Notebook: Pouncey trying to snap out of it
Published: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 5:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 5:58 p.m.
Mike Pouncey has been consumed by Saturday's snap fiasco.
He's lost sleep, his erratic snaps are plastered all over TV and people are "killing" him on Facebook.
However, the senior center isn't running away from his blunders. He took full responsibility for Florida's offensive woes in the Gators' lackluster 34-12 win over Miami (Ohio). Pouncey blamed the lack of production and rhythm on himself, but he's making sure those problems don't repeat themselves.
"It's something I wish I worked on before, but I'm glad it happened at game one instead of when we're up at Tennessee or coming up this week,"Pouncey said Tuesday morning.
He took his first step toward clearing his mind and restoring his confidence by joining quarterback John Brantley for an 11 a.m. snap workout Sunday. Pouncey said there were no issues then or at Sunday night's practice.
To help, Pouncey is enhancing his grip by moving his hand further up the ball in order to deliver the ball tighter and faster. He will also carry a towel to limit slipperiness.
Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said Pouncey's errors weren't a pattern of his behavior or anything he expected. After spending time at center in the Sugar Bowl and working there the entire spring, Addazio said he's not worried about it becoming an ongoing issue for Pouncey.
"No one's got more focus or attention on that than Mike Pouncey," Addazio said.
"Those things weren't all Mike Pouncey. Let's get that clear.
"I'm not the least bit concerned about Mike Pouncey. Not even a little."
Regardless, Pouncey has been vilified because of Saturday and ESPN analysts even counted 13 bad or mishandled snaps. Pouncey is sticking to only three bad snaps.
"If I played that bad, gah-lee," he said. "He might need to get his eyesight checked. I don't think that was 13.
"Thirteen snaps? I don't know what game he was watching."
Someone who was watching was brother Maurkice, who preceded Mike at center. Mike said Maurkice encouraged him to put it behind him, find a comfortable grip and get to work. Maurkice also informed him that his Pittsburgh Steelers teammates and coach Mike Tomlin joked about the more he messes up, the better shot they'd have of stealing him late in the first round.
Extra reps and brotherly advice has fueled Mike's confidence and has him squashing the snap issue.
"It's in my past, so I'm not worried about it," he said, "so I don't think anyone else should be."
Addazio doesn't know if sophomore left tackle Xavier Nixon (knee) will play Saturday, but said he's progressing.
"I don't know the exact timetable for him, but certainly he's getting closer to getting back at it," Addazio said.
What he's uncertain about is how long sophomore tackle Matt Patchan (wrist) will be out. Coach Urban Meyer ruled Patchan out this week and Addazio didn't know if Patchan was getting physical work in practice.
Even if Nixon returns, senior Marcus Gilbert said he'll stay at left tackle. What's unknown is if senior Maurice Hurt would start at right tackle again.
Addazio didn't have many answers for what his personnel will look like, but he knows exactly what he wants it to look like.
"I'd like to get back to my original lineup," he said. "If I could do that, I'd like to do that. That's what we're striving for."
Brown feels pressure
With senior Moses Jenkins out six weeks with a hyper-extended left elbow, redshirt sophomore Jeremy Brown now takes sole responsibility of the second starting cornerback spot.
"It definitely puts a little pressure on me to step up because behind me and Janoris (Jenkins) we got three freshmen," Brown said.
Those freshmen are Josh Shaw, Jaylen Watkins and Cody Riggs. All are talented, but aren't ready.
Even with increased pressure, playing with it is better than not playing at all, Brown said.
"I'd rather be on this end than the other one," he said.