4/20 SEC: Muschamp on roster and leadership

By Adam Silverstein
April 20, 2011

With the Florida Gators first year of spring practice under head coach Will Muschamp now in the books after a lackluster 2011 Orange & Blue Debut, he spoke with the media during the first Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference of the young season to provide some insight about where his team is at going into the summer.


The story of the spring game was how banged up Florida was as a team – especially on the offensive line. Muschamp said Wednesday that he expects all of the team’s injured players to be ready to go by June 1 with the exception of sophomore running back Mack Brown, who has been given a June 22 return date.

Overall, the team should be completely healthy by the time fall practice begins. “We should be full-bore going into August,” he said. Speaking about redshirt junior left tackle Matt Patchan in particular, Muschamp said he has been cleared for lifting for a while but sat out of practice to avoid contact on his wrist.

He also spoke about the recent wide receiver transfers, nothing that freshman Javares McRoy simply wanted to play with his brother and redshirt freshman Chris Dunkley did not think UF was the place for him. “Chris felt like sometimes things don’t fit,” Muschamp said. “He and I had a long conversation. We wish him all the luck in the world and are trying to help him get in a situation where he’ll be better off.”


Though fans may be up in arms after seeing his performance in the spring game, redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley continues to have the confidence of Muschamp, the coaching staff and (according to the head coach) the players as well. “[I’m] really pleased with his poise, leadership and habits off the field studying what we need to do to be successful,” he said. “He’s got the ability and we’re very pleased.”

Muschamp said Brantley proved he has talent, had a really good spring overall and needs to have a great offseason in order to become a true team leader. As for his performance in the game, he said the outstanding play of the defensive line and “moving parts” of the offensive line made it nearly impossible for Brantley to succeed. “I don’t think in the spring game John had much of a chance,” Muschamp said. “I was behind him and saw it coming pretty fast, too.”

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]LEADERSHIP IMPORTANT OVER SUMMER

With the coaching staff mostly barred from contact with the team over the summer, the players are in the hands of strength and conditioning coordinator Mickey Marotti. Often called the offseason head coach, Marotti will be working the players hard while also trying to build character and leadership throughout the group.

Muschamp said that leadership is “still something we’re sort of trying to identify” but that it should be worked out over the summer. He pointed out Brantley as well as linebackers junior Jon Bostic and redshirt sophomore Jelani Jenkins as guys who do things right both on and off the field. When discussing others who impressed him throughout the spring, he made it a point to name redshirt senior wide receiver Denote Thompson; redshirt senior running back Chris Rainey; sophomore athlete Trey Burton; redshirt sophomore offensive linemen Jon Halapio and Jonotthan Harrison; defensive ends senior William Green and redshirt junior Lerentee McCray; and sophomore defensive tackles Sharrif Floyd and Dominique Easley.


» On how the spring went overall: “[I’m] pleased with the progress we made as far as the installation, identifying the playmakers on both sides of the ball.”

» Muschamp said the thinness on the lines was “frustrating” for him toward the end of spring and that the team needs to vastly improve depth on both sides of the ball.

» On greyshirting: “At Florida we don’t greyshirt. That’s not something we do. That’s not a policy of ours.”

» Muschamp said the coaching staff is “working very well” together. He was enthusiastic about what offensive coordinator Charlie Weis brings to the table both offensively and as an experienced head coach. He also praised defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and how well they mesh when discussing defensive philosophy and strategy.[/EXPAND]


  1. 2011 will be a defining season for Bostic and Jenkins.

  2. jimbo6812 says:

    that is what they have been saying about Brantley the second Tebow left, and yet we have seen nothing. ill be shocked if Brantley is any better in games this year. that doesn’t mean im not going to root for him i obviously want him to do awesome, we just haven’t seen anything at all to prove it.

  3. Andre says:

    Good players play well in difficult situations, not just in spring practice where they have red jerseys on. Brantleys performance in the OB game looked painfully similar to last season. If I see another tipped ball at the line of scrimmage again i’m going to explode. I don’t think Doug flutie ever had that many passes tipped.

    With the lack of experience/depth on O-line Brantley will most likely have the same struggles he had last year.

    All that said, I’m rooting for JB and hope he can take us to ATL this year. Just not very optomistic.

  4. Jim C says:

    Hey Adam – How about giving Brantley a shot in the first 2 games then see where we are going

    • I’m with you Jim. Not a fan of how people pounced on him after the O&B Debut.

      • jay d says:

        I am 100% anti-JB….but even I am willing to extend a 2 game re-evaluation period on his performance…..opening day grace game & a second game to show his true playing ability….bad or not……but if he can’t get it done versus lower level teams….he needs to get pulled so we can build a future with a young guy…….a lot of fans were on the jb band wagon when he was are back-up, but he never impressed me when he came in for mop up duty….the second JB became our starter …..fans quickly jumped off the band wagon…which briings me to another point…..no matter how bad things get this year or 10 years down the road…..gator fans should never boo their own team…I was disgusted last year…..show ur support win or lose & have fun analyzing the gators in the process…but I can guarentee that the gators won’t feel very motivated down points with their fans turning on them…

    • Mr2Bits says:

      How about 3 games as he’ll face a real team in Tenn.(kinda)

  5. CharlieGator says:

    John Brantley doesn’t have to play at an All-American level, or even all SEC, or even player of the week. He just needs to complete at least 50% of his throws, limit Ints and provide stability at the position. By that I mean he needs to play well enough to keep his job. I think he is the starter going into fall practice and the first 2 games for sure. If he doesn’t perform then Coach has his first major decision to make.

  6. TonyM1449 says:

    Not really pouncing in my opinion. Just stating the obvious. If you can’t perform in a practice scrimmage, why should I have any different expectations when we play Bama, Auburn, South Carolina or even that school out west? I don’t think any of those guys will care about a patchwork o-line. Of course I could give them a chance and maybe they’ll find it in their conscience to not rush him. After the 2010 season, I’m not giving anyone anything, not JB or anyone else on this team, until they prove me wrong. Don’t tell me, SHOW me!

  7. zurbo says:

    The UT game will define his season

  8. Jesse C says:

    After actually watching the spring game, I think I saw some improvement with some of the things Brantley did. Sure the overall numbers weren’t good but our D was mostly the cause of that. Brantley will do better this year solely because of the offense we’ll be running. No more Addazzio brilliance… it will no longer be painfully obvious for the opposing teams whether we are going to run or pass. Play-action baby. The real issue we have to overcome is the O-line. The D-line is thin but they look ready to dominate. The O-line was limited due to injuries for the O&B game but when has that not been the case? Brantley needs to continue to improve but if the O-line does not gell in the fall, our offense isn’t going anywhere no matter who is behind center.

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