By Leo Haggerty

We are double-dipping today.  Have both the SIGHTS and the SOUNDS of South Florida fall practice.

Today’s SOUNDS belong to the USF Offensive Coordinator Sterlin Gilbert.  Going into his second season at the helm of the prolific Green & Gold offense, the Angelo State University alum still has some big-time weapons in his arsenal even though the “straw that stirred the drink” won’t be under center.

Granted, a big part of the offense his moved on when Quarterback Quentin Flowers was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals.  The Texas native, who turns 40 tomorrow, now has to find ways to get the ball to his play-makers with a quarterback who hasn’t taken a lot of snaps for the Bulls no matter who it is.

Check out Gilbert’s answers to those very questions.  His answers may surprise you.

Many thanks to Photojournalist Trace Crisp for the outstanding action shots.  The first has Coach Gilbert, wearing the headset, just to the right of the red-shirted QB.  Nice get, Trace.

LH : No matter who is under center this year for USF, it won’t be #9.  How is that competition to replace Flowers shaping up?

SG : It’s still a competition.  We aren’t even close to making a decision on any of those guys yet.  They’ve been working hard and learning things the first few days. Now, we want to see which one of them progresses right now.  We want them to keep moving forward so they’re headed in the right direction.

LH : This is a run-first offense, isn’t it?

SG : It just depends on what we’re getting from the defense.  We like to come downhill with the football and we have a lot of guys who can make plays.  Whatever we need to do to win on Saturday is what we will do.

LH : Having a year under your belt, what the one thing this offense has to get better at?

SG : We just have to be more consistent.  If you look at last year, we have to eliminate mistakes and penalties.  We have to be more productive.

LH : There we times last year that the play that came in looked like it was Trips Right Spread Flowers make a play.  It’s not that simplistic, is it?

SG : No, not at all.  There are times that it looked that way because he was pretty dynamic with the ball.  That was definitely not a call that we had in the playbook.  What he was able to do was to keep a play alive.  That what a guy with those kind of wheels and skills can do.  Instead of being sacked, he makes a big play down the field.  He was so dynamic to the game because of what he could do with his feet.  Plus, he threw the football really well.

LH : You now have a 6’5″ quarterback in the program.  Does that size change your thinking on how you do things?

SG : No.  He’ a guy who is really athletic.  Once he decided to come here, we started to look at what little college film we could find and even some high school film.  Then he showed up and we saw how big he was.  6’5″ and 218 pounds.  Plus, he’s very athletic when he has the football in his hands.  Even though he’s that tall, he still has the athleticism to make plays with his feet.