Optimism for next season

Discussion in 'RayGator's Swamp Gas' started by traubgator, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. chunks1

    chunks1 Active Member

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    Dont even have to look under the hood. Just look at the massive dent Ga Southern left on on all four fenders.
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  2. gator2641

    gator2641 Premium Member

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    Next year isn't any easier............maybe more difficult !
  3. capnpen

    capnpen Active Member

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    I'd be interested to know where you disagree. I'm not claiming to be the end-all of Gator knowledge. But I don't think I've vastly underrated any of our players. The big point here is that we only have 22 offensive recruits still in the system, and 23 when you add sixth-year Debose. And the 23 we have aren't a solid bunch of blue-chippers who are ready to score at will.

    Of the 23, 3 were 5-stars, 9 were 4-stars and 11 were 3-stars. That's 3.65 stars, which grades pretty high for Scout. But Driskel is a 5-star. Would you say he's played like one? Debose is a 5-star. Again, has he played at that level? Sure, we've seen glimpses of that level of talent, but a player's true value is determined on how they play games and seasons, not single plays or glimpses.

    If the Scout and Rivals rankings are to be believed, we have a solid base of talent waiting for coaching. But virtually none of it has been developed. And I don't expect that it will go from zero to 60 in the next seven months.

    I guess the bottom line is that Roper has his work cut out for him. I wish him all the best.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
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  4. RemainCalm

    RemainCalm Active Member

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    Watching other teams, even mac teams offenses, they do something we haven't done on offense in a long time. They execute. Hell, Ga. Southern and their 4 play playbook executed over and over and over and over. We gain 6 yards on 1 play, then lose 3, then gain none. Teams get out of the huddle, up to the line of scrimmage, make their protections calls and snap the ball. We stand around and drain the play clock from 18 seconds left when we hit the line of scrimmage, down to 2 and snap the ball and proceed to look like a Chinese fire drill. We have no confidence, no swagger, no moxie, no identity, no imagination, and a simpleton game plan every week on offense.

    There are actually some possible playmakers on offense. Problem is they have been clueless in how to use them. The whole offense for 3 years has been centered around having 11 men within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Does anyone outside of the football office truly believe that Fulwood, Robinson, Dunbar and Patton's best use was 3-5 yard outs or bubble screens?

    With the limited number of practice hours and days in the spring, little to no coaches contact allowed during the summer, and limited numbers of practice hours and days in the fall, if Roper gets this offense to 75 next year he has worked a small miracle.
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  5. alvarez16

    alvarez16 Member

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    I agree with you on some points and disagree on others. I think a big thing that we've come across lately on these forums (and from fans in general) is excuses.

    Yes, we didn't return a lot of starters. Yes, a majority of our key players and starters got hurt. Yes, we played a rough schedule. At the end of the day, a 4-8 record is unacceptable. Just like it would be at Alabama, Georgia, or LSU, regardless, of who gets hurt or who they play. Part of our coaching staff's job is to recruit and retain so we can have depth and be able to deal with people getting hurt. Obviously, our case this year was an extreme but look at a team like Bama, they can have their 1st and 2nd string RB's get hurt and still have a monster running game. Look at a team like Mizzou, their star QB got hurt and they still continued to play well with the backup.

    As far as recruiting and young guys go, I understand that Watkins and Harvin are special players. I'm not expecting a freshman/sophomore to come in a catch 800 yards and 8TDs, but I am expecting our freshman/sophomore receivers (the guys Muschamp recruited and is "coaching") to combine for more than 300 yards and 1 TD (that's what they tallied up this year). From 2007-2010, we produced 7 NFL first round picks, from 2011-2013? 3.

    Last, in reference to our tough schedule, yes our schedule in 2008 was easier. What I want you to do though is put yourself in Alabama's shoes (a fan, Nick Saban, a player, etc), do you think they would be content with an 8-4 schedule, missing out on the SEC title game and the BCS title game, REGARDLESS of what their schedule is? We all know that a team can have at most 1 loss (maybe 2) to make it to the BCS title game (or playoffs next year), with an 8-4 or even 9-3 record, no matter who/when we played, we are not going to be a Top 5 team.

