Wuerffel’s Words: “Gators’ puzzle is developing”

By Adam Silverstein
September 28, 2010

Through the first week of October, former Florida Gators national championship- and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel will be contributing his post-game thoughts about how the team performed the previous Saturday exclusively here on OGGOA at the beginning of each week.

The 1996 winner of eight football and academic awards, Wuerffel has a unique perspective as a four-year player at Florida who passed for 10,875 yards and 114 touchdowns in his college career. Enshrined in the team’s Ring of Honor in 2006 and set to be immortalized in a statue outside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in 2010, he is now the executive director of Desire Street Ministries, which works to revitalize impoverished neighborhoods through spiritual and community development.

Any endeavor, from the simple things to the complex, whether it be folding a paper airplane with your kid or building a new Boeing jet, can be likened to a puzzle. There are multiple parts or steps that have to come together at the right time and in the right manner. Every piece of a puzzle has its place, and every piece is important.

In my opinion, a football team is much like a large and complicated puzzle. Coaches throughout the country work around the clock strategizing how they can fit the pieces that make up their puzzle into the right places. Some teams have bigger pieces, others smaller. Some seem to be faster, others slower. Coaches have tough jobs, and if the pieces don’t look right, they have thousands of fans eager to let them know.

I really like how the Gators’ puzzle is developing this year. While we didn’t start out setting any records and struggled against some subpar teams, I see the pieces of this puzzle coming together nicely.

The defense continues to develop and make big plays, and Johnny Brantley is delivering the ball on-time and accurately (especially on third down, which is instrumental to the team’s success). Additionally, Florida has several talented running backs, and the receivers are developing well, too.

But no matter what they did on the field during those first few weeks, there was a sense that a part of the puzzle was missing, especially when it came to the spread offense.

Well, I think we found it.

Trey Burton adds a dimension to the offense that will help all the other pieces come together. His athleticism and versatility will keep defenses on their heels. I doubt he’ll have many more games with six touchdowns (although that would be great, especially this week against Alabama), but he will be a fun young Gator to watch develop and contribute to the program.

Unfortunately, no football program’s puzzle is ever complete. We will continue to see the Gators grow, which will no doubt include both wonderful and discouraging moments.

I continue to be excited about the direction of this team and am thankful we have a great puzzle master putting it all together: Urban Meyer…the puzzlemeister!

Go Gators,

By joining together people from all walks of life who are interested in redeeming the inner-city, Desire Street Ministries believes that they are bringing together leaders who actually move into the neighborhood, indigenous leaders who already live there, and neighbors who “move in” spiritually through prayer, encouragement and financial support. Please take a moment to visit Desire Street Ministries online or in person and find out how you can help support and/or donate.


  1. Luke says:

    A puzzle is a great analogy and it’s good to be reminded of it by a guy that would know. It’s hard to remember that football is a trial and error sport and it’s hard to watch our boys make errors, but with as many new puzzle pieces this year with new coaches and new starters, it was bound to happen. I’m liking what I’m seeing with the pieces coming together, but I’m sure hoping any errors that come with putting the puzzle together happens with Ws as a result instead of Ls!

  2. J Boof says:

    I’m really liking this series with DW. I’m seeing a different and interesting point of view eloquently and concisely stated. And it isn’t all fluff. Of course it is always a positive outlook, but that’s OK afterall. Looking forward to the rest of them…

  3. Escambia94 says:

    Danny is a positive person, a role model, and a credible source. He has walked the walk in the Gator uniform, and I am glad he has blessed us with his weekly piece on the Gators.

  4. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Same here J Boof, it’s great to get insight from a guy like Danny.
    Another great post DW! Keep’em comin’ man!

    Go Gators!!!!!!!!!

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