Early Answers: Five Questions on Offense

A little more than a week ago I posted five questions that I thought Florida had to answer on each side of the ball during fall camp. With one week in the books -- and our ability to watch now gone – I thought we should re-visit those questions and offer up the early answers based on what we saw out there last week.

Today will review the offensive questions. Tomorrow will look at the other side of the ball.

Is Tim Tebow ready? ----- As expected the answer to this is a resounding YES but not without qualifiers. Tebow has done a marvelous job of handling the excessive hype and seems quite granted. The young man is a natural leader and his team mates certainly seem to be more than willing to follow. I would like to see more downfield passing, but this offense will always leave me feeling that way. When he throws deep the timing is just about perfect and he makes quick decisions to get the ball out if nothing opens up right away.

Will the tackle swap work out? ----- I think the jury is still out here, but part one, moving Phil Trautwein to Tebow's blind side was clearly the right move. The key here is going to be the play of Jason Watkins at left tackle. I really like Carlton Medder at guard so if Watkins holds down his position the Gators will be big and strong across the front wall.

Who will run the ball the most? ----- Kestahn Moore has eliminated any doubt concerning the running back position for the Gators. The junior has been consistent at every practice and is a strong tackle to tackle running threat. His solidifying the position will also allow Florida to spend a little extra time preparing freshman Chris Rainey to be the change-of-pace back behind him. Rainey has a burst of speed that only Percy Harvin can match and he seems like a lock to take several runs the distance this fall.

Will downfield passing game emerge? ----- I addressed this a little earlier and the grade for it has top be an incomplete so far this fall. The Gators have not gone over the top very often and, frankly the quarterback most likely to throw downfield is freshman John Brantley. Still I refuse to believe a roster with the incredible speed the Gators put on the field will struggle to get the ball downfield. The play of Moore will be a big part of this because of he is consistently moving the chains opposing defenses will be placed into a serious "pick your poison" type of situation. Tebow has to be able to exploit defenses if/when they dare put eight guys in the box.

Who wins the right guard job? ----- Well I didn't expect it to be Medder but that's what has happened. The question really needs to be adjusted to reflect which guys are most ready to help out if there is a need up front because of illness or injury. Right now I'd say Maurkice Pouncey, Mo Hurt and Carl Johnson would be the three best players among the non-starters.

Overall the offense has taken shape pretty effectively this fall. There is no urgency for things to develop quickly and I think Dan Mullen and the offensive coaching staff is doing a good job in bringing things along. I'm still convinced Florida will be a vastly improved offensive football team this fall.

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