Could Sanford be in, Addazio one-and-done?

By Adam Silverstein
November 17, 2009

The No. 1 Florida Gators averaged 28 points per game against Southeastern Conference regular season opponents in 2009, yet one of the hottest topics surrounding the team going into its final few games is its offensive struggles and need to open up the playbook. Much has been made of the drop-off in scoring (UF averaged 45 PPG in the same eight games in 2008), and critics are mostly attributing it to the playcalling and preparation provided by offensive coordinator Steve Addazio (compared to that of Dan Mullen) as well as the loss of wide receivers Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy to the NFL. Couple that with Tebow’s struggles and inconsistency from the offensive line, and you have the crux of the issue at hand.

News coming out of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Sunday night divulged that Rebels’ head coach Mike Sanford had been fired from his post. Compiling just a 15-43 record in his five seasons with the team, Sanford was initially considered a major coup for the program after serving as Urban Meyer‘s offensive coordinator for two years with the Utah Utes. During his time at Utah with Meyer, Sanford’s offense averaged 43.3 points per game, made quarterback Alex Smith a Heisman Trophy finalist (and eventual No. 1 overall pick) and led the team to a 21-2 overall record including a BCS Tostitos Fiesta Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers.

More on Sanford’s firing and a potential reunion with Meyer after the jump…

A coach for 27 years, Sanford has also served as an assistant with the USC Trojans, Note Dame Fighting Irish, Stanford Cardinal, Purdue Boilermakers and San Diego Chargers in the NFL. Everything is speculation at this point, but if you combine the fact that Mullen has now received a head job of his own, Sanford is jobless and Meyer may very well be seeking to improve his offense before the 2010 season, bringing back his old offensive coordinator seems like it could/should at least be a consideration.

Of course, there are extenuating circumstances. Meyer may not want to disrupt the coaching staff he has complied, possibly angering wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales who was passed over for the coordinator gig after Mullen left. Would Addazio be amenable to giving up the duties he was recently assigned and returning to just coaching the offensive line? Would any Florida recruits who have fortified a strong relationship with Addazio be angered over a switch after they (potentially) have already committed?

Maybe Meyer could hire Sanford as a co-coordinator in order to calm any or all of these issues. That would allow him to concentrate on calling plays from the booth (something Addazio has been averse to attempting), while Addazio remains on the field as the offense’s “general.” Just something to think about and discuss.

8 Comments

  1. O-town Gator says:

    With so many rumor mills spinning and little-to-no substance coming off them, I take things like these with a grain of salt – more like :”I’ll believe it when I see it”.

  2. Well the thing to realize here is that I am not trying to start a rumor. Just providing commentary on a potential situation that could arise at season’s end. Something that seems like it has the ability to work out for all parties involved.

  3. O-town Gator says:

    Oh, I understand. Nowadays in the Internet age, this stuff gets out within a matter of minutes.

    It’s hard to predict what could happen at season’s end; the coaching carousel has already been set in motion and there could be many personnel changes at the end of the season. Steve Addazio was a possible candidate for a head-coaching position last year, and there very well could be another assistant moving on as well.

  4. Mr2Bits says:

    I love it. The quicker Adazzio is out the better and believe you me, he has not forged any relationships with any recruits, he sucks.

  5. Mr2Bits says:

    Forgot to add, it’s clear that Adazzio cannot do either of his jobs this year. Florida’s O-line who is the same as last year, has given up more sacks 2 games ago than the entire season last year and I’m sure there are another 10-15 left in the tank before the end of this year. The only difference is he’s calling plays so it makes you wonder if he let the coaching of the O-line go to shit because his focus has shifted? Either way, this experiment needs to end.

  6. Aligator says:

    yeah and his old coordinator from bowling green would be an option too. i think he will do what it takes to open up the offense and bring in someone who knows what he is doing, i think this is an excellent article. if strong leaves, mccartney will d coordinator…

  7. Aligator says:

    too funny, i actually quoted on this … good heads up …

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