Gators have missed Patchan

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We’ve known for a long time this was coming, but it’s official now — offensive tackle Matt Patchan is out for the season. That was finally confirmed Wednesday when Urban Meyer announced that Patchan recently underwent surgery on the wrist that he fractured back in August.

The Gators had been holding out hope for much of the season that Patchan could return at some point in 2010, but it’s not going to happen.

“It was an injury that just would never improve,” Meyer said. “We feel confident and so does Matt, and his family, that he should be ready to crank it up real close to full-contact in the spring. We need him.”

They really needed him this season. Of all the things that have happened with the Florida offense this season, the absence of Patchan has made one of the biggest impacts. The Gators not only missed his passion and his relentless and physical style, but with him out, UF’s depth at offensive tackle pretty much disappeared. It forced the Gators to play a guard (senior Maurice Hurt) at tackle for a big part of the season. Hurt is a very good offensive lineman and is pretty quick on his feet for a big guy, but he is not a natural tackle.

The Gators really need Patchan back and ready to play next season. If he can finally shake off his bad injury luck, Patchan will be the starting left tackle in 2011. The right tackle would be a bigger and stronger Xavier Nixon, who also has battled injuries in his true sophomore season. With those two in the lineup, the Gators would have impressive bookend tackles — and the line would have a chance to be better than it was this season, even with three starters (Mike Pouncey, Marcus Gilbert and Carl Johnson) leaving.

The offensive line was supposed to be the team’s strength in 2010. It was not. Things might have been much different if Matt Patchan had been healthy and playing from the start.

25 COMMENTS

  1. It is very interesting that the O line that looks so bad when JB is in the game does not look bad at all when the other QBs are in. Brantley holds the ball too long, does not side step rushers, and is such a known wimp to the defenses that they know he will fold like a cheap suit if the look at him. In the game where JB was sacked 4 times, none of the other QBs even got touched. The O line or a truly rotten excuse for a QB..JBrantley..sit him ,,why can’t Urban see this ..really a frustrating year,,been watching the Gators for 50 years and this is the poorest coached team I have ever watched, Not the players..poor coaching decisions on personnel

  2. The Gator o-linemen were all recruited and trained for playing in the spread; an option/block scheme in which they push their man whichever way he wants to go and the back just looks for the hole. Pro style blocking for run and pass means moving your man from point A to point B against his will. Our o-linemen must either be trained for the latter or our offense has to be strictly the spread-we seem unable to handle both. Coach has some tough choices to make in the very near future!

  3. just a few years ago we had a quarterback by the name of Chris Leak who was no more a runner than JB is now but he did have better blocking. the difference? a full time o-line coach not one trying (and failing miserably)to be an offensive co-ordinator. either cahnge OC’s or get another competent full time o-line coach.

  4. Agree with both Atl and Bo. What Andreu doesn’t understand is that an offensive line’s performance has a significantly higher positive correlation with how well they’re coached than the level of talent and size they posses. This season we were witness to frequent false start penalties, sometimes occurring at the start of 2 or three consecutive downs. False starts, blocks in the back, and the like are types of infractions that are due to natural human psychological tendencies. It’s the responsibilities of the coaches to coach that out of the players and good coaches do it. Poor coaches, or coaches with too much on their plate tend not be as effective in the arena as we saw that this year. Thus, the addition of one player to the offensive line, no matter how talented, would not have made that much of a difference if he wasn’t going to be coached to his potential.

  5. What’s even more scary is Steve Addazio making the comment in his most recent presser that “we’ll have to see what the FSU defense is going to do so we can react to it”. This is probably not only one of the scariest comments any offensive coordinator could make, but it’s the telling story of Steve Addazio’s complete lack of knowledge and instinct of being an OC. Any capable, quality OC would never “react” to what a defense is doing, he would dictate the game TO the defense. I swear, this man absolutely has me scared now for the FSU game where before, I had some confidence that we might win. If you allow an opposing D to dictate to you r offense, you’ve lost control, and the game.

  6. Robbie,
    With or without Patchan plus another 22 five stars freshman recruits, it would have made no difference whatsoever as long as Addazzio was the Gators OC this season. Addazzio is just aweful! Right now I am keeping all optimism in a win in Tallahasee, but also ready to face the worse at the same time and have a couple of tums to have my stomach ready in case of an upset.
    Go Gators!!!

  7. That’s true Todd but only if your offense has the capability to do that, given the capabilities of the opposing defense. That leads the question then, who has more capability to dictate what, our offense, or their defense? Either way, I agree, as an OC I wouldn’t be advertising that my game plan is going to be based on reacting to what you give me.

    But in all fairness, he really doesn’t have a lot to talk about offensively. What’s he gonna say, “well we’re gonna get the ball into the hands of our play-makers and if the offensive line keeps blocking like they have all year then we feel pretty confident that our quarterback can handle it.”…………….yeah right.

