The two faces of Corch

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.

22 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Strategery And Mechanics, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

22 responses to “The two faces of Corch

  1. Bulldawg165

    As much as I hate to admit it, Meyer was a hell of a coach. No doubt about it. As far as talent evaluation goes, how many people from that 2008 Florida team are on NFL rosters right now? My guess is at least 10.

  2. charlottedawg

    I second Bulldawg’s sentiment. 2 Nat’l titles and an undefeated season at Utah. The man might be a dick but he knew how to coach some football and last time I checked that’s the reason schools like OSU, UF, and Georgia pay their head coaches 7 figures. I also tire of this belly aching from the gators about Meyer. he’s free to look for employment anywhere he wants whenever he wants. He won you guys two nattys. He owes you nothing.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Well, when the inevitable drop-off occurred after the GPOOE left Urban got treated rather badly by the Gator faithful. He saw the decline coming. He also anticipated the negative reaction from the self-important, entitled, petulant fanbase that is the Gator Nation. That is why he wanted to leave with Tebow. The mistake he made was hanging around for that extra season. That Florida crowd–they will turn on you.

  3. It would take a lot longer than a blog comment to discuss everything that went wrong towards the end of Meyer’s era at Florida. Regarding the issue at hand:

    The lack of talent issue is largely a consequence of the 2008 and 2009 classes not being program changers, and they happened while Meyer’s heart was definitely still in it. Only two players panned out as good or better than expected from the ’08 class: Janoris Jenkins and Jeff Demps. And even then, had Jenkins not smoked himself out of school, Florida’s streak of first round draft picks would still be alive.

    With the ’09 class, the hit percentage is good, but it was just a small class at only 17 players. Nine of the 15 left (one dismissal and one JUCO who’s gone) are starting for the team this year. Meyer’s 2010 class, which came after his first retirement, is stacked and will likely have several draft picks when some leave early after this year.

    The real problem is that after landing Cam Newton and John Brantley in 2007, the QBs he signed were Jordan Reed in ’09, Trey Burton in ’10, and Tyler Murphy in ’10. Reed was moved to tight end almost immediately, Burton can’t throw at all, and Murphy was a two-star toss-in late in the game that no one understood (and who couldn’t beat out two true freshmen last year). Having a good QB can make up for a multitude of issues, but the fact is the last good one he ever signed in Gainesville was Newton in ’07.

    • Fair point about the quarterbacks, although he had to take Brantley and when you sign someone like that it tends to affect recruiting for a year or two.

      Note that Matthews wasn’t talking just about recruiting, but also player development sliding under Meyer.

      I also think losing Harvin hurt a lot, contrary to Matthews’ concern about too much emphasis on speed.

      • True, but he had lined up Burton two years in advance and made no effort to secure another QB until the surprise Murphy signing. That he couldn’t find a good signal caller for the ’08 and possibly even the ’09 class is understandable, but it wasn’t until he lined up Driskel in ’11 (who Muschamp managed to keep) that he found another blue chipper willing to sign on.

        And Matthews is right to a degree (though you nailed it when you said he oversells it). Meyer signed a lot of athletes on offense who just aren’t good football players. Omarius Hines, Stephen Alli, Carl Moore, Solomon Patton — these are guys who look good in a uniform and/or can fly but who never made an impact on the field. And Jeff Demps, much as I love him, was a sprinter playing football. If he didn’t have a big hole to run through, he was going down inside of three yards.

        Ironically, Meyer’s defensive recruiting never trailed off. If not for that, UF doesn’t make a bowl one of the past two years.

        • Aligator

          Murphy was Temples HC’s idea remember? Meyer had let the THC take over in his last two years and things were not the same. There is no way to paint that picture any prettier than it is.

    • The other Doug

      Great point Year2. Losing Cam Newton was a big hit to the QB position, and he should have told John Brantley that he was a bad fit for his offense.

  4. Go Dawgs!

    Folks, I’m not certain that the current coaching staff in Gainesville is better than Ron Zook’s coaching staff. Never forget that he was the man who brought Strong to Florida. And he had more signature wins during his time at Florida than Coach Boom! has so far. Zook was the only loss on the ledger for Nick Saban’s LSU national championship team, and he certainly maintained the ownership over Georgia until his last season. His Gator teams were weaker than Spurrier’s and Meyer’s, but he also never got to see the fruit of his recruiting labors. Meyer coached those teams Zook put together. And it’s not like Spurrier left a stacked deck for Zook, either. His recruiting had tailed off a bit, too, which a lot of people believe led him to seek out the new challenge in the NFL; his heart wasn’t in recruiting and he’d gotten burned out. All that’s to say, I sympathize with Shane Matthews’ desire to run down Urban Meyer. But let’s not get all crazy and nuts, Shane. Coach Boom! severed his ties with UGA a long time ago, and certainly burned the last bridges last summer. That’s why I don’t feel the need to apologize for him and the fact that I’m still not sure why he’s the head coach at the University of Florida, and why I’m not sure he’s going to succeed down there.

