SEC Media Days: With changes made, Muschamp answers 'hot seat' questions

Anniston StarJuly 14, 2014 

HOOVER, Ala. -- Will Muschamp anticipated the "hot seat" questions.

So the Florida coach, entering his fourth season at the helm in Gainesville, brought up the topic before anyone else could. "There will be a lot of chatter about hot seat business," Muschamp said Monday during his time at SEC Media Days. "That's part of it. The way you combat that is having a winning football team and winning football games, which is what we're going to do."

In this "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately" society, Muschamp's 11-2 season in 2012 feels like it happened a decade ago. The Gators became one of the laughing stocks of the SEC in a 4-8 (3-5 SEC) season that featured two Florida players blocking each other.

After winning four of its first five games, the Gators ending the year losing seven straight with rock bottom coming after a 26-20 loss to Georgia Southern.

So the questions about last season still came. After providing an update on every position on the team, Muschamp opened the floor for questions, with the first being about his job security.

"There was never any time in my mind that I didn't think I would be retained," Muschamp said. "It's the great thing about having an athletic director like Jeremy Foley that has a strong pulse on not only our program, but every program in the athletic department. At the end of the day, he understood the circumstances we dealt with. We're looking forward to getting them amended this year."

Those circumstances included injuries at virtually every position and very little offensive creativity.

Failing to reach a bowl game for the first time in 22 years, Muschamp needed to make changes and the biggest came at offensive coordinator.

Muschamp fired Brent Pease and brought in Kurt Roper, who worked under David Cutcliffe at Duke. Red shirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel said Roper's offensive approach is "kind of polar opposite" from what the Gators have done the past few years.

"Before, we were kind of putting our focus on time of possession and controlling the ball and that really worked for us in 2012; we limited turnovers and played great defense," Driskel said. "But I think the game is just moving towards having to score points and trying to get as many plays in as possible, which is Coach Roper's mindset. "He's a positive coach and puts players in positions to be successful so we're lucky to have Coach Roper and we're excited to get going in camp."

Along with the possibilities Roper brings on offense, there are a lot of reasons for Florida fans to be optimistic. Driskel returns from his leg injury, the Gators are loaded with talent at the skill positions and the defense projects to be stout.

"I got a lot of confidence in this team and staff," he said. "This is probably the most complete team we've had since I've been at the University of Florida in all three phases. Looking forward to getting this thing going."

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