Muschamp: Time to “quit talking, start playing”

With the Florida Gators finally set to begin 2012 fall practice on Friday, head coach Will Muschamp and dozens of the players met with the media to discuss the upcoming season. Below are some highlights from Muschamp’s press conference, which lasted over 40 minutes. Though all practices will be closed to both fans and media, Florida has decided to hold fan day on Saturday, August 18, which will include a special open practice at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (9-11 a.m.) followed by fan activities in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center (3-6 p.m.).

INJURY UPDATES

» Sophomore cornerback Marcus Roberson (neck): fully cleared to practice
» Senior defensive lineman Nick Alajajian (back): “slowed” for the first 10 days
» Freshman tight end Colin Thompson (foot): “slowed” for the first 7-10 days, limited but practicing some after having foot surgery in the spring
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Stephen Alli (leg): cleared by middle of camp
» Freshman defensive back Marcus Maye (knee): cleared by middle of camp
» Junior buck linebacker Ronald Powell (torn ACL): “knee has…taken well to surgery”

”WE NEED TO QUIT TALKING AND WE NEED TO START PLAYING”

As he did when he took over the program last season, Muschamp is once again taking a no-nonsense attitude into this season. He said early in his press conference that he is just as dismayed at the Gators’ record over the last two seasons as fans are and that he wants the team focused on improving day in and day out.

“We just got done with a team meeting. I said, ‘At 15-11 at the University of Florida [over the last two years], we need to quit talking and we need to start playing, at the end of the day. Let’s get on the field and play,’” Muschamp said.

Part of getting ready to play is building toughness in training camp. Muschamp hoped Florida would be able to practice with great physicality a year ago but insists that will be the case no matter what in 2012.

“Obviously more contact drills and some different things that we can do,” he said on what can be done differently. “A little bit of our issues last year was because of numbers, at the end of the day. We had a hard time, at times, especially as you work into camp and you have some attrition because of injuries in your roster. It’s hard to simulate game day situations when you’re only working with one line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. That was the case last year. That’s not going to be the case this year.”

BRISSETT? DRISKEL? BRISSETT AND DRISKEL?

With quarterback being the most important position on the football field, it should be no surprise that the battle between sophomores Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel continues to be the hottest topic of conversation surrounding the team.

“Everybody wants to ask me about the quarterback position. I’ll be honest with you, I feel really good about that position because we got two really good players competing that are going to make each other better, our offense better and our team better,” Muschamp said.

He added that he cannot put a timeframe on when he will pick a starter but noted that decision-making, commanding the huddle and making big-time plays on the field will be the keys in determining who gets the job.

“We’ll know when the decision is right. I really feel that way. I’ve always felt that way about every position. You’ll know when it’s right,” he said.

Read much, much more from Muschamp at media day…after the break!
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New Gators footballers pick uniform numbers

Athletes care about their uniform numbers and now that Florida Gators football team is days away from returning to the practice field in preparation for the 2012 season, it was time for the team’s newest members to choose theirs. Below is the full list of additions and changes, according to the University of Florida‘s latest roster:

TRANSFERS
» No. 4 – Damien Jacobs (Scooba, MS), JUCO transfer defensive tackle
» No. 76 – Max Garcia (Norcross, GA), redshirt* junior transfer offensive lineman

