Georgia’s defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was a guest on Atlanta’s ESPN Radio 680 The Fan today and discussed some of the topics related to the Bulldogs’ spring camp, which starts Tuesday. Here is a transcription of a few of his comments:
On the first priority for the Bulldogs’ D this spring
Grantham: We are going to give everyone that is on our defensive side of the ball an opportunity to earn a position, whether it be a starting position or a backup position. We will start out on Day 1, just like last year, going through basic fundamentals. We will move some guys around just to give us flexibility because last year we had about 11 different lineups for 14 ballgames and we had to move guys around then to get our best players on the field.
On how offensive coordinator Mike Bobo feels about Malcolm Mitchell moving from receiver to cornerback
Well, he was originally recruited as a defensive back and a corner. The thing about Malcolm is, when you look at his size and his athletic ability, you are going to put him in the premium class of corners because of those types of things. And then you add in his ball skills and the way he can catch the ball -- that is going to add another dimension to that. So what I think you are looking at is a guy who can be really efficient playing corner and do a really good job for us. From that standpoint there are always ways to get guys the ball on the offensive side. We will do what is best for the team, just like last year the best thing for the team was for Malcolm to play receiver. But as you move forward, just talking about his skill set, I think you are talking about a guy that can be a premium corner.
On what position Grantham thinks Mitchell would rather be playing
I am not going to answer for him but I know he is very happy to do whatever he can to help the team and he is excited about the corner position. He has actually been working out with our corners on his own during the winter phase of our offseason conditioning program.
On how he envisions Mitchell playing both positions in any one game, and whether the game and situation dictate what position he will play
We have had other people play on both sides of the ball -- Brandon Boykin has played, Branden Smith has played -- so to say a guy doesn’t play both sides of the ball is the wrong avenue to take. I think you are looking at a guy that can play on both sides of the ball and, relative to the situation that comes up, where he fits could be dictated by score or who we are facing.
On facing Missouri in Georgia’s second game of the season, as the Tigers are a team that can throw the football
Well, what it does is create opportunity, just like last year when Alec Ogletree went down and Christian Robinson went down, we had to just step up. Mike Gilliard was one and he performed really well. So what happens is it creates other opportunities for other people to make plays and get on the field. The key thing is to take advantage of those key opportunities when they arrive. So we will get through it as best we can and get our best players on the field.
On what things from last season the Bulldogs can do better this season
Last season was last season and this is the 2012 season, a new season. Relative to that, it just gets back to understanding the things that got us to where we were which is hard work and preparation. And that all really started when we got back in January. The first phase of our preparations for the upcoming season I thought went very well, with the lifting and conditioning part of it. The second phase is getting ready to start with the spring ball. And there will be some guys who didn’t get a chance that didn’t play a lot last year to step up and show us what they can do this spring. The guys that are coming back -- playing football is like developing a craft -- and those guys can work to better improve their craft and become better individualized players. And if they become a better individualized player, but take a team approach to it, then our team is better.
On the team being ready for temperatures in the mid-80s in March already
That is not a problem. During spring practice you are roughly going through three, four plays at a time. Obviously when we get into scrimmage situations we go more than that, so conditioning is usually not a factor.
On the pollen and allergies
You always have to be able to overcome the adversity aspect of it. The elements are an adversity that you have to be able to handle yourself.