From Grantham to Pruitt: KISS.

When Mark Richt hired Todd Grantham, that NFL experience looked pretty good to him.

“I’m excited the search is over, we have our man, and look forward to what Todd will bring to our defense, our team, and our University,” said Richt. “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…”

But he’s singing a different tune these days.

“Coach Pruitt, Coach Rocker, Coach Ekeler and Coach Sherrer, they all coached high school ball and I think it’s good when you have that,” he said. “These guys are used to taking young guys, taking them from ground zero fundamentally and really showing them how to tackle, showing them how to defeat blocks and how to do things fundamentally sound. They’re really good teachers here and they were teachers as well at their earlier schools. And everyone of them was also on a national championship team in college so they all know what it takes to win and because of that I think they have developed a standard of how we’re to operate. This is what we consider maximum effort and we expect that every single play and if you don’t we’ll put somebody else in there…”

Now I don’t think that high school coaches are better as a class at teaching fundamentals than NFL coaches are.  But I do think they’re more familiar with teaching fundamentals in a time-constrained setting.  There’s less you can do coaching in college than in the pros and that’s a lesson I’m not sure Grantham fully accepted.  And that may be what gives me the most hope for an improvement on the defensive side of the ball this season.

“One thing Coach Pruitt said to me in the interview process… that I fell in love with was, ‘If we can’t execute it, I won’t call it in the game.’ So sometimes I think some coaches think the scheme is going to win the game. We’re going to out-scheme everybody. But it’s really the fundamentals that count. You may call the best defense for that situation but if your defense can’t execute it properly, we’ve got issues.

“And so Coach Pruitt is like, ‘Coach, I’m just telling you right now,  I’m a pretty simple ball coach and we can do as many things schematically as anybody else in the nation but as we’re installing things and getting the guys used to what we’re doing, if we go into game one and I think there’s something in the game plan that I don’t think we can execute, we just won’t call it. We’ll make sure they know what they’re doing when they’re out there.’ And that will be a big deal for us,” said Richt.

It’s going to be interesting comparing the progression of the Georgia and Louisville defenses this season.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

20 responses to “From Grantham to Pruitt: KISS.


    I think it was more the method of Grantham’s coaching than the schemes…we shall see.


  2. MGW

    I’m glad things worked out how they did for UGA. Make no mistake, though, Grantham was and is a very good coordinator. I won’t be surprised at all if Louisville does well under him.


    • Nate (the other one)

      Why won’t you be surprised? Do you think Louisville’s players will be able to understand and execute his schemes better than our players were or do you just think his schemes will play better against the weaker ACC offenses? I say his defense will be fine except when he plays FSU and Clemson but you could say the same for the rest of the league’s defenses too.

      I won’t be surprised at all if you see Louisville’s defense running around like they don’t know what to do. Petrino’s offense will score a lot of points just like ours did so they’ll win a lot of games even when they give up 35 points.


    • Doggoned

      I’d be surprised, and befuddled, if Louisville has a good defense this year and UGA doesn’t. That would mean it isn’t the schemes or the coaching, but something else. It basically would mean going back to the drawing board.


    • 202dawg

      You’re making the mistake if you think Grantham is a ‘very good’ coordinator. Go look at the stats; his defenses declined just about every place he’s been. ‘Very good’ coordinators don’t get fired by the Browns after three seasons. Good riddance…


    • LorenzoDawgriquez

      He has never been a successful coordinator anywhere and won’t be at Louisville…….even though he will be playing Weak Florist, Duke, Pitt, Syracuse and Virginia.


  3. Dog in Fla

    Even CMR’s sense of calm rationality has been elevated by the presence of Pruitt.


  4. Just Chuck (The Other One)

    “So sometimes I think some coaches think the scheme is going to win the game.” Not completely on the topic but I think you and I can both name at least one coach who believes this.


  5. Cojones

    I think the attitude projected by Richt and Pruitt is one of going back to basics for practice, but if you think that Pruitt doesn’t have the schemes necessary for a D team overall to excel then you would just be a negative nimrod cruising for troll status. Just because he will be careful for his players’s sake doesn’t mean that Pruitt doesn’t have game-winning D schemes. I’m proud to have him just for the Auburn game this year. He’s beaten Marshall already.


    • Dawgfan Will

      You need to read the article with Rhett Lashlee the Senator posted today. It wasn’t Pruitt’s scheme; Auburn just failed to execute. [/sarcasm]


  6. DawgByte

    A scheme no matter the sophistication level is worthless unless it’s executed properly on the field. Grantham was good at creating sophisticated schemes to counter opposing offenses, the problem last year was our D couldn’t execute them.

    In 2014 I’m more interested in seeing our D perform solid fundamentals. If we can quickly shed blocks, tackle at the point of contact, stop the loafing, take direct routes to the ball and cover well, this defense will significantly improve.


  7. Hackerdog

    Louisville’s defense gave up a million yards and a thousand points in the spring game. There’s nowhere to go but up.


  8. Bulldog35

    I’m glad Grantham is gone. Richt knew that Grantham’s scheme was too complicated for the players…that’s he was basically saying in Orlando. Pruitt will turn the D around this year…how much? We shall see.


  9. Uh…which national championship team was rocker on?


  10. No One Knows You're a Dawg

    Re. KISS: Here’s yet another great profile of Mike Leach which mentions that he sometimes speeds up the tempo of the offense just to stop his players from thinking too much.

    The article also discusses Geronimo, the Bering Sea Land Bridge, George Costanza, and Leach’s belief in the importance of revenge.!Hh5rG


  11. adam

    “You may call the best defense for that situation but if your defense can’t execute it properly, we’ve got issues.”

    True on offense as well. Of course, outside of the, we’ve been pretty good on that side of the ball for the past few years. But I hope this means we’re turning up our focus on execution there too. Always room to improve.


  12. hassan

    I thought having players out of position and looking confused to the sideline pre-snap WAS our scheme.


  13. SouthGaDawg

    I think I wrote this post back in December. I still think college ball is more like high school than the pros mainly because you still have to stress and coach fundamentals to 18-19 yr. olds.