Florida Gators offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will move up to the coaches’ box — the “booth,” in popular parlance — for the Gators’ game against Tennessee, Jim McElwain revealed in Wednesday’s teleconference of SEC coaches.
Nussmeier has been Florida’s offensive coordinator and play-caller since McElwain hired him in 2015, and has come under significant fire from the Florida fan base of late — and especially since the Gators’ dismal showing on offense against Michigan — for what has been diagnosed by fans as staid, unoriginal play-calling.
Nussmeier has coached primarily from the sideline during his tenure with Florida, with McElwain explaining that decision in part as one meant to help the Gators’ young quarterbacks at the time — Will Grier and Treon Harris in 2015, and Luke Del Rio in 2016.
Two years later, Grier and Harris are at West Virginia and Tennessee State, respectively, and Del Rio was stationed on the bench throughout Florida’s season opener, but Florida still has young and green quarterbacks — most notably starter Feliepe Franks and backup Malik Zaire — and plenty of offensive problems to solve. Moving Nussmeier upstairs might not be a panacea for all of what ails the Gators, but it does provide a literal different angle from which to see the issues.