Meyer is feeling good about his o-line's progress


UF head coach Urban Meyer gives feedback to right tackle Drew Miller (67) and other members of the offensive line.

TRICIA COYNE/Special to The Sun
Published: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
Although the defense got the best of Monday's Gator football practice, UF coach Urban Meyer said he remains optimistic about the future of his offensive line.
"They know the system," Meyer said. "The only thing they lack is experience."
Meyer said the Gators need to add depth behind starters Phil Trautwein (left tackle), left guard Simon Codrington, center Steve Rissler, right guard Ronnie Wilson and right tackle Drew Miller.
The spring has been a slight learning experience for Miller, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound junior who spent last season playing both guard spots.
"Right now, I am getting used to moving with balance and power out of a two-point stance," Miller said. "At guard you come out of a three-point stance."
Versatility has never been a problem for Miller. While at Sarasota Riverview, Miller started at center as a sophomore, guard as a junior and tackle as a senior.
"So far, so good (this spring)," Miller said. "Each day I feel like I'm getting better."

Extra points

Defensive tackle Marcus Thomas has been limited by a hernia problem that Meyer said is expected to require surgery. Meyer said Thomas likely will go through one more practice this spring before being shut down. Thomas is expected to be ready to play by the start of fall practice. ... Meyer said the team is hoping a cornerback or two steps up this spring to provide depth. He said only starters Reggie Lewis and Avery Atkins, as well as safety/corner Reggie Nelson, are the only healthy athletes ready to play right now. Meyer did add that sophomore corner Lamont Sheppard has shown improvement. ... Meyer reiterated after practice that he remains disappointed in the progress of his running backs. ... Meyer said Billy Latsko and Dallas Baker are two of the players who have provided needed leadership this spring following the graduations of Vernell Brown, Jarvis Herring, Jeremy Mincey and Todd McCullough. Meyer added that the Gators have excellent chemistry. "Our coaches feel much better than they ever have about the team." ... McCullough and Mike Nattiel were two of the former Gators in attendance at Monday's practice. Coaches from Jacksonville University also watched drills. ... Darryon Robinson, a former linebacker at Eastside High School, is working with the second team and put a nice hit on running back Anthony Gay during drills. Robinson began his college career at Bethel College in Tennessee, leading the team in tackles as a freshman, before transferring to UF where he walked on before last season and saw most of his snaps on special teams. ... Quote of the day: "(Tight end) Cornelius Ingram is doing a heckuva job," Meyer said. "He's the best receiver on the Gator football team."
Contact John Patton at 374-5074 or pattonj@gvillesun.com.

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