This Offense is a Better Fit for Christian

Change is nothing new for Gerald Christian in his year and half he has spent on Florida's campus. He has gone from offense to defense, and back to offense again in 19 months. Through it all his two goals have been to help the team and to get on the football field so he can do just that. Now, he really likes what he is doing and feels with his skill set, he is a great fit for the Florida offense.

A tired and sweaty Gerald Christian joined the Florida media Thursday as they gathered around to hear what he had to say. He understands what this time of year is all about.

"I'm worn out, but camp is a big part of getting ready for the season and we have to come together and get ready," Christian said. "It is time to get prepared."

Preparation is key for a new offense and a new season and for Christian who has had to change his own personal mindset from offense to defense and back again to the ‘O' side of the ball. A big part of the preparation that has come a long way for him in summer and this fall has been learning how to be a better blocker.

"I would say blocking," he answered when asked what he has made strides in. "I am learning my steps so that is a big improvement for me."

Christian has been on board with every move so far, he knows he can play wherever, he just wants to play. The move to linebacker in the spring was one done because of a supposed need there, but then they thought he could help more back on offense.

"We were kind of short at linebacker so they wanted to know where they needed me more," he said. "(I will go) wherever I can get on the field."

They didn't decide to move him back to offense until after the spring, the hard part is a change in mindset and the missed work with the coaching staff.

"After spring training they met with all players individually and they told me they were going to move me back to offense and told me just to know the linebacker stuff in case they needed me there," he said. "I think it was going well, but I was playing on offense for a whole year and not defense at all, trying to get back into it I didn't look as natural as the people that were doing it.

"One week I was with the offense and learning the install and the next with the defense. This summer I caught up with the offense."

After integrating himself in the Charlie Weis scheme at Florida, Christian likes the way things are going for himself and believes he is a great fit for what they are trying to accomplish.

"I feel good, I like this offense a lot better than last year," he said. "I think it fits me with what I do."

Part of that fit is the fact the gators are going to run the offense with two tight ends on the field a lot. That means more chances to get the ball and a bigger playbook for the position in the eyes of Christian. It also includes focusing on him as a blocker when he is called to do so.

"I get to run more routes," Christian said with a smile. "We have two more points on the sides (of the line), so we can run the ball to either side. Then we have the H-back / tight end which is me so I can always come off the line and move into the fullback position and block off the edge."

He really can see the tight ends getting really involved in the offense.

"This camp so far it has changed some already," he said. "Charlie Weis has a lot of two tight end stuff and has us all in routes, so I have been running a lot of routes."

Freshman tight end A.C. Leonard was injured this week and Leonard was expected to contribute a great deal this fall. He will likely miss close to half the season or more and that means more pressure and time for Christian on the field. Christian is ready to take that on and say that Leonard will be alright with his recovery.

"Anytime a man goes down it puts pressure on others to step up," Christian said. "(Leonard's) doing fine, I talked to him and he's fine."

Christian is really starting to see how this offense is going to do its thing. And with all of the moving parts, he sees where he can become an invaluable part of it.

I think since we have the two speedsters in Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps, so we can spread the field like we are running the ball, then we can fake the play action and do play action passes," Christian said while envisioning the plays. "(You also have) Jordan and I running routes. Then, we have Frankie, Deonte, and Dunbar. They are fast, so I think we can throw the ball on the outside too."

Christian on high school teammate Robert Clark:

Christian is currently teammates with three Gators that also were on his team at Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer High School. Christian, quarterback Jacoby Brissett, receiver Robert Clark, and Matt Elam have a chance to all play big time football for Florida before they leave.

Clark is a guy that doesn't fit the usual mold of what Charlie Weis is looking for in a receiver, but like we have all heard, he is a guy that makes it hard to keep him off of the football field.

"Robert isn't with the first team, but every time he is in there he makes the best of it," Christian said of the 5-8, 180 pound speedster.

"One thing about Robert, he doesn't whine. He goes hard and gives everything he has all the time. He makes a big impression on coaches whether it is special teams or offense. They will put him wherever they can.

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