Updated: Oct 12, 2020
Tweet #1: “FIRE GRANTHAM!”
Tweet #2: “Dude... one mistake versus 5000 not apples to apples you old worthless radio host.”
Tweet #3: “Buddy, hang it up. The game has passed you by.”
(Now I remember why I don’t often hang out on the Mean Streets of Twitter for post-game comments.)
I’m not going to apologize today, but I will offer this mea culpa about my tweet Saturday night regarding the outcome of Florida’s 41-38 loss to Texas A&M.
My Saturday Night Tweet:
First, I agree that Florida’s defense is broken and needs fixing immediately, but I am not a fan of vigilante firings of coaches during the season unless there is ethical or moral reason. Many of you wanted to haul Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham to the gallows. You are angry and disgusted with the performance of his unit. Let’s pump the brakes on that for the moment.
But I can feel your anger and see that the defense has deteriorated so badly that I can give you half dozen reasons for why I agree:
The numbers are appalling, including the 100 points and another 500-plus yards yielded on a three-game stretch over more than 1,500 yards.
Sometimes the defense appeared to be so lost that players didn’t know where to line up.
Kellen Mond could have worn a white dinner jacket and not gotten it dirty.
Exactly what does DBU stand for – and why?
If the right guys are not on the field, no matter experience, then it’s time to make changes.
Let’s don’t beat around the bush about poor play of Marco Wilson. Is he hurt? He has been an excellent defensive back and leader for Grantham’s unit, but clearly he needs to be benched.
Yet despite all that, the Gators still had a shot to win it, until…
I didn’t mean to imply that it was the fault of Malik Davis that the Gators lost to Texas A&M, or that Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham should NOT be held accountable—although that is apparently how most of you 7,000 on Twitter felt and responded.
Perhaps I should have said it differently, changing one word: “All the talk about their atrocious defense — and make no mistake, it was every bit of that — but it was a fumble that cost the Gators the COMEBACK.”
I think it’s pretty obvious that giving up 12-15 conversions by the Aggies looms as the problem here and the naked eye tells about the team’s major deficiencies. The word “atrocious” should have signaled my disdain for it. However, before Grantham is hauled to the gallows I just wanted to point out that Florida still had a chance to win it.
The game was still winnable and on the line when the solid and reliable junior running back fumbled after carrying four times and catching three passes earlier. The score was tied when he coughed up the ball at mid-field, leading to A&M’s winning field goal. It was the last-chance play that could turn the game around, but certainly not the main reason, or only. When it happened, the chronology -- and irony -- struck me.
Incidentally, I have been a fan of Grantham’s attacking style defense and written about it. It’s more complicated than most realized, but clearly there is something missing. Maybe it is HEART. And part of that reason might be the pandemic, but we can’t start cutting people slack for that reason. I’m not really sure how to fix it, or what should be done. Except there must be change, especially in the lineup. Otherwise any run at a championship is out of the question. My gut tells me that that there will be changes made, but not until the season ends — and most likely not Grantham, unless it’s by his decision. Grantham and Mullen have weathered too many storms together.
As for you Mean Street Twitterers who ripped me – fine, bring it.
Since almost none of you got much exposure because of your small number of followers – I saw maybe one or two people with almost 1,000 – I thought it would be only fair to send you my first “Dear Twitterers” response and maybe get you some more pub (I avoided using names to protect guilty):
1. Buddy get off the sauce......
2. Buddy, horrible take! Did Grantham hack your Twitter account? That is like saying our special teams lost the game by allowing that last second field goal.
3. I hope this is Dan Mullen’s Nebraska game. It took that game for Spurrier to realize he needed a competent D coordinator to win a championship. Mullen needs to show loyalty to the team and fire Grantham on plane trip home.
4. C’mon man. Utterly ridiculous. Grantham D will NEVER EVER EVER win the SEC.
5. Wow...really? A single play cost the Gators the game? You’re going to put that on Davis’ back when Marco Wilson didn’t make a play all damn day?!
6. You’re so wrong.
7. With all do respect Mr Martin, the fumble, while costly, did not cost the Gators the game. 2 or 3 third down stops and the Gators win easily.
8. The fumble sucks. But the defense has sucked through 3 games. Gave up 543 yards, 71 plays, 41 points and 80% on third down. They LOST the game. If you’re looking to put blame on one player, don’t look at 20. You know who played way worse. We all do.
8. Buddy, I think the luster comes of Dan this year. No way we can beat UGA! He has to recruit better. Our defense is atrocious!
10. Most ridiculous thing I’ve seen on Twitter today. You should always expect and INT or fumble to happen. This is on the Defense. Not the fumble. You sound like Mullen ... making excuses like crowd noise. Own it.
Buddy, hang it up. The game has passed you by.
Where did you go?
Brian: Took your advice.