Grantham’s status takes center stage now at Georgia

semerson@macon.comFebruary 6, 2013 

ATHENS -- Todd Grantham stood between two rows of chairs, one foot on one of the chairs. The other foot might have been on the way to New Orleans or to Philadelphia. Grantham wasn’t going to say either way.

But that might have been the biggest indicator of Grantham’s intentions.

Grantham, in his own words the defensive coordinator “right now” at Georgia, spent the past month trying to convince recruits to become Bulldogs. Now, according to various reports, he will spend Thursday interviewing for the same job with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. And the Philadelphia Eagles reportedly are still interested in Grantham.

Grantham did not deny the reports. He also didn’t confirm them. He was coy.

“You know what, I get a lot of inquiries all the time,” said Grantham, who spent 11 years as an NFL assistant before going to Georgia for the 2010 season. “And there’s no way that I’m gonna comment on any particular one, because if I did there was no way I could do my job.”

It’s very possible that NFL teams were waiting until after National Signing Day to talk to Grantham. Now, things could move quickly.

But Grantham declined to say when there would be some closure to the situation, because that would require acknowledging there is a situation.

“I like my job here,” he said. “At the same time, as you move forward, if opportunities came up, I don’t think it’s fair to comment on every particular one, because then all I’d be doing is talking about the rumors and innuendos and those types of things. And then I wouldn’t be able to do my job.

“At the end of the day when you have time to reflect and sit down, the first thing you always do is you say, ‘What’s the best thing for your family.’ Because you have a family to take care of. And as you answer those questions, it kind of filters out to the way you want it.”

So what did Grantham tell recruits about whether he would be at Georgia to coach them?

“I told guys that I love Georgia, and I think this is a great place. My family loves it, and I love it, and I fully expect to be here,” he said. “But as coaches, if things come up, you’re always gonna say, ‘Hey, what’s best for your family,’ and see what happens. Nothing’s come up for me from the standpoint of I feel like I have to contractually say something.”

Grantham mentioned that final part several times, that he has to notify athletics director Greg McGarity if there are substantive discussions about another job. And as of Wednesday afternoon, according to Grantham, it had not been necessary to do that.

That may change Thursday. That’s when the New Orleans Times-Picayune has reported that Grantham will interview with the Saints. And reports out of Philadelphia, where the Eagles still haven’t hired a defensive coordinator, say that team is still interested in Grantham.

Head coach Mark Richt was asked if the uncertainty around Grantham and then-defensive line coach Rodney Garner’s departure for Auburn affected the recruiting class. Georgia missed out on a number of high-profile late deciders.

Richt shrugged it off.

“Every single offseason, somebody’s calling me about somebody, and I think that’s the way it works,” Richt said. “I think it’s a good sign. It means you’ve got some pretty darn good coaches, and ones that people think a lot of.”

Asked directly about Grantham, and whether his top assistant coach has been contacted for another job, Richt was just as cagey.

“That kind of stuff is very common,” Richt said. “It happens with a lot of our coaches, every offseason. My goal (Wednesday) is to focus on this class, focus on these guys, and there may or may not be a time to talk about the other (subject). We’ll see.”

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