Meyer not too eager to open up again

GAINESVILLE - Don't expect Urban Meyer to be so open about his feelings any time soon.

Published December 12, 2006

GAINESVILLE - Don't expect Urban Meyer to be so open about his feelings any time soon.

The Florida coach has been widely criticized for comments he made during the final two weeks of the regular season about his team's worthiness to play in the BCS championship game. Some coaches, fans and media have accused him of politicking his way into the game.

Meyer reiterated Monday that his remarks were in response to questions but said he won't be so willing to share his opinion again.

"You're going to see a big change in that because what happens is the focus then gets put on the coach instead of the players," Meyer said. "I've always believed that this is all about our players and what they've done at 12-1. I was asked the questions a couple of weeks about the BCS, but you're going to hear very little from me from now on about those types of opinions. Because first of all, my opinions don't really matter, and second of all, it takes the focus away from the players, and I think that's wrong."

BACK NO MATTER WHAT: On television replays during the SEC championship game, it looked as though a part of Ray McDonald's arm had been disconnected after the defensive end dislocated his right elbow. But McDonald said Monday that he'll be ready when the Gators face Ohio State in the BCS title game Jan. 8.

Meyer has said McDonald is probable. But McDonald, a senior who had two ACL surgeries last season, said cutting his arm off wouldn't stop him from playing.

"Heck yeah, I'd still play," he said. "I'd use one arm the whole time. I can't miss this game."

McDonald acknowledged that friends and family watching the game against Arkansas on Dec. 2 were alarmed when replays showed the injury and the arm looked broken and disfigured.

McDonald was alarmed, too.

"It did hurt, but I didn't know it looked that bad. But it looked worse than what it actually was, so that's a good thing."

LIKE A KID AT CHRISTMAS: It has been a long road for senior receiver Dallas Baker, from a highly talented recruit who didn't qualify academically to a soon-to-be Florida alumnus.

The native of New Smyrna Beach will graduate this weekend with a bachelor's degree in recreational programming. Baker, the team's leading receiver, said he's ecstatic.

"It's like I said about the SEC championship: They may have to make me leave because I'm just excited," he said. "That's all I've been talking about. It feels like Christmas is coming on Saturday."

Antonya English can be reached at english@sptimes.com.