8/6: Burton cam, Murphy stepping up, receivers improving, defenders getting ejected

By Adam Silverstein
August 6, 2013

A handful of Florida Gators football players met with the media on Tuesday to discuss how the team is looking at the start of fall practices.

VIDEO: PRACTICE THROUGH THE EYES OF A PLAYER

Senior Trey Burton, who is still listed as a running back, said Tuesday that he has been working the most at wide receiver though he did admit that he is doing “a little bit of everything.” In a prior practice, Florida strapped a Go Pro camera to Burton’s helmet so fans can get a player’s view of what it is like to go through the motions.

MURPHY SOLID BUT DRISKEL STILL THE LEADER

With junior quarterback Jeff Driskel still sidelined following his appendectomy, redshirt junior back-up Tyler Murphy has been running with the first team in practice and appears to be doing a good job as a substitute. The reviews are positive from his teammates and coaches thus far, and Murphy believes he taking a major step forward in his development as a signal caller.

“It’s been a good experience,” he said, according to The Gainesville Sun “I’m just trying to be productive. Things have been going well for me. There’s still a lot I need to work on. But I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better, especially with the amount of reps I’ve been able to get. I want to continue to build trust in my teammates so they feel comfortable with me being the guy if that ever happens. I’m really just trying to develop and grow as a leader and help this team become successful in any way, shape or form.”

Though Murphy is doing an admirable job, Driskel remains Florida’s leader and has been taking mental reps from the sidelines while watching the Gators’ first few fall practices. Burton said Tuesday that the team is pleased with how Driskel has been attacking playing quarterback and being the one guy his teammates can count on whether on or off the field.


“I feel like it helped him a lot not having the competition with Jacoby [Brissett], knowing he’s going to be the guy. He definitely put all of us on his shoulders and is trying to carry us. He’s done a really good job so far,” said Burton, who opined that Driskel’s leadership ability is natural and not forced.

“Obviously he’s not out there right now to help us out, but he is still out there watching and talking to us and giving us little tips and stuff like that.”

“He did a really good job organizing [the player-run practices during the summer]. I’m pretty sure we had 100 percent attendance on all of them except if somebody had a test or something like that. He did a really good job keeping everybody accountable.”

The starting job will revert to Driskel when he is able to return, but Murphy plans to work just as hard when he is pushed back to the second team.

“I definitely got to be sharp every day, really pay attention to everything Coach [Brent] Pease says, whether it’s to me or to Jeff or to Skyler [Mornhinweg] because that coaching point goes to all of us even though he’s directing it to a certain player,” Murphy said. “You just have to learn from other people. I know I just have to stay sharp and be focused and ready to step in and go when it’s my time.”

WHAT PLAYMAKING CONCERNS?

According to redshirt junior wide receiver Quinton Dunbar, Gators fans have nothing to worry about as it pertains to a group of pass catchers that combined for just 62 receptions, 598 yards and five touchdowns a year ago (and that’s including Burton). “We know what we can do,” he said. “We don’t really feed into what the media [has] to say. We just do it for ourselves because we have a lot of pride.”

He continued: “I feel like the older guys are stepping up. The younger guys are good, stepping into places to help where we need it. Andre Debose, he’s having an outstanding camp right now. He’s playing very well. He’s stepping up to the challenge that the coaches asked of him.”

Junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy co-signed Dunbar’s statement about Debose, noting that he has stepped up as a leader for Florida’s wide receivers, a label he most certainly would not have been given last season.

Dunbar credited new wide receivers coach Joker Phillips with the development of the unit and believes he has improved as a player because of Phillips’s assistance.

“Joker just pushes me. He doesn’t give me any leeway. He treats me like anybody else, and I need that,” he said, according to The Gainesville Sun. “Bush [Hamdan] was more of a laid-back guy. Joker is more of an up-front guy. He’s going to let you know what you’re doing wrong all the time. He isn’t going to let you slide.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» Burton on the offensive line: “They’re good, man, they’re really good. We’ve got a lot of freaks.”

» Purifoy on the safety position this year: “We’re going to have young safeties, but they’ve got to step up. That’s it. … We got some hitters back there. They’re just quieter, that’s all. They don’t speak up like [Matt] Elam or [Josh] Evans. … I wouldn’t say it’s quiet, because [Will] Muschamp ain’t going to let that happen, so it ain’t quiet. They got to talk to us. If they don’t talk, we won’t have no connection.”

» Junior safety Jabari Gorman on the competition at his position: “We’ve always been close as a [defensive back] unit. We knew that we’re out there and we’re out there to win. We just want to win.”

» Gorman on how hard it is for freshmen to start at safety: “I feel that it will be more difficult because you’re talking about schemes, talking about place of the ball, talk about leverage, back pedal. It’s a lot to learn and then you got to tell other guys what they have to do. It’s kinda tough. Most guys don’t get it.”

» Redshirt sophomore S Valdez Showers on the contact rules and how Florida is adjusting in practice: “We definitely went over that a lot of times. We also started practicing that way. If you do something wrong, you get pulled out, too. They’re really taking those rules serious. We definitely don’t want to get kicked out of a game for aiming high or targeting the quarterback. It’s definitely not going to stop the physical play. We’re still going to play physical. We’re still going to fly to the ball, we’re just going to have to aim a little lower to make the game a little bit safer.”

» Gorman on who is most likely to get ejected from a drill for violating the contact rules: “You got like Marcell Harris, Michael Taylor; you got guys who are very physical. Their shots are a little more different than guys who settle in their tackling abilities.”

6 Comments

  1. Matt says:

    I think they should have tried Burton at Safety. He is so smart he would make sure everyone was in the right place and he would always be in position to make the play. Maybe instead of Purifoy Burton could play both ways.

  2. Ziggy says:

    Now, instead of concussions, everyone will have to worry about getting a broken neck from tackling low. What’s worse, having to sit out a while to heal a concussion or having to sit out the rest of your life in a wheelchair.

  3. Ted says:

    Nice thought Matt. What makes Burton so valuable is his knowledge of the game from playing so many positions. His strength is what’s between his ears. Probably make a damm good coach some day.

  4. Joe says:

    Heard rumor Debose got injured at Tues practice. Any truth?

  5. Matt says:

    I read where MC said he walked off the field so hopefully not to serious….

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