Posted on: December 27, 2010 11:40 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
We already know that the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day will be Urban Meyer's last game coaching the Florida Gators, and now it sounds like Florida's top cornerback may have already played his final game as well. Janoris Jenkins had surgery on his right shoulder following the Florida State game, and according to a team spokesman, he has not made the trip to Tampa with the team this week and will not be playing in the game.
He may still make the trip to Tampa this weekend to be with the team, though.
Jenkins, a junior, is considered the top NFL prospect on the team this season and has been projected as a first round draft pick if he decides to leave school early and declare for the NFL draft. Of course, whether or not he'll leave school will depend on a few factors like the health of his shoulder and a possible NFL lockout next season.
Jenkins won't be the only member of the Gators missing the Outback Bowl thanks to an injury, as the team will also be without RG Maurice Hurt, DT Lawrence Marsh and DT Terron Sanders all had surgery as well.
Posted on: December 22, 2010 4:03 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2010 4:06 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The great irony of the Outback Bowl is that one sideline will be coached by Urban Meyer, the poster child for the toll modern major college football coaching takes on those in the field, and the other by Joe Paterno, the indestructible symbol of the profession as it used to be in the days of 25-year tenures and mavericks whose name would wind up on the side of the stadium. The rumors about JoePa's health, ability to coach, and recruiting impact on his beloved Nittany Lion program have been around longer than Meyer's entire FBS head-coaching career. The contrast is staggering.
But even Paterno, 84 years young this week , is human. So the rumors have been beginning to curdle again, and they gained perhaps some measure of legitimacy in this report from the Patriot News on Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley's (now unsuccessful) candidacy for the Temple head coaching position. David Jones writes (emphasis added):
It has been increasingly difficult for PSU assistants to recruit around the age and apparent declining health of head coach Joe Paterno who turned 84 yesterday. Though Paterno has insisted he will coach next season, those surrounding the program have become increasingly skeptical that can happen .As Jones writes, that Bradley was fully committed to taking the Temple position indicates that he is not -- as has been widely believed in some quarters -- the man in line to succeed Paterno if and when he retires.
But as the closest thing to a "right-hand man" on Paterno's staff (where Bradley has coached since 1979 ), he is nonetheless a key figure in Penn State's future going forward. As Paterno is less and less able to handle his full complement of head coaching duties, more and more of those will have to be handled by Bradley and the other PSU assistants. And not only could Bradley not have performed those (obviously) as the head coach at Temple, Jones reports that he could have taken multiple other Nittany Lion assistants with him. If there's a worst-case scenario for Penn State beyond a sudden Paterno retirement for health-related reasons, it's a a sudden Paterno retirement for health-related reasons without Bradley or a handful of other PSU assistants on hand to help keep things afloat.
So the Owls opting for Steve Addazio over Bradley might be a bullet dodged for Penn State. There's still some issues to be addressed -- the questions about JoePa are already having a serious detrimental impact on PSU's recruiting, and assistants like Bradley looking ready to bolt won't help matters -- but Temple's decision gives PSU at least one anchor that won't have to be pulled up right away.
Posted on: December 22, 2010 3:03 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2010 3:06 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
After spending his Monday meeting with Temple officials, and his Tuesday being linked to an assistant coaching job at Texas, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting Wednesday that former Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will be the next head football coach at Temple.
The Owls were in the market for a new head coach after Al Golden left to take the open position at Miami replacing the fired Randy Shannon. Steve Addazio was openly fired by Florida, but when Will Muschamp was hired as Urban Meyer's replacement it was clear the future of the Gators included a new offensive coordinator.
Addazio began looking for other positions, quickly lining himself with the opportunity to make the move to a head coaching job. Tuesday's reports of Temple looking at more candidates and Texas' interest in Addazio's services made it appear like Temple was quickly out of the picture. Clearly, someone in Philadelphia liked what they heard earlier in the week.
The report from the Inquirer says an official announcement is expected as soon as Thursday.
