Notebook: Maurkice Pouncey returns to practice

Published: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 11:55 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 11:55 p.m.

After his coaches said he wouldn’t be ready to participate with the starters until game week because of a shoulder issue, junior offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey practiced with the first-team offensive line Tuesday.

Pouncey said he tore his labrum but has been ready to go for a while. Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio decided to hold him out as a precautionary measure.

“I’m back doing stuff,” Pouncey said after Tuesday’s practice. “I was doing team stuff today, so I’m back right.”

Holding out the 318-pound offensive juggernaut was no easy task for Addazio.

Pouncey said he and Addazio argued back and forth constantly about allowing him to practice. Pouncey assures there are no hard feelings toward his coach, but he’s relieved to be back in action.

Pouncey said he didn’t hold back in how physical he was Tuesday and he doesn’t intend to during games either.

“I’m not going to think about an injury,” he said. “If it happens it happens, but I’m out there full go.”

Florida coach Urban Meyer said Pouncey’s presence was felt immediately as the offense looked to not only be in better sync but was a bit more lively with one of its captains back monitoring the field.

“You could pick his energy up,” Meyer said. “When he and (quarterback Tim) Tebow are in, that line elevates play a lot.”

Pouncey is expected to start at center, but said it’s “up in the air” if he’ll play there or at right guard more this season.

BEAL RUMORS: Internet message boards buzzed lately with rumors that redshirt freshman linebacker Brendan Beal could be looking to transfer to Rutgers or a Big Ten school.

Beal immediately fell behind on Florida’s depth chart after missing the entire 2008 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Meyer said Tuesday that after an impressive fall camp, Beal is in the rotation for the No. 2 spot at middle linebacker behind Brandon Spikes. He’s also much happier at Florida after not getting the chance to play his first year.

“The one thing about Brendan Beal, (he is) a very smart guy,” Meyer said. “He just wants a chance and loves the game and wants to play and wants to get a great education.

“You can’t blame him. I like that kid a lot.”

Beal arrived in 2008 as a four-star prospect and the No. 3 inside linebacker in the country, according to

RECEIVING PRESSURE: Meyer said Tuesday that with all the pressure put on receivers these days to come in and be elite players, he’s yet to see a wideout since he’s been at Florida that hasn’t considered quitting.

From Dallas Baker to Percy Harvin, Meyer said that in some way, each receiver has been close to leaving Florida’s program.

“Expectation levels, especially on skill players is (high),” he said. “These guys are all superstars in high school and they come here and they’re not a superstar. It takes a while to become a good player. Their frustration runs out.”

Fortunately for Meyer, he’s only had two wide receivers — Nyan Boateng and Jarred Fayson — actually leave the team since he took over in 2005.

ETC.: Meyer said Tuesday’s practice went well and that it ended with a 30-play simulated scrimmage. … The starting offensive line won’t be set until next Wednesday, Meyer said. … With redshirt senior safety Dorian Munroe (knee) out for more than a month, Meyer said he still wants four safeties to play. “Last year we went the whole year with three safeties and we were scared to death the whole season,” he said.

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