SEC Media Days: Bob Davie Q&A

HOOVER, Ala. -- ESPN/ABC analyst Bob Davie has a unique perspective on Florida football. Beyond observations about the Gators talent and the way it matches up against the other elite programs, he can draw on his personal experience with Urban Meyer.

The current Florida head man was Davie's wide receivers coach at Notre Dame when Bowling Green hired him to lead their program after the 2000 season. As color analyst for ESPN Radio, Davie was in Glendale to broadcast his former assistant claiming college football's national championship earlier this year.

FightinGators.com spoke with him at SEC Media Days about Meyer's success and the challenges which lie ahead for him.

FG: Was it special for you to see Urban Meyer, a guy who worked under you, take the national title?

Davie: "You know what, Urban's a great coach. Urban does things differently in a lot of ways maybe than I did, but the basic plan is still the same. It kind of validates, I think, that we coached pretty good and pretty hard at Notre Dame. Plus, there's six coaches I think on that staff who were with me at Notre Dame. I don't mean to take any credit at all for what Florida did, but I know how those guys coach. I know how hard they coach, and it was great to see them win. It actually brought a tear to my eye just seeing those guys win because I know they're a bunch of great coaches. More importantly, there's a bunch of great guys there."

FG: This will be the first time Urban Meyer has been head coach at a school for a third season. What do you expect it to be like as he tries to maintain a program instead of turning one around?

Davie: "Don't worry about Urban getting complacent. That's one thing he is not. Urban has always been a guy that has balance in his life. He's got a wonderful family and his wife Shelley is great. He's not a big ego guy at all. He is a football coach that's as competitive as any guy I've ever been around. It won't be about maintaining the program now - he'll use what happened last year as a foundation to even be more competitive and hungry than he was a year ago. That's already showed up in recruiting. Urban's a regular guy that loves to coach and winning it all will only make it better and it will even make him more competitive, I promise you."

FG: The perception has been that this is the year Meyer has the personnel to have his offense do things his way. Have you discussed that with him and what do you see from this year's Gator attack?

Davie: "I know he loves Tim Tebow, and there's no question he is the right quarterback for the style of offense that Urban really wants to run. I hope he doesn't do too much different - they just won the national championship by playing great defense and excelling at special teams. They block a lot of kicks, which is something Urban's always worked at a lot. So I hope he doesn't try to make it an offensive circus. I think the key is Tebow staying healthy. In that style of offense, and particularly with Tebow's style of play where he tries to run people over, I think the second quarterback is important because Tebow's going to take a lot of shots."

FG: Is the SEC really the best league this year?

Davie: "The thing the SEC has is that, when you go out and watch them practice, the hundred players on that field are more athletic and talented than the hundred players any other conference is putting on that field. The depth of this league, the overall speed of this league, there's no other league like it top to bottom. There's good players and coaches in all the leagues, there's just more of them here."

FG: You were a defensive coordinator before you became a head coach. Last year the new clock rules really favored the defense. Now those are gone and in their place is a new kickoff rule (kicking off from the 30) that may lead to a boost for offense. Is this a good idea?

Davie: "I'm glad they changed the clock rules back to about where they were. I don't think you have to back the kickoff up - there's enough offense now in my mind. I like the fact they listened to the coaches opinion and changed last year's rule. The new one probably helps the offense, but it's not so bad there's something wrong with it."

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