Heat Check: Grantham needs to sit; Johnson needs to chill

Todd Grantham: A case in point.

Todd Grantham is shown here debating the finer points of decorum.

Our weekly Heat Check arrives a day late due to Columbus Day. (Wait. That was last week? Never mind.) And we start at the obvious boiling-over point.

Todd Grantham, Georgia: He’s proving he’s a good defensive coordinator. (The Bulldogs rank eighth nationally in total defense.) He’s also showing he’s a bully. Giving the choke sign to an opposing player was bush league. Getting into it with the Vanderbilt coach — the Vanderbilt coach, I emphasize — after a victory tainted the whole winning effort and cheapened the Bulldogs’ brand, which had been in the process of undergoing some needed touch-up.

It’s one thing for players to get excited and stomp on a logo. (Georgia managed that trick at Vandy a while back.) It’s another for a grown man — Grantham is 45, which means he meets the Mike Gundy standard for grown-man status — to embarrass the program twice in 12 months. And I don’t buy the whole I’m-just-standing-up-for-my-players line: You can stand up for your players without baying at the moon.

(An aside here: I’d also be careful about angering this Vandy coach. James Franklin is going to beat some big names very soon.)

Don’t know what the SEC will do regarding Grantham. Don’t know if the SEC will do anything. Were I Greg McGarity and/or Mark Richt, I’d suspend Grantham for one game.

And who does Georgia play next? Florida. Yes, it’s a massive game for this football program. But sitting Grantham would also send a massive message: This is not how we do it at Georgia.

Now, do I think such a suspension will occur? Nope. But it should. Heat Index: Too darn hot.

Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech: His team lost at Virginia and looked bad doing it. His postgame briefing was a classic in sardonic semi-humor. A highlight was PJ’s description of the long field goal attempt that was kicked “into the back of the line.” The word “bonehead” was invoked. From a dispassionate perspective, these sessions are always entertaining. That said …

I wonder, not for the first time, how Johnson’s players take them. No, they’re not in the room for his media sessions, but I’d imagine they read the highlights somewhere. I also imagine they hear similar sentiments expressed by PJ himself behind closed doors. And it’s undeniable that the feeling around Tech is that the Jackets win only when they do what the coach says and lose whenever they don’t.

And that, if you’re a player, gets old. As smart as a coach is — and Tech’s coach is very smart — he’s not out there getting smacked by 500 pounds of opposing manpower. Johnson is a great play-caller, but somebody wearing shoulder pads does have to make even the clever plays of his work.

I’m sure it’’s a lot of fun to play for Tech when everything’s working and you’re gaining 768 yards, but I wonder how much of a treat it is to be around Johnson when his team just laid an egg in Charlottesville. Can’t blame a coach for wanting more and better — that’s pretty much his job — but I think he needs to cut his men a bit more slack. Heat index: A chill pill for PJ would not be unwarranted.

By Mark Bradley

900 comments Add your comment

NC Dawg

October 18th, 2011
10:36 am

Mark Bradley

October 18th, 2011
10:40 am

kappellmeister

October 18th, 2011
10:43 am

Do you actually have enough info to warrant a suspension? I mean, just cuz Franklin said he and his squad were innocent bystanders don’t make it so. Granted, I would have preferred Grantham not have reacted that way, but you nor I have any idea what might have transpired. I trust Richt’s judgment over yours on this one, Mr. Bradley.

DonA

October 18th, 2011
10:43 am

Mark, How do you know what Franklin said to Grantham that set him off? Why was Franklin going after a Georgia player when Grantham got involved? Watch the whole video please.
In addition Franklin needs to stop whining about opponent’s players taunting his team and win a few games before declaring Vandy a new team.

GA_DAWG10

October 18th, 2011
10:43 am

Grantham is, and has been, an embarrassment. Vanderbilt had 3 points TOTAL in two weeks prior to the Georgia game…and avg’d 40 yards on the ground. They did a little better than that against his “awesome” defense. No other schools complain about Vanderbilt (it’s Vanderbilt! for pete’s sake) and then he shows his rear like that. Not the kind of coach that should represent one of the best schools in the country.

Gregg

October 18th, 2011
10:43 am

I usually agree with most of your thoughts (which is scary). However, I don’t agree with suspending Grantham. In fact, I’m a little surprised that this story still has “legs”.

