The Gators scored a victory off the field late night Wednesday, when defensive coordinator Todd Grantham apparently said no to the opportunity to accept the same role with the NFL Cincinnati Bengals.
Harrison Tenzer, a freelance writer in Gainesville, had the story first Wednesday night that Grantham was staying put:
— Harrison Tenzer (@harrison_tenzer) February 14, 2019
Grantham had been meeting for two days in Cincinnati with new Bengals coach Zach Taylor and the Bengals front office about leaving the Gators after just his first season calling the defense.
Bengals beat writer Fletcher Page of the Cincinnati Enquirer had reported Wednesday that the job was Grantham’s, if he wanted it.
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.
It would be interesting to know if Cincinnati was willing to pay Grantham more than he’s slated to make as Florida’s defensive coordinator in 2019. Grantham salary is $1.5 million and the Bengals are notoriously cheap with paying players and coaches. Perhaps that was a sticking point or perhaps Grantham realizes he’s got a great situation at Florida that is only going to build grow and Excel
The Bengals still have a list of candidates and that includes the possibility of hiring former Jaguars and Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio who has also recently interviewed for the Redskins defensive coordinator job
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