Spurrier vs Addazio is Like Mike Tyson vs Glass Joe

A few weeks ago, the UAA was asked what they think of this website, firesteveaddazio.com.  They responded with the following:

“People who are making comments about Steve, they are based on an emotional reaction,” a spokesman said. “They don’t know Steve or how much passion he has. It’s an uneducated opinion.”

Last week, the majority of the Gatorsports.com writers wrote that after the Vandy game, the offense was fixed.  Everything was better now.  Steve Addazio held his typical Tuesday press conference with the same amount of vigorous hand waving as usual, but also with an aura of smugness.  He almost had an attitude of “I told you I could make this work”.

Meanwhile, here on this site, I wrote that our problems with not fixed.  I predicted the exact outcome we got in the South Carolina game.

South Carolina is solid against the run and weak against the pass.  Do I expect Addazio to exploit that this week?  No.  He hasn’t shown an ability to exploit a defense’s weakness in the past, and his stubborn attitude doesn’t leave me with any reason to believe he will ever learn to adapt.  Without the trick plays, and with Addazio looking at this game as an important one, I’m predicting Addazio will curl back up into his conservative ball and we’ll all be yelling about South Carolina’s weak secondary as Addazio tries to beat them two yards at a time.  I’d love to be wrong, but I just have this sinking feeling that we’re in for a let-down, and within a few weeks we’re going to be right back where we were after the MSU game.

By and large, the readers of this site agreed.  You guys littered the comments field with more examples of how the Vanderbilt game was a mirage, and how the issues still remained.  Gatorsports and the UAA were wrong, and you were right.  So I ask the UAA now, who carries the uneducated opinion?

But there’s no sense stopping there.  Let’s take a look at what went wrong in the South Carolina game.  What were our problems?

We weren’t able to adjust.  South Carolina has a strong front seven, and a weak secondary, yet we didn’t throw a pass downfield until there were 7 minutes left in the game and things were all but over.  Our undeveloped talent was not used to their strengths as we continued to see guys like Deonte Thompson run routes that would be better suited to a possession receiver, and guys like Andre Debose remain uninvolved with the offense .  The pass routes once again looked as if they had no real purpose to them, almost as if every play was just a jumble of guys running square in routes.  I mean really, do we have any other pass play in the playbook other than a guy running a 3 yard drag underneath another guy running a 10 yard in route?  Wait, I forgot, on 3rd and 10 we also like to mix in 3 yard hitches and a few screen passes.

Worst of all, we were as predictable as ever.  Burton and Reed came in to run the ball up the middle (and when Burton lined up at FB it was a play action pass into the flats).  Addazio’s extremely conservative gameplan prevented them from throwing the ball, and allowed the defense to once again play aggressively against our offense, bottling everything up into a confined area within a few yards of the line of scrimmage.

That’s funny, because I could have sworn I’ve heard about all those problems before.  Oh, that’s right, I wrote about them all more than two months ago, and have written about them many times since then.  Other than the coach’s unwillingness to acknowledge that there is a problem, that is probably the most frustrating thing.  These aren’t new issues.  These are problems that have been there all year, problems that are entirely fixable, but problems that have not been adjusted at all.

Savvy football fans noticed the problem with Addazio last year.  Within a game or two into this season the problems were obvious to everyone.  Yet here we are, 9 weeks later, and the people in charge are still surprised by things that we’ve been talking about since day 1 of this season.  Again, who’s uneducated?

This season is lost, and has been for a while.  We all knew that when Addazio remained on the staff after the MSU game.  But the scary thing now is what all this does for next season.  It’s too late to see what Loeffler and Azzanni are made of as an OC on a trial run, so now even if we ditch Addazio we’re left with question marks at OC again entering next year.  Even worse is what this season may do to recruiting.  There were a whopping 35 recruits in attendance at the South Carolina game, and it was by far our biggest game of the season in terms of recruits on site.  Having them bear witness to an a team that couldn’t match the production of the special team’s opening kickoff return in either points or yardage until well into the 4th quarter can not have been a good selling point.

Even Pat Dooley, who called me out earlier in the year, has come around and called for Addazio’s head.  It’s just too bad that it took him so long, and he wasn’t ahead of the game like many of the users of this site, or perhaps we could have corrected things before the losses piled up (which was my first goal in creating this site), rather than after.

Addazio Should Pay Me a Consulting Fee

Amazing what happens when you threaten a team downfield, isn’t it?

