Austin Probably Better Fit

The George Edwards' hire was a home run for Urban Meyer and the Gators, but there was always something that didn't seem to add up. With Edwards on staff as the defensive coordinator, there were two linebacker coaches and only one defensive backs coach. The numbers at those positions didn't really add up and now with Teryl Austin, it seems a much better fit on the staff.

Teryl Austin brings six years of NFL experience to the Gators as a defensive backs coach and certainly will have his ideas on the defensive philosophy as we move forward. Still, don't expect that philosophy to change much as Urban Meyer is quite happy about finishing in the top six nationally in total defense in three of the last four years. Defensive line coach Dan McCarney and defensive backs coach/co-defensive coordinator Chuck Heater will help maintain the status quo on defense and try and provide a seamless transition with the addition of Austin and new linebacker coach D.J. Durkin.

According to the highest source on this subject, do not expect the defense to change much if at all as we move forward. Florida's defensive personnel does not dictate changing the alignment of the defense.

An issue that was avoided with this hire compared to Edwards is the fact so many more defensive backs are usually on scholarship than linebackers and Austin will now be able to split the duties coaching the backs with Heater. Heater was going to have his hands full coaching 14 players this season and 15 when the numbers are exactly as they want them. In turn, there are usually only 9-10 linebackers on scholarship.

While Austin has been out of the recruiting game and in the NFL for the last six years, his pedigree in the league will certainly help with recruiting as all of the players that Florida signs aspire to one day play professional football.

Meyer did not know Austin before this search, but his trust in assistants Steve Addazio and Scot Loeffler who both worked with Austin in stints at Syracuse and Michigan, helped bring this hire to fruition. Meyer also noted that Cardinals' defensive coordinator Bill Davis, a close friend, played a big part in swaying Meyer to make the move for Austin.

Only time will tell if this is a good fit for the defense, but from the outside it looks like this could be a hire that helps keep Florida on the same track it was with an aggressive and well coached defense. A six year NFL veteran will do some things for recruiting as well. All of that and a another secondary coach seemed like a much better fit than the well qualified Edwards.

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