John Brantley's return could be a psychological boost
Even if he isn't 100 percent, Florida senior QB John Brantley's return could have a huge effect on the team's psyche.
Brantley is the only quarterback on the roster with significant experience, and that alone is a bonus heading into Saturday's Georgia game, Florida coach Will Muschamp and several Gator players said. Two true freshman have been leading the Gators over the past 2 1/2 games.
“Psychologically having him in the huddle as a leader of our team, a guy that has been very productive (is important),'' Muschamp said. "Obviously, the production when he was not in the game went down. You’ve got to give our opponents some credit on that as well. There’s no question he gives us psychological boost for our football team on offense and on defense, too. Because that effects how the defense plays sometimes. That’s where we’ve got to grow stronger mentally as a football team. You can’t let one thing affect you so much where if affects how you play. That’s what I really challenged the players. Don’t let the circumstances around you control how you are. You control who you are, and you play the game regardless of the situation, and you play with a reckless attitude regardless of the situation. Those are the things that we can continue to grow on.”
Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said there are specific things he's evaluating this week to determine whether Brantley is capable of starting this week. He suffered a high ankle sprain late in the first half of the Oct. 1 game against Alabama.
"They have to be able to run the offense,'' Weis said about deciding if a QB is ready to return. "If their limitations don't allow them to run the offense, and obviously partially a big part of running the offense is being able to throw the ball on time, efficiently and effectively. That's one of the reasons why the arrow is pointing up because he's had a pretty productive week so far.''
Brantley's return puts a tremendous amount of pressure on an offensive line that has often struggled with its protection this season.
"We can't let no pressure, nothing happen to John Brantley and we're going to do our best (to protect him),'' OL Jon Halapio said.