Florida Gators offensive coordinator Brent Pease met with the media on Tuesday ahead of the seventh game of the season against the Georgia Bulldogs on Nov. 2.
CHANGING OF THE
The Gators’ much-maligned offensive line is set for a bit of a shake-up on Saturday as it appears all but certain that junior transfer Trenton Brown, a 6-foot-8, 361-pound behemoth, will start at right tackle for Florida. Pease refused to give him that designation on Tuesday but did admit that Brown spent a lot of time working with the first team offensive line during the off week and last few days.
“Yeah, he’s in line to play quite a bit. I don’t know. He’s got to continue through practice and see where he’s at. I don’t think you can just say, ‘Hey, you’re starting’ all of a sudden to a kid. He still has to accountable to his performance in practice,” Pease explained. “He was taking first-team reps last week, he’s taking first-team reps this week, and we’ll go from there. He’s still got to step up to your performance. He’s gotten better, he deserves an opportunity, and he’s going to get that.”
Pease credits Brown having to work against talented sophomore edge rushers Dante Fowler, Jr. and Jonathan Bullard for his improvement but noted that much remains to be seen in how he will handle defenders that will attempt to outmaneuver him because it will be impossible for them to knock him down.
“That’s something you’ve got to find out. Knowing what we’ve seen in one-ons and going against our guys, the kid provides a lot more mass. At 360, you’re probably not going to get pushed back quite a bit and bull rushed,” he said. “That kind of limits maybe what other guys can do. So they’re going to use more speed factor to get around you. In doing that, you’ve got to be able to compensate for what they’re going to do. Sometimes it takes out some of their moves.”
A change may also becoming at left tackle as redshirt junior Max Garcia, who has started every game for UF at left guard this season, may move over a spot. That would put both of the Gators’ starting tackles, sophomore D.J. Humphries (left) and redshirt sophomore Tyler Moore (right), on the bench at the opening of Saturday’s contest.
“I think he’s been one of our most consistent guys,” Pease said of Garcia. “It’s tough on all the guys. When you go out to tackle, usually you’re used to being in a smaller area, and now all of the sudden you got an extension from your alignment cleared out to possibly the sidelines to what we call a C-gap. In how you got to set your angle for a pass set, it’s tough on a kid because they don’t get reps at it every single play if they are playing inside at times. So to really change within the game is hard on them.”
If Garcia does start at left tackle, redshirt senior Kyle Koehne would take his place as the starting left guard.
AN OFFENSIVE LINE (PART II)
To say that Pease is dismayed at the lack of effectiveness the offensive line has displayed would be an understatement. He admitted as much on Tuesday, noting that Florida has been exposed up front and the unit is not anywhere near as strong as it should be at this point.
“I think when you say ‘strength of the team,’ it’s because they’re experienced guys and guys that are loyal and they’re kind of rocks up front,” he said. “I still think they have to be our strength because what we’ve built and what we started with, if we can’t move anybody up front, at least in the run game, then we’re going to have, it’s going to be hard to produce, hard to move the ball. They’ve got to be the foundation of what we’ve built the whole thing on.”
In order to help out the Gators’ offensive front, the coaching staff appears to have focused on gap protections and moving the pocket in order to give the quarterback more time to throw the ball. Like head coach Will Muschamp said on Monday, the protections have been simplified in order to reduce thought and promote action.
“The thing we tried to go back and focus on simplifying is how much can we take off of them of what they really have to think and adjust. There’s still some that you’ve got to be able to do because defenses change their schemes and looks, their fronts, you’ve got to make sure you have answers to them. But as much as we can take off of communication line to execute more on the run and just play fast and not be thinking up to the immediate snap of the ball or at the snap of the ball, that’s what we’ve got to do. Now, can we totally take all that out? No, but we’ve got to try to eliminate some of it.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» On whether redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy (shoulder) threw the ball in practice on Monday: “Yeah, he threw. He threw and he was — it’s really been about two weeks where he hasn’t done. He’s thrown about 30 balls up ‘til yesterday. So you know his arm — his accuracy was off a little bit and just kind of getting back into the rhythm and the timing of everything and still kind of having to zip. I mean, he’s fine that way that he can throw, it’s just kind of getting back in that flow after you haven’t done anything for 14 days.”
» On whether Florida went away from freshman running back Kelvin Taylor too early against Missouri: “Looking back on it, I think when Kelvin came on, he kind of got in a flow. And then we were still using him. Sometimes he wasn’t in there and he probably should have because he got us going again. Once we got him downhill, and he had that one stretch of three or four runs, then he kind of hit it downhill and had a couple big plays, we geared into the runs that we wanted with him. We probably should’ve stayed with him and fed him a little bit more.”
» On why sophomore tight end Kent Taylor has not seen the field in 2013 despite playing as a freshman: “We had looked back on it and determined if he was ready or not, and he wasn’t ready at the time. We said this was going to be more of a time where we use him as a redshirt. … You got to be able to block in that position and run routes, and you gotta see that you can perform and your performance has got to show up. It’s more probably development at this stage. I think he’s got potential to meet those expectations. But I don’t know if his development is totally there. And not every kid’s going to be an immediate guy. He’s a kid that’s got to maintain weight to play in that position. He can’t be too light. And sometimes, I think in this sport, and at this level, you’ve got to give kids a chance to develop. It’s not going to be just because he catches a touchdown pass in a game. It’s gonna be one to two, sometimes three years. You go look at the good teams and the good players, they really start showing up their junior year. Some kids do it as sophomores, but junior year and senior year you hope they are still around here to continue to play and prepare themselves.”
» On the importance of maintaining confidence throughout a game: “We’ve been in such spots and had so many lulls. If you look at the Missouri game, we just had way too many negative plays. We’ve got to get back to where we’re, I think, you do got to find some confidence in what you do and have some belief and get in some rhythm of what you’re doing. Because if you don’t, you just continually kind of dig yourself down into a hole and it’s hard to get out of [it]. We’ve got to get out of that.”
» On Georgia’s defense: “They are obviously not as experienced as last year’s crew, but they still fit into the scheme. They’re very multiple in what they do. Because they’ll play a couple of different packages depending on what personnel you have in the game. And how they use (Leonard) Floyd and [Jordan Jenkins], they can cause complications to you because they’re all over the field and you don’t know if you’re ID’ing them as down linemen, linebackers.
“They cause problems that way. I think their kids play with a high intensity. Especially, you look at [Josh] Harvey-Clemons back there, he’s a rangy kid that can get to the ball. [Damian] Swann’s a kid, I’ve seen for two years even going back to when I was back at Boise State, that kid has gotten a lot better. He kind of anchors the secondary. [Amarlo] Herrera and [Ramik] Wilson on the inside are kids that are backers that are very consistent, who don’t come off the field. They fit them all into different packages. They’re either lined up as D-linemen, as ends, as backers, sometimes as what we call nickel Sams in coverage. They’re very multiple in what they can do. They’re good at disguising their coverages and how they get to their pressure scheme.”