Muschamp told the media that summer workouts have had 100% attendance so far and that is part of the solution to being a better team. New strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman can make better men and a better team out of the group.
"The landscape has changed so much… it is why (fall) training camp has changed a little bit, part of training camp was getting guys in shape because some of them went home and didn't do anything. Now they are there all summer and working out. They should be in shape, getting stronger."
Of course different players need different things to work on. Dillman and his staff go to great lengths to make sure that they prescribe the right routine, nutrition, and everything els4e to make this team a much bigger, faster, and stronger team both physically and mentally.
"We have identified for the players for when they report in August, whether it is a goal weight or strength max," Muschamp said. "Whatever it is they have to do to improve themselves as a member of our football team."
One issue during the offseason has always been the absence of coaches with the players during this time. Only the strength coach is allowed to work them out and be on them during non-spring or fall practice times. It is imperative that the team police themselves and make sure everyone is on the right track.
"They have to have ownership within the team to make sure each other is working," Muschamp said. "A lot of that onus is on the quarterbacks on the offensive side and Jon (Bostic) and Jelani (Jenkins) on the defensive side of the ball to get all the inner workings of the team out on the field together for a player run practice."
Muschamp has vowed that this would be a much more physical team than a year ago. He has already seen a great deal of that form this group and the added depth that he didn't have a year ago will allow the team to practice harder.
"I think that we could have had a more physical training camp," he said of a year ago. "But that is dang if you do or dang if you don't. We were so thin we couldn't have any injuries."
He was all smiles during Gator bowl prep sessions and into the winter workouts with this group and the way they attacked things.
"I would say it was when we went in the offseason program this January," he said about when he saw the light coming on with this team. "We came out of the bowl game and I thought we had a really good bowl preparation. The guys had a good understanding of what we had to do to improve our program from a physicality standpoint and accountability standpoint. It isn't that they didn't have that before, but we just took another step.
"I thought the guys worked extremely hard in the offseason. Day one from this offseason from my first year to this year was night and day. From work ethic to buying in, to understanding to what to do and how to do it the way it is supposed to be done, discipline, commitment. All of those things are much improved. A little bit of knowing what the expectation is, but more of it is knowing what it takes to be successful. When you are dealing with a young team, they don't know what it takes to be successful.
"Now, we are a year older. Jon Halapio and Xavier Nixon were the only two offensive linemen that played a lot of football in the SEC. Jordan Reed was playing his first year at tight end. We had first year receivers other than Deonte Thompson and Frankie Hammond with a new scheme and a new system. Then we lose our starting quarterback and that puts a dent in things."
Muschamp also realizes they needed to make some changes and likes the way the changes are headed right now. Three staffers left to go elsewhere and he believes offensive coordinator Brent Pease, offensive line coach Tim Davis, and strength coach Dillman will help make a great change on this program.
"Any time you have openings on your staff, you have to improve yourself. I think in all three areas we took a step forward," he said. "Obviously we changed some things offensively and that is where we needed to make some tremendous improvements. I thought we improved defensively through the year, we were inconsistent but improved. I thought we played well on special teams other than punt return. That is where we needed to gain some strides with our football team."
But it is the 100% work out attendance and the steps these guys are going to take under the tutelage of Dillman that are going to be the biggest difference in this team. Dillman started his training for the position he is with one of the best programs in the country at LSU. He left LSU to go to Appalachian State and won two national championships there before learning all kinds of new technology and training at IMG in Bradenton.
Dillman is having an immediate and noticeable impact on this squad.
"In the short time he has been here their bodies are changing," Muschamp said. "They are more explosive. When we actually tackle them now, we knock them back… that is a good thing. I think his program this summer will be critical." The guys have bought in… 100%. And that is the impetus to make it work.