We offer a little this and that from New Orleans:
* Now that defensive line coach Dan McCarney has said he has no desire to become UF’s next defensive coordinator, the assistant on the staff most likely to be promoted to the position (if that’s what Urban Meyer chooses to do) is safeties coach Chuck Heater, who has worked with Meyer the past seven years.
Outgoing defensive coordinator Charlie Strong said Tuesday that Heater would be a good pick to run the Gators’ defense.
“He would do a great job,” Strong said. “He’s been here, in the program, and he knows the players and understands the defense. You wouldn’t have to make any changes defensively.”
Meyer does not appear in a hurry to name a new defensive coordinator, but it’s looking more and more like Heater will get strong consideration.
* Even though the Florida defense is coming off a miserable performance against Alabama, Cincinnati wide receivers coach Charley Molnar had nothing but good things to say about the Gator D on Tuesday.
“There are great defenses in the Big East (Conference), but the Florida defense is, in my opinion, the best defense in the country,” Molnar said. “They certainly are an outstanding defense. We have not faced a defense of that caliber, but I’m not sure anybody (in the Big East) has this year. The problems they present are so many. They can get pressure on the quarterback with just a four-man rush. They don’t have to blitz to get pressure on you. It certainly changes the way you play the game. It will take a very concentrated effort on our part to have success on offense.”
* Who is your defensive MVP this season for the Gators? Strong’s is senior linebacker Ryan Stamper, who played outside and in the middle and was one of the Gators’ most consistent and reliable players.
“If (linebacker) A.J. Jones hadn’t gotten hurt (late in the season), he would have been right there with Ryan,” Strong said. “But Ryan was so good and so consistent for us. With him, you always knew what you were going to get.”
* Junior cornerback Joe Haden said two weeks ago that he would know what his decision about leaving early for the NFL would be before Friday’s game. Now, it doesn’t sound like it. Haden said he’s still waiting on paperwork from the NFL that will give him an idea of where he projects in the draft. He said he might return for his senior year even if, as expected, he’s slotted in the first round. But if he projects to be a top five pick (which could happen), Haden said he’s coming out for sure.
“I would be silly not to,” he said.