Friday, January 15, 2010

Dawgs Finally Have A Grantham Defensive Coordinator

Just as Steve Perry was right in singing "I'll Be Alright Without You" regarding the failure of Georgia to lure away Kirby Smart from Alabama, Bud Foster from VA Tech, and John Chavis from LSU, so too was he right in singing "The Search Is Over."

Mark Richt has found his defensive coordinator, and it's Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Todd Grantham. Although it would have been nice to have been able to hire one of the aforementioned "Big Three," this could very well be the best case scenario for Georgia in several ways.

First off, he's spent a lot of time at both the college and NFL levels, and gained a lot of experience under some good defensive coaches (Nick Saban, Wade Phillips), and yet he's still young and energetic. It should be noted that Saban had actually asked Grantham to be his defensive coordinator in Miami a few years back, but Grantham ended up taking the DC spot in Cleveland.

Second, although he's achieved some recognition for his successes, he's still a guy building his name and reputation. With some of the other folks, I almost got the idea that they would feel they would be doing Richt/Georgia a favor by coming here.

Third, and this is based on very little, but it seems he has a solid combination of fire and X's and O's smarts. A lot of people will tell you that good defense is due in large part to emotion. While that's true, it in no way means that your defensive coordinator MUST be all piss and vinegar to be successful. The point is that, when you have a defense like Georgia's that has shown steady decline, it's a good time to bring someone new in that has the personality to really light a fire and challenge his personnel right off the bat.

The Dawgs are going to be losing a lot in terms of the two-deep line-up on defense. Some of that, fortunately, will result in addition by subtraction, as there are a couple of seniors leaving that drew the ire of Georgia fans on more than one occasion. However, that, plus the fact that there will be a new scheme implemented, means there could be some growing pains. That's not to say that Grantham won't have the defense playing better from the word "go," but I think the most important thing to look for in the '10 season will be steady improvement.

Todd Grantham, although not Richt's absolute first choice, was apparently near the forefront of the search for several weeks. I like his personality, his age, and his credentials, but only time will tell if we like his results.

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