By Edgar Thompson | Orlando Sentinel
3:00 PM PDT, March 12, 2013
Coach Will Muschamp's energy and attention to detail are two of the qualites that have helped him become the head coach at the University of Florida.
They also make Muschamp nearly impossible to keep up with when he gets on a roll during a press conference.
Muschamp clearly was pumped up more than usual on the eve the first spring practice on Wednesday. The 41-year-old head coach looked back, looked ahead and left no rock unturned as he addressed the media Tuesday.
Here's a transcript of Muschamp's 15-minute stream of consciousness, delivered without him noticeably taking a breath.
There is a lot of good information in here, some of it I even heard as he said it.
"Obviously, Pro Day today. Exciting time. That’s how a Pro Day is supposed to look at Florida. All 32 teams are here, and that’s how it ought to be. If we continue to do a good job evaluating, recruiting and developing our players, which we will, our pro day’s will continue to look that way. Really proud of these guys that worked out today and appreciate their contributions to the University of Florida. I want to congratulate our staff on doing a great job developing the guys as well. Obviously, January to the first Wednesday of February, we’ve been on the road recruiting. Jeff Dillman and our strength staff have been working with our football team to that point, and we came in as a staff in the a.m. and work on our quality control on offense, defense and special teams, as well as working with our team as far as the offseason program is concerned. Really studying ourselves in those situations. Staff-wise, offensively, Brent going into his second year as offensive coordinator at Florida. Really looking forward to going into a spring practice where the terminology is a little bit of carryover for our players and our staff. Excited about Joker Phillips as receiver coach and what he’s going to bring to the table, and Tim, Brian and Derek have all done an outstanding job. D.J. is stepping into the defensive coordinator position. We won’t be changing a lot as far as scheme-wise is concerned. You change your system every year based on your players, what they can handle and what they can’t. Travaris Robinson has been outstanding. Brad Lawing has been a really good addition to our staff. He worked with Nick at Michigan State and understands how we want to play up front, how we play and how we coach things up front. He has been a really good addition to our staff, as well as Bryant Young, who has done a nice job. With D.J. moving to defensive coordinator, we went through special teams and will make it a staff effort as far as that’s concerned. Brian White will coach punt team, Travaris Robinson will coach kickoff coverage, punt block and return teams, Joker will handle kickoff return. Really, all of us worked in those sections last year when D.J. kind of headed it up. We will all contribute as far as that’s concerned with special teams.
“As far as the quality control, looking back as we head into spring with our football, the first thing I talked to our guys about is penalties. We led the SEC in penalties. I think of 105 44 I would classify as discipline issues, jumping offsides, illegal procedure, unsportsmanlike conduct, things we can improve, self-inflicted wounds that we’ve got to move on with. If there’s one thing on our team from year one to year two that were the bullet points of improvement that’s somewhere where we didn’t take a step forward. That’s probably the only area on our football team. So we’ve got to do a better job of emphasizing and coaching that. We’ve explored that in the offseason.
“Turnover margin. Our first year we were minus-12, which was 113th in the country and our record was 7-6. This past year we were plus-15, we finished sixth in the country and were 11-2. We were negative five in two losses. When we won or tied the turnover margin we were 11-0. So there’s no other bigger stat in ball than turnover margin. That was emphasize again to our players yesterday as we head into spring ball.
“We need to be a better situational football team. When I talk about that, I’m talking about red zone, one minute, third down, all of the critical times in the game where you have to go make good decisions as coaches but also have a great understanding as players of the situation in the game. And continue to be a blue-collar, hungry, overachieving football. I felt like we were that for 12 games last year. It certainly didn’t feel that way in the bowl game. But I felt like the consistency of that within our program, day to day, in the offseason, moving through the summer into fall camp that’s what we need to continue to strive for every day.
“Offensively, some of the things we pointed out were negative plays. I'm just talking in terms of sacks. The sacks falls on a lot of people. Everyone wants to blame the offensive line when you get sacked. Different areas of breakdowns, from tight end to running back to receiver to the quarterback position. Tackles for a loss and penalties. We created a lot of issues for ourselves as far as down and distance is concerned.
‘I think in Year 2, you're looking at execution being much cleaner in what we're doing offensively and obviously Jeff being in his second year. Jeff's really attacked the offseason from a mental standpoint as far as film is concerned and studying what he can do to be a better quarterback. That's part of the maturation process in becoming a better player is understanding what you've got to do to be successful.
“Obviously on offense, third down we were very inconsistent. Red zone touchdowns, we want to be at 70 percent, we were right at 50 for the year. And just be more efficient throwing the football. That's something as we hit spring, we're going to be working on a little bit more as far as throwing the football is concerned. We're going to be a little thin up front with some injuries, so we've got to be more efficient throwing it, and that's going to be a big part of it in spring.