The Gators took a few more shots downfield this week against Vandy, and once again it paid off in spades.  I don’t know why it took two months for Addazio (if he even was the one calling those plays) to figure it out, but at least there has been progression in that category.  Once again, we saw our playmakers making plays when given the opportunity to do it.  On Jordan Reed’s long touchdown pass to Deonte Thompson, Thompson was fairly well covered, but Reed laid a perfect ball in there over the outside shoulder and Thompson made a nice catch.  On Brantley’s long pass to Rainey, while Rainey had his defender beat, the ball was underthrown and Rainey still made a great catch despite early contact from the defender.  This goes back to what I’ve been saying all year.  These guys aren’t possession receivers, they’re playmakers, so we need to put them in positions to make plays.  If this Vandy game proved anything, it proved that Addazio and not the players has been the biggest problem all year long.  When given a chance, these guys can make good things happen.

The disconcerting thing about those plays was that they came on trick plays.  I still think Addazio has it stuck in his head that he has to do something tricky to throw the ball vertically.  That’s not the case.  Those guys were covered, but they made a play on the ball (or in Reed’s case, he made a great throw).  We can do this on any play where we have single coverage on the outside.

Did anyone else notice how easily everything else came after that?  The offense looked like the offense has all year in the 1st quarter.  Horrible drives ending in 3 and outs all 1st quarter long.  Then we hit a couple of big plays downfield and everything opened up underneath.  You know, kind of like I’ve been saying would happen all year if we actually some fear of a vertical pass into the opponent.

But let’s keep everything in perspective.  This was Vanderbilt, and four of our touchdowns were basically the result of the defense and special teams.  The Gatorsports writers seem to think that everything is fixed with the offense.  The last time they said that was after the Kentucky game, and while things have certainly improved since then, they aren’t nearly where they need to be and Addazio is still the biggest obstacle holding this team back.  Zach Azzanni was the one who put our recent hurry up offense into place.  Is it just me, or doesn’t it seem a little off that we have to go to our wide receivers coach to make adjustments to the offense?

South Carolina is solid against the run and weak against the pass.  Do I expect Addazio to exploit that this week?  No.  He hasn’t shown an ability to exploit a defense’s weakness in the past, and his stubborn attitude doesn’t leave me with any reason to believe he will ever learn to adapt.  Without the trick plays, and with Addazio looking at this game as an important one, I’m predicting Addazio will curl back up into his conservative ball and we’ll all be yelling about South Carolina’s weak secondary as Addazio tries to beat them two yards at a time.  I’d love to be wrong, but I just have this sinking feeling that we’re in for a let-down, and within a few weeks we’re going to be right back where we were after the MSU game.  The good news is that, as usual, South Carolina has completely fallen apart in the second half of the season.  They are not a very good team right now, and their offense is prone to mistakes that I feel our ball hawking defense can capitalize on.

Before I sign off for the day, I wanted to touch on one last thing, the quarterback situation.  Rotating quarterbacks are always a sign of a struggling offense.  Typically, it teases people with sparks when it is first implemented, but always regresses back to the same struggling offense as before.  If we’re going to stick with Addazio in the short term (ugh), then we need to just go ahead and make the change to Jordan Reed.  I do not think Jordan Reed is the savior.  Even in the Vandy game, he cooled off pretty quickly in the second half, and when a team has an entire week to actually prepare for him they will be able to do a much better job against him (not to mention, again, this was Vandy we’re talking about here).  Still, Brantley is just a bad fit for this offense.  I like Brantley, but for his own sake, if we decide to stick with this offense going forward then I hope he transfers in the offseason.  He has some issues as a quarterback, but I still believe he is a good player.  He will never realize his potential in this offense though, and it would be better for both the Gators and for John Brantley if he were to move on, a la Ryan Mallet and Michigan.

Personally, I would prefer we change the offense to suit Brantley and keep him as our guy, but seeing as how I don’t believe the current staff has any intention of building an offense to suit Brantley, a mutual breakup seems to be the best option.

Welcome to the Prevent Offense

The Gators finally got back into the win column on Saturday, and since I’m sure Steve Addazio is too busy patting himself on the back to break down the game, we’re going to do it here for you.

The good news is that an Addazio led offense gained 400 total yards against an SEC team not named Kentucky for the first time in his tenure.  The bad news is that it came against a porous Georgia defense, and that there was still a lot of things that were done poorly, and are predictive of more future problems on offense, and losses for the team.

