8/7: Pease on Debose’s knee, Driskel as a 300-yard passer, new players and Florida’s offense

By Adam Silverstein
August 7, 2013

Florida Gators offensive coordinator Brent Pease met with the media after the team’s first full week of fall practice ahead of the 2013 season.

A RESURGENCE HAMPERED BY INJURY?

Universally praised by his coaches and teammates this offseason for being more focused and dedicated, redshirt senior wide receiver Andre Debose may have his sudden resurgence hampered after going down with a knee injury during practice on Tuesday. Though Pease would not go into details about Debose’s injury – head coach Will Muschamp does not allow his assistants to discuss team ailments – he did say that the knee will be evaluated by doctors on Wednesday.

“Yeah, he tweaked his knee a little bit, so they’re evaluating it at this time and we’ll go from there,” he said. He later added: “I saw him walk off [the field], but I don’t know the severity of it right now.”

Pease also said that Debose has “done a great job” in practice up to this point.

UPDATE: Debose out for the season with torn ACL

MORE DYNAMIC PASSING GAME IN YEAR TWO?

Muschamp, Pease and junior quarterback Jeff Driskel have all mentioned this offseason that Florida must become more explosive in the passing game, and Pease stood by that statement on Wednesday.

He noted that while the Gators did get big chunks of yardage at times in 2012, the vertical passing game was not sufficient for what he wants to do at Florida and he must call the corresponding plays to allow that goal to come to fruition.

“The thing that I saw that we didn’t have was throwing the ball vertically over the top. We had explosive plays, probably a lot more in the run game or catching short passes and making plays out of them. We determine explosive plays as 16 yards or more,” Pease explained.

“It’s more probably throwing the ball over the top, just stretching the field vertically, which we need to do. That’s route running, accuracy with the ball, protection at times. There’s a lot involved with it. That’s where hopefully, with the respect our running game has gained and the kids we have back there, when people start to pack the box we got to be able to do that.”

He continued: “Some of it is on me. I got to be willing to pull the trigger and let them perform. But I’m confident [that they will],” he said.


Confidence is also up in Driskel, who Pease believes is “more comfortable” than he was a year ago because he does not have the quarterback controversy to deal with heading into the season. Pease thinks Driskel has what it takes to be a 300-yard passer but notes that he will not be able to reach that figure each game because of the way the Gators run their offense.

“I think he has the ability to do it in this system. He has the ability to do it off his skills,” he said. “What we don’t do probably consistently is we don’t spread teams out in all this spread offense and throw the ball all around all the time. Our identity is we’re going to wear them down up front.

“If you get into the [Texas] A&M system where the guy’s spreading it around, running around, eventually [defensive backs] get tired of covering all of that and the holes get wider and the holes get slower, and for your receivers, there is more space for them to perform. We do that at times. We don’t do that every play.”

PLAYER EVALUATIONS

» On how freshmen running backs Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane are handling the blocking drills: “I think they look at me every day like, ‘Coach I came here to carry the ball.’ They understand that’s part of being that position, that it’s a very flexible position. You got to know blocking schemes. You got to know your protection schemes. You’re expected to run the ball well, catch the ball at times. They’re learning it. They’re good kids. They haven’t said anything that they don’t like it. They’re going with it.”

» On sophomore wide receivers Latroy Pittman and Raphael Andrades: “Right now everything is so spread out when you’re trying to develop repetition with guys. But they’re out there working. They’ve still got a ways to go. A lot of times you’re focusing on these young kids that come in, to get them repetitions, too. But it’s a work in progress with them. I don’t know if ‘frustrated’ is the right word as much as I just don’t think they’ve stepped forward. But in the same sense, I don’t’ know if they’ve had that opportunity yet just kind of how we kind of placed them in repetitions.”

» On redshirt junior Gideon Ajagbe and redshirt freshman Rhaheim Ledbetter, the two Gators that moved to fullback in the spring and found success in the transition: “Rhaheim is still learning; I’m excited about the kid. Gideon is a very good football player from our standpoint. I’m excited with what he is going to provide for us. I think he’s talented enough to catch the ball at times and keep people off balance. But he’s very unselfish and willing to say, ‘Hey, you know what, I’m going to make these tailbacks 1,000-yard rushers.’ That’s what a fullback’s mentality should be, him and Hunter [Joyer] both. I think Gideon, in the long run, will be very versatile for us because he’s almost got that tight end-type body but he can still be a fullback. He’s a smart kid. He knows how to break football players down and adjust on the run.”

» On 6-foot-8, 363-pound transfer offensive lineman Trenton Brown: “Big guy, man. That kid is very…he creates frustration a lot with the guys he has to go against. He’s got a lot of ability. He’d done a good job. Still, it’s a matter of continually…the whole thing is not thrown at him yet, the recognition of repetition, [doing] the same things over and over and over is not totally there. … He’s getting it. Within the lineman’s world, he’s understanding. When he’s in a one-on-one situation, he’s very talented. He’s big, he’s strong, he can move. He’s going to be a real good football player. … He’s the biggest kid I’ve ever seen out there.”