01HAWK

October 18th, 2011
10:43 am

I doubt if UGA suspends GRANTHAM. Maybe the SEC does it.

Classless program with a bunch of players who TRASH TALK all game long.

CROWELL is the worse trash talker and he is just wet behind the ears freshman.

Dawg48

October 18th, 2011
10:44 am

It’s time to find another topic! But any way I will say this James Franklin is a poor mans lame kiffin time will show us that!

Briley Parkway

October 18th, 2011
10:44 am

So Mark, would you also advocate Vandy suspending coach Franklin for a game as well, since he appears to have instigated the confrontation by going after a Georgia player, and was as equally animated as Grantham?

Supes

October 18th, 2011
10:44 am

Mark, you can’t suspend Grantham for a game…that maybe the most far fetched thing you’ve ever written. Perhaps you want Mark Richt to call the defensive plays?

If you want fine him a portion of his salary (one game check) and have that go towards a charity. It sends just as much of a message.

Dallas Dawg

October 18th, 2011
10:44 am

Can we please move on from this whole Grantham thing. So two grown men yelled and cussed at each other…stop the presses!! Both men lost their head for a second, but nothing happened. No punches thrown, just two men acting like boys for a second GET OVER IT!!!!!!

Spanky

October 18th, 2011
10:46 am

Mark, I gotta respectfully disagree with your view on Grantham…As a head coach, Franklin should know better than to come after a Georgia football player like that! Why the heck is that NOT the issue?! Coach Grantham’s stance is “Leave my players alone!”…..No, Mark…this was justified in my humble opinion.

brenda

October 18th, 2011
10:46 am

anger is the enemy of instruction

Dawg in AL

October 18th, 2011
10:46 am

Maybe we should just quit keeping score and act like it was kids soccer or something. Big time money and big time program equals big time pressure. Both coaches listed here are emotional, think both fan bases were complaining about Richt being non-emotional. So, you can’t have it both ways. If the NFL did not fine, why would the SEC or UGA suspend. He apologized, move on.

red hill

October 18th, 2011
10:46 am

CPJ’s style is definitely antithesis to Richt’s “just keep on lovin’ ‘em” approach. It’s pretty clear which one leads to a more disciplined style of football. The players may not “love” CPJ but I’m pretty sure they respect him.

Spanky

October 18th, 2011
10:48 am

Good post, Dallas Dawg!

Bert

October 18th, 2011
10:49 am

Why should Grantham be suspended when the NFL decides to not do anything regarding two head coaches who acted in the same manner on national television? Lighten up, he should be verbally reprimanded and that’s all.

Frank Lane

October 18th, 2011
10:50 am

The jury is out on Grantham because I saw the Vanderbilt coach starting it.

Chris Welton

October 18th, 2011
10:50 am

Bullies tend to get into altercations when they know it won’t really turn into a fight. Anyone who has been around football knows the difference between intensity and standing up for your players on the one hand, vs stupidity borne of frustration at poor performance on the other. High school players watch UGA players and attempt to emulate them. That creates a responsibility to do things the right way. We don’t, anymore, and you see more of this crap in HS football. And I am really tired of people saying that Coach Russell would do something like this. I played for Coach Russell, and Grantham and Coach Russell don’t occupy the same universe. If you committed two stupid personal fouls that cost your team, you would be off of the field. You wouldn’t have to worry about the opposing coach

RD

October 18th, 2011
10:51 am

Mark, I’ve been reading about Coach Grantham’s confrontation with the Vandy coach since it happened. He probably over reacted, but I think kids would much rather play for someone like him that has their back as oppose to someone that does not. I like his fire and I think the players do to. That being said, I also think it’s time for all of us to move to another story.

UGA Insider

October 18th, 2011
10:51 am

The CMR era is slowly coming to an end my friends. This staff has embarrassed Adams I think for the last time and there are far too many examples to list over the past 6 or 7 years. With that said I think Adams will give the ok to go after Chris Peterson full throttle at season’s end. There is just too much water under the bridge for CMR to stay and I have heard rumors he wants to win the SEC East and leave on his own anyways. If CMR will retire immediately after SECCG, Peterson may be able to hold a decent recruiting class. We need to sign at least 2 RB’s in this class or we are in major trouble.

The big rumor I heard yesterday is Nick Saban to Texas at season’s end. Texas is going to offer him a ridiculous contract somewhere around $100,000,000 for 10 years. They are the only program who can afford it other than UGA and a few others so it makes sense.

