Brantley Getting Comfortable with New System

After taking his first look at the new Florida playbook, there was a short period of time where John Brantley felt overwhelmed. The Gators are past the halfway mark of spring practice, and Charlie Weis' offense now makes plenty of sense to Brantley. It hasn't come without multiple hours of studying the playbook on his time.

"(It's) not that (hard) once you get it down," John Brantley said of the new offense. "It's not after you get into it and in the playbook to study it. It gets easier and easier every day."

Weis came to Gainesville with a hard-nosed reputation of being tough on the quarterbacks he coached. His results were tough to argue with, though.

Since taking over as the Florida offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Brantley said the transition has been smooth. Their first meeting as a position group came soon after Weis got the job, and he was clear with his quarterbacks that he understood a learning curve was necessary.

"It was a relaxed meeting," Brantley said. "He understood that it was our first time out there. He has been the same person this whole time. He hasn't changed much at all."

Their relationship has been smooth on and off the field. It had to be for Brantley to get a quick handle on the offense being put in.

"I respect Coach Weis a bunch," Brantley said. "I really appreciate him and what he's doing for us now. He's a great guy and a great coach. I listen to everything he says. He's a great coach and knows how to develop quarterbacks."

As expected, Brantley has seen the Florida offense get better seemingly every practice. The unit is becoming more comfortable with the offense after each time on the field.

"We're starting to have everything click now," Brantley said. "We're working well as an offense and as a team as a whole. We keep moving up the ladder."

The quarterback position is more interesting than normal with a new coaching staff. Every player starts with a new slate, including Brantley, who is coming off a disappointing junior campaign. Freshman Jeff Driskel and redshirt freshman Tyler Murphy are also in the mix, and freshman Jacoby Brissett will be on campus in the summer.

Instead of a cut-throat competition, the players are friends off the field and know that it comes down to a business decision for who will start.

"With helping each other out, we learn even more," Brantley said. "If someone needs help, teaching them helps you out and also helps them out. We're working as a team. We're fighting for a position, but we're all good buddies.

"It's just a good challenge to learn a new offense. Everyone is new to this, so we're helping our fellow quarterbacks or a receiver out."

The Gators had a scrimmage on Saturday in The Swamp that helped the players run the new offense against their own defense. Brantley said he was encouraged with the results, even though it wasn't perfect.

The team will have a scrimmage on a bigger scale April 9 during the Orange and Blue game. It all comes down to the team getting more reps on the field against a live defense.

"In the scrimmage aspect, it's more game reps and everything moves a little faster," Brantley said. "That helps us out. Running this new offense, the only way to get better is more reps.


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