For the Gators who are down to their third string quarterback, second string running back, 4th and 5th string offensive tackles on offense, the Florida coaching staff has gone nowhere in being able to make anything happen.
Expectations of big changes are around the corner and will come very quickly, and forgetting this season is something all Gators want to do. A seven game losing streak is something that can't be tolerated at Florida, no matter the consequences.
That is why something huge has to happen on offense.
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley reiterated his comments in previous weeks that Florida head coach Will Muschamp will be back. We know that to be true, but an offense mired in the 100's nationally in total offense among all division one schools for three straight years has to change, even though offensive coordinator Brent Pease has only been here the last two.
While I know that Muschamp wishes to have a downhill running game type of offense, to think he is averse to the big play is silly to me. He just wants to be able to run the ball when the Gators need to. He may be averse to a more wide open offense for that reason, and maybe that will have to change. Maybe I should say that will likely have to change, if he wants to remain on as coach after 2014.
This team needs an overhaul and a huge part of that will come when some guys get healthy. When you are trying to stay on par with college football's elite, you can't do so playing the majority of the season with all of the injuries that the Gators have incurred.
But there is more and a change is necessary and the offense is the part of the team that has to be turned upside down and cleansed of whatever it is they have been trying to do for the last two years.
Utilizing the strength of your personnel is the first part. If you have a quarterback incapable of performing the mental aspects of what you want to do, then do something else or use someone else. If you have an offensive line that is having issues blocking the scheme you are running, then change the scheme or change the players.
I totally understand the issues of having your third string quarterback in there and that there may be limitations for him, but if that is the case, get your strong armed 4th string quarterback ready to play and at least be able to throw the ball and help your short game out in turn by opening up the defense a little bit.
All of this falls on the offensive staff and mostly on the guy directing that staff and the quarterbacks. Folks want Muschamp to walk in the staff room and fix things, but he's not an offensive guy. Back when I worked for the football staff, I remember distinctly the time that Steve Spurrier brought in defensive guru Bill Oliver in to help his defensive coordinator Jon Hoke. Spurrier had no idea how to fix things and I believe Oliver actually helped.
I am not saying that Muschamp should do the same, but letting folks know it is common for a head coach to not be in tune with what changes can be made on the side of the ball he is not familiar with.
If Muschamp is guilty, it seems the big crime is hiring a couple of offensive coordinators that have run the offense into the dirt. He may be too far removed from the success or lack of success of the offense. He is allowing these guys to control it and it has gone to pieces.
Now he must guard against stepping in too much, but he must get the right people in charge to make a quick and positive change. He said shortly after the 37-7 loss on Saturday that he has no timetable for making possible staff changes, but we all know that it has to happen fairly quickly because of recruiting.
I don't think Brent Pease is a bad offensive coordinator necessarily, I just think he is a really bad fit here. I think he tries to out think his opponent too much instead of attacking with the team's strengths and I think you get that mentality from a school like Boise State and Kentucky when they regularly line up with inferior talent. I think the offense he wanted to run was just too difficult for the Florida personnel to decipher, especially when there were so many changes happening due to injuries.
This is why Muschamp called for things to be simplified before the Georgia game, by then your backup quarterback was hurt too much to be a difference maker throwing the ball. A quarterback with the ability to throw the ball should have been repping for playing time.
Muschamp will have to make a change and he will do so gracefully and with dignity. It will be the first undoing of his staff by himself and that is never easy for coaches who are usually loyal and build great relationships with staff members from all the time spent on the job. An unwelcome casualty, but it sometimes has to happen.
Muschamp can build on the future with the fact that a lot of young folks whp weren't going to get playing time in 2013 now have that playing time. Running back Kelvin Taylor can be a force down the road. Receiver Ahmad Fulwood looks like he can do some things. Trenton Brown is a solid tackle that wasn't looking to play much. They know Murphy can perform if called upon and healthy
On defense they got some nice play out of Alex McCalister and Bryan Cox late in the year. Linebacker Jarrad Davis played well late in the season as well. There are more young guys that are red-shirting that they really expect to add a lift to the team moving forward.
Quick and good decisions have to be made, but it seems impossible for things to get worse than they were at the end of this season.