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’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.


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.


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

193 comments Add your comment


January 15th, 2010
5:35 pm

I think the salary is very high, but if he produces he’ll be worth every dime. Only time will tell.


January 15th, 2010
6:06 pm

To the UGA fans the “right” person was “any” person for UGA DC.

Mark Had To

January 15th, 2010
6:15 pm

Look, CMR had to ask the best current DC’s in the country to gauge there interest. Smart was the guy all along, not because he was the best hire, but because it was the only way to get the blow-hards to shut up. Now everyone, including the “CMR is stupid and is blowing it” crowd, knows that Kirby isn’t going anywhere. The short sighted folks are saying “Boy, Richt sure is making UGA look bad with all this rejection.” The reality is, CMR spent a month and a half, asking around, waiting for Smart, so that the fan base would come back down to earth when he said “no” and we could all move forward together. Pretty “smart” if you ask me.


January 15th, 2010
6:24 pm

Enter your comments here


January 15th, 2010
6:27 pm


I am so glad that we as UGA fans got to see the Tennessee head coaching search. I feel that UGA and Tennessee are very similar financially, football talent and prestige wise. Tennessee fired a loyal good coach in Fulmer who had one bad year. Some UGA fans are trying to do the same with Richt. Fulmer had brought UT several conference and one national championship but the fans got greedy and wanted more. Does this sound familiar? Look what happened, they abandoned their loyal coach for some Johnny come lately and got screwed royally. Now, they had to settle for a career wise 17-20 coach from a bottom tier 1-a program.

I hope UGA fans are paying attention!!! I’ve heard cries to fire Richt…Hire Muschamp…Hire Gary Patterson…Hire Jon Gruden…Hire Kirby Smart..

Guess what….Muschamp, Patterson, Gruden among others turned down Tennessee….Do you really thing they would come to UGA when they turned down Tennessee…I think not…

This goes to show what would probrably happen if UGA made the change with CMR…We would think that Muschamp would come home..nope…..Then we would try for Gruden…strike out….Then maybe for Gary Patterson…another whiff…Finally we would have to settle for someone nowhere near the credentials that CMR has…I hope this DC search and Tennessee HC search has been an eye opener to you studid fans calling for Richt’s head


January 15th, 2010
6:28 pm

I really think that Grantham has been CMR guy all along…He had to make an offer to Smart to excite the fanbase and probrably knew he wouldn’t take it…


January 15th, 2010
6:32 pm

Travis Jones, Travis Jones, Travis Jones, Did I mention Travis Jones for a position on the UGA defensive staff? Check him out at: / Jones.aspx


January 15th, 2010
6:57 pm


I agree Travis Jones!!! Also Check out Charlton Warren:


January 15th, 2010
7:23 pm

I’m glad Richt saw that the LB play has been horrible at UGA and made a big step to address that issue.Look at the commit list…we have a lot of physical specimens coming in this class.


January 15th, 2010
7:26 pm

I’ll be glad when Richt’s regime is over and tickets will be plentifull!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


January 15th, 2010
7:42 pm

I think the phrase “you can’t please everyone all the time” is perfect for the UGA hire……Grantham is a great hire he is “LEGIT”. Half the “nah sayers” will be SLOBBERING ON HIS KNOB…when we are sitting on top of the SEC EAST! GO DAWGS!!!! Mark Richt is a great coach as well…for the record ;)


January 15th, 2010
7:51 pm

kirby smart pick nick saban over money how about that i guess when he said it not always green on the other side you work for money right. poor will muschamp what a lame deal in todays world people all ready no when some body going to retire you and smart are to fools real people do not turn down money and opportunity


January 15th, 2010
7:52 pm

you girls will not be near the top of the SEC East for a long, long time….you will not beat FL anytime in the near future say 5 or 6 years…Meyer went right to the pros to replace Strong, and BTW have you seen this years Gator class… scared puppies, the beatdowns will continue


January 15th, 2010
7:56 pm

I’m glad the GATORS have a big time class.There will be less whining about Tebow leaving.Great I want Meyer and Gator fans brimming with confidence in JAX


