Dive in head first, folks… all the quotes you can digest in one day...
Richt opening statement:
"I'm as excited as I can be. I know this process took a little while, but in the end we got the right man for the job -- I'm 100 percent certain of that and 100 percent confident in Todd's ability to get the job done. Getting to know him a little bit better as this thing has progressed, it gave me confidence that not only is he the right man to lead our defense on the field but he's exactly the kind of man that's going to help our young men grow. He's very serious about that. He's a great family man … and he's got all his priorities in the right way. So we're very excited about this hire and happy for Todd's opportunity to continue to be chasing a Super Bowl and have the people of the Bulldog Nation enjoy watching the Cowboys this weekend and hopefully a few more weekends to come."
Grantham opening statement:
"I look forward to -- not only with myself but with the people we bring in -- to developing an aggressive style of defense that all Bulldogs fans across the country can be excited to watch."
Grantham on immediate plans:
"I signed a contract with the Cowboys two years ago and I committed to Jerry (Jones) two years ago that I would stay through the length of my contract. Right now we're in the process of having one of the best seasons the Cowboys have had since 1996. We won the NFC East. We won our first playoff game. Things are moving along very well. I've always been a big believer that you start what you finish and so I've felt like I'm obligated in the relationships I have with my players and the other people in the organization that I'm going to follow this thing through and take it as far as we can go. I feel that's the right thing to do. I think once you commit to something, you need to stick it out and do it, so right now I'm working hard to see if we can beat the Vikings."
Grantham on talking to recruits:
"I believe you can actually call recruits and we can work on that over the weekend and starting the early part of next week. That type of stuff can be done along with the preparation for the next opponent."
Richt on how he learned of Grantham:
"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. 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."
Grantham on why he took the job:
"This isn't the first opportunity to go back to college that's come up in the last 11 years. There's been others, which some I didn't feel were the right timing and others I didn't feel had the ability to do the things you can do at the University of Georgia. The thing that excites me about Georgia is I love the passion and the excitement of the fans around the program. … Being that I was in pro football, you're evaluating talent. I've watched a lot of players from the University of Georgia over that time, so I knew about the ability to recruit talent to the program, I knew you could get home-grown talent within the state and within a five-hour radius of the school and that talent is the type of talent that you can be a top-tier program and one of the premier schools in the SEC. So that stuff interested me and when Mark and I first began to talk, I researched it and I really like what Coach Richt has done with the program. He's obviously got it headed in the right direction and there is some continuity there. They've been very successful and I think with that we can get the defense back to the way it has been in the past."
Grantham on scheme:
"We'll be a 3-4 structure which basically means that in your base defense you'll have two outside backers, three d linemen, two inside backers and your secondary would be the same whether you're a 3-4 or a 4-3 with two safeties and two corners. But saying that, we're more of an aggressive style 3-4. We're going to play one-gap defense. We're going to attack block up front. We're going to rush the passer. Our outside backers are going to be what we call edge-setters. They're going to be aggressive. They're going to be coming. They're going to be solid setting the edge on the run but we're going to develop those guys as pass rushers. The inside backers, we're going to call them Mike and Moe, they'll be downhill guys to the ball. But in saying that, we're going to still be multiple and have the ability to match personnel, meaning that if someone adds a third wideout into the game, we can add an extra DB. We could end up playing multiple fronts out of that nickel package -- whether it be four down or three down and go that route. The other thing is, when you're coaching pro football, the players that you have, you find a way to make it work. I really believe the best way to go about it is you rank your players, you evaluate your players one through 50 and you find a way to get your top players on the field because to be an aggressive, attacking style defense, to make plays, you have to have playmakers, and you have to put those playmakers in position to make plays. So I think the most important thing is to evaluate the players and find out what their assets are and what they do well, then put them in position to make plays.
Grantham on other assistants:
"This deal was basically done last night so Coach Richt and I will be working throughout the weekend and next week to iron some of those things out. But anything like that would be premature at this time."
Grantham on his role:
"I think as the coordinator it's important that you're tied into not only the front but the secondary. So I'll be coaching the linebackers and that way you can be with both the front and the back in whatever drills you're doing."
