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August 7, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Mike DiRocco

Michael DiRocco
  (4:11 PM)

Sorry for being late. I was wrapping up the news story that broke a few minutes ago that Debose is out for the year with a torn ACL.

Davis (Boston)

If Manziel gets suspended for a long period of time does this help the gators in any way?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:13 PM)

Davis -- That's one less team the Gators would have to worry about possibly facing in the SEC title game. But that's pretty much it.

Bobby Boucher (ATL)

Which safety has better chance of seeing playing thime this year V. Showers or J. Gorman??

Michael DiRocco
  (4:13 PM)

Bobby -- Probably Gorman. He's more experienced and seemed to be ahead of the other guys a bit.

Bobby Boucher (ATL)

Who is our Nickle Corner now that J. Watkins is now working at corner??

Michael DiRocco
  (4:14 PM)

Bobby -- Watkins, Poole, Hargreaves are all going to fill that role at one time or another.

Bobby Boucher (ATL)

Why are T. Westbrook and A. McCalister not being utilized on special teams?? They are both 6'5 240+......

Michael DiRocco
  (4:14 PM)

Bobby -- I know McCalister is on FG and PAT block teams. Not sure if Westbrook isn't, but I'll find that out for you this week.

Bobby Boucher (ATL)

What 5 receivers whould play in an all 5 wide formation???

Michael DiRocco
  (4:16 PM)

Bobby -- Trey Burton, Quinton Dunbar, Solomon Patton, Demarcus Robinson and either Pittman/Andrades. That'd be my best guess.

Bobby Boucher (ATL)

With Bo Scarbrough now at IMG Academy does this increase FLA chances or FSU chances since Chris Weinke is the Head Coach???

Michael DiRocco
  (4:16 PM)

Bobby -- I don't think there's much of an impact either way. The kid will go where he wants to.

Eric Johnston (Fort Lauderdale)

Mike:How do you feel about our chances of a receiver finally making the grade for us? Do you think that having Joker Phillips is going to really make a big difference in our corp at that position?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:18 PM)

Eric -- I think Phillips will make a big difference in the receivers. I'm just not sure the talent level is still where it needs to be. Let's be honest, if Trey Burton is starting that tells you the level is still down. He's a nice player but he shouldn't be a starting receiver at UF.

Roland (Miami Fl)

What happens if the Gators get Ermon Lane and Quincy Wilson? Also does it sway in other big recruits?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:19 PM)

Roland -- That's certainly give the Gators one of the country's best classes. It may sway other recruits, but you can never tell with kids. That's why when people ask me about recruits and their decisions I'm always leery about things until they sign their LOI.

Joe (Gilligan)

Are Jeff Driskel and Matt Jones going to be fine before the season starts? If not, we could be in real trouble at the quarterback position.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:20 PM)

Joe -- I think Driskel will be fine, and may actually get on the practice field by the weekend. Jones is another matter. It depends on how long the affects from the virus linger. He's lost 8-10 pounds and his conditioning was affected. He could be dealing with that into the season.

drew2240 (Orange Park, FL)

Any word on Andre Debose's injury?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:20 PM)

drew2240 -- Torn ACL. Out for the year.

Josh (Albany, GA)

Mike, can you tell a difference in the WR work ethic now that Joker Phillips is out there coaching them?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:21 PM)

Josh -- Pease said he sees a difference. We'll get access to practice next week so I won't be able to see for myself until then.

Josh (Albany, GA)

Mike, if you could to pick a team for the Gators to play outside the SEC who would it be? I would like the play Michigan since we have yet to beat them on the football field

Michael DiRocco
  (4:23 PM)

Josh -- Texas, partly because of the Muschamp factor. But also because they've never played Texas.

Josh (Albany, GA)

Mike, I saw a picture of Adam Lane on the field, and that guy looks like he could truck a rhino.. What's the deal with this kid because I haven't heard anything about him, is he going to be a sleeper?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:23 PM)

Josh -- I think so, especially with the loss of Matt Jones for a while. He'll get more reps. But it comes down to pass blocking. If he proves he can do that, he'll have a chance to play.

Kathy (Florida)

What can the Gators do to increase their explosiveness on Offense?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:24 PM)

Kathy -- The OL has improved and so has Driskel. The bottom line is that the WRs have to be significantly better. If they are, then the offense has a chance to make more big plays. If not, then expect another year like last year.

Hugh (Winter Park, FL)

Do you see RB Kelvin Taylor getting to play often this season?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:25 PM)

Hugh -- If Jones returns by the season opener and is healthy, I can see Taylor getting 50-75 carries. That number will be higher if Jones is not healthy.

