Grantham staying at UGA is big for the Bulldogs

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All the fuss about Todd Grantham’s flirtation with the NFL is finally over. He interviewed with the Saints Thursday, but he announced last night he’s staying at Georgia.

He issued a statement stating he would remain with the Bulldogs and has taken his name out of the pot for the Saints’ job, via the AJC.

“I want to thank (coach) Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints organization for the opportunity to interview and get to know them. They are a first-class organization in every respect,” Grantham said. “As I said Wednesday, Georgia is a great place, my family loves it here, and I do as well. This is where our heart is.”

New Orleans is expected to hire former Cowboys coordinator Rob Ryan.

And this is tremendous news for Georgia and Mark Richt. The Bulldogs’ defense loses nine starters, including star linebackers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree, and keeping Grantham increases the odds this unit can overcome so many personnel losses.

Georgia’s defense in 2012 was all sizzle and no steak. The big names and accolades were there, but the reality is this was one of the most underachieving units in the country. And I have a suspicion that Georgia’s defense can collectively be better as a unit in 2013 with no big names and a hunger to be great. Add in the fact the offense returns 10 starters, including Aaron Murray, and the Bulldogs are a legit threat to play for another SEC Championship.

But just because Grantham is staying at Georgia this year doesn’t mean the NFL flirtation is over. Because Grantham’s contract states he must tell AD Greg McGarity about any and all job interviews first, we’ll all find out anytime the line gets crossed and the ever-burning ember of interest gets sparked.

Grantham enters his fourth season as Georgia’s defensive coordinator. Under his leadership, Georgia finished 23rd in total defense in 2010, 5th in 2011, but this unit fell to 32nd in 2012.

Photo Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

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