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October 3, 2011

The Silver Lining: 10/3 Orange & Blue News



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MORE FLORIDA FOOTBALL: A View from the Press Box: Football Tidbits | Alligator Alley: John Brantley Sunday P.M. Update | Week Five: What we learned

In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week The Silver Lining will take on a "news and notes" format to keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.

Leaving us late Friday was former Florida wide receivers coach Mike Heimerdinger, who passed away after losing a year-long battle with cancer. He was 58. Heimerdinger was a long-time friend of now-Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan and served as a graduate assistant for the Gators in 1980 before returning to coach the wide receivers from 1983-87. He worked under head coaches Charley Pell and Galen Hall and helped the team win back-to-back SEC Championships in 1984-85. Heimerdinger spent time with three more universities before moving on to the NFL, where he served as wide receivers coach, offensive coordinator and/or assistant head coach for three different teams including two stints each with the Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans.

Instead of rushing to sign with another team, former Florida defensive lineman Gerard Warren sat tight when the New England Patriots cut him before the 2011 season began. A solid contributor for New England last year, Warren was cut to make room for a third tight end on the roster, but everyone involved with the Patriots believed he would be back sooner than later. That is exactly what happened this past week when New England re-signed Warren on Tuesday and had him game-ready for Sunday's showdown with the Oakland Raiders. Warren registered a solo tackle and a QB hit in the contest.

Not that the new billboard in downtown Denver, CO did much to convince him, but Denver Broncos head coach John Fox finally decided on Sunday to insert former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow in a regular season game. During Denver's 49-23 blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers, Fox had Tebow enter for starting QB Kyle Orton and run the ball for a one-yard loss. He did not return to the field. Insisting all year that Orton gives the Broncos the best chance to win, Fox has been hesitant to use Tebow during games. The former Heisman Trophy winner scored four touchdowns for Denver in 2010 on 12 carries and one pass attempt as a reserve and seven more as the Broncos' starting quarterback during the final three games of the season.

Involved in a pair of losses on Sunday, Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden and Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey each went down with injuries. Haden said on Twitter after the game that he has been diagnosed with a sprained knee and is set to have a MRI on it Monday. Pouncey was helped off the field with a knee injury but returned later in the game. Both are expected to be fine going forward but are certainly injuries to monitor throughout the week.

Not everyone at the Florida-Alabama game on Saturday was well-behaved. According to The Gainesville Sun, the University Police Department ejected 109 fans from Ben Hill Griffin during the game. Only seven arrests were made (for disorderly conduct, trespassing, underage possession of alcohol and resisting arrest), while 66 ejections were alcohol-related in one way or another. The Gators reported crowd of 90,888 for the game, the second-highest total ever at Florida Field.

Gators football may have had a rough weekend, but three of the women's teams rolled over their competition. No. 11/13 Florida volleyball (11-3, 4-1 SEC) swept both Auburn and Georgia in a pair of road contests. Also shutting out their opponents, No. 12 Gators soccer (10-3, 3-1 SEC) stayed in Gainesville, FL and defeated Vanderbilt 2-0 on Friday before routing Kentucky 3-0 on Sunday. Florida softball also participated in a four fall scrimmages over the weekend, outscoring Santa Fe and TCC by a combined 39-0 in contests on Friday and Sunday.

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