Will Muschamp injury report: “Leon Orr should practice today with his shoulder, it should be good. Tyler Moore will practice today with his ankle, he looked good yesterday. Marcus Roberson will practice today and got good reps on his knee yesterday. Valdez Showers looks doubtful. Dominique Easley tweaked his knee yesterday, he’ll probably be out today and we’ll see how it goes. Colin Thompson will be out with a foot (injury), out for the game.”
Q. Can you tell us how Dominique Easley hurt his knee?
Will Muschamp: “It was a non-contact injury. He was planning to run on a screen. He just tweaked it and he will be fine. We need more information on the injury and are going through that process at this time.
Q. Joker Phillips going back to his Alma Mater, how will he handle his emotions?
Will Muschamp: “Joker is a professional. He’ll handle it the right way. Any time you spend a large amount of your life as a person, as a coordinator, and as a head coach. You are invested in that University. As an assistant coach I spent time at LSU and obviously have great friends there. You do feel different going back to a place like that that you spent so much time./ People don’t realize the time and effort we put in to what we do. Giving our time to young people and the administration and all the things involved at the university. When you aren’t there, it takes something away from you. You always leave something where you’ve been before and I am sure Joker feels the same way. he and I talked a little bit it Sunday night about the amount of time he spent in Lexington and how much enjoyed it, the situation there, and the fond times he had in Kentucky.”
Q. In your time what have been your impressions of The Swamp?
Will Muschamp: “Amazing. We have to give them reasons to cheer and the first year we didn’t give them too many. The atmosphere last year at LSU and South Carolina and this past weekend against Tennessee, as far as being a visitor. They are on top of you.
“When we first started to come here as a visitor, they put the Florida fans behind the visitor bench. We don’t do that anymore and we’ll have to talk to Jeremy about that. Coming into our atmosphere here, the Gator fans are the best. The Gator Walk this weekend was probably the best I have been around and when you get in here it is electric. The closeness of the stadium, it’s a tight sideline, they are on top of you, into the game, and well educated fans as far as knowing whn it is good or bad. It’s a great place to play.”
Q. Does the heat have something to do with it?
Will Muschamp: “There is no question. It is very difficult to prepare for the humidity here. It is very similar to Baton Rouge in that we are far enough from the coast line where there is not a breeze. When I was with the Dolphins you always had the breeze coming off of the coast. Here, there is no breeze. It’s sticky and hot. It always helps when you have a bunch of good players in orange and blue.”
Q. When you have a streak going like the one against Kentucky, do you have to ignore that or say you want to be the team that has the streak?
Will Muschamp: I think we are all motivated differently. It isn’t something I have really addressed with our football team. Most would be aware of it, some don’t know. All of this is the next football game. It’s an SEC game, it’s a road game, it’s our first night game. In preparing the right way, I feel like our preparation for Tennessee was as good as we have been here as far as our attention to detail and focus to the task at hand. That is something we have challenged them to this week regardless of the streak. None of those games will have any impact as to what happens Saturday night.”
Q. If you were on the other end could you use that?
Will Muschamp: “I think we are all motivated differently and coaches use different ways to motivate each individual. I don’t think one broad stroke message for your football team motivates everybody. I think certain messages motivate people in different ways, different positions, and sides of the ball. It is your job as a coach to make sure what makes those guys tick.”
Q, What is your problem with the targeting rule?
Will Muschamp: “I don’t have any problem with the rule, I don’t like the ejection,. I don’t think Brian Poole was maliciously trying to maliciously hurt anyone. It as a bang bang play. He fell back inside. He didn’t hit the Tennessee receiver in the head, but the chest. But, he did hit him with the crown of his helmet. Brian is about 5-10 and the tight end was about 6-5, obviously he needed to hit him with a shoulder but it was not targeting, but a crown of the helmet foul and called correctly by the officiating crew. By the way the rule reads, he should have been ejected from the game. It’s really simple and easy for all of us to sit and talk about it, but when you are in that situation. I’ve played the game before and in the secondary before. When you are in a bang bang play, it is real easy for someone to be critical of someone in that situation, a little different when you have done it before.
“I don’t like the fact that this man is going to have to sit out the first half of this ball game and the end of the Tennessee game. We need to go back to the commissioners and let them make the decision the same way the Commissioner Goodell does in the NFL. Sit down and watch the tape with Steve Shaw who is the head of officials and determine if it was a malicious hit or not. I have no problem with the penalty. That’s not what I am saying. I don’t think the ejection is the right thing. We all need to sit down on a Sunday afternoon, watch the tape, and make a decision whether it was a malicious hit or not.”
Q. Will this rule make a difference in how defenders go after the tackle?
Will Muschamp: “There is no question. No one likes to get kicked out of the game.”
Q. With the number of quarterback transfers and high profile transfers, how difficult is it to keep the depth you would prefer?
Will Muschamp: “There is a lot involved. If a guy isn’t playing, obviously greener pastures are somewhere else. They think they can go somewhere else and automatically get on the field. That is part of the deal and why I want to sign a quarterback every year. Sometimes when you sign two high profile quarterbacks and sign other quarterbacks that want to compete, that is part of it. We have to keep developing the position. We are where we are and excited about Tyler (Murphy).”
Q. Is this a dynamic new to you coming from a defensive background in regards to the position?
Will Muschamp: “It is part of being a football coach and no different than with any other position. When you are a defensive end you can play in special teams, in different rush packages, and probably not in the entire game. If you look at our situation Saturday… Ronald Powell, Dante Fowler, and Jonathan Bullard all played 42 snaps in the game, they are in a rotation. That is why it isn’t as prevalent as other positions.
“In other positions, guys that aren’t playing as much, a running back or quarterback, it is sometimes hard to find another position for a quarterback (so they may want to transfer). “