Daily Archives: March 25, 2010

Random thought on quarterbacks in the SEC East

Much has already been made of the fact that the division isn’t exactly loaded with experienced talent at the QB position.

But after seeing this blurb today,

If dealing with a bundle of banged up Gators through the first few practices wasn’t enough, Florida was without starting quarterback John Brantley, who team spokesman Steve McClain said had a “high fever” and “possible strep throat.”

Senior punter Chas Henry, who played some quarterback in high school, rotated with freshman Trey Burton in place of Brantley…

it occurs to me that lack of depth could wind up being an even bigger story.  I don’t expect Brantley to run nearly as much as Tebow did, but I also don’t expect an Urban Meyer offense to morph into I-formation City.  Brantley is going to carry the ball some and that puts the risk of injury in play.

There’s a similar story to tell at South Carolina, home of the quarterback who took more silly risks running the ball last year than any other QB in the conference.  It’s still amazing to me that Garcia didn’t suffer a serious injury.  His backup now is a true freshman.

I’m not wishing for anything bad to happen to these players and I’m not predicting it either, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

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Filed under SEC Football

The Meyer blowup: we’re back to the M word again.

In the end, it’s all about the GPOOE™, as Chris Low explains to us:

… Meyer and the whole Florida offensive staff are probably a little sensitive about the way Tebow’s mechanics and delivery have been picked apart by NFL people. You’re talking about one of the best college football players of our era, and his delivery is having to be totally re-worked for a lot of teams to even consider drafting him as a quarterback.

You think that helps the Gators’ recruitment of a pro-style quarterback in future years?

You think rival coaches are going to use that against the Gators?

You think anything that remotely suggests that Tebow wasn’t properly developed at Florida causes Meyer to bristle?

The answer to all three questions is yes.

SEC Media Days are gonna be a blast this year.

23 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

A work in progress

As excited as I’ve gotten over the quotes we’ve all seen about what’s going on with the defense, it’s worth tempering that with the realization that this is a major undertaking Grantham faces.

First off, there are the obvious personnel issues that are inevitable with a change in scheme as significant as this is.

… Look for freshmen like T.J. Sripling, Brandon Burrows and Jalen Fields to have a chance to contribute in the fall at outside linebacker, where depth appears to be an issue.

For now, walk-on Reuben Faloughi is a back-up outside linebacker, joining Justin Houston, Cornelius Washington and Montez Robinson among the top four at the position.

“I think there’s a couple of guys that we can move there down the road,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “I do think that we’ll obviously be looking at a couple of young guys coming in to play. It’s something that does concern me somewhat.”

Grantham said that the incoming freshman will be evaluated early to determine if they are better suited at outside linebacker or end “and see where they can help us early. It may only be in a limited role in this package or something. We’ll definitely address that come summer.”

Something else that’s obvious is the realignment of approach and terminology.

The whole process has been different for players, many of whom spent multiple years under the guidance of Willie Martinez. The language and terminology are different, and the mentality has changed. Players have been forced to change their line of thinking. That’s a lot to adjust to in such a short period of time.

“This is a learning experience for everybody, seniors and all,” cornerback Vance Cuff said. “Usually going into your senior year, you pretty much have the defense down with what you’re playing.”

So it’s worth keeping the expectations grounded in reality.  The two things that give me hope are first, that this staff knows how important it is to get the fundamentals down…

“We’re really trying to put in things to apply to concepts and how we want to play in a certain defense,” Grantham said. “What happens is they kind of learn, you know, the formations of an offense tell you a lot. Where people line up, where the receivers are, how close they are, how far apart they are, where the back is, the quarterbacks mannerisms. There’s a lot of things that you’re trying to teach them.”

And it is a lot, right down to the stance a running back is lined up in or the subtle way a quarterback moves his head before the snap. But Grantham has been quick to remind his player they are still just playing football. The object is to tackle the ballcarrier, as simple as it sounds. The players say they relate to the way he’s teaching them.

… and second, that legitimate competition for playing time seems to be back in style.

The competition for playing time has noticeably picked up on the defensive side of the ball. Last spring, the defense was full of upperclassmen, with most starting spots locked up early.

That’s not the case this year, not with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham keeping players on their toes. Grantham has turned up the competition by implementing a 3-4 defense. No player has been guaranteed playing time, and no starting spot announced.

“It’s great because it brings a lot out of players, knowing that you might not be the starter,” safety Nick Williams said. “Nobody has a starting job. You can get kind of content when you know you’re going to be playing as a starter on Saturday nights, so you don’t practice as hard.”

Yeah, talk is cheap, and Williams’ quote is an interesting contrast to all the wonderful talk about leadership and motivation we heard in last year’s preseason.  So let’s hope it’s more than lip service with the new staff.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Thursday morning buffet

A few nuggets worth sampling:

5 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, The Evil Genius

Lacking in sympathy

Even in a story about some fairly outrageous political wankery – and it’s hard to see how you can describe an attempt to leverage football recruits to influence the state legislature to reappoint a university trustee as anything else – the AP can’t resist the opportunity to throw a shot in the football program’s direction:

While the Gamecocks have been mediocre for years, the football team and coach Steve Spurrier draw massive fan support in a state with no professional sports.

The whole thing’s enough to make a man throw his visor.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The Evil Genius

Perhaps somebody’s meds need adjusting.

Corch Meyers has put an Orlando Sentinel beat writer on double secret probation for being a very bad man.

“You’ll be out of practice — you understand that? — if you do that again,” said Meyer, while a couple of spectators still sat in the stands. “I told you five years ago: Don’t mess with our players. Don’t do it. You did it. You do it one more time and the Orlando Sentinel’s not welcome here ever again. Is that clear? It’s yes or no.” (finger pointing toward the face)

“Urban, come on. Don’t make any threats,” I said. “That’s fine. I’ll play by rules.  But all I was doing is quoting the guy. I don’t think I was the only one.”

“You’re a bad guy, man,” Meyer said. “You’re a bad guy.”

*************************************************************************

UPDATE: Oh, please.

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Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares