11/8: Weis evaluates Brantley, center, players

By Adam Silverstein
November 8, 2011

As the Florida Gators prepare for their next road contest against the No. 13 South Carolina Gamecocks on Nov. 12 in Columbia, SC, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis met with the media on Tuesday to discuss his team’s upcoming contest.

BRANTLEY’s BACK AND HELD IN HIGH REGARD

Though he returned two weeks ago against Georgia, redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley has been anything but 100 percent over the last two games. His ankle injury may be subsiding, but Brantley dinged up his arm in the fourth quarter against Vanderbilt and sat the final few series. He did not practice Monday but was supposed to return to the field Tuesday, something Weis confirmed after practice. “John looked pretty good. He could have practiced yesterday. He got more rest and the other guys got more work. That worked out for everyone. He took almost all the reps today,” Weis said.

He also discussed the pistol set and said he did not install it against Georgia because Brantley was so banged up that he could not have even run plays like that. Nevertheless, he is impressed with how quickly Brantley picked up the changes and believes it is indicative of the type of player he is dealing with. “I wish I had him another year. I’d love to have him,” Weis said. “He’ll move on and I don’t think his football playing career will end when he leaves here.”

Weis also praised Brantley for his strong mental makeup and gumption, two things he certainly needed to have after a rough 2010 season. “I like the fact that when I got here he was a beaten down young man, and he stood as tall as you can possibly stand. That’s what I like more than anything else,” he said. “You don’t think these kids hear the boo birds when they come off the field? They hear it. They take it to heart. There is no doubt that the team looks to him as the leader of the team. That’s something that I didn’t know whether or not that would happen or not, but they definitely do.”

ROBEY REPLACING HARRISON?
[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]Many wondered why redshirt junior Sam Robey did not win the starting job in the preseason and how redshirt sophomore Jonotthan Harrison, who had not played the position in years, was able to supplant him. Now nine games in, it looks as if Robey may be regaining the job due to Harrison struggling with his snaps.

In addition to a few high snaps that Brantley has had to jump on this season, Harrison’s shotgun snaps have been a bit low, something that is messing up the timing of plays. “That’s why we made a change in the game because the timing of when the back gets the ball – whether its protection related or in the run game – it’s significant,” Weis said about pulling Harrison for Robey on Saturday.

Weis added that Robey has taken reps as the starter this week but did not mention whether or not Harrison has as well. “One thing we’re not going to do is just stand pat,” he said. “We’re going to make sure we put ourselves in the best position whether we’re underneath center or in the shotgun.”

Should Harrison lose his job, he could regain a starting guard job, possibly supplanting redshirt senior Dan Wenger who has been dealing with various injuries.

PLAYER EVALUATIONS

Freshman fullback Hunter Joyer: “For a young guy, his arrow is pointing way up. He’s still figuring it out, but he’s a football player. He’s got good football intelligence. He’s physical and he’s not even playing as physical as he can yet because he’s still feeling his way through.” Weis said he was in for more than 30 snaps during the game and will be a great player to run inside zones with and pound the ball in the future.

Senior running back Jeff Demps: “When he puts his foot in the ground and accelerates, he has that track explosion. There aren’t that many people that have explosion like that. Once he plants his foot in the ground, he can explode.”

Freshman QB Jacoby Brissett: “On the play [that drew a pass interference call], which was a bootleg, I told him that they were bringing a lot of heat and to expect some pressure coming off the right edge and he might have to bail out a little bit to bide him some time. Fortunately he’s athletic enough to do that. He saw nothing shallow […] and went to the deep route and they were all over Frankie. He made a couple plays with his athleticism in the game. […] It doesn’t surprise me that he’s making those plays. He’s shown since the first game he was out there that he has pretty good composure.”

Redshirt freshman QB Tyler Murphy (possibly changing positions): “This is game 10. We’re just worrying about getting the team ready to play South Carolina. Those questions are ones that are answered in the offseason, they’re not answered in the middle of the season.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» Redshirt senior RB Chris Rainey practiced in full on Tuesday and is expected to be active for Saturday’s game on the road against South Carolina.

» On the penalties decreasing last week: “The head coach made it a point of emphasis, which he has been every week. The players played with more discipline, and I think that’s the way you have to play. You have to play with more discipline. There’s going to be an occasional holding call, but line of scrimmage penalties – especially playing at home – are things you have to avoid and eliminate.”

» On the offensive production disparity between halves: “We only had the ball three possessions in the second half. Sometimes you have to take that into account. I always look at why drives work or why they falter. The more possessions you have, the more opportunities you have to go out there and score. So when you play a game like that and only get three possessions in the second half except kneel down, you have to make the most of them.”[/EXPAND]

2 Comments

  1. npgator says:

    Brantley has looked very good this year and I too wish he was here another year.

  2. G8Rgrad98 says:

    I totally agree npgator… And furthermore anyone that has anything negative to say about John’s performance & leadership this year are not true Gators. It’s time to give the kid a break, to all the negative people out there, what if John was your kid putting his heart & soul into the team while getting verbally assaulted by some of the fan base (& I do use that term lightly)… Go Gators!!!!!!

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