Tag:Urban Meyer
Posted on: October 19, 2010 11:11 am
 

Did a concussion lead to Chris Rainey's arrest?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It seems that 2010 is becoming the year of the concussion in football.  As we all learn more about what concussions are and the long term effects they have on those who suffer them, the world of football has begun to take the injury a lot more serious than it had in the past.  Just look at the NFL this weekend, as two big hits in two seperate games have the league wondering if it should start suspending players who make head-to-head contact while tackling.

While the long term effects of concussions like chronic traumatic encephalopathy -- CTE -- have included depression and suicide, what about the short term effects?  There's no question that a concussion could lead to some dramatic behavior changes in a victim, like perhaps that person suddenly decides he wants to text an ex-girlfriend that it's "time to die."  That's what some are wondering in the case of suspended Florida receiver, Chris Rainey, who suffered a concussion only a few days before his arrest.

Even the victim in the Rainey case thinks his concussion had something to do with the events of that night.
Since the arrest, the victim has maintained that Rainey's threatening behavior that night was out of character. According to state attorney's records, the victim told police Rainey "has been acting strangely since receiving a head injury in a game played on 9/11/10."

The Gators played USF on that day, and coach Urban Meyer told reporters two days later that Rainey had a concussion.

"He got dinged pretty good," Meyer said on Sept. 13.
When reviewing the text messages between Rainey and the victim that led to the infamous "time to die" message, the victim pointed to Rainey's concussion that very night.
Text messages exchanged between Rainey and the victim that night indicate she thought Rainey's concussion was affecting his behavior. "U want to act a fool so im gonna act a fool too and im here," Rainey texted the victim.

She responded, "I'm not opening the door. It will do no good. Go back home and cool off. U have a concussion chris. Ur acting ridiculous."

Now the question is, is the concussion an excuse or a reason?  It's not easy to answer, but Dr. Robert Cantu of the Sports Legacy Institute says that injuring the brain, which a concussion does, changes behavior and can cause people to act bizarrely.  Of course, Cantu also says that bizarre behavior changes don't normally include "irrational or emotional behavoir, or loss of impulse control."

Which there's no question Rainey displayed on that night.  Though whether it was love or a concussion, we'll likely never know.
Posted on: October 15, 2010 8:15 pm
 

Insane Predictions, Week 7

Posted by the College Football Blog Staff

Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the 1995 title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that Les Miles would look like the endgame genius against Urban Meyer and Florida? Nobody... until now. We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week. Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.

Highly Unlikely

Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore sprains his knee when he trips while running onto the field during pregame ceremonies, and all of a sudden, the Broncos must face San Jose State with a brand new quarterback. Boise coach Chris Peterson blames San Jose State and their groundskeeping for the mishap, and feeling untold amounts of shame, SJSU coach Mike MacIntyre forfeits the game. Moore recovers fully for the Broncos' next game, and Boise's march to a 12-0 regular season continues unabated. -- Adam Jacobi

As the closing seconds count down on the scoreboard at Ross-Ade Stadium, Tim Brewster looks up at it to see the final score: Purdue 37, Minnesota 13.  Knowing that these are probably the last few seconds that he'll spend on a sideline COMPETING and FIGHTING  with the Gophers, his emotions get the best of him.  Danny Hope begins to make his way to midfield to meet the coach, but instead Brewster bursts into tears and sprints off the field.  He then hides in a supply room deep within the bowels of the stadium, refusing to come out until eventually Minnesota AD Joel Maturi lures him out by promising he's not going to fire him.  Brewster then opens the door and comes out, his face red and blotchy, covered in tears.  "Really?" he asks Maturi.  "No, you're totally fired," says Maturi before kicking him in the groin. -- Tom Fornelli

Arizona's slide continues after falling to Oregon State despite getting some help from the replay officials.  This time, facing Washington State, the home officials give the Wildcats a taste of their own medicine and refuse to replay a game-winning touchdown that was actually an incomplete pass. Mike Stoops has no timeouts, and the Cougars quickly kick the extra point to pick up that elusive first conference win. It is later revealed that the replay official was Washington State alumnus Drew Bledsoe, who emerges from the booth in full Wazzu regalia and facepaint. The Pac-10 finds no fault in this. -- Chip Patterson

