Notebook: Mack Brown shines


Florida's Mack Brown runs upfield during the second half against University of Alabama Birmingham in Gainesville on Sept. 10, 2011.

Doug Finger/Staff Photographer
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 11:02 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 11:02 a.m.

If you walk by the Florida practice field and hear a bunch of coaches screaming, chances are new UF offensive coordinator Brent Pease isn't one of them.

Unlike coach Will Muschamp and most of his staff, who have a reputation for abusing vocal chords, Pease's demeanor is “very calm, cool and collected.”

He may blow a gasket from time to time, but that's not his coaching style with players.

“I'd probably rather pull them aside,” Pease said. “I'm not saying I can't be demonstrative. My intentions are never to belittle anybody. But if you've got to get a kid's attention (then do so). Focus is needed because we're out there to work.”

As a former player, Pease knows what it's like to lose focus on the football field and can identify when it's happening with his players. He gets their attention by using the teaching methods to which they respond well.

“I've been in their shoes,” Pease said. “I know when everybody is screwing off. I was that way sometimes when I was a player. But I'm into being the best teacher that I can. Kids nowadays, they don't learn on just drawing (plays) up. They're all raised on computers, graphics, sounds. We got all that stuff, so you've got to use those tools to teach them.”

Work to do at WR

Although Pease has been impressed by the receivers thus far, specifically redshirt sophomore Quinton Dunbar, he said there's more work to do at the position than he anticipated.

With juniors Stephen Alli and Solomon Patton sidelined by groin injuries, the Gators have just five scholarship receivers available for practice.

More importantly, the group still has lot of learning to do before it can become fundamentally sound.

“There's so much involved in being a receiver,” said Pease, who coached the position from 2006-2010 at Boise State. “You've got stance, catching skills, blocking skills, releases, upper-body mechanics, lower-body mechanics. You've got to adjust to different coverages — cloud coverage, off coverage, press coverage. You have to break all those things down in phases and develop those kids off a play call. That takes a lot of time.”

Limited practice time presents a challenge for Pease because he has to rush through his lessons. But he believes Florida's receivers are talented enough to pick things up.

“Realistically, we don't always have that much time with them out there,” Pease said. “So you're going fast. They have to learn to be very coachable. If you're not taking a rep, you're mentally focused on it and you can react to all that stuff. As soon as you think you know what you're going to do and something changes in front of you, you've got to adjust.”

“You've got to do 2,500 reps to reach perfection, they say. You can't get that many reps in every little skill ability that they need. You hope they're natural athletes. Our guys are good enough.”

Brown at his best

When Muschamp spoke with running backs coach Brian White on Monday morning, he had positive news to report about a player at his position.

“Mack Brown is playing his best ball since he's been at Florida, according to Brian White,” Muschamp said Monday.

The redshirt sophomore, who rushed for just 42 yards on 12 attempts last season, has stood out early in the spring and looked good in the open practices last weekend.

On Wednesday, Pease praised Brown's running ability and attitude.

“He's a physical runner, downhill, good pad level,” Pease said. “Does he make mistakes? Yeah, but he'll fix those. Being a running back, you've got to know running the ball, protection, pass routes. So you've got to pick (up) those phases and right now he's been a pretty consistent runner (with) ball security. So (I'm) very pleased. The kid's got a great attitude, I think he's awesome. I love being around him.”

Joyer's value

Another player in the backfield who has caught Pease's eye is sophomore fullback Hunter Joyer.

“I like his intelligence, his physicality, just the fact he's smart can bring a lot of things (to the offense),” Pease said. “You've got a guy that kind of sees the big picture on everything.”

The 5-foot-10, 244-pounder, who played in all 13 games last season, has a lot of versatility and that helps Pease with installing his system.

“(He can) be in the fullback position and then also be backups in other positions,” Pease said. “He's got good hands. He's willing to block. He's an unselfish player. Very coachable, so you hope that carries over to some leadership on him.”

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