1 » With most of the players and head coach Urban Meyer making time for the media Thursday, it was offensive coordinator Steve Addazio’s turn to represent the Florida Gators early Friday. He provided a little insight into what is in store this season. “Will you see QB runs? Unequivocally yes from a Wildcat offense,” Addazio said. “Will you see five wides on the field? You know you will. Will you see tight ends and fullback sets? Yes. You’re going to see a lot. We’re not going away from that. It’s just judiciously choosing what styles and plays you’re going to use within those sets.” Addazio also noted that wide receivers redshirt junior Chris Rainey and redshirt freshman Andre Debose can add a lot to the offense. “Rainey brings that whole other dimension in here, as does Debose,” Addazio said. “We have those hybrid guys and we have an interesting dynamic in there to cause some stress.”
2 » Tight ends coach Brian White also leaked some brain droppings about his position players. “What’s evident in the first two days is Jordan Reed and Gerald Christian really improved themselves this summer,” White said. “They did a great job of becoming a better football player. All the work they did with [strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti] and his staff has paid tremendous dividends. They’re very confident. They’re much improved. [...] Jordan has had tremendous recall from spring ball. It’s very evident he worked his ass off this summer. He’s a tremendously improved football player and he’s going to be really fun to watch this year. He’s going to do some special things.”
Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow and the clothing brand Jockey announced on July 27 that the two sides agreed to a multi-year endorsement deal. The former Florida Gators star was signed to serve as a company spokesperson and the face of the brand beginning last month. Set to be featured in television, print and online advertisements, Tebow’s first promotional video was published to YouTube on Aug. 3.
1 » The hazing for Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow began on Aug. 2, but it continued yesterday as two of his teammates – tight end Daniel Graham and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd – decided to provide the former Heisman Trophy winner with an ice cold shower on the practice field Thursday. At least he was able to cool off in that harsh Colorado heat. Here is the caption from the The Denver Post:
[Tebow gets drenched with buckets of water] as he kneels in the mud after diving for a football during the rookies initiation at the afternoon practice August 5, 2010 at Dove Valley. Each rookie had to do the slip n slide for a loose ball in in the grass that was soaked with water prior to practice. Players came up from the slide all muddy and dripping in water.
2 » On a more serious note, Woody Paige tackles a reader’s question about the rumor that Tebow struggles with reading defenses and processing information quickly.
Josh McDaniels told me months ago that one of the major attributes Tebow possessed that impressed the coach was his ability to read defensive linemen and linebackers. Scott Loeffler, the quarterbacks coach at Florida (who formerly was in the NFL), agreed with that assessment.
McDaniels said he questioned Tebow about various alignments and defenses, and Tebow unquestionably knew how to read defenses. The coach also said he had quizzed another famous quarterback (drafted by another team this year), and he had no clue about reading defenses.
“When I asked him why, he said the coaches at (his college) never taught him how to read defenses,” McDaniels said.
When McDaniels asked why, on his own or with help, he hadn’t studied defenses between the end of the season and before the draft and gotten a better understanding of defenses, the quarterback replied that he intended to do that once he got to the pros.
I genuinely believe McDaniels in this case. He wouldn’t have put so much stock in Tebow if he didn’t believe the rookie was capable of recognizing defenses at the snap of the ball.
Concluding the Florida Gators‘ first day of fall practice for the 2010-11 season, head coach Urban Meyer sat with reporters for quite some time to discuss a number of topics including his outlook on the team, players leaving the program and why exactly camp has been closed to both the media and fans. OGGOA has compiled some of the key points:
» Meyer announced that seniors center Mike Pouncey and defensive end Justin Trattou are the team’s two fall captains. Senior safety Ahmad Black and redshirt senior defensive tackle Lawrence Marsh may be added to the group at a later date.
» Doing some housekeeping, Meyer told reporters that redshirt sophomroe wide receiver T.J. Lawrence and the team mutually agreed to part ways. More on this here.
» He also explained that redshirt freshman tight end Desmond Parks will likely be out 2-3 weeks after previously injuring his wrist and undergoing a procedure to fix the issue.
» Meyer noted that five-star linebacker transfer Chris Martin is already working with the team in camp even though he must sit out a year due to NCAA transfer eligibility rules.
» Explaining to reporters that his motivation for closing practice was not about restricting their access but rather curbing the distractions that agents and autograph hounds cause his players every day, Meyer touched on two subjects in particular…
On the growing concern regarding agents: “With all that agent [stuff], and I’m hearing about parties and all this, my gosh. We just want to do the best job we can. We’re going to have a lot of discussions around here and continue non-stop education because it’s an epidemic. You hear people talking about this school and this school. That’s nuts. The good thing is the other side of it [the agents] wants to help. When I say they really want to help, there are going to be some positive things come out of this. Real positive.”