FRESHMEN
» No. 6 – Dante Fowler, Jr. (St. Petersburg, FL), five-star Buck linebacker
» No. 12 – Antonio Morrison (Bolingbrook, IL), four-star linebacker
» No. 13 – Latroy Pittman (Citra, FL), four-star wide receiver
» No. 16 – Austin Hardin (Atlanta, GA), three-star kicker
» No. 17 – Skyler Mornhinweg (Philadelphia, PA), three-star quarterback
» No. 18 – Kent Taylor (Land O’Lakes, FL), four-star tight end
» No. 20 – Marcus Maye (Melbourne, FL), four-star safety
» No. 24 – Brian Poole (Bradenton, FL), four-star defensive back
» No. 24 – Matt Jones (Seffner, FL), four-star running back
» No. 27 – Willie Bailey (Hallandale, FL), three-star defensive back
» No. 28 – Jeremi Powell (Largo, FL), four-star linebacker
» No. 29 – Rhaheim Ledbetter (Shelby, NC), three-star safety
» No. 70 – D.J. Humphries (Charlotte, NC), five-star offensive tackle
» No. 74 – Jessamen Dunker (Boynton Beach, FL), four-star offensive lineman
» No. 84 – Colin Thompson (Warminster, PA), four-star tight end
» No. 86 – Raphael Andrades (Tallahassee, FL), three-star wide receiver
» No. 90 – Jonathan Bullard (Shelby, NC), five-star defensive end
» No. 94 – Bryan Cox, Jr. (Fort Lauderdale, FL), three-star defensive lineman
» No. 95 – Alex McCalister (Clemmons, NC), three-star linebacker
» No. 96 – Jafar Mann (Stone Mountain, GA), three-star defensive lineman
» No. 98 – Quinteze Williams (Tyrone, GA), three-star defensive lineman

NUMBER CHANGES
» No. 1 – Jon Bostic, senior linebacker (formerly No. 52)
» No. 1 – Quinton Dunbar, redshirt sophomore wide receiver (formerly No. 84)
» No. 6 – Jeff Driskel, sophomore quarterback (formerly No. 16)
» No. 9 – Josh Evans, senior safety (formerly No. 24)
» No. 10 – Valdez Showers, redshirt freshman defensive back (formerly No. 20)
» No. 12 – Jacoby Brissett, sophomore quarterback (formerly No. 17)
» No. 20 – Omarius Hines, redshirt senior tight end (formerly No. 82)
» No. 32 – Chris Johnson, sophomore running back (formerly No. 33)
» No. 88 – Clay Burton, sophomore tight end (formerly No. 86)

» Sophomore Tevin Westbrook remains listed as No. 97 on the latest roster despite moving from defensive end to tight end.

* Garcia is ineligible for the 2012-13 season due to NCAA transfer rules; he can practice with Florida and will be allowed to play beginning in 2013-14.

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Blue tops Orange 21-20 in 2012 Florida Gators Orange & Blue Debut – Postgame Report

More than 38,000 fans filed into Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday to watch the Florida Gators conclude spring practice with a live scrimmage in the 2012 Orange & Blue Debut. After combining to score just seven points in the first three quarters, Blue outscored Orange 21-13 in the final quarter to pull off a 21-20 victory.

“Really pleased with where we are at this point,” head coach Will Muschamp said after the scrimmage. “I feel much better standing here today than I did a year ago as far as where we are as a football team, our physicality as a team, our togetherness as a team as this moves forward. We got the right kind of guys. We just got to get better. There’s things we need to improve on.”

QUARTERBACKS STEP INTO THE SPOTLIGHT

Florida fans wanted to see a big-time competition from sophomores Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel and that is exactly what they got on Saturday. Brissett (9/16 for 233 yards and two touchdowns) and Driskel (12/14 for 147 yards) each had their good and bad moments on the field including long passes and over/under-thrown balls. Brissett hit freshman wide receiver Latroy Pittman with a great pass down the left sideline for 43 yards. He also connected on a bomb with junior Trey Burton that resulted in a touchdown and found redshirt sophomore WR Quinton Dunbar in the back of the end zone early in the game. Driskel completed a nice 44-yard pass to redshirt junior WR Andre Debose near the right sideline and also hit Burton on a deep pass that he brought inside the five. His accuracy and athleticism were both impressive as he was able to extend plays and make correct decisions.

“We saw that both those guys throw the ball extremely well. They’re both really good athletes and guys that can create some off-tempo plays for us as a football team,” Muschamp said. “It was very evident [how close they are]. You see both guys take command of our football team. Both guys made vertical plays down the field, good decisions where they took the ball. There’s no question you saw what I’ve been seeing for 14 practices previous [to Saturday]. I’ve said this before: We can win with both guys.”

