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Friday, January 15, 2010

Grantham Gets the Gig

From UGA release...

Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Todd Grantham, an 11-year NFL veteran coach with nine years college experience, has been named new defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia according to an announcement Friday by Bulldog head coach Mark Richt.

Grantham is in his second season with the Dallas Cowboys after spending three seasons as defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns (2005-07), and six years as defensive line coach for both the Houston Texans (2002-04) and Indianapolis Colts (1999-01).

“I’m excited the search is over, we have our man, and look forward to what Todd will bring to our defense, our team, and our University,” said Richt.
“I think it is particularly valuable that he has a wealth of experience on the defensive side of the ball at both the NFL and collegiate levels. Now we look forward to moving ahead with the home stretch of recruiting, finishing out the defensive staff, and getting ready for spring practice.”

Prior to his stint in Indianapolis, Grantham served three seasons as the defensive line coach at Michigan State (1996-98). He added the title of
assistant head coach in his final season in East Lansing in 1998. Grantham also spent six seasons (1990-95) at his alma mater, Virginia Tech, coaching defensive ends and inside linebackers from 1990-91 and defensive tackles from 1992-93.

At the conclusion of the 2009 regular season, the Cowboys’ defensive unit ranked second in the NFL in scoring defense (15.6 points per game), fourth in rushing defense (90.5 yards per game), seventh in sacks (42.0 per game), and ninth in total defense (315.9 yards per game). The Dallas defensive unit finished eighth in the NFL in total defense in 2008 and led the league with 59 sacks - 13.5 coming from the defensive linemen.

In addition, Dallas noseguard Jay Ratliff, a sixth round draft choice, has been named to two consecutive Pro-Bowls and was named Thursday to the
sportswriters All-Pro team. In addition, All-Pro Demarcus Ware recorded a career high 20 sacks in 2008.

“I would like to thank Coach Mark Richt and Damon Evans for the opportunity for myself and my family to be part of the University of Georgia community,” said Grantham. “I'm very excited about being part of a staff that will work tremendously hard to return Georgia football to one of the premier teams in the SEC. To the fans and boosters of the University of Georgia, I understand the passion and standard of excellence expected. I look forward to developing an aggressive, physical, attacking style defense that offenses will not look forward to playing against.”

During his career Grantham has worked under several successful head coaches and defensive coordinators on both the pro and college levels including Frank Beamer and Bud Foster at Virginia Tech, Nick Saban at Michigan State, Romeo Crennel at Cleveland, Dom Capers at Houston, and Wade Phillips at Dallas.

While at Michigan State the Spartans ranked 19th in total defense in 1996 and 13th in 1997, making consecutive bowl trips.

In 1995 the Hokies ranked first nationally in rushing defense, fifth in scoring defense and 10th in total defense. Virginia Tech racked up 50 sacks en route to the Big East title and a Sugar Bowl triumph over Texas in 1995.

In 2007, Cleveland surfaced as one of the most improved teams in the NFL by compiling a 10-6 record after posting a 4-12 mark in 2006. Under Grantham's watch as defensive coordinator, the Browns 2007 secondary tandem of cornerback Leigh Bodden and former Georgia safety Sean Jones recorded a combined total 11 interceptions. Bodden's six tied for fifth in the league, while Jones' five tied for ninth.

Grantham's defensive unit ranked 15th in the NFL in pass defense (202.6 yards-per-game) during the 2006 season, despite his secondary being
decimated with injuries (defensive backs Daylon McCutcheon, Gary Baxter and Bodden). His secondary witnessed the emergence of safety Jones and defensive back Daven Holly, who tied for the team lead with five interceptions each.

In his first season with the Browns in 2005, Grantham’s defensive unit finished first in the AFC in red zone defense (44.0 touchdown percentage),
fourth in the NFL in pass defense (179.2 yards-per-game), 11th in points allowed (17.7 points-per-game) and tied for 16th in total defense (316.8 yards-per-game).

