Tag:Steve Addazio
Posted on: October 28, 2010 7:12 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2010 7:13 pm
 

Channing Crowder is ashamed of the Gators

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you can't tell by reading my name up there, I am a white male.  I'm also a white male that played in various sports as a youth, and was never quite able to shake off the stereotypes that are typically attached to the white "athlete."  Much like Wesley Snipes once told us in a movie, white men can't jump.  I can jump, just not very high.  I'm also not all that fast.  In fact, my Little League baseball coaches took to calling me "Lightning" because they thought they were funny.  I just thought they were douchebags.

As I grew older I became more comfortable with my lack of athleticism and caucasion limitations.  I accepted them for what they were.  When I see fast, white linebackers playing in the NFL or in college, I don't get jealous, I'm just happy somebody is out there helping the cause.  Not all people feel this way, however.  Take, for instance, Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder.   The Florida alum knows what is wrong with his former team these days, and it hit him when he saw those white linebackers running down John Brantley.

“They don’t have an identity,” Crowder told reporters immediately after last week’s game at Green Bay, which followed Florida’s 10-7 loss to Mississippi State. “They don’t know what — John Brantley don’t know what he wants to do. He can’t outrun anybody. I saw him get run down by a white linebacker last week, which was a disgrace to all Florida football history.”

Later in the week, Crowder continued along that track and might have even included Trey Burton in his outrage. He references “your running quarterback,” who also seems to have a problem evading Caucasian defenders.

“You can see the offense is nothing without Tebow,” Crowder told the Post’s Ben Volin last week. “When I saw a white linebacker … ran down Brantley twice, I said, ‘Yeah, we have no chance.’

“First he’s a linebacker. Tim Tebow would’ve walked away from a linebacker, and he’s white. If a white linebacker is running down your running quarterback, we don’t have a chance.

“They should put (offensive lineman Mike Pouncey) back at quarterback — let him run."

But if Mike Pouncey was playing quarterback, who would snap the ball over his head?

To be fair to Crowder, while I don't necessarily agree with the way he goes about saying it, I totally concur with his assessment of what the Gators are doing on offense.  John Brantley is not a running quarterback, yet Steve Addazio and Urban Meyer insist on treating him as though he is.  So I don't think it's fair to blame Brantley, nor compare him to Tim Tebow, because he isn't Tim Tebow.

Also, just for kicks, I'd like to see Crowder have a race with Brian Urlacher.  If he can't win that one, then he obviously shouldn't be playing linebacker in the NFL.


Posted on: October 17, 2010 12:23 am
 

What I learned from the SEC (Oct 16)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. Parity has wrought havoc in the SEC.
  Remember the days when there was no question that the SEC was the class conference in college football?  Well, that either no longer applies to the conference, or everybody has become so good that everybody can beat everybody.  No matter which side of the argument you fall on, one thing is clear: when it comes to who is going to win the conference, none of us know anything.

2. The SEC East is up for grabs. Sticking with the parity theme, while we know that the SEC West is going to finish with either LSU, Auburn or Alabama on top, the SEC East can be had for the taking by anybody who wants it.  South Carolina may have lost to Kentucky on Saturday night, but no matter, if it wins out it's still theirs.  Right behind the Gamecocks is Florida, who have lost three in a row, and Georgia.   The same Georgia team that we all thought might have a new head coach by the end of the season.

3. Cam Newton is a monster.   Newton had a monster performance against Arkansas on Saturday, leading the Tigers to 65 points -- the first time that Auburn's hung 60 on an SEC opponent since they did it to Florida in 1970.  With all the losses in the top 10 this week, it's safe to say that Newton will be on top of the Heisman list come Monday.  The only question is how long will his defense let him stay there?

4. Florida REALLY wishes it still had Cam Newton.
You really do have to wonder how much time Steve Addazio has left in Gainesville following another anemic performance from the Gators offense against Mississippi State.   Anytime your defense holds an opponent to 10 points in your building, you have to win that game.  Florida just couldn't get it done.  It's time to go back to the drawing board, and the Gators may need to put the dry erase marker in somebody else's hand.

5. Marcus Lattimore is the key to South Carolina's offense.
  Lattimore had 212 yards and three touchdowns in the first half against Kentucky, and South Carolina had a 28-10 lead.  Then Lattimore spent the second half on the bench on the second half, and the Gamecocks couldn't do anything on offense, getting outscored 21-0 in the second half and losing.  Leaving the ball in the hands of Stephen Garcia is just not a winning formula.
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 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 5, 2010 2:57 pm
 

Is John Brantley hurt? Vegas seems to think so

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Tuesday rumors started to surface that Florida quarterback John Brantley was hurt and could possibly miss this Saturday's game against LSU in The Swamp.  The rumors were shot down by offensive coordinator Steve Addazio who said there's no truth to any of the rumors and that Brantley is fine.  Brantley himself said "I'm a bit sore.  It's nothing major."

Still, the assurances from Addazio and Brantley didn't seem to have much of an affect on those who stand to make or lose a lot of money on this week's game: Las Vegas.  Several casinos in this country's capital of vice and decadence have completely removed the Florida/LSU line from their sportsbooks, as they're not so sure these are just rumors.