Up next for the duo is managing the offense in the offseason. Muschamp wants to see how they rally the players for 11-on-11 drills and PRPs (player-run practices) without any influence from the coaching staff. “Those guys need to take the next step as far as that’s concerned,” he said.

As far as the players go, though both are working hard to earn the starting job, neither is taking the actual competition with their friend too seriously. “I love it. Coming out every day, competing against the No. 1 quarterback in the country a couple of years ago. It don’t get no better,” Brissett said. “I guess I’m slower so that’s what I’m lacking. Jeff is a great quarterback. He can make every throw that I can make, so it’s going to be tough to see what the real difference is. [...] I don’t got nothing wrong against him. I mean, I look better, but that’s just something he’s got to deal with.”

Driskel joked that he doesn’t play basketball with Brissett because his teammate is better in that area and said that the two are making sure the rivalry does not ruin their friendship even if he was not necessarily comfortable with his commitment in the first place. “I wasn’t excited about it at first but I realized they’re going to bring somebody in the next year. There’s always going to be competition. So I embraced that, and I think it’s made me better through the spring,” he said.

Check out the rest of the Orange & Blue Debut postgame report…after the break!
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2012 Orange & Blue Debut – Gameday Preview

Event: 2012 Orange & Blue Debut
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Time: 1:00 p.m. (EST)
Reference: Roster | Schedule

TV: Sun Sports (in Florida, some other national cable outlets) SiriusXM: 91
Online Video: FOXSportsFlorida.com (nationally outside of the state of Florida)
Live Updates: @OnlyGators
OGGOA Live Coverage: Live Chat from 12:45-3:30 p.m.

EVENT INFORMATION

» Gator Walk: North side of stadium, exterior, 10:30 a.m. start
» Parking: The following parking locations are available first-come, first-serve for fans wishing to attend the game – O’Connell Center garage, O’Connell Center lot (disabled), Commuter Lot (Lemerand Dr.) with shuttle
» Gates/Seating: Open gates – 7, 8, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18 (west concourse closed for renovations); Open seats – general admission in open areas with gates opening at 11:30
» Former Gators in attendance: S Ahmad Black, DE Alex Brown, S Teako Brown, RB Ran Carthon, K Jeff Chandler, LB Andra Davis, WR Chris Doering, DE Carlos Dunlap, RB Ciatrick Fason, WR Jacquez Green, WR Percy Harvin, TE Aaron Hernandez, RB Terry Jackson, FB Billy Latsko, QB Terry LeCount, WR Travis McGriff, C Maurkice Pouncey, C Mike Pouncey, RB Chris Rainey, RB Errict Rhett, CB Lito Sheppard, LB Brandon Spikes, RB Fred Taylor, WR Travis Taylor, DT Gerard Warren (and more).
» 2013 Commits in attendance: WR Rodney Adams, DT Caleb Brantley, LB James Hearns, OL Roderick Johnson, RB Adam Lane, LB Dillan Lawson, LB Daniel McMillian, DB Keanu Neal, LB Quinton Powell, RB Kelvin Taylor, DB Nick Washington
» 2013 Recruits in attendance (partial list courtesy of InsideTheGators.com): WR Ahmad Fullwood, WR Reggie Davis, WR Taj Williams, WR Alvin Bailey, RB Ryan Green, DB Mackerno Alexander, DB Tre Bell, DB Leon McQuay III, DB Marcell Harris, OL Josh Cardiello, DB Adrian Baker, WR Richard Benjamin, DB Reggie Wilkerson, DE Jonathan Allen, ATH Marcus Clark, LB Keith Kelsey, Jr., QB John O’Korn, OL Joshua Outlaw, WR Carlos Burse, OL Cameron Dillard, DE Joey Bosa, DE Demarcus Walker, DB Damonte Jones, DB Jamonte Jones (and more).

Additional information including the game format, injury report, team notes and who to keep an eye on all are available…after the break!
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3/21: Pease discusses players, philosophies

Florida Gators offensive coordinator Brent Pease had plenty to say after four days of spring practice and did exactly that on Wednesday afternoon. Pease discussed specific players, general philosophies and plenty else in a media availability session.