January 15th, 2010
7:57 pm

smart pick saban over money how about that

Salty Dawg

January 15th, 2010
8:04 pm

I, for one, am quite pleased with the Grantham hire. I know a lot of people had their hearts set on Smart, but he would have been a short timer had he taken the role and I believe Grantham will be with us for the long haul. I also think it speaks volumes about his integrity that he is sticking with Dallas through the playoffs. It always amazes me when a coach takes a new position and leaves his old team in the lurch during the playoffs or bowl preparations. What encourages me the most are the quotes I’ve heard from Grantham since the announcement. He seems like he will encourage a very aggressive and physical defense, which Athens has lacked for some time. I love smash mouth football and that seems right up Grantham’s alley. Looking forward to big improvements and a solid season.


January 15th, 2010
8:07 pm

why wouldn’t the Gators be brimming with confidence we’ve kicked your sorry asses 17 times out of the last 20 and John Brantley is way better than your inexperienced red shirts BTW the defense will not miss a step with the 3 D lineman coming in and the O line is almost intact so get ready for the annual beatdown and your new D coordinators initiation to a Gator puppy crusher


January 15th, 2010
8:20 pm

This guy can coach and will be a hit with the recruits. No doubt he will spark the defense.


January 15th, 2010
8:35 pm

This is an excellent hire. UGA has needed NFL experience in the ranks for a long time. I was one of the guys that did not want Kirby from the get-go. At least you know what we’re getting with TG.


January 15th, 2010
8:43 pm

I’m trying to control my laughter after reading all the rationalizations here.

Truth: Richt got dissed by 3 potential DC’s he was after
Truth: Grantham was not our first choice

Speculation: One of the reasons that potential DC’s stayed away is because they see Richt as a potential lame duck coach. People were calling for Martinez’s head on a plate for years. The din is now rising for Bobo. Both of these guys are Richt hires. It’s only a matter of time before the ire is turned on Richt himself. It’s not sporting to bark at nice guys, but, if he doesn’t start producing it won’t matter. We had 2 1st round draft choices year before last and were a preseason #1. Where did we end up? We’ve got all this talent coming in with highly rated recruiting classes and where has it gotten us?

There’s more wrong with this program than just a DC. We have accepted mediocrity and make excuses for it.

Say what you will by my pessimistic tone. And in the same breath rationalize some more on this hire and our overall standing in the SEC.


January 15th, 2010
10:10 pm

“”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.”"

True he did not recruit them, but if Gailey was the coach, Thomas, Morgan, Burnette and Dwyer would have been watching the Orange Bowl on the sofa with the rest of us.

Coach Johnson develops his players. Coach MR has had “top ten” recruiting classes for years on end, and I did not see his team in the top 25 at year end.

Beware the Dooley led Vols!!!!!


January 15th, 2010
10:22 pm

Jimmy you are dead on, If Richt had hired Grantham (or anyone) before forcing Smart to flat turn him down, we would never hear the end of that moaning and groaning.

I also think the first part of the process was narrowing it down to 4-6 men they would have hired. And most of the middle part had to do with setting and managing the expectations for the dollars involved.. And then the hard press to close.

Looks to me as if the whole thing was done in an extremely professional manner.


January 15th, 2010
10:29 pm

MMX, not pessimistic as much as simple-minded, banal, and just a tad too predictable to be believable.


January 15th, 2010
10:37 pm

“” If Richt had hired Grantham (or anyone) before forcing Smart to flat turn him down, we would never hear the end of that moaning and groaning. “”

OK, I get delusion of saying Grantham was always the #1 choice, even though 3 others turned it down. We have to act pleased to mask the failures.

But the rationaliztion of CMR offering Smart and in the same breath “forcing” him to turn him down. What the heck??????????????????


January 15th, 2010
10:37 pm

Derek Dooley, walk-on Academic All-ACC receiver at Virginia, UGA Law Degree, becomes famous overnight at $2.4 million dollars a year for 5 years.

