News and notes, with Smart and Grantham updates

(UPDATED 11:55 A.M. and 6:30 P.M.)

A few quick notes:

– So it has been a pretty good five weeks or so for UGA sports fans -– wins over Georgia Tech in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball, and a bowl blowout of  Texas A&M.

– The enduring sounds of rivalry: the “Just Like Football” chant late in Georgia’s basketball victory over Tech last night and the “I Run This State” play-on-words from the football victory.

– OK, here’s the latest word from Kirby Smart.  Reporting from Newport Beach, Calif., where Alabama is preparing for tomorrow night’s BCS national-title game, ESPN’s Chris Low says Smart didn’t completely shut the door on the UGA defensive-coordinator job Tuesday. Here’s what Smart, Alabama’s DC and a former Georgia player, said at a BCS media session:

“I haven’t really talked to Mark [Richt]  much. To say I said ‘no’ to Mark … he’s not offered me anything. So that’s not really accurate. To be honest, with this game coming up, I haven’t even thought about it.

“. . . You don’t ever know what’s going to happen, but I’m certainly excited about the opportunity to be back at Alabama. We’ve got a lot of good players coming back.”

Feel free to parse those words below.

– Assuming there must be a  reason –- other than the decisions by Bud Foster and John Chavis to stay put -– that the UGA defensive-coordinator search is taking so long, the best guess is that it’s because Mark Richt is interested in someone still occupied by an important game. That could, of course, be the UGA alums occupied as defensive coordinators  in the BCS national-title game, or it could be an NFL assistant in the playoffs. Which brings us to Todd Grantham, the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive-line coach who has been on Richt’s radar for weeks and seemed to move up on the rumor mill yesterday.   UPDATE: The Dallas Morning News’ Cowboys Blog  reports today that Grantham “has been approached” by Georgia.    Grantham’s resume in brief: He was an assistant at Virginia Tech and Michigan State in the 1990s and with four NFL teams (Colts, Texans, Browns and Cowboys) since 1999. His only stint as a defensive coordinator was with the Browns from 2005-07.

–  A couple of items from the transactions list if you missed ‘em: The University of Louisville hired former UGA football assistant coach Jon Fabris as its defensive-line coach. Fabris was one of three defensive coaches fired by UGA on Dec. 2.  He  joins the staff of new Louisville coach Charlie Strong, the former Florida defensive coordinator. . . . And the Utah Jazz signed former Bulldog Sundiata Gaines to a 10-day contract, pending a physical. Gaines has been playing for the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Developmental League.

– Georgia’s women’s basketball team has a chance to make some history Thursday night. A win over Kentucky at Stegeman Coliseum would give the Lady Dogs a 15-0 record, which would be the best start in the esteemed program’s history.

Reshad Jones said Tuesday that he hears he’s one of the top five safeties in the 2010 NFL draft and that he hopes to be in the top two by draft day. The top one, of course, is Tennessee junior Eric Berry.

– Jones is the 17th UGA underclassman to enter the NFL draft since 2001. Waiting on word from the prospective 18th, junior linebacker Rennie Curran. . . .

And please follow me on Twitter for the latest UGA news and notes.

267 comments Add your comment

BMDPD

January 6th, 2010
11:08 am

Cuz

January 6th, 2010
11:09 am

Good luck Reshad. Rennie has a heck of a decison.

Normal Dawg

January 6th, 2010
11:12 am

Good luck to both Reshad and Rennie (if he goes). Great Dawgs! Thank you for your contributions to the program. Make us proud in the pros!

NO Grantham

January 6th, 2010
11:18 am

Why would we hire someone who’s only defensive coordinating job was for the Browns, and he got fired. You know how bad you have to be to get fired by the Browns?

[...] Assuming there must be a  reason –- other than the decisions by Bud Foster and John Chavis to sta…. That could, of course, be the defensive coordinators occupied in tomorrow night’s BCS national-title game, or it could be an NFL assistant in the playoffs. Which brings us to Todd Grantham, the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive-line coach who has been on Richt’s radar for weeks and seemed to move toward the top of the rumor mill yesterday.  FYI,  Grantham’s resume in brief: an assistant at Virginia Tech and Michigan State in the 1990s and with four NFL teams (Colts, Texans, Browns and Cowboys) since 1999. His only stint as a defensive coordinator was with the Browns from 2005-07. [...]