PLAYER EVALUATIONS

Though he has only had the opportunity to watch them participate in four days of spring practice, Pease has already developed early opinions on some players.

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Quinton Dunbar: “I’ve just seen him improve. I’ve seen him catch the ball better. I’ve seen him make some big plays in practice. Practice is built to go fast and be challenging so that games are easier. If he can react to what he’s been doing and play the game at the speed and play it instinctively like he’s gotten better each day. Is he where he needs to be? No. But he’d probably be the first to tell you that. But he’s starting to play the game faster. He’s not thinking so much. When kids are thinking they play slow, because they don’t know everything, they don’t trust and they have no confidence. Obviously we’re working through that but I’ve seen the pace of how he plays the game every day get faster and faster and faster.”

Redshirt sophomore running back Mack Brown: “I don’t know what it was in the past. I just know he’s been steady, he runs the ball and is a physical runner downhill. Good pad level. Does he make mistakes? Yeah, but he’ll fix those. Being a running back, you’ve got to know running the ball, protection, pass routes, so you’ve got to pick those phases. And right now he’s been a pretty consistent runner. Ball security – very pleased. Kid’s got a great attitude. He’s awesome. [I] love being around him.”

Sophomore fullback Hunter Joyer: “I like his intelligence, his physicality, just the fact he’s smart, can bring a lot of things and be in that fullback position and then also be backups in other positions. He’s got good hands, he’s willing to block, he’s a very unselfish player, very coachable. So you hope that that carries over some leadership on him.” Pease said that Joyer will not only block and run the ball but also contribute in the passing game.

Redshirt senior tight end Omarius Hines (transitioning to running back): “He’s natural. He’s still got to learn some things with it but obviously he gives us good depth. He’s got a lot of abilities knowing his hands and his explosion just running the ball – his physical attributes. It’s been good to see him. Him, as well as some other kids, you kind of see their confidence grow every day.”

Redshirt junior WR Andre Debose (if he will emerge): “I would hope so, but I haven’t seen that. He’s working through some offseason injuries that he’s had.”

POSITION THOUGHTS

» On how the quarterbacks are developing: “I think they’ve picked up a lot. You’re starting to see a little bit of everything. You’re seeing some management skills, some huddle control, see them throw the ball with better anticipation. You’re seeing them throw the ball with more authority. They’re starting to get a grasp of everything and it’s encouraging. They’re more accurate than they’ve been, and I think they’re doing a really good job with it. There’s a long ways to go, but it’s as much improvement as you’ll see in four days. It’s encouraging.”

» On which receivers are standing out:Frankie Hammond has done some good things; he brings a lot to the table for us. Quinton’s really done well in four days, really done well, drastic improvements every day. I think Latroy [Pittman]‘s going to be all right. Trey Burton adds to the picture in being able to be in some of those spots. Debose will be fine.”

» On the offensive line looking better/bigger: “I think we can be pretty good. One of the things I’ve seen is their bodies. Their bodies are changing. I think they’ve done some great things in the weight room, Coach [Jeff] Dillman and what he [and Jesse Ackerman have] done with those guys.”

» On if he hopes to have a feature running back: “Ideally, you hope you’ve got a guy who’s a horse and you give him the ball 25 times a game, but I don’t know that answer with what we have.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On his on-field disposition and if he gets in people’s faces like some of the other coaches: “I’d probably rather pull people aside. I’m not saying I can’t be demonstrative. Because I’m not, my intentions are never to belittle anybody, but if you’ve got to get a kid’s attention because focus needs to be needed because we’re out there to work, I’m going to grab someone’s attention. I’ve been in their shoes; I know when somebody is screwing off. I was that way sometimes when I was a player. But I figured I learned a little bit from my dad probably when he was my coach and ran a tight ship on me. I’m in to being the best teacher that I can.”

» On if the team has been watching a lot of Boise State film: “Yeah, they’ve seen the blue turf a lot. They’re probably getting tired of it. I said, ‘Make good plays, and we’ll put ours on it. We’ll make our own good tapes.’”

