Time for Debose to improve effort, consistency

By Adam Silverstein
September 24, 2012

There are plenty of reasons why a particular player may or may not see the football field on any given Saturday. For the Florida Gators and head coach Will Muschamp, consistency in effort during practice leading up to the game is of paramount importance in determining how many opportunities one might see on the gridiron.

Such is the case for redshirt junior wide receiver Andre Debose, who looked to have turned a corner in 2011 from a playmaking standpoint while leading the team in receiving yards (432) and touchdowns (4). Yet Debose, the primary kick returner, has barely played on offense in 2012 and does not have a single reception on the year (he has two carries out of the back field for a net of one yard gained).

Asked specifically about Debose on Monday for the second-straight week, Muschamp once again noted that he will see the field more as soon as he becomes a consistent performer in practices throughout the week.

“Anybody that’s in the coaching profession [knows] there’s a key to every kid. And we’ve got to find that key to motivate any young man, not just Andre, day-in, day-out to consistently perform well, to consistently do it the right way,” he said.

“Generally your practice habits do carry over to your game. I am young, but I’m old-fashioned and I believe that. Guys that don’t go out and consistently perform well at practice, generally it carries over to the game.

“As coaches, we want guys to consistently do it well and do it right. We promote that within our program and we’re going to practice what we preach around here to our football team. Effort as much as anything [is important] but consistently doing it the right way. It’s consistently doing it the right way. Consistent effort is different.”

Not every player is dependable from the get go as far as his production during practice is concerned. For most there is a major transition period, especially in their first year or two playing college football.

Read the rest of this story…after the break!

“It’s very difficult because most times in most situations in high school, and I’m not saying all, most situations they have not been asked to work hard because they haven’t had to. They’ve been so much better. They’ve been the big fish in the little pond, and they didn’t have to work very hard. Their athleticism, their raw athleticism, was so much better than the other guy [that] it didn’t really matter,” Muschamp explained.

“Now, all of a sudden, they’re swimming in a big lake and they better figure out that the other guys run well, too. The little things matter like how you run a route, how you cover the guy, your hand placement, your pad level. All of those things do matter. Working hard all the time [does] matter. You can’t have a mental lapse as far as you work ethic and your concentration and your focus.”

One player who has begun showcasing the consistency that Muschamp desires is redshirt sophomore WR Quinton Dunbar. The third-year receiver, who caught his first touchdown of the season on Saturday, is currently second on the Gators in receptions (10) and third in receiving yards (109).

“It was a good catch,” Muschamp said of Dunbar’s touchdown, “and it was a catch over the middle, which is something he needed to do – go across the middle and understand that ball was in the air to go make that play. I was very happy for him. He’s a guy that has been a very unselfish guy this year. Really worked hard in the blocking aspect of it and understanding being a total receiver.”

Pass catchers and young players are not the only ones that need to show consistency during practice. Muschamp was quick to point out that two of the best defenders in the history of the NFL – both of whom he coached while a member of the Miami Dolphins coaching staff – understood that hard work in practice translates to game day.

“Jason Taylor is one of the best practice players I’ve ever been around,” he said. “Junior Seau – one of the practice players I’ve ever been around. They’re going to be in [the Pro Football Hall of Fame in] Canton, OH for a reason. God blessed with them with a lot of ability and they took advantage of the ability. They took it to another level.”

Whether or not Debose can take that next step in practice remains to be seen though his time with Florida is quickly running out. The fourth-year player is now a third of the way into his second-to-last season of college football and is in a position where, going forward, his fate is in no one’s hands but his own.


  1. gatorboi352 says:

    It’s weird considering how promising he looked last year. I doubt his practice habits were any better then, so it may be that he’s just one of those guys that flips the switch when Saturday rolls around. Too bad for him Coach Boom ain’t playing that this year.

  2. GatorCooken says:

    It’s mind blowing that this is his 4th year and he can’t get his head on straight. There has to be more to it, he seems like a smart kid.

  3. Walt P says:

    Man hate to hear this. I thought he would really stand out at FL

  4. Daniel M. says:

    Sounds to me like he’s plain ole lazy. Muschamp danced around it but that’s what I’m reading between the lines. Very disappointing to me personally because I have spent years tagging this guy as the next great Gator. Dude certainly has skills. It’s baffling.

  5. G2 says:

    You would think we should have multiple options in the return game, but just not there so far. Without AD, then what?

  6. MAR says:

    I think his head is elsewhere. He is probably caught up in the Gainesville lifestyle of partying and girls. It is a lifestyle I thoroughly loved while in school there, but it certainly affects your ability to perform on a daily basis. I wouldn’t be surprised if he got into some kind of trouble before the season is over. If he gave 100% and dedicated himself off the field, with his ability, he would be shining. However, IF your aunt had balls, she would be your uncle!

  7. Mr2Bits says:

    Its time for everyone to let Debose go. We are dying to bring the 5 stars out of him but its simply not there. Continuing to obsess over him is not going to change the fact that his play making ability is not as great as others. Gator Nation needs to move on and accept this reality!

  8. MrMarques says:

    He’s got to do better. He has far too much talent to let it go to waste, but he’s got to be willing to do the hard work first… His senior year (I believe) his team made it to the state championship game. The guts he showed at the end of that game had me convinced he be All-SEC if not All-American at UF. He’s got to find that hunger again…

  9. gatorboi352 says:


    He looked happy in high school, especially in interviews during his senior year. He doesn’t look happy at Florida and never has. I wonder why he came here to begin with?

  10. G2 says:

    He made the right decision not to go to Miami like all his buddies. Think missing his freshman year with the injury screwed him up in some way. Also been thru 3 offensive coordinators, now they change the kickoff yardages……hope he gets on the field somehow.

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