10/31: Muschamp’s Monday press conference

By Adam Silverstein
October 31, 2011

Head coach Will Muschamp meets with the media each week to wrap-up the previous Saturday’s game and look ahead to the Florida Gators next opponent. Florida fell 24-20 to the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday and is beginning to prepare for a homecoming game against the Vanderbilt Commodores on Nov. 5. Below are some of the most important notes and quotes from the availability.

WEEKLY INJURY AND ABSENCE UPDATES

Muschamp said Monday that redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley felt “fine” after the game and much better than the training staff would have thought. The plan is to get him back under center this week, something the team will probably wait until midweek to begin testing. “Sometimes when you come off of being inactive, rehabbing an ankle when having an injury, and you come out and you’re on it for 60 minutes in a ballgame, sometimes you would expect some lingering effects from it,” he explained. “We don’t feel like he had any.”

Redshirt junior cornerback Jeremy Brown (knee) remains sidelined and has not done any practicing with the team – just rehab. “We’re still holding out hope,” Muschamp said. “he has kind of shut it down at this point. He’s in there with our medical, which is doing an outstanding job. he’s trying to work through that at this time right now.”

Junior running back Mike Gillislee (ankle), redshirt junior kicker Caleb Sturigs (leg), redshirt junior Sam linebacker Lerentee McCray (shoulder) and sophomore cornerback Cody Riggs (wrist) will all hopefully be back in action on Wednesday, he added. “We feel like most or all of these guys will be available for the game unless something happens this week,” Muschamp noted. Sturgis in particular was planning to kick for Florida on Saturday but felt a “twinge” in his leg during warm-ups and was therefore held out with sophomore Brad Phillips taking his place and doing quite well.

GAME AND OPPONENT STATEMENTS
[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]

“You have a hard time winning against good football teams in this league when you don’t capitalize on your opportunities and you give them more opportunities in the game. That was very disappointing. Offensively we moved the ball well in the first half, but our inability to run the football became a one-dimensional game. They have some decent pass rushers on the edge and they were able to affect the quarterback in the game and really disrupt some things we were trying to do in the throwing game. We’ve got to find ways to run the football. We’re continuing to look at that. Some things we had planned in the game, we didn’t do. The first two series of the second half we were backed up coming off of our goal line there. We had some success in the first half. We have to go back and look at the things we did well; we have to identify those and move forward.

Defensively I thought we played solid. We had some opportunities to make some stops there at the end and didn’t get it done. The two fourth-down passes, we were in position to make the plays and Georgia won because they made those plays and we didn’t. We’ve got to finish those plays and those things. As a staff, we’ll continue to work and put those kids in those situations in practice and continue to improve. That falls on my shoulders. Special teams, I was very proud of Brad Philips and the job he did stepping in for Caleb. Brad is a guy that has worked extremely hard and certainly taken advantage of his opportunities. I’m very proud of the job he did in the game. […] Our kickoff coverage and our kickoff return units were outstanding. D.J. Durkin continues to do a nice job with our special teams.”

He also spoke about Florida’s next opponent on Nov. 5, Vanderbilt.

“James Franklin is doing an outstanding job with his football team. You watch these guys on tape and they play hard. They’re very well coached. They’re multiple offensively in what they do; they give you a lot of different looks. They have gone with Jordan Rodgers, as a quarterback is a guy who runs extremely well, is a good athlete and throws the ball well. […] Defensively they’re leading or second in the SEC in interceptions with 15. They’re a pressure outfit. They come after you a pretty good bit. They do a nice job of mixing things up as far as the different ways they try and pressure you. And they attack you in special teams.”

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS

Why is the team reluctant to run between the tackles?
“We did a little bit but we weren’t very effective. When we ran more lateral run game, we weren’t very effective. We got a lot of vertical penetration inside. Some things we went into the game and felt good about they did a nice job of taking away. When we ran it inside, we weren’t very productive with it. That’s what led us to throwing the ball a good bit.” Muschamp added that without Brantley for a few games, Florida could not stretch the field vertically. The Gators have also played much better defense recently and, on Saturday, Brantley not playing from under center also inhibited their ability to run.

