If it was good enough for Chris Leak…

I know what you’re thinking – he’s linked to this article about player arrests at Florida, so here’s some choice talk about the Urbanator’s latest little angel – but, no, you’d be wrong thinking that.  I’m more interested in this quote from the SEC’s reigning King of BS.

Meyer said that senior quarterback Tim Tebow will see more time under center next season, but the goal isn’t to solely get him ready for the NFL. “The 2006 national championship game 35 percent of our plays were under center,” Meyer said. “Chris Leak, he was very comfortable…” [Emphasis added.]

Yeah, that ’06 offense was hell on wheels.  Here are a few comparisons between the offense from that season and from last year’s, when they deployed the GPOOE™ strictly from the shotgun (stats courtesy of cfbstats.com):

  • Scoring offense:  2008, 43.6 ppg (4th nationally); 2006, 29.7 ppg (23rd nationally)
  • Total offense:  2008, 445.1 ypg (15th nationally); 2006, 396.1 ypg (19th nationally)
  • Passer rating:  Tim Tebow (2008), 172.38 (4th nationally); Chris Leak (2006), 144.93 (23rd nationally)

Gee, I wonder how the Gators would have done in ’06 if Leak hadn’t been comfortable.

If you really want to stack the deck, consider that last season the Gators averaged 44.88 ppg in conference play – better than their seasonal average.  Compare that to the results in 2006, when Florida averaged a whopping 22.25 ppg in its SEC games.  Yeah, that’s less than half what they scored with a quarterback only in the shotgun.

Look, I have no idea whether this grand experiment with the GPOOE™ is going to succeed beyond Meyer’s wildest dreams.  But don’t try to sell this as anything more than it is – a reclamation project for Tebow’s draft hopes.  The idea that there’s something about the 2006 offense that justifies a move under center as a boost to the Gator offense this season is ludicrous.

Now Florida’s schedule this season is less than daunting and with all eleven starters back on defense, it’s likely to mean that this plan is a toy Meyer will be able to play with all season without much of a problem.  But it’ll be interesting to see what happens if the offense sputters a bit and it leads to some close calls.


Filed under Stats Geek!, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

19 responses to “If it was good enough for Chris Leak…

  1. The Realist

    Is it me, or did we not hear the same ramblings out of the swamp last season? The offense was going to be tinkered with, and Tebow wasn’t going to be the sole focus, and more running backs were going to be involved, etc. etc.

    And then, Ole Miss happened. And they “unleashed the Tebow.”

    Have I just imagined all of this, or is this not an exact replica of last off-season?

    I’ll never be so happy as to when I wake up and realize 2008 was a dream… like on Dallas. That’ll be nice.


  2. baltimore dawg

    i think you give meyer too much credit by describing his actions as a reclamation project on tebow’s behalf. he only gives a damn about tebow’s draft prospects inasmuch as they could damage his qb recruiting in the future. this is pure stagecraft designed to show future qb recruits how much urbs will care about them . . . .

    and by what form of sympathetic magic is more time under center supposed (presto! chango!) to correct tebow’s awful throwing mechanics?


  3. 81Dog

    I agree with Baltimore. Urban Meyer primarily cares about what’s good for Urban Meyer. It’s a big deal to Urban Meyer, and the way it’s going to get dealt with is by showing potential QB recruits is that he won’t just put them in a dead end college offense for 4 years. Nooooooooooo…..he will put you under the center, son. You’ll get to showcase your pro-style offense talents. No problem.

    The other part of this is pure Urban Meyer arrogance. Urban Meyer knows he can win playing any style of offense, because…well….Urban Meyer is a genius. Just as Urban Meyer never tires of referring to Urban Meyer in the third person, Urban Meyer knows he can take Urban Meyer’s game plan and beat yours, or Urban Meyer can take your game plan and beat you with that. So, Urban Meyer is going to show you that putting the QB under center is no problem, despite the fact that Urban Meyer’s current QB hasn’t played under center. Chris Leak did it, so why not Tebow? Urban Meyer won with Chris Leak! Of course it will work with Tebow. Unless it sputters a touch, at which point Urban Meyer will 86 the under center package faster than the average Florida fan will junk the lower half of the legs on a pair of blue jeans. Because if there’s one thing that is bad for Urban Meyer, it’s losing football games.


    • Bulldog Bry

      I keep wanting to say “Bob Dole” after reading your post.


      • 81Dog

        Urban Meyer thinks your post is a bad deal. Urban Meyer’s team thinks your post is a bad deal. It will get handled.

