Pease believes he's earned the right to remain on staff
Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease said he has not been told by coach Will Muschamp that he won't be retained at the end of the season, but if it turns out to be the case, it's something he can live with.
Speaking at his weekly press conference Tuesday afternoon, Peace patiently answered multiple questions about his job status and performance this season. At times he seemed optimistic, at others resigned to his fate. Ultimately, he said, he would like to be judged by more than just this season.
When asked if he's earned the right to be the Gators' offensive coordinator next season, Pease answered emphatically: "Yes."
Pease said he refuses to make excuses for the Gators' offensive woes by talking about the multiple injuries that have plagued the team. Florida will start third-team QB Skyler Mornhinweg against No. 2 Florida State on Saturday. It will be his third consecutive game as the Gators' starter.
The Gators have won just four games this season, and have an offense that is ranked No. 111 nationally. But Pease said he would like to be judged on his entire body of work since he arrived two years ago, including last year's team that finished 11-2.
"I think you look at the first year and some of the situations and knowing the body of work and not just one, a game-to-game basis and situations we’ve been under," Pease said. "I hope any evaluations are looked at that way. But, you know, I understand things, too. I know you’ve got to win and have success. If it’s not meant to be . . . I came into this with friends, and I’m walking out of it with friends.”
Pease said it's difficult to evaluate the team's performance with so many injured starters. Asked if the massive criticism that's being placed on him is somewhat unfair under the circumstances, Pease said: "You’d like to believe so, but I don’t really know if that’s my judgement. I mean, it’s maybe something, some substance you can use later. You don’t want to use it as an excuse because you’ve got to play with the kids you have.”
Pease insisted that he and Muschamp are on the same page "philosophically" with the Gators' offense, but noted it's been difficult to run the offense he'd like because of the injuries.
Muschamp said Monday he's constantly evaluating his staff and he will not make a decision on any changes until the end of the season - which will come Saturday for the Gators who have not won enough to be bowl-eligible.
Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said Pease isn't the only one that's in a difficult situation right now.
“I think our staff, everyone - coaches, players, everyone alike in that locker room - we're all in a tough situation right now," Durkin said. "I think Brent, just like everyone else, we're trying to teach our guys to respond well when you’re in a tough moment. Tough people do that, and Brent’s a tough guy. We’re all in this together. It’s not just him or any one person on the staff. It’s everyone. We’ve gotta coach better, we’ve gotta player better, we’ve gotta do a lot of things better, and we will.”
Pease's players are also in his corner.
“I think he did what he could do as the offensive coordinator," right guard Jon Halapio said. "I love the guy. Personally, I hope he stays for another year.”
"I'm a big fan of coach Pease and I always will be," WR Trey Burton said. "I thank him for everything he's done for me and my family and the lessons that I've learned from him. I can't put into words how thankful I am for him.”