Are you concerned about the play of junior tackle Xavier Nixon:
“Xavier has played well for us; he played well for us before we got here. You look at the positives. He’s done some positive things, too. We all want to focus on everything that’s negative. You look at the positive things and build off those and you try to be technical in your corrections. Is it a technique issue? Is it a set issue? Is it an alignment issue? Did the quarterback hold the ball too long? Not everything is on the offensive line. Anytime a sack happens, everybody wants to point the finger at the offensive line and that wasn’t the case Saturday” Muschamp said a number of other things happen in the game – a running back could miss a chip block, wrong formations and sets can be chosen, etc.

Was there a consideration not to go with Brantley on Saturday?
“We discussed it but we felt like John gives us the best opportunity to win the football game. We talked to John every series about his ankle, where he was with it and how he felt as far as his mobility was concerned, different things we could try in the run game, different things we could try formation wise to help us out as far as giving us a different look. As we continued to push through the game, we felt like John gave us the best opportunity. There is no question in my mind about that.”

Why was Florida unable to get off the field on fourth down?
“You create some situations in practice – jump ball situations – and you try to get the ball off the guy. You work a little more red zone cover routes. Again, as a coach, there’s a lot of different things you can approach as far as working at it. When you get that opportunity again – when you’re sitting out there in front of 90,000 people – you make the play. I have confidence in both players that they will make the play.”

Does the impatience of Gators fans bother you?
“Not at all. Not at all. No. Not at all.”

Will offensive coordinator Charlie Weis remain in the booth?
“We had some procedural issues obviously as far as communication was concerned. That’s something we’re working through right now to see if we benefit by still doing that. We’re in discussions about that right now.”

How do you punish players for committing penalties?
“We have different forms of punishment. A lot of situations we take the guy off the field. Some situations in our football team right now we’re a little bit thin, quite frankly. So we’re doing the best we can do.” Muschamp is insinuating that normally a player who commits a penalty would be pulled from the game for at least a few plays, but their lack of depth roster-wise inhibits that type of punishment.

NOTES AND QUOTES

» Muschamp on the mood of the team: “We had a good meeting this morning. I told them we’re going to saddle up and continue to work and continue to press forward and be technical in our approach about the things we did well, the things we didn’t do well, and understand and learn from the film and continue to move forward. We’ve got an experience staff. We’ve got a staff that has been through tough times before and understands that part of it. It’s our job to bring a young team through this and that’s what we’re doing right now. We’ll stay upbeat and be technical about the situation – what you’re doing well and what you’re not doing well.”

» Muschamp on if freshman Jacoby Brissett remains the backup quarterback: “Right now Jacoby would be the No. 2 quarterback. We’ll continue to move forward with that. We create situations within practice where they all are getting reps. We’ll continue to evaluate that. It’s no different than any other position. The guy that plays the best and performs the best in practice deserves the chance to play, and Jeff’s a part of that.”

» Muschamp on why he cannot run the ball like he wants to: “It’s not about what you want to do. It’s about what you can do. We got to do a better job figuring out what we can do. We haven’t done a very good job of that the last couple of weeks.”

» Muschamp on freshman tight end A.C. Leonard being absent on Saturday: “He had a personal issue to handle. He’s fine. He was here this morning and we’re good to go.”

» Muschamp on if he takes losing hard: “There’s nothing good about it. There’s no moral victories. There’s nothing. You deal with it. You watch the film, you’re technical in your approach, you don’t get emotional with the players with it. You show what you did well, what you didn’t do well, what you got to do to improve yourself as a player, as a coach and a football team. The first person you look at is yourself. Too many people in our society want to point a finger at somebody else or blame somebody else for why something happened. I tell the players, ‘When we play well, it’s because you guys did a good job preparing yourself. When you didn’t, it’s my fault.’ That’s the way we do things around here. I don’t ever get over a loss. You live with them for a long time. I learned in this league you better move to the next week. We have another quality opponent on the horizon. You move on with it. When the season is over with it, you sit down, but you don’t ever get over a loss. I don’t.”[/EXPAND]

29 Comments

  1. G8trpls says:

    Sturgis felt a “twing”..those dang Twinges. I think this entire team is a bunch of soft heartless losers. Except maybe the front 7 on D.

