“Nobody else [is leaving]; we will have our whole defense back.”

While I’m sorry to see Orson Charles leaving, it’s pretty exciting to hear that Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams are staying put in Athens.  Assuming Smith, Washington and Commings do the same (and Seth Emerson indicates all three are leaning towards doing so), that’s nine starters returning on a defense that finished the season ranked fifth in the nation in total defense.  That ain’t too shabby.

What’s even more encouraging is this quote from Williams:

“I am going to come back,” Williams told DawgNation on Wednesday night. “I want to play with Coach Grantham again and try to be an All-American. That is my goal.”

“I want to play with Coach Grantham again” – when’s the last time you heard a Georgia defensive player talk like that?

I once bemoaned the program for having a crisis of faith, by which I meant “the coaches lack faith in the players to execute and the players lack faith in the coaches’ ability to deploy them efficiently and effectively.”  Williams sounds like someone who believes again.

Obviously, they’re not near all the way back yet.  And if the just-concluded season told us anything, it’s that the Georgia program still needs to learn how to finish a game.  But I do wonder how we’re going to look back on the Grantham hire five years from now.

82 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

82 responses to ““Nobody else [is leaving]; we will have our whole defense back.”

  1. jferg

    If Defense (with depth) wins championships, we should be back in ATL for the SECCG. Whether we have the offense to compete once there, that is still TBD.

  2. Rebar

    I think in five years time we will look back on the Grantham hire with a smile!

  3. BulldogBen

    So does this now mean that this season will be the ultimate referendum on Bobo? I mean, barring injuries, I only see the defense getting better and meaner. Particularly if the running game improves with Marshall and Crowell (hopefully) maturing, there will be no more excuses.

    • Puffdawg

      Based on the fact our fans would’ve killed for a ten win season and an SEC East title at the onset of 2011, and yet now many are still not happy, I’d say there’s no possible way to answer your question.

    • Noonan

      If we have a decent running game, I think we end up in Atlanta undefeated. Our offense is hard to contain with a legitimate running threat.

      • Normaltown Mike

        “Our offense is hard to contain with a legitimate running threat.”

        Sadly our Offensive Line has a hard time containing a lightning bug.

        • Noonan

          I agree. We need a big upgrade on the OL. That’s why I said IF we have a decent running game.

          • Cojones

            Yeah, but some don’t see that extending past the RBs. And that myopism calls for uninformed arguments from those who can’t envision “Team” and spreading the responsibility to the blockers for the runners.

  4. Scorpio Jones, III

    Offense, with depth, and defense, with depth, wins championships.

    Dreams are nice, rings are cool but I still think we are the “Glass Football” team away from being there.

    I will not be offended if I am proven too Munsonesque in my outlook.

  5. Puffdawg

    I think this is encouraging for the defense, but I’m even more excited for special teams. If those guys left, we would have had to replace them with full time defenders. Since they are staying, the guys we would have used as replacements can now be used on special teams as well as backups. This will also give the younger guys another year of seasoning.

  6. ChicagoDawg

    This is as good as could have been hoped for, with JJ, SW and BR being the equivalent of getting three 5-star recruits for another year. These are the best pick-ups of the ’12 off-season. Huge.

    • The ATH

      Well said – convincing these three sure draft picks to delay millions for another season is a bigger boost than any 17 year old they’re salivating over on dawgpost.

      • Raleigh St. Clair

        Exactly, because in 2013 and 2014 these 3 guys will be very helpful, right?

        See, most fans who follow recruiting, which is generally described as the lifeblood of a program, understand that recruiting is for 2-3 years down the line.

        I still plan on being a UGA fan in 2-3 years, so, yeah, securing good recruits now is just as important, just for very different reasons.

        • HVL Dawg

          Rambo and Williams were recruits a few years ago. Next year we hope they’ll give us a shot at a championship.

          C’mon Oline. We know we can throw and catch over the top. If we just have a running game.

    • Cojones

      Let’s don’t forget to thank them during the season for their sacrifice as DGDs.

  7. Alphadawg

    It’s not just 9 of 11 starters returning, isn’t it something like 18 or 19 of our 2 deep are returning? I don’t think we’ll see a walk-on back-up a starter next season.

