Addazio Expects Business as Usual on Offense

The names on the stat sheet will look a lot different but Florida's Offensive Coordinator, Steve Addazio, believes the offense will be very familiar with what Gator fans have seen the last two years. It's been all about efficiency and getting into the end zone and the Gators look to duplicate that efficiency. With names like Harvin and Murphy off the roster, Addazio is still excited.

There is no doubt that quarterback Tim Tebow is the leader of the Gator offense again in 2009. But, he will have a different set of normal targets to throw to this fall. He will be required to move the ball around and will be without two of his favorite targets from the last three years.

The Urban Meyer trademark on recruiting has been speed, and the Gators have speed everywhere. The loss of receivers Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy are big ones, but the Gators have speed to replace those two. Addazio is excited about the prospects he has to fill those positions and move on. He believes that the offense will be eerily similar for those defenses that the Gators face this season.

"I don't know if we will do anything different," Addazio said Wednesday. "We have guys like Brandon James and Jeff Demps and they are two of the fastest guys in the country. They are proven and talented guys. The beauty is we have a handful of guys that are special. I don't think we have to do anything different."

Spring was not particularly a glowing rendition of what is expected in the fall. There were too many skill players that will be counted on that were nursing injuries in March and April. However, there were some guys that made noise that has Addazio excited about the future of the offense.

"We were missing a lot of our skill players in the spring," he said. "Jeff Demps was in track. Riley Cooper was in baseball. David Nelson sprained his foot. Brandon James had a foot issue.

"I think we saw Deonte Thompson grow as a player in the spring and he is going to be a heck of a football player. We saw glimpses of the ability that Frankie Hammond has. Carl Moore had an excellent spring.

"Aaron Hernandez was phenomenal this spring and he should continue where he left off as a real playmaker. The things he brings to the table as a blocker, a receiver, as a multi-dimensional back it is hard for defenses to defend that. He really solidified the fact that he can make plays.

"We saw the emergence of John Brantley in the spring not only as a leader, but as a real playmaker. I thought Moody and Rainey really made some great plays during spring ball."

The reliance on Harvin will be gone and Addazio believes it may allow for this offense to actually take another step forward. Spreading the ball around to all the speedsters is what will leave defenses grasping at straws, and that is what he sees from this group.

"The thing for us is the ability to spread those players out," he said. "I think the thing is we have a bunch of guys that can catch the ball and do some things and forces that defense to play one way or another. Who's hand do you not want the ball in? I feel good about the ball going in a lot of places."

Look for the Gators to really and try and distribute it everywhere. That is something that Addazio and company will really make an effort in doing this fall.

"When you have great balance, it is hard to defend great balance and I think that really adds to your football team," Addazio said.


Fightin Gators Top Stories