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Florida O-Coordinator Pease Says Muschamp Allowing Him To Do His Job

gfx - they said itFile this one under: “What’s he supposed to say?”

Florida’s offense just isn’t good enough to compete with the big boys.  Year Two under Brent Pease is not a whole lot better than Year One… or Charlie Weis’ one year.  Remember when Weis was the reason for the Gators’ offensive deficiencies?

Naturally, fans are starting to wonder if the common denominator — Will Muschamp — is allowing his offensive coordinators the freedom they need to win football games.  In other words, is he handcuffing them and ordering them to run the football?  Again and again and again?

Yesterday, Pease was asked that question.  His response:


“How much does he exert control on me?  Like any coach, we all have ideas we share.  He’s very open about what we do.  He allows us to do our job and do what we want to do to be successful.

Like he says, ‘Do what you’ve go to do to win a football game.’  That’s what we’ve got to do.  I think he’s got his philosophy on what the makeup of our team is.  Everybody is good with that, including myself.”


In 2011 under Weis, Florida threw the ball 236 times against BCS foes.  That ranked the Gators 10th in the then-12-team SEC.

In 2012 under Pease, Florida attempted 219 passes versus BCS teams and that ranked 13th in the 14-team league.

This year, the Gators have thrown 121 passes versus BCS teams.  That places the Gators in a tie for sixth in the league.  Tossing in non-BCS opponents, however, Florida has thrown the ball fewer times than any other team in the Southeastern Conference.

Whether he does or he doesn’t, it’s obvious why some are starting to think Muschamp is the man to blame for Florida’s offense — through three years and two coordinators his Gators have run the ball a helluva lot more than they’ve thrown it.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 3/27/12

1. Tight end prospect Hunter Henry will visit Arkansas on Wednesday.

2. What are Mark Richt and Paul Johnson selling to Georgia prospects? See here.

3. Florida is the “best school” offensive line prospect Brandon Kublanow has seen so far.

4. Kentucky is out but three SEC schools remain in contention for basketball prospect Devonta Pollard.

5. Missouri is off to a fast start with the 2013 recruiting class.

6. Missouri will put a lot of focus on recruiting Kansas City. So will Kansas coach Charlie Weis.

7. Alabama and Auburn are both recruiting Utah quarterback prospect Cooper Bateman.

8. Notre Dame continues its recruiting success. The Fighting Irish have eight commitments for the 2013 class.

Here’s a look at why Devonta Pollard is one of the nation’s top basketball prospects.

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Down To 3: Pease, Schottenheimer And White In Running For UF OC Job

It looks like the Florida offensive coordinator search is down to three candidates: Brent Pease, Brian Schottenheimer and Brian White.  But question marks have to be placed beside all three men’s names.

Pease — the offensive coordinator at Boise State — is reportedly mulling offers from both Florida and Alabama.  It is believed he will meet face-to-face with Nick Saban in New Orleans tomorrow.

Schottenheimer — the New York Jets’ offensive coordinator and former Gator backup quarterback — was thought to have removed his name from Will Muschamp’s hat late last week.  But yesterday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Schottenheimer had not pulled his name from consideration.

Finally, White — UF’s current running backs coach — handled the offensive coordinator duties leading up to the Gators’ bowl win, but things looked much like they did under Charlie Weis (263 total yards, one offensive touchdown.  White is a former offensive coordinator at Wisconsin and UNLV and his promotion would provide the Gators some much-needed continuity on the coaching staff.

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Florida Media, Fans Glad Weis Is Gone… But They May Be Jumping The Gun

It didn’t take long for the knives to come out.  Less than 24 hours after Kansas announced it had hired Charlie Weis, the ex-Gator offensive coordinator is being skewered for his one year of less than stellar work in Gainesville.

Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel writes:


“Charlie Weis leaving the Florida Gators is the best news UF fans have had since Charlie Weis came to the Florida Gators.  Merry Christmas, Gators.”


Meanwhile, Pat Dooley of The Gainesville Sun was more harsh.  Check out this excerpt from his latest column:


“Surprised?  Sure.  

But Weis using Florida as a springboard will be greeted today with a collective, ‘Whatever.’

There are a lot of you out there wondering if this is good news or bad news.  Florida used Weis and his connection to the NFL as a lure to land recruits.  That’s gone.   On the other hand, Gators fans don’t have to watch the dumpster fire that was Florida’s offense this year.”


The assumption seems to be that Weis was to blame for trying to run a pro-style offense without pro-style personnel.  Fair enough, if that was his call and not Will Muschamp’s.  Also, it appears that Bianchi and Dooley and numerous UF fans on messageboards are certain of the fact that Weis’ offense would be no better in the future.  Apparently what we saw in Year One was a solid enough sample to conclude that Weis would always fail in Gainesville.