    • G8trpls says:

      …Led by a undisciplined pair of coaches, Muschamp and Weis. Hence the 15 penalties a game. Muschamps’ antics on the sideline are counter productive. And Weis is just a complete failure without Tom Brady, plus he’s a sloppy fat slob.

      • Mr2Bits says:

        Except for the fact that he took a hopeless Chiefs team and completely turned them around into a playoff team. Just because people have weight problems does not mean they don’t care about their team/players and are a good coach.

        You should put your foot in your mouth before you make yourself look more ignorant. If you don;t like our coaches or their weight, jump off the wagon you hopped on in 2006 because you clearly aren’t a fan I want associated with my alma mater

  2. gator says:

    So are we going to go thru 1/2 of next year trying to figure out who will be the QB. LETS NOT, No more Brantly lets get on with the Transition. NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. John S says:

    Muschamp decided to install new systems his personnel couldn’t play and that not even his seniors would know how to play and he’s surprised at the results. Well we play like a team of rookies, because that’s what we are. Instead off building off and refining what was here, what has won championships, he decided to overhaul everything. He then kicked the best player off our team and made a number of current players unusable leading to transfers.

    He was naive to expect anything different. He has a lot of work left, work he brought on himself. He needs to get to it.

  4. Ryan says:

    It’s hard to teach discipline when your head coach is screaming like a mad man over every little thing. Try practicing what you preach coach.

  5. Aligator says:

    okay everyone … this was to be expected this year …

  6. Aligator says:

    Adam, i have read where weis and muschamp are inferring they want bigger backs to run the ball? where has mack brown been this year and why don’t they line trey burton up and let him run the rock?

    • CeeThree says:

      I agree about Trey, have him dot the I with Joyer in front of him. However, I’ve never understood everyone’s obsession with Mack Brown. We’ve never seen him play, and the thing that puzzles me the most is he’s not even that big so why does everyone think he’s the bulldozing answer?

    • Mark says:

      Trey Burton sucks. He is not the answer at any position.

      Can Matt Jones get here already?

    • Trey isn’t really a running back even though that’s his position. He’s more of a H-back who can catch passes and do some blocking. Mack Brown, well, there seems to be a learning issue with him, let’s just put it that way.

      • Aligator says:

        I think he would Trey would make a hell of a tailback in this offense. I guess you can not fix Mack Brown’s problem that easily??

  7. Joe says:

    Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In Gainesville it’s known as “The Florida Way”

  8. aziatic41 says:

    Hey guys we all can go on all day about the negatives and things that have gone wrong this year. Fact is, a insiders expected this to be a rebuilding year and we all knew it. The UGA loss was very sour, one of the most sour losses a man can take. As far a Muschamp being the right fit, I was a little worried about this when Foley hired him at first, like a lot of people. But I figured Muschamp’s NFL experience would maybe overcome my skepticism. I was skeptical about him being a vocal defensive coordinator transforming into a head coach and also the fact that he was coming off a losing season at Texas with really no positive momentum coming in. I wanted us to hire Bob Stoops(Oklahoma), Gary Patterson(TCU), or Chris Peterson(Boise St), all coaches who have been successful and run the spread exciting offense like Urban did. Those guys seemed to be a better fit for our program.

    When Muschamp announced he would change our spread offense into a pro-style offense I really questioned that, because I knew our roster was filled with exclusively Urban Meyer spread system guys, who are mostly speed guys and very small, which does not fit in well for a pro-style system. UF has always been a spread offensive team and I hated the thought of not watching our team running the exciting spread offense anymore. Jeff Driskel has pro-style skills but Urban recruited him to run the spread system which I think is a better fit for Driskel. But lets give Muschamp a chance to bring in his players like we did with Urban before we start saying he is a failure. Its very hard to win with a team full of true freshman and sophomores and two undersized rbs in the SEC. This is not the Big East or Big 12 guys, this is the SEC, a league full of teams with studs who will be playing on Sundays..

    On a more positive note, I think our defense has really improved the last two games especially our d-line. The D matured and is responding better to adversity.

