Todd Grantham is talking to the New Orleans Saints about becoming the team’s defensive coordinator, but another NFL team that he has been linked to for several weeks is apparently going in another direction with its hire.
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity confirmed Thursday morning that the Bulldogs defensive coordinator was to interview with the Saints. The Philadelphia Eagles, meanwhile, are reportedly set to hire somebody else to run its defense.
Grantham’s name surfaced as a potential top Eagles candidate several weeks ago, but the team will hire Cleveland Browns linebackers coach Billy Davis, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, citing a source.
Grantham’s interview with New Orleans was to take place Thursday, according to Saints sideline reporter Kristian Garic. He reported that Saints head coach Sean Payton also told him that former Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan would interview Friday.
“It’s like a business,” said Georgia nose guard Chris Mayes, one of 32 members of Georgia’s latest signing class. “You know coaches change. I came here for the school from the beginning. That’s what I kept my commitment and stayed faithful to my school.”
Mayes, a transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College who enrolled at Georgia last month, already lost Rodney Garner, the Bulldogs defensive line coach who left for Auburn. Garner was the first person to recruit Mayes when he was at Spalding High School. Grantham was the first person to offer him a scholarship.
Grantham, an 11-year NFL assistant coach, fielded plenty of questions about his interest in the Saints job on Wednesday after the Bulldogs wrapped up their recruiting class. He didn’t deny interest and that night informed McGarity about wanting to speak to the Saints.
“In accordance with his contractual obligation, Todd Grantham notified me Wednesday night of the New Orleans Saints’ interest in interviewing him for the defensive coordinator position,” McGarity said in a statement released through the sports communications office.
ESPN’s Adam Schafer reported that the Saints plan to hire Ryan.
“Right now I’m the defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia and I’m certainly looking forward to coaching those guys,” Grantham said Wednesday.
Grantham’s contract allows him to leave without paying a buyout for an NFL defensive coordinator position.
“Nothing’s come up for me from the standpoint of I feel I got to contractually say something,” Grantham said Wednesday.
Until now with his interview with the Saints.
“Whatever happens happens,” Mayes said. “Most of the players we let it go in to one ear and out the other. It’s just take it as it is and we don’t know yet.”