I think I’ve mentioned this before, but, while Mark Richt won’t directly criticize Grantham, he has been quick to tout the new staff’s high school, as opposed to NFL, background. Some of that he chalks up to teaching,
“All the coaches have all coached high school football at one time or another in their career,” UGA head coach Mark Richt said. “I think that’s important, because in high school you take a kid from ground zero, and you’ve got to teach fundamentals. You’ve got to be a true teacher, literally a teacher in the classroom. … So they’re really good teachers, good fundamental football coaches.”
I wonder if there’s something else in play, as well. Seth Emerson gets at that in his Mailbag:
Coaching-wise, Grantham’s NFL background perhaps made him a bit more tolerant of things. That was fine when you had fiery leadership on defense his first three years, such as Christian Robinson, Jarvis Jones and Shawn Williams. But that was lacking last year, from what Smith told me.
Shawn Williams… now that I think about it, you could argue there was leadership lacking on the 2012 defense, at least for part of the season, too.
It’s interesting, given Grantham’s on field nature, that he’s described as tolerant. But it’s clear he didn’t read his kids correctly if he thought they could motivate themselves. That’s understandable for that 2012 bunch, but to think that approach would work with a defense as green as Georgia’s was last year was bad judgment.