Bobby Boucher (ATL)

Which Redshirt Freshman will have the biggest impact this season between LB J. Powell, DL B. Cox Jr. or DB/FB R.Ledbetter

Michael DiRocco
  (4:26 PM)

Bobby -- I think Bryan Cox has a chance to be a significant part of the pass rush.

Brandon (DE)

Mike, thanks for answering questions. How much can we buy into Muschamp saying the O has improved and the TEs as well? Doesn't he just have to say that?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:27 PM)

Brandon -- Yes, to a degree. But I think being in the system for a second year helps, and Driskel has made strides. I think he's trying to build confidence with the TEs, though, because he was saying in the summer they have to get a lot better.

Gary (Ruston La.)

Mike, I read an artical by Chris Harry of Gatorzone.com. In the artical he stated that he believes that Colin Thompson and Kent Taylor can really be difference makers this season. In the artical Muschamp didn't question Taylors toughness. Do you think that the tight ends are starting to turn it around?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:29 PM)

Gary -- I'm not sure. And remember, the article is on the school's website so there's no way it would be critical anyway. I saw the staff getting on Taylor in the spring about not wanting to get in a special teams drill and yelling at him that he's a TE at Florida. So, there are concerns.

Tanner (Bettendorf, IA)

How have the young running backs looked so far during camp? Especially since practice has gone to full contact. And also I saw a photo of Mack Brown, and he looked much bigger than I ever imagined or could tell on television. I know pictures can be deceiving, but is he really that well cut and put together? Thanks Mike.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:30 PM)

Tanner -- I actually agree with you on Brown. When I saw him at media day I was surprised at how much bigger he had gotten, especially in the upper body. As for the young RBs, they're doing OK. Heads are spinning from the installation of the offense.

Tanner (Bettendorf, IA)

Which unit on offense and defense have you noticed the most improvement out of since the spring? And which player has maybe unexpectedly stepped his production the most in those units? Thanks Mike.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:31 PM)

Tanner -- I'd love to be able to answer this question but we haven't been able to see practice yet. We get the chance to do that next week so I'll have a better feel then.

Gary (Ruston)

Mike, I know some people seem pretty upset about losing Debose, but in my opinion I don't think that he was too much of a lose. He played 3 full seasons at florida, and never produced. He also had a terrible attitude and work ethic issues. It's kinda his fault by waiting to his last season to turn it all around. What's your take?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:32 PM)

Gary -- It's not a big loss at WR at all. I don't believe anyone who says he was having a good camp because we heard the same thing about John Brantley for two years and that didn't exactly translate, did it? It hurts losing him as a KR, but there are enough guys on the roster who can fill in at that spot.

JESSE (SAN ANTONIO)

DO YOU SEE ERMON LANE AND QUINCY WILSON COMMITTING TO THE GATORS WHEN THEY ANNOUNCE THIS MONTH?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:33 PM)

Jesse -- From all indications that seems to be the way the two are leaning. But again, things certainly could change.

Steve (Florida)

How on earth did we get to the start of a season with only one QB having thrown a pass in a game? Every school has transfers, so Brissett's is no excuse.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:34 PM)

Steve -- It sort of is. Not many schools have three QBs on a roster that have played in games and thrown passes. There was no reason to play Tyler Murphy last season and let him throw the ball. And the only reason Driskel and Brissett got action in 2011 was because of Brantley's injury. This just happens sometimes.

Sid (Gainesville FL)

Just heard Andre Debose tore his ACL? Is he out for the season? Who'd be the replacement for him?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:35 PM)

Sid -- He is done for the year. Not a big loss at WR. Purifoy, Roberson or one of the freshmen (Hargreaves, Bailey) could step in and return kicks.

MARK NYC [via mobile]

Is percy harvin the best player to go to florida and play well other than tebow in the past ten years

Michael DiRocco
  (4:36 PM)

Mark -- I'd say it's accurate that he's the best player to go to Florida other than Tebow in the last 10 years. But the Gators have had a lot of players drafted and named All-American and All-SEC, so there have been good players here.

MattN (Gainesville)

Is it possible that Vernon H III is put man-to-man on #1 receiver in a game this year? Hear he has elite man coverage skills. Maybe better than Roberson/Purifoy

Michael DiRocco
  (4:37 PM)

MattN -- I don't know about being put on a No. 1 WR. Let's see how he handles himself in camp before we make that assessment. Covering college WRs is a little harder than covering guys in high school. But he is very talented and will play a lot.

MattN (Gainesville)

I think Adam Lane is being overlooked. Can anyone tackle that kid!?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:37 PM)

MattN -- He's a bowling ball, a player a lot like Maurice Jones-Drew.

paul (Jersey)

Which incoming freshman on the defensive side of the ball has been the most impressive during camp so far?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:38 PM)

paul -- My understanding is that LB Daniel McMillian has played very well.

