(It’s Day 2 at SEC Media Days. Here’s a quick look at Will Muschamp and Florida.)
HOOVER, Ala. — Shortly after taking over as coach at Florida, Will Muschamp summoned Janoris Jenkins to his office and informed the talented but troubled cornerback that he would be suspended for five games because of multiple failed drug tests.
Jenkins’ response was not one of remorse but rather entitlement. He told Muschamp: “Do you know who you’re talking to?” And so ended Jenkins’ career at Florida.
We use that story partly to defend Muschamp, who has come under some heat, and illustrate the problems he has dealt with at Florida since replacing Urban Meyer. A dozen players have left or been run off in the past year. It’s now clear the talent base at Florida wasn’t what you would expect – and Meyer probably knew this, which is why he “retired” in the first place: He saw the problems coming.
Any claims Meyer left for health or family reasons went out the window when he took the Ohio State job a year later.
This doesn’t mean we know for certain Muschamp is a great head coach. But after going only 7-6 (3-5 in the SEC) last season, it’s worth noting that he inherited a bit of a mess.
“No more pressure at all,” Muschamp said Wednesday at SEC Media Days when asked if he felt more pressure in Year 2. “The pressure is what you put on yourself, and I put an awful lot on myself whether it’s year one or year 10. Going into the first year, the issues I knew we had was a situation where we inherited a roster with two quarterbacks on scholarship, Tyler Murphy and John Brantley. Unfortunately, I think I said this a thousand times last year, if we can keep John Brantley healthy, we’ll be fine. … We lost a lot of confidence offensively. We struggled to move the ball consistently. That really permeates and affects your entire football team when that happens. Whether you’re a head coach or assistant coach, when you’re heading in with that, it is difficult and frustrating.”
But Muschamp, who was projected as the next Georgia coach when he was defensive coordinator at Texas, admitted he feels “more prepared” for the job this season.
“Mack Brown said something to me when I was at Texas, had the opportunity to be the next head coach at Texas,” Muschamp said. “I said, ‘What makes you think I’m ready for this job?’ He said, ‘You’re not.’ I’ve been a head coach at North Carolina for 10 years and Appalachian State for one year and Tulane for four years, and I wasn’t ready for this job at Texas. Every job is different. Every job has its own set of circumstances, its own positives, its own negatives. That always made a lot of sense when he said that. You have to work yourself into the job when you get there.”
By Jeff Schultz
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