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Friday, January 15, 2010

Grantham Gets the Gig

From UGA release...

Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Todd Grantham, an 11-year NFL veteran coach with nine years college experience, has been named new defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia according to an announcement Friday by Bulldog head coach Mark Richt.

Grantham is in his second season with the Dallas Cowboys after spending three seasons as defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns (2005-07), and six years as defensive line coach for both the Houston Texans (2002-04) and Indianapolis Colts (1999-01).

“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. Now we look forward to moving ahead with the home stretch of recruiting, finishing out the defensive staff, and getting ready for spring practice.”

Prior to his stint in Indianapolis, Grantham served three seasons as the defensive line coach at Michigan State (1996-98). He added the title of
assistant head coach in his final season in East Lansing in 1998. Grantham also spent six seasons (1990-95) at his alma mater, Virginia Tech, coaching defensive ends and inside linebackers from 1990-91 and defensive tackles from 1992-93.

At the conclusion of the 2009 regular season, the Cowboys’ defensive unit ranked second in the NFL in scoring defense (15.6 points per game), fourth in rushing defense (90.5 yards per game), seventh in sacks (42.0 per game), and ninth in total defense (315.9 yards per game). The Dallas defensive unit finished eighth in the NFL in total defense in 2008 and led the league with 59 sacks - 13.5 coming from the defensive linemen.

In addition, Dallas noseguard Jay Ratliff, a sixth round draft choice, has been named to two consecutive Pro-Bowls and was named Thursday to the
sportswriters All-Pro team. In addition, All-Pro Demarcus Ware recorded a career high 20 sacks in 2008.

“I would like to thank Coach Mark Richt and Damon Evans for the opportunity for myself and my family to be part of the University of Georgia community,” said Grantham. “I'm very excited about being part of a staff that will work tremendously hard to return Georgia football to one of the premier teams in the SEC. To the fans and boosters of the University of Georgia, I understand the passion and standard of excellence expected. I look forward to developing an aggressive, physical, attacking style defense that offenses will not look forward to playing against.”

During his career Grantham has worked under several successful head coaches and defensive coordinators on both the pro and college levels including Frank Beamer and Bud Foster at Virginia Tech, Nick Saban at Michigan State, Romeo Crennel at Cleveland, Dom Capers at Houston, and Wade Phillips at Dallas.

While at Michigan State the Spartans ranked 19th in total defense in 1996 and 13th in 1997, making consecutive bowl trips.

In 1995 the Hokies ranked first nationally in rushing defense, fifth in scoring defense and 10th in total defense. Virginia Tech racked up 50 sacks en route to the Big East title and a Sugar Bowl triumph over Texas in 1995.

In 2007, Cleveland surfaced as one of the most improved teams in the NFL by compiling a 10-6 record after posting a 4-12 mark in 2006. Under Grantham's watch as defensive coordinator, the Browns 2007 secondary tandem of cornerback Leigh Bodden and former Georgia safety Sean Jones recorded a combined total 11 interceptions. Bodden's six tied for fifth in the league, while Jones' five tied for ninth.

Grantham's defensive unit ranked 15th in the NFL in pass defense (202.6 yards-per-game) during the 2006 season, despite his secondary being
decimated with injuries (defensive backs Daylon McCutcheon, Gary Baxter and Bodden). His secondary witnessed the emergence of safety Jones and defensive back Daven Holly, who tied for the team lead with five interceptions each.

In his first season with the Browns in 2005, Grantham’s defensive unit finished first in the AFC in red zone defense (44.0 touchdown percentage),
fourth in the NFL in pass defense (179.2 yards-per-game), 11th in points allowed (17.7 points-per-game) and tied for 16th in total defense (316.8 yards-per-game).

Prior to joining the Browns, Grantham served as the defensive line coach for the Houston Texans. In 2004 the Texans defense ranked 13th in the NFL against the run and had a streak of seven consecutive games without allowing a rushing score (10/10/04 - 11/28/04).

