Grantham: Dogs will go to 3-4 defense; he’ll coach linebackers

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.

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

244 comments Add your comment

Brinson

January 15th, 2010
6:09 pm

Sounds promising. I hope the change from 3-4 to 4-3 isn’t too big of a challege.

jack bull

January 15th, 2010
6:09 pm

we hit the jack pot, baby!!!! now, please hire someone who will tell the DB’s to FIND THE BALL IN FLIGHT AND MAKE A PLAY!!!!! oh yeah, and find someone who can play nose guard…

my professional input would be….AJ Harmon, Tanner Strickland, or J.Anderson, we can’t have those 3 300 lbers sitting on the sideline, can we?

big

January 15th, 2010
6:10 pm

1st!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bremen Dawg

January 15th, 2010
6:11 pm

Grantham, start converting Richard Samuel to LB now.

Clint

January 15th, 2010
6:11 pm

One excited Georgia Bulldog fan here. Welcome Coach Grantham and you will like Coach Garner. I agree ,, I think we hit the jackpot here !

big

January 15th, 2010
6:12 pm

i can find better tech grad assistants to waste $750,000 on than this grantham guy. this guy was an nfl line coach. theres a reason for that… he sucks as a coordinator.

kydawg

January 15th, 2010
6:13 pm

Any time table on the assistant coaches to be hired?
Will he recruit some while Dallas is still in the playoffs?

Oh yeah…great hire and GO DAWGS!!!

Bremen Dawg

January 15th, 2010
6:14 pm

NFL style defense, can’t wait to see it.

VinceVanGo

January 15th, 2010
6:15 pm

This is a great hire from a great head coach. I am proud of the way Mark Richt has handled this search and hire and shame to the doubters & bashers. Get on the bandwagon and support Mark Richt & Todd Grantham. We should all be proud to have an honest, respectable, trustworthy head coach. Look around college football. Greed & deceit abound. Yes I’d like Georgia to win a National Championship, but even if we don’t we should win 8-10 games every year and that consistency without cheating will speak volumes for itself. Thanks Mark Richt. Welcome Todd Grantham. Good luck. Go Dogs!

southgeorgia Dog

January 15th, 2010
6:20 pm

Good to hear the MR finally got his man. Todd plss bring TJ with you from the cowboy’s.

Warner Robins Dawg

January 15th, 2010
6:30 pm

Excited Dawg Fan here. Thank you Coach Mark Richt, great hire. Welcome to UGA Coach Todd Grantham! Good Luck, the Dawg Nation is with you, Go Dogs!

Joseph

January 15th, 2010
6:33 pm

The 3-4 will allow for the defense to be more aggressive and it is an easier way to rush “four” without the offense knowing exactly who the rusher is and where he is coming from. Should get interesting. Go Dawgs!

ed haire

January 15th, 2010
6:38 pm

I am from Bainbridge, Ga. and saw Kirby play high school ball. He was a fine young man then as he is now. However, I belive coach Richt got the right man to turn things around!! I also did high school football radio for Magic 107 in Thomasville, Ga. when Mike Bobo was the quarterback. He can and will do a much better job this year. It’s alot different calling a game when you have a great defense. Hunker Down Dawg fans. 1020 will be huge!!!!!

ed haire

January 15th, 2010
6:39 pm

Office Space

January 15th, 2010
6:43 pm

WHOOOOOAAAA NELLY!!!

DoravilleDawg

January 15th, 2010
6:46 pm

This was the best possible hire other than perhaps Chavis. Grantham has great breadth of experience and won’t be attached at the hip to the HC.

WestOfAthens

January 15th, 2010
6:48 pm

Very happy this ordeal is completed. It seems having TG running the defensive side, the program should get a BIG boost in recruiting.

I applaud the switch to 3-4. This program needs a JOLT, several of them, IMHO

HBTD!

Preston

January 15th, 2010
6:48 pm

collegeballfan

January 15th, 2010
6:51 pm

I agree this is a good hire. My only thought is for the Dawg fans that trashed the 3-4 as a college defense when Al Groh’s name was linked to GT. If those Dawg fans are correct, Richt is a real dummy. If Richt is correct, then those Dawg fans are real dummies.

Who wants to vote?

