Hall of Famer Green weighs in on UF offense

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Jacquez Green makes a long pass play against Tori Noel of Tennessee. [File]

Former Florida wide receiver Jacquez Green was part of some explosive Gator offenses in the 1990s.

So Green, who was one of nine athletes and coaches inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame on Friday, didn’t sugarcoat his thoughts on UF’s offensive performance two weeks ago against Michigan.

“Just bad football all the way around,” Green said. “Can’t run the ball, don’t hit any explosive plays in the passing game, can’t settle on a quarterback. It was just bad all the way. Hopefully we can create big plays in the passing game and get a consistent run game.”

Green, 41, was unable to attend Friday night’s Hall of Fame ceremony at the F Club because he was coaching a game that night at Tallahassee Godby High School. He’s in his first year as an offensive coordinator at Godby after previously coaching at Lincoln High in Tallahassee.

“At Lincoln we went to two state finals, we won once, winning record every year, made the playoffs every year,” Green said. “Now I’m watching guys in the NFL who I coached in high school, so, hopefully I made a positive impact on those guys like Buck Allen with the Ravens, I saw Reggie Davis made the roster with the Cleveland Browns this year.”

As an offensive player and coach, Green admitted watching UF’s loss against Michigan was tough to stomach.

“We had so many months to prepare for those guys and Michigan was replacing so many guys defensively,” Green said. “All of us really thought this would be the year it would be pretty decent on offense. We’re in 100s ranked and if we could get up the 60s and 70s, we could be pretty decent on offense.

“It was kind of disappointing on offense, the way we played the first game but the great thing about football is we got 10 or 11 more games to play so we’ll see how they play this Saturday.”

Asked what Florida needs to fix offensively, Green responded: “We need to get the ball out of the hands of the quarterback a little quicker. It all starts up front. There’s really no play call if you get beat up front. Hopefully the guys up front take more pride in what they do and give the quarterbacks and the run game a chance to succeed.”

Green said he respects the value of throwing the deep ball, which he learned playing under Steve Spurrier at Florida from 1995-97. But Green said he’s also taken elements from the power run game and some West Coast offense concepts from when he played in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden.

“I run a West Coast offense, with lots of the same verbage that the guys use in the west coast,” Green said. “It’s been good for us. We’ve had a lot of guys who had a lot of success in the system, a lot of quarterbacks who have gone on to play college football.”

Green, who played at Florida from 1995-97, was a first-team All-American receiver at UF in 1997 and was part of the first Gator football national championship team in 1996. The Fort Valley, Ga., native still ranks eighth in school history in receiving yardage (2,181) and seventh in career TDs (27). Green also was an accomplished return man and remains tied with Brandon James for the most punt return TDs in UF history (4).

But Green said his favorite memory was the bond he formed with his incoming freshman class at UF, which he says remains strong to his day.

“We were close from the time we came to when we left the university,” Green said. “We would sit around and talk about what we would do on Saturday and how we were going to push each other and how we were going to win a national championship …

“That class that we had wasn’t highly-ranked coming in but we had the right mindset, and I think out of 18 or 19 guys, 12 of 13 played in the NFL.”

Other Hall of Fame inductees on Friday include former Florida basketball standouts Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer, former baseball standout Matt LaPorta, former golf All-American Matt Every, former tennis All-American Alexis Gordon, former volleyball All-American Benavia Jenkins and former golf coach Buddy Alexander, who led UF to a pair of national titles. Horford, Noah and Brewer were training with NBA teams and unable to attend the ceremony. LaPorta, Jenkins and Gordon attended the induction.

Green said he was flattered to earn the UF Hall of Fame honor.

“It’s big time considering it’s the University of Florida where there are a lot of great players, not just in football,” Green said. “We have great players in all different sports at the University of Florida so to finally get in, it means a lot considering the type of prestige at our university.”

8 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve been saying for a long time what Green said in this article, it all starts up front, if the OL doesn’t perform, the offense is dead, doesn’t matter how much talent you have at QB, RB, WR or TE, I hate being right all the time.

  2. Green’s comments were right on! This offense is in horrible shape. With an 0-2 start, some coaches will be on the hot seat. Maybe, just maybe, the personnel don’t fit McElwain’s pro]-style offense. Maybe the West Coast offense will fit these guys. I just don’t know, but all Gator fans are very disappointed heading to the Tenn. game.

  3. what a great player quezzie was and what a great class of guys he was with. ended up with his autograph – crazy as that sounds. all those hall of famers, cant express enough about what they did and what they remind us of.

    I liked his comment about the guys he came in with bonding and working together towards a goal. whatever happens, how is ten guys bonding over credit card fraud when they came in – most are freshmen – I doubt that class is going to be as good as the class Jacquez came in with, the traits you need, including self control, humility, ability to inspire your teammates, I don’t see this new class winning much, could be wrong. also I’m disappointed none of the older guys stepped up to realize this credit card fraud was going and putting a stop to it. so to me its all related to the offense’s problems – its not scheme to me, not much at least. id love to see someone on the offense step up and get his teammates to step their game up and that would help with the special teams and the defense. I guess we can fire the coach and make other changes but to me its about some guys making a decision on the field, in practice, in the weight room and among themselves to do what it really takes to win, the things all of these hall of famers did. id love to be proven wrong.

    either way, I’m thankful to have watched green play, make those catches against fsu, all the things these great gators did including him. who else other than the gators has a list like this!

  4. We did change offensive line coaches in the off-season, It may take a couple of games before the line settles in and plays better. Can’t be upset with the line for not scooping up fumbles and running them in the end zone.

    There was improvement from the first game, attributable to playing a less talented defense. That’s what bothers me.