Bryan

January 6th, 2010
11:26 am

I wish Reshad all the best. He is a great guy and a hard worker. I have met a few of the bulldogs off campus and they all represent UGA and the footbal program very well! They are all great character guys…..kudos to CMR! Now hurry up and hire a DC already…lol

Kirby Smart's the Guy

January 6th, 2010
11:31 am

Ain’t gonna be Grantham, he runs a 3-4 defense, UGA doesn’t have the personel to run that.

Nerd Central @ North Ave

January 6th, 2010
11:39 am

Just because you beat Tech in football and both men’s and women’s basketball this year, doesn’t take away from the fact that UGA still lost ((((((45-42))))))) last year. At least Tech won a conference championship. What did UGA win this year? Not much!
ACC Champs! Yeah, baby!!!!!
Joe Cox is a terrible quarterback. You could have had Josh Nesbitt. Too bad!

jaglaw

January 6th, 2010
11:42 am

Dosent Alabama run a 3-4 defense?

jaglaw

January 6th, 2010
11:44 am

Nerd Central: why would we want Nesbitt, we already have enough running backs

Nerd Central @ North Ave

January 6th, 2010
11:44 am

Wait till you see what Dwyer writes on his arms next year. Probably something like “I’ll be your boss soon”

DamnGoodDawg!

January 6th, 2010
11:46 am

The loss dropped Tech to 11-3, kept it from reaching 12 wins for the first time since 1952, and extended its losing streak in bowl games to five. It also will knock the Yellow Jackets out of the top 10 in the final AP poll……Life is good…

Blindog

January 6th, 2010
11:47 am

Yeah,Joe Cox was not what we expected…but he beat Ga. Tech!!Winning the ACC is nothing to brag about.That Mickey Mouse offence has been exposed.It will only be down hill from here…oh hell yeah!!!

jaglaw

January 6th, 2010
11:47 am

Nerd: thats pretty good..funny.

jaglaw

January 6th, 2010
11:49 am

Blindog is right. the trip option will loose its luster as more DC’’s see it. If tech cant find a way to pass the ball, its all down hill from here.

jaglaw

January 6th, 2010
11:55 am

GT fans….. Now you know what real defenses are about. There are only a couple of defenses in the ACC that have any credibility. IOWA has a very good defense. I called the win by IOWA, even though I like to see GT do well in bowls. Come play in the SEC, get a taste of what real defenses are about, week in and week out. ACC is not up to par, just a fact.
Im a DAWG for LIFE, but dont mind seeing GT excell…..it just aint happening against big talent defenses.

big dawg

January 6th, 2010
11:58 am

To NO Grantham comment above:
Just so you know, Bill Bellichek got fired by the Browns too. I think he was a pretty good hire for the Patriots, don’t you?

CMR

January 6th, 2010
12:12 pm

KS will be Georgia’s next DC. Bank on it.

Nerd Central @ North Ave Trade School

January 6th, 2010
12:14 pm

Dwyer writes I can’t spell ” I RUN THIS STATE’ So he writes ” I LEAVE THIS GEEKY SCHOOL FOR MONEY”
30-24 HAHAHAHAHAHA also 24-14 HAHAHAHA Suck oranges loser!!!

Kirby Smart's the Guy

January 6th, 2010
12:15 pm

Kirby has experience running the 4-3 and the 3-4, Bama runs both, so Kirby can work with the personel we have, and then recruit the personel he wants. As soon as Smart comes to UGA, you’ll see defensive talent coming out of the woodworks to play for UGA.

rrich

January 6th, 2010
12:20 pm

hey nerd GT lost to UGA and Clemson lost to SC both being down years for an SEC team but both were good enough to beat the two best teams from the ACC some kind of conference yall have

sj

January 6th, 2010
12:22 pm

Admittedly the following story is off topic, but interesting nonetheless. I haven’t heard much from Lane Kiffin’s mouth since he was trying to spin the Vols embarrassment to Va Tech., hostessgate, and the UT quick-course on ‘personal. rapid redeployment of assets’ taught by NuKeese and the UT FB family (AKA armed robbery), so I was pleasantly surprised at this discussion from no less than the Vols website. http://www.govolsxtra.com/news/2010/jan/05/vinson-i-just-want-truth-be-said/
Turns out Al Davis was on to something when he characterized the boy genius as a congenital liar. Seems Coach Lippin made a promise to a certain DB in private but ‘changed hi mind’ in the press then denied it when the dismissed player called him out…..Gawd you can’t write this stuff…after all orange is the new stripes, right?

