Five questions with Florida Gators defensive coordinator Todd Grantham

Robbie Andreu
Gator Sports
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Q: What are your thoughts on the defensive performance in the win over Missouri?

 A: The biggest thing is you’ve got to establish your physical presence in the game by being able to limit their ability to run the ball. That does that. I really think that came about because of our ability to have certain guys available, and by having those guys available it gave us flexibility to play guys in some natural positions. Really, the guys did a good job of playing physical and then executing the game plan, and that allowed them to make plays. The credit needs to go to the players and the ability to have some guys available that gave us the flexibility to play guys where they need to be playing.

 Q: When you talk about guys back in their natural position, is Kyree Campbell an example?

 A: (Kyree) was in there, and by having Kyree back it allowed Brenton (Cox) to move back a little bit. It gave us the ability to play Brenton as a true outside 'backer as opposed to a defensive end. We played with bigger-body guys and that physical presence allowed us to be pretty stout against the run.

 Q: How important is it to stop the run against Georgia?

 A: That is very true for a lot of the teams you play in the SEC. Sometimes the numbers may be a little different, but you have to have the ability to stop the run and make teams one-dimensional. And then as you do that you’re going to create third-down situations and you’ve got to win those. So we understand that we’ve got to be able to stop the run and find ways to win the situations that come up in the game, whether it’s red zone, third downs, two-minute or whatever happens.

 Q: Did something within the defense come together during the layoff?

 A: It always goes back to, who's available, and how do you get your best 11 players on the field? So you kind of take that and build your game plan around that. And, you know, we took the guys that were available in the last game and we were able to move some guys around to give us some physical presence and do those things. Now in saying that, I do believe that not having the ability to have spring practice and those things, obviously you can evaluate some things that way. But it really got back to having the availability of guys, to allow us to play our guys where they need to play.

 Q:What shifts will you have to make with starting defensive end Zachary Carter out for the first half?

 A: We’ll just take the guys that are available and play with them. There won’t be any wholesale changes or anything like that. We’ll continue to play the guys that played in the last game.

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