Preston

January 15th, 2010
6:55 pm

collegeballfan, that’s just plain ol’ hatred between tech and UGA. I try my best not to get involved in the tantrums that are ponged on every blog. LOL. Both schools got fine defensive coordinators. The edge will go to UGA though because of the talent level. But hey, I’m a dawg fan.

Palm City DAWG

January 15th, 2010
6:56 pm

Unbelievable!!!!!! Go COWBOYS and HUNKER DOWN DAWGS

oledawg

January 15th, 2010
7:03 pm

I hope that the assistants will be from the same cloth that it appears Todd is cut from. Boy, that would make for a nasty and vengeful bunch.
We have the players and recruits to accomplish this. Fu has out-recruited us, but I don’t think they will outcoach us. Role reversal sounds feasible. What I don’t get is DaRick looking around when we will have the best offense in the land. Can someone help that kid sort things out? Kids don’t have the insight of great experience in character of coaches. What’s with his HS coach?

toofless in alabamer

January 15th, 2010
7:05 pm

Absolutely stoked about this hire!! Hire ASSISTANTS LANCE THOMPSON & TRAVIS JONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Big Guy

January 15th, 2010
7:05 pm

Agressive D is all I ask. Hit’em! Wrap up! Sack!

MontyP

January 15th, 2010
7:07 pm

22nd!!!! You go to love the fact that he plans on putting the most talented players on the field. That means he has confidence in his ability to coach those players up. Let him take over the kick-off coverage too. That is one are that has been as weak as the defense. Good Hire!

Go Dawgs!

John

January 15th, 2010
7:08 pm

I truly believe that the defense just became instantly better. Great hire and thank God it’s over. All true DAWG fans now need to show the same spirit and enthusiasm for our offense and CMB. WE ARE DAWG NATION! Lets go dawgs!

oledawg

January 15th, 2010
7:12 pm

Guess I just became a Cowboys fan for this year. Some advice to Jerry Jones: heard on the news you have artificial grass in a billion dollar stadium because you can’t grow grass inside. Some ole boys from California can show you how to grow all the grass you can use inside. I read somewhere some time back that tracks can be laid that exits a dome and you can send the field out for a little sunshine and roll it back in. You would think that someone could rebuild a new field after every game using sod. Where did the billion go, to the scoreboard? Cheez!

BigDawg63

January 15th, 2010
7:12 pm

Excited about this hire,, I believe we are in for a great defense soon. Welcome to dawg nation Coach Grantham. I looked forward to seeing you on the sidelines soon.

Go Dawgs…..Sic Em,,Woof, Woof

Lake Oconee Dawg

January 15th, 2010
7:14 pm

Coach Ritch You just hit a hoooomerun with the hire for D.C. Now let’s get that 6′ 6″ QB from Watkinsville ready to play in 2010. Go Dawgs!!

ToccoaDawg

January 15th, 2010
7:14 pm

The offense is fine. we have some good young qb’s coming alone. Now we have a D to go with it. Thank GOD for Coach Richt.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

January 15th, 2010
7:17 pm

Wait and see attitude for now.

Toole

January 15th, 2010
7:20 pm

How bout this starting defense: DL- Deangelo Tyson, Abry Jones, Kwame Geathers; LB- Justin Houston, Cornelius Washington, Darryl Gamble, Marcus Dowtin; DB- Branden Smith, Brandon Boykin, Baccari Rambo, Quintin Banks. Sounds pretty good to me. Just have to teach the former DE’s that will become OLB’s pass coverage.

Dawg Fan

January 15th, 2010
7:22 pm

Mark Bradley Sucks

January 15th, 2010
7:23 pm

Yes, we’ll need a huge nosetackle in the middle, but I think we’ve got the personnel to make it work. The Geathers kid is enormous and it’s being said that he was really scrappy in practice. Don’t forget about Deangelo Tyson, Abry Jones, Derrick Lott, etc. We’ve got some big boys waiting in the wings. We’re also recruiting the big Whitaker kid out of Warner Robbins. He’d be perfect for this system. I talked to some of the Grayson HS football players and they said that he was by far the best lineman they played this year.

oledawg

January 15th, 2010
7:24 pm

Grantham has a summer place on Lake Oconee. That cuts down on a traumatic move. I’ll say that he is familiar with the area! How old are his kids? Will they attend the University?

