Sunday January 4, 2009Coach Addazio & Members Of The UF Offense Meet With Media
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Select coaches and members of the University of Florida offense met with members of the media on Sunday, Jan. 4 in Ft. Lauderdale. Participating coaches and players included: offensive coordinator, assistant head coach/linebackers Steve Addazio, junior quarterback Tim Tebow, redshirt senior offensive lineman Jason Watkins, senior wide receiver Louis Murphy, sophomore offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey, sophomore offensive lineman Mike Pouncey and redshirt senior offensive lineman Phil Trautwein.
On the transition of Coach Addazio to offensive coordinator:
COACH ADDAZIO: Nothing has changed. We're business as usual right now, moving forward here. We have our staff that works together, always has and will work together, as Coach Meyer has stated to you guys. That's just the way we do our business. We have some great football coaches and they're all assigned areas of specialty, and we just kind of work together towards that game plan situation and calls during the course of the game. In terms of transition, there is no transition right now. Right now we're doing exactly what we've done in the past. There's no effect on myself, there's no effect on any of the players, and it's been a great, great couple weeks here of preparation; it really has been.
On how Tim Tebow’s missionary work has affected his perspective of football
TIM TEBOW: It totally removes so much of the pressure. Pressure is not having to win a football game; pressure is having to find your next meal. From being in a lot of places that I've been with my dad and on mission trips, you kind of find out what true pressure is and what just is a game. Even though we love it so much, football is still just a game. A lot of people bleed over it and love it, and I'm one of those people. But at the end of the day, I know what's more important, and football is not more important than life, and pressure is definitely not football. So I think when you can put that perspective, I think it really gives you a much better outlook.
On Tim Tebow’s missionary work:
COACH ADDAZIO: Well, obviously the way Tim was brought up and all the things that Tim has been involved with in his life with his dad and his family I think obviously speak to his character. I think ultimately as a leader and a leader of a football team, the leader of a family, the leader of an organization, I think it starts with character. And I think that Tim has been brought up, and he just stated it really beautifully right there, that he's been brought up in an environment where he has an appreciation for the bigger picture, and there's a bigger picture than just football, the struggles and things that go on for people throughout the worse are world. And I think Tim has a great feel for that. When I have an opportunity to sit here and listen how he articulated that right there, "pressure is finding your next meal" is a pretty significant statement. I think the appreciation for that and the ability -- what a great experience at a young age to be able to understand that whole concept and be a part of it. I'm just amazed by it, and I think it's fantastic.
On adjustments made on the field following the loss to Ole Miss:
COACH ADDAZIO: Well, I just think that when Tim got up and spoke, I think really it was probably a mouthpiece for our program, and just from the standpoint that you realize how fragile every football game really is. That's really what you realize in that scenario, that the margin for error is not that great. As a player, as a coach, as a program, you really have to understand that you go into every contest; you've got to bring your "A" game. I don't want to speak for Tim, but I think the reality of it was, it was a wake-up call to everybody that we've got to bring our "A" game to every game, we have to bring that intensity to every game, and I think you saw that in Tim's words, and I think you've seen that in our team's performance.
And it was exclamation point I thought in that SEC Championship game in that fourth period where as a team, as a program, we bowed up. I think that really was a culmination starting with that speech and moving on.
On the response to Tim Tebow’s speech following the loss to Ole Miss
TIM TEBOW: I don't know how they responded. I thought a lot of them felt the same way I did. A lot of them tried to console me after the game, which I appreciated. They knew how I felt and I knew how they felt, so I felt that I wasn't just speaking for me, I was speaking on behalf of the team. You know, when I was sitting in the locker room trying to think and pray about what I wanted to say, I didn't want to just go out there and speak straight out of emotion or just ramble on just out of anger, I wanted to say something that meant something and something that was going to last, and also find the positive out of the situation because in any situation there is a positive, you just have to find it. So that's something that I learned a long time ago, to find the positive in that situation, and the positive is there will be no team or no player that works harder from that point on than us. That was a positive. And if that loss brought that out of us, then that's a good thing. So that loss was a blessing to us, and that's how I tried to look at it. I apologized to the fans and let them know that that a lot of good will come out of this.
On Tim Tebow playing this National Championship as the starting QB:
TIM TEBOW: Yeah, I really do appreciate the chance, the opportunity to be here. It is such a privilege and an honor to play in a game like this versus a team like this in an atmosphere like this. You never know when you're going to get another chance to play in a game like this. So I'm really just going to count my blessings and be thankful for it and really just savor all the memories that I can.
