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Emory Jones' Legacy at Florida

DRU2012

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After that mainly “dismal, fairly typical” performance by Emory Jones in our Bowl Game against UCF, I was far from the only one who was left wondering how many teams were gonna be all that hot after him in the transfer portal after THAT one.
Sure enough, and much as I’d feared all the more with his sort of wishy/washy response to reporters’ questions on the matter after the game, now come online posts headlining Jones’ possibly not leaving UF after all.
Now, BEFORE the game I had for some time held (and freely shared) the opinion that Emory would make a “FINE backup QB”; but having since stated his intention to leave, then in what amounted to what was for him a “crucial public tryout/audition” for his next job he comes out and can only manage THAT, well, my attitude (and that of most prospective takers) had to be,
“Um, maybe at a lower-level of likely competition...”
Hey—even Copeland had to settle for Maryland—and HIS stock hadn’t fallen NEAR as far!
I admit to a certain amount of concern (along lines of, “OH NO!!!...”) when I saw the first headlines to this effect the following morning...But I can’t see our new Coach being anything but honest with the kid. If he gets hardly any “encouraging” offers and decides to stay, it will likely have to be KNOWING that he’ll no longer have anything LIKE “the inside track” on “QB-1”, but more like “competing for the #1 back-up”! If he can do so gracefully, he and AR remaining good and mutually-supportive friends, then I congratulate his maturity (maybe he learned something watching Kyle Trask—EVERYONE could!) and welcome him back to the fold.
But damn: Thursday night he basically gave a strong demonstration as to all the things we DON’T want him for!
 

Leakfan12

VIP Member
Oh Crap, then again he went 14 of 36 against an AAC school, would any FBS school take him? Plus those four INTs in those first two games against non-Power 5 teams. Not good. I wish he went the FCS route. Plus there's no guarantee he'll keep his job. Napier isn't Mullen.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
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Emory Jones was the #85 QB (#5 dual-threat, #11 in Georgia) in the class of 2018. Originally he was scouted as a 6-3, 174-pound pro-style QB from Franklin, Georgia with offers from Mississippi State, Florida, Auburn, Ohio State, Alabama, and others before he committed to Ryan Day at Ohio State. He committed to Ohio State in the summer of 2017 after attending Buckeye camp in 2016 and 2017. His first offer was from Dan Mullen in May 2015 when he was head coach at Mississippi State.

At Florida he patiently waited for his turn behind Kyle Trask. Here are his statistics at Florida.
YEARCLASSCOMPATTPCTYDTDINTRAT
2018FR121675.0%12520181.9
2019RFR253865.8%26730150.9
2020SO183256.3%22121128.6
2021JR22334564.6%27331913141.8
TOTAL27843164.5%33462614143.1

Statistically he is tied with John Reaves (1970) and Doug Johnson (1997) as the #21 QB in Gator history (minimum 100 attempts, out of 67 eligible).
NAME/YRRank-RATRank-YDRank-TDRank-TD%Rank-INT%Rank-Overall
Trask 20201117141
Tebow 20074548112
Tebow 20085155573
Wuerffel 19952623274
Grossman 200162310255
Trask 20191112820166
...
Reaves 197037209255721
Johnson 1997303017154921
Jones 2021251624314021
...
Grier 2015195239271535

Surprisingly, Emory Jones stacks up pretty well against Gator QBs when all statistics are considered. His interceptions really hurt his performance. For comparison I threw fan favorite Will Grier into the mix. Grier's stats were hurt because he did not throw for many yards per attempt, and his offense usually ran the ball in the end zone. Regardless of the rationale, I think the numbers show that Emory does not deserve all the hate he is getting. Wherever he transfers, he just needs an offense that allows him to take care of the ball. If I were to factor in his rushing performance he would probably be in the top 10 as a dual-threat offensive weapon at Florida.
 

DRU2012

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Oh Crap, then again he went 14 of 36 against an AAC school, would any FBS school take him? Plus those four INTs in those first two games against non-Power 5 teams. Not good. I wish he went the FCS route. Plus there's no guarantee he'll keep his job. Napier isn't Mullen.
Exactly...
In fact: Quite frankly, we’re COUNTING on that!
 

