UF players say offense almost there

Florida quarterback John Brantley says he's on same page as offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. (AP)

Published: Friday, August 12, 2011 at 4:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 12, 2011 at 4:07 p.m.

Florida's offensive players were so lost in Charlie Weis' offense last spring that quarterback John Brantley said it was like trying to read Chinese.

Well, it's in clear English now, apparently.

With three weeks still to go before the start of the season, Brantley said Friday the offense is already almost game-ready.

“I think we're really close,” Brantley said. “These past three days have been really good for us. As long as we keep going (like this) in this next week, we're going to be very game ready.

“The receivers are making plays, the running backs are making plays and the offensive line is really coming together and blocking real well. We'll be ready.”

The quarterback definitely sounds ready.

Brantley said he's gotten so comfortable in Weis' pro-style attack that he feels like he's back in high school.

“Oh, yeah,” said the former Ocala Trinity Catholic star, who was the Gatorade national player of the year his senior season. “I like this offense a lot.

“I don't feel as nervous as I used to back in the spring. I feel more confident going out there and making the right calls and the right protections. It's going well.”

In the spring, Weis was installing his offense. Over the summer, the players started learning it, redshirt freshman wide receiver Quinton Dunbar said.

“In the spring, we didn't know what we were doing, we were just installing it,” said Dunbar, who has been one of the offensive stars of camp. “In the offseason, we were getting in the playbook and learning it.

“It's finally starting to click now. We're finally getting everything right. I'm very excited (about unveiling the offense). I think we're going to have a pretty good year.”

Brantley said even true freshmen quarterbacks Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett already are effectively executing the offense, and Brissett did not arrive on campus until June.

Driskel and Brissett are in a close battle with redshirt freshman Tyler Murphy for the back-up role. Brantley said Driskel, Brissett and Murphy are getting equal reps in practice.

“They're doing real good,” Brantley said of the QBs behind him. “Jacoby has picked up on the offense real quick. Just like the receivers and the running backs and the offensive line, everyone is getting better every day.”

Dunbar said the receivers have confidence in all four quarterbacks.

“All of them are learning the offense,” Dunbar said. “Jacoby came in (late) and learned the offense. All of them are making plays. All of them get in there and make their reads and make plays.”

Brantley said he's bonded with the receivers after working with them in the spring and throughout the summer.

“Absolutely,” Brantley said. “Coach (Aubrey) Hill has done a great job with them. I've seen improvement every single day with route running and everything. As long as they keep getting better every day, we'll be happy.”

Muschamp said earlier in the week that junior Frankie Hammond has been UF's best all-around wide receiver. He's becoming one of Brantley's go-to guys.

“He's making plays, making tough catches, making the easy catches he's supposed to and making people miss after those catches,” Brantley said. “You can tell he's been studying his playbook, and it's showing on the field.”

Showing not just for Hammond, but for the rest of the offensive players, apparently.

“We'll be ready (for the start of the season),” Brantley said. “We're close right now.”

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or andreur@gvillesun.com. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.

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