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Pease: Debose must do things 'the right way, the way the play is called'

Florida receiver Andre Debose has plenty of talent. That's never been questioned. But Debose has also never maximized that talent.

He showed sparks at times last season, scoring four touchdowns on long receptions with back-to-back 65-yard scores against Alabama and LSU, and as a returner, bringing back a kick 99 yards for a touchdown in the Gator Bowl victory against Ohio State. But he's also disappeared, like in last Saturday's game when we didn't see the field in the first half. He has failed to make a catch this season and has been used primarily as a kick returner, but even that role has diminished of late.

Coach Will Muschamp had little to say after the game against Kentucky, but he elaborated more Monday on the situation with Debose. Like has been said for seasons, Debose has issues, and it doesn't seem to be improving. Offensive coordinator Brent Pease was asked about Debose on Wednesday and had some interesting things to say.

Here's the transcript:

On Debose's practice habits, Muschamp said specifically it's effort, is he not running hard on routes in practice or what specifically does that mean?

 

Pease: "It's one, he's got to get comfortable and do it consistently with what we're doing in the offense, and, you know, there's a trust. There's a trust factor there. You go out there, you're gonna run the right route. You're gonna do it hard, whether you're covered or not. Because sometimes running a route, it isn't always built for you. Depending on what the coverage does, you've got to open it up for other players, if they double team you, or play a cloud coverage over the top of you and you got to stretch the safeties. And if you don't do that you hurt your teammates. So it's just a combination of being consistent, understanding, playing effort all the way through. Because, even as a receiver, you're covered at times. You have to compete. You have to continue to try to get yourself open. You can't say, 'Well I'm covered. I'm done running my route.' And just accept the fact you're covered. That's unacceptable."

 

Making it sound like he doesn't have full grasp of playbook.

 

Pease: "I never said that."

 

That's what it sounded like. Is that the case?

 

Pease: "I never said that. I just think it's going out and competing consistently every day. And understanding what you got to do in this offense. It's not really that he doesn't understand it. It's just about going out and being there every day, so there's a trust factor, you know, in the give and take. And when the ball is in your hands, making plays."

 

You think you can fix that with him?

 

Pease: "Yeah. He's got great ability. He's just got to be consistent."

 

You have big plans for him if he can get it?

 

Pease: "I think anybody that's got a talent like he does, you know, there's always a role. I've never really been in an offense where it's centered around one guy. But when you put a guy with his speed on one side. I mean however you configured it. Jordan (Reed) over here, and Mike (Gillislee) in the backfield and Trey (Burton) right here. It's not so much about him, it's about what the defensive coordinator's got to handle and what they've got to account for. So how you fit in, and how you are unselfish in everything that you do and open it up, or people worry about Jordan Reed on the other side of the field. Or they worry about Trey Burton on the other side of the field. Now you're singled up. You take advantage of those things. If you don't take advantage of those things when your number is called, I mean, why? Why not? That's your job. That's your responsibility. Get it done."

 

When you're talking about trust, you're not talking about trusting he knows what to do...(Pease interrupts question)


Pease: "I'm talking about trusting that I can put him out there and he will make a play for us doing it the right way, the way the play is called."

 

My take: Needless to say, Debose has some thing to sort out before he becomes a regular contributor for the Florida offense. Perhaps the bye week also comes at a good time for Debose, who needs to show the coaching staff that he can be counted on. It sounds like they want him on the field, but as I have thought for a while now, it seems Muschamp and Pease believe the risk simply outweighs the potential reward.

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He has Percy Harvin disease.

Really confused where the interviewer got the 'doesn't know the playbook' innuendo. Seems obvious that he knows the plays but does the Randy Moss thing where he jogs through routes if he's covered.

Percy Harvin was very productive and made tons of big plays for the Gators. Don't mention DeBose together with Percy, wish DeBose made only half the amount of plays Harvin made and he would be our best receiver right now. DeBose has been a total under achiever and under performer. All the talent and very little production. If Pease can't set him straight no one will.

Percy Harvin was that rare talent that was so blessed he could practice or not and still be productive. It's no secret though that PH viewed practice through Allen Iverson-colored glasses. Debose isn't as talented as PH, hence he can't get away with not practicing well.

Well new coach and new system. I bet he is lazy or his injury has more effect than we know.

Simple you have to run every route every time correctly. Problem could be you don't know the route, but that would mean you almost never do it correctly.

I hope he gets it straight not only for my Gators but for his future.

Whatever the reasons, Debose is one of the last of that group of highly-rated, prima donna "5-star head cases" that Meyer loaded us down with his last couple of recruiting classes here--hell, he's a "poster-boy" for that group. I suppose it is only our scary-thinness at WR, coupled with the flashes of greatness he at least showed last year (mostly as a return man on special teams--now even that has disappeared) that has him still here with on-field playing time, while many others have been "allowed" to move on. Now even that is drying up for him, DESPITE our lack at that position...he'd be 3rd-string by now, backing up back-ups at the end of the bench if it weren't for the fact that we don't have enough bodies ahead of him, and even what seemed promising alternatives such as Pittman have for some reason failed thus far to distinguish themselves.
We've glaringly missed on a number of top WR-prospects the last couple of recruiting cycles (Diggs, already stepping up as a true freshman at Md., is one obvious eg.--but there have been several); already thin there, we could ill afford more such problems at this point in our development as a team. The coaching staff has done a great job of "making do" with what we have, but the adjustments they have made (mainly in maximizing the use of the TEs and guys out of the backfield to augment what we DO have--basically just 2 guys--to rely on at WR to give young Driskel as many options as possible) will eventually likely allow a top SEC cover-defense (like LSU, for eg.) to shut us down, leaving us with NO deep threat at all--with predictable consequences for everything else our offense is trying to do that day. In short, unless we can get production from at least ONE of our remaining WRs, and soon, it could play a direct role in the downward turn in what was otherwise beginning to be a great, "Gators-ahead-of-schedule-in their-return-to-power"-story...

The fact we don't have to rely on Debose is perhaps one of the positives thus far. It seems (to me and maybe me only) that the coaches are striving for balance on offense which negates our (over) reliance on a Percy Havin-type receiver.

With the way Jordan Reed, Trey Burton and O Hines are being used, we can live with the 'deep' guys we have and rely on an emerging run game to set-up play action situations that get those guys open.

I like the trajectory of this offense right now. If Driskell can continue to mature and get through his progressions quicker, this offense can be something special.

Agree we are very thin at the WR position, heck we haven't had a dominating wide out since Harvin and he was more suited for reverses and such not your traditional WR. The guys we do have are improving and playing better every game just like Driskel is doing. The 3 headed TE/hybrid monster of Reed, Burton and Hines is top notch however and Gilly is a powerful RB, so the WR have time to catch up to the rest of the offense. DeBose better step up the return game if he wants to see the field again.

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