Pease putting imprint on UF offense


Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 6:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 8:15 p.m.

Although the plays and basic philosophy will remain the same, the Florida offense is undergoing considerable change this spring.

Facts

Key spring dates

Friday, 4:25-6:35 p.m., practice open to the public
Saturday, 12:55-3 p.m., practice open to the public
April 7, Orange & Blue Debut, 1 p.m. at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

There will be a new starting quarterback (or quarterbacks), new tailbacks and, of course, a new offensive coordinator — Brent Pease.

While Pease does share Will Muschamp's offensive philosophy, the UF offense will have Pease's unique imprint on it.

“Brent's personality and his experience in this league and at Boise State and the different places he's been (will factor in),” Muschamp said Tuesday. “The ideas he brought in as far as he and Tim Davis and Brian White and Aubrey Hill and Derek Lewis … all those guys coming together and saying these are the things we do best.

“We need to identify those things early, find out what we do well and move forward. How much different? It will be a lot of the same plays and the same players. It's a matter of how you execute. We need to play a little better and coach them a little better.”

In his first meeting with the media, Pease went over the five foundations the Florida offense is going to be built around.

No. 1 is a strong downhill running game.

“We're going to have a pounding running attack,” he said. “We want to have a running attack that's physical, downhill, and when we have to run the ball, we're going to run the ball. It's going to be part of our make-up.”

No. 2 is to develop an explosive passing game.

“That's where your launch plays come in,” Pease said. “That's where you set up things where you can create those explosive plays.”

No. 3 is creativity in formations and shifts.

“We're going to have shifts in motion and make things difficult and cause confusion for the defense,” Pease said. “We're not going to be sitting ducks. You're going to see a lot of formation changes, motions, adjustments — really trying to create some stress points in the defense and what they have to adjust to.

“You're going to see the same football plays. We're not going to run anything different. No one is reinventing that part of it. But what we're going to add to it is creating those stress points.”

No. 4 is the elimination of turnovers.

“That's probably the one stat that in the last six years at Boise State, we had a stat that we actually kept in our locker room,” Pease said. “That's probably the most important stat for determining wins and losses. It's something we're going to really work on and be conscious about.”

No. 5 is great quarterback play.

“You've got to understand what the kids can handle,” he said. “I've been very fortunate in the kid I had last year (Kellen Moore), he was a Heisman Trophy (candidate), and he made a lot of things go, but he also had some good players around him.

“The kids we have, the kids that are competing for it, you've got to get consistent play, great management, accuracy, decision-making, kid has got to be tough.”

What the Gators are able to accomplish on offense may ultimately be determined by the fifth foundation — the play at quarterback.

Heading into the spring, true sophomores Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel are listed as the co-starters at quarterback. Both played last year, both were limited by inexperience, both are considered to have considerable upsides.

But Pease doesn't know much about his two quarterbacks yet, other than what he's been told by the coaches and what he's seen on tape, including high school tapes of the two.

“There are other guys who are going to get reps, but right now they're the guys in the position that they kind of were last year,” Pease said. “They're the guys that can lead the team.

“I haven't even seen these guys throw a football, other than watching film of them. That's kind of what I know of them right now.”

Pease said Driskel and Brissett have both had a strong offseason and are putting in lots of time studying tape on their own.

“Both of the kids are very eager,” Pease said. “Coming in and studying the film that we're going to put in and how much time they put into it. … That's one thing I'd say to them is the requirement for a quarterback.

“You've got to be a guy that you want to prepare. You've got to be that gym rat-type guy. These guys have shown that, Jeff and even Tyler (Murphy) and Jacoby. They've been grinding on film on their own.”

Muschamp said the coaching staff is in no rush to name a starting quarterback this spring. If one emerges, he'll be named, Muschamp said. If the competition remains pretty even going into the fall, Muschamp said there's a chance the Gators could end up playing two quarterbacks next season.

Pease said he'd be OK with that.

“I've been in a situation where you've had to use both,” he said. “It will 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.

“I'm not particularly in favor (of playing two QBs). I'd rather one kid step forward and take charge and be productive and let it be his team. If that's not the way it works out, then as coaches you've got to do what's best for your football team.”

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