Todd Grantham: Coaching college defense ‘a little bit harder’ than NFL

Colleges use more formations and faster tempos than the pros.
MONICA HERNDON   |   TimesDefensive Coordinator Todd Grantham arrives for Gator Walk before the game against the Kentucky Wildcats on September 8, 2018 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.
MONICA HERNDON | TimesDefensive Coordinator Todd Grantham arrives for Gator Walk before the game against the Kentucky Wildcats on September 8, 2018 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.
Published March 22

GAINESVILLE — Florida Gators defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said Thursday that he had a lot of reasons to turn down the NFL to stay at UF.

Here’s one I didn’t expect: Coaching college defenses might be a bigger challenge than coaching NFL ones.

“Over the last little bit, I think the college game and the pro games have meshed,” Grantham said. “It’s very similar in a lot of ways.”

That’s true. It explains why the Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury, who was fired at Texas Tech for going 35-40. It also explains why someone who succeeded at stopping college offenses (Grantham) would be intriguing for an NFL team.

But that doesn’t mean it’d be the right challenge for Grantham.

“In some ways, college is maybe a little bit harder, to be honest with you, because of tempo and formations,” Grantham said. “There’s more formations and tempo in college. In pro ball, it’s a little bit more about personnel, as far as the matchups and things like that.”

For context, I asked Grantham about whether he’d ever see himself in the NFL. He said “I don’t think you ever say never,” then discussed the similarities and differences between the two.

It sounds to me as if he likes his current challenge a lot — it might be an even tougher one than what he’d face at the next level.

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