Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Q: What happens when the Urbanator become the Dele Gator?

Answer: Your team is not very good. And while it is easy to blame Steve Addazio and the offense for all of our problems, that would not be wise. Remember he was responsible for the hiring of Stan "Fumbles" Drayton and Teryl Auston too.

The keyboard commandos are going crazy.

One popular site even reported that this year was an "audition" for Steve Addazio to be the HBC next year at Florida and that Meyer was in fact not coaching at all. This, of course, is absurd. On second thought, given the team's performance is it really all that absurd to think that Meyer hasn't returned from his leave of absence? Unfortunately no.

We were dominated in the trenches on both sides of the ball in each of the last three games. Something typically reserved for teams that play to the north and south of Gainesville and it shows a lack strength and conditioning of the players.

One of the main reasons we won all the games we have won since Meyer took over as coach is because we were more physical up front than just about every team we played. Sure we played a "finesse" offense, but we beat teams up along the lines. That isn't the case anymore and I for one think that our strength and conditioning program needs to be changed. I am not advocating the firing of Mickey Mariotti, but whatever he is doing isn't working. That being said, the effectiveness of a strength training coach is about 7 years, so maybe a change in staff is warranted.

Our offensive line play has been horrific this year. What was supposed to be a strength, has turned into the offense's biggest liability. My belief is that the offensive line has been switched around so many times this year that the players have no continuity and fail to consistently communicate properly with each other during the game. This would explain how each week teams are consistently getting pressure - either with the blitz or playing base defense. Mississippi State was able to get pressure on Brantley rushing 3, 4 or 5 players. Let that sink in for a moment - Miss. State's DL dominated Florida's OL. That should never, ever happen.

The constant movement of the line has taken players from positions that they were comfortable in (read Xavier Nixon 2009 LT) and moved them to positions that they aren't familiar with (see Xavier Nixon getting blown up in the Alabama game). Therefore we have basically 5 new starters along the line, which as you can see, is never a good thing.

The line hasn't been the only issue for the offense. John Brantley, who was called the 2nd best QB in the SEC before he even took a snap as the starter, has struggled mightily to say the least. Once again, it is easy to blame the play calling for his poor performances, but I believe that is only part of the problem. Brantley has yet to get into a rhythm this year. He has had to deal with a multitude of issues - poor snaps, bad blocking, lack of separation by the receivers, drops, throwing mainly on obvious passing downs, and his own inaccuracy. Brantley has become so uncomfortable in the pocket that as soon as his primary target is covered he immediately goes to the checkdown receiver. To compound matters, since our receivers typically generate little to no separation, our checkdown receiver a main target for the defense.

While the knee-jerk reaction would be to call for Trey Burton at QB, the proper thing to do would for the staff to determine who they want to be as an offense. Currently, the staff asks Brantley to run the option (something he cannot do well) and they don't ask Burton to throw the ball. You cannot play both QBs without both QBs running and throwing the ball. If you are going to do that, then just use one QB and do what that QB does well and scrap the other thing.

At running back, can we please get rid of the Moody Experiment? While I understand that both Jeff Demps and Mike Gillislee are hurt, Mack Brown is just sitting on sidelines. Brown has already burnt his redshirt this year, so what is holding him back? I know Meyer said he is still confused with some of the offense, but if that was an excuse half the team wouldn't be allowed to play. Hopefully by the time October 30th rolls around both Demps and Gillislee are healed, but it wouldn't hurt to put Brown in there and get some touches.

At WR we are suffering from a lack of experienced talent and the fact that our QB's favorite receiver cannot catch a ball with his hands. I am not sure what can be done here to fix the problems. I do know that Dunbar and Dunkley have been hurt and unable to play so far this season, which certainly doesn't help this position. Carl Moore has performed admirably, but when your ray of hope at the WR position is the possession receiver, things aren't that bright.

Amazingly enough we continue to control our own destiny in the SEC East. And if the staff can somehow figure out a way to fix the offense, we should be able to beat Georgia and Vandy, setting up a showdown at home against Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks. So let's hope and pray that Meyer and the rest of the staff can figure out how to right this sinking ship.

1 comment:

Trader Rick said...

7 years?? Where does that come from??