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There’s A Good Chance Practices Will Be Closed At UF This Spring

Out with the old, in with the new.  Only Will Muschamp might not want you to know what exactly will be new when Florida hits the football field this fall.  For that reason, Robbie Andreu of The Gainesville Sun believes “there’s a good chance that many, if not all, Florida practices will be closed to the public and the media.”

The writer believes spring practice in the Sunshine State will take on a more serious tone under the Gators’ new coach.  Rather than the spring being used to work on the development of young players — as was often the case under Urban Meyer — Muschamp and crew have to learn their players strengths and weaknesses and put in new offensive and defensive systems.

Interestingly, Andreu is A-OK with being locked out of practice… if it comes to that.

This is going to be a spring about competing and staying focused as the Gators move into a new era.  If the coaches decide the fans and the media might be a distraction, hey, I’m cool with that.

It’s that happy-go-lucky attitude that easily makes The Gainesville Sun the most obliging and accommodating hometown paper in the SEC.

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Muschamp To Make $2.7 Million

So what kind of money could convince Will Muschamp to leave his coach-in-waiting gig at Texas for the Sunshine State?  Try $2.7 million a year for five years.

You can read the full report here at The Gainesville Sun’s website… if it’s working.  (Feel yer pain, brother.  Though when traffic slows you down, that’s a good problem to have.)

The Florida administration and the school’s prominent boosters all have Jeremy Foley’s back on the surprising hire of Muschamp.

Things are expected to be chaotic in Gainesville for the next few weeks.  Urban Meyer and his staff are prepping for a bowl game.  Muschamp is busy trying to put together a brand new staff.  And UF’s current assistants are trying to recruit and earn themselves a spot on the new staff.

Fans in the Jacksonville area are also excited about their new coach.

While filling out his staff, this writer believes Muschamp should try to hire former Miami head coach Randy Shannon.

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UF’s Demps Still Limited

Earlier this season, we asked a simple question here at MrSEC: “Who is going to replace Tim Tebow as the main running threat in Florida’s offense?”

A number of folks from the Sunshine State emailed to say that Jeff Demps would be that guy.  Demps himself suggested that he could play a smashmouth style.

Demps is an electrifying runner with flash o’ lightning speed.  He’s a real talent.  And he’s also 5-8, 190.

If you’re a feature back in the SEC At 5-8, 190, you’re probably not going to stay healthy for long.  Demps hasn’t.

“He has not been 100 percent since the Tennessee game,” Urban Meyer said yesterday.  “He was our #1 playmaker coming into the season.  It’s been devastating on all fronts.”

Demps will be available on a limited basis for the Gators’ remaining games against Appalachian State and Florida State.

“He’s got a stress reaction in his foot, so he doesn’t practice.  It’s very frustrating.  Jeff is a competitor and one of the most talented guys in the country, and a guy we need.  It’s been hard.”

Demps is a great player.  But he’s too small to be counted on as a star running back in the SEC.  Florida’s coach needs to recognize that and recruit with that in mind.  For every compact like Demps he signs, Meyer needs to bring in a full-size back, too.  A true workhorse.

Tebow is gone and the Gators never had anyone who could take over in the run game in his absence.  Will they have that someone next year?

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Meyer Needs To Make “Tough Decisions?” Maybe He Already Has

So yesterday Urban Meyer said that Steve Addazio will likely be back as his offensive coordinator next year.  And that set off a wild rush of fans, bloggers and columnists who are screaming about Meyer’s need to “start making tough decisions.”  The meaning, of course, is that canning Addazio would be tough on the head coach.

Well maybe Meyer is making the tough decision by keeping Addazio. 

Florida’s coach would draw praise from across the Sunshine State by simply announcing, “Addazio isn’t getting the job done so we’re going to find someone else.”  Cue the Hosannas and palm branches.  Meyer would be viewed as a tough guy who’s willing to cut the dead weight from his program.

Just one problem: Meyer is closer to the situation than anyone sitting in Section QQ.  To fans, maybe it’s obvious that play-calling is the Gators’ main trouble, but that doesn’t necessarily make it so.

In fact, when I hear a group of people shouting about something being obvious, a little twinge of fear runs down my spine.  That’s because group-think is often dumb-think.

It’s easy for large groups of fans to bemoan play-calling.  Most of them really believe that they could call plays better than their team’s offensive coordinator.  (Remember when Gator fans wanted Dan Mullen’s head?)  But 99% of the fans out there would freeze up quicker than a Minnesota pond if they actually had to do the job… against the clock… on gameday. 

And that goes for bloggers, columnists and even writers for, too.

If Meyer doesn’t believe Addazio and his play-calling to be the problem — and it’s becoming clear that he doesn’t — then maybe the two-time national champion coach should be trusted.  Maybe UF’s offensive problems lie elsewhere (as we noted earlier today).

Meyer wants to win.  He doesn’t enjoy losing. Clearly he must believe that he has an easier path to victory with Addazio than he would without him.  Despite the fact that every fan and columnist south of Valdosta believes Addazio must go.  By standing his ground and not firing his offensive coordinator, Meyer is doing the unpopular thing.

Time to make a tough decision?  Looks like Florida’s coach has already made one.

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