Todd Grantham shares how Peyton Manning influenced his defensive philosophy
Years before becoming one of the nation’s best defensive coordinators, Todd Grantham was an assistant coach in the NFL.
Florida’s defensive coordinator has worked as a defensive assistant for the Texans, the Browns and the Cowboys and nearly took the Bengals defensive coordinator job last offseason. Clearly, Grantham has plenty of professional experience but his first NFL job came back in 1999 in Indianapolis.
During that time, the Colts had recently drafted a young quarterback to build their franchise around — a guy named Peyton Manning. We all know how that one worked out for the franchise.
But what you may not know when it comes to Manning’s legacy is that the soon-to-be Hall of Fame passer had a profound impact on the coaching philosophy of Grantham.
During his recent media availability, Florida’s defensive coordinator was asked about his 3-4 defensively philosophy and how it is incredibly effective at disguising where the pass rush is coming from before the snap. That’s something Grantham learned working with Manning and something that sticks with him 20 years later.
“I was with Peyton Manning for three years and he never could beat the Patriots for a long time and I’d sit there in practice and watch and he never could figure out where the fourth rusher was coming from and it really bothered him,” Grantham said in a video shared by Jacquie Franciulli on YouTube. “But when we played four (base linemen) teams, he’d start dialing it up and could tell the scout team, ‘You’re wrong, you should be here, you should be there.’ He knew pre-snap where to go with the ball. So, once I saw that, I was pretty sold on what you get to do (with 3-4 defense).”
Needless to say, the scheme is working well for the Gators this season as Grantham’s defense currently leads the SEC in sacks.