On the effect of Carl Johnson’s addition to the offensive line:
COACH ADDAZIO: Yeah, I think that up front you have to gel and you have to have chemistry, and there's a lot to that, and I just think that what happened, we went through preseason, like you said, very seldom were we able to put two practices together with the same five guys. Just the way it happens sometimes with injuries and things. We were able to settle in, and Carl came in and has done a really great job, really took his opportunity, ran with it. And as a unit I just feel that the unit has gelled together and is playing well together. That chemistry has been important and will continue to be important, but we also have some players that have really stepped up and done a great job that are also equally prepared to go in and fill any role necessary. I think as a unit we really have come together and grown, and you've seen that happen from the beginning of the year throughout.
On how Tim Tebow’s role has changed in 2008:
TIM TEBOW: I think my role is a little bit different this year. Last year I had to do a little bit
more, make a few more plays this year, more of a manager, more of trying to just be the field general out there and put our offense in positions to score points, get 1st downs, manage the clock, manage the turnovers. I think we've done a pretty good job of that this year, and it's a blessing to be up here and be in this game, and it's definitely worth it. I wouldn't trade this season for the world.
On the Oklahoma defense
JASON WATKINS: Actually we watched most of the games; I guess just all the defense that
they play; they're pretty much hard-nosed defense. Each week we go against a great defense, and the job for the offensive lineman is pretty much to protect Tebow, so whatever is necessary to protect Tebow, that's what we'll do. Like I said, the O-line we gel together so
well as a unit that any guy that we go against, we're so much ahead of them that we're just ready to face anything we go against.
On pre-game rituals
TIM TEBOW: I don't really call it rituals, I call them routines. I'm not superstitious, but I like
to have the same routine. I always have the same passing warm-up routine, and right before every game I run down to the end zone and give me final jump around the sideline and then get down on a knee and pray. I do the same things always. I like having that routine. I don't think it's a ritual or superstition, but I like doing the same thing, it's a flow, it's natural, and it just happens, so I kind of do that.
JASON WATKINS: For me pretty much each week like at breakfast, it's kind of hard though because I don't really eat that much before, so I'll be kind of struggling a little. I don't call it a routine, but I typically do it, some kind of way I put my shoes on, a certain way, and then just get ready. Then after the game after the game I have my solo I sing. I've been working for "American Idol"; I'm ready for it -- just joking (laughing).
On the improvements of the offensive line after the loss against Ole Miss
MAURKICE POUNCEY: I'd have to say it was a lot more care, a lot more field time, taking it
a lot more serious than what we did. We probably expected to go out there and beat Ole Miss, but that goes to show any team can beat you at any time. So a lot more care and passion and love for the game from the whole team.
MIKE POUNCEY: That big split thing was just a schemed up game plan. We used it two years ago against LSU and it worked pretty well. But that was just a schemed up thing. Like you said, we just started watching more film and practicing harder, and that paid off for us.
PHIL TRAUTWEIN: We just started out scheming other teams. We didn't really -- that's really it. We just went out there with energy and passion and love for the game, something that we
didn't have for Ole Miss, and it was just a totally different mindset on this team. That's about it.
On the Pouncey brothers growing up Florida State fans
MIKE POUNCEY: Well, we were committed to Florida State our junior year and we always wanted to go there. We grew up fans of Florida State, and I guess the whole time I was committed there, we only talked once for like a minute. When we came here, we felt like we were good with Coach Meyer. We spent time with him every day we were here, and we felt like more of a family. I guess that's why we made our choice to come to Florida.
MAURKICE POUNCEY: I feel the same way. Florida Gators know how to recruit. I mean, they can take you from anywhere, any time. It's just more of a lovable team, guys to be around, and family-type coaching staff. It's just great to be here.
On what triggered Louis Murphy’s turn-around on the field
LOUIS MURPHY: Man, sitting on the sidelines watching everybody else play and not really being a part of the team and not – just walking around the locker room, and you've got
Dallas Baker, you've got Bubba Caldwell, Cornelius, CI, Percy coming in, you have Cooper,
Jarred Fayson, man, I've got to make a name for myself. I just wanted to make my family proud, make my mother proud and just work for her. That just became my motivation and my drive. I think it also had a lot to do with just waiting my time, too. We had Dallas Baker, the touchdown maker. You can't just come in and just take over his limelight. So I pretty much continued just to work hard and just stay focused.
On Percy Harvin’s effect on the team
LOUIS MURPHY: Man, it helps us out a lot because even when Percy has been gone the
last two games I've had a couple double coverages. When Percy is out there, he brings a
whole different dynamic to the game. Can't nobody on our team replace Percy; we have to do
it as a unit. When he comes back, it's just going to open up the game so much more, the inside game, the running game. So that's pretty much it. I mean, the line sees the difference.
MAURKICE POUNCEY: We love when Percy is in there. It slows everything down.