DRU2012

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@Escambia94,
Emory Jones is one of those players whose NUMBERS alone in isolation make you wanna cut him all KINDS of slack—but then his actual IN-game performance turns your stomach—and your gut-level opinion of him COMPLETELY:
I mean, C’MON, E—...you were at the head of the lynch-mob by the 2nd quarter on Thursday night—and ready to light the kindling piled around his legs by early in the 3rd!!!
And I was right there WITH ya!
I mean, he totally SUCKED: couldn’t hit the open WR with a perfect, quiet pocket and his man wide open with nothing but open field around him!
ENOUGH!
To HELL with “stats”...we’ve seen this one too many TIMES NOW.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
@Escambia94,
Emory Jones is one of those players whose NUMBERS alone in isolation make you wanna cut him all KINDS of slack—but then his actual IN-game performance turns your stomach—and your gut-level opinion of him COMPLETELY:
I mean, C’MON, E—...you were at the head of the lynch-mob by the 2nd quarter on Thursday night—and ready to light the kindling piled around his legs by early in the 3rd!!!
And I was right there WITH ya!
I mean, he totally SUCKED: couldn’t hit the open WR with a perfect, quiet pocket and his man wide open with nothing but open field around him!
ENOUGH!
To HELL with “stats”...we’ve seen this one too many TIMES NOW.
He reminds me of Doug Johnson (albeit with some worse throws), the QB whose stats match up rather closely. The difference between Johnson and Jones was that the defense could bail out Doug Johnson whereas the defense sucked at a historical level these past couple years. Will Grier had the opposite problem: the defense helped make him look good as long as the game was close enough for him to win.
 
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DRU2012

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He reminds me of Doug Johnson (albeit with some worse throws), the QB whose stats match up rather closely. The difference between Johnson and Jones was that the defense could bail out Doug Johnson whereas the defense sucked at a historical level these past couple years. Will Grier had the opposite problem: the defense helped make him look good as long as the game was close enough for him to win.
That’s a good comparison right there...AND the reason Johnson in retrospect seems currently to be remembered better than Emory may be—and again, STATS are working FOR him, I suspect. Maybe they’ll work for Jones, over time, once he’s gone. (Well, minus all the missed throws, the INTs...but once “direct memory” begins to fade, and all that’s LEFT is “stats”...)
It’s even possible Emory could have a bit of a pro career as a backup. He wouldn’t be the first Gator cast-off to do so: Look at Jacoby Brisset, and others. The “transfer portal” makes this likelier than ever.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
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That’s a good comparison right there...AND the reason Johnson in retrospect seems currently to be remembered better than Emory may be—and again, STATS are working FOR him, I suspect. Maybe they’ll work for Jones, over time, once he’s gone. (Well, minus all the missed throws, the INTs...but once “direct memory” begins to fade, and all that’s LEFT is “stats”...)
It’s even possible Emory could have a bit of a pro career as a backup. He wouldn’t be the first Gator cast-off to do so: Look at Jacoby Brisset, and others. The “transfer portal” makes this likelier than ever.
If I add in QBs who transferred out of Florida and lowered the threshold on minimum pass attempts, Emory Jones still ranks above Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett at Florida but lower than them at their transfer destinations. Driskel's highest ranking at Florida was #36, and if we count his transfer time at Louisiana Tech he would be #6. Jacoby Brissett's highest ranking at Florida was #55, and if we count his best transfer year at NC State he would be #10. Driskel jumped up 30 spots after transferring and Brissett jumped 45 spots. I did not include it here, but looking at Brock Berlin his ranking jumped 21 spots from his best year at Florida to his best year at Miami. Feleipe Franks is the anomaly who basically ranked the same between his best year at Florida and his best year at Arkansas, but he did increase his completion percentage by 10% and his passing efficiency by 6 points while decreasing his interception rate by 1%. Franks probably would have ranked higher if Arkansas did not have such a great rushing offense in the red zone.

Based on this logic, Emory could become the best Gator QB to ever transfer out of Florida.
 

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Escambia94

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I STILL have to modify that statement, at this point:
“...EJ5 is actually a decent BACKUP QB” (!) ...at least at this level.
(Questions? Comments?)
Disagree. Emory could become the best Gator QB to ever transfer out of Florida as long as he finds the right offense.
 

