Brantley shines in Saturday scrimmage; Moody injured
GAINESVILLE - Backup quarterback and Tim Tebow heir apparent John Brantley ran the No. 1 offense most of the day in Saturday's scrimmage, and was quite impressive.
He had several long touchdown passes, and even ran for a touchdown, earning solid praise from UF coach Urban Meyer.
"I was real pleased, Johnny Brantley had his best day as a Gator,'' Meyer said. "His management, We all know he's talented, he missed one early to a guy that was wide open, but he was on fire today. I wanted to see him running with the 1's. Today he looked like a Florida quarterback. I was really impressed.''
Brantley said he felt like Saturday was arguably his best day of practice since he's been a Gator.
"It was one of the better ones, I'll say that,'' he said. "They just wanted me to get more practice, get more reps.''
Brantley said he's gaining more confidence every day.
"I'm just getting more comfortable with the more reps I get,'' he said.
Receivers Carl Moore and Deonte Thompson both had several big-time catches, which eased Meyer's concern about his lack of a playmaker at that position right now. Meyer said he's "starting'' to gain more confidence in Moore, a junior college transfer who struggled to master the offense last season.
"The offense is basically non-functional, dead in the water like it was our first year for about four games, when you don't have a playmaker at receiver,'' he said. "Carl made some plays today, same with Deonte.''
Of the many areas of concern Meyer said he's still losing sleep over? The reserves.
"I'm not pleased with the backups and I'm not pleased with some of the guys who have been here awhile and don't play,'' he said. "Some of the guys we didn't scrimmage very much, and you can see the dropoff.''
Meyer said the "first-tier" receivers as of now are Riley Cooper, David Nelson, Thompson, Moore and TE Aaron Hernandez.
INJURY UPDATE: Junior RB Emmanuel Moody has a broken left hand, and had two screws inserted. He missed Saturday's practice, and is expected to miss Monday's practice, but Meyer said they are hoping he can return by next Wednesday. Fullback T.J. Pridemore missed practice with a concussion. OL David Young is out with sore knees, but is expected to return next week. CB Jeremy Brown is out with a disc injury in his back.
Sophomore OL Matt Patchan participated in full drills after missing the first two weeks of practice with a leg injury he suffered in scooter incident.
"It's good to see him back,'' Meyer said."He's still got a long way to go, but he's a real tough guy and it was great to see him back. We're counting on him to play a lot next year.''
TENNESSEE? WHAT ABOUT THEM?
Apparently the Gators have decided it's not in their best interest to spend the entire spring and summer being upset about Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin's comments earlier this year about their head coach. Or even worrying about the Vols at all.
Junior CB Joe Haden said all the locker room postings about Kiffin incorrectly accusing Meyer of cheating, and other subsequent verbal jabs about the Gators have been removed.
"It's gone,'' Hayden said. "We don't even worry about it. When we get there, we start playing them, it's going to bring it back up, but right now we don't worry about it.''
Haden said the stuff posted on the walls in the locker room eventually lost its punch after awhile.
"You just walked past it, eventually,'' he said.
And besides, Haden said, it's not like the Gators need Tennessee for motivaton.
"We've got all the motivation we need just trying to come out and try to repeat again, try to win the SEC,'' he said.