Franklin reiterates 'respect' for Grantham

semerson@macon.comSeptember 17, 2012 

ATHENS -James Franklin treated this week's storyline with some humor.

The Vanderbilt head coach was asked Monday, at his weekly press conference, whether he has spoken to Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham since their infamous shouting match last year.

"Yeah, actually our families went on vacation together," Franklin said. "Disneyworld. We were floating in the pool together, drinking Mai Tais."

He was joking. Just in case that needed to be pointed out.

Franklin turned serious, reiterating comments he made a few months ago about respecting Grantham.

"We saw each other and most of the assistants on the road recruiting. He does a great job and has done a great job for a long time," Franklin said. "His defense plays hard and flies around. They're passionate about what they do and we're passionate about what we do. It's nothing more than that. I do have respect for how his defense plays."

The comments could help diffuse any thoughts of this being a matchup between programs that suddenly hate each other. Georgia head coach Mark Richt has had kind things to say about Franklin, although Grantham has been mostly silent. Grantham speaks to the media on Tuesdays of game weeks.

But Richt said Sunday that he didn't expect to use last year's postgame incident to motivate his team, and didn't plan on talking with them about it.

"I think everyone else is going to talk about it, but I know Coach Richt's going to focus on playing the game and the fundamentals and that's what we're going to do," Franklin said. "It was an emotional, passionate, great game last year. But we're going to do what we do every single week and focus on the game, and I would think that's what Coach Richt is going to do as well."

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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