But there’s a problem with judging someone on one year’s worth of work and I can use a current rumor to help reveal it.  During the 2010 football season, one of the questions we at were emailed most often came from irate Tennessee fans.  The basic gist was as follows: “Where did Derek Dooley find this clown, Justin Wilcox!”  Toss in an obscenity here and there and you’ll get the general feel.

Fast forward to this week — with Wilcox now a rumored candidate for the head coaching job at Arizona State — and the fan response from the Volunteer State has changed.  Now there’s worry that the man who put together a Top 30 defense with little experience and little depth might leave Knoxville.

Funny how things change.

Todd Grantham of Georgia is another example.  The Bulldogs made strides defensively in 2010, but not enough to prevent a losing season and thousands of calls for the entire coaching staff to be scrapped.  Fast forward a year and Dawg fans seem to be as concerned about  getting Grantham an extension as they are Mark Richt.

In many cases, it’s the second year that provides the bounce for new offensive and defensive systems.  The first year is about learning the terminology and developing a sense of what to do next instinctively, without having to think too much.  In the second year of a system, players tend to do more playing and less thinking.  And that’s a good thing.

So this idea that Florida will be better off on offense in 2012 simply because Weis is gone?  Well, that might just be wishful thinking.

The Sunshine State media is already strongly pushing ex-Gator and current Jacksonville head coach Kerwin Bell for the offensive coordinator position.  Former Muschamp co-workers Al Borges and Major Applewhite are also getting some mentions.

Whoever is hired, he’ll still have to implement his system and his terminology.  Players — many of them young — will be asked to learn new concepts all over again.  From Auburn’s Tony Franklin to Tennessee’s Dave Clawson to Ole Miss’ David Lee to Florida’s Weis, first years can be awfully rough on coordinators.  Second years tend to be better.

Because he skedaddled so quickly — in spite of a lot of talk suggesting he had no interest in doing so — we’ll never know how Weis’ second season might have turned out.  And for that reason, anyone celebrating his departure at this point might be jumping the proverbial gun.  Who says next season will be better just because a new coordinator is coming in?

Florida fans and columnists shouldn’t have to be reminded of that.  It was less than a year ago that they believed anyone would be a big improvement over Steve Addazio.

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SEC Headlines – 12/9/11

Today’s gonna be a quickie due to radio hits in Jacksonville, Knoxville and all across the state of Mississippi.  (Ya never know, a little Christmas shopping might be on the agenda, too.)  Before we break away, here’s a look at some of the headlines from across the SEC today…


1.  The SEC racked up at last night’s College Football Awards.

2.  Alabama’s Trent Richardson and Barrett Jones picked up national honors at the event.

3.  This one’s been making the rounds all week and now more folks are jumping on it.  Six years after the fact, former NFL player Heath Evans says Nick Saban stepped over a convulsing player and showed he could care less about his players.  But the player who was hospitalized said at the time that it made him feel good about his team to see Saban visit him in the hospital.  So why didn’t we run with this earlier?  Heath Evans played at… wait for it… Auburn.  (That rivalry skews people’s views.  See: Danny Sheridan.)

4.  In addtion to Mark Stoops (Florida State) and Everett Withers (North Carolina), South Carolina’s Ellis Johnson appears to be on Auburn’s short list of potential defensive coordinators.

5.  Paul Petrino is already back to work as Arkansas’ new (old) offensive coordinator.

6.  For now, inside linebackers coach Reggie Johnson is serving as the Hogs’ interim defensive coordinator.

7.  Another day, more awards and honors for the LSU football team.

8.  Meanwhile, freshman Johnny O’Bryant III is doing all he can for the Tigers’ basketball team.

9.  Ole Miss — 7-1 on the season — is still waiting for two players to be academically cleared.

10.  Mississippi State’s Dee Bost says Renardo Sidney doesn’t need to score a point as long as he plays hard when he’s on the floor.

11.  Will Muschamp says Florida needs to “play well and we need to win” the Gator Bowl against Ohio State.  (If the Gators don’t win they’ll post their first losing record since 1979.)

12.  Muschamp says he expects Charlie Weis’ departure to be the last from his staff this offseason.

13.  This Georgia-based writer thinks the Dawgs and Mark Richt will wind up with a new contract being signed, but “you never know.”

14.  Kentucky is shooting fewer threes this season.

15.  It’ll seem like old times when unbeaten UK travels to unbeaten Indiana this weekend.

16.  More honors and awards continue to roll in for South Carolina.

17.  Derek Dooley is opening his arms to ex-Tennessee players (after rumors emerged that some ex-Vols had been getting the cold shoulder).

18.  The SEC’s coaches put three UT defenders on their All-Freshmen team.

19.  James Franklin says Vanderbilt’s fans are “hungry” for bowl success.

20.  This writer says everyone’s for a college football playoff… but the players themselves.



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UF’s Weis Going To Kansas As Head Coach

So much for sticking around for the long haul.  For owning property in Florida.  For being besties with head coach Will Muschamp.  Gator offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is on his way to Kansas as the Jayhawks’ new head coach.