In 2003 Grantham's defensive line unit was devastated by injuries, as nose tackle Seth Payne suffered a season ending knee injury in week two and Pro Bowl defensive end Gary Walker played in just four games due to shoulder and toe injuries. Despite the injuries, Grantham was able to mix and match his defensive linemen effectively as defensive tackle Jerry Deloach collected a career-high 109 tackles and nose tackle Steve Martin racked up 92 stops in only 14 games. In 2002 Grantham's three starters (Walker, Payne, Deloach) all produced career-high numbers in tackles and Walker earned his second Pro Bowl invitation after recording 115 tackles and 6.5 sacks.

At Indianapolis, Grantham's 2001 defensive line registered 96 sacks over three seasons, helping the Colts post a 29-19 record and advance to the
playoffs twice. Indianapolis' 10-win improvement from 1998 to 1999 marked the greatest one-season turnaround in league history. In 1999 and 2000, the Colts posted 56 sacks, the highest two-year total for the club since it moved to Indianapolis.

Grantham played guard and tackle for the Hokies from 1984-88. He earned second-team All-South and honorable mention All-America honors as a senior. He earned a bachelor's degree in sports management. Grantham was born Sept. 13, 1966, in Pulaski, Va. He and his wife, Paige, have a son, Corbin, and a daughter, Olivia.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

David,

Could you ask Coach Grantham today about specifics for the new defense? Will it be 3-4?

Thanks, I don't have a twitter account.

Dawg '85 said...

Sweeeeeeeet! I think it's a great hire... from his credentials... the guy simply has never been associated with a bad defense.

Now let's get some more recruits who want to play for an experienced NFL coach.

Thanks for perservering DH and CMR!

Joeski said...

I sure hope that he isn't the type to shoehorn in his scheme regardless of the talent on the roster, but other than that, I think this is a good, even a very good, hire.

Any word on who he is thinking about bringing in for the other jobs, David?

Anonymous said...

What if CTG and dallas go to the Superbowl and win...then we would could say we ahve a Superbowl winning D coach...that would sway some recruits for sure

Sternkid said...

anonymous, obviously you have not been watching the NFL this year. Dallas is not going far into the playoffs, but not for the lack of defense.

Anonymous said...

Could you ask Coach Grantham:

With bringing in a new scheme, what is the plan for the fundamentals? I.e. Poor tackling, pass coverage, and penalties?

Rick said...

@Sternkid

What are you talking about? Dallas finished the season very strong. They've won 4 straight, including a win over New Orleans and 2 in a row against Philadelphia.

The Minnesota game is winnable due to the way the Vikings finished the season. However, Tony Romo has a knack for choking in the playoffs so I wouldn't be surprised if they get whooped.

But like you said, a loss wouldn't be due to a lack of defense.

Sternkid said...

Rick-

It seems as though you talked yourself out of your stance midway through your argument.

To be fair, they did beat NO (who in the last 5 games of the season showed a lot of weaknesses narrowly beating WASH and ATL and then losing 3 in a row).

As for PHIL, they were not the team they portrayed early on and are notorious for imploding.

Nevertheless, we have our man and we should all be quite excited. No, if we could just sneak in Jones from NO somehow on our staff and then we would be without a chink.

Rick said...

@Sternkid

You seem to have misunderstood. My stance is not that the Cowboys WILL win, but that they very well COULD win.

Your post implies they have no chance. You saying that they won't get very far in the playoffs doesn't make sense when you consider that they weren't even supposed to be there. Yet they did make it and won their first round game. The Cowboys and Chargers have the most momentum going into the playoffs based on the way they finished the season.

You seem like you've watched more highlights on ESPN than you've watched actual games.

Anonymous said...

I think this will be good b/c if the implications about Georgia players not being "NFL strong" are true, who better to assess that and bring the issue up to Richt than I guy who has been coaching NFL players?

Sternkid said...

@Rick

Well, I guess that argument was settled.

Glad to get our man working sooner than later.