“Defensively, I felt like, in watching the film, we let some runs out with the quarterback as far as off-rhythm. You look back at A&M, Missouri, we felt like we didn't contain the football as well as we could have in the run game as far as the quarterback's concerned. Affecting the quarterback with four guys rushing is something we need to improve on. We feel like we should have a solid rush package as far as getting four guys, what we term our "rabbits" package, our best rushers. We've got to do a better job of that and mixing our disguise looks when we play tempo offenses. We got exposed at times of showing things too early, being able to when we get into our check defense and we're able to check out of some things and move to some different things, we've got to do a better job of disguising and holding those tempos situations. That's some of what we're going to emphasize through spring.
“As far as special teams are concerned, we just can't have any blocked kicks. We had a blocked punt that could have cost us a football game. Three blocked field goals for different issues. We really did a study here in the offseason as far as field goal protection is concerned. I think we've made some strides there. The punt block and return unit, really can think of obviously the Lafayette game, but the FSU game as far as the return is concerned. we've got to continue to get better returning the football. We’ve got some guys who can do some things with the football. Kickoff return, just be more consistent with returning the kicks and getting favorable field position for our team.
“Obviously, we gave you a depth chart, which I know is the most critical thing that’s going to happen in the next 12 months of your year. Just looking at it real quick, there’s been some position moves. Obviously start out at left tackle, D.J. Humphries is up to 280. A guy that’s put on some weight. As a progressive player and developmental player, you’ve got to continue to gain weight and strength. He’s really worked hard in the offseason. Tripp Thurman has had a nice offseason for us. We’ve moved Max Garcia inside. He’s had a really good offseason. He’s really done some nice things. Jon Harrison has had a really good offseason, a guy who really honed in on the things he’s got to improve himself on. Jon Halapio had a scope on his knee coming off the bowl game. We feel he’ll be ready to go tomorrow as far as spring ball is concerned. He may be a little limited in some contact early in spring. Certainly he’ll be released after that. Kyle Koehne is a guy who can play multiple positions. He played some tackle for us this past year. Excited about what he brings to the table. Tyler Moore is a guy we’re going to play a little bit at right tackle. He needs to be able to play right and left because obviously Chaz will miss the spring because of the ankle surgery he had after the bowl game. A little more serious than we thought. We feel he’ll be fine for fall. We’re going to hold him for spring right now. Quinteze Williams is a young man we wanted to move over to the offensive line, a guy that’s got some size and girth to him. He’s continued to gain weight. We felt like his opportunity as an offensive lineman were going to be better than on the defensive line, so he wanted to make that move. At tight end we need some guys to separate. Obviously we’ve got four guys listed, Burton, Westbrook and Taylor and Thompson. It’s good to get Colin back on the field. He ran well yesterday. Obviously had some foot injuries. We’re trying to work through that with him but we look forward to him being full speed this spring.
"At running back obviously I think Matt Jones has had a really good offseason, really has gained good weight and ran well throughout the offseason program. Mack Brown continues to look good and Kelvin Taylor’s been a guy we’re real excited to have on campus. He’s done a nice job of transitioning and all eight guys really have. They’ve come in and when you walk out there as a coach or a spectator and you see our offseason conditioning you don’t point at a guy and say, ‘Well, he must be a freshman.’ These guys look like they fit in. They look like they belong, which is something that says something about them.
"I talked about Jeff a little bit. Again, I think the game continues to slow down for you. First year as a full-time starter. First year in a scheme and system, the terminology, and not you’re not splitting reps 50-50, so he’s going to get all the turns and all the reps with the same people, which I think obviously will help us in some throwing game issues. We need somebody to step up at the backup quarterback position. Tyler and Skyler will have multiple opportunities throughout spring to be in those situations and step forward for us and be a dependable backup for us.
"At the fullback position, you see we moved Gideon and Rhaheim there. We’re going to be a two-back team. That’s going to be something we do here. We felt like that Hunter was a guy that’s going to be in some one-back stuff for us. He also will be a fullback for us and didn’t want him shouldering that burden and all of a sudden we don’t have him and we lose our two-back package. That’s not something we needed to do, especially with the unproven tight ends we have.
“So both of those guys, the first seven days, are going to be given a shot at fullback and kind of see where we are. Rhaheim played running back in high school, was very effective, catches the ball well. He’s got lower body punch and power. Gideon has not contributed much for us on defense since he’s been here and he deserves the opportunity to try and get into a situation to help us.
