Friday August 5, 2011Florida Football 2011 Media Day Quotes
Florida Football Media Day Quotes Ė August 5, 2011
Head Coach Will Muschamp
Great to be here. Great to get started with our season. Itís been a long time coming since the opening press conference till now, and to have an opportunity to get on the field and coach and do what you enjoy to do. I know as a staff we are very excited.
As we head into training camp, we have goals of things we want to accomplish. I think the first thing in talking in terms of our team is continuing to demand great effort and developing the toughness in our football team. We can talk about those things in an all-season program and we can put the players through an awful lot of things to demand those things, but I think when you get on the field thatís when you find out about your football team. Thatís two huge things that we have to be able to do.
Continue to develop leadership; I think we made some strides as far as that is concerned and our team chemistry. Weíll find out about those in training camp when itís tough. They are all going to be excited tomorrow. Practice 12, letís find out about our leadership; practice 18, 22. When we face adversity through our league this year, thatís when we will find out how far weíve come in those situations. Thatís when you find out that you trust your football team.
Continue to stress to control the things that you can control and doing your job. Do what youíve got to do to be a good football player and quit worrying about all of the external things that you let affect you that arenít really important at the end of the day. I talked to our staff about that as well. The only stat as an entire group, (Offensive Coordinator) Charlie (Weis) will have goals offensively, (Defensive Coordinator) Dan (Quinn) will have goals defensively, (Special Teams Coordinator) D.J. (Durkin) with special teams, but really the stat I am going to emphasize with our team is turnover margin. Last year of the top 10 teams in turnover margin, six of them played in BCS games. The critical factor I try to emphasize with our football team is turnover margin and big-play ratio. You are talking about game-changing, field-position changing, vertical-field-position changing and gaining momentum in a game. We have to take care of the ball offensively; we have to create and be what we call a ball-hawk defense. Weíve got to be able to get the ball back to our offense. Itís a lot easier to score when the ball is in your hands. Also, we need to control big plays defensively and create some explosives. Thatís really statistics-wise over the years and the research weíve done. When I was in the National Football League and since then being back in college, each year as you measure it, the teams that are winning and the teams that are playing in BCS games, turnover margin and big-play ratio are the two things. You look at Florida last year in 2010; in eight wins we gained 26 turnovers. We turned it over 13 times in those games. In five losses we only gained two turnovers. Obviously, you look at those stats, you flip that a little bit, you get a turnover here and there, create some momentum for your football team, put your offense in a great field position. Thatís the only stat from my position that I am going to really harp on our players. Iím not a big stats guy other than that.
I think offensively and defensively we have to continue to teach our scheme, identify what our players can do, what they do well, get the ball in our playmakers hands offensively, defensively create the one-on-ones that we need to make sure that those guys can win battles. Especially in pass-rush situations that donít create too many miss-matches for our secondary down the field.
Offensive line, we have some unknowns going in; more than I would like, but we need that unit to come together. Obviously with the moving parts we had going through spring ball, that is something we need to gel and we need to gel early. We need to get five guys playing well together. And youíd like to build that number to seven, eight, nine, ten guys if you can, but build depth on the offensive line of scrimmage.
Solidify play at the quarterback position; Johnny (Brantley) continues to play well. We need to create some separation after John. Tyler (Murphy), Jeff (Driskel), and Jacoby (Brissett) are all very talented and we feel are certainly very capable players. We need to get some separation and get a direction going there, and develop some playmakers at the wide-out position. Get guys more consistently making plays in space and big plays down the field for us in the passing game besides the guys we kind of felt came through in the spring.
Defensively we have to have more pass rushers. You have to affect the quarterback in this league. When you create one-on-ones, which I think Dan does a good job studying protections and looking at those things and getting a guy in a one-on-one situation. You have to go earn your scholarship and affect the quarterback. Not just talking in terms of sacks, but resets, resetting the QB and hits on the QB and putting the QB down.
Develop some more depth at the linebacker position. Iíve said it before, I feel very comfortable with Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins. After that we havenít had guys that have played in our league and understand what itís going to take to be successful.
Secondary; I really like our athleticism. I just met with our secondary and told them the same thing I am going to tell yíall. I really like our athleticism. Some of (the players) havenít played very much. You have to understand what itís going to take to be successful in this league. But I like starting with athleticism. I would rather start with that than experience if I had to start with one of the two. I feel good about what weíve got in the room as far as that is concerned.
