Really interesting interview at 11 Warriors with Urban Meyer, which goes into some detail about how his offense evolved. Sample:
In 1999, Dan Mullen was my GA at Notre Dame. John L. Smith was the coach at Louisville and Scott Linehan was the offensive coordinator. I started watching them on film and said I want to go study them. He said sure go ahead. We ended up staying four days and had to go buy a toothbrush. I was so enamored with the style of play. That was spread the field and be extremely aggressive. The biggest issue was how to handle pressures. The tighter the formation, the more pressures. It’s really a numbers game. It was a different philosophy I had never really…after that, both Dan and I really attacked it. I started getting phone calls about being a head coach and thought about what I would do offensively.
Linehan, Gregg Brandon, Dan Mullen, Greg Studrawa at LSU. We all sat in that old nasty meeting room in Bowling Green, Ohio. Every time it rained, water would drip down on the table. Doyt Perry Stadium. We sat there for the month of February to the month of March and sat there for 10 hours. From huddle to snap count, there was no other model. Northwestern was doing some of it and Rich Rodriguez was doing some it, but we developed our own. That was one of the greatest experiences I had, because there’s no model. Imagine trying to build something and there’s no book to go build it. We really enjoyed that. I had some great coaches.
Meyer may not be your favorite human being, but there’s no denying he’s got a sharp football mind. Well, unless you’re (the no longer threatened with banishment to Seat 37F) Shane Matthews.
Matthews believes poor talent evaluation and development are at the heart of the Gators’ problems. “We ain’t put anybody in the league the last couple years so that shows you how we were recruiting…they missed big time…we had a track team… track teams don’t play on Sunday…you can be able to run like a track team, but you better be able to play football.”
Urban Meyer often said he wanted the fastest team in college football, Matthews obviously thinks he took that emphasis too far.
Funny, I don’t remember too many people at the time complaining about the classes Florida was pulling in. And Matthews is full of crap if he really believes this:
“This coaching staff at Florida is the best we’ve had at that school – hands down. It’s gonna take time because we just don’t have the athletes that the other big boys in the conference do.”
Corch had Strong and Mullen. Spurrier had Stoops and, well, Spurrier.
The problem with the way Meyer’s term in Gainesville finished was that his heart wasn’t in it anymore. It remains to be seen whether he’s got his passion back in Columbus. But pretending he was a bum while calling Muschamp a combination of Spurrier and Saban – let’s just say Matthews is overselling the change.