Dog Days of Summer

The heat combined with double session practices may be starting to wear on the Florida Gators. A few players, including Percy Harvin are slowed with nagging injuries and head coach Urban Meyer was a bit disappointed with Tuesday's scrimmage.

After the workout, Urban Meyer wasn't upset with his team's effort, but he did say the Gators weren't as sharp as he'd like them to be, pointing out their poor execution. Sophomore receiver Riley Cooper had a great day according to Meyer, scoring two touchdowns, while sophomore defensive end Jermaine Cunningham also stood out on the Gator defensive. But it was a few offensive players who didn't participate a whole lot that was the bigger story.

Sophomore receiver Percy Harvin is still bothered by tendonitis in his Achilles that began bothering him towards the end of last week.

"He goes as hard as he can and it just frustrates him," Meyer said. "He wants to compete so much and he works so hard."

Meyer said the training staff will do a full evaluation on Harvin. Junior receiver Louis Murphy has also been slowed with some tendonitis in his knee, as well as freshman cornerback Ahmad Black and freshman wide receiver Paul Wilson who are both dealing with sore hamstrings.

Freshman tight end Aaron Hernandez was sidelined again because of a neck stinger still lingering from last week. Meyer expects him to return to the practice field on Wednesday.

Linebackers Galore

It's been quite a while since the Gators went two deep at the linebacker position, but with some good recruiting, Meyer said the Gators should be in that position by the start of the season.

"I like [Brandon] Spikes and I like [Dustin] Doe," Meyer said. "At our Sam linebacker, A.J. Jones and maybe John Jones. At Will, the guy that's really starting to make a move is [Jermiy] Finch as a backup behind Doe. By first game week, we should be two deep across the three linebacker spots."

Meyer discussed moving Finch to outside linebacker on Monday after the freshman spent all of last week at safety. The Gators also have redshirt sophomore Ryan Stamper as another option.

Blocking on the Edge

A big part of Meyer's offense is blocking from the wide receivers. Two years ago, the Gators struggled with perimeter blocking, and it was one of the factors Meyer contributed to their lack of big plays. He was much happier with their effort last season.

"That's 75 percent of our game our perimeter blocking," he said. "Last year, I think we were the best perimeter blocking team in the country. In the national championship game, in order for us to win, we had to block the perimeter, and we did a magnificent job. Billy Gonzales believes in it, but more importantly our guys buy into it and that's the biggest thing."

The change since year one is that receivers now recognize the importance of blocking.

"Good players take care of good players, and they're going to take care of their boy," Meyer said. "Bubba (Andre Caldwell) did a hell of a job against FSU on that 60-yard bubble route."

Notes

  • Meyer isn't too concerned about the game change for Western Kentucky. Yesterday, the SEC announced that its television partner Lincoln Financial would televise the season opener, moving kickoff from 6 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Said Meyer: "I don't care. We'll be all right. We'll be there and we'll be fine."
  • So much was made of Meyer's second year last year because of his track record, but year No. 3 is an unknown. This season is Meyer's first coaching the same team for three consecutive years. Consistency is the key. Said Meyer, "Continuity of staff is important. Continuity of support staff is important. … It's critical because guys are in the same area. So much is about relationships. There have been some mistakes made around here but there have also been some great players that have come out of here. When you're in the same area for a long time you stop making mistakes."


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