A few notes from new UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s just-completed conference call with the media:
– Georgia’s base defense will switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 — three linemen and four linebackers, rather than vice versa.
“We’ll be a 3-4 structure,” Grantham said, “which basically means in your base defense you have two outside ‘backers, three D linemen, two inside ‘backers. . . . We are more of an aggressive style 3-4. We’re going to attack blockers up front, and we’re going to rush the passer. Our outside ‘backers are going to be what we call edge-setters. They’re going to be aggressive; they’re going to be coming; they’re going to be solid [against] the run but we’re going to develop those guys as pass rushers. The inside ‘backers … they’re going to be downhill guys to the ball.
“But in saying that, we’re still going to be multiple. We’re always going to. . . have the ability to match personnel. . . . The other thing is, when you coach in pro football, you take the players you have and you find a way to make it work. So I really believe the best way to go about it is, you rank your players 1 through 50 and you find a way to get your top players on the field. ”
– Although he has coached defensive line for most of his career, he said he’ll work with the linebackers at Georgia. He thinks that’s the best role for a coordinator.
“As coordinator, you’re tied in to not only the front but the secondary,” he said, “so I will be working with the linebackers and that way you can be with both the front and the back relative to whatever drills you are doing.”
– He doesn’t know the only holdover on Georgia’s defensive staff, line coach Rodney Garner. “I have heard good things about him, and I expect to be meeting him here shortly.”
Two openings remain on the defensive staff, and Mark Richt has said the new coordinator will have much input into filling them. Grantham said no decisions have been made. He said his hiring came together quickly and that he and Richt would discuss other positions over the weekend and next week.
– He will remain with the Cowboys as long as they are alive in the NFL playoffs. “I’ve always been a believer that you finish what you start,” he said.
– He and Richt didn’t know one another when Georgia’s search for a DC began. Richt said he got to know Grantham as the process unfolded. “I really feel like we hit the jackpot,” Richt said.
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