Tag Archives: Todd Grantham

Grantham, Harvey-Clemons and the “S” word

You knew he’d say it:

“I have no trouble standing up for him because I do believe he’s a solid kid. I think as you move forward in life, you’ve got to learn from your mistakes, and I think sometimes you’ve got to give kids a second chance, and I think he’s earned the right for that chance and what he’s done so far. I never had any issues with him when I was at Georgia from the accountability for meetings or practice or anything like that, but at the same time, you do have to go through a maturity phase as far as understanding the decisions you make, there’s consequences for them. He’s really matured, and I’ve been very proud of that. I’m really excited for him to play this year and get back on the field.”

It’s amazing what great humanitarians these coaches are.  Makes you wonder why this guy has such a bug up his ass.  Doesn’t he realize it’s always about the kids?

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Filed under Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino

A million dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to.

Todd Grantham, fresh off a dominating defensive performance in the Belk Bowl an offer to coach defense with the Oakland Raiders, makes more bank.

The Cardinals are reworking Grantham’s four-year deal to pay him as much as $1.4 million annually, Grantham’s agent, Michael Harrison, told ESPN.com. Grantham’s new contract will make him one of the highest paid coordinators in college football.

That’s juuussst a touch more than Georgia’s paying Jeremy Pruitt.  A mere coincidence, no doubt.

One thing’s for sure – Todd’s going to work to earn his keep next season.

Good thing he’s got Harvey-Clemons and Wiggins stepping in.

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Filed under Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino

Saturday morning buffet

Start your weekend off with a little something.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, SEC Football, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas, You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

“We’re very pleased and happy that Todd is going to be staying at the University of Louisville.”

‘Cause you know if there is one guy who appreciates loyalty to a college football program, it’s Bobby Petrino.

Although it sounds like Grantham’s decision was more about the Raydahs than Louisville.

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Filed under Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino

It was fun while it lasted.

The only person who’s going to be more upset by this than Bobby Petrino…

… is Josh Harvey-Clemons’ grandpa.

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UPDATE:  Recruiting season is a very important time for Todd Grantham.

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Filed under Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino

Once more, in the land of second chances

Petrino’s gonna Petrino; Grantham’s gonna Grantham.

ESPN’s Max Olson reported Monday that Fields is visiting Bobby Petrino’s program this weekend and that the Cardinals are “in the lead” to land the 2014 preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Despite that honor, Fields didn’t play a snap of NCAA football this past season, having been “separated” from TCU after being connected with a domestic violence incident in July. Fields allegedly punched and threatened an ex-girlfriend, and after a planned transfer to Stephen F. Austin fell through, transferred to Trinity Valley Community Valley College in Athens, Texas.

Athens, Texas ain’t Athens, Georgia.  Louisville ain’t, either.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino

Why I’m excited about the defense. No, really.

This started out as a bullet point in my last “Observations” post for the season (it’s coming, it’s coming!), but I wound up fleshing it out so much it deserves to stand as a post on its own.

The Belk Bowl offered a contrast in defensive coordinators that we all watched closely.  But the lessons to take away from the game shouldn’t be the element of revenge or Todd Grantham’s personality (not that those weren’t entertaining as hell), but what we saw happen on the field.  And what I saw makes me think things are getting better for Georgia’s defense.

Both Grantham and Pruitt run similar base formations.  And both change those base formations when they’re faced with passing attacks that spread the field of play.  But their underlying philosophies are different.  Grantham told us from the day he walked in the door that his primary goal was to disrupt the line of scrimmage and pressure the quarterback.  That’s been no secret.  And if you watch his defenses play, that’s what he does.  It’s what he did in the bowl game.

It’s a high-risk, high-reward strategy.  When it works – think about times like the first half of the 2011 SECCG or the mad comeback in the fourth quarter of the 2013 Auburn game – it can be devastating on an offense. But when it doesn’t, things can turn spectacularly ugly.  It also puts a tremendous amount of pressure on whoever’s playing behind the front to cover for those times when the line of scrimmage isn’t disrupted.

That’s not what Pruitt’s about.  Oh sure, there’s certainly an element of pressure to what he does and he’s as creative with his blitz packages as Grantham, but that’s not where his focus starts.  Pruitt’s main goal is not giving up the big play.  That may leave a defense of his susceptible to giving up steady bites of yardage, but it’s rarely going to get creamed.  Maybe the explanation is as simple as one guy being a front-oriented coach and the other being a back-oriented coach.  But the difference is there.  And it played out that way in the bowl game.

Against Georgia, Louisville’s longest play from scrimmage went for 29 yards.  It came during a non-scoring drive.  Georgia had five plays longer than that – plays of 30, 31, 32, 44 and 82 yards.  All led to scores.

It was funny to see the insistence by folks on Louisville message boards and blog comment threads about the number of short running plays Georgia had and how that was evidence Grantham’s defense worked.  (Even Richt said something about all the short gains in the running game.)  But read Lilly’s comment in the Quote of the Day – Georgia knew exactly what it was doing by being patient against Grantham and the Louisville defense.  It paid off.

Pruitt’s base alignment may be different from, say, Brian VanGorder’s, but his philosophy comes straight out of the same Bend, But Don’t Break 101 course.  And I would argue it’s better aligned with the traditional strength of the Georgia program, which is focused on bringing in upper-tier high school talent in its recruiting.  There is a value to having someone who can scheme around green talent in the secondary when you’re likely to have that kind of talent routinely flowing through.  I know Georgia’s had to pull in a few JUCO kids (along with a UAB refugee) in Pruitt’s two recruiting class, but that’s to address some short-term roster deficiencies.  I expect over the next few years that Georgia will chase fewer and fewer JUCO players.  I expect Louisville will do the opposite – and that’s not meant as criticism.  Grantham’s approach puts a premium on defensive players who can walk in and play college ball without too much polishing.  (It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that’s another reason he switched schools.)

If you want a poster boy to illustrate my point here, look no further than Quincy Mauger.  I know Swann’s gotten most of the attention for how much his game improved with the coaching change, and it’s deserved.  But what Pruitt’s done to make Mauger not just functional, but a true contributor on defense, after a horrific 2013 season in which Mauger looked lost even for a true freshman, is remarkable.  It was Quincy Mauger in last season’s bowl game who didn’t maintain position as the deep safety and then failed to wrap up a tackle on that obscenity of a 99-yard TD completion.  The other night, it was Louisville’s safety who was out of position on a 44-yard TD pass to Chris Conley.  Mauger, in the meantime, was the kid making tackles and performing well in pass coverage.

They’ve got potential.

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Filed under Georgia Football