More rubbish being generated out of Gainesville about Florida going in a different offensive direction soon:
… are the days of the option pitch, jet sweep and jump pass coming to an end in Gainesville?
Already we know that Tim Tebow and John Brantley spent countless hours this spring working on hand-offs and drop-backs from under center during spring practice. And that the coaches spent most of the spring identifying players who could play fullback as Gators tinkered with an “I-formation” offense…
If you have to describe a new offense in scare quotes, it’s probably a good indication that you’re not headed towards a smooth transition. Assuming that there really is a transition in the works, that is.
Of course, if Meyer had stuck to his first course of action and played the GPOOE™ at linebacker, things would probably be going much more smoothly now. For one thing, he might not have to invent an alternate history in response to a recruit’s concerns.
Back in April, four-star Pahokee receiver De’Joshua Johnson summed it up pretty clearly in an interview with our Jason Lieser.
“I dropped Florida and West Virginia because of the spread offense,” Johnson said. “I don’t want to play in the spread offense. I’ve seen how it affected receivers in the NFL draft. They have to teach them to play in a pro-style offense.”
I asked Meyer about that perception at the SEC Spring Meetings last week in Destin.
“I think that’s interesting. I’d like to know his advisers and find out where that’s coming from,” Meyer said. “We’ve had more receivers drafted in the NFL than any school in America the last four years. I think it’s six or seven. All of them are doing very well. We had three receivers drafted this year, so we’re good.”
“That’s just poor advice, is what it is.”
Begging the man’s pardon, but it’s fairly accurate, is what it is. First off, as the article notes, it’s five receivers, not six or seven. And it’s not more than any other school in the country, unless you don’t want to count LSU or Ohio State.
Besides that, none of the five have distinguished themselves at the next level, at least not in that “top 1% of the top 1%” sense that we’ve come to associate with everything Meyer-related (of course, we’ve got to give Percy Harvey a chance):
… Meyer’s notion that “all of them are doing very well” is a bit off. Jackson is on his second team already and has just one catch since 2006. Caldwell had 11 catches last year as a rookie. Baker caught one pass as a rookie. Murphy slid to the fourth round in this year’s draft, and Ingram fell to the fifth because of a knee injury.
And it’s not just quantity, but quality. Harvin and Jackson were the only receivers drafted in the top two rounds, and Jackson has already been a bust. A lot is riding on Harvin in terms of proving that Meyer’s offense can prepare players for the NFL.
The post-Tebow era in Gainesville is starting to shape up as being a lot more fun than I thought it might be.