Let’s start with Addazio’s new wrinkle.  No, it wasn’t the ‘3-qb system’ that CBS kept harping on (newsflash CBS, this wasn’t the first time that Jordan Reed and Trey Burton lined up at quarterback for us).  You remember how in at least every big game, and in almost every week, Dan Mullen would roll out a new play or formation that eventually would become a staple in the offense?  First, it was the Bubba Caldwell option reverse, then it was the shovel pass, and it went on from there.  Well, Addazio finally joined that club today and came up with something new, and it was half a good idea to boot.

I’ve said all along that if Trey Burton is going to be able to run the ball for us against good teams, he’s going to have to throw the ball a bit to keep the defenses honest.  Since Addazio is completely terrified of any measure of risk, it seems he’s not willing to do that.  Instead, he came up with the idea of having Burton line up at QB, and then walk up to the line of scrimmage like he was calling out protection schemes, while John Brantley slips into the backfield and takes the snap.  The idea is decent.  The defense sees Burton at QB and expects a run, but then at the last second Brantley runs back there and lines up to throw the ball.  The problem is that Addazio just couldn’t quite come up with a whole good play without doing something stupid with it.  So, we now have the defense fooled, thinking run, with the box stacked, but have the ball in our passer’s hands.  So what do we do?  Throw a short, quick pass right into the heart of where the box is stacked to stop the run.

What’s the point?  We go through all this effort to get a team to commit to the line of scrimmage, then trick them by throwing right at that spot?  That play should have been designed to go downfield, that’s the only way it makes sense.

Speaking of downfield (which you all know I’ve been harping on all year), that’s something the Gators finally did a couple times in this game.  The first time it didn’t work out as Hines gave up on his route (probably because he thought we would never actually throw it down there), but after that it worked beautifully.  The throw down the sidelines to a well covered Donte Thompson is exactly what I’ve been talking about all year when I say he needs to use players to their strengths.  Deonte Thompson does not have good hands, so why have we spent the whole season using him in basically a possession receiver role?  That’s not what he excels at.  He’s a playmaker.  He’s not going to reliably catch a bunch of 10 yard ins consistently, but he can make plays when you put him in position to do it.  And on that play, he was covered, but Brantley finally gave him a chance to make a play, and it paid off in spades.  The funny part is that when Brantley threw that pass, Addazio (before he saw the result) probably wished he had checked down to another 2 yard hitch on 3rd and long instead.

So finally, for the first time in months, we got to see the reward end of a risk/reward play.  One of the biggest problems with our offense is that with our refusal to stretch the field, plays that are normally “safe” plays become risky plays because the defense plays them aggressively, only they don’t have the reward to go with them.  In Addazio’s never ending desire to play safe, he has only created more risk.  Instead of “risk/reward” plays, they’re “risk/modest gain” plays.  It was nice to see that change, even if it was only for a few brief minutes.

On the next drive, we saw it again, as Brantley connected deep downfield for a long touchdown to Jeff Demps on a wheel route.  Finally, a long passing play.  Maybe things were starting to look up, if only a little bit.

Then, the second half, and the introduction of the prevent offense and more horror.  In 2009, Florida returned all 11 starters from the #1 defense in the country.  Apparently, Addazio did not get the memo that we no longer have that defense in 2010.  Our defense is solid, yet mediocre.  But Addazio called his plays in the 2nd half like we were up by five scores, not two, to the extreme extent of lining up Burton at QB and running the ball on 3rd and 7 and 4th and 12 (which came after an attempt to complete a 3 yard hitch on 3rd and 12 to boot).

There was some debate as to whether the 4th and 12 run was actually supposed to be an option pass that just blew up when Burton thought he saw an opening and took off the other way (for 1 yard), but that’s even worse.  If you’re going to run a trick passing play, you can’t run it in an obvious passing situation.  It’s the same reason that everyone knew the jump pass was coming in the Alabama game, because it was 4th down.  If it was first down or second down, no one would have been ready for it.  Same story here.  Why does he think an option pass is going to fool anyone on 4th and 12?  The defense can play pass D and still have plenty of room to stop both the run and the pass.

Later in the game, at the end of regulation, we got to see how much faith our coaches have in the offense they’ve created.  After Brantley’s near interception with under a minute left, the Gators elected to take a knee on their own 40 yard line with enough time to run 3 plays to get us into field goal range.  That’s right, the mighty Florida Gators would rather take a knee then try to win the game in the last 25 seconds from the 40 yard line.  Think about that for a second, and then consider that later that same night, the Oregon Ducks decided to try and score after getting the ball at their own 5 yard line with a minute left in the half, and nearly did it.  Yet we have so little faith in our offense that even starting at the 40, we’d rather just sit on the ball.