Kirby Smart's the Guy

January 6th, 2010
12:29 pm

If you look at Kirby’s comments carefully, you’ll see Kirby Smart is coming to Georgia folks.

Kirby Smart:
“I haven’t really talked to Mark [Richt] much. To say I said ‘no’ to Mark … he’s not offered me anything. So that’s not really accurate. To be honest, with this game coming up, I haven’t even thought about it.

Translation:
I have talked to Coach Richt a few times. I told Mark “Yes, hypothetically speaking, if you make me an offer, I’ll accept it.” And then I asked Mark Richt to not make me a formal offer until after the Bowl game so I could honestly say ‘He’s not offered me anything’. My focus is on winning the Natl Champ, so I can max out my salary at UGA.

Kirby Smart:
“You don’t ever know what’s going to happen, but I’m certainly excited about the opportunity to be back at Alabama. We’ve got a lot of good players coming back.”

Translation:
“If Richt puts in writing what we’ve talked about verbally, then yes, I’m coming to Georgia, it’s just too good of an offer to turn down. If Richt doesn’t, Bama will offer me a raise and I’ll be fine there too”

Will

January 6th, 2010
12:32 pm

Dear Damon Evans,

Stop being so damn cheap and go out and get Kirby Smart this weekend. I don’t care if it costs $1,000,000. The program and the fan base need a good shot in the arm right now. You don’t ask us to be be cheap when we renew these season tickets!!!! Get your head out of your ass and go get it done!!!!

ugaman

January 6th, 2010
12:33 pm

i hope smart is the guy. what was this grantham guys d stats at cleveland as coordinator?

AWJ

January 6th, 2010
12:35 pm

The thing that makes Tech offense hard to stop is the (normally 4 days) lack of time to prepare for it. Not to many teams run that offense, so when you spend your season preparing for spread and pro type offenses it throws a wrench when you have to prepare for Tech’s.

The problem for Tech is that when you have 3+ weeks to prepare for that offense, it is simply shut down. In order to eventually compete for MNCs CPJ is going to have to adjust and figure out how to win in January when the other team has 3+ weeks of prep….

dawgfacedboy

January 6th, 2010
12:39 pm

Whoever takes the DC will be the HC in waiting. Richt isn’t staying around too long. He has plans to do missionary work. Could be a good selling point to whoever the candidate is.

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

January 6th, 2010
12:40 pm

I think it will be Kirby Smart.

Mutts R Stupid

January 6th, 2010
12:41 pm

Fire Mark’s Rectum.

Kirby Smart's the Guy

January 6th, 2010
12:42 pm

Georgia has PLENTY of money, Richt rakes in about $90 mill a year for the school, bout $43 mill profit according to Forbes. It’s time for Evan to invest in the future of Georgia, and he will. This will be an amazing offer, with lots of incentives for Natl Champ’s and stat leadership, and long term loyalty.

Georgia ranked by Forbes #1 most valuable college football team in SEC, #3 overall:

http://www.forbes.com/2007/11/20/notre-dame-fooball-biz-sports-cx_ps_1120collegeball_slide_4.html?thisSpeed=undefined

Bow Wow

January 6th, 2010
12:44 pm

Yeah, there is no question about it. Kirby is definitely coming to Georgia.

General Sherman

January 6th, 2010
12:49 pm

WTF…People out of work,losing homes,children mistreated govt.out of control and you people are wanting to pay some football coach 1M dollars to coach a game. Get a freaking life!

t

January 6th, 2010
12:49 pm

jaglaw, UGA didn’t force a single punt, we blew out Vandy and Miss St, VT blew out Tenn, and Clemson did fine against Kentucky. I think you meant to say Alabama and Florida defense, not SEC defense. Just because they have speed and defense doesn’t mean the entire conference does.

helmet head

January 6th, 2010
12:51 pm

I hope KS comes to Athens, but right now his agent is telling him to say nothing so the bidding war can begin on Friday.

