Gators Manage Through Bad Weather

The Florida Gators had to deal with rain for their second spring practice, but Urban Meyer and company were able to accomplish everything they were looking to do. The pads go on tomorrow, so today was used to continue to get back into the flow of practice.

"We moved everything up because they said [the rain] was coming," Meyer said after practice. "We got a good one in. We did everything and they're going in to watch film now. The defense is way ahead as you would imagine. Tomorrow will be a big day in full pads. We'll do our get-tough drills in periods three and four and we'll finish with a goal line scrimmage."

Not only will tomorrow's practice in pads be a test for the Gators, but how they react first thing in the morning will also prove to be a test.

"I told them I'll know at 7:30 in the morning when they come in if we have a good team or not," Meyer said. "If they're more interested in what goes on Friday night, then we'll probably have a real bad team like two years ago. If they come in real serious about their coaching, then we have a chance to win a couple games."

The Gators have some new freshmen on campus, but they also have a few new coaches. Quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler steps into the biggest role, coaching Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. Meyer won't judge Loeffler until he has a season under his belt.

"I'll tell you after next year when you look at the statistics and how the guys play," Meyer said. "But his teaching ability, he's one of the best teachers I've ever been around. His knowledge brings a little something different to the table. Someone made the comment that there's always another wrinkle. Our wrinkle is going to be to mess with our cadence. He's obviously a very knowledgeable guy."

Loeffler takes on the task of trying to prepare Tebow for the next level, but also to get backup John Brantley ready for the fall who Meyer said has made some progress.

"Johnny Brantley, at quarterback you have to have amnesia," Meyer said. "You have to get a bad play out of your system fast and Johnny has never done that. Today I just watched him, I didn't say anything, but I didn't see him drop his head. I saw him make a bad play and then come right make and make a couple good ones right in a row."

Wide receiver Carl Moore also had a good day according to Meyer despite the bad weather.

"Last spring he was not a very good player," he said. "You earn spots in the spring and you prepare for games in the fall, you game plan and you develop. In the spring, you earn that spot. He's competing for a spot because if not, he knows it's going to be a long year for him."

On defense, Meyer said the Gators are, not surprisingly, ahead of schedule after just two practices, especially on the defensive line.

"Your center is Marsh," Meyer said. "You have Jaye Howard who's doing good, it's only been two days in no pads. You have Omar Hunter, Brandon Antwine and we have Gary Brown coming in."

Earl Okine also has chance to make a move, but it has to be this spring.

"He's bench pressing 400-pounds and he's either going to play or not," Meyer said. "If he waits until July or August to make his push, he's going to watch a lot of football for us."

Meyer noted that William Green will see most of his time at end.

"His speed has to continue to improve, but his motor and his first step are pretty good," Meyer said. "He doesn't have that Jarvis Moss speed, but he's got that Jarvis Moss go hard. He's going to have a good year for us."

Notes
  • Meyer on Tebow spending Spring Break in the Philippines … "You always worry about his health, is he going to come back 20 pounds lighter or sick or something. But you can't talk to him about it. Usually when he goes, I have one conversation with him and it's a quick one."

  • On Jeff Demps running track … "Demps was not there because we let him run track later in the week. So Monday, Wednesday is football for him and then he runs track Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday."

  • On James Wilson … "Tomorrow we'll find out. We're just jogging around touching people right now. He's doing alright, but tomorrow we'll find out."

  • On Sam Robey getting a chance with the ones … "We're just keeping an eye on Maurkice [Pouncey] and Robey's earned some time in there."

  • Brandon James is out with a broken foot, and he'll have a pin removed from it in two weeks.


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