Florida Football Countdown 'Til Kickoff: 18) Weis is an Offensive Mastermind

By Brett Kaplan

It’s 18 days until the Florida Gators open up play against the Florida Atlantic Owls and there are plenty of reasons to be excited. This is my top 20 reasons to be excited about this upcoming season. Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment.

Let’s make believe the offensive coordinator of your favorite college football team has groomed a 6th round draft pick into a NFL Hall of Famer. Let’s also say that your offensive coordinator has played a major part in four Super Bowl winning teams. This coach also led a school rich in history like Notre Dame to the two most prolific offensive seasons in their illustrious history. This offensive coordinator took a college backup and an inconsistent wide receiver and running back and made the Kansas City Chiefs a playoff team. This man’s name is Charlie Weis, now the offensive coordinator for the Florida Gators. Head coach Will Muschamp couldn’t have pried away a better coach the run Florida’s offense.

Weis faced a lot of criticism for his time at Notre Dame, but his offenses were not to be blamed. He turned third string NFL QB Brady Quinn into a legitimate first round draft pick and superstar. Now, he’s got to work with an extremely talented quarterback with absolutely zero confidence. And I believe 100% that Weis will turn around Brantley’s career and make him an NFL QB.

Weis also has to get consistency out of the wide receiving corps. So far, the cream has risen to the top in the form of Deonte Thompson, Frankie Hammond, Jr., and Quinton Dunbar. Weis has been working with the crew, watching film with the crew to make sure every detail of their game is precise and crisp. Hammond has even said he’s stopped practice to coach up a WR:

“He doesn’t like to see the same person make mistakes over and over again. If you make a mistake this time and then go around and make another mistake and it’s something different, he can deal with that. But if you’re making the same mistake over and over, we have a problem.”

It’s all about perfection with Weis, even though Florida’s offense last season was about as far from perfect as you can get. He’s short five offensive lineman (teams like to keep 18 scholarship lineman, Florida has 13), but the chemistry on that offensive line has been through the roof. Check out any one of their twitter accounts. They’re always on, joking with each other, and making sure each one is held accountable by “grinding”. The offensive line might be where the Gators need the most work. A supposed strength of last season team, Florida’s O-line gave Brantley no time to throw and small holes for the running backs to get through. Brantley took most of the blame for the poor offensive showing, but truth be told, the offensive line had just as much responsibility.
A positive that Weis inherits from an ubertalented team are scat backs Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps. Demps is the fastest man in college football and, in open space, will outrun the entire team. Rainey, a good pass catching running back, is an absolute play maker, turning nothing into something when he touches the ball. Demps and Rainey, along with Dunbar have been the talk of practice this month. All of them are stepping up.  And just in case the team needs a coach on the field, offensive lineman Dan Wenger just got cleared to suit up in orange and blue. Why is this important? Because Wenger was with Weis at Notre Dame for three years and understand the complexities of Weis’ offense better than anyone else on the team.
Under Weis’ tutelage, Florida’s offense will once again be potent and a force to be reckoned with. The schedule is brutal, but Florida’s offense will look better. The Gators may still lose five games, but at least we won’t have to see three straight dive plays and a punt. There will be some excitement and the credit should go to Muschamp hiring Weis.

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