Gators get rest time
Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 2:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 2:08 p.m.
The Florida football team won't find out its official postseason destination until Sunday night, then won't begin preparing for the bowl until the middle of December, coach Will Muschamp said.
What will the Gator players do with all the downtime?
"Our guys will be lifting, running and maintaining some good endurance shape right now," Muschamp said. "That's the most important thing. They need a break right now. It's been a long season. So, they need a break from football for a little bit, get in the weight room and heal up. I think you can do too much at times as far as practice is concerned, so you have to be careful there."
And for the coaches?
"Right now, as a staff, we're recruiting really hard," Muschamp said. "I just worry about the things we can control, which is recruiting right now. So we're going to recruit hard now. That's the most important thing we need to do."
The true benefit for a team invited to a bowl is player development and practice before the game.
"It's a huge part and every day when we get back we will get on the practice field Dec. 7 and 8 and get out in just some helmets on Friday for more of a conditioning practice and Saturday it will be a shells practice and just working on our football team," Muschamp said. "Our first four or five bowl practices will be absolutely no work on the opponent. It will be all working on ourselves and getting our guys back into the swing of playing football again and working on developing our young players.
"But the last four practices before we break for Christmas will be dedicated to the opponent, no different than game week. When we get to the bowl site, we'll go back through more normal game preparation week so you get two weeks to really prepare for those guys. Sometimes our guys will forget over Christmas our game plan so we've got to review that."
UF's young players can expect extra attention.
"Loucheiz Purifoy, I think he started the bowl game last year for us at corner when Marcus hurt his neck and came in and played really well for us in the Gator Bowl, so it's huge for young player to take a step forward," Muschamp said. "I'm going to meet with some guys today, like Brian Poole. They need to cherish this opportunity sitting in front of them. It's another spring ball. It's another opportunity to improve yourself as a player for the football team. Loucheiz is the greatest example and certainly Antonio (Morrison) will take advantage of it. Antonio is a really good football player and the reason as much as anything is that he's very mature. He practices well and he prepares himself well."
Coaches with teams in bowl want to avoid getting their teams stale.
"That's for everybody," Muschamp said. "It's not any different for anyone else. I think, again, you go back and look at everything. You can practice too much and prepare too much and become stale with your team. I always look at it as you practice seven or eight times here in Gainesville and then you get on the bowl site, you'll get another five or six practices, so you're looking at another spring ball. You got to keep it interesting for your guys.
"You deal with a different attitude. You have to always stay on top of it, complacency kills. You can't get complacent in what you are trying to do. You have to understand why you had success and that is constantly my message for them 'Why did we win this game?' Those are the things you can't get away from. You have to understand why you are successful and again, I go back after every win, lose or draw and very technical in our approach of why things worked and why things didn't and then addressing things when they are not right. The kids will tell you that I am real honest with them on where we are and what we need to do to be successful and understand where the barometer is set and where we want to be."