GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Gators will hold their first scrimmage Friday, and the players have room for improvement.
Prior to the scrimmage, UF coach Jim McElwain met with the media and laid into his team throughout the press conference.
“Thursday morning’s practice was unacceptable,” McElwain said. “We were not firing on all cylinders. It was the first real day that we had sunshine, heat, humidity, all that kind of stuff, which simply put you can use that as an excuse.
“Whether it’s counting reps, woe is me, feeling sorry for themselves rather than fighting through. … I was a little disappointed, quite frankly. It wasn’t the expectation or the standard that we expect for us to be successful.”
McElwain said a few guys “played their tails off” in practice, but the overall effort did not meet his expectations. He added that several upperclassmen disappointed him with their play and are at risk of being benched.
“Our attention to detail, the way we went about our business, I think guys let external distraction, things that didn’t matter, affect their ability to focus on winning the now,” McElwain said. “That attitude is what gets you beat, plain and simple. As we discover those guys, they’ll just sit on the bench.
“We’ll find somebody that wants to play. That’s the way it’s going to be. Not going to put up with it. … The good thing is we’ve got some choices at those spots, including some of those young guys.”
Florida cornerback Jalen “Teez” Tabor said he feels responsible for getting the team back on track. He shared McElwain’s sentiment about the poor performance.
“The intensity wasn’t there,” Tabor said. “You know being two-a-days in camp, a lot of guys on the team are letting their minds control their bodies, including me. We’ve got to come out here and get better.”
McElwain called Thursday’s practice “by far the worst” of fall camp. He said his players need to take the field with a different mindset on Friday.
“It’s something that’s been addressed,” McElwain said. “We’ve got to see if it’s going to be an issue. If it is, then we’ve got to find the guys that it’s not an issue for. They were trying to endure the practice rather than to go attack it.”
“We have too many guys the other way that are pushing to have those guys pull us down. So we need to come up with those combinations that are willing to give of themselves and understand what it takes to be successful.”
Zach Abolverdi is the Florida beat writer for SEC Country and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.