As the Florida Gators prepare for their final home contest of the season against the Florida State Seminoles on Nov. 26 in The Swamp, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the team’s upcoming game.
“I’M GOING TO COACH FOR A LONG TIME”
Florida’s offense may not have been as consistent as fans had hoped this year but as far as Weis is concerned, he will have plenty of time to perfect it while wearing orange and blue. Despite a bothersome hip that has forced him to sit down a lot and use a cane on the sideline, Weis said his health is fine and not nearly as important as what is going on as the game at hand Saturday.
“Not to downplay it, but it’s really not important how I feel. We’re coaches. We’re not players. I can do my job fine. I got as much gas in the tank as I had at the start of the year. There’s no less gas. I’m still running on full,” he said.
“I’m going to coach for a long time. My wife says I can’t quit. That’s not even – remember I have a kid who is a freshman in college here and remember the reasons why I came here. I’ll be here for a while unless you’re trying to get rid of me.”
He also joked that his reasons for staying long-term are genuine. “No, [Charlie Jr.] doesn’t get free tuition – in case you’re wondering,” Weis said with a smile.
Reflecting on the Sept. 2008 incident at Notre Dame that resulted in him tearing two ligaments in his left knee and breaking his right knee, Weis said that major injury did not affect his ability to coach so there is no reason why this relatively minor one will.
“Remember I got wiped out really bad there a couple years ago. It couldn’t hurt any worse than that,” he said. “I didn’t miss any time then. I stood on the sidelines with no ligaments in my left knee and a broken right knee. Maybe I’m a masochist, but it never entered my mind. Not once.
“I did have to go into the box one game – one bowl game. My right knee – the one that was broken – just the pain was too unbearable. So I couldn’t stand, so I went up in the box. I was the only one that went to a bowl game in Hawaii, won by 100 [49-21] and was miserable. I was probably the only one in the whole program.
“You have to go to a crummy bowl. We end up going to Hawaii. I could think of a lot worse things to do. We play great and everything, and I’m miserable because I know four days later my right knee is going to be replaced. I couldn’t have been any more miserable. Everyone was so happy. It was Christmas Eve, and I was miserable.”
Redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley (and his improvement): “He’s probably been – I wouldn’t say the most pleasant surprise – but probably the thing I’m probably pleased about the most. From my initial conversations with him in January to now, it’s a totally different persona than the one I sat down with. He was always a wonderful young man, a good kid. Watching him evolve from where he was to where he is now both on and off the field, I couldn’t be more satisfied for him. I would really like nothing more than him to finish this out by going and beating Florida State. I think that would just be a great thing for him.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» On running the ball against Florida State: “You better run the ball because if you think that you’re just going to line up against that front four – which is really a front eight because they have good talent in the second group, too – if they can turn the game into a one-dimensional game, then you have a problem. […] They’re fast. […] They have very god speed. They are very well-coached. They’re very vanilla. They’re not trying to trick you. They’re saying, ‘We can just bring out four guys and bring out another four guys and we’ll be able to get after you and get pressure on your quarterback.’ For the most part, they do that. They’re pretty solid on defense right now.”
» On his mindset before a game: “I’ve never gone into a game ever expecting to lose a game ever. Even games that everyone said we were underdogs. I’ve never in my life gone into a game and said, ‘Welp, let’s mark this one up as a loss.’ So yes, I’m confident for our guys.”
» On what he will think after evaluating the film this season from a coaching and execution perspective: “I’m sure I’ll be miserable. The odds of that are 100 percent.”
» On why the offense should improve in year two: “Now you’re pushing execution. You’re expanding on things that you could do that you couldn’t do because mentally the guys aren’t capable of doing it the first rattle out of the box. Usually – not always because it hasn’t been the case everywhere I’ve been – but usually you make your biggest jump between your first year and your second year because now your guys are a year into the system.”