Notebook: Muschamp eliminating midday practices


Florida head coach Will Muschamp talks to reporters during football media day in the Touchdown Terrace at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Sunday.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 7:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 8:08 p.m.

After enduring so many injuries a year ago, some of the more serious ones coming in camp, the Gators will take a little different practice approach over the next three weeks, UF coach Will Muschamp said Sunday.

Facts

UF FOOTBALL

*Monday: Gators start practice
*Open to the public: 7:40-9:40 p.m. Thursday at Dizney Lacrosse Stadium and 7:40-9:40 p.m. Friday at Dizney Lacrosse Stadium
*Gator Booster season ticket holders only: 10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m Saturday at Dizney Lacrosse Stadium.

Muschamp has eliminated midday practices. The Gators will practice early in the morning, and when there is a two-a-day, the second practice will be at night.

“The midday practice is hard in terms of heat and weather. Sometimes you get lightning,” Muschamp said. “We're going to practice every morning. When we have a two-a-day, a little later at night and a little lighter than we've done before.

“It won't be as taxing for the players. Eliminating the midday practice will help.”

Gators are all in

Muschamp mentioned several times about how the players have bought-in to what the coaches are selling. To illustrate his point, he brought up the team's success during a mandatory summer running test in which the players have to run 16 110-yard sprints in a prescribed time, according to position.

“Only two players, one of them a true freshmen, did not make all their times,” Muschamp said. “As far as the buy-in, that's there. I couldn't say that the previous three years.

“I've seen some things from this team from an intangible standpoint that are very positive. Now we have to see when the pads are on and football really starts.”

New NCAA rule helps Gators

Muschamp said a new NCAA rule that allows coaches to be on the field for summer workouts has accelerated his team's development.

“I'm really pleased with how our summer went,” he said. “Seeing our guys work, we're much further along than we've been anywhere I've ever been, because of the new rule. That's a credit to the NCAA.”

Muschamp's Twitter misadventures

Muschamp continues to have some missteps in his quest to become Twitter savvy.

This summer, he attempted to return a private message to a recruit via a text on his phone, and the message went to everyone on Twitter. Luckily, he did not mention the recruit by name, so there is no potential issue with the NCAA.

“It's a work in progress,” Muschamp said. “It's really unfair. When you get a message sent to you, it goes to your text. You respond to your text, then it goes out as a message to everyone. You learn the hard way.

“Social media is interesting. You've got to be able to understand how to do it to communicate with recruits. I told our staff, don't put anybody's name on anything.”

UF stressing TO margin

Muschamp said the No. 1 team goal heading into the season is to win the turnover margin in games.

“In my three years at Florida, we're 19-3 when we won or tied the turnover margin. We are 3-13 when we lost it,” he said. “That's a team stat. It's not about the offense taking care of the ball. Defensively, it's getting the ball off people.

“We haven't been explosive enough offensively to overcome turnovers. I think we will be this year. It's certainly not saying it's OK to turn the ball over. We've got to take care of the ball. That's our No. 1 thing as far as team goals go.”

Backup QB going to play in opener

Muschamp reiterated Sunday that one of the backup quarterbacks will see playing time in the opener against Idaho.

“We need to find a backup quarterback that will play in the first ball game at some point,” he said. “It's important for us to develop that position. We'll decide (who that is) when we get through training camp.

“We've got to get another guy ready to play, and that's what we plan on doing. Who that will be, I don't know. What sort of package we'll have for him, I have no idea at this time.”

Sophomore Skyler Mornhinweg and true freshmen Will Grier and Treon Harris will battle for that role in the coming weeks.

Gators open camp healthy

Unlike a year ago, when starting quarterback Jeff Driskel was still recovering from an appendectomy and several other players were nursing injuries, the Gators will open camp close to full strength.

“(True freshman cornerback) J.C. Jackson will start camp non-contact for seven to 10 days (after shoulder injury a few months ago),” Muschamp said. “He's far ahead of where we thought he would be at this time.

“(Linebacker) Matt Rolin has been completely cleared (coming off his second ACL surgery in a year). He and Andre (Debose) have been cleared for everything. We just want to make sure those guys are fully ready to go (before they take part in contact).”

Freshman looking Sharpe

It sounds like the offensive line depth could receive a boost from true freshman tackle David Sharpe, who drew praise from Muschamp on Sunday.

“He's a guy that six-six and a half and weighed 336 pounds when he reported,” Muschamp said. “He made 16 (sprints) of 110 (yards) in the prescribed time for offensive linemen.

“He's worked extremely hard in the weight room. He's doing everything we've asked for in the weight room and in the classroom. I'm pleased at this point with his buy-in factor. He's athletic. He's extremely talented, extremely smart. He's a guy we're counting on to help this year.”

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