Florida State's going to get a ton of positive press because of what Karlos Williams will do this year. Williams, a freakish athlete, is almost a mortal lock to run for 1,000 yards for the Seminoles, after rushing for 730 in almost exclusively garbage time action in 2013. He is fast, he is strong, and he will be excellent for FSU.
And he got moved from defensive back to running back after Florida did the same thing with Valdez Showers early in the fall of 2013.
This isn't meant to compare Williams and Showers, because that's not fair: Williams is bigger, faster, and stronger. Showers plays slot receiver now, at least mostly, and not the ill-fitting running back role he held for much of last season. There's no good comparison beyond the provenance of their prominence on offense.
But Showers getting time on offense, and getting moved over from a loaded defensive secondary, proves that Florida's not entirely averse to the sort of ingenuity that some Gators fans pine for without looking all that hard.
Last year, Florida had plans to use Loucheiz Purifoy in significant ways on offense, and then Marcus Roberson's maladies made Purifoy a full-time corner who couldn't be spared. Florida turned to the zone read against Georgia despite — or maybe because of — Tyler Murphy being banged up, and that strategem helped get the Gators within a field goal of a historic comeback. The next week, Florida hid Skyler Mornhinweg as well as possible by using Kelvin Taylor as a wildcat runner, and pounded South Carolina for a half before running out of gas. Two weeks later, facing incredibly long odds against Florida State, the Gators wanted to feature Trey Burton in the wildcat and read option ... and then Burton went down after a 50-yard carry, scrapping another inventive game plan that had some success.
And that was all from Brent Pease. Kurt Roper's more aggressive, and as or more creative, and he has a deeper bench of talent to utilize. Want to throw a wide receiver pass with Treon Harris? That's a possibility. Want to run sweeps to Andre Debose? Go for it. Want to flex out Jake McGee and present defenses with the choice of covering him with a plodding linebacker or a smallish nickel back? Be our guest.
Try shit. Try shit. Try shit. It's okay: We won't mind.
Players like Showers, who just want to get on the field and help a team win, only want chances to do so. Players like Ahmad Fulwood and Demarcus Robinson, who spent their pre-college lives as playmakers, want chances to do exciting things within an exciting offense — and Florida's inability to put one of those on the field for the last four or so years has really stymied the Gators' ability to get the timber necessary to fortify an offense, even though this is the best talent Florida's had on offense since 2009.
Florida's going to have many chances to give those players chances in 2014.
It should take as many of them as it can.