DRU2012

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Disagree. Emory could become the best Gator QB to ever transfer out of Florida as long as he finds the right offense.
Don’t you think we are kinda splitting some pretty fine hairs here?
Tell me this:
Looking ahead, “DO YOU WANT EMORY JONES TO BE THE FLORIDA GATOR QB-1?”
You watched that last game, bra’. You were pulling your hair out with the rest of us.
Talk about “mixed messages”!
Are you saying then, “Emory Jones is a good QB—just NOT A GOOD GATOR QB!”???
An interesting position, if so.
Certainly, that very procession of “promising” QBs who seem to “fail” here but find SOME success elsewhere begs these very questions.
But all I really care about is this:
“What is best for OUR team and program??!”
I respect your views and analysis, E—, so I am trying to understand where you are going here.
Napier has a plan, even if it is too early to see its details, let alone even BEGIN to discern its likelihood of anticipated success.
As always at “beginnings”, we must have patience—and HOPE.
Again. THAT’S the hard part—especially finding ourselves here relatively suddenly once MORE.
We can be forgiven for having so many “mixed feelings” about it.
One more thing.
What do I want in our Coach?
I want him to commit to being a GATOR, through and through.
We expect it of our players; that’ll all go a whole lot further if we AND they can be sure of the same in our Coach!
We always ASSUME it, have done so one-by-one in each of the past 3—and been ultimately disappointed.
This time I am looking at it VERY CLOSELY RIGHT FROM THE START.
OK. He isn’t Spurrier—the last (and let’s face it, the ONLY one we somehow KNEW it was so, from the start) who unquestionably “fit the bill”...it hurt to have him walk away. And likewise hurt each “misstep” since!
This Coach will have to MAKE himself a Gator—but we WANT him to succeed and we will welcome him with open arms if he indeed “has a PLAN and finds a WAY!”
We can only look forward, GO forward from here.
If College Football were to become as fully mercenary as the pro-game, I will likely lose interest in the same way that I have with all the rest.
I am a Gator—and this is OUR TEAM. Each of our CHAMPIONSHIP teams has had a certain “personality”, set largely by a combination of “leaders” and “chemistry”—“5-star Talent” was only PART of the equation. It was the rest, all that “other stuff” that made the difference.
When I see (and more important, FEEL) that “other stuff” again here, THEN I will begin to believe once more.
Until then, I am in “wait’n’see” mode.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Don’t you think we are kinda splitting some pretty fine hairs here?
Tell me this:
Looking ahead, “DO YOU WANT EMORY JONES TO BE THE FLORIDA GATOR QB-1?”
You watched that last game, bra’. You were pulling your hair out with the rest of us.
Talk about “mixed messages”!
Are you saying then, “Emory Jones is a good QB—just NOT A GOOD GATOR QB!”???
An interesting position, if so.
Certainly, that very procession of “promising” QBs who seem to “fail” here but find SOME success elsewhere begs these very questions.
But all I really care about is this:
“What is best for OUR team and program??!”
I respect your views and analysis, E—, so I am trying to understand where you are going here.
Napier has a plan, even if it is too early to see its details, let alone even BEGIN to discern its likelihood of anticipated success.
As always at “beginnings”, we must have patience—and HOPE.
Again. THAT’S the hard part—especially finding ourselves here relatively suddenly once MORE.
We can be forgiven for having so many “mixed feelings” about it.
One more thing.
What do I want in our Coach?
I want him to commit to being a GATOR, through and through.
We expect it of our players; that’ll all go a whole lot further if we AND they can be sure of the same in our Coach!
We always ASSUME it, have done so one-by-one in each of the past 3—and been ultimately disappointed.
This time I am looking at it VERY CLOSELY RIGHT FROM THE START.
OK. He isn’t Spurrier—the last (and let’s face it, the ONLY one we somehow KNEW it was so, from the start) who unquestionably “fit the bill”...it hurt to have him walk away. And likewise hurt each “misstep” since!
This Coach will have to MAKE himself a Gator—but we WANT him to succeed and we will welcome him with open arms if he indeed “has a PLAN and finds a WAY!”
We can only look forward, GO forward from here.
If College Football were to become as fully mercenary as the pro-game, I will likely lose interest in the same way that I have with all the rest.
I am a Gator—and this is OUR TEAM. Each of our CHAMPIONSHIP teams has had a certain “personality”, set largely by a combination of “leaders” and “chemistry”—“5-star Talent” was only PART of the equation. It was the rest, all that “other stuff” that made the difference.
When I see (and more important, FEEL) that “other stuff” again here, THEN I will begin to believe once more.
Until then, I am in “wait’n’see” mode.
What I am saying is that since the Urban Meyer era, highly rated high school QBs failed to pan out at Florida and they performed better elsewhere in offenses that suit them better. Collectively we have mistakenly downgraded Emory Jones's overall performance, because the numbers show him performing just as bad or slightly better than some of Spurrier's QBs. For whatever reason, Dan Mullen's offense did not suit Emory Jones nor did it suit Anthony Richardson. Break, break. Next year it is safe to assume that Billy Napier's offense is going to focus on a pocket passer who only runs as necessary. His QB at Louisiana only ran for for 300 yards a season. Honestly the perfect offense for Emory Jones next year might be at UCF under Gus Malzahn. The offense that Mullen used last year under Kyle Trask seems to have been used this year with Emory Jones, but the plays that I expected to see with Emory were used with Anthony Richardson.

