Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Resignation of Stan Drayton

I would like to thank Mergz for the introduction and invitation to participate in this forum. I would also like to thank Mr. Gomez, whom I have never met, for accepting Mergz' recitation of my bona fides.

That said, I'd like to get into it.

I was troubled with today's resignation of Drayton in favor of Fat Fil Fulmer's squad of moonshine guzzling Appalachian 6 fingers.

But then I realized, a running backs coach in our system has the same opportunity for advancement as a baritone in the Vienna boys' choir.

It should be remembered that Emmanuel Moody specifically cited Coach Drayton as a primary reason he selected UF from his many options.

But why did he resign? Obviously, it emanates from the disappearance of the tailback from our offensive schemes.

With Deshawn Wynn, the conventional wisdom was that he was difficult to coach, didn't work hard in the off season, etc. This theory may have been undercut by his pre-injury success with the Green Bay Packers this season, but maybe he just realized it was his last chance...who knows.

But I am puzzled by Kestahn Moore's disappearance from the offense. He was asked to lose weight in the off season to become faster and more nimble...and he did. No one seemed to question the way he attacked the line, how hard he ran the ball, his unwillingness to be tackled, or his ability to see the field and cut. Moore was labeled as having a case of fumblitis. This despite the fact that he averaged 5.6 yards per carry for 104 carries and 5.7 yards per carry in conference play. Young Tebow, on the other hand, averaged 4.3. This includes 76 yds. lost on 13 sacks. Elimate the sacks and he still averaged under 5 yds. per carry. Of Moore's fumbles, the fumble against Auburn, which I remember vividly, from my angle, appeared to be a great defensive play where a linebacker riding Moore in an unsuccessful attempt to bring him down, landed a perfect punch into the cleft between Moore's rib cage and right elbow.

As George's dad said in the infamous Fusilli Jerry/Assman episode, "million to one shot, doc...million to one."

But how many times did Moore fumble? According to the UF stats maintained at, he fumbled twice out of 117 touches whereas Tebow fumbled 3 times out of 210. Certainly a disparity, but Brandon James, who fumbled twice in 76 total touches, didn't seem to have any reduction in his role. Quite the contrary, James, a highly talented and explosive player was everybody's darling.

To be sure, Moore did have a poor game against Georgia, but was he alone in that regard? That stench was difficult to wash off.

So, unfortunately, I think we are seeing the development of a dead spot in the UF offense. In the future, it will probably be difficult to attract high caliber young coaches or TB recruits of Moody/ Mon Williams quality and may find ourselves without solid, pro-quality inside TB help for our QB's who will bear the brunt of the inside game.

I am far less than certain that this will be successful in the rough and tumble world of the SEC.


DolFan 316 said...

I gotta say, this is a hell of a debut column.

But IMO the Gators don't even need a running backs coach now. And I think that's his whole point.

I'm just wondering what Fulmer saw in Drayton to hire the guy. I'm saying he won't be as good for the Vols as Trooper Taylor though.

JJ Gator said...

Good first article, KGB.

Drayton's departure doesn't really surprise me; I'm not sure what to believe amongst all the scuttlebutt I've been reading from other Gator sites as to the exact reason why he's leaving the UF program, but Meyer made nuances about some changes to our coaching staff.

Good points about Kestahn Moore; the way some Gator fans talk you think he can't hold onto the damn ball; he fumbles twice this year and all the silly rants start up. (That one against Georgia wasn't completely Moore's fault; Drew Miller made a crappy snap that was out of his reach.) This kid is an asset to our offense not only on the rush but as an effective blocker and a reliable "go-to" guy on short pass routes. Likely Emmanuel Moody will be the featured tailback in 2008, but I'd like to see Moore gain some weight and be used as a fullback, mainly for his blocking ability.

I have faith in Meyer that he will find a suitable replacement for Drayton; we need somebody who will build up a running game on our offense and lift some of the burden off Tebow's back. An added weapon can only make our offense more potent and more effective.

As much as I hate to see one of ours go to a rival, good luck to Stan Drayton all the same.

Andrew said...

Moore fumbled in the LSU game. Between that and the INT that bounced off C.I.'s head (why do you not look at the QB when running a slant?!), we lost a 10 pt lead and the game. Moore's fumble was costly. He did gain some huge yardage that game pre-fumble, but that was the point where he vanished from the offense for the remainder of the season.

In the meantime though, Harvin finished the season in the top 3 in YPC. He was 3rd with 8.6 going into the bowls behind Noel Devine (8.7) and Felix Jones (9.1). With his average at almost 13 YPC against Michigan, he may have finished number 1. With those kind of stats, how badly do we need a true "running back"? I don't know.

Gator KGB said...

It's a good question regarding the need for a true running back. But, you've also got to look at the brilliant ankle catch in the LSU game.

Like all players he made some and lost some.

I'm not arguing for giving not using Harvin, his stats speak for themselves. Many of his plays were of a different sort than the between the tackle run typical of Moore.

And, of course, Moore's receiving abilities have always been a plus. You might notice that he often lined up as a receiver and opposing coaches seem to recognize that he's an excellent receiver.

He did have a fumble against LSU, no question. I don't think they scored on the ensuing possession, but my memory may be faulty, and I'm sure I'll be corrected, if wrong.

Time will tell regarding the need of a top notch RB coach.

Regarding the earlier post on Drayton, I have read that he previously coached Brian Westbrook, which is his primary coaching feather.

We'll know the answer for sure in the next couple of years after Moody and Williams enter the offense.

I just have a feeling that an effective NFL size RB is a necessity on any top caliber SEC team.

JJ Gator said...
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JJ Gator said...

Umm....Andrew, K-Mo didn't "vanish from the offense for the reminder of the season". If you and I were watching the same Gator games, he came close to scoring a TD in the early part of the Vandy game (not to mention had some decent carries in that same game) and scored twice against FAU.

Moore didn't cost us the LSU game; Tim Tebow also made some errors, not to mention Bubba Caldwell dropping that pass deep inside LSU territory. He only had TWO fumbles all season, yet as I mentioned before some Gator fans talk as if all he can do is turn the ball over. AND - those two fumbles didn't result in either LSU or Georgia scoring, so give the kid a break. SHEESH!

KGB is right about Moore's receiving abilities; in spite of that one TD pass he dropped in the Kentucky game he had one helluva catch in the Tennessee game right in front of a Vol defender in the 2nd half and was a "Johnny-on-the-spot" heads-up play on his part.

And YES, we need a running back to be more effective; hopefully with a more effective coach and with Moody entering the picture Tebow will have a setback who can make plays, PLUS another weapon on offense to rely on and help spread the ball around a little more; Percy Harvin can't be the only "go-to" guy out there. If we get too predictable out there, our offense will easily be "read" by opposing defenses and get shut down.