Fan Take: Temper expectations?

By: RON aka GATORBOGEY has the best subscriber base of Florida fans on the Internet. We’ve got plenty of fans who know their sports, some more than our own staff!

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Thanks to gatorbogey for providing us with our next edition of “Fan Take,” and remember that if you take the time to write out a well-reasoned or helpful post on Gators sports, you could be next! gatorbogey writes:

For the upcoming season, should expectations be lowered?

Most of the optimism, especially offensively, is based, from my observation, on what I would term as ‘Faith.’ There’s really no basis for it, in my opinion. Of course, feel free to knock holes in my rationalizations.

1. Coaching Continuity – More changes on the offense. While we think we’ve upgraded at offensive line coach and coordinator – that may be wishful thinking. Change like this may take a year to take hold [or not]. The new offensive coordinator is still learning the personnel. Players may take a while to get all the plays down pat the way Brent Pease wants them run.

1a: Strength and Conditioning Coach – We had someone in that position that DID provide some continuity over several years. Now, a change. We ‘think’ we’ve upgraded. It remains to be seen, though. Just making a change in routines/approach might help [or not].

1b: Head coach still learning on the job – No doubt, improvements will be made, but, likely, mistakes will be made. Personally, I think even seasoned veterans constantly learn and work to improve their craft….and that applies to second year coaches, two-fold.

2. Offensive Line – Sort of a weak point last season. Another year in the ‘system’ helps, but we’ve sort of switched up the system on them again. I would expect a few blown assignments along the course of the season…may cost a game or two.

3. Running Backs – We’ve kinda cobbled together the RB corps, converted RBs. While I give a big nod to the coaches for this, that shows a glaring hole. Are we justified in thinking we’ll get a lot of production from them? To me: just be overjoyed if, in fact, they do reasonably well and out-produce last season’s group. On paper, though, we shouldn’t be all that optimistic? I mean, if our rivals were in our situation, we’d be berating them…right? [Similarly with the OL].

4. Wide Receivers – Do we have any really established playmakers here? Nope. Again, if you were to look at this group objectively, you can be expecting ‘too much’ from them. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

5. Quarterbacks – Again: TOTALLY unproven and relatively inexperienced group. We can see the tools. We can have hope. We can have faith. But, the reality is for the offense to work and work at its most effective level, you need experienced talent at this position. Throw in the fact that these relative newbies get a new coordinator and position coach, well, it may take a year for them to really gel.

6. Defense – Should be good here. Optimism is justified, in my opinion. Where are the possible issues? Depth along the defensive line? Developing a defensive end that regularly pressures/sacks the opposing quarterback? A relatively young secondary? A run-stuffing linebacker? You can still find some reasons to temper the optimism a bit, though, right?

7. Special Teams – Reliable return men are needed here. That is a question mark. Punter(s) and kicker(s) return. Just hope for improvement in consistency from them. Coverage team, really no change in expectations from any other year. We’ll see what they can do from game to game.

What other thoughts do you have? Or, do you have a differing opinion? Comments welcomed below!