Am I the only one that cringed when Will Hill stepped out of bounds inside the 5 yard line in overtime?  Normally, an interception in overtime means virtually an automatic win, but I knew that with our offense, it was a toss-up.  And, they did not disappoint, going 3 and out with yet another questionable 3rd down play call.  Again we lined Burton up at QB on 3rd and long, only this time we brought with him the incredible trickery of throwing a swing pass to the short side of the field with no room for Demps to do anything.  As expected, no one was fooled.  The really sad part here is that the two wasted possessions where we just ran Burton on 3rd/4th and long were probably put in to set up exactly this play.  Addazio probably thinks he’s some kind of super genius who would give away two possessions to have this awesome ace in the hole later on.

So, we escaped Jacksonville with a win, which is great.  We saw a few small glimmers of hope on offense, surrounded by more heaps of bad play calling and philosophy.  The offensive line didn’t really improve at all, and many of the issues in this game were with guys coming through unblocked after simple stunts or delayed blitzes.  5 guys rushing and 6 blocking (counting the RB), yet guys still came through untouched.  That’s a scheme issue, too bad our O-line coach is too busy designing creative ways for Brantley to throw a 2 yard drag route to fix it.

It was nice to see Chas Henry finish as the hero.  He’s taken a beating for not doing well at a job he was never supposed to do, which has completely overshadowed just how good at the job he actually is supposed to be doing (punting).  It was a beautiful punt by Henry that set us up with a chance to win it at the end of regulation (if our offense had enough confidence not to just sit on the ball) as well.

Addazio Has Learned Nothing

If you thought that, after yet another offensive embarassment against Mississippi State, we might finally get some answers out of Steve Addazio, or a change in attitude, or a sign of change on offense, then prepare to be sorely disappointed.  Addazio’s latest press conference looked pretty much like all the rest of them.  One third dedicated to talking about how well things are going, one third dedicated to failed logic, and one third dedicated to talking down to the fans as if they don’t know anything.  So let’s break the interview down…

00:00 – 1:00 Addazio makes excuses for the offensive line, tells us they’re not playing poorly, and explains to us the basics of why sacks happen.  Mississippi State was not sending overload blitzes.  They weren’t sending more guys than we could block, we just weren’t making the right reads in our blitz pickups.  Earlier in the week Steve Addazio was asked about our issues with blitz pickup and he said simply “we’re fine”.

     As I watched Mike Gillislee run across the front of Brantley to block nobody while the sole blitzing linebacker came through completely unblocked on the side he had vacated for yet another sack it became readily apparent to everyone outside of Steve Addazio that we were not fine in this respect.  They sent 5 on that play, and we had 6 in to block, yet someone came through unblocked.  That is a scheming issue and we all know who is in charge of our scheme.  Mississippi State wasn’t overloading us with their blitzes, they were outsmarting us with them.

1:01 – 2:20 Addazio talks about “staying on schedule” to avoid 3rd and long situations.  If you’ll recall, almost a month ago I talked about the way that Addazio’s stubborn over-use of this philosophy is one of the root of the problems for the Gator offense.  Not once, but twice.

     1st and 10 becomes  2nd and 6.  2nd and 6 becomes 3rd and 2.  3rd and 2 becomes 1st and 10.  That’s the idea.  The problem, Steve, is that defensive coordinators know that your goal on 1st down is to get 4 yards, so that’s what they defend.  So now your safe 4 yard play becomes a 1 yard play, and we’re putting ourselves in long yardage situations anyway.  58 times this year Florida has run for 2 yards or less on 1st down.

     What needs to happen, and I’ve been harping on this from day one, is that sometimes you need to try and get 40 yards on 1st down rather than 4.  The defense is loading up the box so much that a 4 yard run is no more likely to be successful than a long pass play is.  The difference is that when we waste a 1st or second down play with a 1 yard run, we’ve accomplished nothing.  When we “waste” a long pass attempt with an incompletion, at least we’ve accomplished something by telling the defense that they’re going to need to back off some or it’s going to hurt them.

     We saw Mississippi State do it against us last week.  On 1st and 10, they completed a deep corner route for a 35 yard gain.  On the next 1st and 10 they ran the ball up the middle, and it wasn’t until the running back was 20 yards downfield that our safety, Will Hill, finally came into the picture.

