Florida Gators team meeting

Florida Gators team meeting

Submitted by EGD on August 31st, 2017 at 11:25 AM

Fade in.

The early Gainesville sun peeks through mini-blinds at the Florida Gators’ team meeting room.  Players, mostly dressed in shorts and hoodies, lounge nervously amid many empty seats.  Soon the rear door swings open, and the ruffled figure of JIM McELWAIN angrily stalks into the room.

Jim McElwain: Gentlemen.  One of you has betrayed the Gators.

/prolonged quiet

Jim McElwain: /moving slowly through the assembled players/ One of you reported your teammates to the police.  One of you...is a traitor!

/more quiet

Jim McElwain: Teams are built on trust!  Teams are built on respect!  One of you has betrayed that trust!  One of you has forfeited that respect!  Who…is the traitor?  Who is it?!

/more quiet

Jim McElwain: Was it you, Lamical Perine?

Lamical Perine: What?  You trippin. 

Jim McElwain: Oh, am I?  You’re the second-string running back. You had every incentive to turn in Jordan Scarlett to the police.  He goes down, and that means you’re number one.  That means you get the glory.  Couldn’t beat him for the spot, so you squealed to the cops.  Isn’t that right, Mister Perine?

Lamical Perine: Yo, man, that’s some bullshit.  I don’t know where you even come up with that.

Jim McElwain: Hmm.  Perhaps it was you, Malik Zaire! /points finger

Malik Zaire: Me? Why you think I would do something like that?

Jim McElwain: I don’t know.  Maybe because Felipe Franks beat you out for the start, and this is your way of getting back?

Malik Zaire: Yeah, okay.   I mean, “fuck no!”  But if that’s what you think.

Jim McElwain: Hmm.  A defensive player, perhaps?  Was it you, David Reese?

David Reese 1: Huh?  What?  Wasn’t me, coach. /simultaneously

David Reese 2: Huh?  What?  Wasn’t me, coach. /simultaneously

Jim McElwain: You middle linebackers are always threatening the running backs, talking about all the ways you’re gonna mess them up.  Maybe you finally found a way to make good on one of your threats.

David Reese 1: Nope, nope.  Uh-uh.  Not me, coach.  /simultaneously

David Reese 2: Nope, nope.  Uh-uh.  Not me, coach.  /simultaneously

Jim McElwain: I see.  Not you, either, huh?  /to the whole room:  I say again, one of you has done this! Will no man admit your betrayal?  I assure you right now: confess, and there will be no repercussions.  I will sign your transfer request to Florida Atlantic this afternoon.

/all hands go up

Jim McElwain: Wait, what?

Random Player 1: Oh, hey coach, you know I didn’t do it but if you’re saying I can transfer…

Jim McElwain: Put that hand back down! 

/RANDOM PLAYER 1's puts hand down

Jim McElwain: Alll of you!

/remaining hands go back down

Jim McElwain: I’m serious here.  Who really did it?

/more quiet

Jim McElwain: No one.  Okay.  You leave me no choice.  Nussmeier!

/DOUG NUSSMEIER, seated in the back of the room, rises and walks out the door.  He returns a moment later wheeling in a large metal frame with a five-foot shark dangling from a hook at the top of it. 

Jim McElwain: Gonna have to give y’all the ol’ shark test.    

Random Player 2: The shark test?

Jim McElwain: Yes.  Ain’t nobody ever taught you about the shark test?  It’s real simple.  You see, everybody here who is loyal to this Florida Gators football team is gonna show it by lovin’ this here shark. 

Random Player 2: What?

Jim McElwain: That’s right.  You see, if you’re not willing to love a shark for your teammates, then we’ll know we can’t trust you.

Random Player 2: That’s crazy.

Jim McElwain: Is it?  Well maybe it is.  But to catch a mole, you gotta be crazy like a mole.

Random Player 2: Man, it’s “crazy like a fox.”

Jim McElwain: Whatever.  Okay, who’s first?  Any volunteers?

/more quiet

Jim McElwain: No one?  Nobody wants to stand up and prove his loyalty to his teammates?

Random Player 1: This is fucked up, man.

Jim McElwain: Alright.  If there aren’t any volunteers, then I’ll have to start calling on people.  Del Rio!  You’re first.

Luke Del Rio: What do you want me to do, coach.

Jim McElwain: You heard me.  I want you to love this here shark.  Give it a good one.  Prove your loyalty to the team.

Luke Del Rio: When you say, “love the shark…”

Jim McElwain: I mean love the shark, boy.  You remember those recruiting visits we put you on?  That kind of lovin.  Just with a shark.

Luke Del Rio: Hey, I don’t…I mean…

Jim McElwain: So you won’t do it?

Luke Del Rio: Look, man—

Jim McElwain: We’ve found the mole!  Luke Del Rio has betrayed his team!

