Grantham’s aggressive style pleases this Dawg fan

Todd Grantham is saying all the right things so far. (Dallas Morning News)

Todd Grantham is saying all the right things so far. (Dallas Morning News)

Like most UGA fans, I’ve been closely parsing Todd Grantham’s initial words about his defensive plans for the Dogs, and so far I like what I hear.

Now, granted, in the recent past there’s often been a disconnect between what we hear and what we end up seeing on the field. Remember all the talk last summer about Joe Cox’s accuracy and how Bryan Evans was coming into his own at safety?

And while the lion’s share of the focus is likely to be on Grantham’s plans to go with three defensive linemen and four linebackers, instead of the opposite under Willie Martinez, the scheme wasn’t always the problem under Martinez. Too often, the Dogs showed poor fundamentals when it came to tackling and getting off blocks. I’m anxious to see how that (hopefully) improves under Grantham.

But what I particularly liked, though, was Grantham’s very first promise in the prepared statement UGA released announcing his hiring: “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.”

I wanted to jump to my feet and holler “Hallelujah!”

As Gen. George Patton once said, “Nobody ever defended anything successfully; there is only attack and attack and attack some more.”

One of the most frustrating things about the Georgia defense under Martinez was its soft zones and read-and-react philosophy. Too often, the reading took so long that the reaction came too late. Thus a team like Tennessee could take a simple offensive plan like play-action and devastate the Georgia defense.

It was notable that when the makeshift defensive staff simplified the schemes and reduced the number of reads for the Independence Bowl game, the defense played much better.

And don’t get me started on the way Martinez’s defense often left the middle of the field wide open — a real problem if there wasn’t much pressure on the quarterback.

Now, I’m not expecting miracles from Grantham in his first season. Georgia will have back six of the 11 defensive players who started the bowl game, so there’ll be an experience gap in addition to learning new schemes.

But the new defensive coordinator’s emphasis on a Nick Saban-style attacking defense that rushes the passer constantly and puts a premium on busting into the backfield quickly to disrupt the offense makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. It’s just how I like to see the game played, and it’s obviously done wonders for Saban.

I’m also encouraged that Grantham sounds flexible. One of the most frequent complaints I heard about Martinez was that he tried to play his base defense no matter what the other team was doing, and he was slow to adjust. Says Grantham: “We’re always going to match personnel or have the ability to match personnel, meaning if someone adds a third wideout in the game, we can add an extra DB in the game. We could end up playing multiple fronts out of that nickel package whether it be four down or three down and kind of go that route.”

I would assume that also means that if a team has a strong inside running game, the offensive attack that the 3-4 alignment is most vulnerable to, Grantham will adjust accordingly.

Another thing the new DC said Friday that pleased me was that he likes to evaluate his players “one through 50″ and “find a way to get your top players on the field, because to be an aggressive attacking style of defense and to make plays, you have got to have playmakers.” I would hope that would mean we wouldn’t see any more situations like this past season, where a defensive player continued to start long after it was obvious his backup was better.

What also caught my eye was Grantham saying “what you want as a defense, after the game is over [is] the team you just played are so happy they don’t have to play you anymore. In order to do that I think it takes great conditioning and I think it takes great preparation.” I’m wondering how all the questions about the effectiveness of Georgia’s conditioning program (which Buck Belue cited as one of the supposed reasons Kirby Smart turned the job down) will play into that. If there’s an aspect of the program that Mark Richt still needs to address besides overall discipline, it’s probably strength and conditioning.

But that’s a discussion for another day. Right now visions of stunts and blitzes and sacks and fumbles are dancing in my head, and I’m ready to see the old “GATA” slogan that Richt cited Friday once again become the ruling mindset Between the Hedges!

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331 comments Add your comment

Dawg Master

January 18th, 2010
10:19 pm

With Grantham, who will be the top D coordinator in the SEC, the Dawgs will rule the SEC east, and easily shut down florida, tennessee and tech. Tech may have trouble getting 13 points next season in Athens. The old geezer that Tech hired will not stop the Georgia O. Tech loses 5 games in 2010–mark it down.

BuLLdawg

January 18th, 2010
11:13 pm

QUOTE :

by Go DOGS January 17th, 2010 1:43 pm

“Yeah! Bobo is REAL solid as an OC, please. Hell! A armchair DC like me knew his next play on almost every down last year. I can guarentee the DC for the opposing team was salivating when they watched film on the UGA O before their game with us.”

“He, or more like Richt, did impress me in the Tech game, though. Funny how when the game is on the line, Richt kinda takes over the play calling, eh?”

END QUOTE

Yes. Great spot on comments. I knew I heard everyone boo at Sanford Stadium. Boo the play calls.

Boo Mike Bobo’s play calls.

