Pease eyes production over flash
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 4:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 6:31 p.m.
Those out there who are feeling a bit uneasy about Florida’s situation at wide receiver probably will find no comfort in something offensive coordinator Brent Pease said Wednesday.
When asked about the receivers, the first player Pease mentioned was a walk-on — one who is out for six weeks with a broken foot.
“I think every day (the receivers) have gotten better,” Pease said. “Consistency is starting to show up. It really hurt when Mike McNeely (was injured) because he was having a good camp. That kid was going to help us.”
The fact that the Gators will miss a 5-foot-8, 176-pound sophomore walk-on is going to be viewed as yet another ominous sign for those harboring negative feelings for Florida’s wide receivers.
But while some fans will continue to stress over the situation, Pease seems perfectly comfortable.
He likes what he’s got. And like he’s been saying since last spring, the Gators have the talent at the skill positions — including receiver — to make his offense effective.
“I think everybody that’s here now (at wide receiver) has the ability to fit in with what we’re doing,” Pease said. “They’ve got the ability to catch and run routes, and they’ve got speed.
“I think everybody can find their role. I think everybody fits in a situation that we can do something with.”
By mentioning a hard-working walk-on first, maybe Pease was sending out a message to the receivers that goes something like this: those who work, those who produce, are going to play, regardless of past history or star power coming out of high school.
“Like I’ve told them, ‘If you want more, you better show consistency and create it,” Pease said. “I think guys are kind of grasping onto that.
“I’m going to tell you this: We’re not just sticking anybody out there that looks pretty and can run. They better go out there and perform. They better go out there and block.
“If you came here thinking, ‘I was labeled this, labeled that,’ you might not see some people. You go out there and you make plays. That’s the bottom line at that position. We don’t want any of these Terrell Owens guys.”
Substance over flash seems to be what Pease wants out of his wide receivers.
Although the Gators still seem to be in search of a dynamic playmaker at wide receiver, Pease is quick to point out that the receiving end of the offense also will include tight end Jordan Reed and two of UF’s most versatile offensive players — Trey Burton and Omarius Hines, running backs who can play tight end and slot receiver.
“(The tight ends) are very important in this system because they create so many things that we do — running the ball, creating gaps, spreading out, stretching the field in the passing game,” Pease said. “They create mismatch problems.
“You’ve got a guy who’s got speed and ability to run vertical and snap routes when you’re matched up on linebackers. Somebody like Jordan, who’s got wide-receiver ability but in a body like his. He’s a nightmare for defensive coordinators.”
Pease said Burton and Hines can have a similar effect in the passing game.
“I want to see them because they do create mismatches,” Pease said. “We will get them the ball, now they have to make plays.
“Omarius has the ability to be a running back, a tight end, a receiver. Trey has the ability to be a running back, receiver, kind of wingback, H-back type guy, quarterback. They’re going to have some stuff on their plate, and some positions.
“We didn’t have a guy like that at Boise State. We didn’t have players like that. We use guys differently.”
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or email@example.com. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.