/more quiet

Jim McElwain: You’re off the team, Del Rio.  It’s for your own protection.  Shall I sign your paperwork for FAU?  Or are you more of an East Carolina guy?

Luke Del Rio: I ain’t even gonna answer that.

Jim McElwain: Okay.  Who’s next?  Who will be the first to prove his loyalty to the team?

/more quiet

Jim McElwain: Am I gonna have to start calling out names again?  Prove your loyalty!

/more quiet

Jim McElwain: Seriously, look—whoever goes first gets a nice clean shark.  Trust me—you don’t want to go second and then it’s…ewww.

Random Player 1: Why the rest of us have to go?  You already found the mole.

Jim McElwain: Oh, it’s way beyond that now.  Prove your loyalty, Gator!

Random Player 1: Sheeeit.

Jim McElwain: CeCe Jefferson!  You’re next.  Don’t let me down.

CeCe Jefferson: If that’s the way it’s gonna be, well, I’m out, coach.

Jim McElwain: What do you mean, “you’re out?”

CeCe Jefferson: I ain’t going anywhere near that shark.  So if that’s how it’s gonna be, you can sign my transfer.  Miami Hurricanes okay?

Jim McElwain: So, there’s two moles!

Random Player 2: Man, you ain’t even found one mole.

Jim McElwain: I found two!  Two men put to test, both confessed their disloyalty.  Do we have any others?  Are there any more among you who would sooner abandon your team then simply make sweet love to this pretty little shark?

/remaining players raise hands

Jim McElwain: None of you will prove it.  None?  An entire room full of quislings!  I should have known.

Random Player 1: Look coach, getting’ it on with some shark ain’t got nothing to do with being a loyal teammate.  I ain’t the mole, but I still ain’t gonna do nothin’ with that shark.

/quiet pause

Jim McElwain: Alright.  Well if I can’t trust a single one of you, then you may as well all stay.  Del Rio!  Jefferson!  You’re still on the team.  We leave for Dallas this afternoon.  But you all just remember: I’m watching you.  Dismissed!

/team shuffles out.  DOUG NUSSMEIER remains behind

Doug Nussmeier: Very effective speech to the team, sir.  They seem very fired up now.

Jim McElwain: /removing hand from his belt/  Oh, you’re still here?

Doug Nussmeier: Was hoping we could go over the game plan for Michigan, if you have a moment.

Jim McElwain: Uh, yeah.  I’ll be free in about fifteen minutes.  I can stop by your office.  Is that okay?

Doug Nussmeier: See you then, sir.  Things will turn around, I guarantee it.

Jim McElwain: Uh, yes.  Thank you.  Thank you.  I’ll see you in 15.  Seriously, thanks.

/Nussmeier walks toward exit door

Fade out.

Saban known to handcuffs offensive coordinators

Saban known to handcuffs offensive coordinators

Submitted by TheTruth41 on October 8th, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Interesting article quoting AJ McCarron as saying Saban handcuffs his offensive coordinators.  While he wasn't sure if this was the case in Alabama's last loss, while he was there Saban was known to do this (when Nussmeier was the OC).  May explain a bit more why the parting was more mutual than anything.

Not too far fetched to believe the same is happening under Hoke.


OT - Article about how Alabama Offense is becoming more Spread

OT - Article about how Alabama Offense is becoming more Spread

Submitted by Drew_Silver on October 3rd, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Its an article form USA today (so its easy to read)


You can't escape the 'spread' offense in today's game.  Its everywhere

Not trying to knock our OC and our coach, but its really hard to be a staunch supporter of 1 ideology. (insert your lebowski nihilist jokes here) unless your ideology is move the football


basically Kiffin is adapting to his players:

The Crimson Tide's offensive transition shouldn't surprise on another level. Blake Sims is a dual-threat quarterback, a sharp departure from the pro-style passers Alabama has had since Saban's arrival. Jacob Coker, the Florida State transfer who competed with Sims for the starting job, is also more mobile than previous Alabama quarterbacks.

To accentuate Sims' abilities, the Tide is running the zone read and rolling the pocket, among other things.



How much influence does Hoke have on the OC?

How much influence does Hoke have on the OC?

Submitted by Yeoman on September 28th, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Some comments on the locker room issues thread got me thinking. Or datamining, anyway, I don't know how much thinking was involved.

RockinLoud and Johnvand suggested Hoke might be forcing Nussmeier to play a style he didn't necessarily want to play, the offensive problems now being "eerily reminiscent" of the defense under RR.

Of course with RR we had clear evidence that this was happening because they were running a 3-3-5 that neither of the coordinators ever ran before or since. I didn't see anything similar happening now but Gobgoblue pointed out that Alabama had more of a vertical passing game last year than Michigan has now.

