How long before Meyer returns as Florida's football coach?

Bonus question: Will he be as effective as he was before?

December 29, 2009

Indecision is his foe
Dom Amore

Hartford Courant

To lead football players, a coach must know exactly what he wants. Urban Meyer always has been the personification of confidence and resolve.

The episode this weekend, though, indicates a man who is not sure what he wants to do. Coaching burns out talented men before their time. If Meyer needs time to restore his health, he should take it. If he is not sure, then how can he "give his heart and soul" - his words - to this job?

Recruits cannot be certain how long Meyer will be at Florida, and you know rival coaches will be reminding them.

Meyer doesn't want to walk away; he'll take as short a break as is physically possible. But it will take time for that all-important aura of supreme confidence to return.

damore@tribune.com

No such thing as a break
Teddy Greenstein

Chicago Tribune

I figure Urban Meyer's leave of absence will last as long as my next visit to a McDonald's drive-through. The schedule simply won't allow him to take a breather, not with national signing day (or National Everything Day, as it's known in the SEC) less than five weeks after the Sugar Bowl. Florida's class ranks third on the Rivals.com list. You think Meyer is going to risk letting that slide for something as trivial as his health?

Assuming he stays active in the program, Florida football will not suffer. Success perpetuates success, especially when that success comes in the nation's most fertile recruiting area. Meyer built this beast, and now he can't let go. It's like he told ESPN: He simply cannot stomach the idea of someone coming in and soiling his masterpiece.

tgreenstein@tribune.com

A moment of weakness
Andrea Adelson

Orlando Sentinel

Urban Meyer cannot pry himself away from football. It's why he used the phrase "full steam ahead" during his news conference Sunday. It's why he told his players he changed his mind before he told the family he supposedly puts first.

It's why he said his gut feeling is he will be the coach in 2010. The phrase "leave of absence" is a joke. There will be no absence, which is why nobody can explain how long Meyer will be gone, what he will to do fix himself and what exactly Steve Addazio will do as interim head coach.

Make no mistake, the stunt Meyer pulled will have long-term ramifications. He just invited all his rivals to take advantage of his moment of weakness. In essence, he nuked everything he worked so hard to build.

aadelson@tribune.com

Just a matter of time
Chris Dufresne

Los Angeles Times

Unless Urban Meyer changes his mind again before the weekend, my guess is he will take a few months off and be back on the sideline in the fall after pronouncing himself fit by doctors, right by God and sufficiently reacquainted with his wife and children.

We'll probably never know the full extent of the bizarre circumstances of his shocking retirement announcement Saturday and his Percy Harvin-like reversal of field the next day. Now, though, comes the tough part. Can Meyer be the coach he was by dialing down his work ethic, or is that why he is the coach he is? If he returns quoting Gandhi, look for a 7-6 finish next year.

My guess is there is a way to retain intensity while adding a few extra hours of sleep a night.

cdufresne@tribune.com

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