Offensive Coordinator Holds The Key

We get to hear from Will Muschamp later today and the new Gator coach will outline his vision for the program going forward. You can expect the typical things --- he wants a team that is in great shape, plays hard is tough physically and mentally and does the right things on and off the field --- but that won't be the most important thing he talks about.

No, the key to Muschamp exciting Gator Nation and creating immediate improvement on the field is his selection of an offensive coordinator and the staff he surrounds that coach with. The "name" is not the important things here, it's the plan.

What will Florida's style of play be going forward? Will Florida remain a spread-option team or will the Gators go to a more traditional offense with the I-formation and more downfield passing? Could it be a combination of both? Will an athletic, running quarterback be important to the Gator offense either way?

The answers to those questions will determine to a large extent the futures of all four quarterbacks on the Florida roster. John Brantley could be back as a fifth year senior or he could head elsewhere looking for an offense that makes more sense for him. Trey Burton could be a QB, an H-back, a utility offensive player or he could become a free safety. Jordan Reed could be in the QB mix, or he could go back to TE. Tyler Murphy was thought to be more athlete than QB originally. Does he become a WR?

One thing we know for certain. Incoming freshman Jeff Driskel will be in the QB mix and is likely to get every opportunity to compete for the starting job.

One thing that helps Muschamp in this transition is that he just went through the same sort of season at Texas that the Gators experienced, only worse. The Longhorns were 5-7 last year despite a defense that was No. 7 in the nation in yards per game. The defense wore out over the course of the season due to injuries and offensive ineptitude. Texas turned it over 26 times this past campaign. The Gators turned it over 25 times. Muschamp knows the strain a bumbling offense puts on a team's defense and will be extra determined to ensure that doesn't happen in Gainesville in 2011.

The other side of the ball is of little concern. Oh sure, the Gators have issues on a defense that was poor at rushing the passer and did not tackle well on far too many occasions. But defensive oriented head coaches always seem to have good defenses. Muschamp will have his imprint on the Gator defense and his track record at Auburn, LSU and Texas is impressive and consistent. Florida will be better defensively in 2011, count on it.

I look forward to hearing Muschamp this evening (live on Sun Sports @ 6:30) and meeting the Gator head man. But I'm more interested in hearing what he has to say about the plan to improve the worst Gator offense in more than 20 years.

Fightin Gators Top Stories