|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA MEDIA CONFERENCE
August 1, 2013
COACH MUSCHAMP: Appreciate y'all being here today. I love this time of year, training camp. You see your football team develop through the off‑season program, through spring practice, then on their own in the summer, preparing themselves for the season. You get to see the older guys and see the improvements they needed to make, whether it's in the weight room or schematically, watching film, and preparing themselves for position battles and a lot of situations. You get to see the young guys you recruited and how they looked when they get on the field with the other guys and see how they mix it up.
This is a huge time of the year as far as the development of your football team as you move forward and certainly an exciting time for us. I remember the team earlier, and critical for our success this season, talking about turnover margin, in our first season we were minus 12, and last year we were plus 15, to continue to emphasize the importance of taking care of the ball defensively and getting the ball out on the defensive side of the ball.
We won ten games when we won the turnover margin and we lost two when we didn't. That is something that's obviously critical for our success, kind of a little bit of a same situation from last year from our starting fast. Toledo's got a good football team. Probably their best team in a while.
We come home against Tennessee and then go to Kentucky. It starts quick for us. We need to be ready to go. Then certainly in training camp we're just worried about us as far as our preparation is concerned for a long season, but certainly those motivating factors sitting out there earlier in the year for some really good football teams.
Penalties, I'm more concerned with the selfish and stupid penalties we've had the last two seasons. It's something we did not improve on. All the things we wanted to work on and improve as a football team, last year we did except for that. Now, as I've told our football team, we've recruited well the last two years, and we're in a situation positionally where you can come be selfish on the sideline, because we're not going to tolerate the guys. We've got a deep enough roster, and we're deep enough in most positions, we just go to the next guy.
The physicality of our organization was evident last year in our improvements starting in the weight room with Jeff Dillman and his staff. But when you have eight come‑from‑behind wins and win in the fourth quarter like we did in most games last year, it says a lot about your organization. Stressed that as much as I could.
The last two things are do your job and create an edge. Every young man is motivated differently. They need to find out during training camp because it's going to be a hard training camp. What motivates them to become a better player every day. Now part of that is on the coaches from the standpoint of there is a key to every young man, and we've got to find the key to each young man, and they're all motivated differently. But certainly the ones that are self‑starters are the guys that will be the leaders of this football team. I think we've got enough of those guys that are really good players that are going to contribute well for us.
Again, excited about the offense. We had media days there in Birmingham, and I kind of went through some things. But I think Brent coming back in year two year, our offensive staff, the continuity of that is really going to help our players. The first time since 2009, the same offensive coordinator at the University of Florida.
Do we need to be more balanced and efficient in throwing the football? That's been well‑documented, but I think we're better up front. We've been better at wideout, and I think we're better at the quarterback position. But we need to do that August 31st, and we need to prepare that way to that point. We still have some questions at tight end, and what's behind Jeff at the quarterback and continue to have play makers at the running back position and outside. Those are some things we need to continue to work through.
Defensively, D.J. Durkin did an outstanding job for us. Concerned about depth at the linebacker position more than anything. The experience, I think we've recruited well, but those guys need to gain some experience through training camp, and obviously we're not as good at the safety position in spring. Very concerned heading into fall camp with those question marks up the middle of your defense.
I do think we're good enough up front to be fine. I think we've got a good combination of guys that can play, play well, and play the way we need to play to get to Atlanta.
Special teams really excited about Jeff Choate. Philosophically we won't change what we are, special teamswise we're on the same board as far as what he wants to do. But placekicker is an issue. Austin Hardin and Brad Phillips both have the ability to do the job, but they've never done it in the situations they're going to be put into. So we may change that a little philosophically of what we think when we cross the 50.
Supposedly, when you had Caleb, you knew you had three points in your hand, and that may change a little bit as we've talked in the off‑season.
As far as the staff is concerned, we have three former Gators that will be a part which is pretty well‑documented. Duke Lemmens got into grad school, and he'll be working with the defensive line. Chris Leak originally was going to be quality control and worked on defense, but he decided to go to graduate school, so he'll be on the field and he'll work with the offense and work with the quarterbacks.
