What does Richt’s list look like right now?
I think Kirby Smart was the #1 guy on the list. But I don’t think CMR put all his eggs in one basket. I think he explored the possibility of getting several other big name DC’s while he was waiting on Kirby to finish his duties with Alabama for the season. Showing an unwillingness to compromise, Richt talked with Bud Foster and John Chavis, along with Vic Koenning. I think if any one of those guys had expressed strong interest, Richt would have hired him and been happy to get a great hire done without having to wait and see if Kirby could be swayed, and early enough to put the questions to rest.
The Smart hire didn’t happen. But instead of taking it to mean that he’s the 3rd or 4th person to turn us down, I think you really have to look at this as Richt simply not getting his #1 choice. So where does that leave us?
- Kirby Smart
- Todd Grantham?
- Bob Sanders?
- David Pollack? (please note I am joking on this one)
I really do think the next guy to be offered the job will be Grantham. We know that Georgia expressed interest in him, which is more than we’ve got on anyone else right now. And despite the lack of glitter that a Kirby Smart hire would have brought, I think Grantham is one of the most solid hires Richt could make. He would bring highly valuable experience, professionalism, new energy to the locker room as well as a heaping dose of that Dallas physical defensive mentality. More importantly, I think a guy like Grantham would make great staff hires (maybe guys like Travis Jones of the Saints or other NFL colleagues), and not hesitate to let defensive assistants go if results weren’t being produced. And maybe most importantly, Grantham would jump to accept our offer. Grantham isn’t faced with the prospect of being a head coaching job anytime soon. Or an NFL defensive coordinators job, for that matter (his last stint as DC at Cleveland didn’t go so well). I don’t know what position coaches in the NFL make, but I feel fairly confident saying it’s not close to what we were offering Kirby Smart. There are other incentives too. A recent article from the National Football Post details a development in the NFL where most teams will be phasing out assistant coaches’ pensions in the next two years.
Taking away the coaches’ pensions now has many assistants looking to college football for potential jobs. Interestingly, it was the stability of the pension that attracted most coaches to take jobs in the NFL over college. So don’t be surprised if you see a migration of quality NFL coaches to the college ranks for their next gig.
Maybe Grantham will be part of that migration. Would you be happy with that? Do you think an NFL veteran coach coming to Georgia from the Dallas Cowboys would get players and recruits excited? If not, who would you go after at this point? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.
And I apologize in advance if this turns out to be yet another wild goose chase. Though, in my defense, we almost caught the last goose.