Burton, Hines Bring Important Versatility

Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease knows there will be difference in his offense in Gainesville from the one he ran last year at Boise State. The Gators have their power running back and are still making a decision on whom to start at quarterback. He's confident in playmakers at receiver and tight end. However, the versatility of two players is unlike anything he used at Boise State.

He didn't have any players like Trey Burton or Omarius Hines at Boise State. They ran a power run game and had one of the most cerebral quarterbacks in college football with Kellen Moore, but Brent Pease's offense in Gainesville will look different because of Burton and Hines.

"We didn't have a guy like that at Boise State," Pease said. "We just didn't have players like that."

It's a dream come true for an offensive coordinator like Pease. His scheme is predicated on pre-snap shifts and motions that try to confuse a defense. Having players that can line up in multiple positions is important. If Burton or Hines lines up in the slot, defenses have to plan for him to be there when the ball is snapped.

Burton will be a factor this fall

The Gators don't have to leave him there, though. Besides the offensive line, both players have one position they won't be used in this year. It's tight end for Burton and quarterback for Hines. Everywhere else is fair game for the two.

"They create mismatches," Pease said. "We will get them the ball and they've got to make plays."

Hines isn't content having quarterback crossed off his list. He even joked with the media on Monday night that he thinks he can give Burton a run for his money while throwing the football.

That's not a surprise to Pease. Since starting to teach Hines his role in the offense, the redshirt senior has constantly been in the offensive coaches ear to give him a bigger role.

"He's very versatile," Pease said of Hines. "He's a kid that, when the ball is in his hands, he can go the distance. He can create the huge, explosive plays. He can go 75-80 yards. He's got the extra gear, the ability to catch, the ability to run, and strength. He's an incredible talent.

Hines will line up all over the field

"We've just got to use him the right way, not burn him out and not overload him with thinking. He has done a good job. He's a very smart kid on the field."

The duo will give the Florida offense a different look than simply what is on film from Boise State last year. With just ten days until the opening game for Florida, Pease wasn't open about the changes.

"You're going to see a lot of similarities, and you're going to see a lot of differences," Pease said. "I'll tell you (about the differences) after the first game."

After spending time in Jacksonville watching Florida practice for its Gator Bowl matchup with Ohio State in January, Pease liked the offensive talent he saw. That might have surprised some people after the Gators offense stumbled through the 2011 season, but he "knew there were some weapons" and felt comfortable with the kids" in Gainesville.

The issue will soon turn to a game plan. Head coach Will Muschamp said installation of the game plan for Bowling Green will begin on Thursday at practice. The coaches have a general idea of number of touches each offensive player should get, but that doesn't always stick in game sitautions.

"Building within a game plan, you have a target," Pease said. "You can't always control that, throwing wise, with the coverages. They might spin a coverage to take a guy out of it. We're going to do a good job making sure the right guys are touching the ball."

WIDE RECEIVER IMPROVING: The receivers have stayed mostly healthy through fall camp, but Pease was open about one important loss that came as a surprise. Walk-on Mike McNeely will miss six weeks with a broken foot. Originally, that was only expected to hurt the Florida special teams, but Pease said on Wednesday that the 5-8, 175-pound sophomore would have seen time on the field at receiver, too.

"He was going to help us at wide out," Pease said. "He had a good camp."

The rest of the receivers have been a work in progress but Pease has seen positive steps.

"Every day they have gotten better," Pease said. "Consistency is starting to show up. The guys are understanding their role. I tell them if they want more, then they better show consistency and create it. Guys are grasping onto that."

The issue comes in finding the ones that Pease wants to throw on the field. He said last week that the absolute minimum number of receivers he needed to feel comfortable with was six. He would prefer that number to be seven or eight.

As the season opener is now ten days away, he's still trying to narrow that down.

"We're not just sticking anybody out there that looks pretty and can run," Pease said. "They better go out there and perform. They better catch balls and block. If you came here thinking, "I was labeled this and labeled that," you might not see some of those people. You go out there and make plays. That's the bottom line at that position. I don't want any of those Terrell Owens guys."

SCRIMMAGE CANCELLED: The Gators were planning to run a scrimmage on Tuesday that mimicked a game day. They would have a pregame meal, go in the locker room for halftime and adjust as the team does on a game day to help prepare the young players for next Saturday and remind the older players of how the process goes.

The rain changed those plans.

Constant rain on Tuesday afternoon forced the coaches to cancel the scrimmage. They will make up the reps with a light scrimmage on Thursday and Friday to get some of those reps in, but it won't be full contact as Tuesday would have been.

Florida has Wednesday off practice because it's the first day of classes.


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