GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida quarterback John Brantley and several teammates applauded coach Urban Meyer's recent outburst Friday, saying it's nice to see him come to receiver Deonte Thompson's defense.
"Coach has our back," Brantley said. "That's what you want to see out of your coaches. We trust our coaches and they trust us, and that's what we want to see."
Meyer lashed out at a reporter Wednesday, calling him a "bad guy" for publishing a quote from Thompson about Brantley and former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.
When asked what the difference was between Brantley and Tebow, Thompson called Brantley a "real quarterback." Anyone listening knew Thompson meant Brantley was a more traditional, conventional or prototypical passer than Tebow.
Thompson's quote spread across the country thanks to Twitter and the Internet, and the receiver was crushed when friends and teammates asked him why he ripped Tebow.
He expressed his frustration to Meyer, who responded following spring practice Wednesday. Meyer had harsh words for Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeremy Fowler during a brief exchange in front of cameras, colleagues and some fans.
Meyer threatened to ban the Sentinel from practice and said, "If that was my son, we'd be going at it right now."
Players praised Meyer's response, which has been viewed more than 150,000 times on YouTube and probably seen by even more on various television networks.
"He got our back and we got his back," center Mike Pouncey said.
Defensive backs coach Chuck Heater called the whole situation "real positive."
"Urban's a real passionate guy about his players, as we all are, so yeah, I think it's real positive from that standpoint," Heater said. "Everybody sees it and everybody gets it."
Meyer's reaction had little to do with Thompson's quote that seemingly ripped Tebow. He was more concerned with the effect the Sentinel's story had on Thompson, a good student who has never been in trouble.
Florida officials canceled post-practice interviews Wednesday and had planned to do the same Friday, but ended up making several players and coaches available.