And Mike Peterson is coming back and finishing up school as a 1998 All‑American here at Florida. In the short time I've been around him, he's a first‑class guy, really smart. You talk to all the NFL guys that coached him, and he's kind of a coach on the field guy, and I think it will be really beneficial for some of our young players and all of our players really. But a guy that had a great 14‑year career and certainly glad to have him back finishing up his degree.
I guess we've had a little roster news since Birmingham. Felt coming out of Birmingham, we knew Trip Thurman was going to be limited going into camp and now it's Anzalone, and that was it. Certainly had some things changed since then. Tuesday, Jeff came in and had his appendix removed. We released a statement there.
Our medical staff did a fantastic job of identifying that early. So he ought to be fine. He'll be here today, as a matter of fact, to meet with you guys. So he's going to be fine. Timetable, they say two weeks, probably will be inside of two weeks based on the early diagnosis of where we are. He's doing extremely well.
Matt Jones has had a serious viral infection. He's out indefinitely. Came down with this in the last four or five days, and right now, we're filling him full of antibiotics and how his body responds will tell me how quickly he can come back. I probably won't know definitively until end of next week on that. It's just one of those things that happened, but a guy that should be fine. Again, I don't know when he'll be able to return.
Jon Halapio had a partial tear of his Peck about three days after media days. There is no surgery needed. He will be back. It's just I don't know exactly when. He meets with the doctor again next Friday to find out exactly when he'll be back in action.
Max Garcia meets with the back doctor August 6 and should be cleared then. He had a little bit of a flare‑up that he's had before, but he should be fine.
Trip Thurman will be cleared August 12.
Kyle Koehne will not be at practice tomorrow. He has a funeral at home, but he'll be at practice on Saturday. Jordan Sherit is still a little limited from a meniscus he had in high school. He's at about 70, 75% right now. He won't be cleared for contact ‑‑ I'm targeting August 19. I think he should be fine by then.
Antonio Morrison is still suspended from the football team and will not be in camp. I'll let you know when he joins our football team. Alex Anzalone and Matt Rolin and Ronald Powell have all been cleared to start practice, and they'll be full speed. We'll monitor their reps, obviously, as we work through it, Alex with the shoulder and Matt and Ronald with the knee.
So that's kind of where we are as far as the guys are concerned. We'll start practice tomorrow afternoon as a whole squad. I felt like we were a little short in the offensive line right now. We'll have some extra periods for our young players to make sure they get the right teaching and everything as far as moving forward with the installation, and I'll open it up for any questions you might have.
Q. Coach, the silver lining in Jeff's situation, is it that he gives these other kids a couple of weeks of getting more reps than they might have had otherwise?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I don't think it's ever good for you that your starter is not taking the reps at any position, certainly the quarterback position. But you always look at it from a glass half full/empty from the stand point of what great reps those guys will get. We need to distance ourselves a little bit of clear cut of who that back‑up is going to be. Right now it would be Tyler Murphy, but, again, we've got a motto around here, man down, man up, and I challenged the football team just in a meeting right now. It's time for somebody to respond.
When you sign at the University of Florida, you have a huge expectation level to compete for championships. So regardless of the situation, that's what we expect.
Q. Will, last year at this time you mentioned that winning SEC East titles should be a benchmark every year for this program. You also emphasized about and talked about getting outscored in the fourth quarter. You talked about the turnover margin. And those issues did go in a positive direction last year. But you still didn't win an SEC East title. Tell me what you think needs to happen? What's the missing ingredient for you to get over that hump?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Win all the SEC East games.
Q. Could you be more specific in terms of numbers or an area of the team that you feel needs to step up?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I mean, obviously, we've had some turnover issues in Jacksonville in the last two years and that's really cost us the football game. You go back to two years ago and you turn it over inside your 20 twice and it results in 14 points, huge momentum swing in the game. When you turn it over six times and you still have an opportunity to drive down the field and score and possibly go for two to tie the ballgame, it tells you how you played defensively, and it tells you what you did in special teams. You just didn't take care of the football.
Again, I think this football team, we need to be more balanced on offense. We need to be more efficient throwing the football. We need to be able to create more explosives. We need to score more touchdowns in the red zone. I think we have a lot of question marks defensively at the middle of our defense.
