GAINESVILLE, Fla -- When Florida coach Will Muschamp met with the media Tuesday to announce that quarterback Jeff Driskel would be limited in practice because of a bruised shoulder, most thought this would give Jacoby Brissett a leg up in the competition for the starting job.
That remains to be seen, but a very diplomatic offensive coordinator Brent Pease said Friday there is no leader in the quarterback race. Brissett did get valuable repetitions at practice.
“I think he got more reps while Jeff was one day out," Pease said. "I think when you get more reps, it’s going to make you better naturally because you’re seeing more things. I don’t know if he gained any or went ahead, but he got more reps with it.
“It’s been up and down. I think the thing I’ve seen from both of them is this: They’ve both gotten better in all aspects of their game. That’s the main thing. If they can both get better where they can manage and make plays, that’s really what we’re striving for.”
When it comes time to name a starter, Pease said he will have input but ultimately it will be Muschamp who makes the final call.
"I give him my feedback on how guys perform, and I think as a head coach, he’s always watching and evaluating from a defensive standpoint and as a head coach, just a communication between us and also how things fit, what’s best for the team," Pease said. "I think he’s valued my opinion. I give it to him. I think it’s a 50-50 deal and it’s a probably a little bit more of a 51-49 his decision because he’s the head coach.”
Pease thinks WRs can stretch the field
One area of concern for the Florida offense has been the wide receiving corp. Pease, though, thinks he has a talented group of wideouts that can get vertical on defenses.
"I think there's game-changing talent in that we have speed," Pease said. "The guys that can stretch the field. I think there are some that are getting more confident that they can do that. Naturally, Andre [Debose] is one of those guys that's shown up. So, in saying that, they still have to practice that way.
"I think as a group they have gotten a lot better, because there is a lot of demand of them with route running. What we see from our defense is a lot different than probably what we're going to see in the first few games, so it's a little bit of a challenge because the picture is always changing in front of them. So, just consistency, still continuing to work hard in the run game. They've all shown that they're willing to block and be aggressive that way.
Pittman, Andrades still learning
Freshmen wide receiver Latroy Pittman had an excellent spring for the Gators and looked to be a major contributor in the fall. Pease, though, says Pittman needs to be more consistent and it's all part of the learning curve a freshman typically goes through.
"Typical freshman, still learning, not consistent enough, but shows that he can make plays," Pease said. "Good hands. Just a matter of as you look at him, it's easy to compare, because you think about where Latroy was at through 13 or 15 practices through spring. Doing some good things, still lost a little bit and that's where he's at. It's a just a matter of him getting enough reps for him to get real good and it's hard because you aren't getting all the repetitions. Latroy is still a freshman status but has improved and is getting more confident in the overall scheme."
Westbrook, Patton standing out
When defensive end Tevin Westbrook was asked to move to tight end after spring practices, most assumed it was just for depth reasons, but after a strong camp, the sophomore could be close to earning valuable playing time. When asked how Westbrook has looked during camp, Pease's answer was short but direct.
“Phenomenal," Pease said. "That kid is a big plus for us. He has a great attitude. He works hard. He’s had probably one of the best camps.”
Pease was also very complimentary of wide receiver Solomon Patton.
"I’ll tell you this about Solomon, he’s probably had one of the best weeks for him as a receiver," Pease said. "He’s been very consistent, playing very fast and doing a very good job. Size doesn’t matter to me if you can run. He’s got speed and he’s a consistent catcher."
Reed not participating in scrimmage
Muschamp said on Monday that Jordan Reed would miss three-to-four practices with a twisted knee. Pease said Friday that it was unlikely that Reed wil participate in the scrimmage on Friday evening and gave no exact time frame for his return.