New Florida football assistants tout their NFL experience; Gators open home slate with no-no

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Todd Grantham, Sal Sunseri have plenty of NFL experience … but will it help?

Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and defensive line coach Sal Sunseri met with reporters this week and both were asked about their extensive history in the NFL and whether that is an asset for them.

Grantham spent 11 seasons in the NFL, including stints as the defensive line coach with the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys and a stretch as the defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Brown (2005-07).

Sunseri, meanwhile, had a long run with the Carolina Panthers from 2002-08, serving as the team’s defensive line coach. And most recently, he coached the linebackers for the Oakland Raiders the last three seasons.

“I think it expands your coaching a little bit when you coach in pro ball because you’ve got to find different avenues to have the same success relative to the system that you have because the players change each year. I think that helps you,” Grantham said. “As far as developing players, I’m going to coach — I’ve been fortunate enough to coach in the league 11 years, I’ve gotten to coach a lot of really good players — so I’m going to coach our players the same way I would coach guys in the National Football League. That experience or that coaching I think will allow them, three to four years from now when they go to the league, they’re going to pretty much understand the NFL system.”

Sunseri also said his NFL experience will hopefully get his players’ attention when he starts working with them this spring.

“I think that’s where I can relate to these kids and [say] I’ve been to where you want to get to, and I want to tell you the secret to it is really simple,” Sunseri said. “You need to work hard, you need to show fast-twitch muscle fibers, show that you can play with the quickness because every time you move up in the level of football from the SEC to the National Football League, that’s the best offensive linemen that you’re going to play against. The SEC, in my opinion, there’s some pretty good talent here, but when you move up to that next level, they’re all good.”

The latest edition of the Chomp Chat podcast also discusses the value of the NFL experience on the Gators’ defensive staff.

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In other Florida football news

Recruiting roundup

In basketball news

  • Florida sustained a devastating 72-69 overtime loss to Georgia on Wednesday night, blowing a 6 -point lead in the final 20 seconds. Gators coach Mike White said, “That’s as tough of an ending to a game that I’ve experienced, definitely as a head coach that I can remember off the top of my head.” See the rest of his comments and the key moments from the game.
  • With that, Georgia swept the season series. The Bulldogs have just two wins in their last eight games with both coming against the Gators.
  • Florida drops to 17-9 overall, 8-5 in the SEC with five games remaining in the regular season.

Barnhill throws no-hitter in home opener

  • Florida softball star Kelly Barnhill is at it again, pitching a no-hitter in the Gators’ home opener Wednesday against North Florida. Barnhill struck out 12 on just 55 pitches, throwing the third no-hitter of her collegiate career. Florida won 9-0 to move to move to 6-0 so far this season. Read more here.

What they’re saying on Twitter

  • Mullen reacted like many others to the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday:

  • As did Florida tight ends coach Larry Scott:

  • And Gators defensive lineman Zachary Carter:

  • Former Gators QB Luke Del Rio weighed in on the tragedy with a thread of texts:

  • The UF Student-Athlete Advisory Committee got a visit from SEC commissioner Greg Sankey:

  • Florida’s baseball season opener is just a day away:

Miss a previous edition of Good Morning, Gators? Get caught up here.

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