Florida Gators sophomore signal caller Jeff Driskel may have missed a couple of days of practice due to a bruised non-throwing shoulder but those absences have not put him behind the eight ball as far as the team’s quarterback competition is concerned, offensive coordinator Brent Pease said in a media availability on Friday.
Though sophomore QB Jacoby Brissett obviously saw more action than Driskel on Monday and Tuesday, the battle remains on between the two for the short term.
“[Brissett] got more reps while Jeff was out. When you get more reps, it’s going to make you better naturally because you’re seeing more things. I don’t know if he gained anything or went ahead, but he got more reps,” Pease said.
“It’s been up and down [for both quarterbacks]. The thing that I’ve seen from both of them is this: They both have gotten better in all aspects of their game. That’s the main thing. If they can get better to where they both can manage and make plays then that’s really what we’re striving for.”
With Brissett and Driskel both playing so well and relatively evenly out on the practice fields, one might assume that Pease would have a difficult time in choosing a starter. He claims that will not be the case whatsoever.
“I don’t think it’s going to be that tough,” he said. “I say that because I think they’re both capable.”
Pease will not make that decision on his own, of course. Head coach Will Muschamp will certainly have his input though Pease said that he expects them to eventually come to a concensus on what is best for the team going forward.
“I’ll give him my feedback on how guys perform,” he said. “I think as a head coach he’s always watching and evaluating really from the defensive standpoint and as a head coach. [There is] communication between us and how things fit, what’s best for the team.
“I think he’s valued my opinion and I give it to him. I think it’s a 50-50 deal, probably a little bit more 51-49 his decision because he’s the head coach.”
Not having any influence on the upcoming decision, however, will be the players, who Pease said have said nothing to him about preferring one quarterback over the other.
“I don’t hear that,” he said. “I think the players are about team. I don’t think they’re trying to…this isn’t a buddy contest here. This is about winning.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» On the progression of freshman WR Raphael Andrades: “One, typical freshman. They’re still learning, not consistent enough. But shows that he can make plays, good hands. [...] Doing some good things, still lost a little bit. It’s just a matter of getting enough repetitions for him to be real good. It’s hard because you’re also not getting all the repetitions.”
» On how freshman WR Latroy Pittman has been developing: “Latroy is still in freshman status but is improved and is getting a little bit more confident and understanding of the overall scheme and situation.”
» On junior WR Solomon Patton and how he can be used in the offense: “I’ll tell you this about Solomon: He’s probably had one of the best weeks for him and out of the receivers. He’s been very consistent. He’s been playing very fast, and he’s been doing a really good job. [...] Size doesn’t matter to me if you can run. He’s got speed and he’s a consistent catcher. You’ve got to look at certain routes where they fit into the coverage. Are they easy to find [by the quarterback] or aren’t they?”
» On how sophomore Tevin Westbrook, who was converted to tight end, is doing in camp: “Phenomenal. That kid is a big plus for us. He has a great attitude, works hard. He has had probably one of the best camps of everybody.”
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