It wouldn’t be quite accurate to say Todd Grantham is public enemy No. 1 in Gainesville this offseason but the Florida defensive coordinator may not be far from the pole position.

From the first game of the 2020 season to the finale against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl — although Dan Mullen has argued the 2020 team played its final game of the season in Atlanta — Florida’s defense struggled mightily more often than not.

After surrendering an average of over 30 points per game last season, many Florida fans were eager to see Mullen make a change at defensive coordinator but that didn’t happen.

Now with spring camp already underway in Gainesville, Grantham had his first opportunity to meet with the media since the conclusion of last season. Of course, the failures of last season’s defense were something that was asked about but Florida’s defensive coordinator had no interest discussing what happened in 2020.

“You know what, I want to talk about this year and moving forward,” Grantham said on Wednesday according to Thomas Goldkamp of 247Sports. “We have spring practice now. The issues and reasons before are really irrelevant now in the sense that it is what it is. We’re going to play good this year, and with the young players we have we’re going to continue to develop and grow.”

Florida fans may not want to hear this, but Grantham could prove to be correct. The Gators are set to return over 85 percent of the tackling production (third-best in the SEC) and over 92 percent of the sack production from last season (which ranks highest in the SEC).

With the influx of incoming transfers and new staff members to help shore up the defensive backfield, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic that Florida’s defense can turn it around in 2021.

With the Gators set to embark on a season with a new starting quarterback and a rebuilt receiving corps, the defense in Gainesville is going to have to step up in a big way if Florida is going to stay on top of the SEC East this fall.