Florida Gators Football: Five Reasons Why Steve Addazio Isn't Going Anywhere
When Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen left Gainesville for his current position following the 2008 season, the Gator Nation expected to not miss a beat.
Florida still had the ultimate offensive mastermind in national championship-winning coach Urban Meyer, and if Meyer believed in newly-promoted offensive line coach Steve Addazio, then that was enough.
However, ever since he became the offensive coordinator, Addazio has seen the number of his supporters dwindle for good reason.
From questionable playcalling and offensive strategy to underachieving with a Tim Tebow-led offense in 2009, Addazio hasn't exactly given the Florida faithful a body of work to fall in love with.
And to the dismay of many disgruntled fans who make Florida football a part of their regular Saturday routine, Addazio will not receive a demotion or pink slip of any kind. Here are the reasons why that's the case.
The Gators Are Winning
As long as the Florida Gators are winning, Urban Meyer will not make any radical changes in his coaching staff unless one of his assistants leaves for another job.
The Gators have been doing a lot of winning, putting up a 17-2 record since Steve Addazio became the team's offensive coordinator.
The offense has dropped off considerably since Florida won the 2008 BCS National Championship, but as long as they keep racking up victories in Gainesville, Meyer will stick with what he's got.
Urban Meyer Approves of Steve Addazio's Offensive Strategy
If Urban Meyer had an issue with Steve Addazio running the option with John Brantley, do you think he would have allowed JB to continue to do his best awkward Chris Leak impression?
When Addazio picks each play, you know that Meyer signs off on each one and that if he had any objection, he would likely overrule his offensive coordinator.
So, while Addazio's playcalling has been both predictable and uneven, there is undoubtedly some collaboration between the two since Meyer has allowed it to go on.
UF Holds Steve Addazio in High Regard
Urban Meyer's sudden resignation-turned-leave of absence before last season's Allstate Sugar Bowl shocked the Gator Nation and left the team scrambling to recover.
And in that time of chaos for the Florida Gators, athletic director Jeremy Foley turned to Steve Addazio to be the rock for the program as the interim head coach.
Say what you want about Addazio as an offensive coordinator, but in terms of his standing in the locker room and with the university, he is a well-respected football coach.
The Void at the "Percy Position"
In Steve Addazio's first season as Florida's offensive coordinator, he had a plethora of playmakers that featured the likes of Tim Tebow, Jeff Demps, and Aaron Hernandez.
However, there was one huge hole left in the Gators' offensive gameplan by Percy Harvin.
The slot receiver in Urban Meyer's offense, affectionately dubbed "The Percy Position," has failed to find a player to fit Harvin's caliber since the 2009 NFL Rookie of the Year left Gainesville after the 2008 season.
Meyer and Addazio have unsuccessfully plugged Brandon James, Andre Debose, and Chris Rainey into "The Percy Position" and finding an athlete to fit the mold is becoming increasingly more difficult.
In all fairness to Addazio, he has yet to find his own "Harvin Hellraiser" and his offense will lack a truly dynamic option until that day comes.
It's safe to say that without Harvin, Dan Mullen's offense would have been much less productive from 2006-2008, so for now, Addazio should get a pass.
The Offense Will Find Itself
While Florida may have struggled offensively against the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, both the fans and the media may be overreacting.
Granted, Mike Pouncey's snapping troubles may suggest that he should switch back to playing guard, and John Brantley running the option is awkward and puts him at risk for injury.
However, led by a six-touchdown performance by Trey Burton and a stellar passing game from Brantley, Florida set season-high totals in points and total yards in a 48-14 blowout of the Kentucky Wildcats.
The offense has looked anemic at times in 2010 and Steve Addazio certainly deserves a share of the blame, but once the young Gators get a feel for their offensive style, they will hit their stride and light up the scoreboard.