Well, that's something that might leave a tangible mark in the box score, so I pulled some stats from Nussmeier's offenses since he became an OC: the percentage of play calls that are runs (sacks are included here of course but they don't impact the percentages all that much), and yards per completion, which might serve as a measure of route depth. Anything over 13 is a pretty big number; over 15 is mad-bomber territory unless you're running a triple option and only throwing a few times per game.

  run % ypc
2008 Fresno St. 56.3% 12.1
2009 Washington 49.6% 12.3
2010 Washington 56.1% 12.1
2011 Washington 52.7% 12.4
2012 Alabama 63.5% 13.9
2013 Alabama 55.8% 13.2
2014 Michigan 56.8% 11.3

The run/pass mix hasn't changed, but yards per completion are definitely down.

The problem is, YPC only measures the ones you catch. Are we not throwing the ball downfield, or are we just not completing the downfield balls we throw? That's impossible to tell from the box scores, we'd need charts of Alabama's offense to know.

The next chart's more interesting. Here's Al Borges's career:

  run % ypc
1995 Oregon 49.6% 12.1
1996 UCLA 56.4% 14.0
1997 UCLA 60.7% 16.6
1998 UCLA 57.6% 16.7
1999 UCLA 52.8% 13.4
2000 UCLA 53.9% 14.8
2001 California 47.8% 12.4
2002 Indiana 49.3% 13.2
2003 Indiana 62.7% 11.5
2004 Auburn 64.2% 14.6
2005 Auburn 58.7% 13.3
2006 Auburn 62.5% 13.1
2007 Auburn 60.4% 11.4
2009 SDSU 42.3% 12.9
2010 SDSU 50.8% 15.7
2011 Michigan 66.4% 15.3
2012 Michigan 61.2% 15.3
2013 Michigan 55.8% 13.6

When Borges and Hoke first hooked up, Al passed more than he ever had before. Even the second year when they had Ronnie Hillman running rampant the run/pass mix was still at the low end of Borges's career numbers.

And then they came to Michigan and it turned upside down.

Yes. Denard. True. But in 2013 when Denard was gone and the run game had collapsed they were still running the ball more than they had with Hillman.

Something happened between 2010 and 2011 and it wasn't Brady Hoke because, thankfully, the experiment was constructed so that variable was held constant.

What changed was the move from San Diego to Ann Arbor, not the coaches. And my unfounded suspicion is that a decision was taken to rebrand Michigan football.

We can change coaches all we want. As long as the brand is more important than the product, this isn't going to get fixed.

Continuity, establishing an identity, that I understand. These 180-degree turnarounds in philosophy are damaging; you want the players you recruit to get to play in a system that works for them. But if the managing of public perceptions starts influencing coaching decisions, it's a problem.

Did Nuss make a mistake with Funk?

Did Nuss make a mistake with Funk?

Submitted by massblue on September 25th, 2014 at 5:22 PM

It is clear that in the absence of DR, we have had a pretty bad running game the last 3 1/4 years and very inconsistent offense.  The common thread has been the awful play by our offensive line. It is safe to say that Nuss made a mistake in not making change for the OL coach.  I would guess that if he had insisted on bringing his own OL coach, Hoke would have gone along.  He does not have a long history with Hoke.

Can we see a 2013-type Gardner turnaround?

Can we see a 2013-type Gardner turnaround?

Submitted by Yo_Blue on September 22nd, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Everyone talks about Gardner's poor performance last year and about him being a turnover machine.  Does it surprise anyone that he had three (3) interceptions in B1G play?  How about 1 INT in the last 6 games?  While he struggled in out of conference play, he cleaned up considerably once the conference started.


CMU 10 15 67% 162 1 2
ND 21 33 64% 294 4 1
Akron 16 30 53% 248 2 3
@Conn 11 23 48% 97 0 2
Minn 13 17 76% 235 1 0
@PSU 15 28 54% 240 3 2
Indiana 21 29 72% 503 2 0
@MSU 14 27 52% 210 0 1
Neb 18 27 67% 196 1 0
@NW 24 43 56% 226 1 0
@Iowa 13 28 46% 98 2 0
OSU 32 45 71% 451 4 0

Is it unreasonable to expect this kind of improvement or is it wishful thinking? 

If the play calling could help Gardner out (less under center play action where he doesn't see the defense for 3 seconds at a time, more screens and quick slants to defeat blitzes, etc.).  We saw how Utah played against our blitzes - most of the time the ball was out before we could get close to the QB.

Looking at Devin's numbers from last year, consider that we didn't have anything close to the running attack we have this year.

Inside the Playbook: Michigan's Rushing Attack

Inside the Playbook: Michigan's Rushing Attack

Submitted by Space Coyote on September 19th, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Pertinent on the heels of the UFR and with a game coming up tomorrow, I took a look at breaking down Doug Nussmeier’s rushing attack, and how it all fits well into one system. This combination of 4-5 base plays makes it very difficult for defenders to read keys and take appropriate angles to attacking the offense, putting a lot of stress on them to be gap sound, and opening up things to the outside and over the top.