For Gator fans, the naming of Steve Addazio to be interim head coach at Florida while Urban Meyer takes a leave of absence is nothing to fret over. In fact, if anything it should reinforce the idea that Meyer plans to be back in charge for the '10 season.
While may Gator fans might have been surprised over Addazio's "promotion," the word is that Coach Addazio is one of Meyer's most trusted confidants.
Selecting Addazio to hold the fort down makes sense.
Meyer is trying to redefine what it means for him to be the head coach at Florida. Having Addazio serve as a "bookmark" will allow Meyer to reorganize his priorities, while at the same time giving Addazio more experience in handling the day to day pressures that Meyer took upon himself.
Addazio might well be the least threatening/threatened of the Gator assistants. Do any Gator fans really think that if Meyer doesn't return to coach, Addazio will be named the new head coach?
Addazio had a tough year taking over for Dan Mullen as offensive coordinator. Spending what amounts to the college football "off season" running the day to day operations of the football program will give Addazio the time he needs to be a better offensive coordinator.
Because, in my view, Meyer is really going to be at the helm in a sort of quasi-CEO role.
Addazio can "coach the team" while Meyer can do the sorts of things he needs to do to "run" the program.
There's a difference.
It'll give Meyer time to learn the art of delegating in a less pressure packed scenario, i.e. not during the season while Addazio can hone his play-calling skills.
The more I read up on the Meyer situation, the more obvious it's becoming that Meyer needs to change his coaching lifestyle and that he wants to do it in Gainesville.
I don't think it's anything more than that.
Additionally, I think Meyer wants to rededicate himself to becoming more than just the head football coach.
He wants to remake his role as the leader of a football powerhouse. The recent turn of events have made evident to him that to do so means he has to change. More importantly, the last few weeks have probably reinforced his desire to make Florida his program.
I think we're talking about "legacy" stuff here, not just another successful coach at a big time program looking to parlay his success into something bigger.
And this from the same person who only days ago was thinking out loud that Urban Meyer was exactly what I'm now saying he's not.
Why the change in opinion from me?
Because people are not black and white. Life is not black and white. And circumstances change.
Why can't minds be changed? What's so wrong with changing your mind?
Gator-haters are having a field day lambasting Meyer for having a change of heart, calling him a flip-flopper, questioning the sincerity of his "priorities" statement, and attempting to color the Gator program as rudderless.
Additionally, anti-Gator folks are suggesting that Meyer's situation is going to hurt Florida's recruitment of star high school athletes.
I think they have it wrong.
Meyer can take the time he needs to reemphasize his plans to continue to build Florida into an even more powerful program while not having to worry about the day to day functions of a head coach. He can tell these kids that he's taking one step "backward" to benefit the team in the long run.
In my view Florida is looking at a man who's indecisions may well change college football coaching for the better.
This "winter of our discontent" might just turn out to be the best thing to happen to the Florida football program.