RonnieGarDner

January 6th, 2010
12:55 pm

UGA should step up and get with the other powers in the confernce….and build a darn indoor practice facility. There must be a reason they haven’t…..M-O-N-E-Y.

ajskeeter

January 6th, 2010
12:57 pm

Kirby comes and is head coach in 3-4 years when Richt retires to do missionary work around the world. Dawgs get CMR a national champioship in two years and the he’ll have done everything he set out to do at UGA. Kirby continues the tradition…

a

January 6th, 2010
12:58 pm

I agree with Will. Pay Smart what it takes. UGA is ranked by Forbes as the 9th most valuable college football program in the country (down from 3rd in 2008) with a profit of $45 million. UGA apparel is the 3rd best selling in the country. Quit being cheap and make the investment. The program will recoup cost. http://www.forbes.com/2009/12/22/most-vaulable-college-football-teams-business-sports-college-football_slide_10.html

georgiaman24

January 6th, 2010
1:00 pm

Hey…would you guys straighten out the bi-line to match your story?!!! I mean you read that and you assume that Kirby has CLOSED the door, which according to your article…he hasn’t!

HUNKER DOWN

January 6th, 2010
1:01 pm

Hey General,

We live in a democracy and free enterprise system. I don’t make that kind of money but I am not jealous of those that do. Supply and demand at work. As long as UGA can put 93K fannies in Stanford Stadium each Saturday we play then it sounds like a cheap investment to me. Remember, when you put that kind of people in a town how much revenue it generates and jobs it creates.

GEORGIA97

January 6th, 2010
1:02 pm

Reshad Jones was an average player at best who won’t go until the 4th round if he’s lucky. He’ll sign with a team and be cut right before the final roster is released for the season. One good game against Tech doesn’t make up for his inability to tackle. I’m looking forward to Ogeltree steeping into the safety position next year and bringing the wood like Sean Jones, Thomas Davis, and Greg Blue used to. Anyone see any hard hits this year from Jones…?

birddawg92

January 6th, 2010
1:03 pm

Somebody needs to fix the headline on sports page on this story—it says that Smart has “apparently shut the door,” and based on the article, it should say “has apparently NOT shut the door,” or am I missing something?

http://www.saturdayinathens.com

a

January 6th, 2010
1:06 pm

GEORGIA97 – not true. Reshad Jones had a lot of hard hits. Unfortunately, most were called for personal fouls. I liked Reshad and think he is a good player but cost the team a lot of yards in penalties.

http://ballhype.com/video/reshad-jones-lays-the-lumber/

General Sherman

January 6th, 2010
1:07 pm

It is still a game!

Chief Nock A Homa

January 6th, 2010
1:07 pm

What am I missing???

The headline says that Smart has completely shut the door on return to Athens….

Where does he say this, because it isn’t in this article at all…. As a matter of fact, it sounds more than ever as if he actually may be coming…

Turtsnap

January 6th, 2010
1:08 pm

Dear Mark Richt,

Please go after Iowa DC

David Crisp

January 6th, 2010
1:09 pm

I think it is either Smart, Grantham or Jones from the Saints. I really don’t care that much for Grantham, the only time he was a DC was years ago and even then he had questionable results.

GEORGIA97

January 6th, 2010
1:12 pm

Turtsnap: The Iowa DC would need a Little Rascal to get around the UGA facilities. Good DC but we need someone who’s going to be around a while and not need a nap at 1:00 in the afternoon.

NATURE BOY-WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

January 6th, 2010
1:14 pm

Boys I doubt Smart is coming to UGA. He’s the DC under one of the top coaches in all of football who has a penchant for leaving jobs. He stands to take over when Saban leaves or jump to a head coaching job after a little more tutelage under Saban. Assuming Smart has any aspirations beyond being a DC, then it makes no sense for him to leave, unless he feels he will learn more about offense from Richt which could then translate to more well rounded experience.

Prediction-Smart stays in land of Tide, UGA brings in a dynamic NFL up & comer to take the DC job.

how2fish

January 6th, 2010
1:14 pm

GEORGIA97..aa a matter of fact I did in the OK state game he hit a guy so hard they gave him a hitting too hard flag..

Manny

January 6th, 2010
1:15 pm

You guys don’t know the Ga program to well to think just because we are big profit university we open the check book. That has been our issue.

Do we get Smart? I think there is a chance, I know we will make a run. But Damon gets to put his actions behind his words this time. We will see if UGA is serious about being a natl. title team.

BTW, anyone on here who doesn’t think Grantham can run the 4-3 doesn’t pay attention to football. Do you really think he can’t run the 4-3? Did anyone watch what the 3-4 bama team did to Fl? They ran a 4-3 at them.

What we are looking for in a dcord is:
Can he make adjustments on the fly
Does he understand what an offense is trying to do and the best way to attack it
Can he inspire his defense to play motivated mean ball for 60 minutes of game time
Can he be a top 15 guy in scoring defense year after year which is the most important factor in defense.