Richt: Assistant will learn from error

Georgia coach Mark Richt said Tuesday assistant Todd Grantham
was caught up in the emotions of an overtime game when he gave a
choke sign to Florida kicker Chas Henry.

A television snapshot from Sun Sports in Florida shows Grantham,
Georgia’s defensive coordinator, with one hand on his throat as
Henry lined up for his winning field goal in the Gators’ 34-31 win
on Saturday. Replays show Grantham making the choke sign four times
during a Georgia timeout before Henry’s 37-yard kick.

”I’m aware of it and I’ll just say that emotions run high and
people do things that they probably wish they didn’t do,” Richt
said at his weekly news conference. ”I think that was what was
being communicated. I don’t think he’s necessarily proud of
it.”

Richt said Grantham will ”learn from it and move on,” but did
not say he faces any disciplinary action.

Georgia players seemed surprised Grantham’s sideline gesture has
created a stir.

”I don’t think it’s anything too bad,” said Georgia
quarterback Aaron Murray. Grantham ”probably, like the rest of us,
was just hoping he’d miss the kick or something like that. I don’t
think it’s anything too much to get worked up about.

”It’s not like he charged the field at the kicker and tried to
do something to him. … There was nothing dangerous or illegal or
stupid like that, so I don’t really see the big deal about
it.”

Georgia receiver Tavarres King said he didn’t see the incident
or watch the kick.

”I was too nervous to watch,” King said. ”I was laying
down.”

Florida senior guard Carl Johnson confirmed Florida players were
told not to talk about Grantham on Tuesday. Johnson couldn’t
resist.

”I mean, hey, he did it and we kicked a field goal, so he needs
to do it every time we play against them, I guess,” Johnson
said.

Murray said Grantham, the former Dallas Cowboys assistant, is a
fiery and animated coach who motivates all the players.

”He’s a great coach. I love coach Grantham,” Murray said. ”He
has some fire to him. I think the guys love it. I love it,
personally. When he’s yelling and going crazy he gets the offense
pumped up. He gets me pumped up to see him getting after the
defense making sure they’re ready to go. I think that’s his
mentality and he does a tremendous job of getting guys pumped up
and ready to go.”

Grantham was expected to talk with reporters following Tuesday’s
practice.

Henry, from Dallas, Ga., was not available for interviews on
Tuesday.

After the game, Henry said some Georgia coaches ”on the
sideline were over there giving me a little grief, saying I was
going to choke.”