Offensive line injuries limiting Gator offense
Florida returned to the practice field Monday afternoon, and after four days, coach Urban Meyer still has concerned about what his offense is going to look like in the fall, particularly with multiple injuries to the offensive line.
Offensive lineman Mike Pouncey is out for the spring with a left shoulder injury, while OL Jim Barrie (knee), Carl Johnson (knee) and James Wilson (feet) are all limited due to injuries. OL Maurkice Pouncey has an injured shoulder Maurice Hurt (shoulder), and Meyer said they both are being limited for "precautionary'' measures.
"We're banged up on the offensive line and that seems like the one position where, when it starts to go, the whole offense goes, so the offense didn't have a very good day, but they're trying,'' Meyer said.
Meanwhile, the staff continues to implement new things into the offense, including working on the hurry-up offense used by Oklahoma.
"We always do (work on new stuff in the spring),'' Meyer said. "We’re trying to work on our cadence and speed, tempo, no huddle. We thought Oklahoma did a real nice job so we’re messing around with some stuff. And Scott Loeffler’s (new quarterback coach) brought some stuff to our offense we’re going to take a peek at.''
- Sophomore OL Matt Patchan's return to spring practice has been delayed, and he may not be back with the team this week. Patchan injured his left leg in a scooter accident and has not practiced. "It's still swollen, so I'm hoping by the end of the week, but if not I'm hoping by next week,'' Meyer said.
- Crowds continue to gather at the football practice field for spring practices - and outside the gates for autographs - but Meyer said he has no intention of closing spring practices. "I've always done it that way,'' he said. "I guess we do have things we want to hide, but I don't care. We just want to come out here and play a little bit and let them go. There will be times when we'll lock them down, but that's next year.''
- DE Jaye Howard continues to look impressive. "He's showing up every day,'' Meyer said. "We graded the scrimmage the other day, and he actually made champion.''
- OL Carl Johnson is practicing, and Meyer said he is in good standing with the team, but still has issues to clear up. Johnson was arrested for violating a restraining order, but other charges were later dismissed. "His whole issue is he's got to make sure he's straight with the University,'' Meyer said. "I had a long discussion with him and his family about what happened. Carl Johnson hasn't been a major problem since he's been here. I have a lot of respect for him and his family. And if he's done something wrong, he knows there will be a heck of a price to pay. But he's in good standing.''