for Tenn to make a hire.

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
2:17 pm

Dooley will at least stay longer than Kiffin….

Circus Act

January 15th, 2010
2:18 pm

What a bunch of Bozos in Athens, 6 weeks to hire a DC. Tenn 3 days to hire a Head Coach who is up and coming.

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
2:20 pm

Chipped Tires: I doubt that his name was mentioned before today. I am not down playing Dooley, I wish him all the luck except when they play UGA….UT like UGA thought they had their guy (Cutcliff), only to find out he is staying at Duke.

Ryan

January 15th, 2010
2:22 pm

Ok now onto the second most important coaching job – have we hired a special teams coach yet? Are they still planning on having a st coach that will also coach other positions?

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
2:23 pm

Ryan…
I agree with you…UGA needs a special teams coach…..not position coaches that coach parts of the special teams…….I would think that the Ray Guy winner Lou Groza finalis, and Brandon Boykin would lure someone to the job

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
2:24 pm

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
2:33 pm

How does this look:
Shane Bramer- Special Teams Coach
Rodney Garner-DL Coach
Grantam-ILb Coach
Travis Jones-OLB Coach
Charlton Warren-DB’s (Secondary Coach at Air Force….from atlanta)

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
2:34 pm

Shane Beamer

NewnanDawg

January 15th, 2010
2:45 pm

NCDAWG – there is a limit on the number of coaches you can have in the NCAA. I believe we were at that number before, so we cannot hire 4 unless we fire another one.

Happy about the hire; don’t think too much else will get done right away with the playoff game for him to coach this weekend.

Go Dawgs!

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
2:53 pm

NewnanDawg:
UGA currently has 8 coaches:
Richt-HC
Bobo, Searls, Ball, Mclendon,-off.
Garner, Grantham-Def.

This past season South Carolina had 12 full time coaches, so I do not believe the NCAA has a rule?
I am happy about the hire!

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
2:54 pm

Forgot to put Lilly

CatsFly

January 15th, 2010
2:54 pm

All’s I know is that according to SI, UGa would finish no higher than 5th in the ACC in 2010.

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
2:56 pm

Cats-Fly;

They beat the ACC champ this year

NewnanDawg

January 15th, 2010
3:15 pm

NC – unless someone enlightens us in the meantime, I’ll check it out on the numbers game and repost……

Go Dawgs!

Ryan

January 15th, 2010
3:16 pm

Thanks for the comments NCDAWG – haven’t heard of a number of the folks you mentioned, but anythings better than the band of misfits we ran out their last year. What’s the chance we finally abandon this directional kicking?

NewnanDawg

January 15th, 2010
3:23 pm

NCDAWG – pulled this line from an article about a program on probation this year……

“The football program also exceeded the maximum number of 11 countable coaches during the 2003-04 through 2006-07 academic years.”

I like your selections though – excellent results on the resumes.

Go Dawgs!

AltamahaDawg

January 15th, 2010
3:39 pm

Somebody else made the point, but its worth repeating. Rather than waiting 3 more weeks, till after the bowl game and announcing that he was letting some staff go Richt did it much sooner than is the norm. Obviously the guys he wanted to get serious about werent unemployed at that time, and it took while for the bowls to conclude, and the NFL to get to this point. I doubt very seriously this timing has been the least bit of a surprised to those that were involved. (no, the AJC was not involved)

He could have waited later to start the process, or hired somebody finished with thier work a long time ago. Does anyone wish he had done either?

backroads

January 15th, 2010
3:46 pm

How do we really know who was offered a positon before Garntham? I do not believe all of the crap put out by the AJC, ESPN, SI, et al, mentioning the rejects. The 3 supposed offers may have been promulgated by their respective agents to use as leverage to get pay and incentive boosts for all we know.