    If the D keeps improving I really think we can beat South Carolina in a few more weeks. FSU has a lot of playmakers, so I’m not sure about us beating them yet. But we have a nice shot at winning the remaining games on our schedule. If we can beat USC and FSU, I feel like this could still be perceived as a good season.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      You make some good points in your post, however UF hasn’t always been a spread offense, the fun and gun was a pro style offense. It was only under Meyer that we went to spread, but he was extremely talented at adjusting the offense to suit the personnel he had. Weis apparently is unable to do that, he is set in his ways and he is going to run his offense whoever he has. This team shouldn’t be as deep in rebuilding as you make out. While we are lacking in depth, and the injuries have hurt, we thought we had a lot more than we apparently have. Gillislee and Brown were advertised as bruising between the tackle backs that could grind it out. Brantley is a talented pro-style qback. Andfe Debose supposedly one of the best receivers we had ever recruited. Defense young but extremely talented, especially at the point of attack. Estimates were anywhere from 8-4 if things broke bad to 10-2 if things broke well. This was never supposed to be a 6-6 or 5-7 type season (5-7 extremely unlikely, vandy is better, but they shouldn’t win in the swamp, no matter how down people are right now thinking it will happen).

      We have been hammered by critical injuries but more importantly there is no discipline at all in these players. This coaching staff has not figured out how to instill mental discipline on the players, therefore they make mental mistakes with penalties, have communication errors because people arent listening to play caling on defense or blocking schemes on offense. We would certainly be 6-2 right now instead of 4-4 if not for that. We left a ton of points on the field saturday. intercept inside the 15 yd line and penalties push us completely out of reasonable FG range let alone a TD that could have basicaly put the game away right there. How many drives stalled because of dumb penalties, or UGA drives extended?

      Meyers first year had a decent skill set of players just like this team was and he was able to adjust to what he had and slowly transition them into what he wanted. This staff doesnt seem to be able to do that, nor do they seem capable of maturing and molding young man rather than just handling primadonna NFL atitudes.

  9. Joe says:

    I just want to say that as bad as the season is this team has many positives to look forward to. This isn’t an easy transition for our linemen, who have to transition from spread blocking schemes to power blocking schemes. Nor is it easy to run the ball with two 175 lb backs, but these are our most talented players. They should be the ones to win or lose. Things will change as this team goes into it’s second season as a pro-style team. Our defense will solidify and our line will have another year of the system to call back on. Not to mention there is nothing more motivating than making up for a terrible season. This is painful to watch but it’s not the end of the world. The rest of the SEC is improving as shall we, it will just take some more time. If we don’t see a significant improvement next season, then you’re all right to call for the coaches heads, but right now, these are just growing pains in the toughest conference in the nation.

    Also take the Georgia game with a grain of salt, we had no run game and they were only able to beat us by 4 points through some amazing completions. This team is far from good but it can and should get much better in the coming year.

  10. jay d says:

    Our defense is the only bright spot so far…and with finding a new starter next season I have a feeling our offense isn’t going to improve much over the course of 2 sseasons…I’m still not convinced brisset or driskel can be productive qb’s for the gators next year…if we were still running the spread…I would have a little more faith in those two…everyone keeps refferring to sabans 1st year at alabama ….bbut the difference is saban had prior head coaching expieriance…muschamp didn’t…he is learning on the job at a prime time school in a prime time league…no bueno!

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Not sure what a bright spot the D has been. they have what, 2 ints and 1 fumble recovery on the year? The line has trouble geteting pressure on the QB, the backs have been ok, and done fairly well in man on man, but they have missed at critical times. Most importantly, it seems like Bostic is the only one on the D who actually tries to wrap up when he tackles. The others just hit hard and hope he goes down but gets an extra 5-10 yds when keeps balance.

      • g8ter27 says:

        Our Defense:
        Powell: Huge over hyped player and under-acheiver so far. I still have high hopes for him as he is only a true sophomore so next year will tell the tale.
        Easely: Great potential, notice they take him ou quite a bit, not sure why but he is going to be good if he doesn’t go on an assault carze.
        Floyd: Going to be a pretty good player, not all american but a good SEC tackle.
        Elam: Going to be a very good safety.
        Roberson: Will be our best db of all of them..yeah people may think that is crazy but lets check back this time next year.
        Bostic: average LB
        Jenkins: average LB and playing out of position
        Overall the D won’t be too bad next year.

