11/17: Meyer, Austin, Heater talk about week

By Adam Silverstein
November 17, 2010

OGGOA had the opportunity to participate in Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer’s Southeastern Conference teleconference on Wednesday (we will be doing so every week). Below are some notes from the event along with thoughts from defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and co-defensive coordinator Chuck Heater, both of whom also spoke with the media.

REFUSAL TO THROW PEOPLE UNDER THE BUS IN PUBLIC

The comments sections here on OGGOA have been running wild with readers questioning why Meyer is so supportive of his players and coaches and refuses to discuss their shortcomings with the media. As we opined over the last few days, Meyer said he refuses to drag those on the team through the mud in the public eye, even though they are being held accountable and will be dealt with at the proper time. “I’ve done this for a long time,” he said. “[20]05 was probably the last time I remember that there was a lot of that kind of discussion. Discussion I’m usually not a part of because my obligation is to these football players and to this football team and the staff. All we’re trying to do is win the next game. Obviously there will be accountability because that’s our profession, that’s what we do. To make it public and throw players under the bus or coaches under the bus, that’s not part of our plan.”

DEMPS’ INJURY HAS BEEN DEVASTATING TO PLAYER, TEAM

It was obvious when junior running back Jeff Demps was reported to be injured with a “sprained foot” that Florida would be losing its biggest playmaker for at least a short period of time. But while coaches hoped and gave positive signs that he would be able to return, it is looking more and more like Demps will remain out of action – especially considering he has barely played since the third week of the season.

“He’s got a stress reaction in his foot. He doesn’t practice. It’s just very frustrating,” Meyer said. “Jeff’s a competitor and obviously one of the most talented guys in the country and a guy we need. It’s been hard. He has not been near 100 percent really since the Tennessee game. That was our No. 1 playmaker going into the season. It’s been devastating on all fronts. Any offense you see across the country, take their No. 1 playmaker out of the offense and the blow is going to be severe – especially if you’re not as strong in some areas.”

HEAPING PRAISE ON THE SENIOR SAFETY

With Senior Day on Saturday, Heater and Austin took some time out to discuss senior safety Ahmad Black, how talented he is and how far he has come since joining the program four years ago. Heater, with whom Black has a close personal relationship, was able to speak about him in a more broad sense.

“Anybody who watches football can appreciate the quality player that he is now,” he said. “He came in as a freshman, got hurt early. He was one of those tag-a-long guys out of Lakeland. Too small, too this, too that. The reality is he was really a tremendous player once he had the opportunity to go show it. We’re proud of him, and it’s amazing what he’s accomplished.

“He has always been a great kid. Happy with a smile on his face. He’s grown, he’s matured. He takes care of his business a little bit better than he used to when he was younger. Very accountable guy, which is what you hope happens by the time a guy leaves out of here. You hope he’s learned how to grow and be an accountable guy, and he has been.”

One of the reasons Black will be so successful at the next level is his tackling; in fact, even as a safety, he leads the defense in tackles this season. “I had a pro scout tell me that [he is the best tackler in college football] today,” Heater said. “He’s got a gift for it. He’s an athletic guy. He’s really athletic. […] First off, he’s tough. If a guy doesn’t want to make a tackle, all that other stuff doesn’t really matter. Some guys don’t want to make a tackle. He’s a tough guy. Then it becomes just that ability to weave himself through people and around people and make plays the way he does. He’s extraordinary.”

Austin agrees about Black’s tackling abilities. “Outstanding. One of the best I’ve seen. Outstanding. One of the best. Period. Outstanding,” he said. “He’s a good open field tackler, and when he squares you up, he will hit you. He’s stumped guys. He’s good, he’s really good.”

As for how he will do at the next level? “He looks like a player. He’s not going to pass all the height, weight, speed little contests. But when you put on the film, boy he is a football player,” said Austin, a NFL defensive backs coach for seven years. “It only takes one team to like you, that’s all it takes. And somebody will like him; he’s too good not to like. When you put on the game tape, I’d be hard pressed to find a better safety.”