     These are football fundamentals here.  You can’t play the field like it’s 10 yards long every play because then the defense can play the  field the same way, and you’re running plays that are just as likely to fail as the long ones, only with a much smaller payoff if they do work.  Ron Zook had this same problem.  The biggest difference between our explosive 2007 offense and our putrid 2010 offense is not Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, or offensive line play.  The biggest difference is downfield pass attempts.

2:21 – 3:00 Addazio tells us about more players that are playing well, and more “good plays” that are happening.  Nobody is fooled.

Perhaps the most infuriating thing about these interviews is the air of arrogance with which Addazio conducts them.  He thinks the fans are idiots.  Newsflash Steve, the type of people who take the time to watch your press conferences are no the casual football fan that thinks every play we don’t score on is a bad play.

He tells us that everything is ok, as if he believes that when we hear the offensive coordinator of the team say something, it’s going to mean more to us than what we see on the field just because of who it is.  He explains to us basic football concepts as if we just couldn’t possibly comprehend all the intricacies of football to the extent that he does.

Then, on the flipside, he shows no ability to grasp many of those basic concepts himself.  I’ve touched on them many times on this site.  Predictability, stretching the field, adjusting a gameplan, designing routes with a purpose, and using players to their strengths.  These are all basic fundamental football concepts that, quite frankly, appear to be beyond Steve Addazio’s level of comprehension.  There are intramural football players at UF that draw up better route design in their plays than Steve Addazio does.

Let’s put it this way.  If I met Steve Addazio without knowing who he was, and listened to him talk about these games with no mention of the issues I brought up above, I would not think he was anything more than a casual football fan who flipped the TV on on Saturday’s but didn’t really follow the intricacies of the game much.  There is no way that I would ever predict he was actually someone who had been involved in football for years, and certainly not someone who was doing it for a huge program like the University of Florida.

This whole situation has really opened my eyes.  Steve Addazio was promoted to our offensive coordinator position because he knows how to run a practice, and because he knows how to teach technique to offensive linemen.  As far as designing plays, calling plays, and scheming an offense goes, Steve Addazio is no more qualified, and certainly no better, than a handful of hardcore football gurus you could find off the street.

FireSteveAddazio.com Hits the Radio Waves

Yesterday I was invited on to The Big Show with the Sports Heavyweights talk about our cause and our website with Gator Mike, as well as Joel from TheBullGator.com.  The show aired on WLBE 790am yesterday at 6pm.  I figured you guys might be interested in hearing our discussion about everyone’s favorite Addazio, so I recorded it just for you guys.  You’ll find it in youtube form, in two parts, below.

Part 1 Part 2

What You Can Do

An embarrassing loss to Mississippi State was enough to get rid of our last coaching problem, and we were rewarded with two national championships in four years following it.  I would have thought that this loss to Mississippi State would have done the same to Addazio, but word out of UF about any potential OC or play calling changes has been quiet.  It would appear that the people making the decisions are still as in denial today as they were when they were telling us that everyone was grading out like champions.  So, here are somethings that you can do to help spread the word of our displeasure.

1.  Twitter.  Twitter is great for getting a movement to spread fast.  Follow me on twitter.  Retweet my tweets.  Make your own tweets directing users back to this site, and letting people know how you feel about the way our offense is being run.

2. Like this site on facebook.  Even better, one of our users has showed me a way to send out a message to all your facebook friends so they can Like it as well.

Select “Suggest to Friends” then when the invite box comes up, right click “open in new tab” then paste this code into your address bar to select all of your friends
javascript:elms=document.getElementById(‘friends’).getElementsByTagName(‘li’);for(var fid in elms){if(typeo…f elms[fid] === ‘object’){fs.click(elms[fid]);}}
then press “enter” and send!

3. Sign the petition.  The number of unique visitors that have hit this site is a large number, but it’s not enough to prove that everyone coming here feels the same way.  A petition that explicitly states it is undeniable.

4. Wear the shirts.  Not just to games, but around campus too.

5. Poster fliers around campus.  The main thing is just to get the word out there that this site exists as a place for us to rally around our cause.  There are still lots of people out there that are fed up with the play calling or with the offense and don’t know this place exists.

