We take a look at five different reasons why Louisville football’s defensive coordinator Todd Grantham should not be fired.
After two straight losses to end the season, there are many fans that believe Louisville football‘s defensive coordinator Todd Grantham should be fired. While there are many valid arguments why he should, there are also many more reasons why he shouldn’t be fired.
The football program is on the rise and a disappointing end to the 2016 season doesn’t change that fact. Don’t be surprised when the Cards get healthy and come back strong for their bowl game later this month.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the five reasons why Todd Grantham shouldn’t be fired:
Nov 26, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Grantham greets fans during the Card March before facing the Kentucky Wildcats at Papa John
5. Past experience in the National Football League
I am a firm believer that the best coaches in college football have had some type of experience in the NFL. There is a reason that he was interviewed for head coaching jobs only a year ago and a couple bad games doesn’t change that.
“He was with the Cowboys for two years after spending three seasons as defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns (2005-07), and six years as defensive line coach for both the Houston Texans (2002-04) and Indianapolis Colts (1999-01). He helped the Browns to a 10-win season in 2007. The Cowboys’ defensive unit was one of the best in the league, ranking second in scoring defense (15.6 points per game), fourth in rushing defense (90.5 yards per game), seventh in sacks (42.0 per game), and ninth in total defense (315.9 yards per game). Dallas finished eighth in the NFL in total defense in 2008 and led the league with 59 sacks. In addition, Dallas nose guard Jay Ratliff, a sixth round draft choice, was named to consecutive Pro Bowls under Todd Grantham and All-Pro Demarcus Ware recorded a career-high 20 sacks in 2008.”
He has been around some great football players over his career. Don’t sell short his ability to develop players and transition them into the National Football League.
Oct 30, 2015; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Louisville Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Grantham looks on during the first quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
4. Past success in college football
Not only has Todd Grantham had some success at the University of Louisville, he also was able to do solid really solid things at Georgia.
Here is what Grantham was able to accomplish for the Georgia Bulldogs:
“During his time with Georgia, the Bulldogs advanced to four-consecutive bowl games and compiled a 36-18-1 record with Grantham at the helm of the defense.
The 2012 season saw the Bulldogs finish with a 12-2 record, which included a loss to Alabama, the eventual national champion, in the SEC title game. Georgia, which won the Capital One Bowl, ended the campaign 18th in the country in scoring defense, holding five opponents to 10 or fewer points, and eighth nationally in pass defense.
In his second season at Georgia, the defense showed a dramatic jump in the national statistics. The group finished the year fifth nationally in total defense (11th versus rushing, 10th versus passing), third in third-down defense, fifth in interceptions, and seventh in turnovers gained (32), which ranked first in the SEC.”
That is extremely impressive to take a defense all the way to 5th in the country after only one season. If the Cardinals could just keep getting better on the defensive side of the football, then an ACC Championship and possibly the College Football Playoffs would definitely not be out of the question.
Sep 5, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Louisville Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Grantham talks to his defense on the sideline in the fourth quarter against the Auburn Tigers in the 2015 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
3. Keeping consistency within the coaching staff
Let’s be honest here, there isn’t one team in the country that is successful by firing a coach every time something goes wrong. There are numerous factors as to why the Cards defense struggled over the past couple of weeks, but the blame shouldn’t be solely placed on Todd Grantham.
The best football programs have coaches that leave because they are hired for better positions, not because they are getting fired. If someone is getting fired, it’s because they didn’t do their job well enough.
It’s not like it’s been Grantham’s defense that has been fumbling the football this season.
I’m sorry, but a couple of bad games to end the 2016 season doesn’t change the fact that the Cardinals defense has been hovering around the top ten ever since Grantham jumped on board the Louisville football train.
Sep 12, 2015; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Grantham calls out instructions during second half against the Houston Cougars at Papa John
2. One game against Kentucky doesn’t give a reason to fire him
I do understand that the game against Kentucky is one that we are all going to be bitter about. It was pretty clear that Louisville’s game-plan was based on shutting down Kentucky’s rushing attack. However, it was Stephen Johnson that ultimately tore the Cards apart through the air.
The biggest difference was that UK’s offensive-line dominated in the trenches. He had all day to throw the football, which helped him have his best game as a Kentucky Wildcat.
Grantham tried to blitz, but the Cards couldn’t get enough pressure up front and didn’t have the depth on the back-end to make enough plays.
It was almost a perfect storm and Grantham couldn’t control how his inexperienced secondary would perform.
Dec 30, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Louisville Cardinals linebacker Devonte Fields (92) celebrates after a sack during the first half in the 2015 Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
1. Evidence of what he has done at the University of Louisville
If we are all being honest with ourselves, Grantham has done a pretty solid job while he has been with Louisville. The Cardinals have been great against the run and have seen many of their players get drafted.
No, he didn’t recruit all of the guys that made it into the NFL, but his coaching did help improve their games for the next level.
Grantham has instilled aggressive play and a commitment to physicality to the Cardinals — finishing 14th against the run in 2015 and No. 10 in 2014
A native of Pulaski, Va., Grantham has led a pair of top 20 defenses at Louisville, finishing No. 6 in total defense in 2014 and the No. 18 unit in 2015. His 2014 defense led the nation in interceptions with 26, and has posted a two-total of 43, which is one of the top marks in the country.
Over that two-year span, Grantham saw seven players drafted into the NFL, including six in 2014.
As the outside linebackers coach in 2015, Grantham tutored Devonte’ Fields, who led the country in tackles for loss with 22.5, and posted a team-high 11 sacks. Showing an ability to develop players during his career, Grantham tutored outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin to first team all-ACC accolades and was a third-round selection of the New York Jets. The other starting linebacker, Deiontrez Mount was a sixth-round pick of Tennessee.