Special teams; develop a punt returner who can consistently catch the ball. We always look for 10 yards in the return, thatís one less first down our offense has to get. We need to develop consistency from the punter position. Kyle Christy is a young man that came in mid-year, and Iím very excited about what he did. Lerner is another guy we will give an opportunity there. We feel very good about our team speed and very comfortable that we will be a good space team and generally that credits to special teams.
Injuries; Mack Brown has been cleared. He will be worked up to speed. I think we have to be careful as far as endurance and things are concerned, but he has been fully cleared to practice. Matt Patchan has been fully cleared. I just want to make sure that we get out there and he is ready to roll as far as contact and things are concerned. He is up to 290 (lbs.) so he really looks good. William Steinmann had a meniscus tear; he has been cleared for everything but contact. He will start contact August 15. Chris Guido had hernia surgery; he has been cleared for everything but contact. He will be cleared August 10. Thatís it on the injury front. Everybody else is ready to go.
We will start practice tomorrow in what I call split-squad. Basically, to let younger players have a better opportunity to learn. By NCAA rules you can only practice one time the first five days of practice, thatís one time on the field. We basically divided our roster to where most of the older guys will practice (in the morning) and the younger guys will practice in the afternoon. They get an opportunity to see the installation and watch the practice film, but they cannot go on the practice field. They watch the film of the practice and understand a little bit more about the tempo and whatís expected. Back in the old days the freshman came in early. Now they are able for at least two practices to get a better idea of whatís going to be expected on the practice field. We will do that for two days and Monday will be our first day as a full unit as far as being on the field.
I want to note that Caleb Sturgis is graduating Saturday, with a 3.3 GPA in sports management. He will be in grad school in the fall. Congratulations to him.
On the 2010 class needing to step up this season:
Weíve talked about leadership and weíve basically defined it to our players as No. 1, you have got to be a productive player. If you arenít producing and you arenít making plays, itís hard to be a leader. So you have to be productive. You canít have a bad day. When you come to work you canít say, ďCoach I just didnít play good today.Ē You have to play well all the time. You have to positively affect everybody in the organization. You have to stay humble in what you do, so you cannot be a negative guy who sits in the locker room and complains about how weíre practicing, how hot it is, or what we are doing offensively or defensively. Stay humble and move forward with mistakes and donít do them again. Thatís really how we define things as far as leadership is concerned. I am not really worried about being a senior and looking for senior leadership. I think you can be a sophomore, I think you can be a freshman and be a great leader. I have seen guys do that. They positively affect the organization and how they play and how they approach things every day. Weíve got some guys, especially in the sophomore class, we are counting on to be very productive players and good leaders on top of that.
On Charlie Weis coaching John Brantley:
Well I think first of all, Charlieís track record speaks for itself, as far as his development of quarterbacks. The laundry list of names goes on and on with the success heís had with those people. Also, whatís heís been able to do is he has great confidence in John. And that should give John great confidence. Hereís Charlie Weiss, heís coached some of the best quarterbacks who have ever played the game. You look at Tom Brady. That ought to give him great confidence as a quarterback and I think it does. I hired Charlie to run the offense, who under my umbrella, philosophically, what I believe we need to do offensively and weíre on the same page of where we want to be offensively Ė we want to be a running football team, have the play actions off of it, but still be able to sprint the field and create plays and space for our playmakers. Iíve got great confidence in where we are and where weíre headed with our offense with not just Charlie, but our entire offensive staff. As far as the assistant coaches, they will be made available at certain points in the season. I do think itís important right now that there is one message for our football team, and Iím the one that knows that the best. So thatís what weíre going to do.
On coaching the safeties:
I think that there are two guys who stood out Ė Matt Elam, obviously, he plays safety and nickel, but heís a guy whoís shown some play-making abilities. If you look at a defensive back and you look at critical factors of being able to play in space, that means youíve got to be able to tackle and cover them, have physical toughness to play the position, he can spin in the box and play in the box and play in the deep part of the field. He judges the ball extremely well. Heís bright, heís intelligent, and he can get in and out of the chase. Josh Evans has certainly been another guy thatís shown that he can do that. Josh Shaw is certainly a guy who I think can do that, but heís got to do it more consistently. Jaylen Watkins is a young man we played at corner and safety in spring and I think can give us a little position multiplicity in what he can do. So I think that mixture of those four guys and some of these younger guys coming will have opportunities as well, but I feel comfortable where we are right there.
