Florida Gators defensive coordinator Dan Quinn met with the media on Wednesday to discuss the team’s upcoming season opener against the Bowling Green Falcons on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. He discussed what he wants to see from his unit on Sept. 1 and how he feels about some individual players on the team.
SHOW IT ON THE FIELD
Though he is impressed with how his unit has practiced this fall, Quinn said he is anxious to see them on the field Saturday and then soon after the game on tape so he can evaluate how well the concepts that have been taught are being executed.
“By the way you get to the ball, by the way you affect the quarterback, by the way you take the ball away – those are the things we’re looking for from our defense and what we put on tape,” he said.
Quinn and head coach Will Muschamp will be implementing a more attacking style this year, one that they hope will lead to additional turnovers and chances for the offense.
That plan starts Saturday against Bowling Green quarterback Matt Schilz, who completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for 3,024 yards and 28 touchdowns a year ago while only tossing 13 interceptions.
“I’m very impressed with their quarterback, not just from his accuracy but the way he can create. He gets outside the pocket and can convert. He’s got good legs. He can run on third down to convert,” Quinn said. “It’s always good knowing the opponent you’re playing against. We’ve had time to watch him on tape and know this guy is a strong caliber quarterback. And we’re certainly up for the challenge.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» On redshirt senior defensive tackle Omar Hunter: “One of the things that Omar brings right off the bat is the guy’s a real worker. He’s relentless. He stays after it. The thing that improved as much in the offseason was his overall strength. You see more leg strength from him. You see a stronger man when he sheds blocks. To me, the work ethic for Omar has always been there. He’s a hard worker every day in and out. Now you’re kind of seeing a more strong and powerful man inside. That’s showing up in practice the way he can take on blocks and get off blocks.”
» On how he would prepare to face two quarterbacks: “It really depends on the club and who those two quarterbacks are. If they’re close in terms of the game plan you really wouldn’t have much change.”
» On who decided to move freshman Jafar Mann over to guard: “It was both [sides]. We all looked at it. When we evaluated him, we knew he was a guy that could play nose tackle but also could play offensive guard. He played both in high school. When we started him off at defensive tackle we did that for a couple of weeks and then we wanted to put him on offensive line for a few weeks and kind of get the evaluation there. [...] After this week or next we’ll make a final determination.”
» Quinn said junior Trey Burton would be a “terrific safety,” but his top pick of a player to move over to defense if he had the option would be redshirt junior right guard Jon Halapio, who he said “would be a heck of a nose tackle.”
» On if redshirt freshman Valdez Showers could possibly wind up on offense: “I kind of fought for him to stay at safety. Last year on some of the scouted practices he also played running back and did a good job there. [...] He’s really settled in at safety, and we are counting on him to do that. He’s going to be a guy who is going to be a really big factor with Coach [D.J.] Durkin on [special] teams as well. He’s done a good job of that so far in training camp.”
» Quinn said that the defense wearing down late in games last year was not the fault of the offense (its inefficiency keeping the defense on the field for long period of time) but rather not having the necessary depth to put together a rotation that would keep players fresh throughout the game.