What Does Urban Meyer's "New" Heart Mean for the Gators?

Jay HendryCorrespondent IJune 2, 2010

GAINESVILLE, FL - APRIL 10:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators coaches his team during the Orange & Blue game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on April 10, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

In case you've missed it, Urban Meyer is talking to the media again and even talking about his health.

Meyer attended the SEC spring meetings and spoke openly–ish about his health scare in December and the preventative measures he has taken since.  He says the chest pains have not resurfaced since he began taking medicine to alleviate a condition called "esophageal spasms" in January.

The condition can be confused with heart problems because of the severity and location of the pain, but Urban assured reporters that both he and his heart were indeed fine. 

Beyond the medicine, Urban took time off for seemingly the first time in his life to enjoy something known as the "offseason."  He pissed off reporters in Augusta , chased tsunamis in Hawaii , and hung out with the Pope in Rome. 

All that activity must have been really good for him, as he's reportedly heavier and even occasionally funny. 

When asked about his rumored Pope visit, Meyer replied "We went on a little family trip and got to see him, big Gator fan. We talked about third down-and-6," then adding, "No...I did not meet him."

Jeez, can we get this guy writing The Office ?

Ok, so the joke wasn't up on the Steve Spurrier Pantheon of Great Coach Jokes, but it's a start for a guy who thinks there's something wrong with his face when it inadvertently cracks a smile.

Thankfully, Meyer's change of heart didn't require physically opening his chest.  His change in habits/nature plus the medicine has left Urban a.) healthy and b.) less intense.

However, the bad guy...well, the really bad guy in me can't help but wonder how this change is going to play out next season.

Sorry, Urban, I'm happy for your good health, and I'm going to let you finish your offseason, but I can't stop thinking that the unhealthy you might have been the best coach of all time.

The Urbanator, the impersonal liquid–metal android set to "KILL, KILL, KILL," carved through the SEC with more tenacity than early '90s Spurrier.  It took the combined effort of diet sabotage and Satan, err...Saban, to end his two-year reign of terror.

I'm not saying that Meyer should be the single–tasked machine he was that got him into this mess, far from it actually.  I just wonder how much of Meyer's mojo was directly related to his relentless pursuit of winning.

It's not going to change who he is.  This isn't like taking the winning mentality out of Michael Jordan and turning him into Vince Carter or anything.  Meyer will still be driven to win.

The difference is, he won't be going so far out of his way to make winning happen. 

How much did the consecutive sleepless nights preparing for the next team help Florida?  Will that edge be gone now that he's (hopefully) sleeping in his bed like a normal human?

This could go the other way though.  Fatigue makes you less sharp.  No amount of over–preparing will make up for the fact that you can't focus because you need to rest. 

Maybe Meyer goes into work after a seven or eight hours of sleep and starts drawing up the kind of offensive plays that got him hired at Florida in the first place. 

Maybe the dialed-down intensity dials up the fun, and Florida becomes a more attractive national recruiting option, with Meyer playing the part of Pete Carroll (minus the NCAA sanctions and Lane Kiffin hiring, of course).

Maybe, this was exactly the change the Gators needed to carry the dynasty beyond Tim Tebow.