    • Go Dawgs!

      Self reply… I’ve thought about it a few times, but if some jackass didn’t set up the famed fireronzook.com within an hour of the announcement of his hiring, I think Florida fans would have felt a lot differently about the Zooker. He had definite shortcomings as a coach, but I think he deserved at least one more year to play with the stacked team he had assembled for the 2005 season.

    • Zook’s 2004 staff had three guys who would go on to be head coaches: Charlie Strong (Louisville), Larry Fedora (new UNC coach), and Mike Locksley (UNM, fired). Locksley was a disaster as a head coach, but he’s a near-miraculous recruiter. It wasn’t a bad group of coaches.

  5. Ace

    Muschamp’s defense did pretty well for his first season, particularly against the pass. But, few interceptions, so maybe they had speeedy track guys back there, but not football players in the secondary.

    Their running backs were fast, but led the conference in fumbles, speedy track guys, but not football players.

    I guess that’s what Matthews means.

    I don’t expect Brent Pease to have an impact in the SEC, as few Boise St coaches who left Boise have done much of note. Brent also had Kellen Moore, and looking back, I think history will show Boise’s offensive success had more to do with Kellen Moore, and some great running backs, than Brent Pease. First year coordinators don’t do well in the SEC due to new terminology, wrong body types to run their schemes, etc.

    Florida’s schedule is they get to play LSU, Georgia, and South Carolina, three top ten teams in October and Florida State to end the year, a fourth top ten team. No way Florida gets out of those four games without three losses.

    I think at SEC media days, Florida got 11 votes of confidence to win the SEC East, Georgia got over 130.

  6. Ace

    The track guys translate to strong in the kickoff return game, but weak on punt return. When it comes down to less space, requiring more technique, the track guys flop. Field goal kicker was solid, but overall special teams, besides kickoff return and field goal kicker, are average.

    Defense is above average, but doesn’t intercept too many due to speedy guys with poor technique.

    Offense is, and will remain in 2012, below average.

    Don’t know why Matthews is excited, the staff grades out:
    Defense, B
    Offense, D
    Special Teams, C

  7. Dog in Fla

    “Meyer’s…heart wasn’t in it anymore.” Because Nick took it our and ate it.

  8. Aligator

    “Meyer’s…heart wasn’t in it anymore.” Because Nick took it our and ate it. This we know to be true. Yes there were a couple MNC. But he gave up and then tried to get out. He does not do well over the long haul and will burn out in five years or so at OSU. He is already saying that Braxton Miller is the finest athlete he has ever coached? WTF? What about Percy Harvey Corch Myer??

    • sniffer

      Throw in the reality that a Bull Gator makes a Red Elephant seem gentlemanly and you know what Meyer was hearing every day. 12-1, with the lone loss to Bama, # 1 in the polls all season and he was still under the gun from the GatorNation. Don’t like him, but few could hold up under that. Spurrier had much the same in his last years, too.

  9. Aligator

    Also, I know Shane and he is a tard like Doug Johnson is. Meyer peed in his cornflakes and he was none too happy to see him go. Oh well, Meyer will be in the Ring of Honor and Shane wont, what a douche……both of them.

  10. Mike

    I would have thought the gratuitous shots of Meyer by Matthews might end after Meyer left. I guess Matthews is just too invested in Meyer hate and Muschamp adulation to let it end. It is almost Obama-like, the blame he puts on Meyer and the pass he give Muschamp.

    Whatever one thinks about Mushchamp’s first year, this year belongs to Muschamp, period.

    Like Year2 states, some of the criticism of the Meyer offensive recruiting is very true. And I agree that Meyer left the program in poor shape, compared to how he found it. That said, if the next six years under Muschamp are EXACTLY like the six under Meyer, championships, warts and all, I will sign up for it right now.

  11. shane#1

    One item CMR’s haters harp on is the fact that he hasn’t won a BCSCG. Meyer won two at UF and is still catching flack? I think some so called fans just love to hate and will never be satisfied. You know, the guys that sit in the stands and boo their own team. Big men that get a charge out of giving some kid hell that is getting his butt busted for no money.

  12. Dboy

    I always thought C. Strong was the backbone of Corch’s run in Gainsville. Tebow got the press but those were elite defenses year in and year out. You don’t often win at the highest level without one of those.