Louisville DC Todd Grantham responds to 'neglected stepchild' shot

Louisville lost two defensive assistants this past offseason, as cornerbacks coach Terrell Buckley and safeties coach Greg Brown both decided to take jobs in the SEC.

But Brown let it be known in recent comments to the Columbia Daily Tribune that he is happy to be gone. Brown left Louisville for Missouri in early January to work under defensive-minded first-year coach Barry Odom. According to the newspaper, Brown said the Louisville defense under coach Bobby Petrino was like a "neglected stepchild."

While it is true Petrino is an offensive coach and has a reputation that he is difficult to work with, the insinuation that defense has been neglected left defensive coordinator Todd Grantham chuckling.

"I've been here two years, and since I've been here, we've been sixth in total D and 18th in total D," Grantham told ESPN.com. "Coach Petrino gives me full autonomy to run the defense the way I see fit. I do all the game plans with our defensive staff, and if you look, we've had a lot of success, and we really got a lot of energy moving forward. We beat two SEC teams at the end of the year, and we've got some guys that chose to come back. Things are moving in the right direction, and we've got a lot of energy moving forward."

Buckley, now at Mississippi State, also did interviews with local media recently but did not have any negative comments about his two years with the Cards.

Remember, it was just one year ago that Grantham spurned an opportunity to become defensive coordinator with the Oakland Raiders to stay in Louisville. That decision led Grantham to earn a pay raise, boosting his salary to $1.3 million -- and making him the sixth-highest paid coordinator in the country. Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins has turned heads early in the NFL draft process and has been projected as a first-round pick in May. Four players decided to return to school to play for Grantham.

Does that sound like a unit left neglected?