From Mark Schlabach’s article today on Gator RB Emmanuel Moody:
… The Texas native is even struggling with Florida’s stifling heat and humidity.”It’s hot out there, you know?” said Moody, a native of Coppell, Texas. “I’m used to the humidity and heat in Texas, but I’ve never been in heat like this.”
Dude, it’s early April. Wait ’til you get to two a days in August. You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Here are a couple of quick stats to chew on:
All told, Florida’s tailbacks accounted for only 25 percent of the team’s rushing yards in 2007. The Gators’ quarterbacks and receivers also scored 85 percent of the team’s rushing touchdowns.
No pressure, no worries, mon.
“When coach Meyer recruited me, he told me Percy and Tebow were running the ball a lot because they felt like they didn’t have the tailbacks,” Moody said. “I’m not coming in here saying I’m going to be the quick fix, but I came here with the expectations that I can really help out in that area. We have great backs, even though they say there isn’t a lot of production. There are great backs here at Florida. The reason why there hasn’t been production, I really don’t know why.”
Maybe it’s the **cough** scheme. But no matter, Florida’s offensive brain trust already has a Plan B in place.
You guessed it.
… Mullen said Tebow might run the football as often this coming season, even though he probably was hit more often than any quarterback in the country in 2007.
“Tim can take those hits, but you just don’t want him to take those big hits,” Mullen said. “Part of what you want to do is save him and keep him fresh for when he needs to run. As a quarterback, any hit you take standing in the pocket can ruin your day. I think he’s really more protected when he’s actually running the ball because he’s delivering a lot of the blows instead of taking them. I think one of the things we need to do is make sure he doesn’t carry the ball all the time in the first half. If we can save his carries, as the game moves on and if we want to kill the clock in the fourth quarter, then he’s fresh and not worn down from carrying it so much in the first half.”
I suppose that means it’s OK for Superman to get hit standing in the pocket in the first half… so he’ll be fresh in the second half. Gentlemen, start your engines.
UPDATE: According to this spring practice report in the Gainesville Sun, Plan B is looking better and better.
1. Has a feature back emerged at tailback?
Answer: Finding the guy this spring was a priority, but it hasn’t happened. Senior Kestahn Moore has provided his usual workmanlike effort and done a solid job holding onto the football, which means he’ll probably be sitting on top of the depth chart at the start of two-a-days. Southern Cal transfer Emmanuel Moody was considered by many to be the favorite to emerge as the feature back, but he has struggled with the offense and is still behind. Brandon James and Chris Rainey have shown real flashes, and have had an opportunity to work with the No. 1 offense. Mon Williams is coming on strong down the stretch and is solidly in the mix now.
What’s next: The search for a marquee tailback will continue in August, with all five tailbacks competing for the starting role.
Prediction: Moore isn’t flashy, but he’s going to be a tough guy to beat out. He’ll probably be the No. 1 guy, but the way it looks now, the Gators are going to have a tailback by committee. James and Rainey are playmakers and potential game-breakers and have earned touches next season.