Muschamp SEC Teleconference Q & A

Will Muschamp talks to the national media and the conversation is focused on the health of his team and the ability of Tennessee to really throw the ball. Here is everything Muschamp had to say to the media on Wednesday as his team prepares for their second SEC road game of this early football season.

Question. Can you update us on the health of Mike Gillislee?
Will Muschamp: "He practiced yesterday and looked good."

Q. How important is it to get the secondary ready without Cody Riggs?
WM: "We have Pop Saunders (missed two games) there which helps. Tyler Bray can make all the throws. He has really good arm talent and does a nice job of getting in and out of looks in the run and throw game. He did a great job against NC State of getting rid of the ball when he needed to and not taking sacks and not taking negative plays. Certainly that was a defense that tried to create some. Justin Hunter and Cordarelle Patterson are really good players and Riviera is a guy that can give you issues at tight end. They are running the ball as well, so we have our work cut out for us."

Q. What development have you seen in Tyler Bray?
WM: "He was playing really well going into last year's game. They are very similar going into last year as to where they are now. They have helped him with the no-huddle, getting to the line of scrimmage and letting the defense declare their look, changing what they are doing and how they do it, taking care of the football and not making negative plays. He has always been able to throw the football. He is a guy we have a lot of respect for."

Q. How has Antonio Morrison responded to getting first team work in practice?
WM: "He and Mike (Taylor) both have repped in there. We may be in some sub packages where we are in nickel or dime so they are both in there. Both of those guys are responding very well."

Q. How much of what you were able to do defensively in the second half against Texas A&M were X's and O's and how much was attitude.
WM: "I think our attitude was great in the first half we didn't get the results we wanted. We just had to play more disciplined football. When you play a quarterback with legs you have to be very disciplined in your rush lanes and we were not in the first half. We had some guys that wanted to do their own thing and got back door blocked and that is not how we play. I have never been disappointed in their work ethic, commitment, toughness, or playing hard. They do that and we have to just play a little smarter here and there."

Q. Was there anything Aggie quarterback Manziel did that surprised you?
WM: "As many times as he was featured in the run game, yes. We knew there would be some quarterback draws because I knew Johnny when he was in high school and he is a phenomenal athlete. We had no idea how much (they would run) and how quickly in the pocket he was willing to pull the ball down and run."

Q. How difficult is it to replace a big time quarterback like a Colt McCoy or a Tim Tebow?
WM: "Everyone looks at the numbers rushing, throwing, winning games, and championships… all those things are things you can look at. But, what you don't realize is the leadership. Here at Florida we were devoid of that at Florida in the year before I got here… after talking to Urban… and into last year. What happens is you become so dependent on that guy, your team, your staff, and everyone in the organization.

"I felt the same way with Colt McCoy at Texas offensively and defensively, ‘hey we are going to be okay here because he is going to make it happen'. There is just a void in your program because he will bail you out. He will help us out here. I think there is a loss not only athletically but psychologically and when he moves on it effects the staff as well. You had this guy that made so many plays and so many things right that wasn't exactly the perfect picture we were looking for. I certainly witnessed it with Colt and in the chair I am in now, knowing what Tim brought to this program was so much more than what he did on the field."

Q. Have you seen enough from Tennessee's Patterson to see how they are different this year from last year?
WM: "He is very similar to Da'Rick. He is 6-3 and 200 plus pounds. He is extremely fast, sticks his foot in the ground, good with the ball in his hands, carries the ball well, catches the ball down the field, he is a strong guy and handles the press well. He is a very similar guy as far as Rodgers was concerned. This guy is an explosive guy."

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