Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Off-field incidents leads Florida Gators lineman and former Armwood High star Matt Patchan to re-examine how he was living

Matt Patchan talks with tight ends coach Brian White during Florida’s spring practice. Patchan missed most of the sessions with a leg injury sustained in a scooter accident.

Tim Casey | GatorCountry.com

Matt Patchan talks with tight ends coach Brian White during Florida’s spring practice. Patchan missed most of the sessions with a leg injury sustained in a scooter accident.

GAINESVILLE — The past month was supposed to be Matt Patchan's opportunity to prove he could be relied upon as a vital part of the Florida offensive line. After playing 11 games at defensive tackle last season, he was moving back to the offensive line.

Instead, it turned into another struggle with an injury. Only this time, it might turn out to be the best thing to happen to the former Armwood High standout.

Since he arrived in Gainesville in January 2008, Patchan has been shot in the shoulder at a Tampa-area park, tore a pectoral muscle during summer workouts, missed the final three games of last season with a knee injury and missed the majority of this year's spring practices with a leg injury from a scooter accident.

Watching from the sideline while other young offensive linemen impressed coaches led Patchan to re-examine his life.

"Unfortunately, a lot of the stuff that has happened to me is because of me," the sophomore said. "I need to start paying more attention to what I'm doing and watch out for myself. There's a lot of stuff I need to avoid and be careful about. I go at things a little too aggressively sometimes, and I need to back off and watch myself a little bit more so I can avoid these things and be on the field more."

So when the Gators take the field today for their spring game, it will be Patchan's last chance before everyone — including incoming freshmen — convenes in the fall to prove the Gators can count on him in 2009.

"It's my first time really playing tackle here," he said. "Coach (Steve) Addazio is one of the main reasons I came here. The way he coaches, his style, I know he's going to make my technique really good. And he's going to get me rolling on all cylinders and stuff. I want to get out and show them I can really compete."

Addazio is counting on that.

"He's got great athleticism, great speed, great blocking ability," said Addazio, UF's offensive line coach and offensive coordinator. "He has the ability to play tackle or multiple positions. Of course, we want him to get bigger and stronger, but he's a very explosive guy … and he goes real hard. I'm real encouraged.

"We have great expectations for him, and you can see that."

Today's game will be a challenge for Addazio and the rest of the staff. The Gators have about 20 players who have missed all or part of spring practice with injuries, including six offensive linemen, a starting cornerback and two starting defensive linemen.

But coach Urban Meyer believes although his players might not produce a polished game, there's a silver lining.

"Development of depth," Meyer said when asked what he considers a successful spring. "That's a positive out of the situation."

Off-field incidents leads Florida Gators lineman and former Armwood High star Matt Patchan to re-examine how he was living 04/17/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 17, 2009 8:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005

    Bucs

    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  2. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge

    Bucs

    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]
  3. Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is congratulated in the dugout after scoring on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Lucas Duda in the sixth inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field on Friday.
  4. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz celebrates his Trop-record 482-foot home run in the ninth inning.
  5. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.