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Monday August 31, 2009Urban Meyer Press Conference Quotes

Gainesville, Fla.

Opening Statement:

“It’s a big game coming up. We’re playing a good team and are anxious to get going. It’s put a little different pep in our step. We came in at 7 a.m. this morning and had meetings. We are certainly not the finished product, but we don’t have to be yet. We have four days until Thursday’s practice. We’re going to have a tough practice today and our focus will be getting through Monday and get to Tuesday.”


On the returning offense’s style:

“We’re going to mess around with the up-tempo, which is a little bit of what we learned from Oklahoma. How much we change things is still to be determined. I’m anxious to see it work. We’ve spent a lot of time on it. I think you’ll see some of that in the game, but it is dependent on the tailbacks. If those guys run like I think they are going to run, then you might see a more traditional hand-off. We’re going to do what we have to do in the game.”


On redshirt sophomore defensive end Jaye Howard:

 “Well, it’s true that about 90% of young athletes that go through are very confused and one of our sayings here is to eliminate all confusion. If you practice really hard and learn your playbook, then you’ll probably be playing. If you don’t do that, then you won’t play. The guys have a hard time accepting that for some reason. It’s been that way for a long time. If we played tomorrow I think he’d take the first snap. He and (Terron) Sanders are right there, but we still have some practices left, which is the beautiful thing about competition. If he makes the decision to not go hard then he won’t start. But I’m very proud of Jaye, he’s got a great family and is a great person.”


On this being the final year for Tim Tebow and the other Gator seniors:

“I thought about it more this summer when we had time to think. I haven’t had the opportunity to reflect lately. I made a couple of comments in the summer where I thought ‘I have this cat for four more months and I’m going to cherish every moment.’ There wasn’t a day that went by where I didn’t talk to him. He’s got a very light load academically and he’s going to graduate in December, so he’s spent a lot of time in this facility. Same with Brandon Spikes and a lot of guys that fall into this category, and I’m going to cherish every one of them.”


On complacency:

“Today is going to be the day. There is no chance you’re going to survive today. Their legs have had 48 hours by the time we practice today. Enough of the ‘we’re just trying to make it through training camp,’ I’ll know by today if there is any complacency. You can’t make it through today’s practice unless you’re reared up and ready to go. I anticipate from their weight workout this morning and their attentiveness this morning that they’re ready to go.”


On freshman WR Andre Debose’s injury:

“It’s been difficult; I’ll meet with Dr. Pete (Indelicato) today. It’s a very unique injury. There is an issue with one of the tendons that leads into the bone. It’s certainly not career-ending is what they’ve told me. It’s just do you fix it or give it time. He’s already had a lot of time so that decision will be made within the next 24 hours. I talked to Andre this morning and his attitude is great. It’s almost like he’s relived because a hamstring pull should be healed by now. It’s comparable to the young man DeMarco Murray at Oklahoma last year, who missed our game. I don’t think many guys have had what he has.”


On holding off on young players:

“I’m an emotional guy.  I love recruiting and I love the players. Our guys will be fine….Am I not going to act excited about a recruit when I come here? No, that’s not going to happen. The good thing is we have good, young players; so it will be easier to put them in games.”


On Florida’s 2009 schedule:

“In 2006, we had the No. 1 schedule in America. In 2008, we had the No. 2 schedule. I’m not sure how that equates in terms of schedules, but that’s not on our pyramid of success. We’re going to do what we have to do. I think our schedules are well thought out, but I’m not involved with it. Our job is to get our guys in position to be in Atlanta. It’s a really gray area. Our job is to win games.”


On the Gators’ offensive depth:

“Our number one concern on offense is depth at wide receiver and tight-end; that and finalizing our Top-5 [offensive-line]. I will feel better as soon I know who we have and which way we’re going. It’s critical. Carl Moore is still not healthy. Riley Cooper almost didn’t come back, has been practicing every day and is playing the best football of his career right now. In the last week, Deonte [Thompson] took that step to become one of our core receivers. We don’t have a third-string anywhere. We feel good about positions such as linebacker, safety, corner and defensive end since those are very strong. On offense, we don’t have that luxury. There is no back-up tight end; they will be fine players, but are just not ready yet. Defensively, we do have some depth and competition.”


On competition within the program:

“Consistency of our program is important. When you recruit the system, young players can see they can play. We don’t really redshirt at Florida. If you’re the best player, you can come here and you will play. There is no seniority, no nothing. The best football players will play. We recruit to our system and young players want to know they have the opportunity to play. In the last four years, we’ve opened up with more true freshmen than Florida has ever had before.”


On Florida’s running game:

“If we started tomorrow, Jeff Demps would start at tailback, Brandon James would be the H [Halfback] and David Nelson, Aaron Hernandez, Deonte Thompson and Riley Cooper would lineup on the outside. Chris Rainey will get in the game early; he’s had some really good practices. You’ll see a variety of different packages. We have good tailbacks. I’m not concerned about handing the ball off as I used to be.”


On Florida’s professionalism:

“I love to coach this team.  You will see a really good team jog out to practice today; in full pads, not whining and being anxious to get going. It will be hot and humid and you will see a bunch of players and coaches ready to go work. It sounds easy, but it’s not. I’m very proud of where they are at right now; ready to get better and keep going.”


On the leadership provided by his seniors and upperclassmen:

“To have players like (Tim) Tebow, (Brandon) Spikes, The Pounceys (Mike and Maurkice) make things much easier.  No one ever talks about Joe Haden and Major Wright.  They take care of business too.  When they come into this building, they want to watch all the tapes. To be a good player, you need to do those kinds of things.”






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