Blog Entry

Urban Meyer misses Cam Newton. Probably.

Posted on: October 26, 2010 11:02 am
Edited on: October 26, 2010 11:04 am
 
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Cracks abounded yesterday when Twitter collectively heard that Urban Meyer had described the agony of watching former Gator Cam Newton go apenuts for Auburn by saying "It's really hard." (No, the CBS College Football Blog was not above joining in .) Which, all gym-class joking aside, it has to be at this stage; Meyer and his offensive staff have been totally unable to either adapt John Brantley to the existing Gator offense or adapt the offense to Brantley, a problem that Newton would have rendered utterly irrelevant if he'd remained in Gainesville.

But even so, was that actually what Meyer meant when he said it? Someone get us an ALCOA sponsorship, because here's the transcript , and now You Make the Call :

Reporter: Do you allow yourself to watch Cam Newton on Saturday? Did you watch him?
Meyer: It’s really hard, I’ll tell you that. I don’t watch much of it.
Reporter: It’s really hard to watch it?
Meyer: Yea.
Reporter: Because…
Meyer: I just think he’s a very good player, and I’m trying to watch more of the teams we play, so I spend my time watching the other ones we’re going to play.
Reporter: So like every Florida fan in the country, you think, ‘What if he was here?’ You let yourself...
Meyer: No, no, no, no. I didn’t say that.
Reporter: Does that ever cross your mind?
Meyer: No.
Reporter: Liar. (Laughter ensues)
On the one hand, Meyer's defense makes logical sense. If you're one of America's most richly-paid coaches and your team is riding the first three-game losing streak of your current tenure, with your biggest rivalry game of the season coming up against one of the SEC 's hottest teams, you probably don't have a whole lot of time to kick back with a cold one on Saturday afternoon and watch one team you won't play take on one you've already played.

Then again: the highlights of Newton's masterpiece performance against LSU were near-inescapable Saturday for even the most causal of football fans, and suffice it to say Meyer is not a casual football fan. Meyer is certainly aware of them, aware of what Newton is doing at Auburn, and aware that -- according to the Miami Herald 's Mike McCall -- he made a sizable mistake in evaluating Newton's potential:

Newton left because Tim Tebow decided to come back for his senior year and John Brantley was waiting in the wings.

That's where UF's staff really messed up--they just missed on the kind of talent they had in their hands. The decision was effectively made when Brantley and Newton were freshmen and Brantley got redshirted, meaning he'd be around longer after Tebow's departure. There was also some talk of putting Newton at tight end, though we'll never really know how serious it was.

The verdict here? When Meyer adds "I'll tell you that" to the difficulty of watching Newton, he's not talking about carving out the time for it. He's talking about watching a player he recruited, groomed, and eventually let walk away win a Heisman Trophy -- probably -- for someone else while the quarterback he promoted instead flails. Meyer is only human. You can bet it's hard.
HT: Team Speed Kills .
Comments

Since: Oct 30, 2010
Posted on: October 30, 2010 3:38 pm
 

Urban Meyer misses Cam Newton. Probably.

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Grebu sounds like this situation has affected him personally.  A gator fan perhaps?  The fact of the matter is that Brantley WAS redshirted when Cam was not.  Oh sure Newton got a medical redshirt during his second year, but it still shows who Meyer was invested in.  Another fact is that Cam did not transfer UNTIL Tebow made it official that he would be returning for his senior year.  At this point Cam realized that he was losing years of valuable experience by sitting around waiting for Tebow to leave. Even after Tebow left, Cam would still have been fighting an uphill battle to get back in good graces not only with the coaches, but with the student population at Florida as well.  Unfortunately for Florida, this kind of situation is not conducive to success.

Also, anyone who thinks Cam now is the same as Cam two years ago needs to pull their head from their rear end and get a breath of air.  I truly believe that Cam is what he is now because of that year at Blinn.  There is no doubt he needed an experience like that to mature him and bring his ego down a level or two.

