Pease: Gators 'more reactionary' on offense
Published: Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 9:41 p.m.
Even though the starting quarterback, tailback and offensive guards are still missing from Brent Pease's offense, the Florida offensive coordinator said Wednesday there are some obvious signs the Gators have developed a better feel for the offense going into Year 2.
“Most definitely,” he said. “The kids understand the calls, but they understand them for a reason — how we're trying to attack the defense. Understanding where we're vulnerable at times and what they have to do to make it work or getting into the correct play.
“(They know how) to put themselves in a winning position, either running a route or blocking a player. The kids are playing confident. There's more instinct with what they're doing. They understand the calls. They're not thinking. It's more reactionary now.”
Comfort and confidence seemed to be missing at times last season, especially in the downfield passing game, which lacked production throughout the 11-2 season.
Those explosive passing plays that Pease and coach Will Muschamp talked so often about were missing for most of the year.
Creating more plays down the field in the passing game is a priority this season.
Pease said he's confident Jeff Driskel and his receivers can get that done.
“Yeah, I think (the explosive passing plays) are going to have more of an impact,” Pease said. “I think some of it is on me. I have to be willing to pull the trigger and let them perform. But, I'm on that.
“I think (Driskel) has the ability to do it. He has the ability to do it in this system. He has the ability to do it off his skills.”
At the moment, Driskel is not using any of his skills on the practice field. He's still watching while he recovers from appendectomy surgery a little more than a week ago. UF is expected to know more about when he can return after he visits the doctor today or Friday.
When Driskel does return, Pease said he'll be checking out his quarterback's recognition, execution and tempo running the offense.
“Kind of letting the instincts become involved,” Pease said. “He's done a great job working hard through the summer, just studying football and learning more (about the offense). Good recognition and how he can play the game a lot faster.
“When he gets back, it's going to take him a little bit of time to get in his rhythm and just seeing things that become natural for him. A lot of pre-snap, where he can go with the football, who he should be hitting.
“I think this kid's got some definite talents throwing the ball. His arm is very strong and he's an accurate thrower.”
Driskel should have a better chance to display his passing talents in his second year in the offense. For the offense to improve, like many are anticipating, Driskel and the Gators know they have to make more plays in the downfield passing game.
“The thing that I saw that we didn't have is throwing the ball vertically over the top,” Pease said. “We had explosive plays, probably a lot more in the run game and catching short passes and making plays out of them.
“It's more throwing the ball over the top, just stretching the field vertically, which we need to do. That's route running, accuracy with the ball, protection.
“I think with the respect that our running game has gained, that when people start to stack the box, we've got to be able to do that. We've got to be able to use that off play action and do that.”
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