February 6, 2013

Grantham to interview with Saints

Todd Grantham didn't exactly douse water on the rumors regarding his possible candidacy to become the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints Wednesday afternoon following Georgia's annual Signing Day press conference.

On Tuesday, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that Grantham was a candidate to replace the fired Steve Spagnuolo, despite contrary reports by ESPN that the Saints were on the verge of naming ex-Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan for the post.

Wednesday, the newspaper repeated its claim, reporting that NFL sources have Grantham interviewing with head coach Sean Payton Thursday.

"I told guys (recruits) that I love it, my family loves it and I fully expect to be here," Grantham said. "But I told those guys as coaches if things come up you're always going to do what's best for your family and see what happens. But nothing's come up for me from that standpoint where I feel I've got to contractually say something. So I'm in a good place, I've got a good job and I look forward to coaching here."

Bulldog head coach Mark Richt said it's not uncommon for other programs to ask for permission to interview his assistants but did not answer directly when asked if the Saints had called about speaking with Grantham, who coached 11 years in the NFL prior to coming to Athens.

"Here's the deal on that. That kind of thing is very common. It happens with a lot of our coaches, every off-season," Richt said. "My goal today is to focus on this class, focus on these guys. There may or may not be a time to talk about the other."

Grantham's name has also been linked to the vacant defensive coordinator's position at Philadelphia with new coach Chip Kelly.

"I know a lot of people get a lot of inquiries all the time and there's no way I'm going to comment on any particular one and if I did I couldn't do my job," Grantham said. "I've got to get to get to mats (mat drills) in about 30 minutes. I'm just going to leave it at that."

So would Grantham actually leave?

Earlier Wednesday, the Atlanta-Constitution spoke with the mother of signee Davin Bellamy, who said she spoke with Grantham, Richt and running backs coach Brian McClendon, each of whom said there was no truth to the story by the Picayune as well as a tweet by the sideline reporter from the Saints - citing Payton as the source - that the 46-year would interview for the job.

Grantham is required contractually to inform AD Greg McGarity of any job contact, but so far that apparently has not happened.

"I told recruits that I fully expect to be here and I'd like to be here so you can take that for however you want," Grantham said. "I have a good job, and as jobs go, even if you all's profession, I think what happens if there's inquiries about jobs you can say is it something you're interested in off a phone call. Sometimes it may take a little bit more than that, but really it's nothing more than that. I have a good job, I like my job. I understand my contractual obligations if I decided to do something but right now I fully expect to be here and we'll just have to play it from there."