11/8: Urban Meyer’s Monday press conference

By Adam Silverstein
November 8, 2010

Head coach Urban Meyer and a small group of players meet with the media each Monday before the Florida Gators compete in a game the following Saturday. OGGOA has compiled some of the most important notes and quotes from the event this week.

SUNDAY FUNDAY = BLUE-OUT SATURDAY

During his weekly Florida Football with Urban Meyer post-game program on Sunday, Meyer looked back at the team’s victory against the Vanderbilt Commodores with great pride – especially for the fans. “Gator Nation covered that stadium. We came rolling in there at 9:00 in the morning – orange and blue everywhere,” he said. “I even heard one of our players say, ‘You know you took over a stadium when they’re doing the wave’ – the orange and blue people. It was great, and I want to thank them.

“This team – we’re not a great team – but we’re getting better, getting better in all areas. I admire guys that fight, show toughness, come together as a team and give everything for their university. I’ve never really done this, but I want to make this the most intense stadium in the history of Florida football this Saturday. This is for the SEC [East] Championship. Get there early. I want everybody to wear blue – head-to-toe – including our players. Let’s make this one of those ones, when you get those great books about Florida Gator history, let’s put this down in there as one of the great weekends in Florida football history.

“November in Gainesville playing for a championship, this is why we’re all here. Once again, I’m going to go on record – I want this to be the most intense week in Florida football history. Let’s wear blue, let’s make this place nuts, let’s have a lot of fun with this, and let’s show up and make this one of the ones you put this right in the history books as one of the great days in Florida football history.”

STATUS / INJURY UPDATES

Discussing Saturday that freshman defensive tackle Dominique Easley was basically in the coaching staff’s doghouse and did not travel with the team to Vanderbilt, Meyer said Monday that he is still with the team but “has got to do things we ask him to do” in order to get back involved. He is confident that everything will be worked out in the end.

» Junior running back Jeff Demps – will play Saturday, how much is not yet known
» Redshirt sophomore DT Jaye Howard – “promising” that he will be able to play
» Redshirt sophomore left tackle Matt Patchan – seeing a specialist on his wrist due to an ongoing problem, likely out for the season
» Junior kicker Caleb Sturgis – out

CHAMPIONS

Meyer announced Monday that 18 Gators had earned the designation of Champions after Saturday’s win over the the Commodores. Offensively, Meyer named redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed as his most valuable player along with redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey, freshman quarterback Trey Burton, redshirt sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr., senior center Mike Pouncey, redshirt junior WR Deonte Thompson, redshirt senior tackle Marcus Gilbert, redshirt senior guard Maurice Hurt, redshirt junior fullback Steven Wilks, sophomore RB Mike Gillislee, freshman TE Gerald Christian and redshirt freshman G Jonotthan Harrison as his champions. On the defensive side of the ball, freshman DT Sharrif Floyd won the MVP award, while redshirt freshman linebacker Jelani Jenkins, redshirt senior DT Terron Sanders, redshirt sophomore defensive end Lerentree McCray, redshirt senior linebacker A.J. Jones and senior LB Brandon Hicks were champions.

Rainey also earned the Southeastern Conference‘s Special Teams Player of the Week award for his two blocked punts against Vanderbilt.

LEAK > SPURRIER?

When discussing redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley on Monday, Meyer said as an aside that former starter Chris Leak was one of the top three signal callers in school history. Asked to evaluate that statement later, Meyer said, “I go champion – champion – champion,” when judging quarterbacks, rather than worrying about who has won the Heisman Trophy. That puts Leak over current South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier…at least in Meyer’s book.

QUOTES (After the break…)

Meyer on Rainey (Sunday): “Chris Rainey hit rock bottom – we all know that, and we’re not ashamed to say that. Chris Rainey is a young man who put in a lot of time here, and a lot of effort, and who basically put his health on the line here at the University of Florida. Chris is like a son to me and he hit rock bottom, is coming up and is going as hard as he possibly can right now.”

Meyer on Reed (Sunday): “Jordan Reed – he’s our big back now. He’s a 240 lb. back that can also throw the ball.”

Meyer on the QBs (Sunday): “[The offensive staff has] three quarterbacks ready to play – all capable of throwing, two very capable of running and Johnny [Brantley]’s the quarterback at Florida. We have to do a better job protecting him early in the game. Last week and this week [we gave up] early sacks, and we can’t do that to our quarterback.”

Meyer on pressure on Brantley early in game: “Superman couldn’t get out of that rush.”

Meyer on Hammond: “If I’m Frankie Hammond’s parents, I’m pretty impressed right now.”

Meyer on Floyd: “Sharrif Floyd’s playing like we thought he would play. Wish it would’ve happened a little earlier but – true freshman.”

Meyer on McCray: “He’s a young man who just does things right.”

6 Comments

  1. npgator says:

    I thought that Powell should be graded out as Champion – he was all over the place and making great plays.

  2. npgator says:

    That is what I thought -thanks Adam.

  3. David says:

    Floyd is a BEAST!!! Man, I hope Easley can turn it around. I really don’t get why we are not recruiting better this year. We are losing 4 O-linemen — Pouncy, Hurt, Gilbert, and Johnson — plus AJ Jones, Hicks, Sanders, Antwine, Marsh, Lemmens, Trattou, Carl Moore, Ahmad Black, Moody, Moses Jenkins Janoris Jenkins (junior def leaving), etc … and it could also be Will Hill and Rainey. Anyway, we are playing better and hopefully recruits will notice. This year needs to be a building block for the future

  4. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Adam, any info on the rumor that Auburn officials believe Meyer initiated the New York Times story about Cam Newton? Finebaum and Pat Dye are both making pretty strong comments about Meyer being the catalyst for the story due to sour grapes?! I personally cannot see any motive for Meyer to get involved – we could not gain at all by having Auburn vacate their wins this season, should there be any substance to the story…your thoughts?

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