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

Where Are They Now?

Rich rushes for 104 yards, scores twice in Yale comeback

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Forrmer Heritage School standout Candler Rich helped spark a comeback effort by Yale in a 54-43 win over Lehig ... Read More


Heritage School

Lady Hawks volleyball team now 6-1

The Heritage School volleyball team will take some momentum into Tuesday’s showdown against rival Trinity Christian after outlasting O ... Read More


High School Football

Hawks soar past Griffin Christian

GRIFFIN - The Heritage School gave junior linebacker/ tight-end Cole Jones the night off from his added punting duties on the road Friday in ... Read More


High School Football

Trinity pounces on Eagles

A dominant first half laid the groundwork for the Trinity Christian Lions' 55-21 victory over Young Americans Christian School. The victory ... Read More


Survival of the Fittest

Vikings able to hold on for Homecoming win

On a night when the football was a hot potato, the Northgate Vikings escaped with a 28-20 Homecoming victory over Morrow to open subregion p ... Read More

High School Football

Vikings ready for homecoming after tough loss

By DOUG GORMAN dgorman@newnan.com Northgate head football coach Tommy Walburn has been in the business for more than two decades. But even ... Read More