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March 17, 2011

Brantley good fit in new offense, ready to lead

A year ago, John Brantley was heading into spring practice having been told the Gators were now "his team."

His arm strength and tight spiral had excited fans previous years in mop-up duty. Having spent one year as a redshirt and two years learning under Tim Tebow, the expectation was it his time to shine.

Instead of shining, he, and the Gator offense struggled. As the year wore on, many fans were demanding more time for Trey Burton and Jordan Reed and rumors and gossip about a possible transfer for Brantley.

This spring, Brantley's focus will be learning a new system under quarterback guru Charlie Weis.

On his comfort with the offense:
"I'm not saying that I know everything right now, but I'm getting more comfortable with it especially going out for the first time yesterday and actually getting reps with everybody. It's much easier to see it and do the reps for it. I knew it was going to be tough, but it's coming along just fine."

On how the hire of Weis impacted his decision to come back:
"That definitely helped. Coach Weis is a genius when it comes to offense and he's going to do great things here. I believe the whole new coaching staff is going to do great things here."

On how it felt to get back out on the field:
"It was good. Looking at the playbook and stuff you kind of get confused because it's tough to teach yourself. Finally (getting) out there, getting used to it, seeing everything develop got a little bit easier for us. We're a long way from where we want to be, but it was a good start yesterday."

On mentoring Tyler Murphy and Jeff Driskel:
"That's what I'm here for. We're all new at this so we're all helping each other. We're all at the same level. There's a lot of confusing things going on right now with this offense. It's all new to us. We're just going to help each other and get better ourselves."

On when he decided to come back:
"I never really decided to come back because I never left. I never wanted to leave because I wanted to be a Gator. I just decided this was still the place I wanted to be."

On the excitement for working with Weis who has a reputation for developing quarterbacks:
"[It's] real exciting. He's got a great track record. You can put a lot of trust in his hands because he knows what he's doing."

On his relationship with Weis:
"It's pretty good right now. We haven't spent a lot of time together yet, but the times spent together have been good. We're getting that relationship. He's a real cool guy. He loves to coach us hard, but he understands how we are."

On how he sees himself fitting in to the offense:
"I think pretty comfortably. This is more my style of offense. This is more what I do - just drop back and throw it. We've got some great running backs to take the pressure off. All around I think it's going to be a great thing."


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