In his postgame press conference following the Orange and Blue Game, Florida coach Urban Meyer said the Gators were heading into the most important offseason since he’s been at UF.
The way I see it, it’s so important for three main reasons.
1. With so many young players being counted on to contribute (some even start) this season, the offseason strength and conditioning program will be huge. It’s Mickey Marotti’s team for the next three-plus months, and what he does with the Gators (especially the early enrollees and the rest of the freshman who arrive for Summer B) is critical. He needs to get these young players stronger and tougher. He needs to have them game-ready by August. This is a time when team chemistry (good or bad) really starts to form for next season.
2. Tim Tebow and Brandon Spikes and all those experienced leaders who carried this team the past three years are gone. The Gators will be under new leadership in 2010. In the spring, the guys who were stepping up were center Michael Pouncey, strong safety Ahmad Black and defensive end Justin Trattou, all seniors. They need to continue what they’ve been doing and establish themselves as the clear leaders of this football team. Another guy who absolutely has to become a leader is quarterback John Brantley. Meyer has been stressing this since January to him, and the soft-spoken junior is trying to take on the role. This is Brantley’s team now, and he has to take control of it.
3. The Gators need to stay out of the headlines this summer. That means staying out of trouble. Given all the arrests over the past three or four years, the Gators need to be the poster boys for good behavior between now and the start of two-a-days in August. That would send out the message to the rest of the SEC (and the nation) that this team is serious about playing for championships in 2010. That is not the message UF sent out last season when Carlos Dunalp was arrested for DUI the Tuesday morning before the SEC Championship Game. Pouncey has been assuring people that there will be no off-the-field issues this offseason. A lot of it has to do with leadership. So, we’ll see.
The bottom line is this: If the Gators do the right thing this summer, it could be a very rewarding fall.
This is the most important part of the season. This were the players have to decide they want it or not. Winnowing time for the Gators. Going to find out what is wheat and what is chaf. Cream always rises to the top!
Amen to all 3 Robbie. Keep up the good work. This group of players could be really special with a shot at a couple of NC’s like the 07 class.
That third point is probably the most important. Nothing can put a halt to progress and morale like numerous off field situations. Last season was like a soap opera mini-series and had as much to do with falling just short of our goal as anything.
I fully agree with Ken on the potential for a couple of NC’s, we’re just that talented and very well coached. But the kid’s have to recognize a few thing to move forward; 1. How special they are as a group (not as individuals), 2. They have to listen and learn from people that have been there and know what it takes to get back there and follow their lead, 3. Go all out to do what their part to contribute to the whole of the TEAM, nobody will have a Championship team if they don’t all put it all on the line all the time. Thats whats important for this TEAM.
This team could achieve as much as last years bunch, but until they get a real Offensive Coordinator, they’ll never be National Champions. I’m rooting for Steve Addazio’s promotion to HC….. elsewhere!
Teams win Championships, not individual players or coaches. This team has the potential to be better than last year’s team, but as Casey Stengel said about potential…..it means you haven’t done anything yet. As for our offensive coordinator, the stats prove that the total offensive yardage production last year was actually better than when Dan Mullen was around.
I’ve got Steve Addazio’s back all day long. He’s a great coach and a great guy. With hard work and great character this summer, the Gators will be ready to make a run in the fall….one game at a time. Go Gators, Beat Everybody!
I seem to remember one year when Danny W. was brought in to speak with the team. That year a card with a picture of all the rings EARNED by the 1996 class was shown to the team (at the time the most decorated class) trying to inspire them. I don’t think that is called for this year. The memory of last year’s only loss should still be fresh in the mind of this years seniors. I have faith in our QB (probably the most talented one in the SEC this year) and the seniors in charge.
Dude, get off of Addozio’s back. I wasn’t thrilled with some of the play calling either; however, I wasn’t behind the scenes to see what and who dictated what. Hell, Meyer could have insisted on the calls or Tebow may have changed the play. The stats don’t lie and the offense done a pretty good job. It was the defense that let us down, when it counted. So, while we preach “Team” try to be on the team as a fan and not start things that cause distractions. He’s our coach and we need to stand behind him while he’s there!
This team will be good, but has a few talent / coaching gaps. They’ll likely lose 2-3 games and go to a decent bowl.
I have a hard time figuring out how the top 4 backs average about 7 yards a carry and U.F. runs the back 3-4 times versus Alabama?
The offens last year was too vanilla. Coach Meyer has said getting the other team to think is what he focuses on. In
other words, if the other team thinks it will be too late.I agree 100%. Last year they were not creative like I hope they will be this year.
This is the year Addazio proves whether he’s worthy of being an OC for one of the nation’s preeminent programs. Meyer and Mullen’s playbook needs to be revamped, and, luckily (or thanks in large part to Addazio), the Gators have the players to do that. The O line is stout and the skill players are fast and athletic. Now we get to see how
Addazio handles this high-powered offense.
I have been watching the 2006 National Champ Game vs Ohio State. I love that offense we ran….I watched again the Sugar Bowl vs Cincy….
We passed the ball and ran the ball everywhere!!! Remember the reverses and quick strike passes….That will ring up the points and the fact that we have a QB that throws darts combined with a running attack with Olympic speed backs is going to be a joy to watch…
I think we are going to have one exciting and fast explosive team on both sides of the ball!!!
We should rule the east and I predict we play…..LSU in the SEC Champ game and play for it all again…
Anybody want to truly dispute that??/
HELLO GATOR B0B-JUPITER
THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL YOU WILL GET ME TO DISPUTE THAT YOU ARE RIGHT ON, GO GATOR BOB-JUPITER
Hey guys, the only loss was one in which the entire team was flat. That against the best team they played. A game in which the Gators seemed outplayed and outcoached. However, that does not mean the players did not want it or the coaches did not do their job. It does mean something was wrong.
Time to take the pain of that loss and let it fuel the fire for this season and beyond.
Second, point, if Chris Rainey had played the slot all year, we might have had an even more monstrous offense – I hope to see Rainey become the superstar he is. Remember, it is Rainey who recruited the Pouncey’s, Ahmad Black, and 3 other dreadnaughts to UF when he came here.
Final point, the Gators do need to watch out for each other and themselves. No stupid DUI’s on the verge of even practice. Dunlap may never have or ever do it again, but he could have been killed or killed another person. There is real tragedy. Keep your eyes on the prize on why you will be killing yourself this summer – not to make stupid and possibly life altering decisions.
As always, Go Gators.
This team is primed to just go nuts next year. Steve has a year under his belt as the OC, and has a turbo-charged group ready to run away from a lot of people. The defense is young but so fast and talented, it’s almost unfair. Nobody is going to get wide on us, if we can clog the middle, we will have the nations best D. Special teams is rock solid (better athletes on special teams than most team have starting) and could be phenomenal if a return man or two emerges.
I see UF winning the whole enchilada next year, I really do. Frankly, I don’t think there’s anybody out there close to us. We are going to embarrass Bama and all those new DB’s next year, at least once and maybe twice. Texas is reloading, Okie is reloading, Ohio State is overrated, USC is in the toilet, who else is there? No, I see UF bulldozing everyone in their path.
14 wins this year.