If you don’t really know football, and just like to say yay team, then just believe what you want to believe.
If you think you know football and you don’t, then just google your team’s name followed by “looking great”.
But if you know football and can see through propaganda and coach-speak, then you know that a former player talking with great excitement about the 2011 team is a big deal.
Shane Matthews is no longer being ear-whispered by University public relations guys; he’s now been out of UF for roughly 20 years. He isn’t subject to the BS compliance rules that shattered my chance at getting an interview with Jeffrey Demps. He’s a free man and can say whatever the hell he pleases.
He doesn’t have to say things just to make fans feel good and UF look good.
But he did.
He gave his honest opinion about the new offense.
“It’s a concept,” the former Florida quarterback said. “It will be easy for these guys to pick up on that. It won’t take long at all. Charlie Weis and Aubrey Hill and the offensive coaches will coach it up well. They’ll make it simple for these guys. People think it’s complicated, but it’s not. They’ll put the players in a position to be successful.”
Not only is he speaking his honest mind, he’s also talking from experience. Once upon a time, the Gators had this guy named Emmitt Smith. When he left, Spurrier took over and tore down the offense to build it back up all over again in a completely different way. Matthews had to learn the new Fun n Gun offense, which as I’m sure you know was a wacky machine gun type offense that passed on nearly every play and sent waves of receivers in different directions.
Matthews was adamant in stating that it wasn’t a difficult transition. Perhaps this was due in large part to the offensive brain power of Steve Spurrier.
Replace Matthews with Brantley… now replace Spurrier with Weis… and there’s really no difference, aside from Matthews being a little more successful prior to the switch than Brantley.
Charlie Weis knows offense the way Tim Tebow knows the end zone.
Expect Weis to do what he’s done previously- exploit favorable one on one matchups and ride those mismatches to blowout wins.
More specifically, the play-calling needs to be better… wait I forgot I was just talking about Charlie Weis. I nodded off into a dream about the Gators going five and out. Yes, five, because the refs had such pity on Steve Addazio that they gave us six downs instead of four.
Anyway, Weis made his living in one way in particular.
For every defense, there’s a way to beat it. I was only kidding when I pretended to be Addazio and said that the way to beat bump-n-run coverage is to lie down and take a nap and hope for a flag. But in reality, there are a bunch of ways to beat it.
One way to beat bump-n-run is to overload one side of the line of scrimmage with a trips set of receivers, and have them run very unnatural routes. The possibility of the defensive backs getting confused is maximized, which is when Brantley will release a bullet, because there’s got to be SOMEONE open in that split second of confusion.
Another way to beat it is to send a man in motion, to confuse them. They might lose track of who they’re covering, allowing a quick snap and a throw for an easy 15 yards.
But thanks to my time toying with offense as a GA, I always think one step further. And I’m wondering if maybe we could even pull off that three headed clusterf*ck Addazio imagined up during a particularly intense session with a curled up dive play pamphlet that I mentioned. You know, where one QB lines up to take the snap but somebody else walks behind the center and takes it instead. However, in the name of scoring points, let’s ditch the part about throwing a two yard hitch right where the defense is waiting. Because there’s no doubt, Georgia was confused when we did that.
So let’s take it a step further. How about we line Chris Rainey up in the gun to start with, after running some first quarter Wildcat. Let’s assume we’ve run it a minimum of five times and at least three of them were big gainers (10 yards or more). Now they don’t know what the hell to do if they see Brantley quickly get in position to take the snap. So let’s capitalize on their consternation and lob a bomb downfield for an easy touchdown.
But as much as I’d like to think otherwise, chances are that Charlie Weis is smarter than me at offense. So if he doesn’t use the play I just described,he’ll come up with something else effective. Because that’s what he does- finds mismatches and exploits them all day.
So I don’t really want to hear this transition BS. We’re big boys now, we can manage.
Matthews’ Gator teammate, receiver Tre Everett, agreed with me and then made a bold prediction.
“I don’t think there is going to be a tough transition for anyone. I think it will be far easier than some think. They have some great athletes and these coaches have done this before. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re right back where we’re supposed to be- as a national contender next season.”
But even better, Everett predicted that the receivers at Florida would have a lot of fun, saying it will be a welcome change for them.
Whether Deonte “Dr. Strangeglove” Thompson learns to catch a football is yet to be seen.
But the point of this post isn’t to plagiarize a reporter’s article (Robbie Andreu); it’s to infuse some confidence in you guys.
Again, these guys aren’t being assaulted by PR guys 24/7; they’re free men, and can say whatever they want.
And they have every reason to be optimistic.
I’ve said this a lot before; I’ll say it again.
Florida is stacked with talent.
As in LOADED.
As in THEY CAN WIN THE 2011 BCS CHAMPIONSHIP.
Speed especially remains.
Will Muschamp has enough speed on this team to form an Olympic track team.
The pieces are in place for a BCS Championship. We’ve got a QB with a great arm, an offensive coordinator that has proven to wring out as much production as possible, three very talented running backs, speedy receivers, a nasty front 7 on defense and a ball hawking secondary.
Oh and a brilliant defensive mind.
If something goes wrong on our quest for a third national championship in six years, it won’t be talent.