    At the end of the day, I consider UF to be one of the top football programs in the nation (right up there with Alabama, Texas, Ohio State, etc) and in order to strengthen how our program is perceived, we need to win. We need to demand excellence from our coaching staff and team. We don't need excuses to explain WHY we didn't win, we need to win.
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  6. OaktownGator

    OaktownGator Well-Known Member

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    Agree completely that 4-8 is unacceptable, even with all the injuries and attrition. Also agree that we need to demand excellence from our coaching staff along the lines of a top tier program.

    But trying to figure out what Win-Loss record is "acceptable", you have to take into account strength of schedule, and when there are losses, I think you have to look subjectively at the quality of play.

    Food for thought. Through the bowl season, the BCS top 10 teams had the following records against top 10, and top 25 teams:
    ReFSU: 0-0, 2-0
    Aubrin: 2-0, 4-1 (UGA will drop out though)
    Bama: 0-2, 2-2
    Mich St: 2-0, 2-0 (excludes loss to ND)
    Stanford: 1-1, 4-1 (includes two wins over ASU, excludes bad losses to Utah and the Beavs)
    Baylor: 0-0, 1-2
    Bucknuts: 0-2, 1-2
    Mizzou: 0-2, 3-2 (UGA will drop)
    USCe: 1-0, 4-1 (UGA loss will drop. Also bad loss to Vols)
    Ducks: 0-1, 1-2

    Those records include conference championships and bowl games. And still none of those teams played more than two games against top 10 teams. Their combined records against top 10 teams is 6-8; will be 7-9 after Monday. Their combined regular season record against top 10 teams is 3-3. The top 10 teams in the country played a total of six regular season games against other top 10 teams. That's what we're comparing ourselves against.

    In the regular season next year, we play four of those top ten teams, and two more teams (LSU and UGA) that are regularly in the top ten. We will have to be a VERY strong team to go 9-3 or better.
  7. OaktownGator

    OaktownGator Well-Known Member

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    Well, I was trying to emphasize the fresh start aspect in my response. That always gets players fired up to compete and may result in some guys showing up who we haven't seen much of so far. Also, the offense that Roper ran at Duke has more room for smaller guys who are very quick and have great spatial awareness. We found room for Patton (who played very well), but we didn't gear our play calling or play design to his abilities as much as we could have.

    I agree with a lot of what you say, but I'll go back to your prior post and highlight where I don't assess players quite the same as you do.

    At RB, Mack Brown works hard and has shown great attitude, but everyone else on our roster is more capable of getting yards for us, IMO. Including Herndon. And I think that will show even more in Roper's offense.

    I don't see Lane getting lost in this group. He'll pass Brown on the depth chart, and could be the best all around back on the team for Roper's offense; I think he'll compete with KT for playing time and they should both get plenty of touches.

    A healthy Matt Jones would have been the best all around back on the roster last season. Unfortunately he was never healthy. Because we do have some very good backs, and he is good catching the ball and blocking, I think an H-Back type role would be a good way to use him, if that fits in what Roper wants to do.

    I think Pittman could do the H-Back as well, if that's a role we want to use significantly in this offense. If that role isn't there, I agree with you that Pittman will be a "role player at best"... I don't see him beating out other WRs for playing time in more traditional WR roles.

    Continuing with WRs, I wouldn't count out Alvin Bailey. Depends on how quickly he can learn Roper's offense, but he is very quick and an excellent runner in space - the kind of guy that should get a shot based on what I saw Duke doing.

    D-Rob is a freak athlete and should be a player for us, if he can get his assignments down. They tried to get him on the field, but to me, it looked like he was in the wrong place at the wrong time too often and wasn't confident in where he should be. On the flip side, I agree with you on Fulwood - he seemed very confident in what he was doing and played well.

    Thompson has excellent acceleration and could be a serious field stretcher along with Debose. Not sure where Hawkins fits, but I know there were some people impressed with his all around game when he came in to fall camp last year.