But as I said before, I think we have a good enough mixture of guys up front that have played well and can play well for us to be fine. I'm concerned about the depth and the quality experience at the linebacker position, and obviously the safety position.
With that being said, Jaylen Watkins and Cody Riggs are two guys‑‑ Cody will strictly play safety, but Jaylen is a guy that can play some different positions and be very productive at multiple spots, so he gives you some flexibility. It's a long year, so you have to prepare your roster for that.
Those are things that I have question marks going in, and obviously the place kicking situation as I said before. But we need to be more balanced offensively. If had you to benchmark number 1, that is number 1. Then number two, we need to shore up our inside of our defense from linebacker to safety, and then the kicking situation. If we're able to come through with those and have productive players, then certainly I think we'll be in contention to get to Atlanta, and we should be anyways.
Q. As an ex‑safety yourself, what are guys like Watkins and Cody got to show you? What do you want to see from them during two‑a‑days?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Number 1, knowledge of our system. They both have that and they understand the adjustments and things. We put a lot on our safeties as far as making adjustments and winning our defense and things they've got to do. They're both very good communicators and they both cover extremely well. As far as the physicality standpoint, I think that both of them have displayed that they can do that. They need to do it on a more consistent basis.
But I think that they'll be a good example of the younger players developing at the positions.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH MUSCHAMP: No question. You're in a situation where you're going to face some two‑back teams and you have to go down and play in the box. You may have the cut back in the A‑gap, and all of a sudden the ball's spinning back on you. You have a big back coming at you, and you have to make the tackle in the holes, as opposed to space plays where you're able to leverage and get in a profile tackle situation, which is a side tackle situation that you use on the sideline in a lot of situations at the corner as opposed to being down the middle somewhere.
Q. You have a best case and/or worst case scenario on Matt Jones?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Right now, I honestly don't. I'll find out with Paul this morning our trainer. We're pumping him full of antibiotics right now and trying to work this through the system. He said I'll know in the latter part of the week. I think it will be at least a week before we can say anything.
Q. In his indefinite being out, you didn't mention running back as area of concern; can you tell me why?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I have confidence in Mack Brown, and I think we've recruited well at that position. And those guys can step up. We're a little uncertain in Matt's situation. I just don't know right now. But we also have some flexibility with Hunter Joyer and Trey Burton are two guys that can certainly play the position and be fine.
Q. Bouncing off that question, given the way Matt ended the year and the hype of Kelvin coming in, Mack Brown is kind of forgotten guy at the running back position. Can you just talk about even before Matt's injury, how much you were counting on him to contribute this year?
COACH MUSCHAMP: You're not going to make it through the season with one back in our league. That's not going to happen. You need to have multiple guys that have similar skill sets so you don't have to change your offense every time somebody comes out of the game. But I've got a lot of confidence in Mack. When he had his opportunities last year, he played really well and he ran the ball really well. He had a good spring, and he improved on the things he needed to as far as protection and in the passing game running the football, which we're going to ask our backs to do a lot of.
Q. He started the year as a back‑up, and I think he had some injuries and allowed Matt to take his spot. Now that Matt's hurt, how big of an opportunity is this for Mack?
COACH MUSCHAMP: It's a huge opportunity for him to step in and get more touches and more carries and more opportunities which, in that situation, you've got to be productive, and I think you will.
Q. What will Jeff's level of involvement‑‑ how will he be involved in practices when he can't practice? What's he going to do with the team and things like that?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Well, just be involved in the mental side of the game and seeing the defense and those sort of things and being able to get some mental reps through the film work and all of that. It will be a day‑to‑day process is basically how it was explained to me today. All they're worried about are the sutures healing and that there's no infection. Once you get past that stage, it's all pain‑tolerance issue. Luckily Jeff's a tough guy, so it's not going to be an issue for him.
He wants to get back on the field, but we're going to listen to our medical staff before him on those situations.
Q. How did it unfold? Did he just show up and his stomach was hurting? What happened?
COACH MUSCHAMP: He said he had a stomach ache. I hoped he ate a bad cheeseburger, but it wasn't. He came in, and again, I recognize our medical staff. In a situation if it's a rupture, you're talking about a month, probably. He came in and just said he had side pain, and I wasn't there, but they told me.
