Gators spring scrimmage news and notes – 03/27

By Adam Silverstein
March 29, 2010

With the Florida Gators 2010 spring practice now in full swing, there is plenty of newsworthy information around the program. Rather than publishing it all in long form, OGGOA thought it would be best to lay it out piece-by-piece. We continue this series with a look at a team scrimmage from Sat., March 27.

Absences/Injuries:
» Senior offensive linemen Mike Pouncey, Carl Johnson, Marcus Gilbert and Maurice Hurt all sat out, leaving the line thin and easy to attack for the defense. It should be no surprise that the defensive unit “won” the scrimmage.

» Senior cornerback Moses Jenkins continues to work opposite junior Janoris Jenkins as redshirt sophomore Adrian Bushell sits out on a team-mandated suspension. He will join the rest of the team in practice when he gets his grades up and meets head coach Urban Meyer’s specifications. In his stead, redshirt sophomore Jeremy Brown is the one fighting with M. Jenkins for the starting job.

Scrimmage happenings:
» Redshirt junior John Brantley and freshman Trey Burton were the quarterbacks for the scrimmage – each was hurried and out of rhythm, rushing passes and feeling the pressure of the defense.

» Freshman safety Matt Elam picked off and returned a pass from Brantley for a touchdown as he got a lot of time with the first-team defense. It was his most impressive day of practice thus far.

» Matching Elam’s performance and also working with him on the first team was freshman CB Jaylen Watkins, who intercepted a pass from Burton that went through redshirt freshman wide receiver Stephen Alli’s hands.

» Alli continues to shine out wide and could see significant playing time this season even though he has a handful of veterans in front of him, including five who are scheduled to get the most game action.

» One of those five, redshirt junior WR Chris Rainey, is said to be picking up the receiving portion of the playbook quite well even though some were worried about his ability to get it all down. Rainey is becoming a reliable target for Brantley and could impact this team more significantly than some initially expected this season.

» Redshirt freshman QB Jordan Reed got the start at tight end with the first team.

Interesting quotes:
» Brantley on his group of wide receivers: “I know how a lot of these guys run. I trust all of them, right now. They’re doing a great job, getting better every day, and we just keep improving. [Rainey’s] a fast dude. He’s starting to learn all of the routes, and he’s going to be a big playmaker for us this year.”

» Brantley on not having a true backup right now and senior punter Chas Henry getting some work as a passer (from Friday): “Chas isn’t bad. I know he played QB in high school. He hasn’t lost too much of his throwing agility. He can spin it. It does [show] that I need to stay healthy. But the young guy behind me, Trey, is doing very well for a freshman. He’s attaining a lot of knowledge. He’s making progress every day and that’s what you want to see out of your young guys.”

» Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio on Burton’s play (from Friday): “Trey is a really good runner and I think that Wildcat package is realistic for him kind of like we did for Tim [Tebow] when Tim broke in here. He’s working real hard at that. That gives us that package we like to run – the read option, the quarterback runs. I think he’s really done a nice job throwing it, too. He’s really progressing. I think Trey has done a good job of picking things up. I’m really encouraged, honestly. He’s ahead of where we thought he’d be right now. He’s obviously a sharp guy and football is really important to him. He’s a real conscientious guy. Watching him out there, I think he’s going to be a heck of a football player, I really do.”

» Addazio on quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler saying he throws a good ball (from Friday): “Loeffler thinks he throws it better than [Henry]. That Loeffler is an awful athlete.”

» Addazio on how the offense will change this year: “It’s going to be different. We were an option football team a lot last year. We’ll still run option football, but you’ll see those Tim carries will be divided up amongst tailback carries and throws, so that makes you different for sure. […] I know what the offensive line will be. I’m not worried about the offensive line. […] It’s a matter of getting a good working package together. Can we throw it? Heck yeah. Can we run block? Heck yeah. Do we have good tailbacks? Yes. I think we’ve got to find that package, and then we’ve got to find that tight end. That’s not a little piece, that’s a big piece right there.”

» Co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chuck Heater on Brown’s play since his recovery: “You wouldn’t know he had a [back] problem, which is great. That’s the way you like it, but it was a significant issue for him for a couple years, so we just keep hoping that it’s not going to be an issue and he keeps playing the way he’s playing because he’s really done a nice job.”

Special thanks to The Gainesville Sun and the Palm Beach Post for the above quotes.

2 Comments

  1. Who was in there playing center… there were a lot of drops and bobbled snaps in that video.

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