        I wonder if Urban Meyer is going to start doing Viagra ads, or Pepsi commercials where he’s watching Britney Spears videos?

        There’s a joke there involving Urban Meyer pointing and staring, but I’m leaving it alone.


        • Bulldog Bry

          “There’s a joke there involving Urban Meyer pointing and staring, but I’m leaving it alone.”

          Where’s Dog in Fla when you need him?


  4. sh

    Who cares about what Urban does with Treebow?

    Just pressure the hell outta him and watch him fold like the cheap shiny suits he wears.

    Just beat FL.


  5. – ’08 Florida would have beaten the ’06 model by about a billion points.

    – King Dork should be running sets with Teebs at TE if he really wants him ready for the draft.


  6. Sparrow

    This post, plus the CFN “Is Tebow the greatest QB ever” post yesterday just put things into perspective for me. The more Tebow is put on a pedestal and immortalized, deservedly or not, the more I realize just how irreplaceable he is. Harvin may have been extremely talented, the defense may be great, and Brantley may be a really amazing quarterback, but there’s just no way that Florida bounces back from losing Tebow next year. Right? Please?


    • sh

      no there is absolutely no replacement. Brantley appears to be a good QB, good for him, but replacing Tebow is akin to replacing Herschel.

      It ain’t gonna happen. Florida will take a measurable step back to the pack.


      • RedCrake


        All this “Urban Meyer is the bast SEC coach” nonsense is based solely on Tebow. If he didn’t have that change of pace in ’06 or at least the threat of it, I don’t know if they’re in that MNC game.

        I hate Tebow with every particle of my being but wait til he’s gone 3 or 4 years and then we can talk about what type of coach Urban Cryer is.

        Of course, God willing, he’ll be at Notre Dame by then and Dan Mullen will be the UF coach.


        • sh

          I’ll give the devil his due- Meyer is a helluva coach. But your observation is dead on – Dooley would likely not be on the CFB HOF without Herschel. Meyer would not be Meyer without Treebow.

          With that said, what’s to say that Meyer couldn’t attract another Alex Smith/Treebow QB to run his offense? Surely, there are others out there.

          No, Dooley attracted Worley, Henderson, Tate, Hampton, etc. None were Herschel but were damn good, bordering great at times.

          We’ll see what the future holds for Meyer and Florida. They will come back to the mean, but their mean will likely continue to be impressive.


  7. Will Q

    What’s really crazy is that this has to be done to help Tebow’s draft prospects at all. I’m with Doc Saturday: he may or may not have what it takes to make it as a QB in the NFL, but he certainly is an 1st round-caliber athlete. As much as I dislike the guy, I think it would be crazy if he didn’t get taken high.


    • Remember when the line about WLOCP ’07 was that it was only because Tebow was hurt? And remember how he got “hurt”…by getting tackled too hard by a demonstratively lousy defensive team? Full of players who aren’t even close to the caliber of dudes he’ll be running into in the NFL, should his role be similar to the one he has now?

      Exactly. If some schmuck from UK can break Teebs’ shoulder, who knows what an NFL LB could do. Outside of *that*, you’ve got a guy with a slow release who throws a wobbly ball. Who sucks at audibles, can’t take snaps under center, etc.


    • HackerDog

      It takes more than athleticism to succeed in the NFL. Few scouts say he’s a franchise QB, so he won’t be selected early as a QB. And that’s all he’s ever done. He’s never blocked. He’s never run a route. He’s never picked up a blitz. He’s never rushed a passer. So whatever his best fit in the NFL may be, he will be starting from scratch in learning how to do it. Even if it is playing QB, he doesn’t know how to play QB in a pro-style offense. That means you can’t draft him early, stud or not.


  8. 81Dog

    here’s the other thing about Urban Meyer putting Tebow under center that interests me: If NFL talent evaluators question Tebow’s coverage reading skills and laborious throwing motion as adequate for a pro-style offense, I’m all for Urban Meyer putting him under center as much as possible.

    Clearly, Tebow’s pretty damn good in the spread. Take him out of what he does best and put him into what he’s not nearly as skilled in operating? Fine by me. It’s not that much different than running end around pass plays several time a game, conceptually. Take your skill players and ask them to do something other than what they do best? Outstanding. Maybe we should have had Stafford running go routes with AJ Green showing off his arm on the deep ball several time a game. That would have shown how versatile Stafford and Green were, wouldnt it?