Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2012 Florida Gators Season Preview: Offense

A wise man once said, "In order for us to look forward, we must first look back," or something like that. I think it was Lou Diamond Phillips. 

2011 Offensive Review: New offensive coordinator Charlie Weis The Brilliant brought his Dumpster Fire Offense to Florida. It was a bold, new, innovative offense that only a genius like Weis could hatch. On the surface, the offense looked complex to a casual fan with multiple formations, but it was rather simple. The basic idea of the offense was to achieve as many three-and-outs as possible to lull the defense into thinking they weren't even trying or that they were just that bad. Once the defense was properly lulled with a series of 5-yard out routes and tiny running backs unable to find holes to run through, it was time to throw a deep ball to Andre Debose to score Florida's only touchdown of the game. This offense was a rousing success and a credit to how intelligent Charlie Weis is. We were extremely lucky to witness such an offensive mastermind perform his craft to the highest caliber each and every Saturday last fall. The fine people at Kansas University recognized the sheer brilliance that was going on in Gainesville, Florida and quickly swooped in to hire Weis as their new head coach. Us Gator fans begged and pleaded for him to stay, but we all kinda knew that someone as talented and erudite as him would not be with us for very long. He was a big fish in a small pond and as all fish do in that situation, they need to spread their wings and fly away. You will be missed, Charlie. No need to thank us, the pleasure was all ours.

2012 Offensive Preview:
Weis has been replaced by Brent Pease (pronounced "Smith"). Last season, Pease was the offensive coordinator at Boise State, which has been playing very reckless offensive football for the past eight years or so under former head coach Dan Hawkins and currently, Chris Peterson. Trick plays, explosive passing game, strong running game, it's rock & roll football and should be outlawed along with fizzy soda pop and GoGurt because I don't know what the fuck that is, but it sounds horrifying. Pease has said this offseason he wants to score 40 points as fast as possible. Whoa, slow down, buddy. It's not a race. Don't you think 40 points is a little greedy? This team can win perfectly fine only scoring a modest 17 points a game. Football is entertainment and a nice, close 17-14 game keeps people interested and in their seats to the end. No one wants to see a 40-10 game. The stadium's 75% empty by the 4th quarter.

Pease has also talked about using pre-snap motion to create mismatches for the defense. I vaguely recall Urban Meyer and Dan Mullen talking about this concept with their spread option offense and I don't remember that working out too well during the '07 and '08 seasons. I think Charlie Weis would agree with me that you shouldn't use motion ever before the snap. First of all, it eliminates any chance for illegal motion or illegal procedure penalties and lord knows the Gators get flagged a lot, so how about we try to reduce the likelihood of this happening? Second of all, it's not right to deceive the defense. They worked hard all week studying your offense and then you have the gall to ruin that work by trying to match a running back on a linebacker. That's poor sportsmanship.

"What a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive." -Also Lou Diamond Phillips.

It will be hard for Pease to do any of this because as of now, Florida doesn't have a starting quarterback. The best thing to do is panic. The  candidates are Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett and I'm required by law to mention Tyler Murphy. Hi Tyler! You sure you don't wanna go catch some passes with the receivers? Maybe lineup at running back? No? You're going to stick it out at quarterback? That's cool. I can respect that, as long as you know something catastrophic has to happen for you to see the field and things were pretty bad last year and you didn't play a single meaningful down. I don't want you to transfer, I'm just saying you should get familiar with the other aspects of the offense.

Driskel and Brissett will battle during fall practice for the coveted starting job. Both are big, strong armed QBs, but each brings something a little different to the table. Driskel has great mobility and a hot cheerleader girlfriend. Brissett has displayed nice poise and a calm demeanor reminiscent of former Florida QB Chris Leak. Although that does increase Brissett's chances of being booed for no damn good reason.

The running back position features some new faces and returns senior Mike Gillislee, who has finally ascended to the starting role after the Free Gilly internet campaign totally worked after many months and Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey graduating and not having any other proven running backs to compete with. WE DID IT!

Florida comes into the season with one less tight end after A.C. Leonard decided (yeah, HE decided) to transfer (if that's the story you want to go with, ok). The receivers are led by Andre Debose and not much else, but that's OK because I'm completely confident in Aubrey Hill's ability as a coach. Just look at all the NFL talent he's developed at Duke and Miami. Who says this guy is only on staff because he can recruit? Certainly not me. Would a guy who didn't lock up a single commitment in last year's signing class be on staff for his recruiting prowess? And don't read too much into the fact that he was named in the Miami report for some recruiting violations. Only a guy that wasn't that great of a recruiter would stoop to such tactics. This guy is clearly on staff because he can flat out get it as a coach and nothing else.

Offensive line coach Frank Verducci was replaced by Tim Davis because DID YOU SEE THE LINE PLAY LAST YEAR? Xavier Nixon has gained weight and Matt Patchan hasn't died, so the line should be bet--Oh shit, Patchan just died. I knew I shouldn't have mentioned his name. I jinxed it. That's OK, that's why we have a Chas Green.

The defensive preview will be posted tomorrow...or some time this week. I'll let you know by carrier pigeon.