White Prepared for Play Calling Duty

As Florida interim offensive coordinator Brian White preps to call plays for the first time since 2007, he doesn't expect many differences. The staff has prepared a game plan for the Gator Bowl that White thinks will be similar to what Florida looked like all season. After stints as the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin and Syracuse, White's test as a play caller will be against a Big Ten team.

"It's probably a little bit ironic," Brian White said after Florida's practice at Jacksonville University on Wednesday. "I have tremendous respect for Ohio State and their program. It's one of the most traditional programs in the country. I've had some wonderful games against them in my past, so I'm looking forward to competing against them in the bowl game."

On paper, it looks like an audition for White. Florida head coach Will Muschamp has been clear that he will wait until after Monday's Gator Bowl before announcing an offensive coordinator, and the game against Ohio State could serve as White's chance to show what he can do. After serving as the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin from 1999-2005 and at Syracuse from 2006-07, White is familiar with what comes along with calling plays.

White downplayed the role of an offensive coordinator heading into the game, as he called drawing up a game plan a "collaborative effort." The Florida staff has worked together to draw up the plan before the game.

Once the game kicks off, White will have to rely on instincts. The Gators go into the game with a plan of plays to call in certain down and distance situations, but there is still a feeling required with each play call.

"If they work, it's like riding a bike," White said about returning to the coordinator role. "If they don't, it's like learning how to ride a bicycle. I enjoy it, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity. I'm thankful that Will has provided the opportunity.

"There is a knack to making the right call at the right time. For the most part, he could've picked anybody on our staff. They're all qualified to do it."

Names like Carolina Panthers quarterback coach Mike Shula and Jacksonville University head coach Kerwin Bell have surfaced as potential candidates to replace Charlie Weis as the offensive coordinator. White will also get a look at having the job. Muschamp wants to run a pro-style, ball control offense, and White's offenses at Wisconsin were just that.

For the Gators to be a team that can eat up clock and possess the ball, White could be a hire that Muschamp goes with. It would provide continuity for a team that has dealt with plenty of coaching turnover in recent year. The interview process is different for White because Muschamp has worked beside him for a year now, learning White's strengths and weaknesses as a coach. However, his interview as a play caller could come in action on Monday.

"In our profession, you audition every day for your job, regardless of what the position is," White said. "If you want to consider it auditioning, I'm thankful to be a part of this university and a part of Coach Muschamp's staff."

Muschamp hinted on Tuesday that Florida could have some different looks on offense. Whether it's wildcat or more downfield passing, change isn't a bad idea for an offense that sputtered throughout the season. White wouldn't talk about specific changes from what the Florida offense used under Weis during the season, but White also didn't eliminate talk of Florida using different formations or plays.

The challenge comes in not confusing players with too many changes. The Florida players have run one base offense all season, so changing that all with just weeks of practice before the Gator Bowl wouldn't be intelligent.

"You have to be very judicious and smart," White said. "You don't want to overload your team and understand they can only handle so many new things. It would be no different than any other game. You always want to provide a few wrinkles they haven't prepared for, but you can't recreate a new offense every week. A lot of times as coaches, you fall into that trap. I believe we have not."


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