With practice now in the books and the team getting ready to prepare for the first game of the season against Bowling Green on Sept. 1, Florida Gators offensive coordinator Brent Pease met with the media Wednesday to discuss the team’s missed scrimmage (scheduled for Tuesday) and potential impact players for 2012.
COACHING PHILOSOPHIES MESHED IMMEDIATELY
It did not take long for Pease and head coach Will Muschamp to get on the same page offensively, the former said on Wednesday when asked how long it took for their philosophies to mesh.
“I think it probably meshed on the phone when he offered me the job or I wouldn’t have been here,” he said. “I’ve known Will for quite a while. And I’ve done a lot of things in offense. The reason he came and talked to me – we were friends and we’ll probably always be friends – understanding what I have done in the past looking at offense. I think he just knew that’s what I’ve done and that’s what I’m comfortable with.
“I’ve done other things. I can go to four wides if we had to but that’s not what I’ve been the last six years, that’s not what I’ve kind of been groomed with at Boise State under Chris Petersen. Will knew there was a mesh already and that’s what he wanted. If he wanted spread offense, he probably would have gone somewhere else to Toledo and gotten their guy or something.”
Speaking of Boise State, Pease said that many of the philosophies in Florida’s offense are the same though there are a lot of differences that fans may not be able to necessarily see just by watching the game.
VERSATILITY THE KEY FOR HINES, BURTON
All offseason Pease has been high on the versatility brought to the table by redshirt senior Omarius Hines and junior Trey Burton. Though the pair are similar in some ways, they also have different specialties and are the types of talents that Pease said he really could have used at his last stop.
“They do create mismatches, so we will get them the ball and now they got to make plays,” he said. “Omarius is different because he’s got the ability to be a running back, a tight end, a receiver. Trey’s got the ability to be a running back, receiver, kind of a wing back, H-back type guy, quarterback. They’re going to have some stuff on their plate knowing some positions. We didn’t have a guy like that really at Boise State; we didn’t have players like that.”
Pease is especially excited to see what Hines can do; he views him as a game-breaker whose playmaking ability can really come in handy for the Gators this season.
“He’s very versatile. He’s a kid that, when the ball is in his hands, he can go the distance. He can create the huge, explosive plays. He can go 75-80 yards because he’s got the other gear,” Pease said of Hines. “He’s got ability to catch, got ability to run; he’s got strength. He’s an incredible talent so you just got to use him the right way, not burn him out, not overload him with thinking. He’s done a good job. He is a very smart kid on the field. He’s good and he understands things and he wants more. He’s always, ‘Hey, can I do this play, can I do that play?’ He’s a threat. He’s a weapon.”
Read the rest of what Pease had to say on Wednesday…after the break!
WIDE RECEIVERS MUST DO MORE THAN “LOOK PRETTY,” “RUN”
An position group that must step up in a big way for Florida this season is the wide receivers, which barely made a peep in 2011 but have received some praise at times during fall camp. Pease said Wednesday that he is pleased with how the players are developing but he still needs to see more from them overall.
“I think every day they’ve gotten better, consistency is starting to show up. It really hurt when Mike McNeely [got injured] because he was having a good camp; that kid was going to help us. I feel bad for him having to get his foot fixed. The guys are understanding kind of their role. Like I told them: ‘If you want more, you better show consistency and create it.’ I think guys are kind of grasping onto that.
“I’m going to tell you this: We’re not just sticking anybody out there that looks pretty and can run. They better go out there and perform; they better catch balls and block. If you came here thinking, ‘I was labeled this, labeled that,’ you might not see some people. You go out there and you make plays – that’s the bottom line at this position. We don’t want any Terrell Owens guys.
As it pertains to McNeely, a sophomore walk-on who saw action on the kickoff unit in seven games as a freshman, he will be out a total of six weeks after breaking a bone in his foot. Pease said that he was all set to help that team at wideout because he was doing nice things in camp.
Regardless of who is on the field, Pease said that the receivers should have no problem whatsoever fitting into the offensive system, which allows them to actually catch the ball rather than spend most of their time blocking like they used to in the spread offense.
“If they don’t see the fact that [they get] to touch the ball rather than go block DBs every play [like in the spread offense], that they can’t get hungry with that, then I think it’s a little bit more fun to do what we’re doing than probably to have to block every play, maybe catch a pass or something here and there,” he said.
NOTES AND QUOTES
» Pease said the team completely missed the planned third and final scrimmage on Tuesday due to rain. The Gators are unlikely to make it up but will instead do some extra things in practice to help account for the missed reps.
» On if it takes intelligence for players to play within his offense: “There’s some mental gymnastics in the whole deal. It’s repetitions. I don’t know if you have to be intelligent. I’ve seen some guys in some other players that can get it done, you know, they weren’t 2.0 students. [...] And then as a coach you have to be smart. If they can’t do certain things, you don’t force-feed the hand too hard. You just kind of pull back and be basic with it and make sure that the play is still executable.”
» On sophomore tight end Tevin Westbrook: “I’ll tell you this: Tevin has had as good of a camp as anybody. He has been a complete bonus to get him. He’s gotten better. The kid’s got a great attitude. I probably can’t say enough good things about him. He’s done a great job catching and blocking. [I’m] very, very excited to have him. He’s built our depth; he’s made our packages better.”
» Pease said redshirt junior TE Jordan Reed is healthy and has been practicing with the team after injuring his MCL in practice earlier this month. He is also excited about what he can bring to the table for Florida in 2012. “You have someone like Jordan who really has wide receiver ability but in a body like his,” he said. “He’s a nightmare for defensive coordinators.”