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Potential DC Candidates to Replace Todd Grantham

DRU2012

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Yes, our DC ought to be GONE:
SHOULD have been “gone” after last season, seems clear enough NOW—and we can only wonder why he’s STILL here, along with whether and WHEN the trigger will be pulled on that NOW.
But that clearly ISN’T our only ongoing “glaring weakness-left-unaddressed”:
There’s been another JUST as clearly, endlessly noted and discussed. That’s our inability to land the top recruits, even in our own fertile recruiting grounds here and/or near the State of Florida.
Oh, there’s been a lot of talk about our Head Coach’s “good eye” and “creative use” of the transfer portal, along with his supposed PURPOSEFULLY choosing “HIS KIND OF GUYS” among 3- and 4-stars who have something HE SEES, upward potential in HIS Scheme, etc etc...But it must be said by now that it just hasn’t added UP:
We are not quite measuring up to the competition, to the elite teams who are GETTING “those guys” and, oh by-the-way: Are beating US on and off the field!
Now, the truly damning problem is that THEY are not the only ones—they are not even the immediate problem, which is the LESS-talented teams we have been losing to.
But the fact remains, among the many things we must “get BETTER at”, Recruiting and KEEPING elite-level talent is a clear and ongoing “missing piece” of the Gator fall-from-grace.
Surely our Head CoCh must be aware that this continuing failure wasn’t going to fit well without a winning-RECORD to argue his point, hang his hat on in the end.
So SUCK IT UP, Coach. Swallow your pride: you’ve got AT LEAST ONE “potential future superstar QB” currently on your roster, the makings of a solid O-line once healthy again—along with the brains, rep, knowledge, experience and TALENT to bring it together, whip it all into shape and mould it into something special:
Go out and get yourself a proper Defensive Specialist, plus an “Ace Recruiter” and let them, HELP them to DO THEIR THING!!! Give them all they need, and the room you’d want in their positions, consult and generally TEAM with them to build something SPECIAL there in Gainesville over the next Season-and-a-Half—because that’s what you would have, starting RIGHT NOW, if you were to make THOSE TWO CLEAR MOVES right now and get to work.
Get things working rest of THIS season, come in to the NEXT one strong, with a new tough, determined attitude. Turn this thing AROUND.
 

DRU2012

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COUNTER ARGUMENT:
“WHERE ARE THESE PEOPLE??!”
Are there any such “fully talented individuals” out there who fit the bill?
Hey—that’s YOUR field, Dan...
YOUR area of knowledge, expertise, the “ocean” YOU swim in! If you haven’t been looking, noting filing AWAY your notes and observations from a COACHING ADULTHOOD of experience up till now, then you haven’t been doing YOUR job.
You have been remiss!
No. Somewhere inside, you MUST have some ideas.
Get your boss/money people to OPEN UP THE COFFERS:
Time to make some NEWS!
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
@Leakfan12,

I didn’t watch much actual football today—I mean, I kinda clicked around, monitored bits of games all day, but couldn’t really get all that “jazzed” about it all with us out of the rankings now and not playing—and the SEC results especially haunting us, more or less “rubbing our noses in it” no matter WHAT the actual final outcomes!
Know what I mean?
None of it means all that much to me until we begin to get some idea of “a new start”, and “where we’re HEADING!”.
What I DID see was the rest of the college football world (specifically the rest of the SEC) PASSING US BY—moving ON WITHOUT us!
One MORE “missed opportunity”, another WEEK lost...
ENTROPY: Negative momentum, all the energy of FORWARD MOTION DECAYING!
Fateful waste, regardless.
So HARD to reclaim.
Where and HOW to RESTART?!!
Is it time to GET ANGRY?!!
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Here is my list of DC candidates @DRU2012

Zack Arnett, Mississippi State
Experience:
2020-present: DC/LB Mississippi State
2011- 2019: DC/LB/GA San Diego State
Scheme: Base 3-3-5 Joker and 3-3 Stack with occasional 4-2 and 5-1 with Quarters and Cover 2. Averages #50 in total defense, top-5 in run defense.
Pros: Yet another Mississippi State coach to pluck. Up-and-comer with defensive concepts that work in the NFL and some college defenses.
Cons: Younger coach with unknowns. Would need help with recruiting (but has higher ceiling than Todd Grantham).

