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Todd Grantham To Return To Georgia But Is He Done Flirting With The NFL?

todd-grantham-shoutingTodd Grantham will return to Georgia for his fourth season as defensive coordinator.  Friday night, Grantham announced in a statement he’s withdrawing his name from consideration for the same position with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.

 

“I want to thank Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints organization for the opportunity to interview and get to know them. They are a first class organization in every respect. As I said Wednesday, Georgia is a great place, my family loves it here, and I do as well. This is where our heart is and today I have withdrawn my name from consideration for the position with the Saints. I’m excited to start preparations for another season and along with the rest of our defensive staff look forward to coaching some really good returning players as well as developing some very talented newcomers.”

 

Grantham had interviewed the Saints on Thursday. New Orleans is expected to hire former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out, don’t expect this to be Grantham’s last flirtation with the NFL.  He has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave for an NFL coordinator’s job or a head coaching job in college without penalty. The Philadelphia Eagles had also reportedly expressed interest in Grantham this offseason.

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UGA’s Grantham Still Silent Regarding NFL Rumors

todd-grantham-shoutingA week ago, Todd Grantham’s name was getting lots of play in connection with the defensive coordinator position of the Philadelphia Eagles.  Florida’s Dan Quinn — who left for the Seattle Seahawks last week — and Alabama’s Kirby Smart were tied to the Philly gig, too.  But since last week… silence.

Now one report claims that new Eagles coach Chip Kelly will hire San Francisco 49ers secondary coach Ed Donatell as his defensive coordinator.  So can Georgia fans stop fretting about possibly losing their own D-coordinator?  Not exactly.

Until Donatell’s hiring becomes official — and that won’t happen until after next Sunday’s Super Bowl — the job technically hasn’t been filled.  Also, recently returned-from-exile New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo yesterday.  Payton and Grantham might have some connections through their days as assistants with the Dallas Cowboys, though they never served on the same staff together.  Would Dallas owner and Arkansas alum/booster Jerry Jones call Payton and recommend Grantham just to get him out of the SEC?

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia AD Greg McGarity continues to say that Grantham has not informed him of any offers coming from the National Football League.  Contractually, Grantham is bound to tell McGarity if he is approached by anyone.  But Grantham also has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave UGA for an NFL head coaching job or an NFL coordinator’s position without having to pay the school a buyout.  In addition, Grantham hasn’t kiboshed the rumors — it’s called leverage — which could cause some Bulldog recruits to worry as signing day nears.

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Not All UGA Players Thrilled With Williams’ Rant About Defense

We wondered yesterday how the fire-and-brimstone speech from Georgia safety Shawn Williams would go over with his teammates.  We have our answer — not altogether well.

Williams’ rant included shots at fellow players, an overall statement that his fellow defenders were playing “soft,” and the statement that UGA needs Sean Payton as coach to start handing out bounties.

Bulldog players have responded openly since learning of their teammates comments.

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UGA Safety Williams Unloads On Fellow Defenders

Going into the season, Georgia’s defense was expected to be one of the best in the conference.  Then suspensions and attrition set in and the Dawgs struggled early.  But as star players have returned to the field, Todd Grantham’s unit hasn’t shown a whole lot of improvement.

Individual athletes?  Check.  A strong unit?  No.

Against SEC competition only, UGA currently ranks ninth in the SEC in scoring defense, 10th in rushing defense, seventh in passing defense, and ninth in total defense.  That’s just not good enough.  And even a Bulldog defenders is now saying so.  Forcefully.

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