UF, Ohio St. shared defensive tips

Published: Thursday, January 4, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 4, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Little did they know.

Little did they know 10 months ago they would be meeting again.

For two days in February, Florida's defensive coaches played host to defensive coaches from another school.

The Ohio State University.

"They were a bunch of great guys," said co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. "They are guys we all respected."

They talked about techniques and wrinkles and pieces to the defensive puzzle. Who would have thought they'd be on the same field on the biggest stage in college football Monday night, coaching on opposite sidelines in the national title game?

"You don't get into football as a coach without someone helping you along the way," Mattison said. "People get paranoid about possibly facing someone down the road, about giving something away. Members of these staffs have gone against each other before and have good relationships. You can't go to the NFL anymore. They won't let you in.

"These were good guys and we all knew each other. It made sense to sit down and share some ideas."

But what about the state secrets?

"I don't know if there is a secret to coaching defense," Mattison said. "It's just teaching techniques and getting the kids ready to play."

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