Todd Orlando, USC
Experience:
2020-present: DC/LB USC
2017- 2019: DC/LB Texas
1996-2016: DC, LB at Houston, Utah State, FIU, UConn, and Penn
Scheme: Base 3-4 with 3-3-5 Joker and 4-2-5 Nickel. Currently ranked around #26 to #78 in key defensive stats.
Pros: Experience at big programs, adequate recruiter
Cons: Resume looks a lot like Todd Grantham's

Chris Ash, Jacksonville Jaguars
Experience:
2021-present: S, Jacksonville Jaguars
2019-2020: DC/S and analyst, Texas
2016-2019: HC/ Rutgers
1997-2015: Co-DC, S, DC, RC, or GA at Ohio State, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Iowa State, San Diego State, and Drake
Scheme: Base 4-2-5 Nickel with "quarters" and "quarters match". Typically ranked around #30 to #100 in key defensive stats.
Pros: Plays an NFL-style defense, has ties to Urban Meyer and could get a personal recommendation, has beaten UGA in Sugar Bowl as DC
Cons: 2019-2020 Texas defense under Tom Herman was not very good (but it was better than Charlie Strong's under Vance Bedford as DC)

David Reeves, UAB
Experience:
2014-present: DC/LB/DL UAB
2005-2013: GA/DL/DC/DB/S at Alabama, Southern Arkansas, UT-Martin, and Jacksonville State
Scheme: Base 3-4 with 2-4-5 Pressure/Man and Cover 4. Usually a top-25 defense.
Pros: Straightforward scheme works at smaller programs
Cons: Lacks experience in big programs

Marquand Manuel, New York Jets (University of Florida 1997-2001)
Experience:
2021-present: S, New York Jets
2012-2020: ST, DB, S for Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Jets
Scheme: Base 3-4 with Cover 3
Pros: Learned defense under Pete Carroll and Dan Quinn, former Gator, plenty of NFL connections
Cons: No DC experience

Others:
Derek Mason, former Vanderbilt HC
Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech HC
Manny Diaz, Miami HC
Jay Bateman, UNC DC
Marcus Freeman, Cincinnati DC
 
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DRU2012

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Staff member
Super Moderator
Would Charlie Strong come back? Ok very unlikely at least as a DC again but wanted to throw it out there.
Actually, I asked that same question when MacDeath was ousted. As Head Coach then...
And then “in ANY capacity” after he was unceremoniously (and imho unfairly, prematurely) dumped by Texas a coupla seasons later...
You’ll recall he put in a season “consulting” at Alabama instead; How much further would we be along the path (his AND ours!) had he rather than Grantham been serving as DC under Mullen ever since.
Have no idea if that was ever “doable” then—but somehow doubt it is retrievable now.
Not as an “Assistant” ANYTHING, anyway. And I am NOT quite ready to bump Coach Mullen out of the way—not for Charlie Strong (or anyone ELSE I can think of at the moment).
That’s part of the problem.
This has been, IS a bad time;
But “bad” as it may be, suddenly devoid of all the things that filled us with hope and optimism not so long ago, fact is all that WASN’T so “long ago”! That and all the rest being the case, I currently still feel Coach deserves for now our continued support: the CHANCE to actually DO something, make the moves I have to BELIEVE he still has the vision and power to summon from within himself.
But that “other shoe” MUST DROP.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Would Charlie Strong come back? Ok very unlikely at least as a DC again but wanted to throw it out there.
I would love to see Charlie Strong come back as an LB coach or analyst. His defensive coaching skills are way outdated nowadays so he would be a liability as a defensive play caller.
 