QUOTES (After the break…)

Meyer’s opening statement: “It’s Senior Day in The Swamp and we’re going to do our very best to send our seniors out a winner against a very good team, a very talented team. We have 23 seniors all on schedule to graduate, two have already graduated and eight will graduate in December. They have done some tremendous things here. Their overall record is 41-10 with two National Championships and two SEC Championships. So we’ll do our best to send them out of here winners.”

Meyer on if he sees a lot of his style in Appalachian State: “Exactly. More in just the style. Coach [Jerry] Moore and I are very good friends. He’s been down here at least three or four times [to watch the team]. I see the way they go after punts. I see the attention to detail on special teams. I see a lot of similarity. I’m proud of him; he’s a heck of a football coach.”

Meyer on if there is a concern the team could lose this week: “Absolutely. I think they can beat a lot of teams. We have great respect for this group and we’re not playing well, so absolutely.”

Meyer on playing freshmen: “A lot of times a recruit won’t come… For example, we had Aaron Hernandez. It was hard for us to go get another Aaron Hernandez as long as we had Aaron Hernandez. And then he leaves early, so that kind of leaves you [empty] a little bit. That’s a catch-22.”

Meyer on playing Demps on Saturday: “If he’s available yes. [Why?] Try to win a game.”

Austin on what sophomore linebacker Jon Bostic must improve on to regain his starting job: “Consistency. He’s really inconsistent right now as a player. You get that by, as you go through the grind, learning how to each week do the same things over and over. Develop a routine and how you’re going to approach each game. Once he does that, that’s when he’ll start to take off. Jon’s got everything you need in a linebacker; he just doesn’t have the consistency right now.”

29 Comments

  1. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Yeah Demps injury has been devastating. And that’s gross understatement.

  2. g8ter27 says:

    Inyerview with Addazio:

    Coach, what is wrong with the O-Line. “Don’t ask me they are not blocking. Their coach is not coaching them up, but i will tell you this:Pouncey will be the first pick in the draft.

    Coach, where has Mack Brown been this year? “Who is that?”

    Coach, what do you think the most glaring problem is with the offense? ‘Hey we had two great weeks of practice before that Vandy game…did you see that game?”

    Coach, do you think we are better with reed or Burton at qb? “Heck no, Johnny is the best qb in the country, he is going to do great at the next level too”

    Coach, what do you plan on doing to tweak this offense? “What? are you kidding me? Why would we change anything”?”

    Coach, did you witness Urban commit murder or something? Could that explainthe loyalty? “Coach has already covered that”

    Coach, could you lay in front of this bus for me?

  3. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Big Thanks to Ahmad for his career at UF…I think pound for pound he is one of the hardest hitters we have ever had….and you could fill up a long high-light film with the big picks (National Championship game for one) and big hits this guys has made over his career…where he goes in the draft will be interesting since he will not have the size most will be looking for but I would bet on this guy being a starter at the next level…he’s got speed, toughness and instincts!!!!!

  4. ziggy says:

    Drew – You are right about Black. He may have won us that National Championship against Oklahoma. That amazing strip/pick he made when they were driving sealed the deal. I still remember the look on Sam Bradford’s face. He knew what that meant.

  5. npgator says:

    If we win out it will still be a good season. After everything that Coach Meyer has accomplished at UF I am almost emberrassed by some of the statements made towards his him this year by Gator Nation. I they think they don’t like to lose mulitply that by a million and that is how much more CM hates to lose. This is a transitional year and we will be back in the hunt really in 2 years.

  6. erng 'n blu says:

    Adam,

    Do you know if there is any truth to that the only reason why that have not officially thrown SA to the wolves is because of what happened when Meyer resigned last year? Supposedly, he had his name out there for a head coaching jobs, namely Syracuse, and Foley told him that they would make him interim HC and then some if he pulled his name out of the hat for Syracuse and all other potential HC jobs. So at of respect for SA’s loyalty, they are proceeding the way that they are because of that? If that is true, Syracuse’s AD is counting his lucky stars that he doesn’t have a http://www.fire[insert name here].com website.