Grantham on Rodney Garner:
"I do not know Rodney. I've heard good things about him and I expect to be meeting him here shortly."
Grantham on differences between NFL and college…
"The quarterback is going to run the ball more than in the pro game, so that part of it is a little bit different. You're going to get a few more different style runs in college ball where as in the passing game, pro ball is a little more complex. But outside of that, it's about being fundamentally sound, making sure your gap's secure, making sure you're aggressive and making sure you're playing with the techniques you need to play with to be successful."
Richt on the process of finding a DC:
"Throughout the entire process I was very prayerful that in the end we got the right man for the job and that's exactly what happened, and I'm very thankful for how everything turned out. It was not something I was trying to do at breakneck speed. I was trying to be deliberate. Sometimes it's easy to get a person who's willing to come at the drop of a hat, but when you're looking for the quality we were looking for, it doesn't always happen overnight. I'm just thankful we stayed the course and ended up where we ended up."
Grantham on toughness of the defense:
"We want to get after everybody we play. If you ask me to describe the type of defense I would want, I can tell you I want big, physical, aggressive players and we want guys that want to be relentless every play. I do think that is a habit that has to be developed. I think it's important that you work every day in practice to finish. I think what you want as a defense is, after the game is over, the team you just played, they're happy they don't have to play you anymore. In order to do that, I think it takes great conditioning and it takes great preparation. And you have to have a mind-set that regardless of what the scoreboard says, I'm playing for 60 minutes and you're not going to let the last play affect the next play. I think that is something that can be taught and developed. And no one wants to be the weak link because when you watch the tape, if you're the guy that's loafing, it stands out. So that's kind of what I envision the defense being."
Grantham on what he learned as DC with the Browns:
"That was a major overhaul. And the difference between pro football and college football is when you go to a program in pro football, you basically get seven draft picks. So you get seven recruits. That's a major overhaul. In college ball, you can go out and sign as many first-round picks as you need. You just have to do the work. So that part of college excites me. As a coach, I look at that (in Cleveland), we took the talent that we had there and we maximized our assets. We found a way to win games. And when you look, we actually won more games our first year there than they had the previous two years. The thing about there is, it's totally different than Georgia is that the University of Georgia has won. In Cleveland, they had not won before so you had to go in and change the culture, you had to change the identity. And really, it took us three years, and by 2007, we were 10-6 and that was the best season that they had had in the past 13 years. So from that standpoint, I think the big thing is, you need to play the best players, and if that means you play young players, then you play young players. But it's important that you play the best players and that you evaluate your players and get your best players on the field."
Grantham on his message to recruits:
"My initial message is, if you're excited about being an aggressive defense, about being coached extremely hard, being technically sound at your craft -- because really as a player, you're trying to develop your craft -- and if you're excited about enhancing your performance and developing your craft, then you're going to have fun at the University of Georgia."
Grantham on finding a nose tackle:
"I have not looked around but the nose guard doesn't have to be a prototypical big, square-bodied guy. If you look at the guy we have with the Dallas Cowboys, Jay Ratliff, he was a sixth-round pick but he's really a smaller type nose -- in the 290s. But the guy is technically sound, he has great initial quickness, he's relentless off the ball, understands the defense -- the thing about a 3-4, in the 3-4 there's only certain places you can run the ball relative to the formation and if you understand that, it allows you to play relative to the formation. So if I know the ball is going to go to my left, I can play a little more toward my left. If I know the ball is going to go to my right, I need to break for the ball to go to my right. So as players learn how to play the 3-4, they can understand there's only certain types of plays you can run relative to the formation."
Richt on what he expects Week 1:
"I expect they'll get after it. With Georgia, we say 'GATA.' That means get after their you-know-what. That's what's going to happen. Not only are we going to have that effort we're looking for, but I feel like Coach Grantham is going to have these boys technically sound and playing together as a unit. You can play hard if you want but if you're not handling your gap responsibilities or making a bust on the perimeter, you've got problems. So I know it's going to be a very sound system and it's going to be a very aggressive system and there's going to be a bunch of boys excited about turning that thing loose. And the Bulldog Nation is going to be fired up to see it, too."
Friday, January 15, 2010
Dive in head first, folks… all the quotes you can digest in one day...