Georgia defensive coordinator Grantham talks with Saints about job

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — A day after Todd Grantham

helped welcome a new class of Georgia recruits, the defensive

coordinator interviewed

for the same job with the New Orleans Saints.

The NFL team said Grantham met Thursday with head coach Sean Payton but had no additional comment on the search to replace

Steve Spagnuolo, who was fired last month after the Saints gave up more yards than any team in NFL history.

"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," Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said in a statement.

Grantham said earlier Wednesday that he's happy at Georgia and expects to be coaching in Athens next season — the same message

he gave to the Bulldogs' newest players.

Georgia picked up 32 players on national signing day, including 18 on the defensive side.

"I told those guys, 'I love Georgia, I think this is a great place, my family loves it, I love it, and I fully expect to be

here,'" Grantham said. "I told also told those guys that, as a coach, if things come up, you're always going to see what's

best for your family and see what happens."

At the time, he wouldn't address reports that he was already planning to interview with the Saints, who also have a reported

interest in former Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Grantham said nothing had come up that would require him, under

his contract, to notify Georgia he was looking at a similar job in the NFL.

"I have a good job now," he said. "I enjoy

my job. I understand my contractual obligations if I felt like I needed

to do something.

But right now, I fully expect to be here."

A few hours later, Grantham told his boss that he would be interviewing with the Saints.

The 46-year-old Grantham was coaching in the

NFL when coach Mark Richt hired him to run the Bulldogs' defense in

2010, specifically

to oversee a switch to the 3-4 alignment. The coordinator's stock

rose dramatically the following season when Georgia reached

the Southeastern Conference championship game and ranked fifth

nationally in total defense, allowing just 277.2 yards per


This past season, Georgia won another SEC

East title but slipped to 32nd in the rankings (357.8 yards), despite

having Jarvis

Jones and several other NFL prospects. Also, Grantham has received

criticism 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.

Still, Grantham was mentioned as a possible

candidate with the Philadelphia Eagles and now seems to be under serious


in New Orleans.