  8. Carolinadawg

    I’ll feel better about us being “back” when an offensive player says “I want to play with Coach Bobo again”. I’ll feel even better when another name replaces “Bobo” in that quote.

    • SCDawg

      I’d be willing to be the starting QB would say that.

    • Cojones

      Many of the O players and recruits have mentioned him complimentary. Of course if you don’t look for those player interviews and the meanings of their words, how would you pick up on it in the first place?

  9. Go Dawgs!

    I think it’s incredible to watch these men play for Coach Grantham. It’s special when a coach comes along that kids buy into so completely that it becomes closer than just the relationship between coaches and players. Grantham has been able to forge some very special bonds with these guys, and I really do believe that the road goes both ways. That’s why I would have been surprised to see him go too far down the road with the Falcons. I’m too young to have really experienced the Erk Russell days, but I think we’ve got the new Erk. He’s not going to be here as long as Erk was, eventually an offer is going to come along that is too good to turn down if his defenses keep playing this way. That’s why I’m going to really focus on enjoying him while he’s here. The confluence of a talented and charismatic coach with an intelligent and inspired student leader like Jarvis Jones is going to be fun next season.

    • Cojones

      And thanks for including the players in your compliment.

      • Cojones

        My years with UGA included Erk. Think of them as being two absolutely differing coaches that made their Ds inspired in differing ways. Each is to be lionized separately for methods and personality.
        Grantham (nor probably Erk) would want to be compared by another’s shadow. I’m sure Saban’s dealing with the same noncomplimentary comparisons to The Bear.

  10. Haywood Jablome

    If if is a sign of great assistants to have their names mentioned in the rumor mills for coaching hires, why haven’t we heard Bobo’s name come up? His supporters are quick to point to stats of the offense. Why then is no other program looking to hire him? It speaks volumes that Grantham’s name is the only name from the UGA staff that is being mentioned.

    • DawgPhan

      It’s because everyone else knows that there is no way that UGA would ever allow anyone to get Bobo away from them.

    • Bobo is an offensive coordinator at a top 15 program. Any move as an offensive coordinator would be a lateral move. He would either go to the League as a QB coach or an assistant (not likely) or get a chance to cut his teeth as a college head coach. Why leave Athens for what would be a lateral move from the program where he played, has coached for 11 years, can live a very good life on $500K/year & see his 5 kids every night?

      I have my questions about Bobo as the answer for a program that wants to win a national championship, but he would be crazy to move laterally. I would think he would consider a lateral move if his good buddy (Kirby Smart) gets a head coaching job and decided he wanted someone he could trust that would run a pro-style offense to accompany him as his offensive coordinator.

    • Scott W.

      Drag that pony out to beat…AGAIN.

    • Cojones

      Funny. Can you name the O coordinator during Dooley’s years? Many only mentioned Dooley and most wanted him to go back to Auburn where he came from until the NC changed things. Same ole, sameole, boys. And how much was Richt’s original O coordinator bandied about? The anti-Bobo crap doesn’t hold water and all I can hear is grinding of teeth for not being able to change anything but a recruits mind with the simplistic arguments against Richt and Bobo. Some of you will never change, nor see the light nor enjoy Dawg football again according to your bias against a good coach. So be it.

      Here’s looking to a great team next year with , hopefully , a Bobo led and credited O of great renown. If you don’t like it, then stick it and fume all summer.

      • 81Dog

        I wish I’d said that. Preach it, brother!

      • Can you name the O coordinator during Dooley’s years?

        He sure can. ;)

      • One thing for the Bobo defenders. Look at Aaron Murray, his footwork issues, his inability to throw the ball away, his penchant for turning the ball over again and again, at the worst times, his early season stare downs of primary receivers, etc. Doesn’t at least some of his technique issues have to be a problem for the man who’s been his position coach for 3 1/2 years now?