Photo Credit: UF Communications

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3/19: Muschamp talks youth, injuries, RBs

Head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday before the Florida Gators began their third spring practice of the offseason. He touched on a number of issues concerning the team including its youth, injury issues and options at running back.

INJURY UPDATES

» Redshirt junior wide receiver Stephen Alli (groin) – day-to-day
» Redshirt senior defensive end Earl Okine (back) – day-to-day
» Junior WR Solomon Patton (groin) – “week-to-week”
» Sophomore cornerback Louchiez Purifoy (shoulder) – should practice

» Sophomore CB Marcus Roberson (neck) – out for spring

After injuring his neck in a game against South Carolina, Roberson was forced to miss the remainder of the season and was seen sporting a neck brace as recently as a few weeks ago. Asked why Roberson was participating in some shadow-type drills even though he was listed as being a non-contact player, Muschamp got a little snippy.

“He is moving around fine. Again, it’s just a contact issue. We’re not going to have him do any contact,” he said. “That’s what the orange jersey means. I had to explain that last fall – what non-contact means. Do we have to go through that again? Non-contact means ‘no contact.’”

He then got into specifics on Roberson’s injury and why he has been out so long.

“It was a displacement in the neck area. It was a very serious issue. It was all very healable as far as the medical process is concerned. It just takes time,” Muschamp explained. “He was in a neck brace for 6-8 weeks – a stationary brace. Then he was in a less-confining brace for another six weeks. It was a pretty – it was a scary injury.

“He came in on Sunday [after the injury] and told me, and it was scary. It really was. Any time you deal with the head and the neck, football’s over as far as I am concerned. Our medical people do a great job. They put him through every test you can imagine – took all the pictures and did all the stuff you do. They cleared him for non-contact.

“Marcus is a competitor and any time you take that away from someone, it is very frustrating. Marcus was down – bad. I was worried about him just as a human being. He was really depressed about the situation, something he loves and cares about so much maybe being taken away from him. He’s a guy you’re glad to see back out there. Football is important to him. He likes playing the games, as you see out there. It’s very hard for him to be non-contact. He’s a competitive guy and he likes to play the game.”

PLENTY OF RUNNING BACKS COMPETING

Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey graduating automatically made the Gators bigger at the running back position. However, their departure also left a void as far as depth is concerned. Senior Mike Gillislee and redshirt sophomore Mack Brown have stepped up into the first- and second-string roles, respectively, and Muschamp spoke positively about both on Monday.

“Mike GIllislee is a guy we’re excited about,” he said. “Mack Brown is playing his best ball since he’s been at Florida, according to Brian White who I spoke to this morning.”

He also discussed two players that the team has recently moved into a backfield role – redshirt senior Omarius Hines (tight end) and sophomore Chris Johnson (linebacker/safety).

“He’s an explosive athlete. He’s done some nice things,” Muschamp said of Hines. “It’s hard to judge in helmets obviously. He’s done some nice things carrying the ball. He’s a guy that has got some instincts with the ball in his hands and I’m interested to see him progress. He’s got good hands. We felt that way going in. more than anything, it was adding a bigger body to the backfield. A guy that has played and who we need to find a role for, find some different ways to get him the football.”

He noted that Johnson moved to offense, in part, because he did not necessarily have a full-time role on defense. “Chris really is a tweener as far as the secondary is concerned,” he said. “He gets swallowed up a little bit as a linebacker. I feel like he’s a very physical safety, he’s got a physical nature. He’s a box safety type of guy. He does a nice job in the open part of the field. He’s was a guy that was a good back in high school and a guy that’s got some explosive power. Let’s give him that opportunity to take a shot. We’ve been pretty pleased so far in, again, three days.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On redshirt sophomore wide receiver Quinton Dunbar: “Quinton has always worked extremely hard and he had a great offseason this past offseason. Quinton was a redshirt freshman and I would say there aren’t many redshirt freshman that you rely on to be your go-to guy as far as the receiver position or any positions is concerned. Now he’s a year older. I challenged him in front of the entire team. I said, ‘You’re not a freshman anymore. It’s time to take the next step as a football player.’ More than anything it didn’t have anything to do with physical ability, it had to do with mental aptitude, consistency in his performance every day, week-in and week-out in our league.”

