Changes ahead for Florida Gators offensive staff

By Adam Silverstein
November 25, 2013

With head coach Will Muschamp‘s job secure and the Florida Gators in desperate need of improvement heading into the 2014 season, it is no secret that changes to to the team’s offensive staff are on the horizon after Saturday’s game against Florida State.

Muschamp made a point to hammer the offense’s lack of production after Florida’s loss to Georgia Southern, a move that appeared to make the unit and its coaches a scapegoat for the Gators’ overall struggles.

Though Florida’s defense has struggled in recent weeks, it has been overly impressive during Muschamp’s three years with the Gators. It has finished in the top 10 each of the last two years and is likely headed for a top 25 finish this season.

The team’s offense, on the other hand, has consistently been one of the worst in the nation. UF is currently ranked 110th in scoring offense and 111th in total offense, averaging just 19.9 points and 327.9 yards per game.

Offensive coordinator Brent Pease, who took the reins for that side of the ball in 2012, has failed to improve on the numbers of his his predecessor Charlie Weis. And the Gators’ offensive line, which was supposed to be much improved in 2013 in its second year under position coach Tim Davis, has struggled to find any consistency even before massive injuries struck the unit.

When jobs are lost and changes are made in the offseason – an inevitability at this point – it appears likely that Pease and Davis will be the first two looking for new forms of employment. CBSSports.com‘s Bruce Feldman, citing a source, reported Sunday that outsting Pease and Davis is already a done deal.

The Orlando Sentinel first confirmed Sunday, also citing a source, that changes to the offensive staff were ahead. A source close to the team told OnlyGators.com on Monday that changes would indeed be made on the offensive side of the ball but perhaps elsewhere in the program as well after the season.


Though it is usually best to wait until positions are vacant to begin discussing potential new hires, Sports Illustrated‘s Pete Thamel – in a column he wrote piggybacking off of one first published here on OnlyGators.com two weeks ago – notes that Jacksonville head coach Kerwin Bell, a former Florida quarterback, is a “big name to take over at offensive coordinator.” He also reports that Western Kentucky offensive line coach Neil Callaway is a “strong candidate” to replace Davis.

A source close to Bell told OnlyGators.com on Monday that there is “not much to share” at this time regarding the coach and any potential offer or interest from Florida.

Muschamp interviewed Bell for the Gators’ vacant offensive coordinator position in Dec. 2011, one of approximately a dozen candidates he spoke with either by phone or in person about the job. Florida played Ohio State in the 2012 Gator Bowl and Muschamp met with Bell while his team was preparing for the game in Jacksonville, FL.

“Kerwin is an outstanding football coach. He’s done an outstanding job at Jacksonville. We had a great meeting,” he said at the time. “He’s a Gator and he’s a guy that I’ve got a lot of respect for in this profession and is certainly qualified for this job.”

Muschamp ultimately chose to hire Pease, who picked UF over a similar offer from Alabama head coach Nick Saban. Current Gators running backs coach Brian White would have been tabbed as coordinator had Pease taken Saban’s offer.

17 Comments

  1. Spokane gator says:

    Please, please hire Bell! Do this and start or incoming freshmen QB and I will easily forgive this year!

  2. gatorboi352 says:

    “Muschamp made a point to hammer the offense’s lack of production after Florida’s loss to Georgia Southern, a move that appeared to make the unit and its coaches a scapegoat for the Gators’ overall struggles.”

    You keep saying this, but I think it’s only you that has this outlook. The offense has been piss poor for 3 years, and Muschamp was tired of making excuses for it.

    Look, this is Muschamp’s job to fix at the end of the day, there is no debate there. But I think it’s clearly evident that Pease and his offensive staff is not who we thought they were. Noah Brindise also noted on the Steve Russell Show today that he has noticed all year how little interaction the offensive staff has had with the QB and line men on the sidelines during the games.

    • And you keep making that comment despite there being numerous other articles on numerous other sites making the same (or at least a similar) contention.

      The defense has been horrid over the later half of the season at times and was the primary reason the Gators lost this Saturday. The defense. Not the offense.

      The offense is atrocious and changes have to be made. But he’s completely putting the blame on that unit and scapegoating his staff on that side of the ball.

      Muschamp is the head coach not just the defensive coordinator.

      When Florida’s offense was piss-poor under Meyer in 2010, he did his best to fix it before the Georgia game, which Florida won, and the Gators ended the year respectably.

      • gatorboi352 says:

        “The defense has been horrid over the later half of the season at times and was the primary reason the Gators lost this Saturday. The defense. Not the offense.”

        Ha. God forbid they FINALLY cracked with a walk on LB out there no less. The offense is the root problem of every other aspect of this team. Sure the defense gave up 400+ yards rushing. What was the offense doing the whole game? What has the offense been doing the whole year? Muschamp’s whole tenure?

        • Ziggy says:

          I agree with you gatorboi. Just think how good the defense could be if the offense is putting up points and making the other team one dimensional.

  3. Joe says:

    This is going to sound like a public announcement but it’s important to mention.

    Gator fans, please support our seniors in their final game in the Swamp this weekend. While it may be tough to watch this will be their last game for the O&B and they deserve a proper sendoff. They have worked through a lot of difficult years and have remained true to our university. They deserve a full stadium no matter what the outcome.

    • gary says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Please folks, put aside the bitchefest for one weekend and send these excellent kids off with good support indicative of a Gator Nation that has seen so much success the last few decades.

  4. Champ supporter says:

    Adam do you know of any articles or resources that cite what type of offense Bell runs? Or do you happen to know? Also Adam, do you think Muschamp throwing the offense under the bus will affect potential hires as far as worrying about their head coach throwing them under if things get tough?

  5. Spokane gator says:

    You are absolutely correct Adam. GA Southern does not hang 26 on a good SEC defense. It was no surprise that they would run the ball, and he barely mentioned the lack of D. Our offense is ruin through a QB that should be running the practice squad, Muschamp could have at least spread the blame around where it belonged. And our defense hasn’t been bad for three years, it’s bad since the Addazio debacle.

  6. gatorboi352 says:

    Man, if we thought there was a disconnect between the offensive staff and the offensive production on the field up to this point, I can only imagine what the practices will look like this week leading up til game day. I wonder if Pease even showed up to work today with these reports floating around.

  7. Todd says:

    Dear Jeremy Foley,
    Hire Kerwin Bell. No coordinator from outside the “family” would want to walk into a possible lame duck head coaching situation. Kerwin is one of us. If he can right the ship on O and Will still struggles, make Kerwin the head coach after next season. And have his son Kade walk on at QB. He would be another “coach” on the field when real coaches aren’t allowed contact with players. Bring KB home to Gainesville!!

  8. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Just cannot emphasize enough how important it is to GO TO THE GAME this week and support our Srs!. They have done everything they were asked to do and this is their LAST GAME as Gators (since ‘champ has managed to coach us out of a bowl game). Please do not take out our issues with the coaching on the players!

  9. Nick Norris says:

    I believe AD Foley hired a young, assistant coach he believed would evolve into a leader and it’s not happening. At this level a head coach doesn’t have to be a genius at offense or defense but, he has to be a leader.

  10. Tanner says:

    “You are absolutely correct Adam. GA Southern does not hang 26 on a good SEC defense.”

    Yeah, GA Southern only hangs 21 on a good SEC defense. That won the national championship. In 2011.

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