        • Puffdawg

          Possibly, if he didn’t have such a good track record of developing QBs. Three of his four starters (Greene, Shockley, Stafford) had gotten their shot in the NFL. Murray will likely get his shot as well, which would be an 80% clip. There probably isn’t another QB coach in the country with that type of track record. I think his best work was actually done with Zach Mettenberger. Admittedly, I’m not a guru, but from my untrained eye, Mett’s turnaround during his one year on campus from a 1 for 10 spring game performance to polished pocket passer the next year was astonishing. I don’t think you can chalk all those products up to luck. Question his ability as an OC all you want, but I think he’s proven himself as a QB coach. I suspect we are going to be amazed at Murray’s progress next season, if that’s even possible. There’s something to be said for the confidence of an upperclassman.

          • Puffdawg

            Read this. I could be wrong but I don’t think yousee comments like that from NFL coaches about rookie QBs. Pretty good endorsement of somebody at UGA’s ability to coach up a QB, whether that’s Richt or Bobo or both.

            http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/2009/08/scott_linehan_on_lions_matthew.html

          • Fair enough, although one could say as a caveat, if they were wanting to be adament anti-Bobo, that…
            Greene-Was when Richt was still much more hands on at the position and with the offense, as his play was very similar to his FSU QBs. He also was just a natural in intelligence, ball safety, making reads, etc.
            Shockley-Also Richt’s baby. And also was never the best fundamentally with his funky motion, played in a different system than the others using more shotgun which alters the footwork, and was turnover prone until that 5th year.
            Stafford-Again, turnover prone. Made plenty of mental mistakes, and just how many more picks does he throw if he isn’t rifling it 150 mph? Also like Greene, he was just a natural for the position, and more than anyone, had received an excellent foundation in fundamentals and footwork long before arriving on campus.

            • Puffdawg

              While I respect the attempt, you’d probably agree that’s a weak rebuttal. Presuming you weren’t at practice every day, you can’t truly comment how “hands on” Richt was. That’s a relative assumption that’s hard to back up, and really doesn’t discount Bobo’s QB coaching ability anyway.

              Shockley had a 10 to 4 TD to INT ratio before his senior season – HARDLY turnover prone.

              Stafford -that he COULD throw it 150 mph caused him to throw it into coverage when he should have thrown it away. If he isn’t able to rifle it 150 mph, he’s probably less aggressive.

              As for all these guys being naturals, I’d chalk that up to talent identification and recruiting prowess. Sticking strictly to Bobo’s coaching ability, I’d argue there are plenty of QBs out of high school who are “natural” and who receive and excellent foundation in high school who don’t make it to the NFL. Again, ALL these guys got a shot in the NFL. I’d put that resume against any QB coach in America.

              • Puffdawg

                Shockley context, as he wasn’t full time starter before senior season-
                Before senior season – 3% int ratio
                Senior season – 1.6% int ratio
                Greene career – 2.2% int ratio

  11. Macallanlover

    I think we would all be excited if OC is all we lose to the NFL from the Junior class. I wish Shawn Wiliams had included a comment that was team oriented like “and to win a championship because we have some unfinished business in Atlanta.” Or that we want to show a defense like those who finished above us next year. I don’t doubt he means to do that, but we had an AA on our offensive line this season and it didn’t make us very good. Individual goals are always secondary to team goals with successful teams. Glad to have you back Shawn, let’s hope the other defensive guys return and make us the shut down defense every one envies in 2012.

    • ChicagoDawg

      I get your point, but I would like to think that he was answering the question as it relates to his personal development at the CFB versus entering the draft now. While we all think about things from a team context first and foremost, the players understandably think about the rest of their lives and their careers — and understandably so in my opinion.

      • Macallanlover

        I think you are right, the conversation was about him, and his decision. I guess I just gravitate to the athletes who always realize their success is tied to others. I am not sure SW’s body of work alone got him the notoriety to even get a scout’s attention, it was partially responsible to the success our D had this season. When a defense is Top 5, folks tend to breakdown it’s parts. It is perfectly natural for any person to always take care of themselves, and their families’ interests, no problem with that at all.

    • adam

      He did say “the whole defense is coming back” and something about them setting records. I think the defense’s potential was one of the reasons he came back. I think Shawn is very much a team guy. He quickly became one of my favorite dawgs this year.

      • Cojones

        Don’t forget Rambo getting past some playing issues and returning for more circumspection. The flavor of the group is “Team” for returning and that’s how I will look at it next season. Sometimes “Team ” can be written all over a person’s actions so I’m putting the name J Jones beside each player’s name.