6. Listen to The BIG SHOW w/ the Sports Heavyweights on radio station 790am at 6pm tonight if you get that station (I know it’s in Leesburg/Orlando, not sure where else in Florida it’s available).  It can also be streamed at http://wlbe.org.  I’ll be on there talking about the Gators’ struggles.  I’ll also be doing an interview for the Tampa CBS affiliate, and I’ll let you all know when that airs.

The key is the Bull Gators, the big donors.  The bigger this site gets, the higher the likelihood that they come across it and become willing to speak up.

Disrespected and Beaten Down

Mississippi State disrespected Steve Addazio on Saturday night, and doing so gave them a huge “upset” road win.

After taking a 10-0 lead into the half, MSU threw the ball once in the entire second half.  Dan Mullen sent a message.  He said that he didn’t think our offense could score 10 points without our defense setting us up with an interception, and he was right.

When I started this site a few months ago, early on some people ragged on me because we were scoring ~30 points per game.  I told them that wasn’t our offense’s doing, and that it only appeared that way because special teams and the defense were gifting us with great field position, or outright scoring on their own.  Saturday night was our offense, same as it’s been all year.  7 points.  The only difference between the MSU game and most of our other games is that our defense and special teams didn’t score for us.  7 points is what we can expect out of our offense when they actually have to score on their own.  Same (basically) as in the Alabama game.  Same as in the LSU game.  Same as in most games.

I’m not going to dive too deep into what Addazio did wrong on Saturday night.  We’ve been there before.  Saturday night was no different, as we saw much of the same.  Only one shot down field all game long, Brantley running the option, Burton telegraphing when we’re running in the redzone, blah blah blah etc etc etc.

Saturday night was unique in that we got to hear the announcers, who are typically way behind avid fans of a team, be as dumbfounded with the playcalling as we were.  Spielman and Herm constantly wondered outloud why we couldn’t figure out that the offense wouldn’t work unless we could get the defense to back off with some downfield passes, and Herm practically yelled at his monitor in disbelief as we continued to kill drives with Brantley option calls.  One of Addazio’s biggest faults is the same as the Zookers.  He plays the field 10 yards at a time.  18 play scoring drives are nice, but they’re too fragile to count on.  One holding call, one run for a loss, or one false start and our entire drive is shot.  The  goal in football is to score the most points, not pick up the most first downs.  You’ll never find a team being successful without picking up yardage in chunks at times throughout the game, and you can’t pick up yardage in chunks if you don’t call plays designed to do so.

But perhaps the most telling thing out of the announcers mouths was their anecdote about their interview with Addazio earlier in the week.  In it, they asked Addazio about the O-line’s problems with blitz pickup this season.  Addazio responded simply, “we’re fine”.  This anecdote came as Brantley was hitting the turf for the 5th time in the last 6 plays.  Addazio continues to stick his head in the sand and tell us that no problems exist, as if we’re too stupid to know any better.  “Oh, our OC says everything is great, so it must be”.

An interesting stat popped across the screen during the game.  Florida has only gained 400 yards of total offense against SEC opponents twice in the last two years, and both of those games came against Kentucky.  It really sheds to light what I’ve been trying to beat into the Addazio apologists heads all along, that this problem isn’t new, it’s not the overreaction of one or even a couple of games, and that it has been there all along, even when he had an all-time great team to work with.

Look at how far we’ve fallen this year.  Not only have we lost three games in a row for the first time since 1988, but perhaps even worse is that we lost two games in a row at home, at night.  Even Pat Dooley has finally jumped onboard the bandwagon.  If only he’d have listened to me sooner, before the damage was done.

At this point, I’m numb.  This is the first Gator loss I can remember that I wasn’t angry afterwards.  It’s almost as if I expected it.  The announcers kept remarking about how shocked the Florida fans were.  Were any of you shocked?  The major websites hung the tagline “Mississippi State upsets no. 22 Florida”.  Do any of you consider this an upset?  In our current state, with our current coaches, I don’t think we’re any better than Mississppi State.

That picture you see at the top of this article was Addazio after Brantley was once again dropped behind the line to end a drive, leaving us with no points in the 1st half against Mississippi State.  That was his reaction.  Just standing there.  Just like the LSU game.  At this point, the guy barely even fits the definition of the word “coach”.

And Steve, don’t you dare try and tell us about all the good that came out of this game in Tuesday’s press conference.

Guest Column: What’s Necessary

I’m starting something new on the site today.  So far everything you’ve read on this site has been the opinion of just one guy, me.  While, as you can see clearly from the comments section and the facebook page, that opinion is shared by many people, I’ve still been the only one with a big audience so far.

