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Florida players come to defense of Urban Meyer

urban meyer leave of absence

Florida coach Urban Meyer's exchange with an Orlando Sentinel reporter on Wednesday drew praise from several players on Friday.

Quarterback John Brantley and center Mike Pouncey said they were glad that Meyer confronted the reporter and accused him of using receiver Deonte Thompson's comments comparing Brantley and Tebow out of context.

"Coach has our back," Brantley said after practice. "That's what you want to see out of your coaches. We trust our coaches and they trust us and that's what we want to see."

Pouncey said virtually the same thing several moments earlier.

"He's got our back and we've got his back," he said.

Safeties coach/co-defensive coordinator Chuck Heater said the players view the incident as proof that Meyer will defend them if he believes they were wronged.

"Urban's a real passionate guy about his players, as we all are, so yeah, I think it's real positive from that standpoint," Heater said. "Everybody sees it and everybody gets it."

Meyer did not speak with the media following practice.

During a post-practice interview on Monday, Thompson said: "You never know with Tim. You can bolt, you think he's running, but he'll come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready at all times. With Brantley, everything's with rhythm, time. You know what I mean. A real quarterback."

Thompson was trying to say that Brantley is a more traditional quarterback while Tebow is a runner and a passer, but Thompson was nationally criticized, especially for the end of his quote.

Sharing germs

Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio was at practice on Wednesday despite suffering from strep throat. He's one of at least three Gators to have been affected by illness.

Brantley missed Wednesday's practice because of a high fever. Offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert also had strep throat, Addazio said, but practiced Wednesday.

"I'm trying to get over this thing," a hoarse Addazio said. "It's kicking my tail."

He blamed Brantley and Gilbert for his condition.

"[Brantley] and Gilbert got me sick," he joked. "Gilbert in my [offensive line] meeting room sits this far [several inches] from me. I told him, 'You're just so germy.' "

Reference: http://jacksonville.com/sports/college/florida-gators/2010-03-26/story/gators-notebook-florida-players-come-defense-urban

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