Coaches stay late to rework red zone offense

There is no secret that the Florida Gators are struggling in the red zone. The only question that remained was when head coach Urban Meyer was going to finally admit it. After Saturday night’s game in Starkville, MS, there was no hiding the Gators’ struggles in that area any more. And while Meyer admitted there are issues, he put the blame on the shoulders of the coaching staff rather than the execution of the players.

Meyer said the coaching staff would address the offensive struggles on the plane ride home. While there is no way of telling if that actually took place, the coaching staff spent an all-nighter in the football offices watching every red zone snap of the season, breaking them down and deciding what to do with the offense. “We started reworking the red zone,” Meyer said. “We grinded last night with our red zone. We evaluated every snap.”

More after the jump…

“What we’re finding out is it’s not play-calling. We’ve got to hold to the plan,” he continued. “Sometimes we’re making calls that are not on our call sheet. That’s my fault. We’re going to stick to the call sheet. We’re going to do a better job with the call sheet.”

Considering the Gators have scored only an embarrassing two touchdowns in their last 15 trips inside the red zone (with three turnovers inside the 10 and a pick-six), something needs to be done. Two prevailing fixes seem to be at the forefront of consideration.

First, hand the ball off to running back Emmanuel Moody. Florida’s most powerful runner outside of Tebow, Moody has found plenty of success up the middle but has yet to touch the ball in the red zone in 2009. What about running more I-formation? Tebow was supposed to be learning how to play from under center and RB Chris Rainey scored from that formation last week.

Yet Meyer was vague on both options. “We are having that discussion,” he said about utilizing Moody; “that might be a little more part of our plan,” he added about inserting the I-formation. No matter what the Florida coaching staff chooses to do, it better be something – and fast.

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