On unknowns going into camp:
I think with the offensive line I want to be comfortable with seven, eight, nine guys who are interchangeable with where we can plug those guys in. Thatís something that, number one, we never got to because of injuries; some guys were unable to go through spring. So I think that weíve got to be able to figure that out early, figure out our combinations up front. Defensively, Sharrif Floyd will play tackle and end, Willie Green will play end, and also play some outside linebacker. Lerentee McCray can play on both sides. So we have to find the right combination of guys that we feel comfortable with in this league. Those are the questions, depth and linebacker. Iím very concerned about guys who have not played in our league and donít understand the tempo of what itís like to line up on a Saturday night in this league. Those things are concerning for me, from my standpoint that would jump out at me right now.
On players who have exceeded summer expectations:
I looked at some things that (Director of Strength & Conditioning) Mickey (Marotti) had the other day, we meet, and really I wouldnít want to point out any one guy. I think from an overall standpoint, you all know how I feel about Mickey and the job he does, to be able to, from my head coaching position, turn your team over to somebody in the summer, which by NCAA rules you have to do. Iíve got the utmost confidence and I know talking to him today, he feels that we are in great shape; weíre in great physical condition. He created some discomfort, some chaos for them this summer to put together some team-building exercises that he was excited about. So, again, weíll find out tomorrow about where they are more than I could comment on it right now.
On players respecting the history of the program:
I think more than anything sometimes in our day and age guys care more about their name on their back instead of whatís on their helmet. They need to understand thatís why I have open arms for every letterman that comes back here. They are welcome to come to any practices; itís not closed to them. They can come to every practice if they want to. But when you have guys like Kevin Carter, who was in yesterday, Fred Taylor, Mike Peterson, Tim Tebow, I mean all these guys have come back in the summer. Percy Harvin, the list goes on, of guys that come back anytime so they can talk about their time at Florida and the expectations of playing at Florida. Iíve got a guy on my staff, Terry Jackson, that played at Florida. They understand the expectation of what it takes to be successful here. Thatís a constant message youíre sending to your players. And all of our players need to understand, and coaching staff, that Florida won a bunch of games before we ever showed up. And theyíre going to win a bunch of them when weíre gone. We need to understand that weíre a part of the tradition. Weíre not establishing it, itís here. Weíve got to continue to build one.
On switching the programís focus to defense first:
I wouldnít necessarily say that. I think itís important to understand from my position of what affects our team. When I first got here the offense broke it down after the practice was over, the defense broke it down. After about the second day, I said whoa, whoa, whoa. We are a football team. Weíre not going to do that anymore. Everything we do affects the team; itís not just about offense and defense. Turnover margin is something that affects both sides. Weíve got to have great ball security offensively, and weíve got to create some turnovers on defense. On special teams, control the vertical field position. When we have the ball in our hands weíre on offense, when weíre chasing the guy, weíre on defense. So understand that part. But I think thatís the one emphasis I can talk about a lot to our team that is critical in my research since Iíve been a football coach in winning and losing football games. That and big plays. Charlie is going to talk about some things goal wise, offensively, for our football team. Dan is going to talk about some things defensively, and D.J. on special teams. But from my chair, that affects all of us and how we play. It controls the field position; it controls the momentum of the game. And, again, as you guys know, from a momentum standpoint, you get a couple turnovers in this league, itís tough. I think that to me, in my experience, turnover margin and big play ratio is so critical. Thatís really what I look at when youíre winning. You can talk about scoring defense, rushing defense, all those stats can be skewed. Thatís why I donít look at those a whole lot.
On what made him want to be a head coach:
Well I think more than anything probably going to LSU to be an assistant coach, and being a defensive coordinator, I realized with the success we were having, and being a part of a staff and a head coach that were doing it the right way and wanting to be in a place, like Florida, being in a place where you have great resources, outstanding administration, that supports everything you want to do, they understand what it takes to be successful. We have an outstanding recruiting base, we can recruit players within a three to five hour radius and win our conference and win a championship. Thatís kind of what I identified I wanted in the process. And itís a matter of be careful what you ask for. But understand what you want to take, what you want to look at, and what you are willing to pass on to move to a different situation.
