OGGOA had the opportunity to participate in Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer’s Southeastern Conference teleconference on Wednesday (we will be doing so every week). Below are some notes from the event:
» Meyer said junior running back Jeff Demps is no longer wearing a boot previously placed on his sprained foot. Demps is listed as Probable for the Alabama game, and Meyer hopes he will be able to practice in full Thursday and Friday.
» Asked about redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey’s status with the team, Meyer said it is unchanged. “I haven’t even thought about it because our focus is on Wednesday’s practice,” he said. “At the appropriate time I’ll sit down and have that discussion. But that’s certainly not now.” He added that while arrests used to bother him a great deal, he realizes there is only so much he can do to curb them. “I have [lost sleep over them] in the past. I haven’t now, recently,” he said. “Someone makes a very stupid decision, there’s a terrible consequence for it. That’s all we can do. I used to lose a lot of sleep over that.”
» The subject was brought up about whether or not Alabama has become one of Florida’s main rivals. Meyer dismissed that notion, saying when he decided to coach the Gators he was told about three rivalries: Florida State, Georgia and Tennessee. “I haven’t given it any thought,” Meyer said. “We’re not going to put a board downstairs like we [do] for the rivals.”
» Meyer credited defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Teryl Austin with helping further develop CBs junior Janoris Jenkins and redshirt sophomore Jeremy Brown during the offseason. He also said that football and reputation are two very important things to Jenkins, which is why he respects him so much.
“[Jenkins] came in here as one of the best workers we’ve ever had as a true freshman,” Meyer said. “He and Jeremy Brown came in and stole the show. Jeremy went through a back injury and is now coming out of it. Janoris went through a very good freshman year and kind of an average second year, pretty good, but nothing like it is now. Coach Austin has done a very good job with him. Some of these guys around here get a certain feeling of status when they play very well, and I don’t see that with Janoris. I saw that a little bit last year.”
Opening statement: “We have our hands full this week with the most talented team in the country.”
On Florida’s last loss at Alabama: “I remember we had a very bad team and we didn’t play well.”
On redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley’s progression: “I thought he’s done well. I thought we obviously looked awful in the first game, made some improvements in the second game, by the third game made some more improvements first time on the road. And then the fourth game, I thought he played really well.”
On his winning expectations upon taking the Gators job: “I thought you could win or I never would have moved my family across the country. I never put a number on it.”
Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban also spoke Wednesday.
On Florida: “[They are] probably the most successful team in our league … the last 3-4 years.”
On Meyer: “I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for Urban Meyer, what he’s been able to accomplish as a coach, probably more than anybody in the country – his head coaching career in the last 7-8 years. Schematically they do a really good job, they’re always well-prepared for what they do. He’s a diligent worker. I think he cares about college football and college football players and that’s why he was interested in being involved in the agent deal to make things better for college football and college football players. I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for him from that standpoint.”
On what Meyer has done right: “Consistency and performance is really the basis of success. You can have one good team one year, but to do it year in and year out and be dominant as they have been, I think that’s the ultimate respect that anyone deserves in terms of having a successful program.”
On freshman QB Trey Burton:: “I think he certainly did a lot of things in the last game, he’s obviously being a quarterback when he gets into quarterback position and runs the quarterback runs not dissimilar to what [Tim] Tebow did. He certainly has the speed and quickness and size to be very good at that. … just looks like one of those smart instinctive guys that, no matter how they use him, he seems to be having success.”
On why Alabama and Florida are successful: “I can’t really speak for their program, I know they have a lot of good players and great staff and do a good job of coaching. I would like to think our success here is attributed to having a good program, having a good staff, having a lot of good players that we’re able to develop not only as football players but character and attitude that … [make them good] students as well.”
On not hiring Meyer as an assistant coach in the past: “It was when I went to [coach] Toledo. I really kind of messed that one up. He called my house and talked to Teri. Teri really interviewed him, that’s my wife. She told me when I came home that night. Of course, I think I was coaching the Houston Oilers and [was] trying to finish the season and hire a staff and be a head coach. She said, ‘Boy this really interesting guy called and really sounded like a top-notch, bright, articulate [coach]. You really need to talk to this guy. You really need to talk to this guy.’ And it was Urban. I never did in the haste of [taking a new job]. That was one of the obviously biggest mistakes I ever made.”
This post will be updated later Wednesday. Stay tuned.