Q. What's been your reaction to all this news? It seems like it's kind of snow balled a little bit the last few weeks, the injuries?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I worry about the things I can control and the guys that are on the field. We're going to coach them hard and we're going to have a good football team. I cannot wait for tomorrow.
Q. What are you going to do offensively the first couple weeks of camp with all these injuries and guys being out? Do you temper your expectations and try to get through those first weeks in survival mode?
COACH MUSCHAMP: No, we're going to install and we're going to coach the guys there and do what we've got to do to win football games. We'll be fine.
Q. Does that impact though? I know you talked about Loucheiz waiting 12 practices before you move him over to see what the receivers are going to do. That doesn't impact them at all?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Got to find out what five young guys can do, and if Loucheiz is playing offense, that's not going to happen. So he needs to strictly play defense and we need to find out what those five young guys are going to do.
It's not about how good you are on practice five of camp. How good are you on August 31st? That's what you've got to gear toward. You have to gear to build your roster for the season. Him playing offense right now, we can't find out what those guys are going to do. He also needs to work on his technique defensively. So it's a two‑fold thing, and also you need to find out how deeper are you on defense at the corner? We feel like we've got some guys that can play, but we'll see as we move through camp.
Q. Guys that have come back from ACL injuries and Adrian Peterson is the best example and have really shown no signs of any kind of lingering effects pretty quickly, does that ramp up the expectations that maybe Ronald has for himself this season after seeing what AP did last year with 2000 yards?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Well, again, I think every situation medically when you're dealing with the human body is different and every person is different. Yesterday we had Mickey Collins in who is a concussion expert. Was talking to us about when you deal with concussions and when you come back from concussions. He talked about a coach he once dealt with that made the comment this player you could take a shovel and hit him in the back of the head and nothing would ever happen, and this player could bump into a wall and he's going to have a concussion.
Mickey simply said the point is that's right, everyone is different. Everyone handles it differently. A woodpecker is never going to have a concussion. I bet you didn't know that. That's a true story. Isn't it? He said it. They have an extra bone in their neck. They have an extra bone in their neck and they never can have a concussion.
You learn something new every day, you just learned something new. My point being is everyone's different. I know one thing. He's really excited to practice, and I'm maybe more excited than him to see him on the field in practice. I've been through these situations before with guys that come back from injuries. You just managed them through it, and sometimes with a guy like him it's hard to manage it because he's going to want to go, go, go all the time, and there are days we're going to want to shut him down and make sure we prepare him the right way for a long season.
But I have tremendous expectations of where he is. The strength levels are very good. The knee is very stable. He's worked extremely hard. He's in really good shape. He's worked as hard as any of our players have all summer to put himself in a situation to have a great year.
Q. Do you think that the success you guys had last season will change the attitude your players have coming into camp with maybe a little more confidence?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I think every team is different. I think that the meeting with some of the leadership of this football team are pretty grounded guys in their approach and you look at Jon Halapio and Jeff Driskel and you look at Dominique Easley and Ronald Powell, guys that have a very grounded approach about being a good football player and understanding what it's going to take to have a good football team.
So I do think that we still had a couple games that we didn't play very well or coach very well in, and I certainly‑‑ every player is motivated differently. Some of those guys certainly have used that through the off‑season as a motivating factor to understand how close we were to some opportunities, and we didn't create those for ourselves. We let those opportunities slip.
So we certainly use that as a motivating factor. But more than anything to me, it's about individually improving as a player and collectively that helps you improve as a team. I think our guys have bought into that in understanding the success that each individual can have is a greater opportunity the better season you have, which means you're winning more football games.
Q. Do you see any change out of Andre Debose?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I think Andre, based on the off‑season, he had a really good spring. He didn't miss a practice in the spring. Again, I'm excited about him going into his senior year and understanding what he has at stake.
Q. Any reason why you think he's maybe turned a corner there?
COACH MUSCHAMP: He's a senior, and some of us mature quicker than others at times. I think, again, I'm excited about his senior year.
Q. What are the reasons that you feel good about wide receiver, and how concerned are you about tight end?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I think at the receiver position, I got a lot of compliments from Quinton Dunbar. Last year Solomon was more of a speed‑sweep reverse guy. We continue to develop him in the passing game. He and Andre both being seniors. I do have confidence that Andre's going to be a productive player for us this year. We've got two other young guys developing on our team. The guy we forget about is Trey Burton. He's going to be in the slot for us and does a lot for us there as well.