  12. Said it before, I’ll keep saying it. I really, really hope that Todd Grantham is well on his way to becomming the Mickey Andrews to Richt’s Bobby Bowden, the Charlie McBride to Richt’s Tom Osborne.

    Stable situation, at a great school, in a great community for him and his family, well paid, with plenty of resources, great talent base to work with, and complete authority over his unit without the massive headaches and non-football obligations that come with being a head coach.

    • Mr. S, good insight as always. Why go to the League as a d-coordinator when you have some input into personnel decisions when you can have total control over everything from personnel to game planning at UGA? Why take a head coaching position that requires all of the other obligations? The only answers to those questions are ego and $$$$$. I would rather Grantham be Erk to Richt as Vince. If you watch the Erk tribute on the 1980 Dawgs documentary, that would be high praise indeed.

    • DawgPhan

      at first I thought..what the hell does charlie pride have to do with Nebraska football?

      You dont have to call me….

  13. SCDawg

    What we need to parlay this into greater success is better play on the offensive line. There are going to be at least four top ten defenses in the conference again next year. We will not beat teams like Bama or LSU, must less South Carolina, unless the play along the offensive line gets much better.

  14. BulldogBen

    All, I posed this question in another blog post but it was late in the day. I’m curious, has Bobo/Richt ever moved a player from their natural position and put them on Offense and had success? I can’t recall. I’m not talking about the Champ Baileys and Brandon Boykins who do it all. I’m talking permanent moves.

    ie – Donnan moving Robert Edwards to RB.

    • Normaltown Mike

      Wasn’t Malcolm Mitchell mostly projected as DB/Safety?

      FWIW, Donnan didn’t move Edwards to RB, Goff did.

      • Ginny

        Yes, Mitchell was project as a CB if I remember but Richt wanted him at receiver. Pretty stellar move IMO.

      • Gravidy

        Mitchell was recruited by almost everyone as a DB. As I recall, he only started playing receiver seriously as a HS senior. But he wanted to play receiver in college, and Richt agreed. I was skeptical of the decision at the time, because the Richard Samuel situation was so fresh in my mind. If you recall, he was recruited by most as a LB, but Richt allowed him to play RB. That move didn’t work out so well. However, I’ll happily admit I was wrong about Mitchell.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          “but Richt allowed him to play RB. That move didn’t work out so well.”
          Well, there was the Florida game. He was finding his stride.

          • Gravidy

            I have commented a couple of times on this site about Samuel ‘not working out very well’, and both times someone has quickly reminded me of his performance in the Florida game.

            Let me just say this: I will always remember what he did in the Florida game. It was a pivotal performance in a huge rivalry game. For that reason, he will always be able to hang his hat on that. However, I still stand by my opinion of his career so far. For the life of me, I cannot understand how anyone could objectively examine his career to date and say that it has worked out as well as they expected it would for a five star recruit.

            Furthermore, let me clarify, lest I get firebomed as an energy vampire. I like Samuel. I don’t blame him for anything. He has done his best for the team. If he rips off a big performance as a senior, I’ll be glad to eat my words.

            • SCDawg

              Saumel is a great athlete and a damn good dawg. He is clearly playing out of position at RB. I fear he won’t see the field much next year, whether he stays at RB or moves to LB. How about putting him on all the special teams units for starters?

              • WFdawg

                I think he could be pretty effective on ST. I imagine Malcome has eclipsed him as our short yardage back.

            • AthensHomerDawg

              I’m sure you are right. DickSam IV ia not worthy of UGA running back status based on his current body of work …regardless of his performance anomaly at the Florida game. Would we have won that game without him? It’s not you Gravidy…. its me I’m sure. I’m getting soft.

          • Raleigh St. Clair

            That one game vs all the others, most of which looked like the MSU game.

            Samuel is great athlete, but he is not a natural running back.

            • Especially considering how young he was on arrival, I wonder how differently his career looks if he redshirts that first year at one position that he sticks to for the full 5 years.

              • Gravidy

                Yes. This. I wish he had redshirted as a 16-17 year old freshman and spent four years at LB. I certainly don’t know for sure, but I really suspect his impact would have been greater if that had been his path at UGA.