    BTW, whatever happened to Danny commenting on the games this year? I know that there are not alot of positives coming from each week but it was interesting to see his perspective none the less.

    • erng ‘n blu-

      Is there truth to that? Probably. I mean think if you were running a business and you got sick and you told your VP that he would be President and CEO for the summer until you got back. He did a great job over that summer – brought in a bunch of talented new employees, kept the business afloat during what could have been a recession due to lost faith in the President and if he would ever return to the top of the company. Simultaneously, all of your managers leave to join another company and you are forced to have brand new ones integrated into the staff without you being there most of the time. With all of this going on, the Board of Directors gives the VP-turned interim P/CEO a raise and says – “You’ve meant so much to this company and we appreciate you not jumping ship elsewhere when we needed you the most.” Then you come back from your health issue and start working again and things are not the same as you left – all of the new managers are having trouble doing their jobs, some of the new employees are not acclimating the way they should and some of your top employees are sick themselves and forced to miss work leaving you with little consistency.

      Things fall apart. When returning to his VP role after you come back, that person does a sub-par job. Yet if he wasn’t at the helm for the summer, who knows what shape your company would have been in upon your return? Before the fiscal year is over, do you berate him to the Board of Directors, media and other employees? Or do you have his back – realizing how bad things may have gotten without him – and try to figure everything out with your Board of Directors when you make your staff evaluations for the next year?

      —–

      As far as Danny is concerned, he was doing his blogging with us for a limited time. He had some free time at the start of the season and entered into an agreement with us to do “Wuerffel’s Words” through September. He actually did one more week than he was originally scheduled to because the Alabama game was the first week of October. We were going to get him back for the SEC Championship – but that is now a wash. So we are hoping to get him for the bowl game and perhaps again next season. Next year, we will also attempt to have someone else do the weeks Danny doesn’t that way there is commentary for every game. Sound good?

  7. Aligator says:

    npgator – right on! it is not easy to replace the crew that just left us and we will be okay in another season or so.

  8. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Adazzio should not be fired….just bring in a new OC!!!! Meyer just has to find a way to spin that and keep everyone happy

  9. erng 'n blu says:

    Well written analogy. Maybe people will start seeing things differently, maybe not. I by no means am a SA apologist, but after hearing that from a few bull gators and especially how you wrote it, it does make you appreciate what he has done no matter how arrogant he has been. But then again, I probably too would stick up my middle finger to the critics if that was the case.

    Sounds great, keep the hits coming…..

  10. GG says:

    We are in a tough situation here. OC and OL sub par, what do you do? Anyone else would get fired.
    We need a top notch OC to make up for this year. I think we will lose offensive stars in recruiting if he comes back. He is our Jeff Bowden. It took them several years to make a change and look how it set the program back.

  11. zurbo says:

    I wonder why Demps is injured? Could it be because SA sent him up middle 20+ times a game for 1 yard gains????????? f-in moron

  12. g8ter27 says:

    Let Addazio head up recruitng then, and maybe go back to coaching the tight ends…yes there is such a position that we have seemd to forget about this year. Nobody thought this would not be somewhat of a rebuilding year with all the talent gone from last year, but nobody could see just how bad the production from a talented group along with terrible execution and play calling would be either. In your scenario Adam, as CEO I tell the VP “thank you for all you have done in my absence, things have been a bit crazy lately, so go back to doing what you did best and (coaching TE). Remember, this ship was taking on water all last year even at 13-1 when Steve was promoted to his “VP” role. . yes I know, 13-1, but nobody can sit here and say we couldn’t see a problem with the offense last year compared to the previous two. The defense is rebuilding with new people and coaches, the offense has major problems with the play calling. If we are back up in 2 years (and I think we will be) it won’t be with Addazio as the O-coordinator.