I think we've recruited well at the position. We've got guys to help us out. With that being said, the tight end position is not enough of what I would call combo guys that can play on the line of scrimmage and dent the edge and stretch the field vertically. We don't really have that mix of guys right now.
I do think that Kent Taylor has improved his physicality and gotten stronger at the point. Clay Burton has continued to improve at the position. Clay is a combination guy that he can play on the line, play the fullback position for us and do some of the things we do. Colin Thompson is a guy that I'm excited to get on the field that we had to red‑shirt last year because of the foot situation.
Tevin Westbrook continues to come in. We just need those guys to come on. Tevin's going into his third season. He played a true freshman, we moved him in positions. Now he's going to the second year as a tight end. He'll take the next step. Trevon Young is a young player that's going to have the opportunity to play at the position as well.
I think we have the ability there. Not necessarily the athleticism. You don't find many Jordan Reeds just running around. That guy was a really special athlete and a mismatch issue for defenses. But I think we have enough combination of guys that can do some different things.
Now we may have a different look because of Hunter Joyer and Gideon Ajagbe and Rhaheim Ledbetter. Those are guys we have confidence and maybe more of a two‑back look as opposed to an on the line tight end.
Q. I want to know more about the woodpecker. How do you know that about the woodpecker?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I was in a concussion meeting yesterday, and he was an expert on concussions, so I'm going to take his word for it. I have not researched it, so it could be wrong. But he has an extra bone in the back of his neck, therefore every time he hits the wall there or a tree, obviously, he can't ever have a concussion.
It's all about‑‑ really, concussions happen because your head is like an egg, and the yolk is your brain. So when you have violent action, those synapses are messed up, and that's how it causes a concussion. I believe it's the potassium runs out of the synapses and the calcium runs in.
Q. You have a great memory, coach. You do. You guys are ranked tenth in the first preseason polls.
COACH MUSCHAMP: That's really important.
Q. Is that a good place to start for you guys?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I don't really care. It's how you end.
Q. How important is Twitter as a recruiting tool? Do you guys as a coaching staff talk about using it to the best of your abilities?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Obviously, it's a way to communicate with young people. That's where things are headed and that's fine. To get out on those and to be able to direct message a young man, whether it's Facebook or Twitter or any of those ways to be able to communicate. Certainly, does it help you? Yes. Because you're limited, especially in an underclassman situation or even in an evaluation period or a contact period on how many phone calls you can have. So certainly you need to be able to use that and use that as a vehicle to be able to get in touch with someone.
Q. Is that something you guys talk about as a strategy, how to best use that among the coaching staff?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Yeah, we don't necessarily spend a bunch of time on it, but that is the way to get a guy on the phone. I communicate on the phone more than anything.
Q. Last year was considered one of the greatest recruiting runs ever in the city of Jacksonville with the type of athletes that have gone through that. Could you just talk about what element of athleticism you think the three you have incoming, specifically McMillian, Fulwood and Washington will bring to this program?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I think number 1, you have three very mature, smart guys, and that is the thing that strikes you. Daniel went through spring with us, catches on to football extremely well. I've told the story before. I think we started practice on a spring on a Wednesday and on a Friday. We practiced Saturday. I had to come up to the office Sunday morning for something, and Daniel is in the room by himself watching film. He's got the whole scripts from the previous three practices.
So when you see things like that with a young player, that is impressive, a guy that really football is very important to him. He's got a great work ethic. He's a great teammate. He's a guy that's really a lot of fun to coach.
The recruiting process of Nick and Ahmad, two guys that committed to Florida early, shut down the recruiting process. Again, very mature, great home environment, great families. All of the things you want to have and the type young men you want in your program.
Ahmad's going to have a great opportunity to play receiver for us this year. He's going to have every opportunity in the world. We really liked his vertical speed, a guy that really had good ball skills down the field, could finish plays down the field. Showed tremendous toughness playing free safety at Bishop Kenny. He's going to stay at wideout. But a guy that really like him as a football player.
