Ack's Insights

This week, I talk about a different type of off-season for the football Gators as they break out some new technology, baseball, post NFL Draft and more.

Football Notes:
With the coaches in and out of the office over the next month recruiting and so forth it's on the player to continue to watch tape on his own and learn his position better. One of the new wave coaching techniques that allows coaches to work with their position players during the summer months is video with voice over (V/o). For example, if you are watching the six o'clock news and see a report on the war with someone talking over the footage on the television screen, you are witnessing video with v/o. Florida is one of the few schools in the country with this capability. After spring practice was over the tape from scrimmages and drills was put on specific tapes by play, down and distance and so forth. Each position coach gets a copy for himself to show his players. Right now the coaches go in and voice coaching techniques to lay under the video when watching.

For example, the quarterbacks will get a tape in which Coach Zaunbreaker will voice the play call and formation, then go through the coverage and the reads. He will also give coaching tips and footwork reminders to the particular quarterbacks on that play. This tape then is duplicated for all the position players to watch on their home computers, vcr's and even dvd's!

The NCAA does not allow coaches to sit and teach off film in their offices during the summer so they "Voice-Over" their teaching onto watchable video tape for kids to watch on their own. Some players watch it in the offices some take them home and are accountable for learning the information. One thing is for sure, it is a definite advantage to have this resource and tool to keep the players focused on football in the offseason without overbearing them.

This past weekend's draft was a disappointment then a relief for Gator wide receiver Taylor Jacobs after sliding into the second round he was snapped up by Steve Spurrier and the Washington Redskins. This is the perfect fit for Jacobs who not only will know the offense pretty well, but also be the #3 receiver with Rod Gardener and Lavernes Coles. As the #3 guy in 2001 with Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney at UF, Jacobs averaged 18 yards per catch and had 7 touchdowns. He was big on third down and also was the MVP of the Orange Bowl with 10 receptions and 2 touchdowns. Rex Grossman will be a good fit in Chicago and may be the starter sooner than later. John Shoop's offense is very similar to the one Rex ran at UF under Ed Zaunbreaker. Jerry Angelo, a friend of Steve Spurrier's and one time employee of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, decided to go with best available on his board regardless of school and kept turning up Gators. Ian Scott will compete for time at the nose while LaTron Lafavor will try to get into the five man rotation at "3" technique. The safety position opposite Mike Brown is there for the taking for Todd Johnson. Mike Green was average a year ago and last year's draft pick Bobby Gray was injured. The Bears love Alex Brown by the way. Dennis Erickson said Aaron Walker improved his stock under new coach Ron Zook. He showed the ability to be a pass catching threat in the 49ers west coast offense (Erickson did not get a copy of the FSU game… just kidding). Mike Nattiel goes to a good situation in Minnesota where the Vikings need defensive help. The other linebacker taken was EJ Henderson who will play inside. Nattiel's speed should help him make the team on special teams and as a backup on the outside. Clint Mitchell has the toughest road to go by landing in Denver where Mike Shanahan also drafted defensive ends Bryant McNeal out of Clemson in the 4th round and end Aaron Hunt out of Texas Tech in the 6th round. Mitchell must take a positive relentless attitude and gain some weight to find himself a place on the roster. I also like the free agent signings of Earnest Graham, Robert Cromartie and Bam Hardman. Miami needs linebacker depth, while the Bucs have an opening for a young running back. Cromartie has a chance just because it's the Arizona Cardinals and who knows what can happen.

Snippets and Tidbits Two weeks after panic mode the UF baseball team is in first place in the SEC East after nearly sweeping #12 ranked Mississippi State this past weekend. This weekend the Gators go on the road to an experienced team in the Auburn Tigers. The Gators have won 9 of their last 10 against the Bulldogs and scored 14 runs on Sunday their most in SEC play this season. Remember the two division champions are seeded one and two based on their conference records in the SEC Tournament. After that teams are seeded 3-8 regardless of division. This week's matchup with Auburn is the second consecutive top 25 matchup for the Gators. Auburn is 18-8 at home and 13-8 second in the SEC West. Auburn lost it's series this past weekend versus Vanderbilt despite holding the Commodores to .159 average on the weekend. Auburn is ranked #14 in Baseball America,#18 in Collegiate Baseball and #13 in Baseball Weekly with USA Today.

The SEC led all conferences with 43 players drafted, but vogue preseason favorite Auburn had 0 players selected. Maybe that is why everyone likes them so much, including myself. The SEC only had 13 players taken on day one which trailed the Big 10 (18), Big 12 (16) and the Pac 10 (13). Steals for the SEC were Jarret Johnson (ALA) in the 4th for Baltimore, Bradie James (LSU) in the 4th by Dallas and Corey Jenkins (SC) at defensive back from South Carolina by Miami in the sixth round. The ACC only had 17 players including only 6 on day one. Conversely the MAC had 10 and UCF had 4.

The Brock Berlin vs Derrick Crudup battle blew up last week when Crudup alleged racism. Dan Werner the quarterback coach at Miami needs to choose his words more wisely but the staff should have known based on Crudup's father's situation in college that it could be a delicate situation .I do not agree with Crudup and think he damaged himself with his teammates but the Miami coaches should have been upfront and said they were going to name a starter after the spring when the finished evaluating film.

Fightin Gators Top Stories