Me likee Grantham.

I don’t know how it translates onto the field yet, but, damn, every time I read a quote from Coach Grantham about his philosophy on defense, I come away impressed.

Chris Low gets this from him:

“I worked under Dom Capers, and he’s a 3-4 guy, too. So is Wade Phillips,” Grantham said. “They all have their things you take from them.”

Simply, it’s a defense predicated upon hitting the quarterback and making that guy’s life miserable on Saturday afternoons.

And the only stat that really matters to Grantham is winning.

“We want to attack people,” Grantham said. “And when I say that, that doesn’t mean you’re always blitzing. You’re attacking them mentally and physically. The most important guy on the field is the quarterback. If you look at all the teams that win, usually at the end of the year, their quarterback probably played well.

“So, defensively, you have to stop the run, but you also have to affect the quarterback. You can do that multiple ways. One is with pressure and the next way is by disguise. The quarterback likes to get a pre-snap read and know where he’s going to throw the ball. You’d like to be able to show something and then take it away.”

… Grantham’s other goal for this spring is to become a more physical defense.

“Being physical is being a good tackling team, because what that does is eliminate big plays, which goes hand in hand with not giving up a lot of points,” Grantham said. “If you’re giving up points, then you’re probably giving up big plays. But if you make teams go the long, hard way and don’t give up big plays and make them earn it, then you can usually find a way to stop them.

Being smart and being fundamentally sound – I’ll take it.


Filed under Georgia Football

29 responses to “Me likee Grantham.

  1. JaxDawg

    Stop the run, go after the QB, play aggressive (not passive), tackle well, and make the opposing offense earn their points.

    Gee, this football stuff really isn’t all that difficult is it?


  2. Charles D.

    I like the sound of what Grantham is saying, but at some point, he can just be quiet.

    He has said all he needs to say to prove he knows his philosophy and to make UGA fans warm and fuzzy.

    Perhaps Coach Richt could get all the assistants to simply zip it up for the rest of the off-season and just go to work. A parrot can talk, and all we have gotten out of the program for the last couple of years is talk.

    Lets see some improvement, ok?


    • Jmart

      Here’s a little tip for you.

      If you go to blogs, websites and news outlets that cover the Dawgs, you’re likely going to hear people talk about …. the Dawgs.


    • JC in Powder Springs

      Sorry, but I’m lovin the way Grantham is talking. It’s positive reinforcement and gets his message across. Keep it up. I hope the players, and better yet – the other Dawg coaches are listening good, and start assuming the same mindset/attitude. I’m sick and tired of our coaches shrugging their shoulders when dozens of penalties, missed tackles, passive playcalls, and poorly executed plays – happen right under their noses. Coaches are supposed to be responsible for the team win or loose – it’s about time some of them start talking like they’ve got a stake in the outcome of games.


    • DawgByte

      Charles D – Hello, this is a Dawg Blog and the primary reason why we come to these sites is to get quotes like the one Grantham has provided. This is called Marketing 101. We have a new product that not only needs to be sold to the fan base, but to future HS recruits and their coaches.

      Grantham is exactly what this program needed… a mainline shot of NFL mentality!


  3. Dawg85

    I agree Senator. He really seems to know his stuff. We’ll see if it pans out on the field — I really do think it will. Hopefully offensive coordinators won’t be salivating about Georgia’s defense anymore, knowing that their weak armed quarterback is about to have his career day.

    I love reading Grantham’s quotes. I think most Dawg junkies do. Charles D. needs to go take a chill pill or drink some coffee. If you don’t want quotes about Georgia football don’t read blogs about Georgia football.


  4. What else is he supposed to talk about? The NFL is where he worked for the last eleven years of his life. Besides, it’s not like he is going all Lane Kiffin-like where he drops Pete Carroll’s name every 30 seconds.


  5. Macallanlover

    It is easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm of this change in defensive coaches and philosophy, I am certainly hopeful too. My one concern beyond the obvious about having the assignments ingrained by Septemeber is the ability to stop the run. The 3-4 was developed as a way to confuse the QB’s in a league where teams are totally dependent on the effectiveness of that position. It applies more pressure to the QB, and forces mistakes created by that pressure and confusion. The NFL runs to set up the pass but no team is totally run dependent. Not so much in the college game. Not to say QB isn’t a critical position in college, but there are many teams who can beat you solely with an effective running game.