Nick Washington is a guy that can do a lot for us. We're going to put a lot on his plate early as far as corner, safety and playing inside in a nickel situation. He's got coverage ability. He's really smart. He's a very good communicator. He is a physical player, and we're going to see how much he's ready to handle early on, because he's a guy that can be like Jaylen Watkins and Cody Riggs. He can play multiple positions because he's extremely intelligent, and he has the physicality to play inside as well as outside. Obviously, Daniel is battling for a starting job at linebacker.
Q. With Antonio Morrison being out, how does that open things up for the linebackers?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Certainly they'll get more turns and reps in there. Darrin Kitchens and Mike Taylor played really well for us. Neiron Ball we're going to move inside to let him play some stack linebacker. He's been mostly a Sam, and a buck, and an edge guy for us.
But athletically, he runs so well, we'll keep him in the rush packages and our rabbits package on third down, but let him play stack backer as far as on the early down situations. Again, I think we've recruited well. Jarrad Davis has been very impressive. He took over the summer. The young man from Camden, and then Alex Anzalone, great to get him cleared the first day. Matt Rolin, get him rolling in there, and D‑Mack is a guy we're excited about.
Q. Is Rolin cleared for the first day?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Yeah, yeah. We're just going to watch his reps. No different than Powy.
Q. With Jeff's current situation, what are your thoughts about the depth of QB behind him with Murphy and how this guy's maybe developed in your mind?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Murphy is a clear cut back‑up. Skyler and Max will have opportunities to battle for the third spot. We obviously will have a Trey Burton package, which was very effective for us last year.
Q. (Inaudible). Coach talk about Vernon Hargreaves as a DB? What do you expect him to do coming into this program?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Again another mature, smart guy, selected Florida early in the process, completely shut his recruiting down, knew where he wanted to be in the next three or four years of his life. But a coach's son, which doesn't always carry over, but he's been around the game a lot. The more you're around him, he's mature, he understands the game, very cerebral in his approach. But a guy that we feel like can slide inside and play nickel. He's got the physicality to play inside.
He's got good run instincts. He's a good blitzer. He's got good ball skills down the field, and he's got outstanding man coverage ability. He'll have every opportunity in the world to play early.
Q. Can you address how discouraged Matt is? I've got to imagine he's pretty discouraged given the way you've been able to praise him in the off‑season and over spring about his work ethic and how strong he's been heading into the season.
COACH MUSCHAMP: 10% of life is what happens to you. 90% is what you do with it. There is no better kid in that locker room than Matt Jones. He's got full support from our staff, our medical staff. He's an outstanding young man.
He is disappointed, but he's not a guy that gets down very often, I can assure you of that, and Matt's going to be fine. Matt will be fine.
Q. Can you talk about trying to get Powell and Fowler on the field at the same time, what that can do for your defense?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Well, again, you've got two very explosive guys. Two guys that what I call are heavy handed at the point of attack. They're strong in their hands and their upper body. They're both really good athletes. They can play in space. They both have tremendous pass‑rush ability. So we'll be more three‑four than we've been in the past because of our players. We tweak and fit our systems every year, and we're multiple enough to do that and to be able to do some different things based on our players.
Q. Just to clarify what you're saying about Antonio Morrison, you said he won't be in camp with you. Did you mean for sure he'll miss all of camp?
COACH MUSCHAMP: No, he won't miss all of camp. He's going to miss a portion.
Q. What is Roderick Johnson's status?
COACH MUSCHAMP: He's here. He's in meetings.
Q. Did all of your players report?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Uh‑huh, everybody's here.
Q. Why not make Jaylen play safety full‑time with the uncertainty there compared to Cody?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I think we have the ability of the guys to play the position. In the best‑case scenario in regular situations, you'd rather have Jaylen playing outside, if you need be. In sub situations, when you get into nickel and you're more of a one‑back situation, Jaylen's a good cover guy in the slot. Armstrong's strong safety and nickel, really the job description is more of a coverage safety like he was last year for us. That's a little different than most people.
I want to find out what the other kids can do. No different than Loucheiz on offense. When you play them on offense, you're not going to find out what those other guys can do. You've got to find out what those guys can do. You have to build and develop your team for a long season. There are going to be injuries. So to me, I've always sat down and asked the question to our staff, who can we count on? It's not about who is starting. I don't worry about that. Who can we count on? This many guys at this position, this many guys at this position. Tell me who six, seven, eight and nine are. That's what I want to know.
