10/12: Will Muschamp’s SEC teleconference

By Adam Silverstein
October 12, 2011

With the Florida Gators just days away from their seventh game of the season under head coach Will Muschamp on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. against the Auburn Tigers, he spoke during the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference to provide some insight about where his team is at going into into week seven action.

FINLEY’s TRANSFER IS NOT OFFICIAL – YET

Though some reports surfaced Tuesday that had redshirt sophomore linebacker Dee Finley already having transferred from the team, Muschamp said Wednesday that it is not official “at this time” because, after meeting with the player, he told him to think about his decision. “Dee and I talked the other night and we’re going to meet again,” he explained. “I told him he needed to take a little time to think about what he wanted to do and where he was in his mind. He and I plan on probably trying to meet today sometime and we’ll address that as we go.”

OPEN COMPETITION FOR QUARTERBACK JOB CONTINUES

For the third-straight day, a Florida coach has declined to name a starting quarterback against Auburn, with Muschamp saying Thursday that freshmen Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett are both taking nearly equal snaps. “We haven’t made a decision as far as a starter is concerned, but both guys we have a lot of confidence in,” he said.

Ideally, Muschamp would “love for one of them to step forward and be the guy” but due to them being the same age with relatively the same amount of experience, they are way too similar at this juncture in their careers for that to happen so soon. “Their skill set is so similar, so it’s not like we’re having to drastically change what we do when one young man is in the game as opposed to the other,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to work through. Again, I’d love for one of them to step up and play really well and go from there. We will manage that as we roll through the season. I couldn’t think of anybody whose hands it could be in better than Charlie Weis.”

The evaluation of Driskel and Brissett will be an open one though Driskel’s ankle will factor into the equation. To that end, Muschamp said he has bounced back well from missing almost every practice one week ago.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]“He’s been doing well. He looked good yesterday when we repped him. I don’t think it’s limiting anything that he’s trying to do,” he said. “You’re just trying to work through an injury. He got some reps last week and he’s trying to get back in and get the reps this week. Again, we’re talking about a freshman. He hasn’t had the amount of turns and reps at the position in the offense as a John Brantley would have. When John misses a practice or so in training camp, he picks it up back the next day and it’s OK. When you’re talking about a freshman, you have a little bit of a drop-off as you go back the next time.”

Muschamp said he’s “got my ideas about what’s going to happen” as far as naming a starter but said it certainly could change after Wednesday’s practice. “We’re going out there today working a lot of red zone and third down and critical situations in the game,” he said. “We got a one-minute drill to win the game, we’ve got some situations that are going to come up in the practice that those guys need to perform well [in].”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On adjusting the offensive philosophy: “We’re going to open some things up a little bit offensively. We need to do that to help our football team.”

» On competition at the quarterback position: “It starts in the meeting room – how well they’re aligning and how well they know what we’re doing and understanding us and our opponent. That’s where it starts. We do have some lifting during the week and how they conduct themselves there. And then on the practice field. Who’s producing? Who’s making plays? Whether it’s a quarterback or any other position. Who are the guys who are making positive plays for the Gators? That’s what I talk about every day. We talk about competition. Those are the things you’re talking about. You’re talking about guys going out and competing every day at positions. Competition makes everybody better. We don’t have enough competition at some spots. That’s what’s been frustrating for me.”

On playing a lot of true freshman: “Any time you have transition there is some natural attrition that happens within the program.”

» On returning to Auburn: “The Auburn people were good to me. I really enjoyed my time there.”

» On the main reasons why Florida has lost consecutive games: “The first thing that I would be disappointed with would be psychologically when John went down in the Alabama game – of how we responded. We didn’t respond very well as a football team. That goes back to mental toughness of understanding that you can’t always control your circumstances but you can control how you handle it. We didn’t handle that very well. Then going into Baton Rouge and playing a very good football team, I don’t know that early in the game we faced adversity if we handled it very well. From there it’s a trickle-down effect to how the game was going and what LSU needed to do to win the game and that was not throw the football. That was just run the football. Over a period of time of not maintaining drives offensively, not getting enough stops defensively, it turns out to be a little bit of what it was.

“The first thing I would talk about as far as my disappointment so far has been handling adversity – handling when things go against you and understanding that, when you play in this league, you’re going to have adversity and you’ve got to learn to handle those situations. It’s a mental toughness factor. It’s an understanding that, when you play in this league, there’s going to be some adversity. You got to learn to handle it and play through it. A little of that goes to youth. Who are your leaders? Who are the guys who are willing to step up and take it by the horns and push forward? It’s not from a lack of effort. We’re getting great effort. All of those things have been very positive. It’s just the psychological part of the game that you got to learn to battle through.”[/EXPAND]

One Comment

  1. Joe says:

    “The first thing I would talk about as far as my disappointment so far has been handling adversity – handling when things go against you and understanding that, when you play in this league, you’re going to have adversity and you’ve got to learn to handle those situations. It’s a mental toughness factor. It’s an understanding that, when you play in this league, there’s going to be some adversity. You got to learn to handle it and play through it.

    I would think this philosophy also applys to the officiating. Maybe when the call doesn’t go your way, Coach, you shouldn’t go all ape sh!t on the refs with the whole team watching not to mention a national TV audiance. The team is going to reflect it’s coach’s personality. You want the team to respond to adversity with poise and mental toughness, you need to demonstrate those qualities first and not just talk about it. Walk the walk then talk the talk.

Top