Tuesday July 17th, 2012

Steve Spurrier said his South Carolina Gamecocks will 'pick our spots to throw the ball' in 2012. (AP)

HOOVER, Ala. -- "I feel blessed to be here," said Steve Spurrier, taking the second slot at the podium on the first day of SEC Media Days. It is to the credit of the audience that no one raised his or her hand to ask, "Coach, how blessed?"

Until last year, the OBC was Spurrier the White: powerful, to be sure, but with some of his rougher edges buffed off by tribulation; ready, at times, to complete his task so he could soak up some more UV rays on the golf course. It was apparent in the summer of 2011, however, that Spurrier the Grey was peeking through again: a little more jocular, copping baldly to not enjoying his trademark jawing as much when his boys weren't winning 10 games. This year, blessedly, it's more of the same. That's for the better, because Spurrier in a good mood is quotable Spurrier: "Every time some sportswriter asks me how long I'm gonna coach, I feel like asking you guys how much longer you're gonna write."

Spurrier still isn't as cocky (sorry) as he might have been in his Gainesville years: "We got some teams ranked ahead of us. That's OK." He doesn't dwell on crowing (SORRY) about last year's division title, pointing out that South Carolina won every game it was favored to win: "We may have underachieved." Also helping: "We didn't play 'Bama and LSU. That's why we were favored." On the affairs of 2012: The schedule will not be as kind. "If I made the schedule, Georgia'd be playing LSU and we'd be playing Ole Miss." HUGH FREEZE HEARD THAT, SPURRIER. And he forgives you. Marcus Lattimore's prognosis is good. He has rehabbed his knee "beautifully," said Spurrier, "done everything they've asked and maybe more." Spurrier confessed the Cocks will "probably be more of a running team, play defense, pick our spots to throw the ball." His face did not crack as he said it. The OBC is a pro.

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