Severely Unlikely

With Texas trailing Nebraska 24-7 just before halftime, Mack Brown makes his way over to Colt McCoy who is watching the game from the sidelines.  "Listen, I need you to come to the locker room at halftime.  Give these boys a pep talk."  McCoy agrees, but Brown was lying.  Instead Brown locks Garrett Gilbert in a shed -- hey, it's popular in Texas -- and convinces McCoy to put on Gilbert's uniform.  McCoy then goes out and leads Texas to a comeback victory, finding James Kirkendoll for the game-winning touchdown with, you guessed it, one second left on the clock. -- Tom Fornelli

Michigan's defense pitches a shut out against Iowa. The Big House rocks as Denard Robinson totals 600 total yards of offense and the Wolverines bounce back from the loss to "Little Brother" with a performance for the ages as the Wolverines reclaim a spot in the Top 25 with a 48-0 win over the Hawkeyes. Adrian Clayborn, struck with grief, eats 400 cheeseburgers on the ride home and gives up on the NFL for a career in the lawn and garden industry. Turns out Clayborn is quite the green thumb. -- Chip Patterson

The Kansas football team shows up to an empty Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. Head coach Turner Gill and his Jayhawks were under the impression that their game would be played on Saturday, and thanks to various elaborate pranks by Kansas State fans, they had no idea that they had been scheduled to play on Thursday night. KSU coaches, upon finding out that Kansas had not appeared for the game, dressed their scout team in KU colors and had them put up token opposition. Somehow, they also had a scout team Turner Gill. The garbage-time touchdown Kansas State allowed to its double agents was a sublime touch. -- Adam Jacobi

Completely Ludicrous

McNeese State trots into Death Valley on Saturday night and shines under the lights. LSU quarterbacks Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson combine for an NCAA-record 11 interceptions, five of which are returned for touchdowns.  The other six picks are hideous arm-punts that prevent the Tigers from finding the end zone once. Patrick Peterson returns 4 kick offs for touchdowns, but LSU falls 35-28. -- Chip Patterson

Emboldened by reports that he was coaching with his job on the line, Tim Brewster leads his team to an emotional 35-34 victory over a frisky Purdue squad... then rips off five more wins to finish the season, culminating in a 55-0 revenge win over Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota's 7-5 (6-2) record and a host of other conference losses among the rest of the Big Ten vault the Gophers into the Rose Bowl, making them the first five-loss team to earn a trip to Pasadena. A month before the game, Brewster announces that he's leaving the Gophers to coach his beloved Texas Longhorns; Mack Brown has retired, as expected, but the program was stunned when defensive coordinator (and presumptive next head coach) Will Muschamp pulled a simultaneous "sympathy retirement." The Gophers hire Mike Leach on the spot, and the new Pirate Gophers stun Oregon on January 1st, 45-31. -- Adam Jacobi

There's nothing out of the ordinary taking place in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night.  It's early in the fourth quarter and the Alabama Crimson Tide have a healthy 24-6 lead over the Rebels, but then suddenly a bright, white light can be seen in the sky.  Those who notice it assume that it's a comet or meteor passing by the planet, but it keeps getting bigger and bigger before everyone suddenly realizes it's coming right for them.  As it gets closer, it becomes clear that it is some kind of UFO, in fact, the space ship actually looks like a piece of fried calamari.   It lands at the 50-yard line, and out comes Admiral Ackbar.  Knowing immediately what's taking place, the new Ole Miss mascot makes a break for it before he is apprehended by members of the Rebel Alliance.  The Rebel Alliance then holds a trial on the field, determining whether or not the Bear shall live.  This does not please Nick Saban.  After a few minutes Saban walks briskly up to Admiral Ackbar, takes his gun, and executes the Bear himself before saying, "There.  NOW GET THE HELL OFF OF MY FIELD."  Ackbar and his soldiers sheepishly retreat to their ship and take off.  Not even the Rebel Alliance wants to mess with Nick Saban. -- Tom Fornelli

Posted on: October 12, 2010 6:11 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 6:25 pm
 

Offense costing Gators more than wins?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The headlines folllowing LSU's 33-29 win over Florida Saturday were universally in the vein of "Les Miles's brand of crazy deserves its own entry in the DSM-IV," and with good reason, because Miles's brand of crazy does totally deserve his own entry in the DSM-IV.

