Addazio “really jacked up about” Gators in 2010

By Adam Silverstein
April 28, 2010

Flying into West Palm Beach, FL, for a Gator Gathering with the Palm Beach County Gator Club on Monday evening, Florida Gators offensive coordinator Steve Addazio was anything but tired from a long day’s work. He gave a passionate and informative speech and answered questions for over 90 minutes before departing. Below is a recap of some of the more newsworthy, interesting and passionate things that Addazio had to say during the event:

Check out much of what Addazio had to say Monday…after the break!

NOTES:
– Momentum from winning the 2010 Sugar Bowl “surged” into recruiting, allowing the team to add to its already talent-filled class.
– Excited about redshirt freshman Jordan Reed‘s athleticism and ability to play both tight end and Wildcat quarterback. Joked that people want the team to re-name it “Gator-cat or something.” Also thinks freshman Gerald Christian made great strides.
– Really excited for the emergence of redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson.
– Believes that redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose has a “real dynamic ability.”
– Said freshman WR Robert Clark is one of the most competitive players on the team.
– Freshman QB Trey Burton has “that competitive specialness to him.” Said Tim Tebow had “it,” Donovan McNabb had “it” at Syracuse and Burton has “a lot of that going on.”
– Believes new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has done “a phenomenal job in the spring.” He said head coach Urban Meyer got a glowing recommendation from his “best friend,” Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Billy Davis.
– Mentioned redshirt sophomore Jeremy Brown specifically as the second cornerback across from Janoris Jenkins. Said freshman Josh Shaw impressed but did not mention senior Moses Jenkins at all.
– Plans are for freshman safety Matt Elam to see the field plenty. “Matt [Elam] is something. You will see him game one,” he said.
– Called the linebackers “dynamic” and is really excited to them during games. Singled out sophomore Jon Bostic for his hard-hitting and redshirt freshman Jelani Jenkins as “one of the fastest backers I’ve ever seen. He really goes.”
– The team will use a Wildcat component but certainly not a “two quarterback system” like some have been claiming.
– The fullback will be utilized more this season, especially with the I-formation.
– Redshirt junior WR Chris Rainey is the man when it comes to returning the ball, junior running back Jeff Demps may get a shot as well.
– It’s important to educate the players about new NCAA rules and address them often.
– Team captains: seniors center Mike Pouncey and defensive end Justin Trattou have already been named. Also mentioned senior safety Ahmad Black, Thompson, redshirt senior defensive tackle Lawrence Marsh and, of course, redshirt freshman QB John Brantley as team leaders who could be elevated.

QUOTES:
On the head coaching situation: “[Urban Meyer] is the head football coach of the University of Florida. He is doing great. […] You have the best head football coach in college football. He just loves this place. He’s doing fantastic.”

On what he said to the new assistant coaches upon their arrival: “Take it all in. Understand where you are. There are not a lot of places like here.”

On how the 2010 recruiting class stuck together throughout everything that transpired: “We’re a family. What makes Florida special is not the shovel pass. It looks good. That isn’t it. What makes Florida special is the fact that we’re a family. We believe in each other, take care of each other. It’s not always perfect. We got in a situation where we told our recruits, we got a little issue here in our family, we have to close ranks and take care of each other. I watched a bunch of 17- 18- and 19-year old guys really get that concept. They bought into that and understood that. That recruiting class grew, and it got tight – it got close. Everyone tried to break it apart and splinter it – couldn’t do it. Couldn’t do it! They understood the fact about sticking together, that they were going to a great university. It wasn’t just a great football program. It was a place they are going to be attached to for the rest of their lives.”

On the offensive line: “Best offensive line in college football this year” even with departure of Pouncey.

On the running backs: “Best group of running backs in America […] best combination of backs in America.”

On Demps: “The fastest man in college football … too fast … I can’t even see [him].”

On watching Pouncey get drafted No. 18 overall: Maurkice sent him a text that said, “’Coach, I love you. Thank you for everything.’ You say to yourself, ‘Wow, I’m watching a guy reach his dreams.’”