"We're hearing that (Brantley) is questionable," said Jay Kornegay, Sportsbook Director at the Las Vegas Hilton. "Whenever we get confirmation, either way, what his status is, if he's playing or not, that'll make it a betting game again."

Now, obviously, just because Vegas has pulled the game doesn't mean for certain that Brantley isn't going to play this week.  Judging by what Brantley himself said, I'd be surprised if he wasn't trying to flag down errant snaps from Mike Pouncey this Saturday.  Still, there are a couple reasons to be wary of what Brantley's real status is.
  1. Football coaches aren't in the business of giving free information about their team or players to the opposition.
  2. Casinos aren't in the business of losing money.
For those two reasons alone it's not wise to make an assumption either way.  Let's not forget that Brantley did have to leave the Alabama game for a spell after getting hurt during the fourth quarter.  He did return, but it's possible that whatever was nagging him then hasn't subsided just yet.
Posted on: September 16, 2010 10:02 pm
 

Urban Meyer on Gator arrests:: 'Enough is enough'

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Florida head coach Urban Meyer is, as you could probably guess, not terribly thrilled with the latest news about Chris Rainey's arrest. Here's what he had to say to the Palm Beach Post:

“I’m real upset about that,” he said about the arrest total. “After a while, enough’s enough. If there’s something we can improve on, we’re certainly looking into that. It’s like if our graduation rate stinks, then we’ve got to improve that. If there’s other issues in the program, that’s our job to get it better. People making stupid mistakes – that’s something we’ve got to correct.

“We follow the rules and some guys make some mistakes and we’ve got to correct those mistakes, but we follow the rules, we do it the right way at Florida. We have to do a better job of correcting some of the people making mistakes.”

That's strong rhetoric, and not really out of character for the strong-willed Meyer. Unfortunately, equivocation isn't out of character either, to the point where we've been conditioned to expect wiggle room out of what should be an airtight statements like Steve Addazio's "He's no longer a part of the team" and Meyer's "He's not with us." Sure enough, Rainey's suspension is merely indefinite, and even if he's kicked off, is what Rainey did all that worse than, oh, letting off an AK-47? And since it's not, would Rainey or anybody else even believe his dismissal is permanent?

In other words--if Urban Meyer really wants his players to play by the rules, he'd probably be wise to make them fear breaking the rules first.

Posted on: September 14, 2010 1:34 pm
 

Addazio: Rainey 'is no longer part of the team'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Following the arrest of Florida Gators wide receiver Chris Rainey after threatening text messages he sent a girl, there are two questions that need to be answered regarding Rainey's future.  First and foremost, what, if any, legal ramifications will he face for the incident?  He was released on Tuesday morning following a hearing in an Alachua County courtroom.

The second question is what, if any, punishment he'll be receiving from the Florida Gators.  Well, we got a hint of that on Tuesday afternoon when offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said that Rainey "is no longer part of the team."

What exactly that means, I'm not entirely sure. 

There's a lot of wiggle room in Addazio's statement.  Rainey may just be suspended for the time being, or he could have been kicked off the time being.  Given Urban Meyer 's history of discipline with his players -- more accurately, his lack of discipline -- in the past, there's no telling what will happen with Rainey.

While Addazio's quote indicates that Rainey is no longer a member of the Florida football team, until Urban Meyer comes out and says that Rainey will never play for the Florida Gators again, I'll remain skeptical.

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Posted on: September 11, 2010 3:53 pm
Edited on: September 11, 2010 3:56 pm
 

Gators good at winning ugly

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I think we all knew that the Florida Gators would have a tough time adjusting to life after Tim Tebow , but I don't think anybody was expecting the struggles we've seen in the first few weeks.  After having a hard time disposing of the Miami of Ohio Redhawks in last week's opener, the Gators didn't come flying out of the gate this weekend against South Florida either.

In fact, the Bulls had control of the game for the first 29 minutes of the action before quarterback B.J. Daniels threw an interception that the Gators were able to convert for a game-tying touchdown heading into the half.  In the second half that theme stayed the same.

B.J. Daniels kept throwing interceptions -- he finished the game with four interceptions while managing to complete only five passes to his own team -- and the Gators kept turning them into points, finishing the day with a 38-14 victory to move to 2-0.  Still, had it not been for the turnovers, this game would have been a lot closer.

Florida can be happy with its output on the ground, as they racked up 269 yards rushing on the afternoon, 139 of which belonged to the fastest man in college football -- and on the track -- Jeff Demps .  Demps' 62-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave the Gators a 14-7 lead, and they never looked back from there.

However, there are plenty of things the Gators need to work on before SEC play begins if they'd like to keep their hopes of playing for another national championship alive.  The run defense gave up 249 yards to the Bulls as the defensive line was routinely pushed around by the South Florida offensive line, and John Brantley may have a better arm than Tim Tebow did, but he hasn't really showed it off that much two weeks into the season.

Brantley threw for two touchdowns and no interceptions, but completed only 18 of his 31 pass attempts for 172 yards.  Efficient he has not been.

Granted, it's only two games and there's plenty of time for the Gators to get better, but who knows how much patience that Florida faithful will have in Steve Addazio ?  With a trip to Neyland Stadium to take on the hated Volunteers next week, he may want to get it figured out quick.



 
 
 
 
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