But the Mad Hatter's endgame theatrics shouldn't have entirely overshadowed the number his defense did on the Gators, who were held to all of 242 total yards, 12 first downs, a miserable 4.0 yards per-play, and just one scoring drive longer than 17 yards. At home. The performance dropped Florida--only a top-3 offense in yards per-play for the past three seasons, when that Tebow kid was around--to an unthinkable 96th in total offense, 81st in yards per-play. The Gator fans baying for offensive coordinator Steve Addazio's blood kind of have a point.

But the bleacher rabble can be ignored. Gator recruits, not so much. And it doesn't sound like they're all that impressed with Addazio's work either:



That's not some run-of-the-mill recruit walking out on the Addazio show there, either; Mike Bellamy is a five-star, top-100 player that by most accounts has been the Gators' No. 1 target at running back for months, even after he committed to Clemson in June. Florida's recruitment of him is probably over. But Bellamy was always leaning elsewhere; what did Florida commitment A.C. Leonard, a four-star tight end out of Jacksonville, think of the performance?
Jacksonville University Christian tight end commit A.C. Leonard was in attendance Saturday, but according to a report from 247sports.com, he came away from Florida’s loss a little down on the Gators.

Leonard now says he’s down to three schools — Miami, Alabama and Florida.

When asked if he still considered himself committed to Florida, Leonard responded “Yeah, I guess.”

That's recruit-speak for "No, I am not actually committed in anything other than name." Your thoughts, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin?

With his size Benjamin could also be considered as a tight end, but Florida is recruiting him strictly as a wide receiver. That’s something Benjamin likes, and after watching how Florida lacked many big plays from the receiving unit, he sees that his services are needed.

What he was unsure of was how Florida’s offense looked. With a traditional passing quarterback, Benjamin expected to see a few more deep plays from the Gators.

“(The offense) was OK, but they didn’t throw the ball like I wanted them to,” he said.

Again, "OK" is recruit code for "horrifying."

This doesn't yet consititute a crisis, by any means -- it was just last February Urban Meyer and Gators were bringing in a class hailed my many recruitniks as the greatest of all-time -- but it's another step towards Florida's problems in attack reaching critical mass... and Meyer finding someone other than Addazio to run his offense.

Posted on: October 12, 2010 1:01 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 1:01 pm
 

It's time to practice for Chris Rainey

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey hasn't been with the team since his arrest following a threatening text to a woman he used to date.  Rainey has since reached a settlement in the case, but had not returned to practice.

That has changed.

Rainey is back practicing with the Gators though he is yet to be fully reinstated to the team.  According to Urban Meyer, Rainey will have to meet certain conditions -- which the coach wouldn't state -- before he's allowed to play again for the Gators.  He will not be allowed to play for the team's game against Mississippi State this weekend.

“Chris Rainey is working towards being part of our football team again,” Meyer said in a statement. “I’m disappointed that he violated a core value of our program, but he continues to pay a price for his actions. Chris will have to meet a set of conditions to become a part of our team again and although he is practicing, he will not play this weekend. The timetable for his return will depend on his ability to follow the guidelines we have laid out for him.”

No word on whether Meyer informed Rainey through a text message saying "time to practice."

Rainey also released a statement on Tuesday morning, the first time he's spoken publicly since his arrest.

“I am embarrassed and sorry for my actions and I apologize to everyone that I affected by my behavior,” said Rainey. “I’m working towards being a part of the Florida football program again and I realize that representing this University is a privilege. I have spent the last several weeks reflecting on my actions and realized that is not who I want to be.”