On Trey Burton:
I think he fits very well here with what we want to do. We want him to play, what we call the F position. That position is going to be a full back, itís going to be a slot receiver, itís going to be a match-up on the outside linebacker, and itís going to be a guy to motion and create leverage in the rush and pass game. Heís going to do so many things for us. Heís a guy that is going to be catching the football, heís going to be blocking, heís going to be carrying it. He was a short-yardage situation guy in the spring that was probably our best short yardage back. It is kind of limitless what heís going to be doing in our offense. Itís interesting to talk to Charlie and look at the different ways we are going to get those guys the football. Because thatís the bottom line at the end of the day, is getting those guys the playmaker positions. Trey understands the game. It comes to him very easy. Heís one of those guys. Itís been fun to be around him.
On John Brantley as the starting quarterback:
No question. Tyler is the back up, and Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel are two outstanding players that we signed. John is the starter. I say create some separation behind John, we need to find who is our backup quarterback going into the season, how are we going to tailor offense for the backup quarterback. And thatís a decision we need to make as quickly as we can in camp.
On movements of players:
Iím very pleased with Jon Halapio. Heís a guy that gives movement inside and brings an element of toughness to your football team. Iím very pleased with Jon Harrisonís move to center, thatís a tough deal to do, to make the calls. The movement of Ian Silberman inside where he seems to be a more natural fit at guard. Xavier Nixon changed his body in the offseason; heís up to 290 lbs. He was always athletically exactly what you wanted in a left tackle. But now heís got a little more girth to him, a little more punch and power to him in his body. Chaz Green is a guy that showed some flashes, still a young player, but he is going to be an outstanding player for us. I would say that collection of guys we feel comfortable with. We just didnít have enough together to get all the snaps. And, Iíve said it before, but I really think there are two units on your football team that have to be tied together. And thatís in the offensive line and the secondary. The communication, being on the same page with the run and the pass game, and having that gel is very important with those two positions.
On ďpotentialĒ as a dirty word:
Potential? That means you really havenít done anything. God blessed you (with) an awful lot of ability, you take advantage of it. Guys that get labeled with potential in our program donít last long.
On defensive ends and pass rush:
I think that Ronald Powell has done some things in the rush that we like. We need to create some one-on-oneís for him. Lerentee has done some nice things. Willie Green has done some nice things. But, consistently we havenít seen enough. Weíre talking about three guys in this league, we need four, we need five, we need six. Weíre a little skinny there as far as depth is concerned. We just need to continue to develop depth at that position. Consistency is key. You canít have a good day and then have a bad day, you do that in this league and youíre going to lose.
On preseason rankings as No. 23:
I couldnít care less. I hope it motivates the players. Iím assuming it does. Thatís not something weíre going to spend a whole lot of time in our team meeting talking about.
On Lerentee McCray:
Lerentee has a great motor. He is very passionate about playing at Florida. Itís important to him to be a Gator. Heís a guy that can give us some pass rushing plays, heís tough, and he sticks his face in there. Heís a guy that you really appreciate coaching. We expect him to have a really good year.
On depth at linebacker and candidates for position:
Jon and Jelani are ahead of the others, but Mike Taylor has done some nice things. Mike is a tough, physical kid. Heís a guy that understands a little more what weíre asking of him. Dee Finley moved from the back end a year ago to be a linebacker. When your position moves closer to the ball, the game happens a lot faster. Sometimes it takes guys a little longer to react to those situations. Heís been a guy thatís shown some flashes and was very productive for us early in spring but consistently needs to come on and do those things. Darrin Kitchens is a young man that athletically has all the tools weíre looking for. Heís got to start now consistently doing it all the time. Graham Stewart is a young man that came in this summer, on all accounts from our players, seemed to really like his athleticism and movement. Football is important to him. We really liked his physicality on his high school tape. So those are the guys that would jump out at me right now that I think that weíre counting on to get some good snaps out of.
