Five questions for open practice

Fall camp is underway. After two days of mandated practice without pads the Florida Gators moved into the “shell” portion of fall camp. The players practiced in helmets and shoulder pads on Wednesday and they will again today before the full set of pads come on Friday for the duration of camp.

Now that the team is hitting (sort of) and doing real football things on the field we have big questions before Will Muschamp and his staff open the practice doors to the public.

1) How is Jeff Driskel’s timing with his receivers?

The past two offense have asked Jeff Driskel to take a snap under center, turn his back to the defense while dropping back, turn around, read the defense and go through progressions.

Now, Driskel will operate from the shotgun. He’ll never turn his back to the defense and won’t have the same responsibility to go through progressions. Kurt Roper’s offense will make things easier on Driskel, he’ll just have to be in synch with his receivers. The team may not be in full pads but we’ll be able to see a lot from Driskel and his receivers

2) Who’s running with the first team at safety?

Matt Elam and Josh Evans left a gaping hole at the position before the 2013 season and the two players that replaced them are gone now.

Florida isn’t lacking for talent on the back end of the defense with Marcell Harris, Keanu Neal, Marcus Maye, Jabari Gorman and Nick Washington but they do need to find an answer sooner rather than later.


3) What does Kurt Roper’s offense really look like?

Fast. Spread. Up-tempo. You’ve heard the buzz words all offseason but other than a handful of practices in the spring we haven’t truly seen what Roper’s offense will look like.

We’ll get a preview on Thursday and an even better look on Friday when the full pads come on. I’m excited.

4) Is Kelvin Taylor the clear No. 1 running back or will there be a timeshare in the backfield?

Kurt Roper has never really had a bell cow in the backfield, but he’s never had a running back as talented as Kelvin Taylor.

What does Matt Jones look like with pads on coming off of knee surgery? Will the running backs split carries 50-50 or does Kelvin Taylor start to run away with the job and take the lion’s share of the workload?

5) There’s a lot of youth at cornerback. Who’s sinking and who’s swimming?

J.C. Jackson, Duke Dawson, Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson are all trying to earn playing time as freshmen. Wilson has already come down with an interception, Jackson was praised by Vernon Hargreaves on Wednesday and Tabor and Dawson got a head start by enrolling early.

Someone has to seize the starting role, who will it be?
For all the latest in Florida Gators football news join Gator Country.

Previous articleRecruiting Mailbag August 7th edition
Next articleAnswering questions from open practice
Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC