During each off-season, Inside the Gators interviews departing seniors and early-entry juniors for a recap of their time at Florida as part of our Parting Thoughts series.
We've tried this the past few years and have gotten great feedback from our subscribers, so for the fifth time we will include an anonymous player in the series to share his thoughts on an array of topics regarding Florida Gators football. In this five-part interview, no topic was off-limits as we discussed the past two seasons under Jim McElwain, player assessments and much more. The anonymous player took questions from ITG’s subscribers as well as our own staff.
As an aside, allowing a player to comment anonymously obviously has its benefits and downsides. The goal of this feature is to give our readers an honest and freely expressive look at the Florida football team, but we also acknowledge the nature of anonymous comments and the stigma that can come with them.
Today, we discuss the Florida offense and various other topics about the Gators football program.
Was there anybody upset regarding Jim McElwain's decision to use a four-man rotation at running back for the first half of the 2016 season?
Mark Thompson probably felt like he doesn’t get enough carries. Cronkrite obviously didn’t because he transferred. He was definitely dissatisfied. I feel like they should have run Mark Herndon more, because I don’t think they gave him enough chances. I mean, Scarlett, they should have just fed him. Feed the beast, right? Obviously, you’ve got to give him a break – Lamical Perine’s great for that – but when they put in Cronk, it was an automatic throw. It was play action or pass protection. “You need to go out on the little swing route or something.” I think it was very predictable. I think that’s one of the biggest things that the coaching staff might need to work on, is being less predictable.
I can basically tell what play we’re going to run by the formation. I understand the whole approach like, “Line up exactly how they know you’re going to line up and just run it down their throat or just throw it back deep where you need it to be,” but I think there should be more trickery and more deception in their play-calling.
But as far as the running backs, I feel like Thompson felt like he wanted to get more carries. In a way, he’s kind of soft, but he’s a huge dude. He doesn’t run people over like you’d want him to. Obviously, you expected him to come in and just wreck people like Leonard Fournette. You just didn’t see that. You saw that in Iowa in the bowl game, but that was the only time I really saw him come out like a beast, on that long run.
Do you also feel the offense fared better when it was on-script to start games later on the year then when it went off-script?
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