Offense by committee


Offensive line coach Steve Addazio says Florida’s attack won’t change when he becomes the Gator offensive coordinator because UF’s system includes input from all coaches.

Tricia Coyne/Staff photographer
Published: Monday, January 5, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 5, 2009 at 12:13 a.m.

FORT LAUDERDALE - One of Urban Meyer’s offensive philosophies is to make sure the system fits the players.

Facts

BCS title game

Who: No. 2 Florida vs. No. 1 Oklahoma
When: Thursday, 8 p.m.
On air: Fox, AM-850, 103.7 FM

It doesn’t work the same for his offensive coordinators. He asks them to fit the system.

That’s why Meyer and others are expecting a seamless transition when Dan Mullen hands off the offensive coordinator’s job to offensive line coach Steve Addazio after Thursday night’s BCS Championship Game.

Other than a new title for Addazio, nothing changes. The system (and the offensive philosophy) rolls on.

“It will be exactly how it has been,” Addazio said. “We’re going to do a great job of doing what we do, and that’s utilizing everyone’s talents on this staff, including the head coach. That input by everybody is so critical. What you’re going to see is the offense at Florida.”

It is an offense that is coordinated by committee. That’s the way it is with Mullen. It’s how it will be with Addazio.

“Everyone has great input in their area, so it never has, or never will, be about one guy,” Addazio said. “It’s all about our team. We stress that. That’s the way it’s going to stay, and the way it should be.

“It’s a group effort. The input from the quality coaches we have here is incredible, making sure everyone is in sync, players and coaches alike.”

Florida’s offensive game plans are a collaboration of the offensive coaches (Mullen, Addazio, Billy Gonzales and John Hevesey) and Meyer.

According to Addazio, the system works like this: the staff breaks down opposing defenses on Sunday, comes together and formulates ideas and shares philosophies Monday, then scripts a series of plays to fit every situation, every down-and-distance. That’s the game plan. On game day, the play-caller (Mullen) has a list of the plays to choose from for each situation. That list will change throughout the game as adjustments are made and feedback is received from the offensive assistants and Meyer, who, of course, has veto power.

It’s an offense by committee.

“All of us have input,” Addazio said. “We have the ability at the end of the day to say, ‘That’s a really great idea, let’s take a look at that.’ I think we’ve done a great job as a staff of never saying no, so to speak, at looking at a new concept or rolling out a new idea and saying we can run with that a little bit. There’s been a lot of that the past few years, and that creativity will never change.

“We work well together, and it’s a very systematic approach, and it’s been a very successful one.”

The staff has composed game plans this season that have kept opposing defenses off balance and put UF’s many playmakers in a position to make plays. The result is the Gators are averaging 45.2 points a game and are playing for UF’s second national title in the past three years.

It’s a smooth and effective offensive system, quarterback Tim Tebow said.

“I think every coach is ready to put in their opinion and the other coaches are ready to listen,” Tebow said of the collective effort of the coaching staff. “They’re all going to learn from each other and take everybody’s advice and work with it. If someone has an idea, they’re going to listen to it. Then they’ll all decide what’s best for our offense and our team, and Coach Meyer has the ultimate say.”

This is Meyer’s offense, an offense with one coordinator, but many contributors.

“There really is no offensive coordinator,” senior offensive tackle Phil Trautwein said. “It’s kind of like everybody has their philosophies and plays and mindset, and it all kind of works together. They’re a great coaching staff that really works well together. No one gets mad. It’s always one, and that’s why they’re so good.

“I look forward to seeing the game plan every week. I like to see what we’re going to run, what new plays we’re going to have. Every game, we’ve got different plays to scheme against (opposing defenses) to get them out of what they’re doing. We seem to out-scheme them.”

It’s a group effort.

“We utilize everybody’s strengths on the staff,” Addazio said. “It’s great input.”

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or andreu@gvillesun.com.

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