» On if he often calls guys out in front of the team: “The other day, when we first started, I called several guys out and told them they need to step up at different position groups. I addressed the entire team about where we are right now. As much as anything, we let everybody understand what our expectation level is so we’re all on the same page. I think it’s important to do that in front of the whole group – offense or defense or in front of the entire team.”

» On how the quarterbacks are progressing: “All three guys are working hard at it. They’re up there watching film and constantly trying to improve themselves and get better. Again, physical ability all three possess the qualities to be good quarterbacks. I want to see them continue to progress this spring.”

» On if he is keeping up with the basketball team: “I’m a big Billy Donovan fan. We were shooting the lights out early yesterday, I know that. We were hot. I love basketball. I love watching and I’m a big fan of Billy Donovan.”

» On redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed: “He’s a guy that’s an explosive match-up issue as far as a defense is concerned. I thought he improved his blocking tremendously for a guy that hasn’t done it a whole lot. [...] He’s a guy that continues to make strides as far as that is concerned.”

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3/15: Dunbar, Brissett, Driskel talk O, competition

Florida Gators redshirt sophomore wide receiver Quinton Dunbar and sophomore quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel all spoke to the media on Thursday following the team’s second day of spring practice. The three players discussed their first impressions of offensive coordinator Brent Pease and, expectations for the 2012 season and how the quarterback battle is going early on.

EARLY ENROLLEES PICK UNIFORM NUMBERS

» No. 70 – D.J. Humphries (Charlotte, NC), five-star tackle
» No. 74 – Jessamen Dunker (Boynton Beach, FL), four-star guard
» No. 13 – Latroy Pittman (Citra, FL), four-star wide receiver
» No. 27 – Willie Bailey (Hallandale, FL), four-star defensive back
» No. 12 – Antonio Morrison (Bolingbrook, IL), four-star linebacker
» No. 4 – Damien Jacobs (Scooba, MS), JUCO transfer defensive tackle

UNIFORM NUMBER CHANGES

» No. 1 – Jon Bostic, senior linebacker (formerly No. 52)
» No. 1 – Quinton Dunbar, redshirt sophomore wide receiver (formerly No. 84)
» No. 6 – Jeff Driskel, sophomore quarterback (formerly No. 16)
» No. 9 – Josh Evans, senior safety (formerly No. 24)
» No. 10 – Valdez Showers, redshirt freshman defensive back (formerly No. 20)
» No. 12 – Jacoby Brissett, sophomore quarterback (formerly No. 17)
» No. 20 – Omarius Hines, redshirt senior tight end (formerly No. 82)
» No. 32 – Chris Johnson, sophomore running back (formerly No. 33)
» No. 88 – Clay Burton, sophomore tight end (formerly No. 86)

GETTING USED TO PEASE AT FLORIDA

All players basically entering their second season of seeing playing time, Dunbar, Brissett and Driskel each offered their initial thoughts on the offense under Pease and how he may or may not be different from former coordinator Charlie Weis.

Driskel was the most insightful, noting that Pease wants to “work around” the talent on his roster and not force square pegs into round holes. “He knows his personnel. He’s going to do what best suits us,” he said. “He’s very personable. He’s willing to work with us, willing to put in the extra time. He’s just a real cool guy.”

Driskel continued, “Coach Weis is more of an old school guy. He has his way and that’s what we had to do. We had to do exactly what he said and there’s nothing wrong with that. Pease just seems a little more flexible.”

The other two players broke down some of the minor but notable differences in the playbook from a year ago. “It’s basically the same scheme but different terminology and a little different tweaks and stuff like that,” Dunbar said. “Coach Pease is big on shifts and motions. It’s football and offense is offense – just score. We had the same plays last year just in different variations,” added Brissett.

