Is a huge turnaround ahead for John Brantley?

By Adam Silverstein
February 15, 2011

Florida Gators redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley decided to finish out his career in the orange and blue once he learned offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Charlie Weis would be the one providing him the opportunity to turn everything around. The “Football Scientist” KC Joyner believes Brantley was not as abysmal as he appeared in 2010 and has the opportunity to be elite in 2011.

Citing evaluations he made during Brantley’s performances against three FBS top-31 defenses of Tennessee, Alabama and LSU (all games that came before Florida moved to a QB rotation), Joyner concludes that the signal caller “had very little to do with the terrible state of the Florida offense in 2010.”

Read Joyner’s analysis of Brantley and the offense…after the break!

Here are the combined statistics from those three games:

Composite passer rating: 112.2
CMP/ATT: 46/78 (60%) | YDS: 523 | TD: 1 | INT: 3
Yards per attempt: 6.7

Below are the medium depth (balls thrown 11-19 yards) statistics Joyner discovered:

Composite passer rating: 214.4 (“ridiculously high”)
CMP/ATT: 19/24 (79.2%) | YDS: 347 | TD: 1
Yards per attempt: 14.5

As Joyner concludes, “Those are simply phenomenal numbers on their face, but considering that they came on medium depth throws (some of the hardest completions to make) and against three tough pass defenses, they are even more incredible.”

He also notes that Brantley “only had two bad decisions in 82 dropbacks, for a bad decision rate of 2.5 percent” and compares the rate which he does not to make bad decisions (turnovers or near turnovers) to that of Peyton Manning.

So why was the Gators’ offense so terrible, and why did Brantley look inept?

Joyner cites Florida’s propensity for dropping passes (a “simply unacceptable” 8.5 percent), Brantley having eight passes tipped (two of which led to interceptions, two others to near interceptions) due to offensive line issues, and the offensive line allowing five sacks in those games.

Though Brantley will need to improve his preparation and overall quarterback intelligence, Joyner believes Weis’s affect on the entire offense will provide him with a cushion he did not have in 2010.

Getting receivers to run crisper routes will also be high on Weis’ priority list. […] Errors like this are something that should be easily correctable with effective coaching. […] If Weis can effectively coach up the receiving corps and offensive line, and get his QB in a Cassel- or Jimmy Clausen-like comfort zone to take advantage of his considerable downfield passing skills, Brantley could be able to engineer a serious turnaround in the Swamp in 2011.

ESPN Insider: John Brantley can be elite in 2011

Photo Credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

28 Comments

  1. cline says:

    Let the countdown to kickoff begin, how many more days?

  2. j.b says:

    I hope he’s right. Hope JB can turn it around.

    Btw, it’s effect in the last sentence.

  3. Gatorbuc15 says:

    I hope Joyner’s right.

  4. John S says:

    I was definitely a Brantley Apologist last year so I hope he’s right. The scheme we ran was horrible, I just hope our line can adjust to all the changes coming. I don’t know if Brantley still has any confidence left. 3rd and 10 with no pass protection and an empty backfield is not the best way to build up your QB.

  5. caligator says:

    …TIME TO SHINE

  6. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    I am also of the opinion Brantley was not the problem and Weis will figure out how to plan around Brantley’s strengths and get the ball into the hands of our playmakers in space

  7. VaGator says:

    For some reason, I have major doubts about this…hope I’m wrong

    • tony smith says:

      You’re not alone.

      • G8trpls says:

        ..No, your not.

        • Ken says:

          I agree with KC, I think he was unfairly hit last season. The line really late him down and he was like a scared rabbit in the pocket most of the season, especially thanks to addazzio announcing to the d that we were probably going to pass because brantley was in. this quote says it all ”
          like this are something that should be easily correctable with effective coaching”

  8. tony smith says:

    Yeah — 3 games is certainly a statistical trend! lol. Also, the defense kept us in the games — even the Alabama blowout. We held them to less yardage than we gained. So, there was definitely a problem on offense. Brantley was not “the” problem, but he was “a” problem. Let’s see if the new coaches think he was simply misunderstood.

  9. jay d says:

    Lucky 4 brantley…he gets a fresh start with a new staff (most qb’s have to transfer 4 that)..there is no doubt he has potiential….its going to all come down to …is he naturally a competitive person/mentally tough enough to overcome 2010…my bet is he does just enough to keep the starting spot…

  10. GatorCooken says:

    New coaching and new schemes won’t provide the heart and leadership that Johnny B. just didn’t show last year. Let’s hope this offseason something clicks in his mind. Senior QB, time to step up!

