Florida Football: 3 Things Will Muschamp Does Better Than Urban Meyer

Stephen Sheehan@@StephenPSheehanCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2012

Will Muschamp has rebuilt the Florida program in just two years.
Will Muschamp has rebuilt the Florida program in just two years.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Will Muschamp hasn't won a national championship yet, let alone two. 

He hasn't recruited and groomed a Heisman Trophy winner yet. 

Heck, he hasn't even won an SEC title yet. 

Although he's only been at Florida since late 2010, Muschamp has already managed to outdo former head coach Urban Meyer in several areas. 

First and foremost: player development. 

In just two seasons Muschamp has transformed talented underachievers into productive future pros. 

Take Jordan Reed, for instance. 

Meyer brought him to Florida without a real plan for his athletic talent. During his freshman year, Reed actually started one game at quarterback, but didn't make much of a dent during the last two years of Meyer's tenure. 

In steps Muschamp, and the results have been night and day. 

Reed has developed into the Gators' most reliable receiving option and a willing blocker.

This season the 6'3", 243-pounder led the Gators in receptions (44) and yards (552) while chipping in three touchdowns.

Muschamp and his offensive staff helped turn Reed from a freakish athlete into a potential high-round draft pick. 

The case of Reed is only a microcosm of what Muschamp's been able to do in his short coaching tenure at Florida. Guys like Josh Evans, James Wilson, Mike Gillislee and Jon Bostic have all taken major strides in 2012 as a result of Muschamp's coaching.

In the case of Meyer, he certainly produced some fantastic players in Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes, but how much of that was really Meyer's doing?

Tebow, Harvin and Spikes are three of the most instinctive players to emerge from the Florida program, and many of the players who Meyer recruited from '07-'09 failed to develop under his watch.

Whether it was Will Hill, Earl Okine, Deonte Thompson or Andre Debose, Meyer had a large share of his recruits fail to pan out.

Muschamp's made it his priority to not only develop Meyer's guys but also his own.

In inheriting Meyer's team, Muschamp had to instill a new level of discipline in the program—something that Meyer had clearly let go in his waning years.

According to Matt Hayes of Sporting News, Meyer's on-field success often overshadowed problems inside the program concerning drug use and a lack of accountability by his players.

Hayes calls to light this type of preferential treatment under Meyer's watch:

In the season opener against Hawaii, Meyer said a few elite players (including wideout Percy Harvin, linebacker Brandon Spikes and tight end Aaron Hernandez) would miss the game with injuries. According to multiple sources, the three players—all critical factors in Florida’s rise under Meyer—failed drug tests for marijuana and were sitting out as part of standard university punishment.

Harvin appears to be the poster child for the lack of discipline and special treatment during Meyer's watch, but in the case of Muschamp, every player is treated equally. 

Muschamp wasted no time ridding the program of maybe its most talented player but its biggest headache when he dismissed cornerback Janoris Jenkins just months into his coaching tenure after Jenkins' second drug-related arrest in three months. 

The discipline hasn't just come off the field, but also in practice. 

Andre Debose, who was dubbed the next Percy Harvin, has frustrated fans and coaches alike since he came to UF in 2009. 

Despite immense physical skills, Debose's lackluster practice habits and attention to detail have prevented him from becoming the No. 1 receiver people envisioned. 

This season his poor practice habits coupled with Muschamp's high standards led to Debose becoming a ghost on game days. 

Muschamp expects a lot out of his players, and if they aren't up to the task, he wastes no time letting them know. 

It'd be criminal to undersell the two national championships Meyer brought to Gainesville, but the end of his coaching tenure was marred by an inability to adjust. 

Without Tim Tebow and Harvin to run his spread offense, fans were left to watch the misery that was John Brantley. 

Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio was completely inept and the 2010 season ended with a disappointing 8-5 record. 

Defensively, the Gators got run over in their biggest games, something that would be unheard of when Spikes and Joe Haden starred at UF. 

An overall lack of size, strength and toughness plagued Meyer's 2010 team, and his inability to adjust to the post-Tebow offense was disappointing. 

In Muschamp's first season, he managed to get the most out of the scraps that were left over before he remade the program in the offseason. 

In hiring strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman, Muschamp added a difference-making force who literally transformed the size, shape and attitude of the team. 

Muschamp also brought in a great offensive mind in Brent Pease and decided to stick with Jeff Driskel for the entire season. 

While a bit of luck certainly played a part in the Gators' success this season, Muchamp's ability to diagnose his team's weaknesses and turn them into strengths made a huge difference in 2012. 

The best coaches are able to identify problems and adjust accordingly, and in just a short time it's already clear Muschamp makes better adjustments than Meyer. 


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