11/15: Urban Meyer’s Monday press conference

By Adam Silverstein
November 15, 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.

STAFF/PERSONNEL EVALUATIONS

Though Meyer said that, like every year, he will evaluate his staff and team members at the appropriate time (read: end of the season), he also made it a point that there is still plenty of year left and the No. 1 objective at this point is to win games for the seniors as well as the rest of the team. “We’re into solutions, not blame and not excuses,” he said. “We need to get this place back to where we need to get it.”

Asked if he believed offensive coordinator Steve Addazio would be removed from his current position with different responsibilities next year, Meyer said the following: “I don’t think that will happen. I’m not into blame, I’m not into excuses, we’re into solutions. Right now the solution is somehow have a great Tuesday and Wednesday. I know that’s a coach-speak answer, especially around here, but that’s what we do.”

ENERGY VOID AT ISSUE IN GAINESVILLE

All season, through the close wins and losses, Meyer along with his coaching staff and players discussed “execution” as the main issue. Things changed on Monday with everyone talking about a lack of energy on a game-to-game basis. “I don’t see an offense full of life. I don’t see a lot of energy,” Meyer said. “That’s one thing as a head coach that concerns me. That’s all personnel based and success based. […] We’re a staff that believes energy equals production.”

“We have energy givers on the team, but it’s a collective effort,” senior center Mike Pouncey added later. “When you have one or two guys giving energy on the field, it turns out like that. […] [Our team has] guys that just drift away during the course of a game.”

BRANTLEY IS THE QUARTERBACK AT FLORIDA

Contrary to what many may think hope, redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley will remain the Gators’ signal caller now and for the foreseeable future. “He’ll start at quarterback for Florida this weekend,” Meyer said. “We have to do a better job in a lot of areas and to say it’s all our quarterback – that’s not fair – and that won’t be said. Obviously our team wouldn’t say that. […] We have to raise the level of play around him.”

Though the roles of freshman QB Trey Burton and redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed behind center will expand, Brantley is the starter and will likely remain that way through 2011. He has not raised any issue with being replaced for option plays, and that is likely what will continue happening the rest of his time in the orange and blue.

MEYER PANICKED EARLY ON SATURDAY

Meyer also put the onus on himself for how the team performed once it was down 15-7 to the South Carolina Gamecocks. He said that – as he tends to do – he panicked and that resonated throughout the entire team. Instead, Meyer believes they should have stuck to the offensive game plan (using three QBs, hurry-up offense) rather than putting the ball mostly in Brantley’s hands with the thought that the team had to throw to get out from behind a deficit.

Because the team did not get into a rhythm, Meyer said the up-tempo was ineffective. The team could not gain any yardage on first down – leading to too many 3rd down and longs – and it went away from utilizing Burton simply because he was shut down early by South Carolina’s run defense.

QUOTES (After the break…)

Meyer on the seniors: “We have 23 seniors. We have five that left last year and they’re all playing in the NFL. We have two that already graduated, eight will graduate in December and all the others are on schedule to graduate. Sometimes that takes a hit when these guys take off in the spring to go to these combine preparation camps that they do, but we’re pushing it real hard. I have great confidence that they all at some point will have a degree from the University of Florida.”

Meyer on personnel changes: “Well, the head coach will be back next year. I can’t say that, I hope I am. I’m going to do the best I can to get this thing back at the elite level which we all expect.”

Meyer on freshman DT Dominique Easley’s status with the team: “He is back on the team and practicing. As of Monday, I wouldn’t say resolved, but he’s doing well in the classroom and working hard.”

Meyer on the offense line not playing well: “That’s one of several concerns we’ve had. To say we’ve lost confidence in the offensive line is very incorrect because so many things go into it. So once again this is not about excuses or problems or blame, it’s about coming up with solutions as fast as we can.”

Meyer on the offense: “Offense is the area of our prime concern right now. We’re pushing every button possible to get that fixed.”

Meyer on what is lacking: “There’s a void in our team right now – somewhere. I’m trying to figure out what it is.”

Meyer on if not having a running QB means the spread won’t work in the SEC: “On a national level – you have to have that thread.”

Meyer on the maturity of senior safety Ahmad Black: “One of the best I’ve ever been around as far as a football player and a leader.” Meyer also compared him to guys like Major Wright, Ryan Smith, Brandon Spikes and Ryan Stamper in that regard.

– Meyer also said that Florida, as a team, is high-energy and that all five guys who graduated/declared last year had that. It was not replaced fully this season.

61 Comments

  1. Ken says:

    Do you really think a leader like Urban hasn’t taken them to task as much as he can? And how can you blame Brantley? When he has had time to make the throws, he has made the throws. This is like Tebow last year. Everyone complained about him holding on to the ball too long, but the fact is, the last 2 years, pass protect has been suspect to say the least. The interesting thing I heard was during the Vandy game when the SEC announcers noticed that everytime it was a run play the offense was in 3 pt stance whereas passing plays they were standing, so they were basically showing the defense pass or run before every play. Against any real defense this will always give the defense an advantage, and could be part of our offensive issues.

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