Hackjobs

October 18th, 2011
10:52 am

Heck, UGA players stomped on the AU logo last year at Jordan-Hare. You wonder why that game got so nasty, so fast?

Is it a culture thing? Is this top-down? bottom-up? I was mortified.

SSI

October 18th, 2011
10:52 am

It’s apparent, Mark, you know much more about what actually transpired on the field after the Vanderbilt game than the rest of us. It would help to understand your position regarding Coach Grantham, if you’d be so kind as to give us all the background information which you possess so we could all come to the same judgement as you.

UGA Insider

October 18th, 2011
10:52 am

Big Rumor out there with coaches:

Nick Saban to Texas for a sick 10yr $75-$100million contract. That story will heat up soon but you heard it here first.

Dawgwild

October 18th, 2011
10:52 am

Heat Check: on Mark Bradley= COLD. Find something else to harp on besides the coaching conflict. We’ve heard about it! move on! Gosh, that blew! I’m not a Tech, but they have only lost one game.

Mark Bradley this sucked!

Dawg48

October 18th, 2011
10:53 am

Does any one want to talk football?

SCDawg

October 18th, 2011
10:53 am

“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” Something to consider for those who decide to go against Grantham. GATA coach!!!!!!!!!

StuDawg

October 18th, 2011
10:53 am

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. ARE YOU SERIOUS BRADLEY? OR IS THIS JUST A JOKE? CONSIDER YOURSELF ONE OF THE 50% OF THE “MEN” IN THIS COUNTRY THAT NEED TO GROW A PAIR. SUSPENDING GRANTHAM HAS GOT TO BE ONE OF THE MOST RIDICULOUS THINGS THAT I HAVE EVER HEARD. SO WHAT IF 2 COACHES YELLED AT EACH OTHER!

Tom

October 18th, 2011
10:54 am

This is a non-story. We already KNEW Grantham was an as sclown.

TexGT

October 18th, 2011
10:54 am

I love the hypocrisy of Dawg fans – I hope you don’t teach your kids to act like Grantham. You are probably those dads at little league baseball games starting the fights.

Randall "Pink" Floyd

October 18th, 2011
10:55 am

Wow. Have no issue with your stance on Grantham, MB, but VERY surprised you’re giving the Vandy coach a pass on this one.

Moobs Johnson

October 18th, 2011
10:55 am

If anything Mark Richt should be suspended for a game for being such a limp wristed wuss.

TomB

October 18th, 2011
10:55 am

What PJ should be doing is apologizing for his defensive coordinator and the pity poor performance of his defense.Virginia made Tech’s defense look like a Division 2 caliber team. You fire a coach after 2 years and this is what you have to show for it. The sooner PJ understands that championship teams win with defense and special teams the better off he will be. The Al Groh experiment has failed.

just sayin'

October 18th, 2011
10:56 am

so franklin gets a pass?..the only group giving this ‘legs’ are the so called journalists…give it up..franklin going after a ga player and grantham calls him on it…i support grantham… and i’ll lose more respect for richt if he doesn’t fight for grantham….

StuDawg

October 18th, 2011
10:56 am

AND THE DAWGS DIDNT STOMP ON THE STUPID VANDY LOGO! THAT IS WHERE THE TEAM HAPPENED TO BE WHEN THE CLOCK HIT :00 AFTER A TOUGH GAME. THIS IS PURE SENSATIONALISM.
SHOULDNT YOU GO WORK FOR TMZ OR NATIONAL ENQUIRER OR SOMETHING?

Soulja Boy

October 18th, 2011
10:56 am

The fans who are defending Richt and Grantham deserve to have Richt and Grantham indefinitely. Richt appears to be frightened of Grantham and has lost control of the program. Things are obviously not going to change around UGA any time soon.

Big Ten Champs Nebraska

October 18th, 2011
10:57 am

This sort of thing……Coaches threatening players…….Does not happen in Nebraska.

co dawg

October 18th, 2011
10:57 am

I definitely have mixed feelings on Grantham. It seems like he should be able to manage his behavior. I don’t have a problem with players and some trash talk. Anyone that has been in a competitive sports environment gets it. You look better when you just hand the ball off to the ref after a score.

I will say this story seems very one sided. The video that’s playing is on the Nashville station. We haven’t seen the other side. BUT, it’s like that personal foul. It’s usually the second response that gets the flag.