    On the OL, I thought Brown played pretty well the last couple of games. The challenge for him will be getting into game shape for an uptempo offense, along with what position is really best for him. He has the length you want at OT, but his feet are slow. Maybe he should play OG, with Green and DJ at the tackles. Roderick Johnson, from what I heard should be a player. They thought about burning his shirt, and probably should have. I can definitely see having question marks on a guy who we've never seen play at the college level, but I think our expectations of him should be strong.
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  8. Diesel350z

    Diesel350z Well-Known Member

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    I think bottom line is if the offense is not completely revamped I expect to see more of the same product on the field as last year which will yield us 8 wins if we are lucky.
  9. MyakkaGator

    MyakkaGator Well-Known Member

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    Agree with everything you stated, except Alvin Bailey..I watched him play. He and jones were a two-man team at armwood. Those two together beat Lakewood ranch in the playoffs almost by themselves. They ran a similar offense so i believe he, like the rest of the players, will just have to get the terminology down.
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  10. OaktownGator

    OaktownGator Well-Known Member

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    We actually agree on Bailey then. Maybe I wasn't clear but I do think this offense could be a good fit for him.
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  11. MyakkaGator

    MyakkaGator Well-Known Member

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    Oops, misunderstood you, oak..that's on me , my man!
  12. alvarez16

    alvarez16 Member

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    I agree with the fact that we have a tough schedule (arguably the toughest in the nation).

    What I don't agree with is that a 9-3 record would make us a very strong team. A 9-3 record will more than likely not get us in the SEC title game, a BCS bowl, the playoffs, or the National Championship. Would a 9-3 record indicate significant improvement? yes, but at the end of the day, a season that results in a mediocre GoDaddy.com type of bowl does not define the Gators (or any team) as a very strong team.

    I understand that next year will not be glamorous (in terms of winning SEC or BCS title) and act mainly as a re-building/development year due to our schedule.

    My main point (addressing the title of this thread "Optimism for next season") is that I think a 9-3 or even 8-4 record would be VERY difficult to achieve. Our team (to be fair, our offense) this year wasn't "bad" or "almost there", it was AWFUL, ranked 100+ for the 4th straight year. People are optimistic that Roper will help improve it but that's not saying much, not hard to improve an offense ranked in the bottom 10% of the league.

    I'm genuinely hoping for the best as I'd love to see our Gators back in the stardom, its just hard to be optimistic after the past three years of reading the same thing on these forums before each season (Debose/WR is going to break out, our Oline will be better, new OC will turn it around).
  13. OaktownGator

    OaktownGator Well-Known Member

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    Whether 9-3 represents a very strong team and whether it gets us to Atlanta or a playoff are two entirely different things. If we go 9-3, it means we beat 3 to 4 top 25 teams. You can't do that unless you're a very good team. Any other team does that and they're probably undefeated and headed for their conference championship game and a spot in the playoff.

    Spurs and Miles have been complaining about their schedules (easier schedules than what we'll face next year) for awhile now, because they know that having a much tougher schedule than your division competitors severely limits your chances to win the division. Even if you win your tough games, the team gets worn down and loses to teams it shouldn't lose to, like the way USCe lost to the Vols this year.
    Okay - so we agree that 9-3 or even 8-4 could be very difficult to achieve against this schedule. Which means we'll have to have a very good team to do it.

    Definitely understand these concerns on the offense.

    Roper's offense looked good against the Aggies... certainly much better than we would have done this year. But will it succeed against Bama, LSU, reFSU and the mutts... teams that all have much better athletes on defense than A&M?

    Are our issues at OL, WR and QB correctable with coaching or do we really have a talent gap in those position groups? Can we get a little luck and/or better training wrt health of our guys in these position groups?

    For QB in particular, will JD stay healthy for a season? Will Grier or somebody else be able to step up if JD gets hurt, or just doesn't progress far enough to be successful in SEC play?

    I think we have the talent for good coaches to work with, but there are question marks no doubt.
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