12/21: Patchan says Gators will improve, notes

By Adam Silverstein
December 21, 2011

With the Florida Gators hoping to end the season on a high note with a victory in the 2012 Gator Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes, three players were made available to the media Wednesday to discuss a number of topics.

PLENTY OF ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

There is no questioning that Florida’s offense in 2011 left a lot to be desired. Just because it struggled at times during the year – especially when redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley was out of action or limited – does not mean it cannot improve before the bowl and heading into the 2012 season, redshirt sophomore tackle Matt Patchan said Wednesday.

“Obviously we have to get a lot better. Everybody has to get a lot better,” he noted referring to how the offense played through the first 12 games. “We’re going to see a marked improvement here after a short while for sure.”

Patchan also explained why the Gators’ offense struggled this season and how he thinks things will get better sooner than later.

“There’s lots of room for improvement all over the board. It’s only going to get better as long as everything stays the same. The mark of a good offense is it gets better as time goes on – the more consistency and fluidity within it,” he said. “Also there’s timing issues involved and everything, and you’ve really got to communicate well with the line of scrimmage as far as calls and everything and knowing exactly what each call means.

“In our playbook we’ve got like 20 pages worth of just calls – like a call sheet – that we have to audible at the line as far as the way we’re going to attack a defense. If everybody’s not on page with that – meaning all five offensive linemen along with the tight ends and the fullback that’s doing it – then the littlest difference, that six inches makes the biggest difference in the play. That’s been the result that we’ve seen so far with the six losses this season.

“It’s easy to sit here and say there’s going to be a lot of improvement next season, but we still have to put the work in [during] the offseason obviously. But there’s a lot of room for improvement.”

NOTES AND QUOTES
[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]» Redshirt junior wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. on losing the team’s offensive coordinator: “It kind of threw me for a loop, but like I said he got a better opportunity as the head coach job at Kansas. I wish him the best of luck. That’s the world we live in, where a coach is here for a year and then they move on and get a better opportunity.”

Hammond on why Urban Meyer is such a good recruiter: “His drive to get you here, and he’s a good coach. He knows football like the back of his hand. The opportunity that presents itself when he’s around and the guys that he recruits and just the energy that he has definitely makes him a good recruiter. He got me here. He just comes after you and stays on you, makes sure you’re appreciated and [know] that he cares about you. At the end of the day he wants the best for you.”

» Redshirt junior Sam linebacker Lerentee McCray on the defensive coaches returning: “Our whole defensive coaching staff is coming back next year, so I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. We’re not going to have a problem with that, they’re all coming back. It’s going to be great to have the same system, getting ready knowing what to look for going into the offseason, knowing what to work on, knowing what the coaches have, knowing the plays and everything. It’s going to be real good.”

» Patchan on why he got better at the end of the season: “I’ve been hampered and it’s been a while since I’ve been able to be on the field for as long as I have [this year]. It’s like riding a bicycle. One day you get back on and you never really forget how to play, but it takes a while to knock all the dust off and everything. I feel like I’ve been taking advantage of my opportunity and try[ing] to improve every day whenever I go out on the field to practice. And I’ve done that. I’ve gotten consistently better, and I hope to keep getting consistently better.”[/EXPAND]

3 Comments

  1. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Not sure the degree that our OL was getting blown out was merely a matter of a few inches here or there. Looks like we need to develop more mental & physical toughness (and a few 330 lb+ O linemen coming in will help, too).

  2. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Someone needs to take on a leadership role for the OL – hope Patchan is the guy, since he has 2 more years and will bring some continuity.

  3. Donnie wise says:

    Patchan stays health he will not only be a leader but will be one of the meanest o-lineman we’ve had in a while.

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