Prior to joining the Browns, Grantham served as the defensive line coach for the Houston Texans. In 2004 the Texans defense ranked 13th in the NFL against the run and had a streak of seven consecutive games without allowing a rushing score (10/10/04 - 11/28/04).

In 2003 Grantham's defensive line unit was devastated by injuries, as nose tackle Seth Payne suffered a season ending knee injury in week two and Pro Bowl defensive end Gary Walker played in just four games due to shoulder and toe injuries. Despite the injuries, Grantham was able to mix and match his defensive linemen effectively as defensive tackle Jerry Deloach collected a career-high 109 tackles and nose tackle Steve Martin racked up 92 stops in only 14 games. In 2002 Grantham's three starters (Walker, Payne, Deloach) all produced career-high numbers in tackles and Walker earned his second Pro Bowl invitation after recording 115 tackles and 6.5 sacks.

At Indianapolis, Grantham's 2001 defensive line registered 96 sacks over three seasons, helping the Colts post a 29-19 record and advance to the
playoffs twice. Indianapolis' 10-win improvement from 1998 to 1999 marked the greatest one-season turnaround in league history. In 1999 and 2000, the Colts posted 56 sacks, the highest two-year total for the club since it moved to Indianapolis.

Grantham played guard and tackle for the Hokies from 1984-88. He earned second-team All-South and honorable mention All-America honors as a senior. He earned a bachelor's degree in sports management. Grantham was born Sept. 13, 1966, in Pulaski, Va. He and his wife, Paige, have a son, Corbin, and a daughter, Olivia.

24 comments:

Daniel Shirey said...

42 sacks per game?!? Damn!

=P

Hurray for errors!

Kathleen said...

yay!!

Anonymous said...

When does he start work? After this weekend?

Anonymous said...

David: Any idea who will round out the staff? Lance Thompson might be worth looking into.
Also, do you know if we'll get a ST coordinator?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

I know you don't do recruiting, but how do you think this hire will play on the recruiting trail?

Anonymous said...

This is the guy I wanted most when this process began. Sorry, Kirby was just the wrong guy at the wrong time to me.

I hope everyone rallies around TG, he needs our support to get the right staff assembled and excitement from the recruits. Enough of these cheap shots at the UGA program from those who have been so damned critical about something they had little/no knowledge about (the search process). CTG has lost some key defensive players so it will take time to see where he can take us, but the 3-4 and a different style will buy us some cover.

JDawg said...

I also think that Grantham is a great fit. And his comments have me on the verge of giddy:

"I am very excited about being part of a staff that will work tremendously hard to return Georgia football to one of the premier teams in the SEC. To the fans and boosters of the University of Georgia, I understand the passion and standard of excellence expected. I look forward to developing an aggressive, physical, attacking style defense that offenses will not look forward to playing against.” -Todd Grantham

dawgjammin said...

David -

I think the #1 question at this press conference is "What is Rodney Garner's role going forward?"

I think this question will answer the other question about what coaches need to be hired as position coaches. Looks like Grantham has experience coaching DE's and LB's too. I wonder if he'll coach one of those positions and Garner take DL/T's.

Andy said...

This DC search reminded me of the scene in Wedding Crashers, where Vince Vaughn wants them to be from Vermont with an emerging maple syrup conglomerate. Owen Wilson tells him wake up Peter Pan! I would rather be pimps from Oakland or Cowboys from Arizona! It's not Halloween!

I understand Richt and most of the fans wanted to go with the "big name," but Smart, Chavis, and Foster were never realistic candidates. Grantham is a solid DC who I think will prove to be just as good as any other DC out there. I love the part of his statement about being "aggressive, physical and attacking."

whmcclung said...

DH -- will the teleconference be available on the radio? Specifically Sirius/XM?? I know you can get live audio from georgiadogs.com but I'm going to be on the road.

Thanks.

watcher16 said...

David,

Do you think this has been done for a while and we were just being polite and waiting to announce once Dallas hired a replacement? They seemed to fill the position rather quickly is the only reason I ask.

Schlagdawg said...