Tito Santana (Long Beach)

Mikey Mike, so, how do you think that Murphy has done quarterbacking the team in Driskel's absence? A viable backup?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:39 PM)

Tito -- Muschamp and Pease say he's done OK, but he's just holding things down until Driskel can get back in the next week. If Driskel gets hurt and has to miss time during the season, Murphy would be the starter -- and that would not be good.

Andre (Monticello,FL)

Mike, which unit do you believe is the strongest: the offense or defense. Also is there any hype leading up to the UM game.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:40 PM)

Andre -- Defense, without question. So far the Miami game hasn't generated any hype but I expect it to as we get closer to the season.

John Cena (Tampa, FL)

Are we supposed to be better this year with the new RB we've got or Gillislee was too good?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:40 PM)

John -- Gilly was very good, but the staff expected Matt Jones to be even better. That was before the viral infection, though, so we'll have to see how he recovers.

MattN (Gainesville)

Is it just me, or did it seem(in his interview today) like Pease is not a big fan of Joker Phillips?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:41 PM)

MattN -- I didn't get that from him.

Tanner (Bettendorf, IA)

What is a realistic total amount of catches/yards/TD's from freshman WR's this year if Florida is to have a successful season and adequate receiving corps? Thanks Mike.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:41 PM)

Tanner -- If the freshmen WRs can combine for 50 catches, that'd be a tremendous season.

Chris (Daytona Beach, FL)

That is awful to hear about Debose. From what you saw/heard from the team this off season, how likely was it that this was his year to be a big time UF receiver?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:42 PM)

Chris -- There had been talk that he had been having a very good camp. However, I don't necessarily believe that because we heard the same thing about John Brantley for two years and that didn't exactly translate, did it?

MattN (Gainesville)

So this makes 3 off-seasons in a row that we hear about Dunbar being the receiver that is stepping his game up. Does this say more about Dunbar? Or does this say a lot about the other WR's talent level being low?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:44 PM)

MattN -- Dunbar has improved each year, but the talent level at WR still needs to improve. He'll be a solid WR this season but the Gators need big-time playmakers and he hasn't shown that he's capable of that.

Andrew (Orange Park, FL)

With the depth at FB, should we see some different offensive schemes this season?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:45 PM)

Andrew -- The Gators will pretty much do what they did last season, but the offense should be better because the players are running it for the second season. That generally results in improvement.

Elmo (Long Beach)

Dude, this Manziel kid is a complete train wreck. Do you see the NCAA finding enough for him to be done?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:46 PM)

Elmo -- I don't know. The NCAA's reputation and investigative powers are not exactly at the top of the charts right now. Unless the NCAA has proof, then I don't see anything happening.

Mari IL [via mobile]

If there wasnt before it is a definite need to press the gas on the recruitng wr pedal

Michael DiRocco
  (4:47 PM)

Mari -- Not really. Remember, it's a smaller class so the Gators can be picky. Often that results in a better class than if they had 25 spots to fill.

Seth (Florida)

With Morrison's charges being dropped, will the two week suspension be upheld?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:48 PM)

Seth -- No. He was suspended for being in that situation just a few weeks after his other arrest. He's still not in camp yet.

Tanner (Bettendorf, IA)

Which of the young receivers have been the most promising as blockers so far in camp? I know UF sorely needs playmakers, but it would seem to be just as important that they don't detract from the physical, downhill running game that Coach Muschamp loves so much. Thanks Mike.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:48 PM)

Tanner -- I can't answer that question until we get to watch practice next week. Sorry.

AlanG (Orlando)

What's the status on Jon Halapio....if he's out, who's stepping in?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:49 PM)

AlanG -- He's expected to be cleared next week. Tyler Moore is working in his spot.

Ben (Tallahassee)

Would Debose have eligibility next year, if he were able to play? Or, would he have to petition to be eligible..

Michael DiRocco
  (4:52 PM)

Ben -- He'd have to petition for another year.

David (OCMD)

Have you heard any of the players talk about the Miami game or do you have a sense of how the players feel about that game? I'm sure Miami will be gunning for us like Louisville did last year.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:52 PM)

David -- So far no talk about the Miami game. That's still a month away. I expect it to heat up the closer we get to the season, though.

JG (Pinellas Park, FL)

Do the players wear new uniforms for each game or do they launder them? How do they get the grass stains out?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:53 PM)

JG -- This isn't a real question, is it?

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Have the Gators considered pursuing any JUCO WRs to get a quicker ROI, given the recent issues with HS kids not panning out? Granted there is no guarantee a 2 year can't bust, but someone already use to being away from home, may transition quicker, and be hungrier? Your thoughts?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:54 PM)

Tony -- The Gators were in a few guys but it didn't work out. It's a route they may take if the group that signed this year doesn't pan out.

