Gators Spring Game Offensive Quick Thoughts

He never said it would be pretty, and it wasn’t. Jim McElwain approached the podium Saturday after the Orange an Blue Debut and praised his player’s efforts. But for everything we saw good on Saturday in the 31-6 orange win, there was plenty of not-so-good to go with it.

Here are my thoughts.

Quarterback play can be adequate to start…

It is so hard to gauge the play of the quarterbacks because of the pass rush in their face and a few drops, but they had some bright moments and I think enough for me to believe that they can have many more.

Will Grier looked pretty in command of the first offense on the first series and took them right down the field to score. After that things weren’t quite as smooth. The one thing he seemed to have was pretty good awareness of things around him. These are basically the things I have heard of Grier while the doors have been closed this spring.

Treon Harris looked lost in the first drive when he was running the second team, a unit that was highly mismatched anyway. When he was placed with the first team, he looked better. The defense should have finished in the high teens with sacks today if they were actually calling most of them and Harrs ha issues seeing guys coming right up the middle.

He did hit a couple of deep passes and looked extremely comfortable when he rolled out of the pocket and out of harm’s way.

OC Doug Nussmeier will be yelling a lot early season in 2015.

We didn’t see enough out of Skyler Mornhinweg and Jacob Guy to make a fair assessment, the quarterback needs some work. They won’t be all conference, but I think there is enough there to be competent on offense.

Backs weren’t great, but…

Kelvin Taylor got a lot of work, but with the offensive line the way it is he wasn’t overly effective. I think that changes in the fall. The line will be destined to be mostly a zone blocking team and that plays right into Taylor’s wheel house. He’s not a game breaker by any means, but he can be a highly effective runner when he has creases to choose from in a zone scheme.

Adam Lane will struggle with this in my mind and he never got things going. He missed a lot of the spring and he was limited, but he will likely grow when the line does in the fall, in this man’s opinion.

Walk-on Mark Harrison is a converted receiver that actually led all rushers with 36 yards. He had his moments, but not sure what it will be like for him in the fall.

One man show at receiver…

Demarcus Robinson stole the show at the receiver position. It was easy to see that he will be a popular choice of the quarterbacks in the fall. He could have a huge year if he stays out of trouble and of course with help from the quarterbacks and offensive line.

The only other noticeable thing at receiver was that Alvin Bailey got in the action and was playing on the outside instead of the slot. He caught two passes for 47 yards looked good out there.

More receivers need to and will get involved.

Tight Ends will be a strength

With possibly the best player at the position (Jake McGee) sitting out as he still recovers from surgery, the tight ends stepped up and earned some of the praise we have been hearing. This may be a position that kind of bails out the offense because they have some athletes that create mismatches.

Both DeAndre Goolsby and Cyontai Lewis made big plays in the offense, while McElwain also made sure to point out that Goolsby dropped a big pass.

Moral Stephens got in the act as well and on the day the tight ends had 7 catches for 100 yards. They did their work against linebackers that couldn’t keep up.

Offensive Line needs help

Maybe they were beat down from a long spring of a lot of snaps. McElwain kept praising their work effort after the game but it was clear they were the weak link on the field and everyone knew that going in.

The right side of the line struggled and yet it is hard for me to si here and blame it on this one guy or the other. The bottom line is, this is the unit that will be the weakest until they find some help and get others involved.

It also seems like bad news after the game when McElwain hinted that sophomore tackle Roderick Johnson’s injury may be worse than expected and could possibly effect his entire career in the game.

Six freshmen show up in June and they all will get hard looks with likely three or more getting a lot of playing time in the fall.

Up next, we talk defense.

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