Category Archives: The Evil Genius

Steve Spurrier and “Mills”

Chris Brown doesn’t post as often at Smart Football as he used to, so when he does put something up about college football, it’s a cause for celebration (for me, at least).  And this piece about Steve Spurrier and his love for the deep post pass is worth reading, not just for the Xs-and-Os aspect, which Chris doles out in spades, but also because of what it says about Spurrier’s mindset as a head coach and game planner.

In 1990, Steve Spurrier took over at Florida, vowing to not only turn around the Gators but also to bring an entirely new brand of football to the Southeastern Conference, namely an aggressive, pass-first system that had its roots in the offenses Spurrier ran as an NFL quarterback, as updated and refined in his years as a head coach in the USFL and at Duke. Before the first game against Oklahoma State, Spurrier elevated a young QB named Shane Matthews from fifth on the depth chart to starter. Just before the game, Spurrier approached Matthews:

“Coach Spurrier always liked to come around and talk to guys in the locker room while they were getting ready,” Matthews said. “He finally comes to me and asks, ‘Shane, what play do you want to start with?’”

“I’d never started a college game before. A lot of people were giving him grief already for naming me the starter. So, I said: ‘Maybe a screen or a draw?’ “

And Spurrier responded: “Shoot, they didn’t hire me to come down here and run the football. We’re going to throw it.”

That first play was a 28 yard completion from Matthews to receiver Ernie Mills, who had run a post route behind a ten-to-twelve yard dig or square-in route. Florida scored a touchdown for plays later en route to a 50-7 victory. The rest was, well, history, as Spurrier’s run at Florida would be one of the most successful tenures — and influential — of any coach in football history.

Ray Goff, among others, just wasn’t ready to cope with that kind of mentality.  (And, yeah, if you look closely, you’ll find video of a couple of plays where Spurrier victimized Georgia’s secondary.)  That kind of mentality is what leads to a tribute like this one:

Spurrier didn’t invent The Mills Play, which would eventually come to be known simply as “Mills,” but he called it so often and so aggressively — and was so successful with it — that you’ll see the play clearly labeled as “Mills” (or “Florida” or “Gator”) in playbooks of coaches who never even coached under or played for the Ol’ Ball Coach.

Like it or not, Spurrier will go down as one of the two or three most influential coaches in SEC history.

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Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The Evil Genius

Et tu, Spurdog?

There’s not a lot of new insight in this story about McElwain’s final days in Gainesville, but there is one minor gem unearthed:

With the Gators trailing 21-0 at the half in their eventual loss to Georgia, Spurrier walked through the press box and asked a handful of reporters, “What happened to the forward pass?”

Meanwhile, Florida’s engaged in its fifth coaching search since Spurrier left.

 

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., The Evil Genius

Never retreat.

Somehow, this doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Evil Genius

Bummed out Steve Spurrier is the best Steve Spurrier.

If it weren’t for the Davin Bellamy quote currently occupying the slot, you’d better believe I’d have this remark from the Evil Genius up as the blog’s Quote of the Day.

“Did you see us play Georgia? Yeah, it was a sad, sad day, but anyway…”

Makes my day.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Evil Genius

Quitters never quit.

They just look for easier gigs.

While talking to reporters at Duke, Spurrier shared some insight into what could draw him back to the sidelines.

“I don’t want to be a head coach. There’s too much involved in being a head coach. But if a high school, or a junior high…well, I guess they don’t have junior high’s any more, but just a high school somewhere to coach quarterbacks and pitch the ball around. That might be something that I might want to do again.”

“But it would have to be the right situation,” he shared.

Which is?

“Major college ball, these guys work 11 months out of the year. It is so different than it was back in the 90’s, and even into the 2000’s as far as the total number of hours go. I wouldn’t look forward to that.”

“the only part that I miss is the quarterbacks, the offense, the team, the players, and that kind of stuff,” Spurrier explained.

In other words, he misses everything except working hard… and accountability.  Nice work, if you can get it.

I wonder if he’ll be in Jacksonville Saturday.  If so, how much fun would it be to see Georgia hang half a hundred with him in attendance?  Assuming he doesn’t quit and leave early, that is…

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Filed under The Evil Genius

So Spurrier’s sayin’ Georgia’s got a chance?

Apparently.

“Georgia has a very strong team, it appears right now, because their defense is so good,” Spurrier said.

Spurrier, who, against Georgia went 2-2 as a player, 0-2 as an assistant coach, 11-1 as the head coach at Florida, and 5-6 as South Carolina’s head coach, was then asked to compare Georgia’s defense to that of Alabama.

“I don’t think they have quite the size of Bama,” Spurrier said. “But could they beat Bama? Oh yeah if they played extremely well and Bama doesn’t that day. But Alabama would be favored.”

I get the feeling he’d be chirruping if either the Gators or the ‘Cocks knocked Georgia out of the division race.  On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if he tossed out a quip or two if the Dawgs managed to beat Saban in the SECCG.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Evil Genius

Now, wait a minute.

I thought he only talked like that about Georgia.

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Filed under The Evil Genius