Florida Gators (7-5, 4-4) head coach Urban Meyer and Penn State Nittany Lions (7-5, 4-4) head coach Joe Paterno spoke with the media on Monday now that their respective teams have been selected for the 2011 Outback Bowl set to be played on Jan. 1, 2011, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.
MUTUAL RESPECT RUNS DEEP
Meyer has always expressed his respect for those in his profession – like Paterno – who have paved the way for his success as a head football coach. Mentioning before the season that he and his wife Shelley have spent some personal time with the Paternos recently, Meyer again stated his admiration for the man on Monday. “Coach Paterno is college football,” he said. “It’s an honor to coach against him. He does it the right way.”
Paterno shared a similar sentiment. “Urban is one of my favorite people in coaching,” he said. “It’s going to be exciting to play against him. He has been very innovative and ahead of things. He’s not one of those showoffs or anything like that. He is very honest. He seems to always be one step ahead of the people he is playing against.”
ADDAZIO STILL THE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR – FOR NOW
Asked if Steve Addazio would retain his offensive coordinator role next season, Meyer was quick to answer. “I’m expecting that to happen. I’ll keep you updated,” he said. Though he did leave some wiggle room in his reply, Meyer has maintained that he has appreciation for Addazio and has not given any indication that he would be leaving the staff. That being said, Addazio could retain the offensive coordinator title while giving up the playcalling duties to a co-offensive coordinator – in theory.
A rumor began over the weekend that Meyer had contacted and was in the process of trying to convince Oklahoma State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Dana Holgorsen to leave Stillwater, OK, for the same position and responsibilities in Gainesville, FL. Whether or not that rumors holds water remains to be seen.
He also had this to say about coaching staff changes in general. “So much happens,” Meyer said. “At this time, I can’t make any statements. There is so much going on with the profession right now.”
MCCARNEY TEMPORARILLY REPLACED
With assistant head coach defense/defensive line coach Dan McCarney leaving the team after the regular season to take the top job with North Texas, Meyer was forced to find a suitable replacement for his team’s bowl game. He has temporarily promoted graduate assistant Tony Weaver to coach the defensive line for the Outback Bowl and will reevaluate the position after the season officially concludes.
Meyer updated the injury status for a number of players on Monday. He said redshirt freshman QB/tight end Jordan Reed has yet to practice since suffering a concussion against Florida State, junior running back Jeff Demps (foot) is wearing a protective boot and hopes to be able to play on Jan. 1, and both redshirt senior defensive tackles Terron Sanders (shoulder) and Lawrence Marsh (hip) will likely miss the game after having surgery on their injuries last week.
QUOTES (After the break…)
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