Summary:
Emory Jones's legacy at Florida will be that he was in the top third of all Gator QBs, but in the middle third of all Mullen QBs. He would not be a good fit in Napier's offense and he will probably do better in another offense--perhaps Gus Malzahn's offense at UCF.
 

DRU2012

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What I am saying is that since the Urban Meyer era, highly rated high school QBs failed to pan out at Florida and they performed better elsewhere in offenses that suit them better. Collectively we have mistakenly downgraded Emory Jones's overall performance, because the numbers show him performing just as bad or slightly better than some of Spurrier's QBs. For whatever reason, Dan Mullen's offense did not suit Emory Jones nor did it suit Anthony Richardson. Break, break. Next year it is safe to assume that Billy Napier's offense is going to focus on a pocket passer who only runs as necessary. His QB at Louisiana only ran for for 300 yards a season. Honestly the perfect offense for Emory Jones next year might be at UCF under Gus Malzahn. The offense that Mullen used last year under Kyle Trask seems to have been used this year with Emory Jones, but the plays that I expected to see with Emory were used with Anthony Richardson.

Summary:
Emory Jones's legacy at Florida will be that he was in the top third of all Gator QBs, but in the middle third of all Mullen QBs. He would not be a good fit in Napier's offense and he will probably do better in another offense--perhaps Gus Malzahn's offense at UCF.
OK. That clarifies things somewhat.
I think that distinction between Mullen’s using the “Trask-focused/pass-first offense” with Emory at QB-1 and it (somewhat predictably) turning out to be NOT well-suited to him, then his continuing to run it with AR-15 in there, is an accurate practical explanation for what in fact ensued...If the latter seemed to work better, then it is because AR has more of all the requisite skills generally required at QB in a full-featured offense to BEGIN with!
But Richardson was and IS a more “developed” QB in what amounted to his first exposure at this level than Emory in his redshirt-sophomore year; AR-15 leading an offense more finely tailored to HIS talents, one with more highly-skilled players (both blockers AND playmakers) around him might well be dazzling. I’d sure love to see it tried.
That, matched/balanced with a tough, fundamentally sound defense is one formula for a hard-charging, up’n’coming future SEC power.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
OK. That clarifies things somewhat.
I think that distinction between Mullen’s using the “Trask-focused/pass-first offense” with Emory at QB-1 and it (somewhat predictably) turning out to be NOT well-suited to him, then his continuing to run it with AR-15 in there, is an accurate practical explanation for what in fact ensued...If the latter seemed to work better, then it is because AR has more of all the requisite skills generally required at QB in a full-featured offense to BEGIN with!
But Richardson was and IS a more “developed” QB in what amounted to his first exposure at this level than Emory in his redshirt-sophomore year; AR-15 leading an offense more finely tailored to HIS talents, one with more highly-skilled players (both blockers AND playmakers) around him might well be dazzling. I’d sure love to see it tried.
That, matched/balanced with a tough, fundamentally sound defense is one formula for a hard-charging, up’n’coming future SEC power.
One edit to your statement: Mullen ran pass-first plays with EJ5, but he ran run-first plays with AR15. If I were the OC I would have reversed the approach. The one time this was most apparent was in the FSU game when Emory threw the ball into the back of an FSU player and was benched. That was a deep post concept, a pass-first play and an inexcusable miss. Garrick McGee put Richardson in for the next series (Mullen did not coach this game) and he let Richardson run the pass-first plays. He had no choice but to keep Richardson in the pocket because of the knee injury (the one that needed surgery a couple weeks later).

It took a new play caller and a torn meniscus for Mullen or McGee to put Richardson in a position to shine as a pocket passer. Richardson was 5/7 for 55 yards and 1 TD (184.5 passer rating). Jones was 16/24 for 163 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT (112.3 passer rating). Later I will post a comparison of both QBs in games where they both played. The stats may not tell the whole story because the play calling was all wonky this year. The FSU game is the only game that Mullen did not call plays for AR15 and EJ5.

Note: this is not meant to crap on Emory. This is meant to highlight the fact that Mullen was backwards in his approach in 2021. Emory still earned a passer rating efficiency of 140+ this year, which is higher than any Gator QB after Tim Tebow and before Mullen coached up Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask. I think if Mullen had given Emory more of the run-first plays he was famous for with Tebow, Dak Prescott, and Nick Fitzgerald, Emory would have finished with a passer rating of 155 to 165.
 
