It’s late of the coaching Carousel game, but with the Cincinnati Bengals having just hired new head coach Zach Taylor after the Super Bowl on February 3rd, he’s now scrambling to formalize his staff. And that apparently includes turning to Gators defensive coordinator Todd Grantham for the same role in Cincinnati.
Will Sammon, who is the Gators beat writer for the Athletic, reported this morning the Grantham is apparently one of, if not the, leading candidate to coach Cincinnati’s defense:
Bengals have formally requested permission to interview Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham for their open coordinator position, sources tell @TheAthleticCFB.
feeling is he is a lead candidate, per sources. unclear when he would interview.
— Will Sammon (@WillSammon) February 11, 2019
Grantham came with gators coach Dan Mullen from Mississippi State after the two were together in 2017. Previously, Grantham was previously defensive coordinator Louisville aand at the University of Georgia. He does have NFL experience, as an assistant with the Cleveland Browns in the early 2000s.
The Gators enjoyed a resurgence in 2018 overall in 2018, but it was mostly lead by the play of their defense. With stars like Jachai Polite and Vosean Joseph leading the way, Florida was one of the top defenses in the SEC last season. And their 26 takeaways was 11th best in all of the NCAA for 2018.
Grantham is known as a fiery coach, who at times is on the verge of out of control with sideline outbursts. That was the case in Florida’s comeback win against Vanderbilt last season, where Grantham had to be held back by his own players from going out on the field to confront Vandy coach Derek Mason.
Mason was upset with an illegal hit that had injured one of his players and was on the field tending to one of them, when the verbal exchanges heated up.
The Bengals fired coach Marvin Lewis after 15 seasons and were looking to go in an offensive direction with their coaching hire. Taylor has been on a metoric rise in the coaching ranks, having been a Dolphins assistant earlier this decade. He was the University of Cincinnati offensive coordinator in 2016 before leaving to be a Rams assistant under Sean McVay in 2017.
Last year, the 35 year old Taylor (younger than his boss) was the offensive coordinator, as the Rams won the NFC Championship and battled New England in Super Bowl 53.
In addition to talking to Grantham, Taylor is also interviewing L.A. defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant for the coordinator position, too.
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