The school announced the move this afternoon and plans to introduce Weis tomorrow.  When Weis took the job at Florida, we figured he’d have eyes for a return to the NFL or for another head job in the college ranks.  It was the latter.

Weis had a short but successful run with the Kansas City Chiefs — just down the road from Lawrence — before joining Muschamp’s first staff in Florida.  Now Muschamp is back in the market for a coordinator to oversee the implementation of his pro-style offense with what he hopes will be actual, real-life, pro-style players… a commodity he and Weis were short on in 2011.

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Muschamp A Fan Of The Pistol

This past week, Florida rolled out a new offensive weapon – the Pistol formation.  In it, a quarterback lines up four yards behind the center and the tailback lines up directly behind the quarterback.  In the Shotgun, the quarterback is seven yards behind the center and the tailback lines up beside him.

So what does Will Muschamp think of Charlie Weis’ latest move?

“It gives you a downhill running game.  You can get out of the lateral run game.  You can run the off-tackle power and the leads inside as opposed to sitting east and west.  It’s a downhill north and south.  We’re a different offense when we’re about to run the play-actions off of that.

We were unable to get to it against Georgia (because of John Brantley’s ankle injury).  It helps us in protection with our offensive line.  When you’re able to do those things it gets the defense off kilter a little bit.  That’s where it’s been good for us.”

Here’s a look at how one offense used the Pistol:

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SEC Headlines – 11/7/11 Part Two

1.  The SEC has handed out its Players of the Week.

2.  The league still has three teams in the Top 10 of the BCS standings — LSU (#1), Alabama (#3), and Arkansas (#8).

3.  Despite suffering an arm injury late in Florida’s game against Vanderbilt, John Brantley will be ready to go against Carolina on Saturday.

4.  Charlie Weis pulled out the Pistol formation last weekend and it helped the Gators create an inside running game.

5.  If Georgia beats Auburn and USC loses to Florida this weekend, the East race will go to the Dawgs.

6.  Did you see UGA tight end Aron White get stuck in the Sanford Stadium hedges on Saturday?

7.  AD Greg McGarity says there will be no nine-game schedule in the SEC.   (Give it time.  It’s the only scenario that will work.)

8.  Even after freshman Max Smith’s record-setting debut as Kentucky’s quarterback, Joker Phillips says his offense is “far from fixed.”

9.  John Calipari wants Anthony Davis and the rest of his Wildcats to toughen up.

10.  Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw — concussed on Saturday night — might not be able to play against Florida this weekend.

11.  The Cocks will try to beat Florida at noon ET and then they’ll do some television viewing as Georgia meets Auburn.

12.  Quarterback Justin Worley gave Tennessee a lift… against MTSU.

13.  The Vol defense has started forcing turnovers, but it needs to force a few more.

14.  Vanderbilt’s loss to Florida dropped them under .500 for the first time this season and they remain winless on the road at 0-3.

15.  Outside gunner John Jenkins wants to improve his defense for the Dores’ basketball team.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines – 10/31/11

1. Florida coach Will Muschamp believes the Gators need bigger running backs to play in Charlie Weis’ offense.

2. SEC offensive tackle prospect Andrus Peat plans to visit Stanford.

3. Florida’s newest commit, tight end Kent Taylor, was suspended for Friday’s game.

4. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen isn’t a fan of the current “recruiting rankings” system.

5. Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution asks if playing Florida in Jacksonville hurts Georgia’s recruiting.

6. Top wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham will “definitely” visit Arkansas. (ESPN Insider)

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SEC Headlines – 9/1/11 Part Two

1.  ESPN’s analysts have made their picks and Urban Meyer has tabbed Alabama to win the SEC.

2.  New Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn wants his defense to play “physical and fast.”  (As opposed to playing weak and slow.)

3.  Charlie Weis will call plays from the sideline for now.

4.  Gator fans are going to find a shiny, new present under the tree on Saturday.

5.  Georgia might have some inside knowledge of Boise State’s offense.

6.  The Dawgs should also have “a little bit more power up front” on its O-line.

7.  Joker Phillips says Kentucky QB Morgan Newton is “night and day” better than last year’s bowl game.

8.  Tonight’s UK-WKU game in Nashville is still far from a sellout.

9.  First Chuck Norris.  Then Tim Tebow.  Now Jadeveon Clowney.  (It stopped being funny after Norris.)

10.  There are still plenty of seats available for South Carolina’s opener against East Carolina in Charlotte.

11.  Lance Thompson believes his Tennessee D-line will be versatile.

12.  The Vols look to reclaim their old moniker: Wide Receiver U.

13.  Vanderbilt’s players are ready to hit someone after a preseason camp with limited full-contact tackling.

14.  TJ Greenstone brings a starter’s mentality to his role as a backup defensive lineman.

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