Despite heavy rumors and Gator fans calling for Steve Addazio’s head after another disappointing loss, Coach Urban Meyer confirmed yesterday that he has no intentions of firing his offensive coordinator. Addazio has been under fire for Florida’s lackluster offense and horrific play calling as Florida is in the midst of its first three-game losing streak at home since the Reagan administration. This is unacceptable for what Urban Meyer considers an “elite” program. Rather than blaming play calling, he attributes the tumultuous slide to lack of experience (played 17 true freshman this season), practice efficiency, and overall effort.
Addazio has quickly moved up the ranks at Florida, however, as he moved up, the team’s offensive production moved down. In 2005, Addazio joined the team as the tight ends coach, was promoted to offensive line coach in 2007, moved to assistant head coach in 2008, then took over play calling in 2009. If you look at the statistics, offensive production went down as Addazio moved up. The Gators are currently 71st in rushing, 76th in passing, and 84th in total offense, close to the bottom in all offensive categories in the SEC.
The bottom line, the play calling does not fit the type of pocket passer John Brantley brings to the table. The Meyer/Addazio spread offense scheme doesn’t work for the Brantley types. You need a dynamic quarterback, not someone who was born a pure pocket passer. As a starter, Brantley has 3 TD passes and 7 INTs in his last 7 games. But Meyer is still convinced that Brantley is the right man for the job and will not pull him for this Saturday’s match-up against Appalachian State.
If Meyer’s words turnout to be true, Florida fans should be worried. The Gators are 6-4 only because Meyer will not schedule strong OCC games (Miami of Ohio, South Florida, & Appalachian State) aside from their annual match-up against in-state rival Florida State. Teams go through ups-and-downs, so my only advice to Coach Meyer is, if your team is failing because of a player or two, you replace those players. If your team is failing as a group, then you replace the coaches.