The Mississippi State game will be the fifth game Rainey misses thanks to his arrest, and while we can't know for sure when he'll be back, considering that Florida has a bye next week before facing Georgia on October 30, I'd bet that's the game Rainey makes his return.

Posted on: October 11, 2010 4:03 pm
 

Meyer: Gators 'haven't given everything yet'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Florida Gators find themselves in an unusual position, as they've lost two straight games and find themselves looking up at South Carolina in the SEC East.  Quite frustrating for a team that has grown accustomed to winning, and winning often, under Urban Meyer.   Of course, the Gators head coach is frustrated as well, saying during his press conference on Monday that his team hasn't "given everything yet."

"I told the team it was that far [from winning]," Meyer told reporters while holding his thumb and index finger a few inches apart. "Who in this room right now who is devastated could give that much more to find a way to win that game? Obviously there's a bunch of guys who gave everything they had, but there's still a bunch of guys that haven't given everything yet. That's kind of what we have to identify and address and get better.  We've got to find a way to get that."

There's no question that Florida has a lot more talent on its roster than it has displayed so far this season, but Meyer's perceived lack of effort along with injuries have proved problematic.  Not to mention the off the field issues.  There's also the fact that the Gators don't exactly have a quarterback who fits the system they're trying to run in John Brantley.

Which is just my way of saying that while effort might be a problem, I think there's a lot more at work here, starting with the coaching.  As I said last week, until the Gators coaches adjust to what they have instead of trying to force the players to adjust to them, there are going to be problems in Gainesville this season.

Maybe Meyer needs to give a little more.
Posted on: October 6, 2010 3:47 pm
 

These Gators refuse to adapt

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Florida Gators may be 4-1 on the season but, by and large, they haven't played nearly as well as a team as that record would indicate.  They started the season with three straight wins over Miami (OH), South Florida and Tennessee and all three of those contests were a lot closer than what we've all become accustomed to seeing from the Gators.

Now, obviously, there is a reason for this.  No matter what your personal feelings were for Tim Tebow when he was playing in Gainesville, it's hard to argue that Tebow was the perfect quarterback for the Florida offense masterminded by Urban Meyer and called by Steve Addazio.   Losing Tebow is something the team needs to adjust to.

Unfortunately it's an adjustment that Florida's coaching staff doesn't seem willing to make.

It wouldn't be fair to compare John Brantley to Tebow because they're two completely different quarterbacks.  Tebow was the battering ram who would occasionally make an ugly throw whenever it was needed.  Brantley is your more traditional quarterback, with an arm that is much stronger than his legs.

Yet the Gators are treating Brantley as if he's Tebow, asking him to run more speed options than throw deep ins.  Brantley has carried the ball 15 times this season for 60 yards, with no run gaining more than 11 yards.  He also picked up some bruised ribs on an option run courtesy of the Alabama defense.

Even after seeing that unmitigating disaster, Addazio says that there will be no change in the way the Gators conduct business on Saturday against LSU.

"That's a part of who we are and that won't change," said Addazio. "It's like everything else. Get a little better, operate it a little better. Twenty of them? No. But the element is there and element will always be there."

Which is fine. It's hard for an offense to completely overhaul its identity in the middle of a season.  Still, you would think Addazio would take a look at his team's performance against Kentucky two weeks ago.

Without question the Gators 48-14 win over the Wildcats was their most impressive outing of the season, dominating the game from the opening kick to the final whistle.  In that game Brantley ran the ball four times and picked up a yard.

However, Trey Burton took some snaps at quarterback running the option and picked up 40 yards on five carries.  Each one of his five runs ending with six points as Burton went on to break Tim Tebow's school record with six touchdowns in the game.

Brantley had a fine afternoon throwing the ball, as well, completing 24-of-35 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown.

So why won't Addazio use this approach the rest of the season?  Against Alabama Brantley ran the ball eight times to lose a yard.  Burton had half as many carries, and only picked up five yards.

