Highlights from Florida coach Jim McElwain’s Friday press conference
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Jim McElwain met with reporters to recap the week of practice and look ahead to the Gators’ first scrimmage.
Here were the highlights from his comments (with full video below):
WATCH: Florida coach Jim McElwain meets with media.
Posted by Florida Gators – SEC Country on Friday, August 11, 2017
- “Going in to today’s scrimmage, to recap where we’re at, it was fun to get into pads. I think our guys have reacted well. We’ve had some steamy afternoons. I thought there were really two practices we pushed the envelope of making it truly uncomfortable. I saw some guys questioning if they were going to be able to finish, but as it wore on you saw, ‘Yeah I can.’ That was good to see.”
- “One of the things of concern obviously is always tackling. The way to properly tackle, I’ve been excited to see the development of those deals. Keeping your head out, keeping your feet moving, etc. Especially with the young defensive backs. I think at first it was something new. The last couple sessions they’ve come a long ways.”
- “The scrimmage part tonight, two-fold, it’s something we talk about with the young guys. This is their opportunity to make the team, be it on special teams, which they will be stressed against the 1s. I’m really looking forward to seeing where they and how they compete to go get a job. That to me is the big stress on this first scrimmage, see those guys who are willing, ready, able and more than that, their first opportunity to play in The Swamp. Even in a sterile environment, there’s something special about that.”
- “We’re looking to get somewhere between 90-92 maybe up to 110 (plays). But most of those will be with guys to see if they’re going to be able to make the team. Who are those guys? Well, it’s the guys who haven’t made the team yet.”
- “The quarterbacks will roll, the three of them will roll in the move-the-field stuff at the same rep count, but the team’s got to move when you’re in there. A lesser rep count means you didn’t move the team. … I’m looking forward to putting them in stressful situations. We’ll do some specific situational work outside the movement of the scrimmage. I want to see how he handled end of game situations, out of halftime and overtime.”
- Injuries: Guys who won’t scrimmage are TE C’yontai Lewis, DT Elijah Conliffe, OT Kadeem Telfort, DB C.J. McWilliams, DB Quincy Lenton, LB Kylan Johnson and DE Jordan Sherit, who has been going through individual drills but no team drills until Monday.
- On the QB competition: “Yeah, and actually a little bit more than what I was expecting. I think with Malik coming in it’s really elevated both Feleipe and Luke. I see a real drive to get those reps. Really more than anything what I’ve seen is the singular importance of each rep no matter what the drill is.”
- On what he’ll learn about the QBs this scrimmage: “There should be some answers, I think, and yet I don’t know that.”
- Is there an ideal time to name a starting QB: “I don’t know that there’s an ideal. We’ll find out.”
- On QB Feleipe Franks’ confidence level: “It’s way higher than it was. That elevation of the competition, I’ve really seen those guys say, ‘You know what, I’ve got to go.’ And that’s a thing.”
- On the freshmen RBs: “Ahead of where maybe I’d thought they’d be. I think both of these guys will make the team.”
- On the RBs in general: “We’ve got guys, even, and I’m not sure as young guys that they weren’t just happy to be in there. Now they’re in there with a purpose. I see them running through contact, working on some pad level.”
- “We’ve been OK, we’ve been whatever, been to Atlanta and all that stuff, but we’re not good enough. Pushing us through average is what I want to get done.”
- On Kadarius Toney at receiver: “He’s got natural hands and he’s got some make you miss ability.”
- How has Jeremiah Moon taken advantage of Kylan Johnson’s injury absence: “This actually happened in another position where a guy kind of missed a bit, Khairi Clark missed with a sickness and couldn’t go and all of a sudden Kyree (Campbell) was a new guys. So Khairi comes back and he starts with the 2s. That’s how you build that competition piece. … Jeremiah, his ability to play at linebacker and nickel in some situations, very rarely do you see a guy wearing No. 50 playing out in space. But this guy’s so darn long and he’s got a great understanding, I think he’s learning the versatility piece.”
- On MLB David Reese: “He’s kind of that guy who is the nuts and bolts of where we’re at on defense. … He just always kind of makes plays, he’s in the right spot, sneaky in being able to run through gaps. I say sneak affectionately.”