Gators Evaluating the Offense

The open date for Florida doesn't mean the coaching staff is taking any time off. Head coach Urban Meyer and his staff have dissected every offensive drive this season, searching for answers. The other importance is allowing many of the team's key playmakers to heal.

Q: "What is Andre Debose's status?"

A: "He won't practice this week. We're doing everything we can to get him back next week. It was a rather severe ankle sprain, but he's healing pretty well."

Q: "How is it going while reevaluating the offense?"

A: "I've been able to do a very in-depth study of where we're at and what the issues are. One is our run game hasn't had a big play since South Florida. We've always had hits in the run game around here. Pass efficiency is one of the things we've always been one of the top teams in, and we're very low in that. Those are the issues. Fixing the issues is a multitude of things.

"I've had time to evaluate every drive and we have moved the ball, but we haven't scored. One-third of our drives end in punt, one-third of our drives end in a turnover, and one-third of our drives end in a score of missed field goal. We used to be 50%+ scoring, but we're down to 18% scoring on drives. That's all being evaluated."

Q: "How impressed are you with the job Dan Mullen has done at Mississippi State?"

A: "He's doing exactly what I thought he'd do. He told me when he went there they had very good players. He's doing a great job."

Q: "Can you talk about how crazy the SEC East is this season?"

A: "Our first year in 2005 it was similar. We weren't good and had a shot at the end to win the East. Since then, one team or another has had control of it. Tennessee is going through a transition and South Carolina is much better. We're going through our issues. Kentucky is better. For Kentucky to beat South Carolina tells you there's a lot of parody in this league."

Q: "Is this the most important open date in your career?"

A: "Yes it is, because it's this year. Also, five minutes before kickoff we were being told we didn't have any running backs available for the game. Jeff played about 70%. Moody and Gillislee weren't ready to go. The correlation between that and lack of production in our run game is obviously there."

Q: "Is it trying to get better for this next game or try to see what can work the rest of the season?"

A: "We're evaluating scheme to see what we're poor at, like the production in the run game and red zone. Whether it's personnel or scheme changes, that's what this time is on. We're knee deep in it."

Q: "What are the changes you'll make to the offense?"

A: "I don't want to get into detail because it's not set yet. We just have to improve. It's scheme and personnel. One way to get better is get your guys back healthy. Speed has taken a hit. I can't give you exacts, and I wouldn't give exacts anyways."

Q: "Would any changes have anything to do with Coach Addazio calling plays?"

A: "I've been a head coach for 10 years, and I've been involved in the game planning. Steve has a very strong presence in the run game and protections. We just have to get better. I'm not sure that's the answer, but if it is, that's why I'm evaluating as well. You can call all the plays you want, but if you miss your first eight passes, we just have to execute better."

Q: "Has Chris Rainey met the qualifications to play?"

A: "He's eligible to play, but that won't be determined until next week. He's on a week-to-week status."

Q: "Can you update the other injuries?"

A: "Jaye Howard is doing pretty good. Jelani (Jenkins) will be fine. He didn't practice yesterday and I'm not sure about today. We're cautious with concussions. Jeff Demps had minimal practice yesterday. Mike Gillislee and Emmanuel Moody were minimal. Jon Halapio is getting better. Good news on Caleb Sturgis, he's progressing really good. I'll know early next week on Monday, they'll make a decision on him. (Matt Patchan) is doing good. It's all strength now, the bone is healed. They'll tell me Monday. He's a maniac, so he's working."

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