The view from the sideline is not always the best, especially if you’re trying to read opposing defenses and call offensive plays. But there is a level of comfort there for Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, who has a history of successful play-calling from the sideline. That’s where he’ll call the plays for the Gators this season.
Weis started calling plays from the sidelines with the New England Patriots, way back when a young, unproven quarterback named Tom Brady took over for the Patriots.
“I’ve coached on the sideline ever since the day that Drew Bledsoe went down with a hit from Mo Lewis and Tommy took over as the quarterback,” Weis said. “We felt at the time with the Pats, there was a leadership void with the drop-off from Drew to Tommy.
“And then we won a bunch of championships and Bill (Belichick) wasn’t going to change it at that point. I’ve been upstairs and downstairs. There are pros and cons with both of them. Upstairs, you see the field so much better and you’re away from all the distractions. Downstairs you get the finger on the pulse of the players and know what has to be said. Sometimes they get the faraway eyes and you have to snap them back to reality.”
With the Gators implementing an entirely new pro-style offense under Weis, the decision was made that quarterback John Brantley and the rest of the offensive players would be more comfortable with Weis on the sideline. That’s where you’ll see him Saturday night, and for at least the rest of this season.
“This year with a new system, Will (Muschamp) and I talked about it,” Weis said. “We think this is the best way to go. I don’t know if we’ll keep it this way forever, but for now it makes the most sense.”