DRU2012

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Staff member
Super Moderator
I would love to see Charlie Strong come back as an LB coach or analyst. His defensive coaching skills are way outdated nowadays so he would be a liability as a defensive play caller.
In what respects do you find Charlie’s “defensive coaching skills way outdated”, E—?
I usually find your analyses well-reasoned and well-supported, so I am SERIOUS in asking this. I honestly look forward to your explaining the above assertion.
Not that it is likely to happen, in ANY event—for a lot of reasons...but perhaps your arguments strongly underlie the reasons his return has never seemed a realistic consideration.
I admit it: I just don’t know. He presided over a superb defense at UF—at the very same time as Mullen himself ran a great OFFENSE here! What am I missing?
On first blush, pairing the two doesn’t sound like a “BAD idea”! At the very least, Mullen himself appears to sense he needs “a defensive mastermind” to build, train and run things on that side-of-the-ball. OK: what ARE Strong’s shortcomings? And who is out there that fits the bill, in YOUR estimation?
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
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Defenses have changed since the last time Charlie was a DC. Even as head coach his teams have not done well. He will always be a good recruiter. Lord knows the Gators could use some recruiting right now.
 

DRU2012

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Defenses have changed since the last time Charlie was a DC. Even as head coach his teams have not done well. He will always be a good recruiter. Lord knows the Gators could use some recruiting right now.
OK, so that’s ONE guy who (arguably) might well be able to help in the very two areas that we are currently most deficient—but it appears he’s not likely to be pursued, nor even likely himself to be seeking such a position with us.
Any positive suggestions as to whom we WILL go after?
Any line on who IS being considered? “Background chatter” as to “best out there”, and/or who among them are “prospective Gators”?
I’ve been amazed (and worried) thus far about how LITTLE such discussion has taken place in public, how FEW specific candidates have surfaced.
What’s going on BEHIND the scenes??!
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Right now I will take anyone other than Todd Grantham. Heck, I think Dan Mullen should go to the zoo, kidnap a chimpanzee, and let the damn monkey coach defense.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
And another thing, while we are kidnapping monkeys for defensive coordinators we might as well do the same thing for recruiting coordinators.
 

Leakfan12

VIP Member
I have another suggestion. Antonio Pierce whose a second-year DC with Arizona State and was an NFL player for nine years winning a Super Bowl (2007 Giants). The downside is he's a Pac-12 guy. Also, a question if he could recruit Florida. Marvin Lewis was co-DC in 2020 with Pierce at ASU.
 

DRU2012

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I have another suggestion. Antonio Pierce whose a second-year DC with Arizona State and was an NFL player for nine years winning a Super Bowl (2007 Giants). The downside is he's a Pac-12 guy. Also, a question if he could recruit Florida. Marvin Lewis was co-DC in 2020 with Pierce at ASU.
I’m glad to hear there ARE “possibilities” out there.
Trouble is, it seems Y’ALL are doing more creative, insightful thinking than our Coach is or has so far!
I am only being slightly sardonic: I mean, we all saw this coming before the end of LAST season...It was horribly confirmed in FULL by the end of SEPTEMBER this time around, and yet I’ve STILL no real feeling or confidence our Coach has really grasped it, let alone gone anywhere down the path towards considering, then beginning to contact potential replacements.
Sorry, but his “preparations” there seem about on par with those he has lately espoused regarding recruiting (his “out-of-context” defenses notwithstanding—Hey, I WATCHED that presser LIVE: He said what he SAID!!! It HAS been taken somewhat further “out of context” since, but the original actual response was plenty lame enough as it was!
We all know how far down FSU is; what will be the reaction when we lose to THEM to end the season here?
We may well be currently the WORST OF THE FIRST TIER UNIVERSITIES IN FLORIDA! Only fundamental mismanagement could have laid us this low.
 

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