Chomping at the Bit: Florida Gator Freshmen Need To "Shut Up and Play"

Joe MorganSenior Analyst IAugust 26, 2010

Mike Pouncey is expected to play center for the Gators this season in place of his brother, Maurkice.
Mike Pouncey is expected to play center for the Gators this season in place of his brother, Maurkice.Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

Chomping at the Bit is Joseph Morgan's weekly take on Florida Gators football. This series will consist of reactions to the current season, as well as any other Gator news.

Current Record: 0-0

Current Ranking: No. 3

Next Game: Sept. 4, Miami (OH)

Mike Pouncey: "Freshmen need to shut up and play."

A couple of weeks ago, junior slot receiver Chris Rainey took shots at some of his former teammates by labeling them as "prima donnas."

However, senior center Mike Pouncey took it a step further when he decided to call out his newest teammates, a recruiting class that many are calling one of the best of all time.

"At the end of the day the freshmen need to just shut their mouths and just come play. They haven't done nothing on Saturday, and most of the fans don't even know who they are," Pouncey said. "Until they prove themselves they just need to sit back and let the older guys play."

While having two key players like Rainey and Pouncey call out former and current teammates is cause for concern, my first inclination is to back Pouncey's comments.

Since the departure of Tim Tebow and Brandon Spikes, Pouncey has taken on a significant leadership role in the locker room and if he thinks the freshmen need to stop coasting on high school success and earn their stripes in the college game, good for him.

The last thing Urban Meyer needs is to deal with a potential war of words between his players in the media.

Ronald Powell and Dominique Easley threaten to leave Gainesville?

Highly-touted Florida defensive ends Chris Bosh and LeBron James—er, Ronald Powell and Dominique Easley were rumored to be transferring after skipping practice Tuesday.

Michael DiRocco of The Florida Times-Union says that according to UF spokesperson Steve McClain, Powell and Easley never asked or mentioned the possibility of transferring.

Unless a player has a pressing family, personal, or academic issue, they should not be skipping practice.

It's one thing to not participate due to injury or academic ineligibility, but if you are receiving a college scholarship to play football, then you should be at practice.

I don't know all of the facts surrounding the story, but if this incident is anything like it appears, then Mike Pouncey has already been vindicated.

The recent woes of the acclaimed 2010 Florida recruiting class are likely a major contributor to Urban Meyer's concern regarding the upcoming season.

Urban Meyer: "Right now, it's not Florida football yet."

With the season opener against Miami (OH) just over a week away, Urban Meyer is concerned about the progress of his team.

"I'm hitting the panic button a little bit," Meyer said. "We've got to get better fast than what we are right now. I don't know if it's that we're good. It's just consistency of the offensive and defensive lines. We need to get them all in there."

With the losses of Carlos Dunlap and Jermaine Cunningham to the NFL, growing pains should be expected for the defensive line, especially at the end positions.

Seniors Justin Trattou and Duke Lemmens are team-first guys and hard workers and the Gators are hoping those two can provide solid play at defensive end this season.

However, having problems with an experienced offensive line that only lost one player from last season (Pittsburgh Steeler center Maurkice Pouncey) is alarming this close to the beginning of the season.

Granted, tackles Xavier Nixon and Matt Patchan are recovering from a knee injury and a broken wrist, respectively, but with the senior leadership of center Mike Pouncey, guard Carl Johnson, and tackle Marcus Gilbert, those injuries shouldn't be too much of a setback.

Gators in the NFL Update: Percy Harvin returns to practice

The reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year returned to practice in full pads Wednesday after collapsing from a migraine headache and leaving practice in an ambulance last Thursday.

Harvin, who has a history of migraine headaches, did not travel with the Minnesota Vikings to San Francisco for their preseason game with the 49ers.

Harvin was an electric playmaker for the Vikings last season and they will need him for his kick return skills and as a receiving option for Brett Favre if they hope to reach Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.


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