    I think we will see more QB sacks, interceptions, and fumbles generated this fall by the new UGA defense, but I worry if we can stop the smash mouth, straight ahead running games. Do we have the talent on the front line and at ILB to defend the run against college teams that have seem to have better runners than throwers? This isn’t a criticsm of the 3-4, and I am not an Xs and Os person so I may be naive about this, but the 3-4 has been in the NFL for years (and is spreading rapidly from what I hear on ESPN), but it was developed to stop a game that is quite different than CFB. You cannot argue with what Saban has accomplished the past 2 years at Bama, but having Cody in the middle may make that an unfair test. I am on-board just because I like an attacking style defense and I love the enthusiasm, but I feel we are going to like the improvment we see against the pass and be frustrated by the rushing yards we give up. That may change as we recruit differently, and could be masked by confusing stunts and blitzes. Approaching this from a cautiously optimisitc viewpoint.


    • I think we will see more QB sacks, interceptions, and fumbles generated this fall by the new UGA defense, but I worry if we can stop the smash mouth, straight ahead running games.

      Fair point, but how many of those type running games does Georgia see each year these days?


      • Cdawg

        Senator, I think you can add South Carolina to that list for one. With an extra few days to prepare for this defense, I think Spurrier is going to have Garcia running the football up the gut with an extra blocker at “offensively disguised points of attack” A LOT, as opposed to attempting 50+ passes against the “Martinez soft zone”.

        Given that it will be our second game breaking in a new quarterback, I’m not expecting us to be airing it out either. Should make for another exruciatingly close game in the “hell” that is Columbia*.

        Depending on the success of that strategy (if I’m right), expect more of the same, especially from teams like Tennessee, and even Mississipppi State, Auburn and Florida (and hopefully Alabama).

        Don’t get me wrong, Grantham was always my top choice for the d.c. job, and I believe he will be a huge success at Georgia. But success doesn’t always happen over night, especially for a team playing its second game of the season, and first game in the SEC, on the road breaking in a new quarterback.

        In my opinion, the success of this season will therefore rest on the shoulders of the offensive line, and our ability to win close games (which is where the extra turnovers would really help).

        I went to the game in Columbia in 2008, and watched our mostly all-freshman and sophmore line get their butts whipped by a very talented and experienced defensive line in the most excruciating heat I’ve ever encountered in a football stadium (* those of you who complain about the heat in the bathrooms at ASU and LSU that season obviously did not go to Columbia that year; I went to all 3; ASU and LSU bathrooms were almost refreshig compared to the outdoor conditions in that damned tin box that is Williams Bryce).

        I also watched Moreno make the most fantastic 1, 2 and 3 yard runs I’ve ever seen a running back make that day, and witnessed Ben Jones’ first play at center backed up on our own 1 yard line.

        It’s time for our now veteran offensive line, and our much respected offensive line coach, to be THE strength of this program, as opposed to an excuse.

        If that happens, I’m very optimistic about the new season. But with a new defensive scheme and a new quarterback, I’m also realistic.

        Either way, I just talked myself in to going to the game in Columbia again this year after swearing I would never set foot in that inferno again.

        GO DAWGS!


        • Spence

          Dude, if the 3-4 makes SC’s biggest threat Garcia running up the middle, well that’s just a win-win situation.


      • Macallanlover

        Certainly not all Senator, but there are some concerns we should have, and if we do show vulnerability to the run, ALL SEC teams are capable of gouging you.

        As someone said below, I put SC as a team that has always been a straight-ahead running team. Miss State is changing their attack, but always seems to have a talented TB. TN may be forced to rely more on the run this year. Even under CGM, AU will still be able to run right at you.

        But the two biggest concerns about teams we will probably play this year are: Bama in the SECCG, and GT. Bama is self explanatory, but GT may not be as obvious. The key to stopping the triple option, imo, is jamming/neutering the A Back on the dive. If you do that, the outside threat is much more easily contained. That is why UGA shut GT down this year, and why I thought we would all along. Look at the talent we had on our DL, no one was going to run up the gut on us, GT included. If we don’t have the talent to control the runnung game next year with the 3-4, GT will control the ball on us and make this a shootout. Forget having the speed to handle them on the outside, the A Back will already be running down the field picking up big yards. This year they gained nothing up the gut, let’s hope we have a solution for that area of the field next year.

        Sure the QB and a passing game is becoming a bigger part of CFB, but there will always be more talented runners than NFL style passers. And coaches will always take the less risky 5-8 yards on a running play, if you give it to them easily, than putting the ball in the air (Pirates excepted.)


