Time For Addazio To Drop The Clipboard

Addazio said it simply comes down to the players not making plays.

"Execute, and don’t turn the ball over," he said.

The idea that players need to make plays is a classic excuse for any coach in any sport. And it is exactly that; an excuse. When a coach has lost his players or when the coach cannot use the talent around him, his first thought is to blame someone else. After all, the coach is an expert! How dare you question his ability!

That is what Steve Addazio is doing now. His implication to the Palm Beach Post that the players just have to make plays, and UF wins, is BS of the highest order. Right now, if it wasn't for Tim Tebow playing out of his Goddamn mind, possibly sacrificing his health and NFL career, Florida would have lost to Arkansas and been in a death match with Tennessee. If it wasn't for Riley Cooper turning his back on a million-dollar baseball career, and Nutting Up, UF does not drive down the field and win against Arkansas. When it comes down to it, Florida is making plays. It's the rest of the game that is the problem and that is firmly on Steve Addazio's growing ego. (I'll agree with you that Florida needs to protect the ball. But turnovers are part of the game and you have to gameplan around a certain number of them.)

The Gators are still first in the SEC in scoring and total offense (11th and 6th nationally). They are over 50% on third-down conversions, as well. But they are 80% scoring in the red zone with 15 TDs and 9 FGs on 30 possessions. This is a perfect example of Addazio's thinking that players need to make plays. Addazio clearly thinks that Florida can score on talent alone. Inside the red zone, when you have to be more careful (to not turn it over) and more creative (since you have less space to work with), Addazio tightens up. He is relying on Tebow to save his ass. That is not how the coach-player relationship works.

Coaches are supposed to teach their players, then put them in a position to win. This is why schemes are developed based on personnel. Addazio does not understand this, at least as a coordinator. When you see Tebow take one look and take off on a pass play, it's not just that the first progression is covered. It is that Tebow does not trust the protection around him to get to the second progression. (And can you blame him? He's been sacked 13 times and almost had his head explode this season.) Under Addazio's thinking, it is his five offensive linemen who get blamed for not blocking every blitz and the receivers for not getting open immediately. Addazio just calls the plays and gets the hell out of the way.

That is why Addazio should go back to coaching only the offensive line and Billy Gonzales or Scot Loeffler should call the plays. Addazio is not a bad coach. He's built one of the best lines in Florida history. But as he struggles as an offensive coordinator, he is also struggling as a line coach (see the 13 sacks). Florida cannot afford to have a coach do two average jobs. The Gators need to make this move before it is too late and they only score 13 in Jacksonville.

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