Grantham: His defense was 'backbone' of SEC East titles

semerson@macon.comJanuary 16, 2014 

Todd Grantham was introduced to the media in Louisville on Thursday, and near the tail end of his press conference he was asked about what he thought made him attractive to his new school.

That's when Grantham, never afraid to tout his credentials during his four years as Georgia's defensive coordinator, made a statement that will raise some eyebrows around Athens.

“When you go back and look, two of the last three years we’ve won the SEC East. We’ve really been the backbone of winning those conference championships," Grantham said. "The ability to see that we changed the identity, and developed some mental toughness and physical toughness, and developed players. We had two first-round picks a year ago.”

Perhaps the 2011 team can indeed credit the defense, which was ranked fifth in the nation. But the next year's team, which was five yards from winning the SEC championship, had the highest-scoring team in Georgia history. And this year's team was clearly carried by the offense.

Earlier in the press conference, Grantham talked about his hiring at Georgia in 2010, and his four-year tenure.

“Five years ago I was with the Dallas Cowboys, and we had just come off winning the NFC East title … and I took a job at the University of Georgia. And people were kind of questioning why I would do that," he said. "But that was a chance to change an identity. Win two SEC East titles. Get the place back to where it was, change the culture and those types of things.”

The only Georgia person Grantham mentioned by name during his press conference was Jarvis Jones, who he said contacted him this week to congratulate him on the new job. Otherwise Grantham just talked about his new bossees at Louisville, calling head coach Bobby Petrino "one of the best offensive minds in the game," and saying Louisville athletics director Tom Jurich was a reason he took the job.

“He’s a guy who is very proactive, stays out front, gives you all the resources you need,” Grantham said.

Now a lot of this is just Grantham’s happy talk, and not necessarily a shot at Georgia’s administration or strength staff. But everyone is free to read into Grantham's comments.

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