The Muschamp Plan: Win All Three Phases

Will Muschamp doesn't want egos. He doesn't want to deal with players who feel deserving or entitled. Instead, he wants desire. He wants players whose passion and love for the game reflects that of their coach. And if his introductory press conference was any indication, Muschamp has plenty of both to go around.

"Really as a football team, I want to be known as a blue collar, overachieving unit," Will Muschamp said. "We're going to recruit good players here, but they need to buy into the fact of taking the talent they have and what God has blessed them with and stretch it to the potential that they've got. If we buy into that blue-collar attitude, which is what I am, and an overachiever, which is what I am, hopefully we can sell that to our football team and produce that attitude on the field."

Muschamp preaches preparation. He wants his players to be ready for any situation. That's why he will be implementing programs that will further leadership development, character development and mental conditioning "that it takes to be successful." For Muschamp, toughness and being an overachiever doesn't just come on the field or in the weight room.

"We will be a physically, mentally and tough football team," Muschamp said. "We will be a physically tough football team. It's not something you talk about-- it's something you live your life with. It starts with Mickey in the weight room and it starts in January after the Bowl game when our kids come back from camp. It starts with our off-season program, it starts with spring practice; it goes through the summer; it goes into training camp and every day.

"We're not going to be dumb tough. We're going to practice the right way, we're going to prepare the right way, we're going to train the right way. But we will be a physically tough football team."

OFFENSE: The offensive coordinator who will run the Florida offense hasn't been decided yet, and Muschamp doesn't expect for it to be done until after the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day. There are a few characteristics he is looking for in finding the right fit at offensive coordinator.

Muschamp wants to run a pro-style offense. He saw the offenses that are used in the NFL during his one-year stint as defensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins. If the goal is for his players to reach the next level, he wants them playing in a system fit to get them there. Muschamp also would prefer an offensive coordinator who has college and NFL experience.

He was a traditional run game that can carry the offense, regardless of whether the passing game is working or not.

"Offensively, I want to be balanced. I think in the SEC, the SEC is the line of scrimmage league. The difference between the SEC and all of the other leagues are simply this-- the defensive linemen. Top to bottom, you've got to keep them off balance because they're too good top to bottom to just have one or two good defensive lines through the season. You're facing a bunch of good ones, so we've got to have balance on offense. We've got to be able to run the ball, we've got to run the ball to kill the game at the end, run the ball in the red zone, and run the ball to develop toughness on your football team. You've got to stop the run in the SEC, and you can't just hope it happens on Saturday afternoon. You've got to practice against it every single day, whether it's from one back or two back in my opinion really doesn't matter."

The throwing game is also important. Muschamp wants an offense that can throw the ball down the field to keep extra defenders from creeping into the box to stop the run.

"You've also got to be able to throw it. You've got to stretch the field vertically and make them defend it," Muschamp said. "I know we've got great speed here, and I know that Urban and his staff have done job of recruiting speed so we've got to be balanced and be able to convert it on 3rd down and throw it. But we want to be balanced in what we do offensively."

DEFENSE: The defensive side of the ball is where Muschamp has built his career. He has been a defensive coordinator for nine years, five coming in the SEC. He won't change much from the defensive schemes that got him to this point. He likes to get after the quarterback with creative blitzes, and that won't change.

Muschamp also said he isn't sure if he will call plays or if they will bring in a defensive coordinator.

"Defensively, we'll carry a lot of the same values and the same things we've done everywhere we've been," Muschamp said. "There will be some components of the 3-4, the 4-3. We'd like to be a man pressure team, but the big thing you've got to do defensively nowadays, you've got to be multiple in what you do."

The base defense Muschamp has always used is the 4-3. However, because of the uniqueness in offenses that is starting to show in college football, he knows the team can't rely only on the 4-3. He wants his defense to be capable of running multiple formations.

"You've got to be able to change week to week. The hardest thing about being a defensive coach nowadays is week one you see this offense, week two there is zero carryover to the next week. You're going to see something totally different. To week three there's zero carryover from this week. So your kids are learning a whole new scheme each week, and you've got to have something that's flexible enough to adjust week in, week out to what these teams do against really good coaches and really good skilled athletes in the SEC. And that's where I think we've got an advantage from the standpoint we do have a multiple scheme that we do teach an awful lot, our players are able to learn an awful lot."

SPECIAL TEAMS: Muschamp isn't a special teams expert, but he is going to hire a special teams coordinator to run it. He referred to it as "one-third of the game" and emphasized how important it will be to his Florida teams.

"I explained it to the guys in a team meeting tonight that Bill Parcells said something that made an awful lot of sense to me. If you're not a quarterback or offensive lineman and you don't play on special teams, you're a selfish football player. In the NFL, there's only a 53-man roster, so if you are not a marquee player you'd better be on special teams for the game, or you're not getting on the bus to go to the stadium.

"Our guys need to understand that. Our best players will play on special teams. We have got to control the vertical field position in the game, and special teams certainly are a way to do that. That starts with your specialists, number one, and your returners number two. Obviously, it's important to have your best players, your best space players especially, and recruiting the speed we've recruited here, I'm excited about that."

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