"He's got lower body, punch and power. Gideon has not contributed much for us on defense since he's been here and he deserves gthe opportunity to try and get in a situation to help us.
“At the receiver position, as far as the depth chart is concerned, all of those guys will play multiple positions. Quinton's going to be a guy that will play the Z and the F. Loucheiz will play the first seven days full time as a receiver. I felt like again, a guy that hasn't been full time at that position, so it would be good for him to go through the first seven days. It also gives us an opportunity on defense for Bryan Poole and Jeremy Brown, a guy for the last two years that hasn't taken as many reps to get as many turns and reps as they can. So I really think it helps us on both sides of the ball as we move forward. They watch film in our film, too, so you can't always just put Loucheiz in and throw a screen or run a reverse with him every time he's in the game. We need to expand his package if we're going to continue to move forward with that. He will still remain a corner on our football team. But he's going to do the first seven days. Solomon Patton will be limited through the spring with a broken arm. But all of those guys will be multiple.
“As far as returner and specialist is concerned, Roberson, Burton, Purifoy and Debose will all be punt returners. As we work into spring, they will be the four main guys we work in. And then kickoff return is Debose and Purifoy.
“Kyle Christy will be limited. He had shoulder surgery after the bowl game. He won't do any live work as far as punting. He can drop the ball and punt it; that doesn't affect his leg as far as his shoulder is concerned. And then Brad Phillips and Austin Harden, obviously losing Caleb is a huge blow to our football team. We need one of those guys to step up and certainly contribute for us.
“Defensively, Dominique Easley will play both end and tackle. So he's listed as an end. He may show up tomorrow and may be a tackle. It's going to be depending on who our best four guys are and our best combination of players. And he's certainly going to be one of those four. Where he ends up really depends on the other guys.
"Jon Bullard has had a good offseason. Brian Cox Jr. is up to 260, a guy that played linebacker for us last season. He's worked awful hard and had a good offseason. He's changed his body and I'm real pleased with his work ethic.
“Of the four inside guys, we need some contribution and we need some guys to step up. Leon Orr, Darious Cummings, Damien Jacobs and Joey Ivie, a freshman that's on campus that I'm excited about. Good work ethic and he fits in with our guys extremely well. We've got to get production from those guys as opposed to repping Dominique in there where I know what he can do, those four guys have to get as many reps as they can through spring ball. We need to find out what those guys can do and feel good about those guys coming out of spring ball. Obviously, Ronald Powell won't go through spring, but Dante Fowler and Alex McCalister as you see Alex has beefed up a little bit to 230 at the Buck position. We'll also work in our rabbits package which that's a combination of our four best rushers out there. So that could be Dominique inside and either Jon or Dante inside and some other guys rushing off the edge.
“At Sam linebacker, Darrin Kitchens returns. He also will play the Will and dime. Neiron Ball will also play the buck as he does do a nice job of giving us some pass rush on third down to get more speed on the field. Jeremi Powell will also play the Will and dime.
“Inside at linebacker, obviously losing Jon and Jelani is a blow to us. They were both very productive players for us. Antonio Morrison has moved to the Mike. Our Mike and Will in regular personal mirrors. Our Mike in dime have different coverage responsibilities, so we felt Antonio would be better served at the Mike and Michael Taylor at the Will, but we can always switch those guys back. In spring, it's about experimenting and looking at different things. Alex and Daniel have both looked good in the offseason program. They've looked good running around in shorts and we're excited about getting them out on the field.
“In the secondary, Jaylen Watkins in regular will play corner. When we go to nickel, he will play safety. A guy that can play both positions and play the nickel position as well. Brian Poole will play corner and nickel to start spring. As we progress through, a guy that we could probably give some safety looks to. Cody Riggs can play safety and corner. Marcus Maye will play safety and dime. Jabari Gorman will stay at safety in both sub-packages and regular. Valdez Showers will stay at safety and play some dime. Marcus Roberson and Jeremy Brown at the other corner position. We’ll start out playing right and left corner and right and left safety to start spring and those will be the inside players that we’ll rep.
“As I talked earlier, Chaz Green, Ronald Powell, Matt Rolin and Ian Silberman will miss all of spring and then other guys will be limited. Included in that group is Kyle Christy as well as Neiron Ball with the ankle. But we feel like Neiron’s getting close to full speed and should be released full-go Wednesday as far as all the team activities.
“That’s kinda where we are right now on our football team. I think we’ve had a good off-season. I think we’ve made the right strides we need to make within the team. I’m pleased with where we are, knowing we still have a long way to go as we climb the mountain here through the season. But we’re looking forward to starting spring and getting back on the field.”
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