The guy already displays some diplomacy by leaving Coach Garner some room to coach the D-Line. Good. I hope that they all hit it off fine and will infuse their passion and loyalty into the kids.

SOUTHGADAWG88

January 15th, 2010
7:30 pm

Garner says Kwame has NFL potential as a LT.I think big AJ Harmon is going back to the DL

John

January 15th, 2010
7:31 pm

Great point oledawg

oledawg

January 15th, 2010
7:33 pm

Lake Oconee Dawg- Looks like you may get a helluva drinkin buddy. You posted while I was typing that TG has a place already on Lake Oconee. Were you aware of that? Take him a little Leinenkugels Sunset Wheat for openers. We will be lookin to you to get the inside skinny on the D practices.

Dawg Tired

January 15th, 2010
7:33 pm

The 3-4 makes all kind of sense in a speed conference. Plus LBs rushing the QB from the edge is absolutely necessary against these spread offenses. This should translate into a much more aggressive defensive philosophy than poor old Willie had. Of course, only performance on the field will ultimate tell how all this that sounds so good actually works.

What??

January 15th, 2010
7:38 pm

I like the decisive attitude. Look forward to seeing our DAWGS kick some SEC a$$!

Great experience in the profession.

Richt, great job!

Ignore press and get ready for 2010…..I mean 2011 BCS Bowl Game!

Dawg stuck in Bham

January 15th, 2010
7:52 pm

Can’t decide…am I a Cowboys fan or a Vikings fan??? Cowboys win out makes our staff look even better to recruits. Vikings win and TG gets on the recruiting trail….

oledawg

January 15th, 2010
7:57 pm

Lake Oconee Dawg- I’ve got talented choir-practiced black-and-tan coondawgs that can deliver “WOOF!WOOF!s” and “AAAWOOOOOUUAAH”s across the lake to welcome TG back to Athens area. Just gimme the word.

Alright! Next business is to get Sonny’s line bred into a longevity line and prance Uga VIII onto the field. I’ll never forget during a game it was announced at halftime that Uga I had died and had been buried in the east bank behind the goal posts during the week. We were asked for a moment of silence for his passing at the end of which a chant began in the student section(where We were sitting) of”DAMN GOOD DOG!, DAMN GOOD DOG!, DAMN GOOD DOG!”. As we reached a crescendo, the team burst thru a sign between the west end goal posts with a 4-5 mo old Bulldog (Uga II) pulling at a long leash with a cheerleader hardly able to keep up. That pup ran dead center of the field at full speed and didn’t stop until he hit the 50 yard line where he jumped up and down with the spirit that he symbolized! The stadium went nuts!! The team finished the day by kicking Auburn’s (I think) butt. What I wouldn’t give to see that again! And hear the roar!!

pj

January 15th, 2010
8:00 pm

This is exciting. We’ve always had the guys to do this – when is the last time, if ever, that we ran a 3-4? By the way, I live in the lake oconee area – he should go hang at Richland Creek.

BEEDOG

January 15th, 2010
8:04 pm

I will wait until after the third game next season to have an opinion on whether this was a good choice for DC. I don’t know him but he deserves the chance to prove himself.
Great if he fits in.

Sweet Home Alabama

January 15th, 2010
8:09 pm

COACH if you do not mind.Your first order of business is teach your players some diciplines,i am tired of seeing everyweek who is doing the pokey shuffle.

You need to copy what the tide is doing and teach team first principles that we use.

ps you will never win the SEC AS LONG as Coach Saban is at Tide.
Roll Tide ……..

Hawk n the Ham

January 15th, 2010
8:12 pm

If the Cowboys win the Super Bowl now, and they contribute it to the great defense, then that will be all the recruiting he needs to do.

falcon

January 15th, 2010
8:13 pm

Bring the heat baby! 30-24!

Buckhead Bulldog

January 15th, 2010
8:16 pm

.

January 15th, 2010
8:17 pm

Sweet Home Alabama – which is only another year or two. Bawa ha ha ha ha

Louie

January 15th, 2010
8:31 pm

About to run out of names, huh doggies. Shows you NO DAMN DECENT COACH wanted the job from a program going Totally as-backwards. Al Groh will make DRAMATIC impact at GT. It’s on baby come next November, can’t wait!