SEC: UGA's Grantham withdraws from Saints consideration

BY PAUL NEWBERRY AP SPORTS WRITER ATLANTA (AP) – One day after interviewing with the New Orleans Saints, Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham withdrew from consideration for the same job with the NFL team. Grantham announced his decision in a statement Friday night, shortly after the Saints continued their search by interviewing former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
"Georgia is a great place, my family loves it here, and I do as well," said Grantham, who interviewed with New Orleans coach Sean Payton on Thursday. "This is where our heart is." Grantham came under criticism from some Georgia fans for the timing of his interview with the Saints - one day after national signing day. The Bulldogs picked up 32 players Wednesday, including 18 on the defensive side, and Grantham said he had told the recruits he loved the school and expected to stay in Athens. But before the day was over, he informed Georgia officials of his intention to interview with the Saints, fulfilling the requirement in his contract when pursuing a coordinator job in the NFL. Within 24 hours, he met with Payton. Now, Grantham insists he's fully committed to the Bulldogs. "I'm excited to start preparations for another season and along with the rest of our defensive staff look forward to coaching some really good returning players as well as developing some very talented newcomers," he said. The Saints are seeking a replacement for Steve Spagnuolo, who was fired last month after New Orleans gave up more yards (7,042) than any team in NFL history and the second-most points in the league last season. "I want to thank Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints organization for the opportunity to interview and get to know them," Grantham said. "They are a first-class organization in every respect." Last year, Grantham was mentioned as a candidate with the Atlanta Falcons before announcing he would stay with the Bulldogs. This season, his name came up when the Philadelphia Eagles were looking for a new coordinator. The 46-year-old Grantham coached in the NFL before taking the Georgia job in 2010. His stock rose dramatically in 2011 when the Bulldogs ranked fifth nationally in total defense, allowing just 277.2 yards per game. This past season, despite having Jarvis Jones and several other NFL prospects, Georgia slipped to 32nd in the rankings (357.8 yards). Grantham is known for his fiery demeanor, which included giving a choke sign to a Florida kicker before a game-winning field goal in 2010 and getting into a postgame altercation with Vanderbilt coach James Franklin in 2011. --- Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


More Sports

High School Basketball

Cougars snap five-game losing streak

Newnan’s boys basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak in Region 3-AAAAAA on Friday, pulling out a 54-48 victory on the road ... Read More


High School Basketball

Heritage School sweeps Holy Spirit

The Heritage School basketball teams proved Thursday they can win games even when they don’t play their best. Heritage swept a doubleh ... Read More


High School Basketball

Trinity boys rout Young Americans

Trinity Christian’s boys basketball team got a chance to rinse out the taste of a disappointing loss to Bethlehem Christian this week ... Read More


Newnan able to pull out first county swim title

Newnan High swim coach Courtney Stillwell had plenty of strategy Wednesday at the annual Coweta County Tri-Meet at the Summit YMCA. The vete ... Read More


High School Basketball

Lady Cougars unable to claw back against Pebblebrook

Newnan basketball teams entered Tuesday's Region 3-AAAAAA contests with Pebblebrook hoping its home-court advantage might just work in its f ... Read More

High School Swimming

County meet chance for bragging rights, state times

All three local high school swim teams have the same agenda tonight when they return to the Summit Family YMCA for the annual Coweta County ... Read More