I thought I’d share some quotes from Mark Richt about what’s behind the hiring of his last two defensive coordinators. Start with a couple of things he said when he hired Todd Grantham. One:
“There were so many names that crossed my desk and people calling from all around that recommended people and when Todd’s name came up I was very interested in learning more about him. The more I learned about him the more excited I got about him. It just so happens that a lot of coaches that I know in the business know Todd and know of what he’s done in the past and know of his football knowledge. I think a lot of people in the college game who have spent time with Todd and grown as coaches, let’s face it, the NFL is really the cutting edge of football and Coach Grantham is one of the best minds out there. [Emphasis added.] And it also turned out that my brother in law, Brad Johnson, who played quarterback for the Cowboys at the tail end of his career and was there last year and got to know Todd as a coach … and was highly impressed with him and his energy and how he would teach and the respect that players had for him.”
“I think it is particularly valuable that he has a wealth of experience on the defensive side of the ball at both the NFL and collegiate levels…”
Here’s what Richt has to say about where his head’s at now:
“You could have great scheme and poor tactics, and you’re going to have no success. I’d rather have less scheme and more tactics and more fundamentals because I think we’ll have a better chance of winning. That is what is happening right now,” Richt said.
To answer the question in the header, no, I don’t think Richt is abandoning defensive scheming. But it’s pretty obvious he’s blowing off all that NFL-based expertise for something more practical, something that Grantham gave plenty of lip service to, but never seemed to instill in his troops. Will that pay off, or will we be reading about a new approach from Richt in a few years?