        • adam

          Pretty sure Malcolm played WR and CB his whole HS career.

          • Gravidy

            You’re probably right. I remember reading an article that said he decided to really work with his coach and concentrate on WR during his senior year. Maybe I read too much into that.

      • Although as I reread your question, the response to Henderson could be that WR was his natural position, and we moved him from his unnatural spot of CB to the much more suitable side of the ball.

    • Cojones

      IV was on his way before injury. Don’t forget his winning plays to beat FU. It was worth a career at RB to me. He was a D player when he came, ran as RB and was changed back to D before being asked to come back to O permanently. We owe that man a few kudos for doing so willingly and for his power, never-to-be forgotten, runs up the middle.

      • I guess we see different things then. I didn’t see a player “on his way” before the injury, I saw the same Samuel before Florida, and after Florida, that I’d always seen. Someone who can’t find a hole, doesn’t aggressively attack the line of scrimmage, doesn’t run down hill, and doesn’t power through contact often hitting the turf on first touch. The Florida game was the lone exception, at least to my eyes, to every other game he’s played at RB. Oh, and he had one great 80 yd carry earlier in his career. Aside from that, I’ve never seen anything remotely resembling a natural ball carrier. A great young man, and DGD, sure. But a TB? Not so much aside from that single outlier. If it wasn’t for the vision and inability to run through contact, I’d be much more confident of him giving us a good FB to pair with Xander Ogletree thanks to his outstanding size/speed combo. Physically, I wanna say Greg Jones from FSU and the Jaguars, but I’ve never seen a player anywhere close to that on the field, again, aside from that single day at the Cocktail Party.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        2007: Appeared in 11 games making three starts
        *Two punt returns for seven yards at Georgia Tech
        *One reception for eight yards vs. Kentucky
        *Made two punt returns for four yards vs. No. 18 Auburn
        *One reception for 37 yards and one rush for five yards vs. Troy
        *Recorded one reception, a 53 yard TD catch, vs. No. 9 Florida

        *One catch for four yards and two punt retuns for 11 yards at Tennessee
        *Made two catches for 19 yards vs. Ole Miss
        *Three receptions for a career-high 36 yards including a 25-yard game-winning TD reception, the first TD of his career, in overtime to defeat No. 16 Alabama in Tuscaloosa; returned three punts for 39 yards
        *Caught two passes for 22 yards vs. W. Carolina
        *Three catches for 27 yards and three punt returns for 53 yards vs. S. Carolina
        *Had three catches for a career-best 28 yards and returned three punts for 67 yards including a long of 63 that set up UGA’s final TD vs. Oklahoma St.
        *Named Best All-Around Offensive Player at conclusion of spring drills
        *Caught 60-yd. TD pass in annual Spring Game

        “This comment is meant for educational purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. …” We good?

        Goodness –yep– WR is his “natural position …sounds like a Lambskin Ad to me. But special teams is where he shined. For shure

  15. South FL Dawg

    Wasn’t Williams the player that James Franklin went after at the end of the Vandy game?
    Grantham had his back. Could be Grantham also told him privately later to cut the penalties but when the camera was running Grantham turned on the idiot Vandy coach and it wasn’t lost on Williams and maybe other players as well.

  16. shane#1

    A coach should have a players back. How many times did Bobby Cox get himself thrown out of a game to save a player? B-ball coaches do it all the time. yes, players appreciate this.

  17. Peteydawg

    Maybe I’m completely insane, and I’m certainly not getting my hopes up… But, if not next year….when? The schedule couldn’t be easier (SEC wise), and the east is more down than I can even remember. CTG has finally got the “team” thing going on. (aka not leaving early mercenaries) The defense will be like bama’s this year… Who’s to say we even need offense? Bobo gets his shot next year. I’m not going to be bailing on the dawgs if we blow it… And it’s way early… But when has it been better lined up for us?

  18. Dawg19

    Don’t forget…It doesn’t hurt that Rambo gets to face Mr. Da’Rick Rogers at home next year…more incentive to come back. Not a deal breaker, for sure…but Rambo has to like that.

  19. W Cobb Dawg

    Lets hope CTG and Garner never have a falling out, cause we know who’s going to be leaving if that happens.