Daily Archives: January 16, 2010

Four thoughts on the Grantham hire

Even after you weed out all the “agile, hostile and mobile” red meat comments for the fan base, there’s still a lot left to chew on from what Richt and Grantham had to say during yesterday’s teleconference.  Here’s my take on what we heard:

  1. Anticipation… is making me wait. Remember all the finger wagging we’ve been doing in Mark Richt’s face about how the DC hire may be the most important decision of his career?  Well, guess what, people?  Mark Richt thinks so, too. Combine that with a personality that’s by nature thoughtful and deliberate and in retrospect it’s not hard to see that this pick was never going to be a rush job.  Richt had his time frame in mind from the get go (i.e., this weekend) and a process that he wanted to follow.  Unless something dropped into his lap unexpectedly, that pace was never likely to be changed.  Which leads me to my second point…
  2. We may not have taken Damon Evans seriously, but the coaching community did. Pretend you’re Bud Foster for a minute.  Mark Richt calls to talk about his due diligence on Todd Grantham.  After speaking for a while about the candidate (who, by the way, is seven years younger than you and coached under you at VT), you learn that under the right circumstances the University of Georgia is prepared to make somebody the third highest paid coordinator in college football.  Unless you’re brain-damaged or insane, what are likely to be the next words coming out of your mouth upon hearing that?  And once that happens, how does Mark Richt ignore the interest of established guys like Foster and Chavis?  Short answer:  he doesn’t, but he doesn’t let his time track for the hire get thrown off, either.  Those guys had their shot, they squeezed the opportunity for what it was worth and Richt moved on.  What I find most significant is that we’ve heard of only two guys that got the maximum offer from Georgia.  One of the two stayed in Tuscaloosa.  The other is the new defensive coordinator.  It’s hard to fault Richt for that.
  3. Mark Richt has a place for Rodney Garner as long as Rodney Garner wants it. Todd Grantham has never met Rodney Garner, but has “heard good things about him”.  Todd Grantham will also be coaching linebackers.  That’s a message from Mark Richt, not just to Grantham, but also to Damon Evans.  There’s probably nobody happier about the size of Grantham’s contract besides Grantham than Garner.  And why not?  Everyone notes that Mark Richt is now the dean of SEC coaches, but is there a current assistant coach in the conference who’s been at his present school longer than Garner?  Toss in the way he’s held things together in the most turbulent season of the Richt era and it’s hard to begrudge the man.  On the flip side, there’s a lot of good in Athens for Garner.  He gets to absorb line coaching in a 3-4 scheme; that’s got to be a plus for the resume.  And you’d think he’s counting his blessings that he resisted Lane Kiffin’s overtures last year.
  4. The real process starts now. Forget about the job search.  Think about what’s left on Mark Richt’s plate.  Recruiting.  Filling out the rest of the coaching staff openings.  Personnel evaluation.  Installing a totally new defensive scheme.  More personnel evaluation.  Lather and repeat.  Make no mistake about this hire – it represents the most significant change in the program since Richt’s start.  My personal feeling is one of great excitement.  I think the program was in need of some new energy and needed to be shaken up, but none of us knows if Grantham will prove to be the right man for the job.  But I do know this:  if I start seeing kids learning proper technique, tackling consistently, playing their assignments, pass protecting the middle of the field, I’m gonna be one happy fellow.  That’s a process I can look forward to watching play out.
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Filed under Georgia Football

Saturday morning buffet

Because you can never get enough.

  • Derek Dooley’s dominoes?  (Probably not, because of $$$.)
  • UT had a fun time dealing with the press in the minutes before Kiffin announced his resignation.
  • Speaking of Junior, if you didn’t hear this quote of his from the Jim Rome Show yesterday, it’s a classic:  “The recruits weren’t coming to UT to wear the yellow uniform, they were coming to play for this coaching staff.”
  • Charles Barkley has a theory about the Laner’s career advancement that’s as good as any, I suppose.
  • Just when I think Urban Meyer has hit the outer limits of douchebaggery, he proves me wrong.  [NOTE:  See link provided in comments for more.]
  • In the Lingerie Football League, “defense might win games, but offense sells the game.” Riiiight – only to those people who buy Playboy for the articles.
  • Bud Foster to ECU:  if you’ll pay, I’ll talk.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, The Body Is A Temple, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

The James Gang rides again (maybe).

It’s rapidly becoming clear that if the Mike Leach-TTU litigation ever sees a courtroom, the most entertaining part of it will be the James family.  Here are a few choice allegations contained in Leach’s complaint:

Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, in a lawsuit filed against the school last week, alleges that wide receiver Adam James stormed out of the athletic offices yelling an expletive and slammed the outer door to the coaches’ office so hard that it split and came off its hinges, causing approximately $1,100 in damage.

The alleged confrontation with the coaches took place after Leach and assistant coach Lincoln Riley had informed James that he was being demoted to third string…

• In September, Craig James called assistant coach Tommy McVay “to tell him, in effect, that you coaches are crazy and you’re screwing my kid.”

James

James

• The same day that he made the call to McVay, Craig James left a message for Riley “stating, in effect, ‘You don’t know what you’re doing. Adam James is the best player at the wide receiver position. … If you’ve got the [blank] to call me back, and I don’t think you do, call me back.’ “

• During practices before the Valero Alamo Bowl, Adam James “told Coach [Bennie] Wylie that Wylie didn’t know what he was doing and James’ effort was just fine.”

• Adam James “voluntarily placed himself into the electrical closet and apparently took pictures with his phone camera.”

Get ‘em on the stand and make sure ESPN televises the proceedings.

Meanwhile, Craig James has no regrets.  And he’s shocked, shocked by the suggestion that his being a TV celebrity was a factor in what went down.

But “I’ve said this: Any parent that knew what I knew, it was my role and responsibility as a dad, not a celebrity, not as an ESPN personality,” James said.

Of course, if his version of events with Leach is as firmly based in reality as some of his political positions,

… James, who lives in Celina, waved off suggestions that his role in the firing of Texas Tech University football coach Mike Leach might harm him as a candidate. He defended his actions, saying any damage caused to him personally is “inconsequential.”

He sharply criticized federal legislation to overhaul the health care system as too intrusive and coercive.

However, to support his argument, he used widely circulated and erroneous descriptions of last summer’s House version of the legislation – and how government could tap into people’s private bank accounts.

The claims have been discredited by groups such as FactCheck.org and Politifact, which say the provision in question would allow patients to pay for medical care the same way they now can pay mortgages or utility bills: by electronic funds transfers from bank accounts…

he should make for a fun witness.  Especially if he testifies like this:

“The blessing I’ve had is on Thursdays and Saturdays on national TV … for 20 years, I’ve spoken to that young audience,” he said. “I’m going to go fist-pump them, make them understand, ‘Dude, we need you in the game. You are important.’ “

Dude.

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Filed under Mike Leach. Yar!