    • g8ter27- That is what I would say as well. I’d say keep the raise, take over the recruiting, work with the OL and TEs and make them the best you can. Then I’d bring in an offensive coordinator/play caller unless I felt that Azzanni or Loeffler was ready…though I’ve begun to question Loeffler.

  13. Mr2Bits says:

    The main problem I have with Addazio is his lack of passion, leadership and accountability. He roams the sidelines completely disconnected from his players. UF needs an OC and an o-line coach, these positions should be separated. I cannot recall any other large program who has a coach doing two major roles like this. If teams like USF have an O-line coach with two assistants as well as an OC, we surely can do the same.

    O-line coaches need to be on the sidelines with their guys, OC’s need to be up in a box to clearly see how the defense is scheming against them.

  14. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    I hope he goes outside for OC…Mike Leach sounds good!!!

  15. KM says:

    Urban did have Azzanni help incorporate the hurry-up offense. Maybe that was a “trial-run” in his mind. Although if memory serves me correctly, I thought Addazio took the credit for that after Urban said Azzanni was instrumental in its incorporation. That was a little disappointing to read.

  16. CH says:

    Mr2bits was right on. I think only one other program in college football has the OC coaching the OL as well. I think Foley and Meyer’s loyalty to SA will cause them to put him back on the OL and bring in a OC. I’m hoping for Petrino out of Illinois or the OC up in Louisville that worked with Urban before.
    I’m sick of the ineptness this year. I don’t mind losing when we get beat, but 2 first downs in the first half isn’t getting beat – its called doing nothing. I also understand a “transitional” period with losing the OC 2 years ago and the DC last year, but when we recruit top 5 classes for 5 straight years, I think we should expect better showings that what we have seen.
    I also understand that we lost Demps, but has anyone questioned why Debose isn’t playing more? Wasn’t he touted by rivals.com as the “next percy harvin” – didn’t he show us a glimpse of his talent, yet he’s not involved in the offense at all.
    BTW – I’m not hating on Urban – he’s the MAN, but gatornation needs to see change. 3 home losses in a decade isn’t acceptable, much less in one year.

  17. Joe says:

    We cannot just run out and hire an OC. We are at the maximum number of assistants allowed by the NCAA. If you bring someone in, then somebody else has to go. Whoever you make OC will also have to be a position coach. So if Leach comes in, either Addazzio, Loeffler, White, Drayton or Azzanni would have to leave.

  18. Will says:

    I totally agree with most of the comments so far. Nobody’s even suggested benching Brantley yet thank goodness.
    I agree with your analogy as well, even if loyalty only lasts as long as profit in the business world, I admire Meyer for having it. But he does need to offer Addazio the recruiting coordinator title and place him back with just the ol or te coaching job and even let him keep the assistant head coach title.
    I do take issue with Meyer for one reason though. He says he is not going to throw coaches or players under the bus, yet he consistently does so to the players. He is mostly general about it, but says they lack energy, they’re not executing properly, etc. That is calling the players out. I have yet to hear him say the playcalling is suspect or the kids just weren’t coached very well today. Why is it ok to throw the kids under the bus but not the coaching staff. I still have faith UM will do the right thing and bring in an oc in the offseason. If spring ball arrives and SA is still oc I will then panic.

  19. SaraGator says:

    I thought Meyer statement was sensible. Coaches still have a job to and will be evaluated at the end of season, including Meyer.

    I firmly believe Meyer treats this as a professional business, and he will right this ship.

    Meanwhile… don’t think this season is a wash. We have 3 more games to go, including a big one against FSU.

    Keep in mind….. as bad as this season is, we still beat Tennessee and Georgia. Imagine how they feel that this was their year to beat Florida and couldn’t. Hopefully, FSU is next.

    Go Gators!!!

