Friday, September 26, 2008

Defense: It's not real interesting to people, but it's how you win

Doc Rivers and the Celtics showed what happens when a team genuinely emphasizes defense, making it a big part of the team's identity this past season on the way to an NBA title.

But defense doesn't get much time on SportsCenter. It's not something casual fans sit around talking about or discussing during the course of a game.

It's understandable. There are other parts of the game that are so exciting that defense gets pushed out of the spotlight.

So it's not entirely surprising that Florida coach Urban Meyer is catching some heat from fans for electing to "concentrate more on controlling the football and taking fewer chances on offense, winning the field-position game with special teams and relying more on the defense to shut down an opponent."

Keep in mind that his Gators are undefeated. They lead the SEC in total defense and haven't given up a first-half TD. So why the criticism?

Says Coach Meyer: "It's not real interesting to people. But it's how you win."

And while the new strategy has had an impact on Tim Tebow's stat line, the Florida QB (like Pistons guard Aaron Afflalo) seems to "get it," saying:

"You think we're playing Tennessee, and I'm worrying about how many passes I'm throwing? Everything else will come in the future. You just have to have patience and trust the future."

UF's offensive coordinator agrees, claiming he could care less about hefty stats as long as the team wins:

"Points and wins. That's about it. The rest of it, to me, is irrelevant. Win the game is No. 1. That's goal No. 1. We win, [we're] happy."