On junior offensive lineman Matt Patchan‘s future: “Matt Patchan will be ready – absolutely will play tackle and can use him as a blocking tight end in two-tight end sets.”

On Tebow’s intensity: “Tim Tebow would stare down a bear.”

On coaching for Syracuse when they lost 31-10 to Florida in a game played in the Orange Bowl in 1999: “We were down at the beach. […] I was with Teryl Austin, [now] our defensive coordinator, we were jumping on jet skis, came back laughing. [Then I saw] Jevon Kearse. I remember Teryl saying, “Oh man…”

An example of a speech he would give to the offensive unit getting ready to take the field for a walk-through on Friday before a big game: “In the game of football, you got to play with a passion. You have to have an intensity about you and you have to have a passion about you. We’re getting ready to go into the greatest stadium in college football – it’s called The Swamp if you didn’t know. There will be 92,000 people in The Swamp. You get ready to go into The Swamp, you better buckle your helmet a little bit tighter. You better sit you helmet down the top of your head a little bit harder. You wear a helmet that says ‘Gators,’ it’s an orange helmet. And it manes a lot to a lot of people – there has been a lot of history. So when you put it on, make sure you put it on the right way – with a lot of smarts and a lot of heart and a lot of intensity. That’s the way the game is played. And when you go out and play in The Swamp, we are 34-2 in The Swamp, when you go out there and you come back in that locker room, you better be dragged off that field. You better be dragged off the field, you better look in the mirror and say, ‘I left it all on that field. I didn’t leave anything left. There’s nothing in my tank. I laid it on the line for my teammates. I laid it on the line for my school. And I feel great about it. I just had an opportunity to do something people dream about.’ Represent your team with the way you play – how you play the game, your love of the game, how your teammates feel, the passion that you have! Let’s take the field, let’s take down Florida State, and let’s take them down the way it’s supposed to be – with a lot of Gator Pride!”

14 Comments

  1. JvilleJohnny says:

    I love coach Adazzio, but that man is hard to understand sometimes. Just the way he talks. The guy is a very good motivational speaker though.

  2. Imagine having to transcribe 70 minutes of him talking/yelling.

  3. FloridaMITCHELL says:

    LOVE IT!!! This should be a very interesting year, with a lot of younger guys playing big roles. I still think we will win the SEC though….GO GATORS!

  4. Malikg says:

    Holy crap, I see what you meant about Addazio’s pregame speeches, wow…

  5. Bob says:

    Great piece but what the hell’s a Gator-Cat?

    Why not call the Wildcat formation Swamp Thing or something like that?

  6. npgator says:

    The fact that he is so high on the offensive line is extremely important to our success this year.

  7. Bob- Or just a “WildGator” formation…not that the name matters.

  8. ReptilesRule says:

    How about the “G-Gun”. It even sounds kinda cool.

  9. Kevo110% says:

    How does he figure we have the best O-line in college football. I know they’ll be good but pretty much the whole line missed spring practice.

  10. The OL sat out spring practice because they don’t need spring practice. No reason to risk further injury.

  11. G8888rbt says:

    THANKS ADAM

    always great

  12. Daniel M. says:

    In the end, the December hiccups probably helped the team more than it hurt. The troops rallied.

    We need to put a Tebow reference on our Wild-cat plays. The Tim-cat, The T-Gator, The 15-cat…etc…….Wait…the Bow-cat.

    Anybody?

  13. Will W says:

    Adam–thanks this is great. Any mention at all about using Elam on offense? What about the receivers opposite Thompson?

  14. No mention to using Elam on offense – with the number of tailbacks and wide receiver the Gators have, there is really no need to have him play both ways.

    Opposite Thompson will be Moore. Rainey in the slot/Percy position. Then you have Frankie Hammond, Omarius Hines and Stephen Alli…but Chris Dunkley has not been to practice yet. His talent could force him into playing time.

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