» On how Brown looks technique-wise: “Pad level and technique, you can still get away with [lacking in that area] because you can cover up a guy so much because you have so much mass to your body, they can’t just push through you. The kid’s got tremendous feet. For a guy that big, he moves very well. He can get away with technique sometimes, but you are obviously stressing that so you are a good fundamental player.”

» On redshirt sophomore Tyler Moore moving back to right tackle after the guards get healthy: “The one thing we found out about Tyler is he is very, very talented that he can play almost every position. He hasn’t played center for us, but we can put him wherever. If those guys do come back, I think he is a guy that probably goes outside or we put him where we need him. He’s a guy that provides depth for us everywhere.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On if the absence of four starters has made installation difficult: “The challenges are a little bit of continuity. You’re looking at who are those playmakers because I think you’d look at both of those guys [Driskel, sophomore RB Matt Jones] as playmakers for what they did last year. Jeff particularly running the ball, and you want to see the progress he has made throwing it. Matt is obviously a powerful runner and you [want to see] the identity in the run game of being physical. So the other guys have got to pick that up. We’re not going to change our identity. They’ve got to fill the void on that.”

» On if the Gators as a whole have a better understanding of the offense in year two: “The kids understand the calls, but they understand the calls for a reason. How we’re trying to attack a defense. Understanding where we’re vulnerable at times. What they either have to do to make it work or getting ourselves into the correct play and why we would check that. Kids understand leverage better. When I say that, I mean how to put themselves in a winning position either running a route or blocking a play. Some of that goes along with their confidence in the weight room, how they’ve become stronger, faster and can bend. You see a lot of that. The kids are playing with confidence. Really, there’s more instinct in what they’re doing. They understand the calls. They’re not thinking. It’s all reactionary.”

» On Florida’s talented defensive line: “They’re very athletic. When you got [Dominique] Easley and [Jonathan] Bullard and then you throw in Dante [Fowler]. Dante is such, depending on however they use him, he is such a weapon – pass rusher, pass coverage guy, very physical. He is so heavy-handed. He knows how to get people off. He is a tough kid to block. Our kids have done a good job at times, but he’s going to win a lot of battles. And then when you throw Ronald [Powell] in there, how they fit them all into their scheme that they do [is great] because they can change the looks on you. When you change the looks up front – because that involves so much calls in your run game or your pass protection calls – without changing personnel, that’s tough.”

» On how often he develops new plays for the offense: “Daily is probably an exaggeration, but on a weekly basis from what we’re seeing, we do it weekly. Now, we’re not doing a lot. It might be one, two or three or something that we feel still fits into one of the concepts we haven’t run in a while. But we’re trying to introduce most of that in the spring or early in fall camp. Because there’s things that we do in fall camp that we might not do maybe in the first, second game but we will come back to it. Or sometimes we see some things on film from other teams or we study a lot of pro tape and match-ups and things we like to do.”

10 Comments

  1. Timmy T says:

    A play-action pass on 1st down might be a good idea every now and then. Send somebody fast right down the middle on a long post, and chuck that thing!!!

    • Crock says:

      The first play in the Sugar Bowl is the reason Pease doesn’t let Driskel throw early and often.

      Pease can give all the lip service he wants to Driskel, but his play calling shows you exactly what he thinks of him.

      He’s just not that good of a QB.

      • Oldflyer says:

        Gee, I wonder if Muschamp and Pease realize that? Strange that they let the very talented Brissett sit on the bench, then transfer, in favor of the untalented Driskel.

        Maybe you should have shared your insights with them when it would have done some good.

      • Tractorr says:

        I don’t buy that. Last year Driskel was behind a spotty offensive line, it was his first full year as starter, and he had sub par receivers who were without a receiver coach. Teams were loading the box to stop the run and when it wasn’t a run they were already in the back field because of terrible blocking. If the blocking is better this year we will get a fair assessment of Driskel.

      • Craven says:

        Maybe he should have thrown more to your hero Dubose. Oh, that’s right, he couldn’t because dubose was riding the bench because of a poor work ethic.

        • Michael Jones says:

          Who is “Dubose?” Maybe you should at least learn how to spell the guy’s name before you start badmouthing him.

      • Michael Jones says:

        Ha ha! That’s hilarious! Driskel is not just a good QB, he’s a great QB, as you’ll see more completely this season. But we Gator fans are notorious whiners and bad-mouthers of our own players and coaches. Nothing’s ever quite good enough for us.

  2. jason says:

    Bummer for Debose… I hope it is not serious. GO GATORS

  3. Michael Jones says:

    Tremendous article, Adam. So much info. You’re a hard worker and we reap the benefits. Many thanks! GO GATORS!!!

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