        Our young QBs will suck likely. Not because they do, but ecause they are not being coached worth a damn. I don’t get it with Weiss there and all but Brantley is no better this year and Weiss sitting next to them between series on the bench eating a taco isn’t doing it.

        • Ken (CA) says:

          Brantley did everything asked of him until injured, and even then did more, he is awesome, no matter what some here think. Our young QBs got good experience playing in tough environments, really surprised that Brisett has surpased Driskel, but all 3 are NFL bound. I meant Elam leading the , not Bostic,both are great players tho, especially Elam. We hae several NFL ballers on both sides of the ball, they just need to grow up and this staff isnt seeming to be able to mature them.

          there is so much talent on this team that has been wasted, I hope the coaching staff wakes up and takes it to heart.

          I as well as someone earlier posted expected Petersen to be the next coach but coach boom wanted to give the opportunity to succeed, but he has been very disappointing…his antics on the sideline aside, he and Weis have not managed our talent well, and not taken any advantage of it. I am very disappointed in the coaching staff so far, not the losses, I believe they have come due to the coaching, not the players. Weis showed he couldnt be a good head coach at notre dame, Muschamp seems to be showing it at UF that he doesnt have what it takes as well, great coordinators, neither good top dogs…

  11. ncgator says:

    Those of us looking forward to a significantly better year in 2012 better take a deep breath. While most of the team returns, our two most potent offensive starters (Rainey and Demps) are gone. Thankfully, Bantley is also gone. I’ve had just about enough of him. With that in mind, Brissett and Driskel need to start the rest of the season. It makes no sense to continue with Brantley when the other two desparately need the playing time to prepare for next year. Muschamp has to hope he keeps this recruiting class together in addition to somehow landing additonal playmakers at the receiver and running back positions. Matt Jones may be THE guy, but he’s only one. I still don’t see the deep threat receivers and that’s a must in a pro-style offense. To me, this recruiting class is critical to Muschamps success and if it falls apart he’s in trouble.

  12. scooterp says:

    Here we go ……….. fire Muschamp! Weis is worthless! Good god, is this a Semihole mesaage board? This just in – I don’t care who was coaching this team this year, we would not be in Atlanta in December. Your whine’n and belly-ache’n is embarrassing. You can’t develop a championship caliber team in 9 months after completely overhauling the coaching staff. The players on this team didn’t show anything last year and the ones that did are in the NFL now. Its way to early to put up firemuschamp.com websites. With the players that bailed campus (or got thrown out) and QB injuries, I don’t know what you expected. Building a team takes time. All I heard from blogging nerds for the last year is ‘thank god we are abandoning the spread’ and ‘we need a coach who won’t put up with the off-field lawlessness’ – well, we hired him. So, lets get through 1 season and see who we bring in in February before making stupid comments about the coaching staff.

    • HardToKillGator says:

      You have it right. It all reminds me of listening to my ex-wife’s lawyer telling the Judge what kind of husband I was.

  13. aziatic41 says:

    John Brantley has improved some this year but lets face it guys, every since he’s been the qb/leader of our football team we have had some of the worst losses in our program’s history dating back to last year. When you try to fix a problem you have to go to the source. Who is the source? John Brantley is because he is our qb. Brantley is a horrible athlete, with no speed, a paper arm, and no clutch gene at all to make big plays in 4th quarters. So what that means guys, he has to go. We may finish this season on a good note with him or not but fact remains he must go. This team needs a knew identity and it starts with the qb.

    Also I really think Muschamp should look into to junior college ranks to add an experienced qb to our team. Brissett and Driskel will only be true sophomores next year, so they will still be extremely young. I really think Brissett and Driskel are going to be great players but its going to take time. But being a UF fan, like others, I want to see wins now.

    • Eli says:

      I forgot that a team’s play is totally dependent on a quarterback. I guess unless we get the next Tim Tebow, we’re screwed, right?

      Maybe instead of recruiting O-linemen, bigger running backs, and more defensive help, we should focus all our efforts on making sure we get the next great quarterback.

  14. aziatic41 says:

    @Eli, Hey dude can you name one sports team that has won a championship without a good quarterback, point guard, or catcher? I’m waiting…

    • Eli says:

      2000 Baltimore Ravens, 2002 Tampa Bay Bucs, LSU in 2007, Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001, shall I continue?

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