October 28th, 2010 03:43 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Florida
Tags: Bill Curry, John Brantley, London, Mike Pouncey
Let me make something clear… I’m not one of those guys who sprints to my keyboard everytime there’s an opportunity to write, “What if a white guy had said that?”
I’ve been around long enough to know that whites, blacks, browns, reds, yellows, blues and greens are all quite capable of saying stupid things and harboring ignorant biases. As humans, we’re a pretty dumb bunch.
Former Florida linebacker Channing Crowder — now a Miami Dolphin — doesn’t have much good to say about the state of Urban Meyer’s offense this year.
“They don’t have an identity. They don’t know what — John Brantley don’t know what he wants to do. He can’t outrun anybody. I saw him get run down by a white linebacker last week, which was a disgrace to all Florida football history.”
In a later interview, Crowder continued (talking about Brantley and Trey Burton): “You can see the offense is nothing without Tebow. When I saw a white linebacker … ran down Brantley twice, I said, ‘Yeah, we have no chance.’
“First, he’s a linebacker. Tim Tebow would’ve walked away from a linebacker, and he’s white. If a white linebacker is running down your running quarterback, we don’t have a chance.
“They should put (center Mike Pouncey) back at quarterback — let him run.”
Was Crowder kidding? Probably.
Or maybe he’s just an nitwit. This is the same player who once said before playing an NFL game in London: “I didn’t know until Tuesday that people in London speak English.”
So we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he was just trying entertain the local press corps with his “white linebacker” routine.
If a white player had said, “They let a black quarterback throw all over them,” it would have made national headlines. Right, wrong, that’s a fact. And no benefit of the doubt would have been extended to the speaker.
Now on to the main point — Crowder said what many other Florida fans have said this year. “John Brantley can’t run.”
No, he can’t. And why anyone thought he could, I have no idea. But that is not Brantley’s fault.
Peyton Manning — who as a Patriots fan, I despise — looks like Ichabod Crane in cleats. He couldn’t outrun a linebacker of any color on a zone-read play if his life depended on it. That’s just not his game. But he can pass the eyes out of a defense. That is his game.
Like Manning, Brantley is a dropback passer. And you don’t criticize dropback passers for their inability to run the option. (See: Tim Couch in Bill Curry’s option offense at Kentucky.)
Crowder and Gator fans who are upset with Brantley’s lack of ball-carrying skills should take the issue up with Florida’s head coach. He’s the man who wants Brantley to run the ball. You can bet Brantley would rather stand in the pocket and wing it.
Right past all those black defensive linemen, white linebackers, black corners and white safeties.
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