Former defensive coordinator to try Florida offense

Florida interim head football coach Randy Shannon, center, signals his players to their next station during practice in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Monday. [Doug Engle/Staff photographer]

Florida interim head football coach Randy Shannon is a former linebacker and longtime defensive coach, but he’s going to be involved in the Florida offense as the interim head coach.

“I’ll meet with the offense every day to find out the game plan and what we’re trying to do in certain situations throughout the week,” Shannon said. “Pros and cons about being a defensive coach, you can tell things that we’ve been very good at, what we’ve not been very good at, and making suggestions about what we need to get done.

“I think that the one thing that you have when you have a defensive coach seeing things from how to attack you. You can learn a lot from that. Like myself, whenever I go visit people, I go visit offensive guys. I don’t visit defensive guys. I visit offensive guys, because you want to learn what they’re doing and not what you’re trying to get better at.”

Shannon said the offense needs to find a way to put the ball in the hands of its best players.

“We’ve got players on offense, we just got to put them in the right spots to be successful and make sure we capitalize on certain situations,” he said. “We cannot sit and say, ‘Well, this is the guy we’re going to get the ball to.’ Well, if they take this guy away, how do we get it to the next best guy.

“It’s a chess game we have to do on offense. We’ve got to make sure we get the best players that give us opportunities to win games to get the ball in their hands multiple times.”

Play-caller Rumph

Defensive line coach Chris Rumph, who was promoted to defensive coordinator by Shannon on Sunday, will make the defensive calls in Saturday’s game at Missouri.

“Coach Rumph is going to call it,” Shannon said. “One thing we did this spring and summer, I put Coach Rump in a situation where if something happened, maybe one game I would be sick and unable to call it, he called it.

“We’ve worked together very well this whole season and I think he’s ready for it.”

Rumph will move from the sideline to the press box, while new defensive line coach Robb Akey will go to the sideline.

Eliminate the negative

Shannon and his staff have put an emphasis in practice this week on eliminating negative plays on offense. The Gators killed themselves with penalties and turnovers in the loss to Georgia.

“The biggest thing we have to do is not hit on any negative plays,” Shannon said. “That’s the biggest thing we’ve been working on all week, not getting the negative plays. Negative plays from a mental standpoint of false starts, fumbled snaps. We had a lot of illegal procedures, false starts, last week against Georgia. Make sure we have zero penalties and put ourselves in the best situation offensively to go out and play the way we need to play.”

Gators bounce back

If the players are suffering any kind of hangover from losing their head coach just a few days ago, it’s apparently not showing on the practice field.

“The guys so far this week have been doing a tremendous job preparing for Missouri,” Shannon said. “They’ve been upbeat, very positive, a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of running around having fun in practice.”

Swaying to the music

A couple of the team leaders met with Shannon on Tuesday and the decision was to change part of the practice routine.

Music was piped into the practice field for early warm-ups and again during kicking situations.

“I talked to a couple of players. They were upbeat, they were positive,” Shannon said. “We played a little music at practice like before a game. If it was a kicking situation, we treated it like a timeout, so we played music. It’s just to get used to the game atmosphere.”



  1. It’s amazing to me that Mac’s general philosophy was self defeating. He couldn’t find or coach a QB after Grier and that’s what he essentially was brought in to do. FIX THE OFFENSE, duh! Maybe he didn’t have the energy or interest after Grier and Nuss wasn’t much help either.
    Hope he finds a job he can enjoy but it wasn’t here. We need an energetic coach who knows how to coach and recruit and be fun to be around for players and fans alike.

  2. lets not abuse randy Shannon when the offense doesn’t put up 40…I sense that the team is comfortable having him run things, and he has worked at this level. who knows, maybe this works out for randy similar to how dabo swinney got Clemson going after tommy Bowden. either way we are lucky to have him imo

  3. I am so happy for Coach Shannon that he gets this opportunity to show what he brings to the table (which is considerable). Despite the circumstances, here is a man who has been through so much and is very devoted to his team. Now the Gators are totally his team – both offense and defense. My vote is for Coach Shannon if he manages to salvage this season. Regardless, he is very accomplished and deserves our utmost respect. As for Coach Rumph, he has also already proved what he brings to the table. SAY IT’S GREAT, TO BE, A FLORIDA GATOR!!!