There is one striking similarity between the 2005 USC Trojans and the 2009 Florida Gators and I’m not referring to the early rumblings about the Gators having a chance to be one of the best teams of all time.
Rather, I’m talking about how both teams lost acclaimed offensive coordinators following the previous title-winning season and had to go into the next year with a brand new coach directing the offense. In USC’s case, Norm Chow was stripped of play calling duties, which prompted his departure, while Florida lost Dan Mullen, who went on to become head coach at Mississippi State.
USC’s offense had no problem in 2005 thanks to the presence of a ton of veteran talent, but once the core of that offense–tutored under Chow–left, the results became a bit spottier on that side of the ball. Above all the Trojans have had a hard time finding an identity on offense since Chow left. The Gators will have the same challenge in 2010. This year won’t reveal much of a problem, but what about when Tim Tebow leaves? What then?
It looks like Florida has a plan. As this story in the Orlando Sentinel reveals, new Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio wants to restructure the Gators offense around the skills of quarterback heir apparent John Brantley.
Will there be as many quarterback runs per se? No. But he’s a really good athlete,” UF offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said. “He’s a great passer, and we’ve got great tailbacks and we would have the ability to utilize everybody with John as opposed to all the quarterback runs.”
With Brantley in, perhaps the Gators can use their speedy wide receivers and throw more deep balls. Perhaps they can use more of the I-formation with Brantley directly behind center.
Will it work? Will going to this style cause the Gators to lose what made them unique on offense? Or will a whole new identity be created that will turn out to be just as effective?
Whatever the answer is will determine whether Florida’s current run turns into a full-blown dynasty.