Holy crap! Mark Bradley said something sorta almost semi-decent about our hire! Is this the beginning of the end???

"Both Grantham and Groh have potential. Neither is a lock to succeed. Just guessing — and I’m bad at guessing, as you know — I’d say Georgia will be happier with its hire three years from now than will Tech. Which isn’t to say Tech itself won’t be happy."

Anonymous said...

And we all become Vikings fans. Ain't life funny?

meat said...

That's a ton of money. If you had your choice of any coordinator available or not, would he be in the top 3? That said, here's to CTG being a DGD!

The Real Texas Dawg said...

The current Dallas D has Wade "Cupcake" Phillips written all over it....but as a DFW resident and Cowboys follower, the most shining improvements this defense has made over the last two years is it's defense line. Granted Ratliff, Spears and Ware are tremendous talents but these dudes have kicked it up a notch over the past two years. And the no-name back-ups that have surfaced on the d-line play just as well....and in some cases even better than the three forementioned. Grantham gets a lot of credit for the improvement/development here in Dallas and where the Cowboys are today.

Kudos to Richt/Evans for working their plan. I personally thought Kirby was a "done deal"...but am very pleased in the final outcome. I think we (UGA) get a firey DC that will get the most out of our D-linemen....and defense as a whole!

Cowboys 27-13 over Minnesota Sunday (sorry folks, it's their destiny this year)....Grantham arrival put onhold for at least another week.

dawgjammin said...

i read grantham notified dallas he was taking the job thursday morning before practice, meaning he took the job wednesday and has had the better part of 2 days to find other assistants. i'd be shocked if they don't announce the other assistants today.

David - You think Dooley and Tennessee will come after Garner????

RaleighDawg said...

I see both sides, but I for one will be cheering for the Cowboys to win it all! I would love to have a DC that can wear his super bowl ring during a home visit with the next great defensive recruit. That would be a great starting line for him with any recruit, “Want to try on my super bowl ring? Now let me tell you how I can help you get one too.”

I think it is fine either way; the big deal was to be able to say we have a great DC and that the current recruits know what to expect.

Boy do I love his quote about what kind of D he wants to build at UGA!

BigMuddyDawg said...

How 'Bout Them Dawgs!

Anonymous said...

Good luck to the Cowboys and the new DC of the UGA Bulldogs, Coach Todd Grantham

Todd said...

So who is going to coach DBs? I have heard all the Travis Jones, Garner, Mccollom, Lance Thompson rumors. None of those guys coach DBS and that was Willie's position.

Hear is to hoping he gets an NFL DB coach. Let's face it. Loyalty is out the window and the kids want the guy that gives them the best shot at getting into "the league"

Anonymous said...

First let me say that I'm happy with the hire. But don't overeact to his quotes in the press conference. I've never heard a single defensive mind coach hired that hasn't said something about attacking more, being more aggressive, and more physical. He's not going to say that he's bringing in a more passive, gentler, softer philosophy. And he sure isn't going to say that he's going to keep things just the way they are.

Again, I think he's a great hire based on his history of success and NFL pedigree, but his comments were actually pretty standard coach speak.

Dr. Merkwurdigliebe said...

Raleigh Dawg - Great comment. I hope Dallas wins the Super Bowl too, so he can shine that ring in recruits eyes. This hire has huge marketing benefits for Richt. I also am very impressed with what Grantham said about the style of defense he wants to run at UGA - aggressive and attacking! Martinez was all about bend but don't break. I also think Grantham will have a positive impact on strength and conditioning since he's been working with pro's for so long.

This is a great hire and we should all be very happy. Grantham will improve our defense.

Anonymous said...

" I also am very impressed with what Grantham said about the style of defense he wants to run at UGA - aggressive and attacking! "

That's awesome. I totally expecting him to say that he'd run a timid, yet playful defense.

RaleighDawg said...

Anonymous 3:06, maybe that is true about other school’s coaches, but it seems like it has been a long time since we had a hard talking coach on our staff. I am very excited about his comments and love that he is represented as a hyperactive style coach with intelligence to burn.