Florida Football 100 For 100, No. 53: Should We Let Go Of Steve Addazio?

TUSCALOOSA AL - OCTOBER 02: Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio converses with quarterback Trey Burton #8 of the Florida Gators during pregame warmups before facing the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 2 2010 in Tuscaloosa Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

There are six days until Florida's September 1 opener with Bowling Green. There are 53 entries left in the 100 For 100 series. It's like a baker's deck of cards!

The most painful part of the 2009 and 2010 Florida seasons was neither the excruciating pressure of narrative that got to players, coaches, and fans alike nor the loss to Alabama that denied the 2009 Gators a chance to win the SEC, go undefeated, repeat as national champions, and make history: It was the offense. And that was probably mostly Steve Addazio's fault.

Addazio's offenses were boring, though the 2009 one was actually very effective on a per-play basis (6.97 yards per play, third nationally) over the course of the season thanks to a bunch of laughers ... and the presence of Tim Tebow. (The Gators gained 6.84 yards per play or more seven times, but there was a stretch of six straight games in which they never topped 6.25 yards per play.)

In 2010, boring and ineffective mated and birthed the hellspawn that was a Florida offense that notched 5.17 yards per play, 84th nationally, and topped the 6.00 yards per play plateau three times, only getting there against one SEC foe. (You get two guesses as to the identity of that foe, and Vanderbilt doesn't count.)

And then there were the red zone issues. The play-calling done by Addazio (or Billy Gonzales, or whomever it was) contributed to Florida ranking 98th in red zone scoring percentage in 2009 with Tebow as a perpetual one-man option attack and 116th in 2010 despite starting the season 17 for 19 with 16 touchdowns over the first four games.

But while some of these issues linger, Addazio and his accomplices are gone. Florida won't try to run John Brantley on options because it can't, and won't try to run 11,000 dives up the middle with Chris Rainey because it can't, and won't use the Aaron Hernandez shovel screen to the point of absurdity because it can't. And we can't blame Addazio for whatever current woes do materialize, because he's up at Temple, where his scheme maybe actually works. (He's at least doing well enough to get absurd video tributes to Temple made.)

And so it may be time to let go of the Addazio frustrations. His pickle boat capsized long ago, and those who it took down with it are largely not around, either. Besides, we can just blame Charlie Weis for doing the same things Addazio did in 2011, and wonder how he didn't learn from one of the biggest recent mistakes in Florida football history. We're good at blame; we'll figure it out.

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