Wuerffel’s Words: Talent is “cream of the crop”

By Adam Silverstein
September 14, 2010

For the entire month of September, former Florida Gators national championship- and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel will be contributing his post-game thoughts about how the team performed the previous Saturday exclusively here on OGGOA at the beginning of each week.

The 1996 winner of eight football and academic awards, Wuerffel has a unique perspective as a four-year player at Florida who passed for 10,875 yards and 114 touchdowns in his college career. Enshrined in the team’s Ring of Honor in 2006 and set to be immortalized in a statue outside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in 2010, he is now the executive director of Desire Street Ministries, which works to revitalize impoverished neighborhoods through spiritual and community development.

“The victory usually goes to the one who can keep his head clear when everything seems to be falling apart.” — Mike Ditka

Actually, I heard Coach Ditka say those words in person, and the quote above is actually my paraphrased version of what he said – his language was a bit more colorful.

As I’ve watched this very young and talented Gator team play two games, there are plenty of things that seem troubling. But there are a lot of things that I’m very impressed with as well. The athleticism and the raw size and speed of the players clearly show how effective the recruiting has been – these guys are the cream of the crop.

While the defense has given up some yards, they are making big plays. Turnovers are game-changers, and Florida has forced a lot of them. Johnny Brantley continues to impress me with his decision-making and accuracy. Jeff Demps is outstanding, and I think the Gators have several other skill players ready for breakout performances.

But, in line with the quote from my first NFL coach, I’ve been most impressed with UF’s ability to NOT PANIC when things have looked really bad.

I can’t stress how important this is, especially for a young team. While many of us fans have cringed, hollered or maybe even used some of our own colorful language during the first two games, Urban Meyer and this team seem to have kept their focus – and it really showed in the second half on Saturday.

I’m looking forward to the Tennessee game this weekend, and I’m especially excited to see this team come together. Let’s hope Coach Ditka is right.

Go Gators,

By joining together people from all walks of life who are interested in redeeming the inner-city, Desire Street Ministries believes that they are bringing together leaders who actually move into the neighborhood, indigenous leaders who already live there, and neighbors who “move in” spiritually through prayer, encouragement and financial support. Please take a moment to visit Desire Street Ministries online or in person and find out how you can help support and/or donate.

8 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    “Urban Meyer and this team seem to have kept their focus”

    This is the most telling analysis I have found about the 2010 Gators, they will be in games until the last seconds of the fourth quarter. The Gators can go far in the SEC with this type of focus and resolution to play games out until the end.

    Another thing is the talent and desire are definitely indicative of a team on the rise. This team will continue to grow and will have a different identity each week as the season progresses. The absence of Tim Tebow, Riley Cooper and Aaron Hernandez allows us to truly empty the cupboards in search of playmakers and as Danny stated the cupboards are full at Florida. Chemistry will develop and will once again spawn success for us ala 2006.

    Oh and the O-line can be something really special this year. D too.

  2. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Great post Danny. I completely agree with your assement of the team.

  3. Gatormiami says:

    Danny’s right as far as it goes, but he doesn’t get into what happens when the Gators “cream of the crop” talent comes up against another program that attracts the same class of talent? Just like last year when the Gators struggled vs much less talent… they eventually ran up against a team of similar, not superior, athletes. We all know what happened in Atlanta. An unprepared team of underachievers was embarrassed by Alabama… and it wasn’t even that the players were such underachievers, but the team certainly was! How did that happen?

    The Gators lost their Offensive Coordinator, Dan Mullen. He was the guy who had directed the offensive play of each of Urban Meyer’s successful seasons as a head coach, including 2 Championships at UF. Did Urban do a nationwide search to replace his great OC, to assure that the Gator’s would continue to have the top offensive leadership? NOPE! He chose to replace him with his offensive line coach. This offensive line coach has proved that he’s incapable of dealing with the intricacies of the total offense. Steve Addazio may be a terrific O-Line coach, but he is lost on the sidelines as the OC.

    I guess my only question would be…. Why can’t Urban Meyer see what is so obvious to many of us? (I’ll tell you a secret. When Urban resigned last winter & after the shock wore off…. I was content. I believed that Mullen would return to UF as head coach and certainly replace Addazio and continue Gator successes.) Sorry Urbanites!

  4. SacramentoGator says:

    Gatormiami,

    Keep the secret to yourself.

  5. G8rgr8 says:

    These type of games will make us “underdogs” Oct. 2nd. We are the most “Dangerous” team in the country as the underdog… ala Ohio State 2006 (“The greatest team ever put together”) and Florida State 1996 (We didn’t have a chance). Doubt us and we will beat you BAD!!!!! Go Gators! Danny u are in the hearts of Gator nation always and forever!

  6. npgator says:

    Danny – it is great having you as part of the Gator family!

  7. SC Gator says:

    As much as I’d love nothing more then to smack Addazio upside his head, the offensive struggles the last two weeks aren’t a matter of playcalling. When you keep it that bland – something Florida typically does the first two games, even under Mullen – and still have issues then it’s hard to argue that the playbook needs to be opened even more.

  8. JimmyG8TR says:

    Danny:

    Perhaps the strengthening of the O Line and a few more catches by the WRs could upgrade UF this week.

    Go Gators..!! 🙂

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