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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Florida kicker: 'Ridiculous' to demand apology from Grantham

I know, I know, a lot of you are probably sick of hearing about a story that you think has been overblown. Well, the following may put a bit of a bow on it.

Florida's Chas Henry, speaking to the media for the first time since "choke-gate," took the high road. Henry said he didn't expect, or want, an apology from Todd Grantham, saying the idea was "ridiculous."

And Henry confirmed that he engaged in a bit of playful back-and-forth before the kick.

“I see that they’d taken a timeout and I looked over at their coach and I started laughing, like, ‘You’re going to ice me? I’m not even the kicker. You’re going to ice me?’” Henry said today. “So I start looking and I see the guy doing the choke. I look at him again and he does like, ‘You’re gonna choke.’ So I take my helmet off and I gave him a little smooch at him. I blew him a little kiss.

“That might be why he got a little upset about that. Then he did it again.”

The choking controversy was also laughed off by a few Georgia players I spoke to. And head coach Mark Richt said again Wednesday that Grantham's fire is part of what attracted him during the hiring process.

I'll have more on Grantham, with comments from Richt, Nick Saban and a defensive player, in Thursday's paper. Here's a preview of the story I filed:

ATHENS – Earlier this year, when Mark Richt was considering whether to hire Todd Grantham as defensive coordinator, one of the background checks Richt made was to his brother-in-law: Former NFL quarterback Brad Johnson.

Grantham was an assistant coach for the Dallas Cowboys, where his time briefly overlapped with Johnson’s playing career. The former quarterback, who now lives in Athens, told Richt what to expect.

“(Grantham) had a lot of energy, and he would not be afraid to show his emotions out there,” Richt said. “He had a lot of fire out there in him.”

None of this is to say Grantham has free license to, say, go egg Michael Adams' house. But I suspect that if the choking gesture hadn't happened against Florida, and didn't come on a week the Bulldogs play Idaho State, it wouldn't have received as much attention.


Anonymous said...

I think it has gotten the attention it deserves. The Georgia fan base would have been outraged had a Florida coach done that to Walsh.

But regardless, I do think the defense has gotten better even though they have given up 29+ points on 4 seperate occasions. One of those teams being Colorado who scored a combined 7 against Cal and Missouri.

Anonymous said...

First of all, anyone getting all huffy and puffy about this had better show similar righteous indignation toward Meyer for doing the Gator chomp to Georgia fans. Personally, I think neither is a big deal. But I can't see the argument for one being a big deal, but not the other. Especially if the sermon is about sportsmanship and being a leader to these young men.

And second, it's a f@&king rivalry, people. This is what makes sports great. College football needs more of the Schembechler-Hayes-type mutual hatred. And every once in a while, that's going to manifest itself in choke signs, unnecessary Gator chomps, etc. If you don't like it, watch golf ... or tennis ... or cricket ... Or maybe just stop watching sports.

Anonymous said...

What if worked? What would your reaction be?

Anonymous said...

Great, even the backup kicker for Florida is unintimidated by Georgia. Maybe Grantham should have shown fire and focused on stopping Florida's running game before overtime. The only team that allowed Florida to have more offensive yards was Kentucky(466). Miami(OH) allowed just 212 yards, and South Florida allowed 423 yards. The next closest SEC team was Miss St who allowed 361 yards.

The argument of not having the right players to run the system does not hold true at this point in the season. Grantham himself has said that they are rarely in the true 3-4 defensive set.

Mark Richt has shown once again that he can't win in this league anymore. He is 2-8 versus Florida in his career. Remember, some of those years were with Ron Zook in the driver's seat.

Since 2006, UGA is 23-16 in the SEC and 13-12 in the SEC East. Donnan's numbers mirrored those stats in his last years. Richt did a great job in the early 2000's with this program. Unfortunately, the coaching staffs at other schools have passed Georgia.

I respect Richt for what he has done, but I think at some point we have to realize that maybe it is time to change directions. There are too many good recruits in the state of Georgia who leave the state and end up on the winning side against Georgia. We need someone who can recruit that raw talent and THEN develop it and THEN coach smart, well-executed football.

Somewhere along the way, the current coaching staff has been droppiong the ball for 5 years. How much longer do we wait?