I would think that’s the point. Grantham needs to understand that part. I like to see my team win as much as the next. However, I absolutely do not like it when our players get arrested, the coaches make YouTube or any of the other negative press. I hear about that *more* that the losses.

Tough times for the Georgia fans. (And the trolls…yawn…you’re…yawn…antics might work with some of the people on this board…)

juvenal

October 18th, 2011
10:57 am

uva’s center was acc O lineman of the week, had 9 pancakes-want to bet it was #96? when your NT can’t stop 1 OL in the 3-4, now that is something to point out-yet grohss refused to comment…….

Tech Guy

October 18th, 2011
10:57 am

This is not how we do it at Georgia.

But it is, it is…..

A. LeVay

October 18th, 2011
10:58 am

Mark…..you’re talking about a fan base who still supports Mark Richt for some unknown reason. They can’t handle coaches with passion and emotion.

Gbal

October 18th, 2011
10:58 am

Mark – Seriously now … all accounts indicate that Franklin started this by addressing a UGA player on the field after the game, cursing him and critizing his play.

TG hears it and addresses Franklin back in a two way argument.

Why is the press not being critical of Franklin? Even the Vandy press is not ob Franklins back like you guys are on TG and UGA??

I honestly dont see the big problem with TG backing his players but if it is wrong, why isnt the AJC and the world on Franklin as hard as they are on UGA.

I really appreciate your explanation>

FYI, and article in the Nashville paper regarding the incident… Quote from a player BELOW>>>>

Vanderbilt offensive tackle Wesley Johnson said there was lots of “extra-curricular stuff” going on but stopped shy of calling Georgia a dirty team.

“No, they weren’t that dirty,” Johnson said. “Speaking from my point of view, I haven’t seen anything so far that would lead to (Georgia being dirty). I know they played hard. They kind of played their defense the same way we play our offense.”

Wish an AJC writter would run with this pint of view for a change.

Comment please? MARK

glacialspeed

October 18th, 2011
10:58 am

This scuffling just proves that Georgia is on the level of Vandy down in the lower echelon of the SEC. Meanwhile Bama just keeps getting all the players worth getting in Atlanta. Keep it up! RTR.

Curious George

October 18th, 2011
10:58 am

Will loyalty to undisciplined incompetents like Grantham & Bobo be the ruin of Mark Richt’s coaching career?

kevin

October 18th, 2011
10:58 am

Suspend him for arguing? Absolutely ridiculous! Way too much is being made of this. UGA had some personal fouls, Vandy chopped blocked all over the place. Franklin came after UGA players. Grantham took offense. It happens. Get over it and play football. Jeez.

Erk's Eagles

October 18th, 2011
10:59 am

Don’t post on here, and for the record I’m not really a UGA or Tech Supporter, but having followed Paul Johnson’s career because of his association with the Georgia Southern program, I have a little bit of a read on him. Mark, you are correct, PJ and Tech would be better served for him not to be so bullheaded. What worked at Southern and Navy, for different reasons, runs out of steam at Tech. Hey PJ, give those boys a pat on the back and let it ride!

As for Grantham, Mark, you and the rest of the mannerly media are wrong. Standing up for your players is never a bad thing. I didn’t like the choke sign, but that’s ancient history now, and has nothing to do with what went down in Nashville this past Saturday night. Coach Franklin made it personal when he called out a Georgia player over his play, after the game, and Grantham finished the discussion for him.

Backing up your players, that what it’s all about!

Joey

October 18th, 2011
11:00 am

Garbage, MB.

It’s all about the ‘hits” UGA fans and we will provide them . . .

St Simons - we're on Island time

October 18th, 2011
11:00 am

A Mark Bradley column recommending a suspension for embarrassing your employer.

For Sale: (1) Broke, pegged out shattered Irony meter

JB

October 18th, 2011
11:00 am

Vandy coach looking for Richt he says. BULL. EVERY game the coach’s meet at the 50 yard line at mid field. The Vandy coach WAS NOWHERE NEAR THAT. HE was going after SOMEONE. Does anyone with a brain think Grantham would just go to him and go off on him. NO. This is all crap.

ramblingbuzz

October 18th, 2011
11:00 am

Hey look, this just confirms what we already knew, neither CPJ or CTG are perfect. None of us are. What UGA and GT have to decide is whether both are doing thier jobs and representing their respective institutions in such a way that the positives outweight the negatives.