It's sad that a grown man(or so I presume, my apologies if that is not the case) seems so emotionally hurt by a teenage football player.  You act as though Newton somehow slapped Florida in the face by transferring.  God forbid someone need to do something other than sit behind Tebow and hear about how he may or may not be moving to tight end.

 





Since: Oct 30, 2010
Posted on: October 30, 2010 3:36 pm
 

Urban Meyer misses Cam Newton. Probably.

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Grebu sounds like this situation has affected him personally.  A gator fan perhaps?  The fact of the matter is that Brantley WAS redshirted when Cam was not.  Oh sure Newton got a medical redshirt during his second year, but it still shows who Meyer was invested in.  Another fact is that Cam did not transfer UNTIL Tebow made it official that he would be returning for his senior year.  At this point Cam realized that he was losing years of valuable experience by sitting around waiting for Tebow to leave. Even after Tebow left, Cam would still have been fighting an uphill battle to get back in good graces not only with the coaches, but with the student population at Florida as well.  Unfortunately for Florida, this kind of situation is not conducive to success.

Also, anyone who thinks Cam now is the same as Cam two years ago needs to pull their head from their rear end and get a breath of air.  I truly believe that Cam is what he is now because of that year at Blinn.  There is no doubt he needed an experience like that to mature him and bring his ego down a level or two.

It's sad that a grown man(or so I presume, my apologies if that is not the case) seems so emotionally hurt by a teenage football player.  You act as though Newton somehow slapped Florida in the face by transferring.  God forbid someone need to do something other than sit behind Tebow and hear about how he may or may not be moving to tight end.





Since: Oct 27, 2010
Posted on: October 27, 2010 6:55 pm
 

Jerry Hinnen & media show hypocrisy. Probably.

I can deal with UF having a bad season. I can deal with Cam Newton doing well at Auburn. I can't deal with the media hypocrisy and blatant favoritism that paints Cam Newton as the victim or the UF staff as somehow mismanaging the situation.

I keep reading self-righteous sports reporters such as Mr. Hinnen who one the one hand attack Florida's arrest record and on the other attack them for "allowing" Cam Newton to transfer. And, please tell me, Mr. Hinnen, what should have Florida have done to have not "eventually let walk away win a Heisman Trophy"? Tied Cam to his dorm room bed post? Threatened his family?

You're entitled to your own opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts. Cameron Newton was charged with three felonies - burglary, larceny and obstruction of justice. That is a fact. At maximum he stole the laptop and then destroyed it. At minimum he knowingly and admitted to purchasing a stolen laptop and destroyed it. Obviously, from a legal perspective the willful destruction of property did not assist Newton.

So, yes, news flash for the oblivious: Newton naturally was last on the depth chart. Having been suspended from the team, he wasn't on a depth chart. The only reason Cam avoided serious punishment was because of the UF athletic association relationship with Huntley Johnson, a talented Gainesville defense lawyer who represents all UF athletes. Cecil Newton, Cam’s father, called Huntley Johnson the football team’s "MVP." Johnson worked a plea deal on Newton’s behalf. Any player, including 5-star Cam Newton would have been expected to earn their way back into good standing and a starting role on the team.

Nonetheless Meyer offered Newton a chance, but Newton had no patience to repay his debt, instead opting to show his gratitude to Mr. Johnson, Urban Meyer and the University of Florida by transferring. Whether out of shame or an unwillingness to work he simply quit. That's a fact, Mr. Hinnen. There was no "letting go" of Cam Newton. There was no mismanagement. There was no oversight of his talent. Newton is a grown man and he chose to leave.

Regardless what you think about second chances vis-a-vis Cam Newton and Auburn one can’t attack Meyer for the arrest record of his players and simultaneously attack him for "letting go" of Newton. No doubt had Meyer done what you with perfect sportsreporting hindsight say and Newton been at Florida he'd be attacked by the media for "keeping Cam" as the media will attack Meyer this Saturday should Chris Rainey play against UGA.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com