Florida Gators Fans Should Have Concerns, Addazio Should Not Be One of Them

Wil BradleyCorrespondent ISeptember 6, 2010

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 04:  Jeffery Demps #2 of the Florida Gators attempts to run past Luke Kelly #36 of the Miami University RedHawks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 4, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

First, I intend to make no effort to defend Florida Gators offensive coordinator Steve Addazio.

I also intend to spend no time blaming Steve Addazio for the Florida Gators struggles with the Miami Redhawks.

Saturday’s game caused a panic among the Gator faithful.

If you’ve ever had any emergency training, you’ve been told panic makes things worse. Now we see why, as the Gator Nation implodes, and looks for someone to blame.

Steve Addazio made no attempts to go deep. Addazio failed to prepare the offense prior to the season. Addazio made his game plan too predictable. Addazio stuck with shotgun, when any good coordinator would go under center for the rest of the game, etc.

My favorite: Tim Tebow’s ability covered up for Addazio’s incompetence in the past. Some Gators fans will always look for a reason to conjure up the legend of Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow covered up the towel boy's mistakes, so we can give up that line of reasoning.

I’m not sure that Ben Hill Griffin Stadium would still be standing if the Gators had lost. Florida fans may have burned the bleachers to the ground, in an effort to get their hands on Addazio.

Gator fans should have some concern after Saturday’s ugly victory over the Redhawks. For now, many reasons exist to let Addazio live in peace, and allow Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to stand.

Fifteen Freshmen Played in Saturday’s Game

Gators head coach Urban Meyer told the public during preseason training camp that the team still needed work.

He recognized the potential talent his players possessed. He also stated those same young players, had much to learn about playing on the NCAA level.

Suddenly, Gator fans quickly forgot everything Meyer told them. By Sunday evening, I actually saw an entire website dedicated to the termination of assistant coach, offensive coordinator, offensive line coach, etc, Steve Addazio’s contract.

In actuality, Gator Fans and their young team suffer from the same misconceptions. Many of the young players in Gator uniforms think being good as an individual, means being good as a team.

Message to Gators freshmen and Tebow addicted fans, it doesn’t work that way in football.

Fans concerns should be how quickly these freshmen can come up to speed.

The Wide Receivers Showed Little Ability to Create Space

When Gators starting quarterback John Brantley actually got the opportunity to throw the long ball, Gator wideouts had very little space between themselves and the defender. These were the Redhawks.

How will any of them get open against Alabama in a few weeks?

Omarius Hines would be the only Gator receiver demonstrating any talent required at this level.

Deonte Thompson showed very little to change fan’s opinion that he may be a tad overrated.

Chris Rainey showed an inability to get up field after catches, or to shake tackles. The Gators spread relies on speed to take short passes farther up field.

Andre Dubose never left the sideline, even though Meyer later confirmed Dubose wasn’t serving any team-issued penalty, and suffered from no health issues.

Dubose provided the extra speed threat, to force teams to make decisions. Now the decisions are easy. Be physical with Florida receivers.

With the decreased threat of quarterback runs, starting quarterback John Brantley will need receivers to help make plays. Brantley’s long arm makes filling the box more of  a risk—if receivers can get open and catch balls.

The Gators Lack a Good Center

Prior to Saturday’s game against Miami (Ohio), Meyer emphatically discussed the fact that senior Mike Pouncey would be playing center, even with the injuries at other offensive line positions.

During that discussion, Meyer stressed he wanted to prevent exchange issues by going with the veteran lineman, over a backup.

So, if Saturday resulted in 13 mishandled snaps, what would have happened if Sam Robey started on Saturday instead of Pouncey?

Pouncey appeared to be rushing snaps in an attempt to get in blocking position, or pulling on blocking assignments. If the Redhawks can force Pouncey into so many mistakes, think about the havoc Steve Saban can cause with his schemes and talent.

John Brantley Still Lives in the Shadow of Tim Tebow

Saturday’s game was supposed to be Brantley’s coronation as the true starting quarterback of the new era Florida Gators. Now Brantley must attempt the alleviate the fears of an already agitated Gators fan base next game.

In his postgame interview, Brantley expressed relief that his first game as starter had come and gone with a victory. Will he feel the same way after he sees how fans have started to panic after the first game?


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