Skill Players Comfortable With QB Position

The Florida skill players are going through this week of practice without knowing who they'll be catching the ball from this weekend at LSU. They don't think it will make that much of an impact. It is a change getting used to a different quarterback after John Brantley was injured against Alabama over the weekend, but the receivers and tight ends think the transition has been smooth.

"I don't think it changes anything," wide receiver Frankie Hammond said about not knowing who will start. "We had a rhythm with (Brantley), so now we have to be out there and just be athletes. Every ball isn't going to perfect. Even (Brantley) doesn't throw a perfect ball every time."

Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis has been clear in his message for the Florida offense this week. He doesn't want each individual all to put too much pressure on himself to make up for the loss of Brantley. However, each unit does need to step up its play to compensate.

There's only so much each unit can do with the loss of an experienced, senior quarterback, but the offense knows it has to do its best.

"We lost our starting quarterback," Jordan Reed said. "We've got to compensate for that a little bit. We have all young quarterbacks now, so we have to make all the plays we can to keep his confidence up."

Florida fans have had a few opportunities to see what freshman Jeff Driskel can do on the field. Jacoby Brissett is the one who is the mystery. Head coach Will Muschamp said on Wednesday that if Driskel starts, Brissett will be his backup, but even that isn't set yet.

Weis said that Driskel enrolling early and Brissett coming to campus in the summer might have played a role in which quarterback won the backup job. With ample time to run the offense in practice, Brissett has started to challenge for the starting job this weekend at LSU.

"He's more comfortable and being more sure of himself," Hammond said about Brissett. "He's in a rhythm, setting his feet, making progressions and making throws. He has been getting a whole bunch of reps in."

Despite the strong arm Driskel has shown during games this year, Hammond said he thinks Brissett has the stronger arm "because of his size." Brissett's poise has also received plenty of praise from the skill players.

"I see a lot of good things out of Jacoby," Reed said. "He's got a real strong arm and he's real athletic. He can be a really good player."

Regardless of who wins the job to start this Saturday, the Florida receivers and tight ends will be catching passes from a different type of quarterback. Brantley is a pocket passer that doesn't scare any opponent with his feet. Whether it's Driskel or Brissett that gets the start on Saturday, it will be a quarterback that poses more of a threat on the ground.

Driskel is more likely to run than Brissett is, but playing with a more mobile quarterback has forced the offensive players to realize that the player isn't dead until the whistle blows.

"The play is never over with Driskel," Reed said. "He's real mobile. We've got to keep running around and maybe he'll see you."


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