AltamahaDawg

January 15th, 2010
3:47 pm

You guys are forgetting that out All-Am punt team is coached by the TE coach. The return team returned 3 TD this year, coached by the RB coach. We also blocked a few things, thats a position coach. Our special teams have never been an issue being coached by position guys with the very rare exception of the kick coverage team in only the past 2 years. Last year they barely had enough guys to play and had to use walk-ons, and had a freshman KOer. This year the KO team was not nearly as bad as the perception, but if you want to blame that on Fabris, then problem solved. Let one of the new assistants take the KO coverage team, supply him with enough healthy players to do it, and we will never hear about it anymore.

Cuz

January 15th, 2010
4:12 pm

If Richt had not made Smart and offer, Dawgs fans would gripe. He did, Smart refused and we have what appears to be a darn good hire in Grantham. I remember fans griping that Evans and Richt would not go after big names. They did. That they would not put up the big bucks necessary, they did and have. I am satisfied with the way CMR handled this process.

Who is the biggest winner? Mike Bobo. He will get a raise with Grantham coming in with the big bucks.

Cuz

January 15th, 2010
4:12 pm

Fire Coach Grantham!

First!

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
4:12 pm

AltamahaDawg: I see your point, but I also think it is up to CMR to decide what he wants/is best for UGA. I am glad he took the stepswith the Defensive Coaches. UGA fans, reguardless if Grantham was #1 or #21 welcome him in and support him. The more I read about Travis Jones and Charlton Warren the more I want them at UGA….

Without-a-clue

January 15th, 2010
4:16 pm

When I see the Dawgs play nothing that resembles a “soft” defense but instead an attacking defense, then I’ll know that CMR made the right choice.

Papadawg

January 15th, 2010
4:20 pm

Fired from the Browns, who cares what the heck have they done right in awhile

Cuz

January 15th, 2010
4:24 pm

Papadawg, you may have a point. Fired from the Browns might be a step up.

Without-a-clue

January 15th, 2010
4:24 pm

As for resumes: Vince coached the freshman team at Auburn before he was hired at UGA.

Overpaid

January 15th, 2010
4:35 pm

UGA’s giving this guy a $500,000 raise to coach their D??? Are you serious–he was linebacker coach, making $250K with no other job offers. How does he now justify $750,000??? What a total joke and waste of Ga taxpayer money!

Bryan

January 15th, 2010
4:48 pm

NCDAWG: We need to hire you to coordinate the whole deal…..love the way this guy thinks!!! I behind you on your coaching picks! GO DAWGS!!!!

NCDAWG

January 15th, 2010
5:09 pm

Bryan: Thanks…….I would be shocked if it happens, but maybe if enought people talk about Travis Jones and Charlton Warren…then who knows?

Rome Dawg

January 15th, 2010
5:10 pm

Todd Grantham… Good hire!!! Even Todd Bridges from Different Strokes would have been an upgrade to Willie Martinez. Geez, glad those days are gone.

PT

January 15th, 2010
5:13 pm

Fate my have dealt UGA a better hand.

ONLY SERIOUS

January 15th, 2010
5:25 pm

I-DOG

January 15th, 2010
5:28 pm

I was begging for the 3-4 last Spring and it looks like it is coming to Athens. Not because one is better than the other 4-3 v. 3-4. However, I think UGA has more talent and depth at LB than we do at DE heading into next year and we sure did last year…which is more suited for a 3-4 defense.

Is it just me or does anyone else think that Kiante Trippe (spelling) could be an ideal 3-4 D end if he can stay away from injury? He does have one more year left, correct? Demarcus Dobbs seems like another good candidate for that role.

I think Grantham and his new staff will be able to take a guy like AJ Harmon and make him a solid backup noseguard in the 3-4 D. Hold two blockers at the point of attack and keep them off our LB’s so they can make the play. Tyson and Abry Jones have plenty of talent and size also, but they will be counted on heavily to fill some big shoes of the 3 seniors leaving.

I don’t think we will have a dominant defense next year, but I think we will be MUCH improved.