Posted by Chip Patterson
Florida head coach Will Muschamp has never been confused as one to lack emotion. In fact, some have even said that the former Texas defensive coordinator would have to "tone down" some of his sideline behavior now serving as the head coach - particularly at one with the prestige of the Gators. But making his first appearance at SEC Media Days, a fire was lit under Muschamp when he was asked about the roster status of Jeff Demps.
Muschamp addressed Demps as one of the few unknowns on the roster, but said it was only because of his involvement with track and field. Demps has won a national championship already this offseason, and is currently competing overseas in Italy. A reporter asked Muschamp to address some rumors regarding Demps' status and why there were no certain answers.
"I don't deal in rumors and I don't deal in message boards, I don't know any good coach who does," Muschamp snapped. "I deal with people eyeball to eyeball, and I ain't ever been to Italy."
Other highlights from Mushcamp's first day on the microphone:
- Muschamp repeated several times that "you can't be someone you are not." Which is his reasons for hiring Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator. "I've coached defense, I've coached special teams, I hired Charlie to coach our offense." Muschamp believes that the SEC is a "line-of scrimmage" league, which only further supports the hiring of a multiple/pro-style offensive mind like Weis. In the words of Muschamp, "you have to be multiple, or your quarterback won't survive the season."
- Other than Demps, the only other roster question is Neiron Ball who will not compete in 2011 after being diagnosed with a vascular condition. He said that Ball is going to be a member of the program, and they will have a better idea about his future in January or February.
- Early in the day, Muschamp deflected much of the John Brantley criticism by acknowledging that "we need play better around him." The new system will be a better fit, but he knows that Brantley needs to play better for the Gators to succeed in 2011.
- In comparing the Big 12 and SEC, Muschamp mentioned that there is much more spread offense in the Big 12. He once again returned to his recurring theme of complimenting SEC defensive lines, and how they dictate what offenses can and can't do in the conference.
- Muschamp's email inbox has been "filled with suggestions for the Gators," but the new head coach went out of his way to mention former head coach Urban Meyer early. He thanked Meyer for his suggestion and called the former coach and current commentator a "first class" help to his transition into the head coaching ranks.
- "Let's play hard, fast, and physical. We'll be a blue-collar unit that can play well enough. When the tough decisions come we'll figure that out" (Not a ton of commentary there, just sounded really cool when he said it)