Addazio Assesses Offense Before Game Week

Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio doesn't hold back when he talks about the state of his unit as the Gators begin game week preparations for the season opener against Miami (Ohio). "Great," Addazio said. "We're ready to roll. We've had a great camp. I like what's going on."

Steve Addazio's upbeat comments come despite the fact that injuries have slowed several players at various times, most notably offensive tackles Xavier Nixon and Matt Patchan. He said that's par for the course.

"Typical training camp," Addazio said. "You're always jockeying guys around because of dings and different things like that. Now you get ready for game week and you start to get people back and start putting pieces together. But you've seen on every day different glimpses of what guys are capable of doing which has been exciting."

One of the questions about the Gator offense is whether or not Florida can find playmakers in the passing game to bring better balance to the scheme. Florida's top two returning veterans are Deonte Thompson and Carl Moore. Addazio was asked about other guys who can make things happen for the Gator offense.

"Chris Rainey had some great touches today (Saturday)," Addazio said. "I really like what Chris Rainey is doing right now. He's electric. I think Omarius Hines is really going to have a break out year. Andre Debose is a young player ready to make an impact. He's young, but that guy can make plays now. Robert Clark is an athletic, tough guy and you just like having him in there. We've got a good group of guys that are working hard."

Addazio also talked about the possibility that the Gators could find a variety of ways to use freshman Trey Burton brings to the field. Addazio said the No. 2 guy behind starting quarterback John Brantley is much more than just that.

"He's a quarterback, but he's inserted in a lot of different places," Addazio said. "He can do a lot of stuff and it's fun to watch him do it. He definitely figures in there."

Brantley is a very different player than Tim Tebow and it will be reflected in how Florida attacks opposing defenses this fall. However, Addazio said that the core of what Florida is as an offensive football team will not be much different.

"Basically who we are isn't going to change," Addazio said. "You'll just see these tweaks coming out here right now. You're going to see more I-formation. You're going to see that without a doubt. Our goal here is always to put ourselves (in position) so we can take advantage of the guys we have. Different guys have different talents so you'll see changes, but what are we about? We're about toughness. We're about getting the ball in the hands of our playmakers, and we're about doing what our players can do great. That's what we've always been about."

Last season the Gators ran the ball more than 60 percent of the time for the second straight season after being closer to 50 percent during Urban Meyer's first three seasons. Addazio said this team should be more balanced for one obvious reason.

"What skews that is Tim's ability to run so well," Addazio said. "Now obviously you can to take advantage of Johnny's talents and Johnny's obviously not going to run it so much. So we're going to be balanced. That's going to happen."

It starts happening next Saturday.

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