    • Prov

      Those are legit concerns. Although, from some of CTG’s comments it seems the 3-4 is very flexible and may be adjusted to what offenses are doing. I think the 3-4 gives the D more options.


    • Jmart

      Tell that to Alabama. They didn’t seem to have any problem with stopping the run. In any good defense, stopping the run is job #1.


    • Jmart

      One huge flaw in this argument is that the 3-4 will be overall, bigger and more physical which will certainly not hurt the ability to stop the run. We will now have a 6’4, 260 guy playing LB.


  6. Macallanlover

    Your concerns are warranted and you raise good questions. Grantham’s number one job isn’t finding ILB’s its finding 3 guys willing to have no glamour or glory. Essentially 3 guys who may not tally much stats but are the lynchpin of this defense. If he can get the line set they can find guys to play the 4 backer spots among the athletes on the team.


    • Macallanlover

      I agree that we may have the talent on board for the ILBs now, and may have the athleticism for the 2 DE spots (maybe), but the nose guard is the key player in this defense to me. I don’t see as much concern as you about finding players willing to sacrifice the stats for clogging up the run gaps, they are getting an education in the defense that is supposed to double next year in the NFL. With UGA having 3 DTs likely to be drafted this April, all we need is a decent defensive improvement this year to put us in Atlanta and lift UGA back to a “hotttt” commodity for recruits. CTG will be getting a lot of positive ink if that happens and players will flock to learn about DL in a 3-4 scheme, imo.


  7. stripped down rhetoric

    Basically the D is going to do everything exactly opposite of the prior years. I still like hearing it though.


  8. Get after the QB. Thats been missing. Giving up too many points…thats been missing. The mindset to make it miserable for the other team and make them do things the hard way.

    I will take it!! This guy is saying the right stuff, I cant wait for August


  9. Bulldgog Bry

    Let’s face it, we’re going to slice and dice everything those guys say (or don’t say) for the next six months. All they CAN say is the right things.

    Still, though, it’s a change and that can’t be bad.


  10. I agree with the Senator. How many teams do the Dawgs play that line up to play a smash mouth running game.? The DAWGS do. The 3-4 should be best against the spread (single wing ?) that we normally see & against the triple option.


    • Hackerdog

      +1 Tony.

      The 4-3 works great against 2 RBs in the I formation running between the tackles. But those DTs aren’t going to help you against Meyer’s or Johnson’s RBs who are sprinting to the edge. That’s where removing a DT, who can’t get in position, with a LB, who can get to the edge and make the play, will pay off.


  11. We haven’t been getting beat by teams that primarily ran the ball. For many years now, Georgia has consistently lost to the pass, and has consistently made mediocre QBs look like Heisman candidates.

    A defense that is more anti-pass is a good thing for UGA.


    • I totally agree, we made Garcia and Crompton look like Heisman candidates last year. The only QB’s we faced last year that should have had a good games were Zac Robinson, Ryan Mallett and maybe Chris Todd.


    • pincfx

      Exactly. College football IS about the passing game more than ever before. How many times did we face a spread offense last year?


  12. 69Dawg

    Ok I’m far from an X’s and O’s guy but for years you hear about the number of guys in the box to stop the run. Anyway you want to look at it 4-3 or 3-4 there are still 7 guys in the box. It’s just where you set them. The pros love to blitz the running game which makes for some lost yardage plays as the LB hits the RB in the backfield. Rest assured if our scholar athletes can learn the D CTG can call a heck of a game run or pass. I’m betting that the smart layers play and the dumb players are on “Special” teams.


  13. Brandon

    Grantham has the right philosophy, whether he can coach it as a DC remains to be seen.


  14. Dboy

    I’ll be happy with moderate improvements on D this year and waiting on the great jump forward next year (2011). I would like a little confusion of the opposing QBs. The performance of Garcia and Crompton were nauseating. They dissected our d like it was a HS defense. Their read at the line was always correct and they just picked us apart…. And there was no effective adjustment in game by our D. Please help us C Grantham!!


  15. Dboy

    Also, I’m no defensive guru but the 3-4 seems intuitively the superior scheme to stop the spread offense. I know the 3-4 was designed and perfected in the NFL to stop pro style offenses, but having an extra stand up guy to read and react seems like an advantage against the college style spread. Any thoughts Senator?