Posted on: December 21, 2010 11:58 am
Edited on: December 21, 2010 12:23 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
For now, Steve Addazio is still the offensive coordinator at Florida. But after coaching the Gators against Penn State in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day, Addazio will become another piece of the coaching carousel. One program in the market for a new head coach is Temple, who saw head coach Al Golden leave to accept the same position at Miami. After losing a promising recruit to Golden in the move, the Owls may feel the pressure to select a new man quickly, and begin preparing for the future.
The Philadelphia Inquirier is reporting that Addazio was in town on Monday to discuss the open head coaching position at Temple. Addazio, a Connecticut native, has been on Urban Meyer's offensive staff for his entire tenure at Florida. Despite criticism for this year's offensive struggles, he is still credited for helping put together the high-octane offense that won two national championships in three years between 2006-2008.
Other names connected to the Temple job have been current offensive coordinator Matt Rhule, who called the plays for Golden this past season, and Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti. Cignetti is not guaranteed a job after the "resignation" of Dave Wannstedt, though there is a possibility he could be retained by new head coach Michael Haywood.
Posted on: December 20, 2010 10:33 am
Edited on: December 20, 2010 10:53 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
There is nothing like adding insult to injury when Texas capped off one of the worst seasons in program history by saying goodbye to their coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp. When Muschamp departed to succeed Urban Meyer at Florida, the Longhorns were left in a deep divot with no long-term exit strategy. The future of the program is certainly a concern for Texas fans everywhere, but first they need to hire a new defensive coordinator.
A report Sunday evening from the Austin American-Statesman noted sources beginning to point to Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox as a leading candidate to join Mack Brown's staff in the same position. Wilcox, 34, is in the first year under Derek Dooley at Tennessee, he previously spent three years as the defensive coordinator at Boise State.
Wilcox could supply the youth and energy that Muschamp displayed in his early seasons as defensive coordinator, but he is likely far from ready to take the headset from Brown. Texas does have the challenge of filling four open positions on the staff this offseason, so trying to tab a new coach-in-waiting is likely low on the priority list. Brown was able to overcome major challenges when he first arrived at North Carolina (making the postseason) and at Texas (getting past Oklahoma). Now he will have one last major task for the Texas football program: re-building for the future. Judging by Brown's track record, it would not surprise me if he pulls it off.
Posted on: December 15, 2010 12:53 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Will Muschamp had the pleasure of working under both head coaches from last year's national championship game, serving as Nick Saban's defensive coordinator at LSU (and again with the Miami Dolphins ) and as Mack Brown's DC and coach-in-(not)-waiting-(any longer) at Texas.
But the early reports on his tenure and yesterday's introductory news conference left no doubt which of those two coaches Muschamp wants to emulate, whose methods he has the greater respect for, whose program he wants to refashion for himself in Gainesville. We'll give you a hint: it's not the guy whose staff he just abandoned.
No, it's Saban who Muschamp appears to be taking his cues from, starting with Muschamp's attempts to pluck away Saban's current Muschamp-in-training, Kirby Smart. As a Saban-trained coordinator himself, Muschamp could have looked to bring in a coach with a different philosophy and blend the two approaches; instead, he appears to be trying to hire a coach who can impart what he -- and the coordinator, if Smart or another Saban disciple is hired -- learned from the master with the minimum amount of confusion (or dissent) possible.
Even more telling is Muschamp's approach to the Gator offense :
Muschamp also said he wanted his new offensive coordinator to have NFL experience. Despite the overwhelming success of the spread in the current college game -- both of the offenses in this year's BCS title game will be helmed by spread gurus who, far from being NFL veterans, were a New Hampshire assistant and a high school coach just a few short years ago -- it may be a good time to move towards a pro-style set, as those offenses become rarer and enjoy some of the change-of-pace aspect the spread utilized in the past.
That doesn't mean it'll be easy, however. The current Gators were recruited exclusively for Urban Meyer's/Dan Mullen's spread-option attack, and the offensive staff will have to be completely overhauled. But the Saban-taught philosophy Muschamp is trying to instill requires a run-heavy, clock-killing, two-tight-end-power approach to give the hypothetically-overpowering defense its opportunity win the game (not to mention appeal to NFL-hungry recruits), and so that's what the Gators will do.