On others trying to take advantage of the players’ generosity: “We’ve had a great discussion with a group of us that got together and we’re trying to make some changes. Anything from signing balls to getting them sold on the Internet to practice, where people are showing up. In the fall, we’re going to shut it down. There are people showing up, ‘Why are you here?’ We can’t control our players’ lives, but we certainly can do the best we can. You should have the right as a player to walk from here to there without being bothered. That’s my fault for five years. That’s crazy. I tell that to my colleagues, people just mauling you and bothering you and Internet people grabbing helmets and signing this and all this, and we don’t have security saying, ‘Get the heck out of here.’ You’ll see a lot of ‘get the heck out of here’ from now on and let the kids go practice and concentrate on football. Big-time rules. I’m concerned about stuff where you get NCAA violations and scumbags that are involved that shouldn’t be involved. One way to control it is, get out.”
» On the team’s goal for the 2010-11 season: “This is a year of accountability and development. If that happens, we’ll have a good team.”
» When told about redshirt junior running back Chris Rainey‘s “prima donna” comments in the morning, Meyer quipped that it was the team’s “fault for letting him speak” while noting that Rainey’s comments were “absolutely wrong.” “Rainey said that? Chris Rainey won’t speak to the media again this year,” Meyer added in a joke-serious tone.
“I can name some other things he said to the media that were absolutely inappropriate, and that goes in the same category, believe it or not. So, take that for nothing. Inappropriate, wrong, non-thought out, which he does quite often. I love Chris Rainey, but when I ask him a question, I give him a whole day to think about it and write it down 100 times.”
When Nike announced that the EA Sports NCAA Football 11 version of its Nike Trainer 1.2 sneaker, specifically designed with former Florida Gators now Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow in mind, would go on sale on Friday, Aug. 6 at NikeStore.com, fans clamored to find out what lengths they would have to go to in order to get one of the 500 limited edition pairs.
While the company normally releases its new products at midnight, Nike had a trick up their collective sleeves Friday, putting the Tim Tebow Trainer 1.2 up for sale at exactly 1:50 a.m. Ironically, the sneaker sold out almost exactly 15 minutes later (though Nike claims it only lasted five), with the item officially appearing as sold out at 2:05 a.m.
The limited edition sneaker is “up there with some of the fastest sellouts,” according to the Nike Store’s Twitter account. The accompanying “Tebow Knows” T-shirt, which was also slated to be released Friday morning, is not yet available in the online store.
The Tim Tebow Trainer 1.2 features Tebow’s “Promise” speech from Sept. 27, 2008, along with a blue and orange color scheme, and EA Sports and NCAA Football 11 logos.
Details are scarce right now, but a source close to the team has informed OGGOA that former Florida Gators safety John Curtis, 24, passed away Wednesday. His death has been ruled a suicide by authorities.
A special teams standout, Curtis joined the Florida scout team in 2004, missed the 2005 campaign with a knee injury and finally played on the kickoff return and punt teams during the Gators’ 2006 National Championship season. He blocked a punt against South Carolina in 2007 but unfortunately tore his anterior cruciate ligament in 2008, an injury that would end his football career.
UPDATE: Curtis passed away after jumping off of a fourth-floor railing above a Lincoln Square Center restaurant in Bellvue, WA, at 8 a.m. Thursday. Police attempted to talk him down at first, but Curtis could not be swayed from taking his life; the local cops continue to investigate the matter.
“It’s tragic when a young life is lost,” head coach Urban Meyer said in a statement on Friday. “I’m not sure how you describe the loss of life in words. John was a great young man who was a proud member of our Gator family. We grieve for him, his friends and his family and pray for their comfort.”
Co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Chuck Heater shared a similar sentiment. “What do you say? He was a real likable guy here, a lot of players really liked him a lot,” Heater said. “He had, unfortunately, a lot of knee injuries here. He probably could have had a chance to play some football here, more than he did. He played but I’m sure not as much as he would like to. It’s sad and unfortunate. He was a good guy, well-liked team member. Players really liked him. He was a friendly guy with the team, and just dealing with the frustrations of the injuries, which were always hard for him to deal with and accept those things, just the disappointments of all of that. But he was a respected member of our team, that’s for sure.”
One of the first to respond to the news, Cleveland Browns rookie cornerback Joe Haden took to Twitter Thursday. “You never know how much you truly love someone until they are gone. R.I.P. John Curtis #24! You will be missed,” Haden wrote. “Everyone please don’t be afraid to say you love someone! Life is too short! Losing someone special to you makes you realize what’s important in life.”
Jacksonville Sharks CB Dee Webb provided a similar message. “R.I.P. to my former teammate John Curtis 24,” he tweeted. “We [will] miss you homey.”
OGGOA sends our deepest condolences to the Curtis family.
Florida Gators redshirt sophomore wide receiver T.J. Lawrence has decided to transfer, according to head coach Urban Meyer.
A four-star recruit out of Lakeland, FL, Lawrence did not see action until 2009 when he mostly participated in special teams plays. He never caught a pass at Florida and is the third member of his recruiting class to transfer this season.
“He tried to move on last year and we talked him into [staying] because he’s a good kid and all that,” Meyer said. “I think he just wants to move on to get some playing time.”
The Silver Lining is an exclusive column written by Adam Silverstein of OnlyGators.com for Yahoo! Sports and Rivals.com affiliate InsideTheGators.com. OGGOA readers can receive a special discount on a subscription to InsideTheGators, which can be accessed by clicking the image!
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