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DRU2012

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The above ALSO highlights something worth noting, finally:
WTF happened to “Mullen the QB-Whisperer/Mullen the Great In-game Playcaller” by this past season?
I mean, you’re RIGHT about him seemingly essentially “back-asswarding” the type of offense he called for the two, among OTHER weird misfires that added up to what you refer to (somewhat generously, I’d say) as our “wonky offense” in 2021!
All in all, it feels like awakening from a trance, the “spell” of trust and loyalty broken, finally, with the sudden realization that “OMG, we have no DEfense, and now even our O-ffense has gone to sh*t!”
With an overdue hard look at recruiting mediocrity and lackadaisical approach to everything from technique fundamentals to character and discipline, by the halfway point of this past season there was a hollow sense of well-advanced decay-from-within to the Gator program—one that must have been going on for some time before it began to manifest so clearly and thoroughly on the field and scoreboard.
We have finally had to come to face it: Much as I liked the guy, much as I kept faith and WANTED him to succeed, in the end it wasn’t so much the quarterbacks (or anyone else in particular among the players—they played their best under the circumstances, even if the overall skill-level left something to be desired).
No, in the final analysis, Mullen “did what he did” to Himself, and to our team and program.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
The above ALSO highlights something worth noting, finally:
WTF happened to “Mullen the QB-Whisperer/Mullen the Great In-game Playcaller” by this past season?
I mean, you’re RIGHT about him seemingly essentially “back-asswarding” the type of offense he called for the two, among OTHER weird misfires that added up to what you refer to (somewhat generously, I’d say) as our “wonky offense” in 2021!
All in all, it feels like awakening from a trance, the “spell” of trust and loyalty broken, finally, with the sudden realization that “OMG, we have no DEfense, and now even our O-ffense has gone to sh*t!”
With an overdue hard look at recruiting mediocrity and lackadaisical approach to everything from technique fundamentals to character and discipline, by the halfway point of this past season there was a hollow sense of well-advanced decay-from-within to the Gator program—one that must have been going on for some time before it began to manifest so clearly and thoroughly on the field and scoreboard.
We have finally had to come to face it: Much as I liked the guy, much as I kept faith and WANTED him to succeed, in the end it wasn’t so much the quarterbacks (or anyone else in particular among the players—they played their best under the circumstances, even if the overall skill-level left something to be desired).
No, in the final analysis, Mullen “did what he did” to Himself, and to our team and program.

I have seen a few theories. I think Dan Mullen had some personal issues, perhaps marital issues. I know that John Hevesy was going through a messy divorce, so that could be a reason he became toxic towards the offensive linemen. I have heard rumors that Todd Grantham became toxic towards the defensive players due to some kind of issues at home. If I had to guess the reason behind Dan Mullen losing his mojo it would have to be issues with his married life. I also noticed that his wife has been rather quiet in 2021. I would have to think about it to remember where she started disappearing. My guess is that something happened in 2020 and it really weighed on him towards the end of the 2020 season and carried into the 2021 season.
 

DRU2012

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I have seen a few theories. I think Dan Mullen had some personal issues, perhaps marital issues. I know that John Hevesy was going through a messy divorce, so that could be a reason he became toxic towards the offensive linemen. I have heard rumors that Todd Grantham became toxic towards the defensive players due to some kind of issues at home. If I had to guess the reason behind Dan Mullen losing his mojo it would have to be issues with his married life. I also noticed that his wife has been rather quiet in 2021. I would have to think about it to remember where she started disappearing. My guess is that something happened in 2020 and it really weighed on him towards the end of the 2020 season and carried into the 2021 season.
That “Like” of course ISN’T a “thumbs up” to the unhappiness you theorize, but rather to your extending a sense of EMPATHY into this discussion.
We do tend to forget that Coaches, players, ALL OF US are vulnerable to our imperfections—that bad things happen to good people; life can be a bumpy road.
If any (let alone all, and/or OTHER) of the factors you mention played their part in the PROFESSIONAL lives of these folks, well, having had to ride out my crises and tragedies in the course of my own life and that of those I care about, have had to deal with such things while negotiating the travails of both personal and professional life, well, on the one hand, I am sorry: On some separate fundamental level I wish them all well, and HOPE they all can eventually find some amount of resolution, in safety and peace.
But as a fan, let alone even imagining the P.O.V. of a University regent or high-level official, well, all that requires a mixture of wisdom, insight—and at some point a healthy dose of “tough love”, I suppose.
A certain amount stays private, it must be assumed, depending on the exact nature OF these “problems”...we may NEVER know the details. At a certain point, their LIVES, and those of loved ones MUST take precedence—and “we” (Gators, in our various manifestations) are left “to pick up the pieces and go home...” (whattaya know: we end this in the middle of a Fleetwood Mac song...sorta apt, considering the TP/S. Nicks connection).
 
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