2008 when we had Knowshon Moreno, we ran the football to Knowshon against Alabama, Florida, and Georgia tek an average of 14 carries per game.

Why did we LOSE all 3 games ?

2007 when we had Knowshon Moreno, we ran the football to Knowshon against South Carolina and Tennessee an average of 13 carries per game.

Why did we LOSE those games too ?

2009 against Georgia tek, after we had LOST 5 GAMES and had beat NO Final AP Poll Top 25 team all season long low and behold, we run the football 44 times against Number 13 Georgia tek and threw the football only 14 times, and we WIN.

Isn’t it amazing.

In 9 years of The Coach Richt Era, we have beat 3 Final AP Poll Top 10 teams, and only 1 of those by David Greene. He never repeated it after his freshman season hobnailed boot win.

17-19 vs Final AP Poll Top 25 teams plus 8 Losses UNRANKED teams

Since Mike Bobo took over as Offensive Coordinator, we have beat ZERO Final AP Poll Top 10 teams.

LOST 2009 to Oklahoma State, UNRANKED Final AP Top 25.

LOST 2009 to LSU # 17, otherwise they aren’t ranked, LSU beat no one..

LOST 2009 to vols UNRANKED 7-6 team otherwise not winning record.

LOST 2009 to Florida, 2-7 vs. Florida who owns Coach Richt.

LOST 2009 to Kentucky UNRANKED 7-6 team otherwise not winning record.

LOST 2008 to Georgia tek # 22, otherwise they aren’t ranked.

LOST 2008 to Alabama, who has better coach too.

LOST 2008 to Florida, 2-7 vs. Florida who owns Coach Richt.

LOST 2007 to South Carolina UNRANKED 6-6 not even in bowl game.

LOST 2007 to vols, who therefore Won SEC East thanks to blowout.

Final AP Poll Top 25 teams beat with Mike Bobo Offensive Coordinator:

2009-2010 we beat only GA tek Number 13 and that is a great win for us.

2008-2009 we beat really no one # 24 Michigan St no business being ranked.

2007-2008 we beat # 19 Hawaii oh that’s great, # 13 Florida, # 15 Auburn.

Mike Bobo has EXACTLY no win over a Final AP Poll Top 10 team.

Mike Bobo has 2 wins over Final AP Poll Number 13 teams.

Mike Bobo has 1 win over Final AP Poll Number 15 team.

Mike Bobo has 2 wins over Final AP Poll 19 and 24 teams.

Everyone above Number 13 in the Final AP Poll Top 25 has beat Mike Bobo.

How can you finish any higher than Number 14 ?

The wins over Hawaii and Michigan State are hardly good wins.

Mike Bobo is 5-6 vs Final AP Poll Top 25 teams, as the Offensive Coordinator. Overall, Coach Richt is now 17-19 vs Final AP Poll Top 25 teams in The Coach Richt Era.

Mike Bobo has Lost to 4 UNRANKED teams in the Final AP Poll Top 25. Overall, Coach Richt now has Lost to 8 UNRANKED teams in the Final AP Poll Top 25.

If Mike Bobo was to be the answer to our Offense, the record is clear; Bobo has NOT been the answer as Offensive Coordinator.

NOT GOOD Mike Bobo as Offensive Coordinator, are we ?

Since Mike Bobo took over as Offensive Coordinator, we have beat ZERO Final AP Poll Top 10 teams, are 5-6 vs Final AP Poll Top 25 teams, and have another 4 Losses to UNRANKED teams in the Final AP Poll Top 25 – the real teams we played that season.

LOSING RECORD

You are right Go DOGS. And, isn’t it amazing there are those who argue that in this blog right here today that we are great with Mike Bobo OC.

Mike Bobo 5-6 vs Final AP Poll Top 25 plus 4 Losses to UNRANKED teams

BuLLdawg

January 18th, 2010
11:29 pm

Who cares what Georgia tek does next season ?

They played 6 games against teams NOT EVEN IN A BOWL GAME and there are 35 bowls, top 70 teams.

How in the living hell can Georgia tek play 6 games against teams NOT EVEN IN A BOWL GAME ?

South Carolina beat Climpsum Farmers then UGA beat Georgia tek, and then THOSE 2 hapless ACC teams played each other for the ACC CHUMPionship Game.

The ACC is a joke.

And, anyway, it has been 56 years since 1955 that Georgia tek won a MAJOR BOWL GAME.

UGA has been to 8 MAJOR BOWL GAMES since Georgia tek last even went to one.

UGA has Won 2 of the 3 MAJOR BOWL BCS Games Coach Richt has been to. But, of course, that was BEFORE Mike Bobo became our answer on Offense, as our Offensive Coordinator getting boos from everyone at Sanford Stadium calling running plays on 3rd and 10 – giving up.

