SEC Media Days: Florida confident despite uncertainty surrounding Muschamp

Photo by Rob Saye

HOOVER – After going 4-8 in 2013, the offseason seems to have bred confidence in the Florida Gators as they prepare for the season. This definitely seemed to be the case with head coach Will Muschamp and player representatives at SEC Media Days.

Quarterback Jeff Driskel is coming back for his redshirt junior season, after suffering a season-ending leg injury against Tennessee. When asked if he and the rest of the team are playing for Will Muschamp to keep his job, Driskel didn’t see things that way.

“I don’t think we’re putting any added pressure on ourselves to play for coach Muschamp’s job or anything like that,” Driskel said. “But I do think that in college football coaches are always on the hot seat. People are always moving around and there’s always pressure to win. That’s what we’re going to do this year is win.”

Muschamp backs up his quarterback in the proclamation that Florida is going to be a no excuses program in 2014. He says the time for feeling sorry for themselves has passed a long time ago.

“The big thing I told our players at the start of the offseason is to just shut up and play,” Muschamp said. “We needed to have a great offseason program, have a really good spring ball, and we needed to have a really good offseason program in the summer. Take them all one day at a time, one each day. We’re going to have good enough players and a good enough (coaching) staff to have a very good football team next year.”

Muschamp also has a new offensive coordinator in Kurt Roper coming over from Duke. Roper is the third offensive coordinator that Driskel will have played under since coming to Gainesville. According to the Gators head coach, we could also see less of his QB taking snaps under center.

“I think he’s much more comfortable in what we’re doing schematically and that’s being in the shotgun,” Muschamp said. “That’s what he was recruited to do and that’s what he did in high school.”

Muschamp believes that Driskel is very much a still developing quarterback as he enters his fourth year with the program. The Gators coach believes that his QB didn’t have as good an offense in 2012, but still won 11 games. Muschamp believes that you cannot judge Driskel on last season, based on the fact he only played in a couple games.

There is high hopes for this Florida offense according to both Driskel and Muschamp. The Florida quarterback even name-dropped a few players that he believes will make an impact in 2014. Listing wide receiver Quinton Dunbar and tight end Jake McGee as players that will help this offense turn the corner.

Driskel is especially confident in a wide receiver out of our own neck of the woods.

“I think a name that a lot of people are going to hear is DeMarcus Robinson,” Driskel said. “He’s going to be a sophomore (wide receiver) out of Georgia. He’s really talented and has all the skills in the world.”

This Florida offense does have plenty of room to improve, given the fact they finished 2013 ranked 115th in total offense.

The Gators do have a pretty tough road to reach significant improvement this season. The schedule has them facing Alabama, Tennessee and Florida State all on the road. They will have South Carolina, LSU, and Missouri at home. Plus, who can forget about the annual trip to Jacksonville to face Georgia?

Needless to say the road back from 4-8 will not be easy.



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