ESPN's College Football Live crew (Urban Meyer, Kirk Herbstreit, Jesse Palmer and Robert Smith) gave us a breakdown of the Florida Gators by way of a roundtable discussion as part of their preseason Top 25 countdown. The Gators came in at #18 for those interested.
What did they have to say? What are their feelings on how the Gators are going to look this fall? Was Charlie Weis a good hire? Is John Brantley the guy? Answers are after the jump.
Robert Smith on what he thinks of when he sees Will Muschamp:
"I see a guy who wants to be down in the trenches, chest pumping his players..."
Urban Meyer then responded to question from Kirk Herbstreit about how the Gators can get that "fire" back:
"The key word is hungry. In 2006, I had a very angry team. As Lou Holtz said, it takes energy, passion and enthusiasm to build. To maintain is fatigue."
Urban then relates that sentence to being on top of the mountain and how he believes that it took its toll on the team last year. That makes perfect sense. They just looked mentally out of it.
Jesse Palmer mentions that Will Muschamp closed spring practices, and Urban responds:
"Glad I didn't do that."
Everyone laughed, and rightfully so. But I still agree with the closing of the practices to the public. Why reveal your hand, so to speak, in April?
Jesse Palmer on any "sense of entitlement" that is currently on the roster:
I think Will Muschamp is trying to create a blue-collar, lunch-pail...almost an overachieving type of mentality.
Hopefully the team buys in. Jesse mentions that the team has hired sports psychologists to help make that transition.
Kirk Herbstreit asks if the hiring of Charlie Weis was a good move:
Urban: "I think it is a very good move"
Jesse: "Charlie Weis is very excited because he feels like he has never coached this much speed before. Say what you want about him as a head coach, but look at what he has done at New England, Kansas City and the last couple of offenses he put together at Notre Dame."
Robert: "Yes. Because he isn't running the entire team."
That was pretty much our thoughts here at AA as well. Tell me again why we don't have a video roundtable discussion that is broadcast to roughly 300 million households?
Kirk Herbstreit then asks if John Brantley can be a successful quarterback in the SEC:
Robert: "There is so much talent on that team, it is going to make the job that much easier."
Jesse: "This is the offense that he is built for. I want to see the toughness, though. But in talking to the coaches this spring, they tell me that his confidence has never been higher."
Urban: "More stability at the skill positions. I think Brantley will have a big year."
So aside from Robert Smith's non-answer, it seems that everyone expects John Brantley to have a good year. I still have my doubts. We shall see how it unfolds.
Kirk Herbstreit then signs off by saying:
"Will they win the way the Gator Nation expects them?"
I don't think he is talking about style of play. I could be wrong, but I think that he is referring to roughly a 10 win season. But let me say this, if any Florida Gators fan expects more than eight wins (I'd listen if you said nine, but you'd have a tough time convincing me right now) he or she needs to seriously take off the orange and blue glasses. Expectations have had a part in us losing our two greatest coaches. Let's not do that again.