As the Florida Gators prepare for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party against the No. 22 Georgia Bulldogs on Oct. 29 at a neutral site in Jacksonville, FL, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the bye week and his team’s upcoming contest.
TRANSFERS WERE A SURPRISE
When he learned this week that sophomores tight end Gerald Christian and wide receiver Robert Clark have officially decided to transfer, Weis said that he was quite surprised not only with their decision but the timing of it as well.
“We didn’t lose them. They decided to go,” he said of the duo. “You wish them well and you move on. I think that you can’t ever look at that with young men that are making decisions, that’s the decision they make. You wish them well. You don’t wish bad on anyone. You move on.
“Both of them surprised me, to tell you the truth. They practiced last week every day. You think if you’re going to quit, you quit last week. Why would you go through bye week practice? I know one thing, if I’m bagging it, I’m not going through practice in the bye week. That caught me off guard, let me just say.”
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE BYE WEEK
Weis said the bye week came at a good time for the Gators because the loss at Auburn was relatively unexpected and psychologically deflating. Unlike the previous two weeks, Florida had an opportunity to win the game and simply could not come through.
“Alabama and LSU, they whooped us pretty good. I’m a very straightforward person. Those games really turned out fairly lopsided at the end of the game. That wasn’t the case at Auburn,” he said. “Psychologically it was a good time for a bye. It’s always a good time for a bye physically because you have the walking wounded and then a week later everybody but one guy is listed as a go. Physically a bye is always good, but psychologically I thought it couldn’t come at a better time.”
The Gators should be rolling into Jacksonville with a new motivation this week, something Weis said the coaching staff tried to instill in the team over the last few days.
“In the big picture, you can’t play like you’re a team that is floundering around .500. You got to play like you’re a team that’s looking to run the table. That’s how you got to play,” he said. “Running the table starts with one at a time. The bye week gives you a chance to regroup and to set that mentality along those wavelengths. That’s the way they’re thinking, ‘Let’s just go beat Georgia.’”
OPENING UP THE OFFENSE…IF POSSIBLE
[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]Assuming redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley returns this week, Weis said that he will be able to open the offense back up, which will in turn give the running game a better opportunity to be more consistent. “They’re complimentary. If all of a sudden you’re making some more throws, if they have to start worrying about that more, obviously what you get in return is a lot less guys up front in the running game,” he explained.
Even though Brantley was out of action against Auburn, Weis noted he was pleased with the run-pass distribution even if it seemed like the team did not toss the ball much.
“Actually we threw the ball 30 times the last game. It was about 50-50. The breakdown in the game against Auburn was about 50-50 run-pass. I like to play games about 50-50. At the end of the day, that’s where I’d prefer to be,” he said.
“Usually when you run the ball a whole bunch of times more than you throw it in the game, it means you won by a lot. I think that the last game was about that margin. I would just like to run more plays and make more plays. Making more plays is really what it’s all about because we just haven’t been making enough plays.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» On the Florida-Georgia rivalry and 2007 incident: “I just remember watching that game a few years ago when the 9,000 guys were partying in the end zone. That caught me off guard. I wasn’t here, but I’m sure there’s a lot of people that might remember that. I think I might have seen it once or twice.”
» On winning the Super Bowl at what is now known as EverBank Field: “I can’t go into recruiting stories, but I was on the road I was at a high school that’s looking at that stadium – looking across the river at that stadium. I’m sitting there looking at it and, as I was waiting my hour and 15 minutes for practice to start, I was actually doing a little reminiscing to that time where I thought about that stadium. That was a good day. I would like to have another good day though. That day is history, and I don’t like to live in the past.”
» On his friend and New Orleans head coach Sean Payton’s sideline injury: “What a whimp. [Laughing] Sean’s a friend of mine. I watched his [hit]. In my case, it was on a special teams play and I never would be anywhere near the sideline until after the gunners were past me. The gunners were past me about 10 yards before I stepped up. One of my guys was getting handled pretty handily, and I got hit by guys that were 20 yards behind the play. Usually you have enough common sense to keep your eyes on where the action is so you can avoid most issues. What he did was what we all do…once we call a play, the play is in place. When we see what the outcome of the play is going to be, you’re immediately getting ready to dial up your next play. He was just getting ready to make his next call. He wasn’t expecting to all of a sudden get rolled up on the sideline. It’s dangerous for everyone because there’s not a lot of room on those sidelines. Anyone who is getting ready to make a call is zeroed in on what’s happening next. A play hasn’t even finished yet and you’re getting the next play ready.”[/EXPAND]