The Florida Gators were one of the top defenses in 2018 last season, allowing only 339.1 yards and 20.4 points per game. The defense was led by future first-round pick Jachai Polite and the brilliant defensive mind of Todd Grantham. His work at Florida was so good that the Cincinnati Bengals wanted to hire him as their defensive coordinator.
While coaching Pro Bowl caliber players like Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins is enticing, Grantham is not going anywhere.
According to reports, the 52-year old Virginia native decided to stay with Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators after winning 10 games in 2018. Grantham was hired by Mullen first at Mississippi State and then followed him to Florida.
Fans of the Bengals might think that Grantham does not have the NFL coaching experience to be successful in the NFL, but they would be wrong. Grantham worked in the NFL for 11 seasons and was the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns from 2005-2007. While the Browns’ defense was not elite during that time, Grantham does have experience working with NFL players as a coordinator.
His best work has been in college where he has built some of the nation’s top defenses since returning to college in 2010. From his work at Georgia to Florida, Grantham’s attacking defense has created havoc on the quarterback and generated multiple first round picks. Justin Houston, Leonard Floyd, Sheldon Rankins, Jaire Alexander, and Polite have all had Grantham as their defensive coordinator at some time in their collegiate careers.
Grantham blends his versatile defensive schemes and available talent to create mismatches for the offense. His players fly to the ball and suffocate ball carriers at the line of scrimmage. His defensive style might not be the best scheme for an NFL defense, but the Bengals need all the help they can get defensively. They were the league’s worst defensive unit in 2018, allowing 413.6 yards per game.
Grantham’s return to Florida makes the Gators one of the top teams in the nation in 2019.