B (DE)

Is Jeremi Powell going to get any playing time this year?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:54 PM)

B -- I think he'll get a lot of PT on special teams but I'm not sure at linebacker.

B (DE)

How have none of the safeties stepped up?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:55 PM)

B -- Muschamp is asking the same thing. They're struggling with communication and consistency.

Jimmy Supa Fly Snuka (Cali Yo)

Muschamp is awesome. Kind of far off, could this guy be a lifer at Florida? Or do you even see coaches doing that any longer?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:59 PM)

Jimmy -- I'd be surprised if we see coaches stick at places a long time like Paterno, Beamer, Bowden. I think Muschamp will eventually get courted by some NFL teams.

CF (Florida)

Call me hopelessly optimistic, but I can't imagine a scenario where Florida's WR corps isn't much improved from last season. They were less productive than 95% of CFB teams in the country last year. What scenario, if any, could the WR corps be worse than/on par with last season's production?

Michael DiRocco
  (5:00 PM)

CF -- Well, they can get worse. I suppose injuries could take out three or four guys. I think the unit will be better, mainly because of Joker Phillips and the five guys they brought in.

J. Uke (NE FL)

Does the team play any music at practice? If so, what?

Michael DiRocco
  (5:02 PM)

J. Uke -- Only when they're stretching. I'm not sure what it is.

Tanner (Bettendorf, IA)

I know there is no way to know for sure with somebody recovering from an illness, but do you know if Matt Jones is at a point health-wise that he can at least get back on a regular diet and get back into the weight room and work on his cardio? At least before he resumes full-time work on the practice field. Thanks Mike.

Michael DiRocco
  (5:04 PM)

Tanner -- He was in the facility the other day and they're working on him gaining his weight back. He's not suffering from any affects of the virus any longer so he can start working back slowly.

InNC (Raleigh)

Mike, if you had to pick right now, which guy will have the bigger breakout year? Fowler or Bullard? Thanks.

Michael DiRocco
  (5:04 PM)

InNC: I'm picking Fowler because he'll play at SLB as well as rush the passer.

InNC (Raleigh, NC)

Mike, based on what you've seen/heard, who will be the eventual #2 at RB...Taylor, Lane or Brown? Thanks.

Michael DiRocco
  (5:05 PM)

InNC -- Mack Brown.

Brandon (Zephyrhills, FL)

Do you think Debose will get an extra year of eligibility?

Michael DiRocco
  (5:05 PM)

Brandon -- I can't see the NCAA denying his request.

InNC (Raleigh, NC)

Mike, are we in for a long year at the kicker position? Thanks.

Michael DiRocco
  (5:06 PM)

InNC -- Yes, because neither has shown that they're consistently accurate from the 30-40 yard range. That should be a gimmee kick for a college kicker.

InNC (Raleigh, NC)

Mike, when you go to Muschamp's press conferences, do you have any trepidation when asking questions...for fear that he'll just melt your face? Thanks.

Michael DiRocco
  (5:07 PM)

InNC -- OK, best question ever in my chat by far. No. Believe it or not, Will isn't the crazy man he appears to be on the sideline when he's with us. He's pretty funny and even-tempered. No trepidation at all. I've been yelled at before by coaches, though.

Tanner (Bettendorf, IA)

In all of your years covering Florida football what game that you attended would you say had the most electric environment? Maybe not the best or most competitive game, but gave you the most memorable game day experience. Thanks Mike.

Michael DiRocco
  (5:08 PM)

Tanner -- The LSU game in Baton Rouge in 2007. That was the year they got Tebow's cell phone and he gave them the phone dial after he scored a TD. Plus, LSU converted 57 fourth downs on that final drive. Great atmosphere.

InNC (Raleigh, NC)

Mike, what do you think the Gators record will be this year? Trap game? Thanks.

Michael DiRocco
  (5:09 PM)

InNC -- I think they can win 10 games, provided Driskel stays healthy. The Vandy game could be a trap game because it's in between Georgia and South Carolina.

InNC (Raleigh, NC)

Mike, in your opinion what will be the biggest reason for Driskel's improvement this year? Better O-line, experience, grasp of offense? Thanks.

Michael DiRocco
  (5:10 PM)

InNC -- All of that, really. Plus he's more comfortable in the pocket and more at ease because he's not in a competition for his job.

InNC (Raleigh, NC)

Mike, is Humphries going to be all-SEC at tackle by season's end? Thanks.

Michael DiRocco
  (5:10 PM)

InNC -- I think he's got a chance to be. He's still got to gain some weight, but he's agile, athletic and quick and the staff is very high on him.

Michael DiRocco
  (5:11 PM)

OK, that's it for this week. Thanks for the questions. If you don't see yours posted, it was because I answered a similar question earlier. Hope you guys have a good week.