Former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was introduced in the same position at Louisville on Thursday, and he had some interesting takes on his new and old jobs.
Speaking before assembled media for the first time since leaving the Bulldogs, Grantham said a big reason he left was the opportunity to work with an offensive mind like Bobby Petrino.
"Petrino is a very dynamic play-caller, a very dynamic offensive person," Grantham said, according to Chip Towers of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "To be able to team up with that was too good to pass up."
No one can doubt the veracity of Grantham's claim. Petrino is a dynamic play-caller and offensive mind, something he's proven at every stop of his college career. If you, as a defensive coordinator, think it's important to work with someone like that, joining Petrino's staff is not a bad decision.
But didn't Grantham already work with someone like that? Mark Richt and Mike Bobo, the head coach and offensive coordinator he left behind in Athens, have crafted one of the best offenses in college football these past two seasons, despite massive injury attrition in 2013.
Is Grantham simply saying the grass is greener at Louisville? Or is he implying that the old grass was withered and brown?
Somebody needs to tell Todd Grantham that Mike Bobo's back still hurts from the last three years— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) January 16, 2014
The implied potshots—arguably—didn't stop there. Per Towers, Grantham also claimed that his defense was the "backbone" of getting to consecutive SEC Championship Games in 2011 and 2012, citing how he "changed an identity and developed some mental toughness and physical toughness" in his players.
Per the Oxford English Dictionary, the word backbone is figuratively defined as "the chief support system of an organization; the mainstay." The case could be made for Georgia's defense being the backbone in 2011, but in 2012 it was Aaron Murray's offense that dragged the Bulldogs to an SEC East crown.
And in 2013, it was Grantham's defense, which ranked behind the likes of Wake Forest and Florida Atlantic on the Football Outsiders F/+ ratings, that held UGA back from accomplishing more than it did.
Like Matt Smith of Southern Pigskin, I fear Grantham might have mentioned the wrong figurative body part:
Achilles Heel, IMO RT @SethEmerson Todd Grantham, introduced in Louisville today, says his defense was "backbone" of UGA's 2 SEC East titles— Matt Smith (@MattSmithCFB) January 16, 2014
So. What do we make of these comments? Is Grantham lobbing intentional shots at his former school and employers? Is he trying to stir the pot?
I don't think so, necessarily. These subtle jabs at Richt, Bobo and Murray don't seem like malicious intent. Grantham isn't spitefully ribbing his old offense; he's drastically overrating his old defense. He's not a jerk, he's just a guy who, in my opinion, thinks he did a better job than he did.
Georgia fans need not worry too much about these comments, these outspoken "atrocities" that Grantham perpetuated. They got Jeremy Pruitt, fresh off a national title, to replace him for essentially the same price.
The joke here—if there is one—is certainly not on them.