Quarterback #12 John Brantley
On having more confidence since Coach Muschampís arrival:
My confidence is a lot higher now since when the new coaches arrived. When the new coaching staff got here, it was all new to me. Now that I have spring football under my belt and have had all summer to study the playbook, I think as a team weíre ready to go. Weíre excited about this camp and this upcoming season.
On Coach Weisís impact:
Coach Weis is a great coach; I mean his track record speaks for itself. Heís coached some of the best quarterbacks ever to play, Iím just excited and honored to play for him. I think heís a great coach. He is someone that can turn a good team into an even better team. Weíre all excited and glad to be playing for him. During spring ball he tried to get our offense down and pound that in our heads. I think during this camp and during this upcoming season heís going to teach me a lot more about watching film and preparing for games.
On Jordan Reed:
I think Jordan Reed is probably one of our best athletes on the team. Having him at tight end creates mismatches on linebackers, and weíre excited about that. He has bought into that position, and Iím excited for him to be playing at tight end.
On the shift with the new coaching staff:
In the spring, that new offense was a challenge for us. It was a new challenge that we had to face, and we all took it on. Weíre excited about it now that weíve gotten a little deeper into it. Now we know it better, and weíre just more excited to get going again. Summer is over now, and weíre excited finally to get back on the field and actually play football.
On playing for his grandfather, who passed away recently:
I was very close with my grandfather. It was definitely an emotional experience. He was a big part of my life, my whole family is. Iíll definitely be even more motivated for him.
On the low expectations of the football team heading into the 2011 season:
We donít mind it. Weíre going to go out there like we have every season and just try to be our best. That is all we can do. We can go out there every day, try to win that day, try to get better each practice and if that happens, weíll be able to get back to where we were.
On the new playbook:
Well, for the older guys we were in the same system for a while and to switch over to that, it was tough. But, with great coaches like Coach Weis and the rest of our coaching staff, they make the transition a lot easier for everyone and help us learn a lot in a quick amount of time. For these new freshmen coming in, itís going to be tough for them to learn it in this short period of time, but like I said Ė with this coaching staff the transition is going to be as easy as it can be.
On the back-up quarterbacks:
Iíve seen a lot of improvement with that group. They work hard just as hard as anyone else on the team. Their spirits and attitudes are really great. They help each other out Ė we all help each other out, which in the end make us all better as players and as a team. Theyíre all great quarterbacks. Iím really looking forward to seeing what they can do here in the next two weeks.
On Quinton Dunbar:
Quinton made a lot of plays during the spring, and that definitely boosted my confidence with him. He can run any route, catch any ball. Weíre hoping for big things out of him, and I think that he will be able to prevail this fall.
On Chris Rainey:
Chris was definitely a little different this summer. He was kind of quiet, still a leader, but quiet. He just worked hard every day, went out there with a great attitude and that definitely showed with him. That kind of confidence spreads throughout the team. I think heís going to have a good year.
On the offensive line:
I have a lot of confidence in the offensive line. Iíve been with them for a couple of years now Ė theyíre a real close bunch, and Iím close with all of them. They are all fairly new to playing, but I think theyíre going to be very hungry and ready to learn. I think theyíre going to be fine.
On entering the season as an underrated season:
Weíre not very relaxed. We always want to win every day. The next two weeks during camp, weíre going to try and get better every day. It doesnít matter if weíre 80th or first in the polls Ė weíre going to keep doing the same thing. Weíre going to keep getting better each day.
On the chemistry with the receivers:
A couple of the older guys from each position got together and organized a seven-on-seven situation. That brought us closer and helped build that leadership role a little more. We became real close just trying to figure everything out this summer. I have a great relationship with all of them. We have timing down and everything.
On personal goals throughout the season:
My specific goals are to learn and put myself in the best position for Florida to be successful. Thatís my goal, to learn as much as I can and get better each day.
On overcoming diversity in the past year:
I definitely learned last year, that when things arenít going right or when things are just going wrong you need to forget about it and just move on. You have to keep your head up and keep pushing forward. If your head is down, other peopleís heads are going to go down. You have to keep moving. Bad things arenít unavoidable; theyíre going to happen Ė even if youíre the number one team in the country. A play or two is not always going to be perfect. You just have to forget about it and move on.
On Coach Muschampís energy off the field:
His intensity isnít just on the field. Heís very intense in the meeting room. Iíve heard him through the doors sometimes coaching. Itís awesome. It keeps everyone awake and in tune. Everyone is listening to him.