So, to spread the love a little bit, I’ve gotten with some people who’s opinions and football knowledge I trust, and am going to give them a chance to speak their mind as well, and offer another viewpoint.

We’ll call our first guest columnist Chuck.  He’ll take a look at the situation in a different way, what happens if Addazio is actually let go, how it effects the players, the present, and the future.  I’ve added my take at the bottom, since you know, I just like talking.  Here’s the article…

You are in San Francisco.

You are riding a trolley.

But the trolley has been taken over by a mad scientist.

There are five people tied to the tracks ahead.  But you have the opportunity to flip a switch and divert the train onto a different track.  The other route has only one person tied to the track.  Do you do it?

Now, what if the trolley is too heavy and needs to lose weight.  If you unload weight, the trolley can be controlled and those five people saved.  To do this though, you’d have to push a fat man off the trolley.

This is not a bad vacation story from a trip to the Pacific Time zone.  Instead, it’s the well studied Trolley Problem.

What does this have to do with Steve Addazio?

Michael Pouncey, Carl Johnson, Maurice Hurt, Marcus Gilbert, these are the fat men on the trolley.  These players have worked four or five years in Gainesville to get to this point, not to mention all of the work they did in the first eighteen years of their life.  They are now starters who have gone from five star recruits to busts, from the ‘other brother’ to the team leader, from starter to not even dressing for the game, from guard to tackle then back to guard.  Now, they are four-fifths of the offensive line.

If Addazio is let go, they will be people who suffer, and these seniors who have worked so hard are at the top of the list.  These guys have been taught by Addazio for their entire college career, they don’t know anyone or anything else.  Whether we like it or not, there are growing pains with new coaches, especially in the middle of the season.

But, the question is not just about the fat man, what about the rest of the people on the trolley?  What about the rest of the team?  The good of the team, not one fat man, is the most important element that should be considered.

The utilitarian approach is to maximize utility, happiness or pleasure.  How is happiness measured by University of Florida football? Success on the field.

No matter the coach, the transition to a new coach is a tough one.  If the remainder of the year is diminished with a new offensive coordinator, then we have to determine if its best for the University of Florida football team.

As the team currently stands, the offense is not producing, the team is losing football games, and the program is losing recruits.

What happens when you get a new coach?  Initially, teams struggle (see year one in the Urban Meyer era).  But after a little time, teams usually respond after learning the new system (see year two in the Urban Meyer era).  If the Gators start the process now, it will put the team in a better position for the future.

There’s only problem with the solution, the fat man has to go overboard.

My Take: A very well written article that takes a look at some of the deeper seeded issues that people may not think of offhand when raging after yet another HB dive call when the defense has 9 guys in the box.

This should provoke some good discussion, and I’m going to give everyone a chance to sound off in the comments section.  However, I get to go first 🙂

One has to wonder if, for many of these guys, the damage has already been done.  Pouncey was a 1st round draft pick at guard, but being forced to play out of position, and in a position that he is having trouble picking up, has destroyed his draft stock.  If a new OC means using the talent at the things they excel at, then the change could help these guys as much as it hurts them.  Something to think about.

Teams typically struggle early on with a new OC.  But we’re struggling now (mightily) with our current OC anyway.  I don’t think that a change to the entire system is necessary this season.  The system can work, we’ve seen that with Dan Mullen.  We just need a change in the play calling, and in the coaches attitude (IE actually coaching instead of just telling everyone how great they are while they get dominated).

Let’s play hypotheticals for a minute here and assume that the team is going to struggle to get adjusted to the new OC early on.  Wouldn’t we rather him struggle now, in a season where our NC hopes are already lost, and we’re already struggling anyway?  Is it better to let a new OC work the kinks out on a 4-2 team that is out of the picture rather than waste an entire new season where we’re starting fresh and are right in the thick of things?

I think at this point, Addazio being run out of town is nearly a certainty.  It has to be.  There’s no way anyone could possibly believe the guy should be coaching this team when week 1 rolls around next year.  So, what are your thoughts, readers?  Are we better off getting rid of him now or getting rid of him in the offseason?  Which is better for the players?  Which is better for the recruits?  Which is better for the present, and which for the future?

Sound off in the comments section below, or in the forum.  A big thanks to Chuck for bringing up this thought provoking discussion.

More Fun With Quotes

I’m going to make this post short and sweet.  Here are some more quotes from Steve Addazio on Tuesday following the LSU game.

