Senior center Mike Pouncey has demonstrated over the past few days just what a leader he is on this Florida football team.
After rolling three snaps back to John Brantley (and having several other snaps drift off target) in Saturday’s messy Florida victory, Pouncey showed up for interviews following the game and made no excuses. Like a true leader, Pouncey accepted responsibility and said he would work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Pouncey could have easily declined to meet the media Saturday, and many would not have blamed him (even some in the media). But that would have sent a bad message, he said. On Tuesday, Pouncey showed up for interviews again, and again he was gracious and took the time to answer any and all questions about those errant snaps.
“If I came in and ran from you, there would be more and more stuff said,” Pouncey said in explaining his post-game appearance Saturday. “I came in and faced the consequences. I took full ownership for it and we just have to move forward from it. I’m the leader of the offense. When your leader is messing up, it makes everything look bad.
“I’ve been busting my tail. I haven’t been able to sleep all week, ever since the game. I’m just trying to get it right. It’s going to be right this week.”
Pouncey said he has changed his grip on the ball (putting his hand on the very top) and now feels comfortable with it. He promised there will be no bad snaps Saturday against South Florida.
“It’s not going to happen,” he said. “I’ve been working hard ever since the game. I’m going to go out and play my best on Saturday.”
Pouncey said he’s had a chance to talk about his snapping issues with twin brother Maurkice, who is now the starting center for the Pittsburgh Steelers in his rookie season. Like Mike, Maurkice also made the move from offensive guard to center during his UF career.
“He told me when he first started (playing center) two years ago that he did the same thing, although his (problem) wasn’t as bad,” Pouncey said. “He had high snaps. His snaps were everywhere (at first). He said just get back to work, and that’s what I’m doing.”
Pouncey, THE leader of this football team, said his teammates have been supportive.
“They respect me so much,” he said. “Even when I was messing up the snaps Saturday, nobody said anything to me. They know I’m going to get it right. I love my teammates. No one turned their back on me. That just makes us a strong team.”
And Pouncey an even stronger leader than he was before Saturday’s game.
Pouncey looked terrible in the game. Thank goodness it was Miami of Ohio on the other side. He looked like a freshmen player on the field, if he messes up this week its going to bite us. How many times have I seen the snaps on TV this week? One after another. He should have gone pro this past year, his value has certainly tanked.
Mike showed true leadership by addressing this issue head on and working to fix it. This is what Gator teams do….just keep working to get better. I am VERY happy that Mike came back for his Senior year to lead our offense and our younger players. There is no way I would want to play on the other side of the ball from Mike the rest of this season. I think he will be a man on a mission. Go Gators and Go Mike!
I have to wonder how the offensive line would have performed by plugging in Sam Robey and leaving last year’s starters in their former positions. We really don’t know how Robey will perform in game situations but all the shuffling has to be confusing. Wilson and Hurt have performed pretty inconsistently at guard. Putting thenm both on the field at the same time didn’t work very well. I saw Silbermann in there at tackle but didn’t notice how well he performed. Here is hoping Addazio finds a mix that works. This should be less about Pouncy’s future draft status and more about an effective group of five. Saturday was clearly a failed experiment.
Robey was one of the wounded and that’s why he didn’t play any!
As far as Mike’s draft status goes, NFL scouts aren’t stupid! They don’t make an assessment on one game. He will not have those issues again and he will win the Remington Award! He’s too much of a fighter. His draft status will definitely be better as a result ofnhim coming back for his senior year!
Applaud Pouncey’s approach of stepping up taking ownership of the mistakes. That’s a leader. Brantley appears to have same mindset. As bad as snaps were, the problems ran much deeper. Several failed 4th down conversions on short yardage is huge concern. Take away Demp’s one long run, and the average gain per play on offense was alarmingly sparse. Then we see that Urban wasn’t even aware that Dubose never set foot on the field and that there was no rotation of the receiving corp until after the game was over. What? Of course, Thompson and Moore probably weren’t tired, considering that they only threw the ball more than 10 yards downfield on a couple occasions.
Time for the head coach to step back in and take charge.
I feel our coaches are just one game away from blowing the season if they make the same decisions they made last Saturday against Miami (Ohio). Why does it come to that? I think Robey should have been played after the 3rd bad snap. That’s why the team has backups. As a fan, it is hard to see your team fumbling the ball and cameras showing the coaches faces and seeing their frustration but at the same time they didn’t make any changes to try to fix things as the game goes on. The whole FL team collapsed last game, players and coaches included. It looked as if the players were inexperienced and forgot how to play football all the sudden and the coaches were affraid to make changes. This Gators team needs to wake up and become mentally tough and play football just like when they were younger kids and love to go out and play hard. Forget all the whoopla and all the cliches that come with playing for the University of Florida and the first game jitters… just go play your best every Saturday!
Time to man up (quickly)!