Meyer: It's not 'my offense'

Urban Meyer's offense worked with good football players at Bowling Green. His offense worked with excellent football players at Utah. So, most observers figure his offense will work VERY well with the outstanding football players he has inherited at Florida.

There's just one problem with this logic: The Gators' new head man insists there is no such thing as an Urban Meyer offense.

"Systems don't work unless you have players, so that's where I try to redirect all the focus," he said during SEC Media Days in Birmingham. "Urban Meyer doesn't have an offense. It's (quarterback) Chris Leak's offense."

Whoever it belonged to, Utah fielded one of the NCAA's most productive offenses last fall. It didn't hurt, of course, that Meyer had the NCAA's premier quarterback, No. 1 NFL Draft pick Alex Smith, at the controls.

"You take Alex out of there, and it's not the same offense," Meyer said. "As a matter of fact, I took him out a couple of times, and I wanted to put him right back in. We didn't move the ball quite as well."

Meyer's point is valid. An offensive system is only as good as the players who execute it. He has some playmakers at Florida, so the Gators should be good if they can get the ball in the hands of those playmakers.

"Systems don't work without players," Meyer said. "If you're a talented player, we've got to get you the ball."

Since the 2005 Florida team will be stronger than the 2004 Utah team at some positions and weaker at others, the Gator offense will be structured a little differently than the Utes' attack was last year.

"It changes every year," Meyer said. "It will be a different look (at Florida) than at Utah, absolutely. The concepts will be similar but if you really study Bowling Green to Utah to Florida you will see a lot of differences, and it's all based on personnel."

So, how would Meyer assess Florida's personnel?

"I do believe our AIA's (first-teamers) are guys that are premium players and are very good," he said. "But are they what people are making them out to be? We will find out on September 3rd if they are."

Most of Florida's players were prep standouts who projected to be stars at the college level. Sometimes they live up to their hype. Sometimes they don't.

"At times, they do," Meyer said. "And at other times you know we have got a lot of work to do."

This much is certain, though: Because of the glut of high school talent produced by Florida high schools each year, Meyer won't have to go far to fill the holes he finds in this year's Gator roster.

"In Florida, you can compete because you are recruiting some premium football players," he conceded. "Does that make it easier? Obviously, that makes it a lot easier."

Based on what he saw in spring practice, however, Meyer believes the talent already on hand is sufficient. As he put it: "For the style of game that we play, which is a speed game, the talent that's in the program right now is conducive to what we do."

… Whether it's Urban Meyer's offense, Chris Leak's offense or someone else's.


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