GETTING USED TO PEACE AT FLORIDA

Dunbar was vocal about the team’s lack of communication over the last two seasons, saying he is much more pleased with the way the team has come together this year.

“We’re more of a family now. We talk our differences out. We’re more together. We believe in each other and we have more trust,” he said. “There definitely wasn’t no communication last year. This offseason I feel like we bonded together. We’ve had meetings and different things. If we didn’t like something, we let each other know and we sorted out our differences.”

In addition to players being another year older and another year wiser (both on and off the field), Dunbar things the overall mentality of the team has changed. “We have too many talented guys not to be winning,” he said. I felt like we wasn’t together last year or the year before that and we wasn’t a family. I feel like that’s different this year, and I strongly believe this season will be different.”

QUARTERBACK COMPETITION UNDERWAY
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Muschamp, Pease talk Florida Gators offense

With the Florida Gators set to begin 2012 spring practice on Wednesday, head coach Will Muschamp and new offensive coordinator Brent Pease met with the media Tuesday to discuss a variety of topics concerning the team’s offense.

RELATED: Muschamp, Quinn talk Gators team, defense | Spring depth chart

QUARTERBACK COMPETITION

After both playing sparingly as freshmen, sophomore quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel will go head-to-head in spring practice to determine who will win the starting job this season. However, as Muschamp and Pease both pointed out in their respective press conferences, should neither player distinguish himself from the other, Florida could very well use two quarterbacks in 2012.

» Muschamp on the competition: “Jeff and Jacoby will split reps, and we’ll name a starter when we’re ready. Whether that’s spring, summer, fall camp – I don’t know. We would like to declare a starter and move forward with it, but we’ll name that when it’s ready. And obviously Brent does an outstanding job with the quarterbacks, and we will evaluate that – he and I – as far as what’s best for our football team. We want to name a starter, but we’re going to do what we need to win games. If we’ve got to play both guys, we’ll play both guys, and we will make that determination as we work through this. But both guys have had good offseasons and [I’m] very pleased with their progress to this point and where we are.”

» Muschamp on if he is OK with playing two quarterbacks: “Prefer to play one. Prefer to play one. But again, at the end of the day, you’ve got to make the best decision for the team. If one guy doesn’t distance himself from the other then you play two. You look at it as no different than any other position. We’ll see how that plays itself out.”

» Muschamp on how one can distance himself from the pack: “Manage our football team – on the field, in the locker room, in the meeting room, [be] productive, accurate, whatever adjectives you want to throw on top of it, helping our football team move the ball down the field and score points.”

» Pease on if either player has an advantage over the other: “No, I don’t believe that. I haven’t really seen anything to associate I think it’s coming in, everything is based off of the fact that they’re here. I think the fact that they’ve been consistent off season in workouts, and they’re two of the guys that can lead the team. There’s going to be other guys that get reps also but right now they’re the guys in the position that they kind of were at last year. They’re the guys that can lead the team. I mean, I haven’t even seen these guys throw a football other than watching film of them and some of it goes back to some high school when they were in high school and I watched them. That’s kind of what I know of them right now.”

Pease on if he is OK with playing two quarterbacks: “Yeah, I’ve been in a situation where you’ve had to use both. It’ll work well if you’ve got the right type of kids that both can compete and you kind of use their strengths to how you’re going to manage the game. Not particularly in favor of that. I’d rather see one kid step forward and take charge and be productive and let it be his team. But if that’s not the way it works out, then as coaches you’ve got to do what’s best for your football team.”

» Muschamp on the future of redshirt sophomore Tyler Murphy: “He’s a quarterback. Tyler is battling in there with Jacoby and Jeff and obviously they’ve kind of distanced themselves a little bit, but I’m very pleased with Tyler. He’s a very good athlete, very smart, very dependable guy and a guy that certainly will get his opportunity and reps in the spring. [...] No [he will not change positions] at this time. I think Tyler is a quarterback, and that’s where we see his future at the University of Florida.”

Read more about the offense’s players and Pease’s offensive philosophy…
Continue Reading » Muschamp, Pease talk Florida Gators offense

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