One of my strong suits professionally is that I see the big picture, devise a plan, organize around the plan and control the assets needed. My weakness is that I’m a bull in a china shop. I’m not the guy to walk in and ignore the elephant or the 300 pound go-rilla just chilling in the corner. I’m the guy in the meeting when everyone’s talking about “opportunities” asking, “Ya’ll gonna deal with this big ass pachyderm and monkey limiting the operation or we gonna keep singing ‘Kum Ba Ya’ (Unfortunate but true story)?” I know, I need tact but it’s why I work for myself or as a hired gun. Yet, here we go.
The elephant, i.e., Alabama, reference refers to the simple question: Is Muschamp the guy to return the Gators to Alabama-like dominance of the SEC East? As a Muschamp supporter and absolute lover of his defenses I honestly can’t answer yes. Some of the things he has done from a player management perspective, offensive philosophy/winning formula and obfuscation of clear issues are troubling, to say the least. Also, I despise his Nick Saban mimicry and stubborn adherence to a style that was utterly dismantled when and by Stephen Orr Spurrier when he entered he entered the league in 1990. Hell, Alabama’s offensive balance makes his paradigm look early 1800’s pre-pass. Alabama is Alabama. THIS IS FLORIDA! We have a different recruiting base and the UAA has Ethics. All that said, I think it’s way too early for the Fire Muschamp parade. The guy deserves patience as circumstances beyond his control have left him at a disadvantage such as injuries and a development lag from a program that needed mending. Florida also recruits itself but he’s proven to be a hard working and effective recruiter and has placed us back on firm footing and solid foundation. We just have “opportunities” that need to be addressed.
The “opportunities,” i.e., monkey/ go-rilla are why can’t he fix the cracks or bad blocks he is putting on that foundation. We all see them. I’m not a coach, but I have been yelled at enough by coaches to see that we have some issues originating from scheme, techniques and an obvious inability by some assistants to teach. Sorry, it’s what I see and some of it is simply unacceptable. That’s wrong. All of it is unacceptable. Here is the general list I have assembled from friends emails and text:
- Why at mid season do we not have ANY offensive functional freshmen? So many teams have freshmen in prominent roles achieving at high levels and we have supposedly recruited better; well at least on paper.
- Can we not teach the art of pass blocking? Xavier Nixon is on an NFL roster. Hmmmmm: lack of talent or inability of someone to teach?
- Why do we have a tackle struggling? Do we not provide assistance? A back chipping or simply lining up tight end to slow down speed rushers?
- Why is Trey Burton still running the wildcat, taking valuable reps from inexperienced quarterbacks and interrupting game flow?
- Why after two-and-a-half years are our defensive backs’ ball skills regressing or is it the concentration on holding and grabbing limiting their development?
- Why don’t our quarterbacks release the ball with anticipation? Jeff Driskel and Tyler Murphy both wait until the receivers are coming out their breaks to throw instead of as they anticipating the break? This changes the entire location or erases throwing windows (where the receiver can and should catch the ball against a particular coverage). Is the head coach’s distain for interceptions causing this ineptitude? Growth requires time and experience both good and bad. Learning to anticipate those windows does mean occasional failures. I guess running the ball down Po Dunk State throats instead of developing this skill in real time is better for long-term offensive development? Look, we ran up such and such yards but can’t master the forward pass when needed?
- Why after Louisville exposed our issues with middle and underneath coverage are we still rotating safeties down? Even converted corners have burn marks.
- Did we take the three-step/90 game out of the playbook? Can we get our quarterback going and protect the O-line with easy cut blocks and throw slants, fades, turns and outs to help everyone?
- Why do you have a freshman lining up wrong, yet your leading, best and red hot hand is on the bench after just leading your only competent drive? Really? Really? Really?
- Why does Muschamp keep bringing up superfluous issues/obfuscating when asked direct questions? Coach-speak or not, the issues are seldom addressed post game or even on Monday after he’s had a chance to watch the film and grade it.
I could sit here with you rant, piss and moan but that won’t help anything. It’s one of those losses where you have to really take everything in and evaluate your expectations with all the injuries vs. reality. OK, I’m done. No way on God’s green earth should we give up 500 yards to a backup QB and look this bad on offense. Champ’s right. The arrows are coming and they should. He is paid millions to take every last one of them.
We got our asses kicked.
No interior push or presence. Decimated by injuries inside and out. Great effort by Dante Fowler but no help from Ronald Powel on the opposite side because he was out with an injury.
See above. With no interior protection, they were vulnerable and exposed (literally) and showed inability to get off blocks effectively. All I could hear in my head was Jim Vicharelli from the Philadelphia Eagles screaming PUNCH, THROW and GO watching Antonio Morrison.
Challenged and attacked. There comes a time when a team just does not care if you’re supposed to be an NFL first rounder. In fact, at this point in the year the players look forward to the challenge and relish taking you down a round or two. Missouri started attacking early and often. We just didn’t make the plays covering or tackling. I can’t stand Cody Riggs’ ejection but it was an obvious result of leading with his helmet and that’s what they want out of football. With the new changes it’s actually better to go low than hit high. It results in painful and disastrous consequences but keeps you in the game.
Hats off to Missouri for making the plays to win. Despite the score we were not out of this game until late when the wheels came off of the wagons. This was a total program loss of COACHING SCHEMES and PLAYERS MAKING PLAYS. I don’t wanna hear about circling the wagons. We want them lined up, stripped down and fixed. We have a good young coach and team. I hope and expect — as you do — for them to stick together, work hard and continue to compete. It ain’t over until the Dogs are neutered and FSU is crying about what could have been.
Being a Gator is always GREAT but no one ever said it would or should expect it to be easy. We’re down now and we’ve been down before but we always get up.
Thank you for your time.