Pease Spending More Time With Receivers

The resignation of Aubrey Hill forced graduate assistant Bush Hamdan into the role as wide receivers coach, but it also pushed offensive coordinator Brent Pease to be more versatile. Pease has spent his time on campus implementing the new Florida offense for all positions. He'll now focus more than expected on what happens at the wide receiver position during the 2012 season.

"In the passing game, you're mixed in with (the receivers) so much," Brent Pease said on Wednesday afternoon. "I've been in the role as a receivers coach where the other guy is working with me so we're all on the same page. The timing and rhythm within a passing game, that's very important. We're all working together."

Pease came to Gainesville as the only coach that knew the scheme he wanted to run. Offensive line coach Tim Davis took the job in Gainesville after coaching at Utah, but Pease kept the remaining offensive assistants on staff. That changed when Aubrey Hill, who Pease called "a good friend of mine and a good coach that I worked with," announced his resignation last week.

Graduate assistant Bush Hamdan doesn't have an experienced track record in coaching. His experience comes in the actual offense he is teaching to the Florida receivers. He'll be trusted to coach the receivers this season with Pease keeping a close eye on the position. Hamdan came to Gainesville with Pease after being a graduate assistant at Boise State.

Hamdan is spending his time with receivers this fall

He also played at Boise State in the offense he's now teaching to Florida receivers.

"He's got a lot of passion in the game and understands the system," Pease said. "He was a guy that got beat out by Kellen Moore as a freshman. Did he want to leave? No. He stuck with it because there was more in it for him in the long run about getting his education and being with his teammates. I always respected him for that.

"It would've been easy for him to leave, but he didn't do that. He was a competitor and knew that he could still help the team. I knew that if he got into coaching, he has a good approach, feel and understanding for other guys."

Pease will be working with Hamdan to make sure the transition is going well, and through five days of practice, Pease called the transition "awesome." It's not uncommon for the offensive coordinator to split his time at two positions, either. Pease worked with the receivers while running the whole offense at Boise State, and he'll do the same thing at Florida.

"I'm always going to spend some time with them because I want the receivers to understand the eyes of the quarterback and what they have to deal with," Pease said. "The guy back there pulling the trigger doesn't have all day. He's got bullets flying at him. They've got to understand the urgency of what he's seeing. There isn't freedom to go out there and run about a five-second route."

RETENTION IN IMPORTANT PLACES: Will Muschamp said on Monday he was happy with the retention on both sides of the ball from spring practice. That wasn't a surprise on defense, where a veteran unit returns for its second year in the scheme.

That isn't the case for the offense.

Florida spent the spring learning Pease's scheme, one full of complicated pre-snap motions and shifts to confuse the defense. When the Gators hit the practice field to start fall camp, Pease was happy with how much the players remembered from their work in spring.

"It has probably shown up more in our shifting and motion stuff," said Pease, noting that Jordan Reed and Frankie Hammond have stood out in their memory of the offense. "You've got so much verbiage and when they hear it, they kind of know. When it's not right, they fix it on their own and get it to be in the correct situation.

"The thing that's encouraging is I think a lot of the older kids took the younger kids in during the offseason. We're getting to that spot, which is good, where the players are teaching the players. It's not just coaches trying to get them right."

The coaches will continue to push learning throughout fall camp because the offense needs to be sharp as Florida opens the year with Bowling Green on September 1. The pre-snap shifts and motions won't work if the Gators are slow to huddle, call a play and get to the line of scrimmage.

"We've just got to be good," Pease said. "There isn't a target point on (the play clock to be set), but it's tempo-based. We've got to be good getting in and out of the huddle, and some of that is on me with getting the plays in early, and the guys dialed in with who we are substituting and getting guys on the field."

If the Gators get to the line of scrimmage too late for the shifts to work, Pease wouldn't say what the team would do, just saying the Gators "have got a system."

The difference won't just be in shifts. The offense will also feature multiple players on the field. Pease said the offense he runs isn't built for one player, no matter the position, to carry it. He needs playmakers all over the field to be capable of catching and running the ball.

"You'll see a lot of players involved in it, and they'll have some ownership," Pease said. "(The offense) isn't build for this guy to carry the whole team. Players have to take ownership. There are roles. If you want your role to be bigger, you create your role to be bigger. The more you can do, that helps the offense and creates matchups and allows us to be flexible with a particular player in this offense."

RUNNING GAME CHANGES: Pease watched film of the team last year and saw a running game that was "boundary-oriented," but that won't be the case anymore. Part of that is based on necessity. The Gators don't have quick, elusive backs like Jeff Demps or Chris Rainey to get to the edge and up the sideline in a hurry.

Instead, there are power runners in the backfield.

"You can look at a lot of different schemes," Pease said. "We're a zone-based, power-based scheme, and that's one of his strengths. He's a good running back. He's smart and has good hands. He understands recognition in protection factors, which makes him a well-rounded player. He runs physical, but he's got great vision and balance for zone schemes."

Mike Gillislee is ready for a breakout year

Will Muschamp said on Monday that Mike Gillislee is ahead of the pack at running back and is expected to be the starter. After that, it gets muddy. Mack Brown, Chris Johnson and Matt Jones are all involved for the backup running back job, and players like Trey Burton and Omarius Hines could also get touches in some situations.

"I've seen a lot of good depth," Pease said about the fight for the backup job. "They can see there's good competition there, and kids are taking advantage of their opportunities. They understand that they've got to perform and be good with ball security and pass protection. We've got very good runners."


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