Needing Accountability

Fans were reminded on Sunday of how violent the game of football can be after the tragic play that sent Buffalo Bills and former Miami tight end Kevin Everett to the hospital with a spinal injury. Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer didn't address the incident with the team, but his message to them after Tuesday's practice had a similar theme.

"Everybody has a job and when you walk into your business, there are just some guys that don't work as hard as other guys," Urban Meyer said. "The difference with football, which is a tough sport, there is a chance that if someone doesn't do their job, the quarterback can get hit in the back of the head. It happened in practice today. It's not a starter, but it's a guy that obviously is interested in other thing than protecting the quarterback's backside."

Meyer's message points out how one player's lack of accountability can lead to another player's injury. With a young team and a lack of quality depth at a few positions, Meyer reminded his team how important it is to put the team first heading into the SEC schedule.

"In a game like this, with all due respect to our first two teams, this is the SEC and the twos have to be accountable," Meyer said. "Right now, they are not."

With offensive lineman Phil Trautwein out indefinitely, the Gators need the backups to step up just in case their number gets called. But for now, Meyer isn't comfortable making that call.

"The first five guys are good," he said. "The next five are not so good. That was part of the discussion that we had out there, and I'm not so sure how bad the second five want to be good. Mike Pouncey and Maurice Hurt do, but there are other guys that need to be going. It's got to get going fast."

The Gators are in a somewhat similar situation on the defensive line. There are lots of young bodies, but no one is standing out.

"Our defensive line needs to step up," Meyer said. "I think I read somewhere where [Tennessee] is going to come out and run the ball against us, and I would too. They have a good offensive line and excellent running backs, and we are not up to standard yet. We're getting closer at the defensive line position, but they have to step up."

Three freshmen are trying to step up – Duke Lemmens, Torrey Davis and Carlos Dunlap. All three played a decent amount of snaps in Saturday's win against Troy. Davis will stay inside at defensive tackle, and Lemmens and Dunlap will continue to see most of their time on the outside.

"Duke plays inside on speed," Meyer said. "Speed is the third down pass rush, but he's a defensive end by trait. [Dunlap's] s a tall guy. You need leverage from a guy inside, so he doesn't get knocked back into the linebackers."

Notes

  • Cornerback Markihe Anderson is still on track to play on Saturday. Said Meyer, "Yesterday, he had a minor setback, but it's minor and he was practicing today. He's still gimped, but our trainer says he's a full go for Saturday. It's not the MCL. He just kind of hyper-extended his knee because he hasn't been out there competing very much."
  • Meyer said there are only three corners the staff is comfortable with: Wondy Pierre-Louis, Joe Haden and Anderson. Said Meyer, "Rickerson has done some good things. He's the next guy in the game."
  • At free safety, Kyle Jackson is expected to retain his starting job, but Major Wright will continue to see a lot of time. Said Meyer, "Major Wright is a major player for us on special teams, and he's going to play a lot of defense."


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