There are many things that keep Steve Addazio from being a good, or even competent offensive coordinator. Here are the five most prominent.
1. Inability to Adjust
Steve Addazio completely lacks the ability to adjust the gameplan as the game goes on.
In 2009 against Tennessee and Mississippi State, we saw Florida come out trying to run the ball up the middle. It was completely shut down, but Addazio refused to change it, and continued to call futile HB dives that were stuffed over and over and over again. Later in the 2009 SEC championship game, Addazio decided to come out 5-wide and throw against the Alabama defense. It did not work, but Addazio never adjusted, and Florida never even tried their hand at the running game.
In the 2010 opener against Miami OH we saw it again. Addazio continued to call screen pass after screen pass, even though they were stuffed for no gain (at best) every single time. The one time they let Brantley throw downfield, Deonte Thompson dropped a 50 yard touchdown pass. Miami OH had no safety back deep all game long and the Gator wide receivers could manhandle Miami OH’s weak DBs, but they never got a chance as Addazio continue to call screen passes and HB dives against stacked fronts.
2. Pass Routes Have No Purpose
When an offensive coordinator sits down to draw up a passing play, every route has a purpose. They may have a slot WR on one side run a short drag and a slot WR on the other side run a deep in, so that a linebacker playing zone in the middle would have to pick which to cover, leaving the other wide open. They may run streaks on the outside with a TE running up the seam in the middle with the intent of exposing the hole in a cover 2 defense. However, I am convinced that this concept is completely lost on Steve Addazio.
When Addazio sits down to draw up a play, I’m convinced that he just randomly picks routes. “Hmmm, I’ve got five wide receivers. Let’s see, this guy should run an out, this guy should run a hitch, this guy should run an in, etc”. There is no design to his passing plays, they are just a random collection of routes. There are often two receivers in the same area, in each other’s way, and there is never any design to them to get a certain player open.
3. Inability to Develop Talent
No one has ever done less with more than Steve Addazio. Every player he has coached has underachieved. Tebow regressed as a passer in his season under Addazio, and everyone that has played for him has underachieved. We saw this most recently with Mike Pouncey’s attempt at playing center against Miami OH. There’s no excuse for having an entire offseason to teach a guy how to snap the ball and not being able to do it. Further, there’s no excuse for not replacing him if it’s clear he can’t do it. High school stars will not want to play for Florida much longer, because they know that Addazio will destroy their future.
4. Does Not Use Player’s Strengths
Why is it that Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey, two tiny scatbacks, are always running HB dives up the middle while Emmanuel Moody is always running tosses to the outside? Why is John Brantley running the option and not dropping back to pass?
5. Scared to Throw Downfield
A huge part of Florida’s success under Dan Mullen was that if team’s started to stack the box and play the run, he would punish them by throwing over the top. Neglecting the deep ball is one of the main reason’s Florida struggles to run the ball at times. Florida’s receivers have 10x the talent of Miami OH’s defensive backs, and Brantley throws a great deep ball. Yet Florida continued to let Miami OH play the run and the short pass, and never take advantage of the mismatches in single coverage that the defenders had down field. After Deonte Thompason dropped the long TD pass against Miami, it was two full quarters before Florida attempted another pass that was more than ten yards downfield.
Florida has got to stretch the field with the vertical passing game to open up the running game and the underneath passing game. They have all the weapons to do it, the only thing holding them back is, you guessed it, Steve Addazio.