Forget about the output, as even Tebow had his problems with the sturdy Alabama defense last season, and look at the philosophy.  Burton was coming off an amazing game and only got half as many carries as the quarterback who has struggled to run the ball all season.

Hell, Brantley had more carries than every Florida running back other than Jeff Demps, and Demps was playing on an injured foot.

In what world does this make sense to anybody?

Not even Brantley sounds like he's comfortable running so much, though he isn't stupid enough to say it publicly.

"I don't mind doing it at all," Brantley said. "It is a little different. Gotta get a little used to it at game speed, but I'm comfortable doing it. That's what our offense is. It's been successful for us these last four years, so why not keep doing it?"

He doesn't mind doing it.  Not I enjoy doing it, not I want to do it.  He doesn't mind.  

Well, I don't mind watching Project Runway with my girlfriend if she asks me to, but that doesn't mean I want to. 

The reason you don't keep doing it is because in the four games you have been things haven't worked out too well.  In the one game you didn't, and mixed it up, you had your best game of the season.

If I can see this, then why can't the Florida coaching staff?

Go with a two quarterback system.  When you want to run the option, bring in Burton.  If you want to pass, use Brantley.  I seem to recall a former Florida quarterback who wasn't exactly suited to run an option offense either.  His name was Chris Leak.   That's when the Gators started using Tebow in run situations, and things turned out pretty well that year as the school's trophy case can attest to.
Posted on: October 1, 2010 6:19 pm
 

Florida loses kicker Caleb Sturgis for 6-8 weeks

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Florida's chances at beating Alabama took a hit today, when kicker Caleb Sturgis aggravated a previous back injury. According to GatorSports.com, Sturgis suffered a stress fracture and herniated disc in his back earlier this month, and though Sturgis was able to kick through the injury this far into the season, the rehab is expected to take him 6-8 weeks this time around.

Obviously, this is bad news for Sturgis; place-kicking is so dependent on athletic precision that not having a healthy back can absolutely wreck Sturgis' technique. Further, the long the injury sidelines him, the longer he'll need to re-develop that muscle memory well enough to reliably hit field goals. Thus, while the report puts him back for the last week or so of the regular season, we'd be shocked if Sturgis returned before Florida's bowl game.

What's more, the precision in special teams isn't limited to the kicking itself; punter Chaz Henry will be kicking field goals now, and unless he's very flexible, that means he'll have to relinquish his role as placeholder. We're not sure who the new placeholder will be, but we're pretty sure that sheerly by dint of the lack of repetitions, they won't have the timing and rapport down nearly as well as Sturgis and Henry did before the injury.

All of which is to say that Florida's special teams are appreciably worse now than they were 24 hours ago, and Urban Meyer's undoubtedly acutely aware of that. If that changes his playcalling at all, that may not be quite a bad thing; if Meyer continues two drives where he'd normally kick a field goal, and only one ends in a touchdown, the Gators are still better off than if they'd made both field goals. Obviously, having a good field goal kicker is much more preferable to just going for it all the time, but a shift in offensive priorities may not automatically be a bad thing.

Posted on: September 24, 2010 11:25 am
Edited on: September 24, 2010 11:39 am
 

Rainey could learn his fate on Monday

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There was a report earlier this week that Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey would learn on Friday whether or not he'd be facing felony charges after he was arrested for aggravated stalking a week and a half ago.  Now it sounds like Rainey and the Florida Gators won't know anything until Monday as prosecutor Bill Cervone said he doesn't expect there to be a resolution this week.

it's possible that the charges against Rainey could be reduced or even dropped, something his defense attorney Huntley Johnson said he felt was likely earlier this week.  You know, because this whole thing is just the result of a misfortunate typo.   Darn thumbs with a mind of their own!

In all likelihood, whatever is decided in court will have a large impact on how Urban Meyer and the Gators decide to punish Rainey.  As of now he's suspended indefinitely and hasn't been with the team since the charges were filed, though if the charges are reduced the odds are that Meyer will allow him back at some point.

Though Meyer says he hasn't even thought about it at this point and is just waiting for this whole thing to be resolved before making a final decision.

 
 
 
 
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