  11. Zooker says:

    Are you kidding me?!?! Guys this is Brantley we’re talkimg about here, it probably will take the first pass that he throws next year (probably a pick) to remind you that this guy doesn’t have the make-up to change or turn around anything… Better off on a farm shoveling manure and fishing with kin..

  12. St Aug Sailor says:

    Adam,

    Phil Steele posted Las Vegas’s analysis of the 2011 season.

    Gator fans are going to like this.

    http://blog.philsteele.com/2011/02/14/odds-to-win-2011-12-bcs-national-championship/

    • Mr2Bits says:

      The FSU coddling makes me want to puke. That fact that they are even talking NC for them is ridiculous. They were a 60 yard field goal against Maryland from not even going to the ACC championship last year. I saw ESPN put them at pre-season number 3 and can’t wait to see them crumble like they have for the last decade.

  13. Mr2Bits says:

    Statistics look good on paper but I remember terrible decisions, check downs to the flat when the deep guy was wide open, over-thrown balls (practically every middle depth pass) and passes he just awfully threw to the other team(see Penn ST play number one). I sure hope he can turn things around but his leash is much shorter this year. Those nudes pics of Urban and Adazzio together won’t work for him this year. He has two young guns chomping at the bit and Boom will not hesitate to show Brantley the pine if he makes the decisions he made last year.

  14. Gator289 says:

    I really think the game at this level is to fast for Brantley. With 2 QB’s coming in he’ll need to really excel in spring to keep his job I was really pumped up about him when he came to the Gator Nation but disappointed in his over all performance last year. P.S. thank god addazzio is gone.

    • Oldflyer says:

      I love your critique. I am really impressed by critics who cannot spell or type complex words such as “too”. Maybe your keyboard at this level is too fast for you.

      • Tim says:

        Your personal attack on this guy doesn’t make his point less valid. The fact that you have to turn to a personal attack demonstrates to me that you have no truly valid response. We get it, you think Brantley is the second coming, now please allow others to have their own opinions without trying to personally attack them.

  15. Oldflyer says:

    Still amazed at the hate for JB. Obviously, neutral observers see things different from most of you.

    The article clearly states–if you bothered to read–that the statistics were chosen because they represented his performance before the three headed aberration began. They were also against three teams with excellent defenses–but admittedly after the travesty of the center snaps had been at least partially resolved.

    Why can’t people just shut up and see how it plays out? If he bombs next year, you can giggle and say “I told you so all along”; but in the meantime shouldn’t Gator fans give a dedicated Gator a chance?

    • Well…Joyner said he chose those three games because of the defense. I simply added that were all played before the changes at QB occurred.

      • Oldflyer says:

        I think that is a valid observation. Even knowledgeable TV announcers, like Danielson, repeatedly commented on how the rotation scheme created a very poor, if not impossible, climate for JB to perform in.

        Clearly, the first task for Weis is to restore JB’s confidence. I do not question that it was badly shaken by the events of the past season.

        • Tim says:

          I don’t understand why you are referencing the thoughts of guys like Joyner or Danielson to make an argument for Brantley’s play last year. Say what you want, the two guys who were paid to win ball games, were fairly successful for the Gators as coaches (even with Chris Leak). They saw the guy play in every game and every day in practice. They evaluated every game film and did not think enough of him to stick with him as the starter. Further, they did not defend him to his critics. They defended Pouncy and Meyer defended Adazio, I didn’t see them go out of their way to defend Brantley. I also didn’t see the new coach, when he was hired, go out of his way to ensure Brantley didn’t transfer. None of his comments to the media regarding Brantley were that warm.

          So, let’s hope the kid steps up this year and kicks butt. But let’s not pretend like he was a great player stuck in a bad situation last year. That’s bologna. Nobody thought he was stuck in the wrong offense when he was mopping up for Tebow in 2009 and racking up all kinds of stats. Unfortunately as the “man” he didn’t perform as well. Let’s hope that’s behind him, time to move on and see what happens.

  16. Tim says:

    As Raheem Morris says, “Statistics are for Losers! You worry about statistics, I’ll worry about wins.”

    PLEASE Brantley turn it around next year. I’m begging you. Because despite what Joyner is saying about what he sees on paper, I saw you play on the field. It wasn’t good. Study young man study because you’ll have no excuses next year.

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