9/28: Quinn talks defense, Richardson and Saban

By Adam Silverstein
September 29, 2011

As the No. 12 Florida Gators prepare for their biggest game of the 2011 season thus far on Oct. 1 the No. 2/3 Alabama Crimson Tide, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn met with the media on Wednesday to discuss the team’s big upcoming contest.

SHOWING RESPECT FOR SABAN

Quinn may have only spent two years as defensive line coach for now-Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s during his tenure with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, but he has as high of a regard for his former boss as anyone else who speaks about him. “He’s one of the brightest football minds that I’ve been around,” Quinn said of Saban Wednesday. “He’s a really bright guy and it will sound like a simple term, but he gets football.”

He also noted how impressed he was at Saban’s command of the entire team during their time working together. “He was hands-on with the whole program. I learned a great deal from him,” Quinn added. “He was really hands on from the way we selected personnel, the way we installed our defense in practice, and he was certainly involved with the offense too. He was certainly involved with every part of the organization.”

Going head-to-head on Saturday, Quinn is excited for the opportunity even if all friendships are out the window once the whistle is blown. “In the coaching profession it happens. “Certainly there’s familiarity not only with him as the head coach but some of the assistants,” he said. “It’s not too uncommon. Certainly during my time in the NFL you had guys on your staff go to the other staff. You may know the guys, but once the ballgame starts it’s about the game.”

BUILDING TEAM COHESIVENESS
[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]One thing that has been talked about ad nauseum this year is how close the Florida football team was coming out of the offseason program and into the 2011 season. Quinn said Wednesday that the extra steps were taken to build team chemistry not only because of any lingering issues from 2010 but also because there was a mostly brand new staff coming onboard.

“I believe that you win in the locker room first. I believe that with every team and each team is different I think it’s important that each team gets connected,” he said. “I don’t think it was any different from, maybe it was just a function of so many of us being new to the program. To be honest, it was us getting to know the guys, too. That was part of it, too. Not only do the players have to have a connection, there has to be one from the coaches to coaches and from player to coach as well. That’s certainly part of the building process.”

One of the benefits of that closeness is that the on-field communication is improving on a weekly basis. “It’s something that we’re constantly working on to get it better and better,” Quinn said. “Now that they’ve had a few games together, you see a little more of that familiarity where it’s just a look or a hand signal to say, ‘Yeah, I understand what you’re saying now.’ We needed that experience early in the season to gain the edge. We had some young players playing and they needed to play, so that’s good for us.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On simulating adversity with a team that has not seen much yet: “It’s something that you talk about as a team. You try to put those situations together even in training camp at times when you’re going against the offense. Sometimes you have to create it a little bit as a coach. It’s certainly going to happen in ball games.”

» On how much concentration is being put on forcing turnovers this week: “For us it’s really each week we talk about it. It’s kind of the core of where we start – getting after the ball. It’s something that we believe in so strongly. We really try and stress it high so each game we play we’re really trying to make that emphasis.”

» On why Alabama running back Trent Richardson is so good: “One of the things, when you talk about a great running back, is usually his running style. One of the things you wouldn’t know is the guy is a really good blocker in blitz pick-up and he’s got good hands to catch the ball. I think he’s their second or third leading receiver. Although he’s a talented runner, I think you can really see this guy as a complete back because he can block. He can play on all downs. Sometimes you may see a really good runner just play on first and second down but doesn’t play much on third down for protections and stuff. This is a guy who plays on all downs. I think that’s a real tribute to him and the style that he plays.”[/EXPAND]

5 Comments

  1. npgator says:

    Bostic, Elam and Christian are representing Palm Beach County very well and I expect we will be seeing more Robert Clark in the futures.

  2. Gatazz says:

    There are rumors circulating that both Floyd an Easley were hurt in practice yesterday…any info on this?

  3. aziatic41 says:

    Any word on Easley, is he playing tomorrow?

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