When 1 team loses 5 games while only playing 3 non-bowl teams and the other team plays in a horrible lousy conference without a Top Ranked Team who NEVER has a top-ranked team and plays 6 games against teams NOT EVEN IN A BOWL GAME with 70 teams in a bowl game and loses 3 games, has not won a bowl game in 5 Consecutive Years and not won a MAJOR BOWL in 56 years, it doesn’t matter one bit what they did in the NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME, ACC.

I just don’t care. 30-24 for the 8th time in 9 years of Coach Richt Era. And, our Academic Progress Rate APR is much higher for our football team than their APR for their football team.

BuLLdawg

January 18th, 2010
11:34 pm

And, if you had something to say, you’d say it.

Instead of sitting there acting like you are God’s Damn Gift.

At least some folks on here have the PAIR you do NOT to try to say something about the fact that I am in great shape with our Defense and Special Teams today, but that it is OUR OFFENSE THAT SUCKS, has SUCKED, and will CONTINUE TO SUCK.

BuLLdawg

January 18th, 2010
11:53 pm

I see TommyP

TommyP

has NOT shown back up after calling Mike Bobo our 2009 Quarterback who was the # 1 QB in The Entire SEC last year and saying that TJ Stripling WOULD NEVER SEE THE FIELD in 2010.

bob

January 19th, 2010
12:00 am

If Grantham obesity causes his heart to explode within the next 3 years, does UGA have to pay his salary?

BuLLdawg

January 19th, 2010
12:35 am

CBS SPORTS Dennis Dodd has UGA UNRANKED.

Why do you provide this preseason poll URL Link ?

Dennis Dodd is not a recognized Poll.

He has Texas at Number 11 for God’s sake.

And, Georgia tek at Number 10. For what ?

Dennis Dodd has proved to be one of the VERY WORST predictors of anything to do with college football.

The other polls I have seen all have UGA in the Top 25.

That is all that matters at this point. That and getting Aaron Murry to practice.

And, getting out best play-makers on the field, like TJ Stripling.

And, getting Mike Bobo OUT OF HERE.

It’s hard for a guy like Dennis Dodd to get too excited about UGA’s Offense, while he totally overlooks our 2 top-kickers and our Excellent Defense for 2010.

We’re a little thin at running back.

We don’t have good credentials with Mike Bobo as Offensive Coordinator having beat no top 10 Final AP Poll team the entire time he has been our OC while he has LOST 4 games to unranked teams and is 5-6 against the Final AP Poll Top 25.

We play 2 of CBS SPORTS Dennis Dodd Top 10 teams and we play Arkansas whom he also has highly ranked, and I figure we win 2 of those 3.

10-3. It could be 9-4 with this Offense. I doubt seriously we go 8-5 again losing to 2 UNRANKED TEAMS both 7-6 the vols and Kentucky.

After all Coach Richt only loses to 1 UNRANKED TEAM in the Final AP Poll Top 25 every year with 8 in 9 years.

19-20 vs Final AP Poll Top 25 teams in 10 years plus 9 losses UNRANKED teams, that is my prediction for this 10-3 or 9-4 season. Then, everyone can come back in here and tell me how great we are again this time next year. And, how we are going to beat Alabama (Have to agree Bama Fan, that was funny.) DISNEYDAWGS. We are NOT who you say we are, we have not been, and we will NOT be. Not with this offense.

Advocare 100 addict

January 19th, 2010
7:10 am

Grant ham
……………..will enjoy Shreveport next year.

N Saban

January 19th, 2010
7:32 am

Dayum buLLdawg—-get a freakin life!

Ryan

January 19th, 2010
8:52 am

Are people really talking about pre-season polls for 2010?

Seriously?

Can’t they even wait until after spring practice to see what teams have or don’t have?

And regardless, it doesn’t matter if you are unranked pre-season, if you are in the SEC. If you win out, you’ll be at the top.

Think about it. Let’s imagine Vanderbilt went on a miracle run and won the SEC. Think they wouldn’t be #1?

Brian "Nasty Boy" Knobbs

January 19th, 2010
8:53 am

Granthams Stout – please provide a link to prove Nick Saban wanted to hire Grantham. Nick’s first hire at Alabama was Kevin Steele as his DC. He never went after Grantham you delusional leg humper. Get a life AND enjoy that Advocare Championship.

