After Saturday’s nightmare offensive performance in the season-opener against Miami (Ohio), some might be wondering where John Brantley’s confidence is at the moment. Well, it seems like it’s still in a good place.
That’s the impression after listening to Brantley talk to the media for about 10 minutes Monday.
Brantley sure didn’t spend much time agonizing over what happened Saturday. Instead, he and center Mike Pouncey went right back to work Sunday morning, studying tape and practicing their shotgun snaps on their own.
“We know what went wrong,” he said. “We’re going to fix things this week. We’re going to learn from that game and get better. We’re going to move on like it’s any other week. We’re concentrating on the small things, like snaps and ball security. Other than that, we’re going to prepare like every other week, prepare to win the game against South Florida.”
Brantley did seem a little dejected on the bench during Saturday’s game. But UF coach Urban Meyer quickly stepped in to make sure his quarterback was OK. He sat down with Brantley and had a one-on-one conversation with him on the sideline.
“It was really positive,” Brantley said. “He was trying to calm me down. He said, ‘This is why you play the game. You love it.’ He said, ‘Settle down, things are going to work out, just keep going on.’ He was very positive, very supportive.”
Meyer had similar sideline talks with some of his previous quarterbacks — Josh Harris, Alex Smith, Chris Leak and Tim Tebow.
“John is a competitor and wants to do well,” Meyer said. “I had a few of those talks with Tim, Chris Leak, Josh Harris and Alex Smith. Just worry about the next play, don’t worry about what just happened. I tried to lighten the mood a little bit. When you hit a storm, and that was a storm Saturday, there’s only one thing to do and that’s get right back into fundamentals. Watch the ball in (on shotgun snaps), throw the ball, don’t worry about what else is going on. The previous play is done, get to the next play.
“That’s how Tim was so invaluable, his uncanny ability (to forget bad plays and move on to the next play). Eventually, so did Chris. John will have that same gift of being able to move on to the next play.”
Brantley did not have the debut performance he was hoping to have against Miami (Ohio). But he’s ready to move on, his confidence seemingly unshaken.