“I feel great about my guys,” Addazio said Tuesday. “I don’t think Mike Pouncey has ever played any better than he’s playing right now. I don’t think Marcus Gilbert has ever played any better than he’s playing right now.”

Do I really need to even comment on this?  Come on man, it’s time to get back to reality.

Gatorsports went on to say that without the threat of a big play, defenses will continue to bring more pressure to disrupt Florida’s non-threatening offense.

Yeah, no kidding.  That’s what we on this site have been saying for two friggin’ months now.  If only these credible sources had the gall to say this stuff when we still had a chance to correct it, like I did earlier this year, rather than waiting for us to drop a couple games to jump on the bandwagon of problems that have been there the whole time.

Anyway, here’s Addazio’s most recent quote about it.

“We’ve got to find a way to get some more explosives in there”

Really?  That’s what you’ve got for us on that front Steve?  We’ve got to find a way?  Here’s a clue.  THROW THE BALL DOWNFIELD.  In case you’ve forgotten, you’re the guy calling the plays Steve.  If you want big plays down field, you have to call them.  Running the HB dive 80 times until someone breaks one is not the answer, and I can guarantee you that a Brantley option to the short side of the field surely isn’t going to bring you one against a real defense.

Anyway, we’ve got another great quote from one of our recruits here.  When asked about the boos in the 4th quarter of the LSU game, Leroy Pittman responded…

“They felt the play-calling was not good,” he said. “It just shows the fans want to see more excitement from the offense. You can’t advertise great speed and talent, but never throw deep or have any long runs and not expect the viewers to have question and concern and frustration.”

It’s pretty said that a 17 year old incoming recruit seems to have a better grasp over what this offense needs than our offensive coordinator does.

Recruits Fault Addazio’s Play Calling

You think things are bad now, where Addazio’s conservative, predictable play calling is turning a team loaded with talent into one of the weakest offenses in the country?  Imagine if we didn’t have the talent, and we actually had to rely on our offensive coordinator to help our offense move the ball by himself.

Sadly, that may be where we’re heading if we don’t make a change soon, as it appears that it’s not just us on this site that disapprove of the way Addazio runs his offense, but our potential future players as well.

4-star running back Mike Bellamy, once the Gators top priority at running back, left at halftime of the LSU game because, as he put it, the Gator offense was boring.

Massive wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin said that he expected us to throw the ball downfield more.  Apparently he hasn’t watched us play before.

Incoming commit at wide receiver, Latroy Pittman, said that he discussed the Gators struggles on offense with multiple other potential recruits during the LSU game as well.  He went on to explicitly say that the play calling was a problem.

And really, who can blame these guys?  Florida ranks 11th out of 12 in the SEC in total offense, and 96th nationally.  Why would these want to come play for a coach that excels in turning NFL talent into forgotten journeymen?  You can read the rest of the quotes here.

Some people have questioned whether or not our offensive talent is really as good as we think it is, but does anyone here believe that our offensive talent is 11th in the SEC and 96th in the nation?  Does anyone actually believe that we have less offensive talent than Vanderbilt, Iowa State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Kentucky, and Kansas?  Of course not.  So what’s the difference?  Coaching.  Play calling.  We’ve all been seeing it for months, now the recruits and the players see it too.  It seems the only people yet to see it are Meyer and Foley.

Now, before I finish up this post, I want to play a little game.  Below I’ve embedded a video sent in by one of our readers at the LSU game this week.  What I want you to do, is before looking down below the video to see the answer, watch the video take a guess as to what point in the game it was when this video was shot.  Here it is…

Ok, now take a guess.  When was this?

It looks like some random, calm moment during the 2nd quarter, maybe right before half time or something when everyone is just letting the clock run out before going to the locker room, right?

Bzzzz.  Wrong.  Believe it or not, this video was shot right after the first drive of the second half.  You know, the one where Florida once again failed to score any points after having 2nd and goal from the 1 yard line.  The one where 2nd and goal from the 1 turned into 2nd and goal from the 16 after back to back penalties.  The one where they wasted yet another timeout that nothing came of.

So after that, with all the issues we’ve had with coming away with no points from down inside the 5, with the bad penalties that you just can’t take in that situation, you figure Addazio’s gonna get in their face, right?  Maybe coach ’em up a little bit?

Nah, they’re just hanging out, sitting around watching the game.  And of course, Brantley is once again nowhere to be found in the picture, because why would our offensive coordinator ever talk to our quarterback?

That video says it all.