These are all good ideas, of course. There's a reason Saban has been as overwhelmingly successful as he's been at every stop of his college career, and even the reasons that go beyond his X's-and-O's or administrative prowess -- his inhuman work rate, his ability to close the deal with recruits, his detail-focused willingness to control every aspect of his program -- are traits that Muschamp would seem to share. There's no reason to blame Jeremy Foley for asking Muschamp to provide a second Crimson Tide in Gator colors, especially since the odds appear so good that Muschamp's going to give it to them.
But what if he doesn't? Part of what has made Florida Florida over the past two decades has been their unorthodox thinking under two coaching mavericks in Steve Spurrier and Meyer. Both of them arrived with offenses derided as effeminate jokes that would never work in the SEC, then departed with national title rings and new Heismans in the school's trophy case. Gator fans have been accustomed not only to winning, but of winning in a uniquely identifiable, Florida-first fashion.
That's not to say they won't accept victories as a kind of SEC East edition of the current Tide; if what we might call Alabama-Gainesville winds up with a championship or two under Muschamp, you could probably sell them officially-licensed UAG t-shirts. But if Muschamp can't deliver the goods, if it turns out Foley hasn't hired the new Saban but only the Nutrasweet facsimile of the real thing, Florida fans may wonder (and wonder quickly, and vocally ) if they shouldn't have found another coach -- like Spurrier, like Meyer -- willing to build the Gators in his own image rather than someone else's.
Posted on: December 15, 2010 11:33 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
John Brantley's first season as a starter in Gainesville probably didn't work out as well as he thought it would when he committed to Florida a couple of years ago. The fact is that Brantley's strengths just don't match what the Gators and former offensive coordinator Steve Addazio tried to do on offense. It seems this was apparent to everybody but Addazio and Urban Meyer, who refused to adapt to their new quarterback and seemed content trying to force Brantley to adapt to them.
So you would think that while part of Brantley is sad to see Meyer and Addazio leaving Gainesville, he'd also be pretty excited to hear that Will Muschamp plans on running an offense more suited to his strengths. Which he says he is, it's just that Brantley isn't sure if he's going to be around to play in it at this point.
"We're worried about the bowl game right now," Brantley told The Gainesville Sun. "I'm going to give it all I got for that game and then we'll sit down and discuss everything."
"It's tough to say right now because we haven't discussed anything at all. I really haven't thought about it to be honest with you. I'm just trying to finish out this season right and win this bowl game for coach (Urban) Meyer and these seniors."
Honestly I don't see why Brantley would leave Florida, and if he did, I wouldn't understand his reasoning at all. He's not a bad quarterback, and is much better than the player people saw in 2010. It's just that Brantley mixed with Addazio's offense made as much sense as Ted Nugent doing ads for PETA. Brantley may be confused right now and just upset about Meyer leaving, but I think that once he sees what Muschamp is planning on doing, he'll know that Florida is the place for him.
Posted on: December 10, 2010 12:27 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
When the news came that Urban Meyer was stepping down as head coach at Florida, it was only natural to cast a doubting eye toward the situation. We had already seen this play before last season when Meyer made the same decision, and then before you knew it, he was back coaching the Gators once again. So of course there will be plenty of speculation that before next season actually begins, Meyer is going to change his mind once more, and he'll be the head coach next season.
Well, Urban Meyer wants you to know that's not the case. He was in Tampa on Thursday -- where he had that talk with Jeremy Foley and Jon Gruden -- for the Outback Bowl contract signing party, and as you would expect, the question about his return was asked. It was a question that Meyer answered, adamantly.
"I'm not coaching next season," said Meyer.
Now cue the "He only said next season!" crowd. Which, honestly, isn't a crazy position to take. Personally I doubt that Meyer is done coaching, as it's been such a huge part of his life, and he's still young. Maybe he's going to take a year or two off to unwind and spend some time with his family, but sooner or later that itch is going to come back, and Urban is going to want to scratch it.
To me the question isn't so much will Meyer come back, but when and where.