Category Archives: Gators, Gators…

“So don’t let that new guy tell you he ain’t got any players.”

If Jim McElwain actually starts a full-blown pissing match with Boom, he will immediately become my favorite Florida coach of all time.

And, yes, that’s a very short list.

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So that’s why Boom flopped in Gainesville.

How credible can a piece suggesting that Florida can win the SEC East this season be when it doesn’t mention the Gators’ need to improve at defensive celebration?

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Crappy game, man.

You might think that going to the bathroom  during a national broadcast might be a tad embarrassing.  But you don’t wear the orange and blue.

But don’t worry! While this kind of incident on national television might ruin some people for eternity, Lane has had quite the opposite reaction.

“It was the best thing that could have happened,” said Lane, via Jacksonville.com‘s Richard Johnson. “It got a lot of attention and just put me in a place where I was out there publicly and people knew who I was. I really didn’t get a lot of grief from it. A lot of people were really more focused on how well I did in the game more than anything. I feel like it was that way because I embraced it.”

Honestly, I got nothing to add to that.

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Change of possession

It’s too soon to know if Florida has improved itself in the change of head coaches, but judging from Jim McElwain’s comments on the first day of practice, it’s certainly mellowed.

But the 6-foot-2 Grier, a decorated high school quarterback from Davidson, North Carolina, took the first snap of the spring Monday. Although many outsiders viewed it as an indication that Grier has an edge over the 5-foot-11 Harris, McElwain acted as if he didn’t even know Grier would get the first snap.

”I didn’t know, did he?” McElwain said. ”Did he take the first snap? ”I didn’t (see that). I didn’t. Somebody had to I guess, so he must have ran in there first. Good for him, nice job.”

Regardless, the spring will give McElwain a chance to evaluate his players, devise an offense and have at least a better idea of what to expect in the fall.

”There’s some base principles you’re going to get in no matter what,” he said. ”I think the big part for us is just the discovery of what guys do best, what guys need to work on and hopefully then in turn not put them in situations to not be successful. It’s kind of like `In Search Of’ with Leonard Nimoy. You know the old show Leonard Nimoy used to have? `In Search Of.’ That’s what we are this spring.”

You think Boom even knows who Leonard Nimoy was?

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Benign neglect

“I was very involved defensively at Florida and regardless of popular opinion I wasn’t as much on offense,” Muschamp said with a chuckle. “Should have been, but I wasn’t.”

No shit, Sherlock.

In fact, since Tebow’s departure, the Gators have had just two individual 300-yard passing performances in the last five years. Brantley threw for 329 yards against Furman in 2011, and Tyler Murphy threw for 305 yards in a home loss to Vanderbilt in 2013.

If you’re Georgia Tech, that’s no big deal.  But for a team that runs a traditional offense – you know, the kind with quarterbacks who throw the ball to receivers – that’s amazing.  And for a program that cut its teeth bringing the passing game to the SEC, that’s pathetic.

Part of me thinks Florida will bounce back this season better than I tend to give it credit for, simply because there’s no way McElwain can be as inept putting together an offense as Boom was.

(P.S.  To save some of you astute observers the trouble, yes, I know, 38-20.  Thanks.)

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Sometimes it’s okay to leave well enough alone. This is one of those times.

Oy.

 “We have to take the Georgia-Florida game and turn it into something that resembles a National Championship game,” Gator Bowl Sports President and CEO Rick Catlett told 1010XL Jax Sports Radio.  “The events that go on around Georgia-Florida need to significantly be enhanced.  It’s a nice tailgate party in the pavilion area, but it needs to be all down the river.”

“We have to…”“The events… need to…”.

Such urgency.  And for what?  The only thing my cynical heart can suggest is for separating more of the contents of our wallets and purses from us.

You’ve got a great, great game, one of a dwindling number of such with a special tradition.  And you think the Cocktail Party needs to have the amps turned up to eleven.  Of course, there’s only one go-to source out there for making things extra special.

“You’ve got to create a three or four day festival around it.  Friday all day you’re going to have to have special events going on.  When you go to the NFL Experience (at the Super Bowl) it’s not just a tailgate party.  It gives people an opportunity to go to the facility, touch the game, touch the sport, but it also gives all the people coming in from out of town major entertainment, parties, events,” he said.  [Emphasis added.]

Be still, my heart.

This is part of what’s killing college football for me.  There seems to be a concerted effort to shed what makes the sport special to its fans and wrap the pro experience around it.  Rick, if I wanted an NFL Experience, I’d go buy Falcons’ season tickets, dude.

By the way, Chadd Scott’s P.S. is totally delusional.  I don’t care how magical an experience Catlett’s “festival” turns out to be, the minute the schools make more playing the game on a home-and-home basis, they’ll be out of Jacksonville like a shot.

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“A lot of sleepless nights” in Gainesville

Florida is down to seven offensive linemen for spring practice.  Three of them are redshirt freshmen.  A traditional spring game is just about out of the question (“I don’t see how you can (have a game) when you don’t have two units,” McElwain said.).

But there’s a silver lining to that cloud.

“The way I look at guys not being able to go in spring is it now gives the other guy an opportunity to get valuable reps. So, that’s what we really try to accomplish with them.”

McElwain intends to conduct a competition for the starting quarterback position.  If I were one of the candidates, I’m not sure how eager I’d be to step up right now.

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