The Browns announced this evening that Todd Grantham has been named the team's new defensive coordinator, and that Dave Atkins will be the team's new running backs coach.
The team won a mild bidding war to get the services of Grantham, as he was also of interest to the Miami Dolphins and their head coach Nick Saban. The two teams also competed over the services of Eric Mangini, who elected to remain with the Patriots.
Here is the press release sent to us by the Browns this evening:
The Cleveland Browns have named Todd Grantham defensive coordinator and Dave Atkins as running backs coach, the club announced today. Grantham spent the previous three seasons with the Houston Texans as defensive line coach and brings six years of NFL coaching experience with Houston and Indianapolis to the Browns.
"Todd (Grantham) has done a terrific job coaching his players, particularly in Houston," said Browns Head Coach Romeo Crennel. "He is energetic and dynamic in how he motivates his players, helping them reach their potential. He has a good background with the 3-4 defense and will certainly enhance what we are building here in Cleveland."
Grantham's has a familiarity with a 3-4 defensive scheme, which the Houston Texans featured as their base defense in 2004. Last season, Grantham's defensive line totaled 5.5 sacks, 76 quarterback pressures and nine passes defensed, and overall the Texans ranked 13th in the NFL against the run.
"When I visited the Browns it was an extremely positive atmosphere, from President John Collins and new General manager Phil Savage, to of course Romeo Crennel and the other coaches he is bringing in," said Grantham. "To have the opportunity to work with Coach Crennel is fantastic. He has been one of the best in the business and I look forward to being a part of what he and the rest of the Browns organization are building."
Dave Atkins joins the Browns to coach the running backs. Atkins spent the previous five seasons with the New Orleans Saints (2000-04) as running backs coach and brings nearly 20 years of NFL coaching experience to the Browns.
"Dave (Atkins) brings an array of experience to the Cleveland Browns," said Head Coach Romeo Crennel. "His running backs have always been well coached and well prepared. They have also always shown a toughness and aggressive style that will fit in well with the system that we are creating."
Atkins worked with Browns Head Coach Romeo Crennel in 1993 as a member of Bill Parcells staff in New England. In his five seasons with the Saints, Atkins has worked with the running backs to feature a 1,000-yard runner in five consecutive seasons, a Saints franchise record.
"I worked with Romeo (Crennel) in 1993 and have always followed his career," said Atkins. "He has been outstanding in his accomplishments. I am overjoyed and excited to work him and do my very best to help the Cleveland Browns win a championship."