Practice observations: Passing game

The Florida passing game had a strong day despite shaky quarterback play. After putting together an improved spring, Latroy Pittman had his best day of the spring with a highlight one-handed catch serving as the main attraction. Sophomore Ahmad Fulwood was also a favorite target of the Florida quarterbacks.

The receivers had the best day of any position on the roster. Latroy Pittman started practice by running a corner route, leaping to catch the ball over two defenders. The ball was almost punched out by a defender, but after juggling it, Pittman pinned the ball against his body with one hand and maintained possession after he hit the ground.

He's physical over the middle and gives the Florida defensive backs problems out of the slot. That's where he has worked through most of the spring, serving as the first team receiver along with Ahmad Fulwood and Quinton Dunbar. Pittman was a standout during the spring he enrolled early, but this looks like a breakout that be carried into the season.

Fulwood was the second best receiver and looks to be a favorite target of Jeff Driskel. The two had good timing while working together, hitting a few deep balls. When the Gators were running through two-minute or one-minute drills to simulate a late-game situation, Driskel looks Fulwood's way more than others.

Fulwood caught at least three passes for more than 30 yards and had some fun with the defensive backs after doing it.

The other obvious receiver-quarterback connection came from Will Grier and Chris Thompson. The two connected for two passes that went for a minimum of 50 yards, both times Grier dropping a perfect pass over Thompson's shoulder. Thompson showed some surprising strength for a receiver known for his speed, running over Marqui Hawkins during tackling drills. Thompson looks to be making big strides this spring after catching one pass last year.

Driskel really struggled on Wednesday. He underthrew some deep balls that should have led the receivers and given them a chance. He overthrew routes on the sideline, not giving his receivers a chance to make a play. His legs still look good and he's running as smooth as he did before the injury, but his throws need to improve before the fall.

Grier was the best quarterback on the team during Wednesday's practice. He throws a really pretty deep ball, showing the arm off multiple times. However, his youth still pops up at times. Just minutes after his two deep balls to Thompson, Grier threw into the flat and didn't see cornerback Brian Poole baiting him into it. Poole picked off the pass with ease.

For all the praise the Florida coaches have heaped on Vernon Hargreaves, it wasn't the case on Wednesday. The coaches got on him multiple times for his effort level. While guarding Demarcus Robinson in the 7-on-7 portion of practice, Hargreaves covered him for the first half of the play before giving up and letting Robinson run by him.

He caught a pass deep down the field for a long touchdown because Hargreaves gave up on it. Florida coach Will Muschamp blew up. He let Hargreaves hear about it for at least a minute and continued to scream about it even after the next play. It wasn't the finest play for Florida's star cornerback.

Jalen Tabor continues to prove he'll find a way on the field. He started practice with a pass breakup, and when the Gators went into their final scrimmage period of practice, he started that by jumping a short throw to Fulwood and knocking it down. He really can do it all at the position. He runs stride-for-stride with Florida's fastest receivers but needs to improve his strength and tackling. His coverage has been impressive this spring.

Keanu Neal returned to practice after a hamstring injury kept him out for the first half of spring. Muschamp joked that he had fresh legs and should be able to handle the increased reps. Marcus Maye also had a strong day in coverage at the safety position.

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