The New Urban Meyer

The signing of D.J. Durkin as possible special teams and linebacker coach and Stan Drayton as running backs coach are more than just new hires. They are examples of Urban Meyer taking his foot off the pedal and delegating authority and responsibility as he tries to rebuild his health while maintaining a powerhouse.

Durkin, if he does become special teams coach as is assumed, will take away Meyer's unit. Before you wonder if Florida loses anything here, consider this; Stanford's punt return defense averaged only two yards more than Florida's and their kick return defense was one yard better. If you assume that UF has better athletes, all Durkin has to do is maintain status quo and Meyer will not be missed. Durkin worked for Meyer at Bowling Green, so Meyer trusts the guy. But you can hold some doubt about Durkin being able to replicate Charlie Strong's work with the linebackers.

Drayton is a different issue in that he left UF for Tennessee on strange terms, mainly because of concerns about the traditional use of the running backs. That Meyer asked him to return (via Syracuse), is a sign that any problems are water under the bridge. It is also a reflection of Meyer's faith in a run heavy offense, necessary because of John Brantley's first season without legit receivers but great running backs. If Mike Pouncey stays to play center, while Maurkice leaves, four of five line starters return, it makes sense to be a run-first team.

There is also faith in Steve Addazio shown by asking Drayton to return because Addazio is probably more comfortable with a run-first offense. (We base that statement on the lack of creativity in the passing game this season.) Meyer also mentions Addazio by name, which seems strange to me;

"Coach Addazio and I worked together on this and are excited to have D.J. and Stan join our coaching staff," Urban Meyer said.

I believe Meyer is coming back, but it seems odd to make a direct reference to your offensive coordinator. Maybe this is because we don't exactly know how Meyer's leave of absence will work, while the football offices know exactly. We're looking between the lines, while a decision has already been made behind closed doors. That seems like a likely scenario after the commitments UF picked up this weekend at the Under Armour All-America Game, especially Dominique Easley, who dropped Penn State only a few days earlier.

There are still open spots to fill, not to mention any possible changes in offensive and defensive play calling. Each decision will give us a greater peek inside the football offices. As for now, this is a new Urban. Hopefully one that is healthy and will learn that he does not have to carry all the burden of victory.

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