Grantham's Stout

January 19th, 2010
9:03 am

You saying ESPN has a conspiracy going about Grantham turning down Saban?
you’re a clown boy. Chris Low is reporting the same thing. Here’s your link loser where Low says Saban was spurned and turned down by Grantham–it’s pretty common knowledge if you knew ANYTHING about football.

http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/8165/richt-zeroing-in-on-cowboys-grantham

Grantham's Stout

January 19th, 2010
9:28 am

Todd Grantham was named by a lot of sources to be the guy Bama wanted as their Head Coach if Saban turned them down for the job.

http://www.tidefans.com/forums/tidefans-com-articles/52644-alabama-wants-start-new-year-off-big-way-jessn.html

Old Coach

January 19th, 2010
10:09 am

buLLdawg
What a bunch of crap, you should take another name to post with. Mike Bobo lost, MIke Bobo beat no unranked teams, Mike Bobo this and that…. Folks like you who never played a down much less would not be permitted to coach a decent 9/10 year rec team have no clue about TEAM and what it takes to build a winner in the always tough SEC. I think CMR has a real idea about what gives UGA the best opportunity to win and he chooses Bobo and nobody gives a rats a$$ what a do nothing like you thinks or does! Support the Dogs or go away hopefully the last! Get a life.

yellowjacket82

January 19th, 2010
12:29 pm

With fans like BuLLdawg, I’m less embarrassed about St Simons and m.

I feel Grantham was a good selection. With UGA’s defensive line and traditionally good linebackers, Grantham should be sucessful, but hopefully not too sucessful against GT in Nov.

hotbobby

January 19th, 2010
4:37 pm

I hear Martinez was a hellvua positions coach!

tennessee tom

January 19th, 2010
4:55 pm

tennessee just hired kevin steele,01-19-2010,i think tn is better off than a week ago

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

January 19th, 2010
4:56 pm

BuLLdawg, damn son can’t you afford to get your prescriptions filled? I think I speak for most when I say……….You are BORING. We don’t want to read your readers digest style rants….Please shorten them up………thanks in advance

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

January 19th, 2010
5:01 pm

Tenn Tom, I think you’re right. If Dooley puts a good staff together UT will be a solid team IF they find a competent QB. It will be harder to hate UT with D Dooley as coach, but I think I’m up to the task ;)

shane#1

January 19th, 2010
5:25 pm

Kam, it is perfectly acceptable to hate the team and like, or at least not hate, their coach.

Yeah!

January 19th, 2010
5:34 pm

First!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike Bobo

January 19th, 2010
6:19 pm

BuLLdawg, Did you ever play any sports? Didn’t think so. You are the biggest idiot on these blogs. You just ramble on about nothing all day and night. We dawg fans hate you and wish you would just leave.

Mike Bobo

January 19th, 2010
6:21 pm

BuLLdawg, Did you ever go to school? Didn’t think so.

southgadawg

January 19th, 2010
7:25 pm

please teach them how to tackle. have the right angle, wrap your arms around the guy, lock you wrists and break his back. then pick him up and put his butt on the ground. this bumping a guy ar running into him don’t work. they teach this in grammar school. it ain’t that hard.

Math Wizard

January 19th, 2010
8:10 pm

New math in Athens:

$250,000 for nfl linebacker coach
$750,000 for college coordinator, 4th choice

Old Coach

January 19th, 2010
8:32 pm

Math Wizard
CMR hired who he wanted to return Ga. to the top of the SEC Go back to your $5.00 per hour job!! Go DAWGS!!!

[...] Bill King on UGA’s new defensive coordinator [...]

BuLLdawg

January 20th, 2010
12:54 am

Old coach,

How many UGA fans are you going to try to put down for you to try to support a guy who has beat no Final AP Poll Top 10 team, is 5-6 against Final AP Poll Top 25 teams, and has Lost 4 games against teams UNRANKED in the Final AP Poll Top 25 as our “Offensive Coordinator” ?

Well, huh ? How many UGA Bulldog fans are you going to try to put down for daring to say, that is NOT good for Mike Bobo.

Kenny Powers

January 20th, 2010
9:22 am

IS BILL STILL ON THE AJC PAYROLL???????

Defense Wins

January 20th, 2010
9:18 pm

With the Dawgs now having the best D in the SEC, I don’t see any teams on their schedule who they will lose to! This could be a huge year for the dawgs with a top recruiting class coming in and tons of returning talent. GA should definitely make the BCS bowls this year—no more minor bowls for a long time.

chazzo

January 22nd, 2010
8:10 am

Clearly it will take an aggressive D to win in the SEC. I can’t help but think also that it will take a 3-4 D. To beat Saban, who inevitable you will have to beat, your offense had better stand up to the 3-4. It will help if the guys go against a 3-4 in practice all year. While it might seem far fetched to assume that Saban’s D scheme weighed into the decision, just look at all the firing and hiring and moving going on. Coaches with a connection to Saban or who coached directly under him were at a premium. Everyone knows he’s the guy to beat.

Other teams in the league, particularly the west, are coming on. But, if you win the east, you will most likely face Saban in Atlanta.