ATLANTA, GA—Urban Meyer’s back! It doesn’t surprise me one bit that Urban Meyer struck out at an Orlando Sentinel beat reporter. Meyer’s response was predictable. It was most likely calculated, and now that the dust is settling, it looks like Urban got the momentum back for his team.
Urban Meyer has been taking a beating in the press for several months. It started with the whipping by Alabama for the SEC Championship. No reason under the sun that the Gators should have been beaten 32-13. I saw it coming when Carlos Dunlap got pulled for a DUI the week of the big game. Coach Meyer didn’t see it coming because he was still on the Undefeated National Championship train. The huge loss took its toll on Meyer’s body and his pride.
The loss to Alabama was followed up with a resignation said to be spending more time with his family. Then a quick return without consulting his family and what could best be termed as emotional turmoil for a period of time. Meyer did the “ staycation thing”, but he was getting ripped by journalists for his inconsistent behaviors.
Then came the Tebow evaluations. For over a month, every football analyst in the country had rated Tim Tebow and the consensus is that he wasn’t fully developed as a passing quarterback at Florida. No doubt, he can run on third and five all day long and get the yardage needed. He is a great leader and motivator.
But at the end of the day, he may not have what it takes to play quarterback in the NFL, and that points directly to Meyer. Tebow is the most teachable athlete in America. Why wasn’t Tebow taught better mechanics?
When beat writer Jeremy Fowler wrote his story which included the differences in quarterbacks, that gave Meyer his chance to draw a line in the sand and fire some shells into the enemy’s camp. The fact that it was videotaped was probably not anticipated.
There is one thing I know for sure about Coach Meyer. Urban Meyer cares most about winning. Winning games, winning recruits and winning messages. He is a momentum guy who is constantly manipulating circumstances to get better results from his players. And he has had a lot of success with it.
By going after Fowler, Meyer put a big circle around the Swamp and let it be known to all the beat writers that if you write anything negative about the players, you will lose access. Every beat writer in Florida will take a big breath before quoting another Florida player. It basically guarantees positive headlines in Florida newspapers for recruits for awhile. Mission accomplished.
In the process, the Florida players felt like their coach was sticking up for them which served as a high energy team-building exercise. Don’t forget, Meyer has his psychology degree, and everything is based on motivating his team. Once again, the Gators came together because of their head coach.
The event pulled the attention away from Tebow’s throwing motion, comparisons with Brantley, and stopped the bleeding on Gator football public relations. Sports writers across the country have commented on the episode but Meyer doesn’t care what they think. In the end, he’s fighting for his players and nobody can fault him for that.