It sounds like that at least one WR on the Florida Gators is happy that QB John Brantley will be under center for the 2010 season.
Recently, WR Deonte Thompson was asked to compare former QB Tim Tebow and current starting QB John Brantley. What he had to say could be interpreted a couple of different ways.
"You never know with Tim. He can bolt. You think he's running but he'll come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready. With Brantley, everything's with rhythm, with time. You know, a real quarterback ."
Oh no he didn't!
Did Thompson just throw Timmy under the bus, or did he mean that Brantley is a more traditional QB?
Clearly Thompson's words are open for interpretation. Personally, I think he was trying to convey that Brantley is more of a traditional pocket-passing QB, and was not trying to insult Tebow. Regardless, Thompson's quote will be scrutinized especially in Gator Nation.
However, let's take a look at Tebow's last season at Florida. Many pointed at the departure of Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy to the NFL was the main reason why Florida's passing game was down from 2008.
Florida's passing game was ranked No. 41 for 2009. However, Tim Tebow was ranked No. 1 in the country in passing efficiency at 164.17 (a minimum of 15 passing attempts). TE Aaron Hernandez led the team in receptions per game at 4.86, and WR Riley Cooper led the team in receiving yards per game with 68.64.
Perhaps Deonte Thompson is bitter or making excuses for lackluster play in 2009?
Thompson's production did increase in 2009 compared to 2008. In 2008, he caught 18 passes for 269 yards and three TDs, and in 2009 he had 24 receptions for a total of 343 yards and four TDs.
Again, I think Thompson's quote was taken out of context, but if I am wrong, and he was voicing his preference for Brantley, we'll just have to wait and see if Brantley is the answer to Thompson's overall mediocre contribution to the team.
Riley Cooper and Aaron Hernandez are no longer with the team, but Andre Debose will return to the line-up after missing the entire 2009 season with a hamstring injury. I think Debose will be Brantley's go to receiver in 2010 and Thompson will be WR2.
Thompson may have to get use to being the second or third read regardless of who is the Gators' QB.