Georgia defensive coordinator talks with Saints
A day after Todd Grantham helped welcome a new class of Georgia
recruits, the defensive coordinator interviewed for the same job
with the New Orleans Saints.
The NFL team said Grantham met Thursday with head coach Sean
Payton but had no additional comment on the search to replace Steve
Spagnuolo, who was fired last month after the Saints gave up more
yards than any team in NFL history.
”In accordance with his contractual obligation, Todd Grantham
notified me Wednesday night of the New Orleans Saints’ interest in
interviewing him for the defensive coordinator position,” Georgia
athletic director Greg McGarity said in a statement.
Grantham said earlier Wednesday that he’s happy at Georgia and
expects to be coaching in Athens next season – the same message he
gave to the Bulldogs’ newest players.
Georgia picked up 32 players on national signing day, including
18 on the defensive side.
”I told those guys, `I love Georgia, I think this is a great
place, my family loves it, I love it, and I fully expect to be
here,”’ Grantham said. ”I told also told those guys that, as a
coach, if things come up, you’re always going to see what’s best
for your family and see what happens.”
At the time, he wouldn’t address reports that he was already
planning to interview with the Saints, who also have a reported
interest in former Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Grantham
said nothing had come up that would require him, under his
contract, to notify Georgia he was looking at a similar job in the
”I have a good job now,” he said. ”I enjoy my job. I
understand my contractual obligations if I felt like I needed to do
something. But right now, I fully expect to be here.”
A few hours later, Grantham told his boss that he would be
interviewing with the Saints.
The 46-year-old Grantham was coaching in the NFL when coach Mark
Richt hired him to run the Bulldogs’ defense in 2010, specifically
to oversee a switch to the 3-4 alignment. The coordinator’s stock
rose dramatically the following season when Georgia reached the
Southeastern Conference championship game and ranked fifth
nationally in total defense, allowing just 277.2 yards per
This past season, Georgia won another SEC East title but slipped
to 32nd in the rankings (357.8 yards), despite having Jarvis Jones
and several other NFL prospects. Also, Grantham has received
criticism for his fiery demeanor, which included giving a choke
sign to a Florida kicker before a game-winning field goal in 2010
and getting into a postgame altercation with Vanderbilt coach James
Franklin in 2011.
Still, Grantham was mentioned as a possible candidate with the
Philadelphia Eagles and now seems to be under serious consideration
in New Orleans.