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December 28, 2009MORE STORIES: Season of distractions | Addazio Monday Q&A | Five burning questions | Meyer's next move could define him | Gut feeling he'll coach | Meyer meets media in New Orleans
PROSPECT REACTION: Chris Dunkley | Jon Dowling | Joshua Shaw
NEW ORLEANS - Urban Meyer is the Florida coach on everyone's mind, but a few of his assistant coaches talked about the open defensive coordinator position Monday after the team's practice in the Super dome.
Defensive line coach Dan McCarney said that he would not be interested in the position if it were to be offered to him, though he is involved in the decision making process along with Meyer, safeties coach Chuck Heater and cornerbacks coach Vance Bedford.
"I've done it before, and I have a lot of responsibilities as assistant head coach on defense," McCarney said of why he isn't interested. "Whatever happens, we'll have a really good defensive staff again. I promise you."
McCarney may not be interested in a "promotion" of sorts, but Heater said he is absolutely up for being the next defensive coordinator at UF.
"I'm interested in having a leadership role, whatever that might be," Heater said. "But I don't have to be entitled or anything. I just want to be in a good room with a good exchange of ideas with good guys."
Heater has at least one supporter of his unofficial candidacy: sophomore safety Will Hill.
"If you think about it, coach Heater calls the plays up in the box, so basically you could say that he's been running it for a while," Hill said. "It would be an easy transition."
With offensive coordinator Steve Addazio taking on the interim head coach title, all of the coaches have spoken about the importance of program stability - something Hill thinks would be strengthened by an internal hire.
"I would like to see somebody from the team take over because they already know the concept of it and they wont want to shake up everything and change everything around," Hill said.
Familiarity seems to be something the players are looking for during this period of transition.
Junior offensive lineman Mike Pouncey said making Addazio, who is also the offensive line coach, head coach helped stabilize the program.
Pouncey is one of a dozen or so juniors waiting to hear back from the NFL Draft advisory committee on his expected draft status. If he, or his twin brother Maurkice, are thought to be second round picks or higher, they will leave for the draft - an assurance that may not have been needed had UF athletic director Jeremy Foley went outside the program for an interim head coach.
"Making Addazio the coach of the Florida Gators right now is going to make a big decision on my part for whether I'm coming back," Mike Pouncey said. "This is a tough decision, I'm glad they made coach Addazio the head coach because now it makes it easier to come back."
Pouncey added that he believes there was a real chance that all of the draft eligible juniors would have bolted for the NFL if Addazio had not been named interim head coach.