Yesterday, multiple reports from NFL insiders and beatwriters suggested that Florida’s Dan Quinn and Georgia’s Todd Grantham were strong candidates to land in Philadelphia as the Eagles’ new defensive coordinator. Quinn is off the market after accepting the Seattle Seahawks’ D-coordinator job, but new reports connect Chip Kelly to yet another SEC coordinator… Alabama’s Kirby Smart.
According to the Twitter feed of Howard Eskin of WIP-FM in Philadelphia, both Grantham and Smart will interview or have been interviewed for the Eagles’ job. Both men currently oversee 3-4 defenses.
“We’re going to be an attacking-style defense. It’s going to be a group of people who dictates the tempo of the game. What that spacing is in terms of is it a 4-3 spacing or 3-4 spacing, I think it’s, again, looking at our roster and understanding who I have the opportunity to bring here.”
Smart has been at Alabama since Nick Saban’s arrival in 2007. Before that he served as Saban’s safeties coach with the Miami Dolphins in 2006. He also spent time at Georgia, Valdosta State, Florida State, LSU, and Georgia (his alma mater) again before his one-year stint in the NFL.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s current defensive coordinator was still out on the recruiting trail yesterday. According to The Athens Banner-Herald, Grantham had not informed AD Greg McGarity of any approach by the Eagles or any other suitor as of last night.
Grantham did discuss the NFL chatter with one of the recruits he met with yesterday. High schooler Davin Bellamy of Chamblee, Georgia told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“Coach Grantham brought up the NFL stuff, and he told me that he wanted that to stay between us two. He told me if anybody asks, tell them, ‘Coach Grantham has already talked to you about it.’”
But when asked if he thought Grantham would stay or go, Bellamy told the paper, “I think he’ll be at Georgia.” Bellamy added: “He’s already been in the league once. He has been there, done that. I just think he will stay at Georgia.”
Grantham or Smart? Smart or Grantham? Grantham has more NFL experience. Smart has had better college defenses than Grantham and has served at the foot of Saban for several years. Who will Kelly decided upon — if one of those two at all — and will that person say “yes” if the new Eagles’ boss offers them his D-coordinator job?