Nick Saban Disciple both at LSU and the Miami Dolphins, he left the NFL to be head coach and then also Athletics Director at Louisiana State of the WAC.

He doesn’t or hasn’t thrown the football, which doesn’t surprise any UGA fans.


That’s more than Vincent J. Dooley ever made by a long wide margin.

In Stark contrast to the impetuous aggressive arrogant presumptuous Lame Kitten hired by Mike Hamilton, Derek Dooley is smart, conservative, and very rich.

I know, he had 2 losing seasons sandwich his one good year the year before last at Louisiana Tech, but here is the common thread of Mike Hamilton’s 2 most recent hires as coach : Dooley lost many close ballgames. Moral Victories. Here, he will fit in well with the vols, whose hatred for everything Bulldog finds them reaching into the WAC to steal their head coach to come coach for the vols.

Running the football makes your Defensive Stats look better.

I expect Derek Dooley to bring some respect back to the vols long-suffering football program both in the classrooms and off Cumberland Boulevard.

Win and losses ?

That hasn’t been a priority for the vols in a long time, now.

Strengths :

(1)Classroom, Coach Dooley is a smart young man.

(2)off Cumberland Boulevard, Coach Dooley is a conservative who will not put up with that stuff any more.

(3)Respectability by saying the right statements instead of every wrong statement by every vols’ head football coach ever, in the past, this also will be a huge improvement finally for the former Hillbillies of college football.

(4)Wins and Losses might well follow, and if they don’t Coach Dooley got Vince and Barbara twelve million dollars for taking care of them in their old age, with a huge helping hand by his mentor Nick Saban of Alabama, and it does seem that Nick Saban’s Disciples actually all are extremely good at Coaching.

I know y’all expect me to criticize this choice, but I do not, I actually like it.

Coach Dooley, this is a refreshing change, finally for the vols.

It’s going to be great having a conservative, smart, student of the game, with a pedigree in coaching second to none in whom he has studied under, to the North finally, for a change. I never in my lifetime thought that any of Coach Dooley’s values were of any importance to anyone with the vols, ever.

I applaud this choice. I doubt it will change anything with the vols but if he stays there 5 years, that would be great wouldn’t it ? Just imagine, no more laughing at the vols’ head coaches’ stupid hillbillies idiotic wild crap.

It changes the entire outlook of the vols, instantly. Now, if the vols’ fans can change to his type of good person…

…wait, that is asking too much. Who knows, some truly good guys may finally even play on the football teams for the vols one day. I will hold my breath on that one too, and hope beyond hope that we see Coach Dooley’s values rub off on the worst bad boys of All-Time ever in the nation.

And, a national abomination of a football program for some time now.

Good Luck vols, but I have got to share with you that Coach Dooley doesn’t fit in with the rest of you Hillbillies, you yahoos.


January 15th, 2010
10:42 pm

Altamaha, the truth hurts baby. You’re living in denial if you think Richt will ever get to the pinnacle.

Pull your head out of the sand and come on in for the big win, buddy. We’ve been mired in mediocrity for years. Richt is right out of the Dooley mold. If you’re old enough then you’ll remember the calls for his arse because he had a dead offense. “3 yds & a cloud of dust” Dooley. Great D, or let’s say Erk had a great D. 25 years at UGA and he wins one NC and a few SEC titles. And we built a statue for that.




January 15th, 2010
10:46 pm

Dump Dooley.

That’s the way I recall it, and I remember everything.


January 15th, 2010
10:52 pm

I am pretty sure from reading your take, I am quite a bit older than you.


January 16th, 2010
12:06 am

MMX??? Mental Midget to the eXtreme. Yes, that’s got to be it.


January 16th, 2010
12:12 am

Circus Act,

Obviously you attended the same school of faulty logic and lack of judgment as Schultz and Bradley. Nobody else cares in the long run how long it took to hire the DC. The only thing that matters is that we got a good one who will fix the D.

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.”


