The point is, there’s always something you don’t know about or don’t pay any attention to that is vital to success. Something that maybe the players themselves don’t notice.
So what I’m going to do for a little while is come up with “Gator Gadgets”, post them on here, explain how they helped the 2008 Gators, and then explain how they will help the Gators in the future under Muschamp.
The first thing that came to my mind is the number of turnovers the Gators forced, particularly interceptions. But again, this is too obvious. So I went a little deeper.
Do you notice anything significant, aside from the amazing quantity of picks from 2006-2010?
Does anything jump out at you?
Like maybe how unbelievable some of the returns were?
And I’m not just talking about the speedy corners.
How about Jelani Jenkins returning an INT against LSU 47 yards at 5:45?
How about Brandon Spikes returning one off the same QB two years earlier (Jarrett Lee) for 54 yards and a TD at 1:33?
How about Terron Sanders going 53 yards with one against South Carolina at 4:47?
Notice how quickly the defense becomes an offense?
Notice how quickly the guys sprint to make blocks?
Notice how quick the guys on defense are, period?
Florida almost always got short fields to work with in every game in 2008, and capitalized on nearly every one. In 2009, the defense was just as good, but the offense fell because of, well, Addazio, but Tebow and co. still put up respectable point totals because he is lethal in the red zone and that’s where a lot of drives started.
In one of Ryan’s first ever posts on firesteveaddazio.com, he mentioned that people were after him because the Gators put up 30 points a game in 2009.
But now that you guys see this, it’s kind of hard to argue with his point, that the defense set the offense up big time.
How does this help in 2010?
Well, we have a QB with not a lot of confidence, and why not help him out by making him run about 5 plays a drive by setting him up in great field position?
Until the offense finds its groove in 2011, the Gators will live and die by their defense becoming their offense.
I’ve harped on all of this before, but the Gators build their teams on speed- and athleticism.
Even the big guys.
The other thing I’ve harped on is that Muschamp loves dialing up blitzes, and that goes hand in hand with the speed that I mentioned. So Florida should always be after the QB and always be having at least some success in rattling him.
Anybody want to take a wild guess when the majority of picks are thrown?
If your answer is “when the QB is pressured, hurried, and hit often” then you’re right.
Where am I headed with that?
Well, when a QB is hurried, it almost always means that the blocking has broken down.
Which means that some of the linemen have been knocked down, and out of the play.
Which means that the QB’s throw is going to be on the run, off balance, and very short.
Which means that it’s much easier for the defense to snag it because they’re usually facing towards the QB, and the receivers’ bodies are more turned downfield.
Which means that the defense will probably have a running head start on the return.
Which means that the defense is going to have a much easier time setting up blocks, and the returner will already be flying.
Which means that the Gators in 2011 should get some easy pick 6’s, and jump start their offense.