On Florida being a Ďblue collarí program:
Blue collar is just hard-working, and thatís what Coach Marotti put us through this off season and this summer. It was all just a lot of hard work. There were tough situations to be in where leaders had to prevail and show up, but Coach Marotti said we had a great summer. I look back on it now, and I think that overall we had a great off-season program and a great summer.
On the identity of the team:
Weíre ready to go out there and break everything down. Coach put us through different things this summer. Weíre ready to work hard.
On Gerald Christian contributing to the passing game:
He brings a lot. When people see Gerald in there the first thing they might think of is run. Heís a great athlete. He has great hands and heís able to go out there and catch passes. That helps you out. You never know what could happen when heís in the game.
Wide Receiver #85 Frankie Hammond
Someone has to step up and be that big-play guy, is that on your mind?
Itís on all of our minds because everybody wants to be that go-to guy and right now all of us are out there working and grinding. Weíre going into camp and nothing is set in stone.
Does it make it more exciting that nobody is saying, ĎItís going to be this guy.Ē?
That makes it even more competitive.† Going into camp, nothing is set it stone and that makes everybody want to go harder and give that extra effort to be that guy.
When Percy Harvin was here everybody knew it was going to be him.
Yeah, thatís what I mean. Coming into camp nothing is set in stone and it makes it that much more fun and that much more competitive.
Offensive Lineman #67 Jon Halapio
What are you looking forward to coming into the season?
Coming into the season the number one thing is to win games.
Whatís the hardest thing to overcome in camp?
Just staying healthy. We need everybody to stay healthy on the offensive and defensive lines. We just want to be healthy on both sides.
Do you feel confident in this football team?
I feel very confident in this football team.
Running Back #28 Jeff Demps
How close did you come to not coming back?
It was close but it wasnít as close as people made it out to be. They were saying that I had already decided not to play football but I was always on the team still but I was just still competing in some track events.
Did you have your mind made up when you went to Italy?
No. I just wanted to get the feel for it and get the chance to run in the track circuit.
How did it go in Italy?
It was fun. I enjoyed it. It was definitely a good experience for me and if I had the opportunity to go back I would.
How did you run in Italy?
I ran well. I got fifth in the 100m with around a 10.1 and in my first relay my leg cramped up so we actually didnít get to finish that. Overall it was fine.
Did you make up your mind on the way back to the States?
Once I got back I had talked to the team, my parents and the coaches on both sides, football and track, and I wanted to come back and play my senior year.
What are you going to do after your senior year?
Hopefully I can play at the next level.
Running Back #8 Trey Burton
Does the fact that you study all the time make it hard for the coaches to put you at certain positions?
Easier because he knows what I can do and he can count on me.
In high school, did you ever get used in short-yardage situations?
I had 30 rushing touchdowns my junior year and more than half of them were from the goal-line. So, I was used in short-yardage.
Is there someone from a versatility standpoint that you admire?
Wes Welker. Iím a little bigger than he is but he does everything. Heís Mr. Versatile and he helps Tom Brady out a lot.
What position do you want to play?
Iím just trying to get on the field.
What exactly are they telling you?
Theyíre telling me they will line me up at a bunch of different positions and they are going to try to get me the ball as much as possible.
When the preseason rankings came out were you upset?
It doesnít matter.
Linebacker #3 Jelani Jenkins
On what heís looking forward to with the new staff:
Iím looking forward to learning a lot. Our coaches have a lot of NFL experience and Iím trying to take as much knowledge as I can from them and prepare for this season and eventually for the NFL. Thatís really a goal I set for myself and where I want to be. Everything theyíre giving us is new; itís like a clean slate. Iím really looking forward to the season and whatís next. Iím ready to be out there, going hard and giving it everything Iíve got.
On if heís being looked up to by some of the freshmen:
I think a lot of freshmen they look at the film of some of the things that I did last year and trust me a little bit more because I have experience but I donít think anybody is really looking towards the past. I think that weíre all looking towards the future, especially those freshmen who will be put on the field the first day. They arenít really going to need me theyíre just going to have to go out there and do their thing. I guess itís just trust with experience. They know that Iíve been on the field so what I say probably means a little bit more than what some other people might say.