January 16th, 2010
12:19 am


I guess a fair amount of wind has been taken out of your sails. You will no longer be able to RANT and RAVE on about how NOT ONE NFL coach is on or has been on Coach Richt’s staff. We will NEVER have to hear that JUNK from your mouth AGAIN. Of course, my expectations are low on your moderating any of your other observations, at least in the short run.

On a positive note, on which we hopefully can agree, How ‘Bout Them Dawgs!!!


January 16th, 2010
6:00 am

Excuse me ?

I make the point that Coach Richt had ZERO coaches on his ENTIRE “COACHING STAFF” who had even 1 DAY NFL COACHING EXPERIENCE, and he actually LISTENS and DOES get a guy with 11 years NFL experience on my alma mater’s football coaching staff, and you WHAT D.A. ?

Say I am going to SHUT UP ABOUT IT NOW ?


The fact is that is EXACTLY WHAT I CALLED FOR.


NOW, it has.

It is what I said.

It is EXACTLY what you NEVER SAID.

While we are on the point, we have a LOT MORE COACHES TO HIRE for that sorry “coaching staff” ALL THE REST OF US, EXCEPT FOR YOU, really did NOT care for.

17-19 against Final AP Poll Top 25 teams in 9 years plus 8 more losses



Hires a guy for $750,000 a year from the Dallas Cowboys who have a GREAT DEFENSE with 11 years NFL coaching experience.

It was obvious to me he HAD to do THAT all along. The same goes for the rest of this “coaching staff” who have absolutely WASTED our Average Number 7 Recruiting Class 10 years in a row in both and Rivals.

I am NOT HAPPY about :

NOT ACCEPTABLE, while you sit there and tell me how great we are :

Coaching 4th best state high school players who go on to NFL :

17-19 vs Final AP Poll Top 25 teams Richt Era plus 8 Losses NOT RANKED teams.


January 16th, 2010
6:05 am

My observations are spot-on.


January 16th, 2010
6:06 am

Which is why you NEVER address a single observation of mine and point out where I am incorrect.

I am NOT.


January 16th, 2010
6:52 am

Ilove the Richt comments about the boys getting turned loosed under Grantham….does that mean in his role of head coach that he could not tell Willie to do that last year? He confuses me…


January 16th, 2010
9:01 am

Another reason why your program is headed DOWN. Coach Richt has NO discipline or control over his team….. He has reinstated a guy who should have been shown the road. Oh, but he won’t let the guy play the first two games….. I forget whether his two game suspension is before or after this guys court date for assaulting a female…. I don’t care how good the coach is, with this kind of accountability coming from the HC, your program is a JOKE!


January 16th, 2010
10:03 am

Guy you should be worried about GT going 6-6 this year.


January 16th, 2010
10:12 am

Let’s get behind this guy and support him. He needs time to rebuild the defense because of the garbage WM left behind.


January 16th, 2010
10:56 am

I think it went like most hires, first you ask all of the ones that have star quality first. Then you get serious and find a good assistant.

Big Bob

January 16th, 2010
11:02 am

Grantham is the right guy. It really doesn’t matter if we looked at college DCs firt or not, the fact is we have the right man. I like the fact that he has years of coaching experience in the NFL and on the college level. I think he will relate well to players and play a very agressive stype of defense, which we have so sorely missed. Things have a way of working out for the best and I am glad we did not get any of the coaches we talked to first. This is the MAN!

Jack Sports buzz

January 16th, 2010
11:05 am

750K a year for an NFL d-line coach is too much for such a short term job.


January 16th, 2010
2:46 pm

UGA would never have satisfied the masses on the vent and etc unless he made a pitch for smart,even if it did cost us a lot of cash and set the standard very high in terms of dollars. I believe that he may have had something along this line in mind all the time. We really know of only two offers,the last being accepted. It appears to have been a well thought out plan even with all the crazy UGA fools and Tech media representatives paid by AJC.


January 17th, 2010
5:55 am


January 15th, 2010
2:33 pm

How does this look:

Shane Beamer- 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

Your list is impressive. What about a top notch strength&conditioning coach?