Let's unpack some of the things that Urban Meyer said yesterday about the performance -- and future -- of Tim Tebow and the Florida offense in the red zone.
Meyer, on the play calls: "We watched every red-zone snap of the year. We evaluated every snap. What we're finding out is it's not play-calling. We've got to hold to the plan. Sometimes we're making calls that are not on our call sheet. That's my fault. We're going to stick to the call sheet."
Analysis: I'm not sure I get what Meyer is saying here. If it's not the play-calling, is someone not executing the plays? If they're "making calls that are not on our call sheet," isn't that play-calling?
Meyer, on Tim Tebow getting the calls: "He's certainly our guy because of the single-wing element. It's been so successful here and across college football. It takes someone else (on defense) out of the box. That's No. 1..."
Meyer, with more on Tebow getting the calls: "...No. 2, he's a very good, powerful runner. He's also Tim. He's going to give you every ounce of effort he's got."
Analysis: No one is questioning whether Tebow is a good, powerful runner. Or that "he's Tim" and will try really hard. What defenses have exposed is that relying exclusively on one good powerful runner (particularly without any other options in the backfield to draw away defensive attention) or trying really hard is not a successful offensive strategy.
(That's why the Demps TD against Arkansas was so refreshingly successful, and why the Rainey TD against Mississippi State -- where Tebow went under center and then handed the ball off -- was so refreshingly successful.)
Meyer, on giving players other than Tebow the ball in the red zone: "Other guys can do that also. That's in discussion. We haven't finalized it yet."
Analysis: My bet is that no matter how strongly Meyer feels about Tebow, they will diversify. I'm not even saying that Tebow shouldn't be the No. 1 option to carry the ball in the red zone -- but why not throw Demps or Moody back there with him to give him an option or force the defense to key on someone besides Tebow?
Meyer, on using Moody more: "We're having that discussion."
Analysis: I can understand not trusting Moody a year ago, but the guy has done nothing but earn trust all year long, with powerful runs in the limited action he has seen. Given the problems, hasn't he at least earned a try?
Meyer, on Tebow going under center more: "We want to do that. That might be a little more part of our plan."
Analysis: Seemed to work against Mississippi State. Why not give it a few more opportunities, if only to evaluate it?
I'll give the last word to Tebow:
"Obviously, we're not excited about watching how we play in the red zone. We're going to get better. That's all I can really say about it."
Analysis: Agreed. They're going to get better, for two reasons: (1) They will revamp the play-calling to take advantage of the 3 RBs plus Tebow moving under center, and (2) it can't get much less effective than it is right now.
Prediction: Florida will be back to 2008 red-zone efficiency levels this weekend against Georgia, and the dominant meme will be "Florida's offense is back."