Because I know we're going to have injuries and that's part of playing in our league. You look at last year, as banged up as we got on the offensive line. Later in the year that contributed to us struggling as much as anything late in the year was the injuries we had. So, I think again, training camp is developing your roster as much as anything, especially young players. It's not going to be pretty early with a lot of them.
My whole thing is you've got to project, Game 4, where are we? Game 5, where are we? Are we investing time in a guy that he may know what to do, but athletically we're going to be better with this guy in Game 3, Game 4, Game 5. You invest your time with a better athlete.
Q. Kyle Koehne, is he the only guy on the roster other than John that can snap? Do you have any extra plans there?
COACH MUSCHAMP: What's that now?
Q. Kyle Koehne, is he the only guy that can snap?
COACH MUSCHAMP: No, Jon Halapio could in an emergency situation. Tyler Moore can play all five spots up front. He'll start out at right guard before Pio gets back. And Chaz, we have him back at right tackle.
But Tyler Moore can play all five spots. But Jon Halapio could. Cam Dillard is a freshman we're going to train at the position, Kyle Koehne would be the back‑up if we started the season today, and John Harrison. You have to have a guy that can get the quarterback‑center exchange.
Q. You've made the comment before that the fullback is a lost art in college football. Why is that?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I think everybody's going to this spread stuff, so it's very difficult on our level, and it's difficult on the NFL level to have tight end, fine tight ends that can do both. Most teams you face, you see a tight end in the game and he's flex out or you have a converted right tackle that can't run vertically playing tight end.
So to find guys that can do both on both of our levels and in the fullback position, there are not many teams that lineup in two back anymore that are traditional two‑back teams. So, it's just hard to find those guys. They're really an unsung job.
There are not a whole lot of guys that you really enjoy running full speed into a 250‑pound linebacker on a lead play. Those guys are kind of hard to find.
Q. In an ideal scenario, how would you use Joyer on a more consistent basis?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I'm sorry?
Q. How would you use Joyer in an ideal fullback situation if you could use him more than the way you want?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I think we'd use him the way we've been using him. He's a load on the isolation plays. He blocks the power and the lead plays and the counters very well. He's really good with his hands and catches the ball extremely well. We'll probably look at him at some one‑back stuff as well. He's a load in the short yardage and goal on situations.
Q. With everything that happened with Morrison, is that something you've been able to address with your team about maybe something you can learn about something that's happened with them or behavior you can expect with them off the field?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Well, I think, again, it's something you're continuing to try to change and alter behavior constantly and educate. That is part of your job as the coach.
I think I was misunderstood a little bit in Birmingham. I was asked about his situation and game suspension. At the time I hadn't made a decision. It was written later that there was no punishment that's been decided yet. There was a lot of punishment that's gone on this summer with him. It's not all about game time either. At the end of the day, our guys understand if they make mistakes, there are going to be consequences and part of that is game time. If that was the case, we wouldn't have any issues anymore, you know?
It's kind of like running wind sprints. We ought to just empty the jails and make everybody run wind sprints if that cured everything.
The bottom line is you as a coach or a parent have to find out what is important and what are the consequences that can alter and change behavior, along with educating the young men. I know one thing, it's killing him not being in camp right now because he enjoys being a part of the football team and enjoys the game. That is part of trying to alter his behavior.
Q. Obviously, you won't be able to tell this, but do you think it's a wake‑up call for some of the underclassmen to see?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Well, some of the young guys, until it happens to them, it won't affect them.
Q. When Jeff returns, is he going to get all the snaps with the starters or do you plan to try to work him in slowly just in case there is a setback?
COACH MUSCHAMP: I'm going to listen to our medical staff and let them guide me on how much he can do and how much work does he think he can handle? Obviously, when he's in the game, he'll be with our first group. But I'll listen to our medical staff as far as how much work they want him to par take in as we go through again.
They may walk in in three or four days and say he's fine based on how he's progressing right now. They may walk in and say it's going to be six, seven more days. I don't know. I'm just waiting on them to tell me. Thank you all very much.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports