GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida is five practices into fall camp after its first session with full pads Monday, and coach Jim McElwain met with reporters afterward to recap the last few days.
Here were the highlights from his comments:
WATCH: Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain post-practice press conference
Posted by Florida Gators Insiders on Monday, August 7, 2017
- “We had a really good couple of days of practice. I thought the spirit and the energy (was high), especially when we’re kind of starting to really push on them and make them uncomfortable as much as we can. The guys are handling that pretty good and understand the reason why. That’s really the important thing I think is the explanation and the reason why and the different things we do. I really like the way they’ve transitioned. Interesting day yesterday where we jumped in and had to get back into the indoor due to some lightning. The guys just picked up right where we left off and I thought it was fantastic.
- Injuries: “We held out [Martez] Ivey today. Just had some swelling.” LB Kylan Johnson out with soreness. DBs Quincy Lenton and CJ McWilliams have minor hamstring injuries but should be back soon. Khairi Clark “was sicker than a dog this morning,” McElwain said. … “So really nothing major has happened at all, other than normal things that happen during camp.”
- “Been really happy with Luke Ancrum. I think he’s really stepped up and grown up there on the inside. It was good to get Kyree (Campbell) some really good reps at Khairi’s spot as well. These guys really rose to that occasion. Been happy with couple of those groups. I think the D-line has kind of stepped up a little bit and challenged those O-linemen. I see a lot of good things going on in practice and that’s been a lot of fun to see.
- “The quarterback rotations. The guys have been getting a bunch of reps. Each one of them has done some good things, each one of them some learning things. I think the big thing right now is going back and re-looking at situations, even like today, the series starters at the beginning of practice. Not the fastball period, but just the series starters and the importance of what it takes to get off to a fast start. I thought some of the guys handled it and other didn’t.”
- On WR James Robinson: “He’s been out there a couple practices and he’s big. It’s a good thing. … Time will tell. He’s got a long ways to go obviously not being here in Summer B and getting here late (for) practice. So, the catch-up piece for him is not trying to get it all at once, but let’s perfect it little by little and see if he can get out there and help us.”
- On Chauncey Gardner working at safety: “The four best DBs are going to be on the field, five in some case.”
- On CB Joseph Putu: “I think one of the things you guys get caught up on a little bit is the four best DBs are going to be on the field and five in some cases. If we do get certain personnel groups, you’re going to be in dime so it’s going to be six of them. So the key right now is finding out what those young guys can do and not overload them. Let’s keep them at a spot right now and move from there.”
- On adjusting without Martez Ivey at left tackle: “Getting Telly [Kadeem Telfort] a bunch of reps is something we wanted to do, also on the other side getting Fred [Johnson] a little bit of guard and tackle. One thing we’ve been able to do with both [Antonio] Riles and [Kavaris] Harkless, splitting those reps at guard, I think that’s going to be good for us. What it allows you to do is work some of those young guys next to those older guys and the communication piece has been pretty good.”
- On James Robinson speaking to the team after his first practice Friday: “Well, what we did is what we did with every new guy. They stand up, state their name, where they’re from, their position, just like every newcomer that comes in. He just happened to do it at the end of practice, because it was the first time he was in front of the team. Here’s one thing about our team: these older guys understand how to take care of these younger guys a little bit. And they’ll take him under their wings and get him acclimated as soon as possible. And you know I’m excited for his opportunity. His opportunity to not only play football, but his opportunity to get an education at a great university. I mean, this is, when you go through life, it’s called taking advantage of the opportunity. And for him, it’s a real good opportunity.”
- On taking a chance on Robinson: “It’s not just him, it’s any player. I feel it’s my responsibility to give guys a chance. And obviously, no matter what it is, there comes that time when, you know what, my guess is somebody in this room maybe did something they weren’t proud of in their life. I don’t know, I guess you’re all perfect. And yet, you know what, somebody might have given you a second chance, too. And you know I never will throw somebody out that has something too him and gets an opportunity to be successful.”
- On the quarterbacks: “The first thing, just technically, the guys have learned to get their feet in the ground, their cleats in the ground, and to get the ball out. That to me has been good to see. I think our depth at receiver has helped them as far as their trust, when you’re in the different drills, they feel good about letting the ball go and somebody coming up and making a play for them. That’s been good. Probably more than anything, I mean, guys, this is good man because there’s some guys fighting for the starting job. I mean not just, ‘Now it’s kind of mine.’ There’s a true competition and that’s a good thing.”
- On wide receiver Freddie Swain: “He’s a new guy. I think he was hindered. He’s a tough guy. He played injured, obviously, for us to have to go in and clean it up as we did. He really attacked his rehab, and the guys down in the training room, he was one of those guys that was a model for what you’ve got to do to get back. He’s added some weight which has helped with his speed. … He’s got really good ball skills and he’s going to be a big part of what we do.”
- On buzz within the fan base for this season: “That’s great to hear. I’m excited for our guys with that news. As I’m sitting in my office all day or out on the practice [field] all day, I don’t get an opportunity to really feel the buzz. But there’s a great buzz in our locker room and around our team.”