  20. Scooterp says:

    The calls for Brantley to be benched and replaced by Reed are silly. I’ve seen Brantley play well, Ive seen him execute, I’ve seen him make good decisions…… but I haven’t seen Addazzio coach well, execute or make good decisions. It would be difficult for Tom Brady to run this offense effectively when hes picking his ass up off the ground after every other play. All the play calling is designed to come out of the backfield and they only air it out, in the second half when they’re desperate and have been dominated on the line of scrimmage. The decision to finally throw the ball down field only comes after JB’s arm is ripped out of his socket. The first two series of every game the play calling is like “ground hog day” : Dump it off to Rainey on the screen, option left, option right, 4th and 9, punt…….Then come the Monday morning explainations : “we need to practice harder”, “we just need to find who our play makers are.”………….Sorry coach, I look at your roster that seems to be loaded with 4/5 star players, who all live in the weight room and have 4.4 speed and you can’t find any playmakers? No! We don’t have any playcallers.

  21. HardToKillGtr says:

    Leach wouldn’t work out. Players would have to get rid of their fat girl friends.

  22. G8trpls says:

    REFUSAL TO THROW PEOPLE UNDER THE BUS IN PUBLIC
    ============================================Can someone please throw Addazio under a bus in private, then?

  23. courtney says:

    Erng’ n’ blu, i tried the link it didnt work, id be really interested in reading up on that.

  24. g8ter27 says:

    Scooterp, you are correct aboutthe play calling, andalthogh he is a loyal Gator and probaly a real good guy, Brantley is no where near the right qb for this team. He consistently misses open recivers, panics when there is no need to and just do this thenext game: when he gets pressure and has to scramble (and with this o-line that should be by play 1 or 2) see if he EVER looks up while running to see if a receiver comes free,,,,he doesn’t ever! Great kid, not a great qb.

  25. Gator0802 says:

    Brantley is just not the right qb for a spread option offense thaty relies on a running versatile qb. My bet is that if Brantley was put in a pro-style offense, whose o-line knows how to block for a pocket passer, then he would most likely excel. But that is not the offense run here in G’ville. Coaches said they would tailor the offense to Brantley’s strengths but have done absolutely nothing of the sort. If evryone in the stadium knows a screen pass is going to Rainey on every single first down then I’m pretty sure the other team does as well. As for Addazio, he has struggled since day one. The offense was a struggle all of last year and now has been this year too. If the entire world cans see this then I am sure Urban must see this too. Addazio needs to just step down and handle recruiting and the o-line and we need to go outside the current staff and bring some new blood in here to rejuvenate this putrid offense. What I really, really don’t get most of all is how Reed can come in move the ball a little bit, then Addazio goes right back to Brantley and he gets sacked, then a Rainey screen gets stopped for a loss and we are screwed and punting again. Why can’t Reed be given an entire half to just see what he can do? I am at a loss for words now,……

  26. Swift_Tech says:

    There are more problems than the Dazz calling the plays. We have role players now starting alongside inexperienced freshman, (lemmens trattou aj jones b hicks). NO pash rush what so ever, predictable blitz packages. We miss chuck strong we all know that he is a great dc, but mayber a even better linebacker coach. A pile of injuries,( jenkins demps howard nixon patchan). We havent got many breaks. a q back who is still a freshman pretty much as far as playing time goes.

    That bein said we have talent other coaches would kill for, although i figured we would lose 2-3 games, two losses to ranked teams, 1 loss to a team we should beat, i could never have imagined this. I bragged about how we would reload and how the offense would be better than last year to my friends, …..we should have seen this coming. We pretty much handcuffed the greatest player in UF history last year, we played not to lose instead of to win. Our offense looked pitiful at times will all of that NFL talent. why on earth would we expect for the coaches to turn brantlety loose this bein his first year starting.

  27. GG says:

    The last 2 comments say it all. Need some new blood calling the plays or else. The offense was painful to watch much of the time even with Tebow, that should say something about SA. Now its a joke.

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