  8. @Todd: Maybe that is what Coach Meyer meant when he said they “panicked” in the 1st quarter of the SC game. So there it is, Addazio looks at he defense and either does not change, which means his standard loser/Hoosier OC play calling, or he panics and we fold up like a cheap tent. That explains a lot about this whole season. Gosh darn it, I swear he is our Jeff Bowden. An OC with a special, inaapropriate relationship with his head coach, while out offensive production goes down, game after game, season after season, now. I wonder what the buy out for Addazio will be? Jeff and Bobby held their alumni ransom and got Jeff a cool half million dollars to agree to be fired! In Addazio’s only year as an OC at division one, before UF, at Indiana he was 4-8! Indiana! That offensive juggernaught1 Hoosier Loser. AMG!

  9. Rooferman:

    Please don’t mention Jeff Bowden. It sends chills down my spine. LOL.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Gator Nation. I’m glad we’re friends now.

    Do you guys actually eat gator on Thanksgiving, or is that a myth? I’m off to Panama City to eat turkey and ham and dressing, so I can’t help but wonder what Gators eat on Thanksgiving?

    Jack

  10. Myth, as far as I know. Although, I have eaten Gator on occasion, it takes just like chicken. Real Gators have been known to eat a few Seminoles on occasion, but usually stick to birds, dogs, frogs and fish. As for me, it will be a trytophan day here at my UF Northeastern Pennsylvania outpost.

    Happy Turkey day, guys and gals.

  11. think the Gators downfall has been more of coaching then playing Can’t believe in preseason practice,nobody could figure how slow Brantley is .2nd offense last year under Addazio was not clicking as expected,and when you are a bad offensive coach, it goes down faster wihtout the talent to back him up he had last year.Meyer has not been the same.I understand health problems have slowed him, but this team has no fire and obviously no leadership. And can Meyer go all in agian?Not sure.

  12. Jack, at least Jeff Bowden’s offense couold score points and get first downs. Maybe it wasn’t a “thing if beauty” to watch, but I’d take Jeffy over this complete incompetent we have running our offense now. And no, I AM NOT joking.

  13. I’m not sure why everyone thinks Patchen would fix the OL. Has he proven anything as an OL at Florida? He’s been injured his whole career, and the positive minutes he has played was on the DL. I’m putting him down, but let’s not make him the savior for our line. There’s no excuse for how that unit played this year. All returning starters/major contributors, yet the worst showing in a long time for that unit. That’s coaching, not personnel!

  14. If Addazio returns as OC, then Foley should just fire them all and start over. In the real world people, if you don’t produce, you are fired. It doesn’t mean a darn what you did a year or more ago. When you get paid millions, you should at least hold your staff accountable for poor job performance. THE QUESTION IS: Do We at UF have the best assistant coaches in the nation? OBVIOUS ANSWER IS NO…so if that is the case, Urban either should fire Addazio and hire somebody competent, or just step down for good.

  15. Stop living in the past!!

    The team preparation and offensive play calling are unacceptable. If you can only win with one style..how do you let Newton go, how do you not start and commit to Reed against South Carolina and FSU? Meyer needs to be held accountable and forced to hire an offensive coordinator….disgrace.

    There is plenty of talent.

  16. One lineman is not going to fix our problems. Urban has to fire everybody or he has to got to go. I told my wife that the offense and defense argue over who will lose the game for us. This time the they both played a art. Urban is only as good as his OC and DC and Mullen and Strong are gone. Gator Alum please stand with me and plead for change. Great coahes would die to be here and we have a coach that is on medication and does not want to be here, Urban stands by Dumbazzio instead of doing what is best for our team. Meyer would rather stick by the legacy (Brantley) than start Jordan Reed. A seminole fan can tell that Reed is our best option but yet we contiunue to play Brantley. If Dumbazzio and Brantly are back next year I quit Florida Football and I will spend my money on Gators womem Volley ball!!!!!!!!!!! Also Burton is a good player, not a QB stop wasting snaps on him when Reed could be using them.

  17. Hello, What about James Wilson? Hasn’t he started more games than any retruning lineman overall. He has been out as well after starting the season. he seem to get no love or attention from you guys. Wasn’t he higher rated than the Pounceys out of high school. I know he has to be dissapointed with his injuries, but the word is he is going for a medical redshirt as well. To be honest when healthy he has been a starter as far back as 2 years ago when healthy right? It would be nice if you could talk about Wilson as he actually might be the key to the line improving next year. Thanks for your time

  18. Yeah, James Wilson may very well be the key to the line next year. With him you have Patchan at tackle, Nixon at tackle, Robey at Center and Halipo at RG. Wilson at LG actually is the most experienced of all of them and can arise to a NFL prospect if he can play a whole season healthy. He was very physical and if he gets a Medical redshirt, can really become a key OL for the Gators the next 2 years. He has missed the last 10 games right but started the season? Regardless, many have forgotten about Wilson and it will be nice to have that experience helping anchor the line next year. It may not be thier fault but Johnson, Gilbert, and even Pouncey did not meet expectations this year. When healty, Wilson and Patchan have a very good track record and Robey is a natural center. The OL won’t get the hype like this year, but I bet they will play better next year collectively as a unit.