Meyer: Offense Starting to Click

Urban Meyer said earlier in the week that he hoped to see a few practices that produced confidence the Florida offense was turning the corner. Wednesday's practice did the trick. The head coach saw improved timing in the passing game, but the health and improved speed at wide receiver is making a noticeable difference.

"It's just pitch and catch that has been much better," Urban Meyer said. "The receivers are starting to get healthy and get their legs back. I think they were blown out in training camp."

The depth was improved by two redshirt freshmen having good weeks of practice. The offense needed players to step up and be a threat when Deonte Thompson or Carl Moore come off the field, and this week of practice produced two players that look capable of doing that, even though neither has a catch this season.

"We're getting a little depth," Meyer said. "You're seeing Stephen Alli and Andre Debose get going, and they have to."

Understanding of the offense came a little slow for Debose. After sitting out all last season with a hamstring injury, his improved play on the practice field has Meyer trusting that he can make plays in the games.

"It's not because he isn't trying," Meyer said. "It's the complication of the offense and running the wrong route. He had a really good day yesterday."

Expectations for Debose were through the roof from the moment he stepped on campus in Gainesville. The injury set him back last season, and even though things have progressed slowly this fall, Meyer still thinks he is on track.

"It's normal growth," Meyer said. "Everyone wants them to be something they're not. He didn't play a snap last year after he yanked his hamstring off the bone. I'm pleased with him."

The confidence Meyer has in the passing game continues to grow. At the beginning of the season, his confidence wasn't high because the production wasn't there. However, what he sees on the practice field has him thinking the offense is coming together.

"False confidence is one of the worst things that can happen," Meyer said. "There wasn't a whole lot of confidence in certain areas, but now you see it because you see it on film. I personally have a lot more confidence going into this one."

INJURIES AND ABSENCES: Omarius Hines got "a little dinged" on a hit to the head and sat out Wednesday, but he practiced fully on Thursday. Meyer said he did not suffer a concussion.

Emmanuel Moody was limited in Wednesday's practice due to a thigh bruise, but he returned and practice fully on Thursday.

Matt Patchan is participating in all conditioning. Meyer estimates he is probably two weeks away, maybe one week "if we're lucky."

Dominique Easley is in New York at a funeral. He will be back in Gainesville on Friday.

RAINEY UPDATE: There isn't much of an update on Chris Rainey. Meyer reiterated that he is not a part of the team, even saying that the wide receiver is "nowhere near the team."

Regardless of what happens with the charges against him, Meyer isn't thinking about it right now.

"I'm letting everything be handled," Meyer said. "At some point we'll have to address it, and that point isn't now."

BURTON IMPROVEMENT: Trey Burton continues to impress the coaches at multiple positions, but he is now becoming more comfortable in the different roles. Juggling fullback, tight end, wide receiver and quarterback makes his practice time exhausting, but he has a better understanding of the offense every week.

"He's getting a little more comfortable doing things we ask him to do," Meyer said.

Burton wrote on his Facebook earlier in the week that he was changing his jersey to No. 8. Meyer wasn't aware of it.

"I have no idea. I'm not the numbers coach," Meyer said before getting a joke in.

"I delegated that."

NEED AT TIGHT END: The offense was forced to use six offensive linemen sets in the first three games because the lack of healthy tight ends. Jordan Reed is now "close to full speed," and Meyer said freshman Gerald Christian is "getting a little better."

They want to find a tight end to attach on the offensive line as the sixth blocker because it makes the offense more diverse.

"If you put an offensive lineman there, then there's no threat of pass," Meyer said. "Then they bring the whole (defense), and that's what happened last week."

FOCUS ON KENTUCKY: Despite the 23 straight victories Florida has over Kentucky, Meyer doesn't sense a lack of focus. All it took was for him to pop in the game tape of the Wildcats from this season, and it got the players' attention.

"It's the video," Meyer said. "All we do is watch video. If they were really lousy, we'd have to come up with some great speech or watch a movie. We've had to do that, but not this week."

QB DEPTH: With likely one more year of John Brantley at quarterback, the Gators also have Tyler Murphy and Trey Burton behind him. Jeff Driskel is the only current commitment at quarterback in the 2011 recruiting class, and Meyer doesn't expect that to change.

"I like where we're at with our quarterback situation," Meyer said. "I don't know if we'll add one or not, but I don't believe so."
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