On what heís looking forward to most heading into the season:
Iím looking forward to getting back out there and playing again. I miss football. We had a real hard offseason. Iím just looking forward to playing with these guys and trying out this new coaching staff and trying out the new schemes.
On how the offseason workouts went:
Itís mostly been the same thing. I have put on a little weight. But the workouts have been the same. Weíre still going hard. Weíre still working hard.
On what has stuck out to him most in Coach Quinnís coaching philosophy:
Itís mostly the same thing we always do; effort and running to the ball, create turnovers, stopping teams on third down and stuff like that.
Linebacker #52 Jon Bostic
On if there is a philosophy that the new coaching staff has that has really stuck with him:
One philosophy is to play together as a team. Thatís what I saw. They were trying to get everyone back together. A lot of the stuff that we did in the offseason, weightlifting and everything, brought the team a lot closer together.
On his leadership role:
Iíll probably be taking on more of a leadership role. Me and Jelani coming in we were both quiet players. We let our talk be our play but this year weíve been trying to be leaders on the defense.
On what he can do to help the underclassmen:
Just bring them along. Theyíre part of this too. Weíre one team. We canít leave anyone behind. We have a goal to get to Atlanta and we have to make sure that everybody is there. We canít leave one person behind. We have to bring them along because if someone goes down they have to get in the game.
On one thing he wants Gator fans to know:
Weíre just ready to play. Itís a new season, new coaches; weíre excited and ready to go.
Defensive End #96 Will Green
On team philosophies:
Coach Muschamp always talks about turnovers, turnover margin and takeaways. Weíre going to work on that and weíve really been harping on getting pressure on the quarterback.
On the defense becoming more of a unit:
I think so. Coach Muschamp always talks about the ďFlorida WayĒ and thatís what weíve been trying to do all offseason and to this point. Weíve just been trying to do things the ďFlorida WayĒ and try to improve each day.
On his leadership role:
Iím looking forward to it. Iíve been telling the underclassmen to take advantage of every opportunity. When you meet with your coaches actually do that and embrace it.
On one thing heís looking forward to this season:
Defensive End #34 Lerentee McCray
On what heís most looking forward to this season:
Taking advantage of every opportunity I get to step on the field and helping this team win. Helping the team win is the main goal.
On what he did to prepare for the season:
As a team this is probably the hardest weíve trained since Iíve been here. If you can come in here and tell that we all got bigger thatís a plus. Weíve just all been working together and trying to get better.
On one thing the coaching staff has been preaching:
The main message has been grind. Just grind and go hard. Do everything right, the ďFlorida WayĒ as Coach Muschamp says.
On what heís looking forward to heading into the season:
Iím looking forward to getting on the field and taking advantage of the opportunities that I get and making everybody proud.
Which coach he has connected with the most:
I canít just pin-point one. Itís a whole group of coaches upstairs that I feel like I could talk to about anything. I could pick anyone of them. If one is on the road I could talk to any other one of them.
On advice he has given to the underclassmen:
The most advice I give my teammates is to come in and work hard. Donít let me down. I wonít let you down. Itís a brotherhood-type thing, Iíve got your back, and youíve got my back. Thatís the main thing weíve been working on this offseason.
Kicker #19 Caleb Sturgis
On what he needs to do to get to a level where he wants to be:
One thing we did this offseason was work with the snappers and holders. I worked a lot with John Crofoot, heís my holder, and just try to go out there every day that way you get muscle memory and comfortable and next thing you know youíre in games and it doesnít feel any different. Thatís been good. I felt like I had to start over this year because I missed so much time but I think that was a good thing because you can develop some bad habits over time and I think that allowed me to fix some of those.
On some examples of bad habits:
It could be the steps that you take or the way you follow through. Sometimes it works well for a while but itís not a good habit the way that you do it. So you just need to polish off your technique and that helps.
On what heís looking forward to most starting the year:
Iím really excited to be part of a new era. Iím excited with the new coaching staff and to be part of something new. There arenít a lot of expectations so the only place to go is up and Iím really looking forward to being a part of that.
On what he learned on the sidelines when he was injured last year:
Just how bad I wanted to be out there. I just want to help the team out and I felt that last year when I was injured that I wasnít helping the team out. The training staff did a good job of getting me back and I just want to do what I can do to help the team.