Pumped-up head coach


Urban Meyer is even excited about the prospect of watching the tailbacks play Saturday. And his defensive tackles. And his cornerbacks. This is an indication of just how jacked up Meyer is about his fourth Florida football team.

He’s the most positive I’ve ever seen him heading into a season. It’s obvious that Meyer really thinks this team has a chance to be special. The obvious positive vibes from the head coach are creating quite a buzz as the Gators head into the opener Saturday against Hawaii.

In his first season in 2005, Meyer was obviously excited, but also a little apprehensive about not knowing what to expect.

In 2006, he was quietly confident, knowing his defense would be strong enough to keep the Gators in every game. That’s what happened, and UF went on to win the national championship.

Last season, he was feeling a little bit shaky knowing that massive inexperience, especially on defense, probably would take a toll at some point in the season. It did, at several points, and led to a four-loss season.

Now, Meyer appears pumped up about the possibilities for the 2008 team.

Tim Tebow has improved his pocket presence (and has worked hard on the two-minute drill) and the offense should be explosive, even if Percy Harvin doesn’t play in the opener. And the tailback position, which has created such a headache for Meyer in past years, has emerged as a possible team strength with the addition of home-run hitters Chris Rainey, Emmanuel Moody and true freshman speedster Jeffrey Demps.

Meyer has been praising the tailbacks, saying Monday he can’t wait to see how they perform Saturday. Meyer said the other areas that had been a concern ” defensive tackle and the secondary ” also have come around. Given that, the defense should be better.

The thing Meyer seems to like most about this team is the way it has come together and created unity and chemistry (maybe the Democratic Party could learn something from the Gators). It all adds up to a pumped-up head coach who is eager to see how this all starts playing out on Saturday.

The start of something big?

Maybe. Just maybe.