Muschamp comfortable with support
Published: Monday, November 25, 2013 at 2:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 25, 2013 at 5:27 p.m.
Only two days after the devastating upset loss to Georgia Southern, Florida coach Will Muschamp seemed to be in a good mood at his weekly news conference Monday. He was cordial, smiling, even joking with media reporters.
“I love you guys,” Muschamp said, when asked to describe his relationship with the media.
Clearly, Muschamp did not look or sound like a football coach who is worried about job security. And he's not.
“Absolutely not,” he said.
Will you be here next season?
“Absolutely,” he said.
Despite the loss to an FCS school at home and growing unrest among the fan base, Muschamp has job security, at least for now. He received it two weeks ago when UF athletic director Jeremy Foley and school president Bernie Machen threw their support behind him.
Foley said then he's “one thousand percent convinced that Will Muschamp is the guy to lead the football program.”
A 26-20 loss to Georgia Southern has not changed anything. Muschamp will be Florida's coach moving past this 4-7 season.
But there likely will be changes in Muschamp's program.
He said Monday he will evaluate all aspects of the program after the season, from his coaching staff right on down to his offensive philosophy.
“I do that every year,” Muschamp said, when asked if he will evaluate the coaching staff.
Muschamp was asked about reports and speculation that offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis would be fired after the season.
“There are no changes that have been made at this time,” he said.
Muschamp was asked if it's inevitable that there will be changes on his staff.
“Again, I'm not ready to make any statement on that at this point,” he said. “We're still playing out the season and those guys are going to coach their butts off. I'll make that decision when I think it's right.”
Muschamp said during the evaluation process, he also will reassess the job he's doing, and his offensive philosophy.
“I think obviously the first person you look at is yourself,” he said. “That's what you've got to be able to do and see where we are. I think as a coach, you've got to do what your players can do. That's something I'm looking at.
“We need to be able to evaluate. I think in all situations as coaches, it's your job to evaluate your players and what they can do. And we ask them to do the right things. There have been some obvious things that have been very difficult for us to deal with as far as where we're headed with things. That's something I'll evaluate and deal with.”
Muschamp reiterated that he's confident that he can fix the things that need to be fixed, and that the program is not that far off from being where it needs to be.
“It takes work,” he said. “I don't believe we're that far off. Regardless of the results Saturday afternoon, which is disappointing for everyone, starting with me. I just don't feel like we're that far off.
“I think there are some key components for our football team that aren't playing for us right now. And we're very thin in some areas. And it is what it is. I'm not making excuses, that's just the facts, and it's real.
“I think we've got a good staff and I think that we've got a really good football team. They're fighting their butt off this Saturday, first of all, and heading into spring. And I'm excited about that. I'm excited about this Saturday and our guys getting out and competing again."
Muschamp said the program can be turned around quickly.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I think when you look at our roster, there are some talented guys on our football team. Some of them aren't available to us right at this point. We've got to do a better job of coaching our guys. I think absolutely, very quickly."
Muschamp continues to get strong support from his players.
“Everybody is fully behind Coach Muschamp. We love Coach Muschamp,” senior defensive back Jaylen Watkins said. “We try our hardest not to listen to all that on ESPN (about Muschamp possibly getting fired) and just ignore it and know that we only have each other through this whole thing.”
Muschamp said the players are aware of where the program stands.
“Obviously, I think that they understand where we are, where we're headed with the program,” he said. “They've got total confidence in my opinion of where we're heading. I think they understand the plan and what we need to do offensively, defensively and special teams moving forward.”
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.