Andreu Blog: Time to go with Del Rio

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Luke Del Rio, Kadarius Toney
Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio looks to hand off the ball to Kadarius Toney during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky. Florida won the game 28-27. (AP Photo/David Stephenson)

Like many of you, I have been a devout Luke Del Rio doubter, thinking he clearly was not the answer at quarterback (especially looking to the future) and he would not see the field this season. But I have now come full circle on Del Rio.

He’s the right guy at the right time to lead this Florida offense.

It has become apparent that the Gators need a quarterback who knows the offense, really knows it inside out, and knows where to go with the football. Del Rio is the only quarterback on campus who fits that description at this time.

Seeing how much the offense changed when Del Rio went into the Kentucky game in the second half was a bit of a revelation. With his experience and knowledge, the offense ran much smoother and quicker and finally found the kind of rhythm that’s been missing. The Gators went up-tempo and not only were the results positive, the offensive players, especially the wide receivers, came away saying this is the way they want to play.

The offense was stagnant so much of the time when Feleipe Franks was the starter. But that’s not his fault. He’s still learning the offense and isn’t capable of going up-tempo like the Gators did once Del Rio took over. As he gains experience, Franks will be able to run the offense with similar rhythm.

Franks is the quarterback of the future.

Del Rio is the quarterback of the present.

My advice is to stop doubting him and get behind him. With Del Rio’s command of the offense, and having more playmakers around him now, the offense has a chance to start moving out of the slump it’s been in since Tim Tebow left.

I think it starts Saturday. I have a feeling that the offense is going to start going up and down the field a little bit and confidence will start to soar finally on that side of the ball. From there, the offense will only get better as long as Del Rio stays healthy (I never thought I’d ever say that, but there it is).

Prediction: Florida 28, Vanderbilt 10

 

14 COMMENTS

  1. A lot of his issues were being injured and not letting the next guy up. Now why our other QBs can’t understand the offense is a very good question. It must be quite complex if you can’t learn it in say six months.

  2. Del Rio likely is not going to win the game on his own like Franks did vs. Tennessee. But he is not going to almost lose games like Franks did against both Tennessee and Kentucky either. It is very clear that Franks simply is not ready for prime time. And I doubt Franks is the QB of the future, as he does not look like a QB who has spent two preseasons and two springs in the offense. I think that designation likely will fit Matt Corral beginning next spring much better. Watching Corral’s HS videos, he simply appears to have the innate mental and physical skills to excel in college. If you watch Franks HS film and even his film from college so far, you do not see the same kind of innate mental skills, or even the innate physical skills for that matter. The future is Corral. And I also believe Del Rio will be back next year as well if he chooses to do so.

    • Rick,

      Great assessment! I too have examined Corral’s HS videos and he seems to have that “es-capability,” that only some quarterbacks ever possess. Franks certainly has the physical tools, but at least at this point, doesn’t “see,” the field that well. At least QB depth is better now than it has been in the past few years.

  3. If we’re having to play LDR, then this line better learn how to pass protect and FAST. Every time he drops back I’m holding my breath that Del Rio isn’t snapped like a twig because he is a statue in the pocket. Better open up some holes for the horses and get that run game going – BEFORE the 4th quarter.

  4. I agree with rick gillmore. If franks doesn’t know the offense by now either he will never get it or he just doesn’t have the development that is needed for some reason. He may have a cannon for an arm but hamstringing the offense because he doesn’t “know it” by now and not being able to hit an intermediate throw has really hurt the gators. LDR doesn’t have quite the arm strength but he can stretch a D enough to keep them honest and hit the short and intermediate throws to open it up. Just needs to stay healthy and throw it to the guys in the right jersey.

  5. I think Mac needs to avoid recruiting these raw athletes in the future to play QB. Franks isn’t gonna reach his potential very quickly in a complex offense like this one. He may after another solid off-season, but taking away 2/3 of his potential snaps in a 3-man competition hurt a bunch too. He didn’t even have an official OC/QB coach in high school. He showed in the All American game (as well as his 1st spring game) that he was waaaaay far behind the rest of the prospects. He’s gotten better since then, but not better enough to start at QB in the SEC. Maybe next year, maybe not, but if Mac wants him to be the guy, he really needs to let him take the majority of the snaps and not take away 1/2 or 2/3 of them while trying to decide on a starter.

  6. I am not from Missou, but I am taking a wait and see attitude. We were lucky against Kentucky and I am giving kudos to LDR for igniting the offense in the few plays he was in, but I am still remembering that interception. And I just can’t believe that a “I don’t know guy” all of a sudden is the “Guy” hopefully he is. But I also know this is a team sport. I love my Gators and I am hoping that the team, the whole team, not just the Qb, comes out and play a good game because these guys always gives us a hard time. Go GATORS!!!! Beat Vandy!!!!!

  7. Luke’s maturity and experience are a big plus. Franks is still feeling his way. He has a lot of talent. It looks like he needs more coaching on the mental aspect and timing. I’m glad Del Rio is the starter. He looks more comfortable and is able to comminicate and provide critical leadership. I hope Franks keeps learning and getting better. Seems like a great kid.

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