10/5: Quinn counting on Gators’ defensive line

By Adam Silverstein
October 6, 2011

As the No. 17/18 Florida Gators prepare for their biggest road game of the 2011 season on Oct. 8 against the No. 1/2 LSU Tigers, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn met with the media on Wednesday to discuss the team’s big upcoming contest.

DEFENSIVE LINE NEEDS TO STEP UP, BIG TIME

Considering Florida’s defensive line was supposed to be its strongest position on its unit, it was quite disappointing how ineffective it was this past weekend. A lot has been said recently about how physical Alabama was on both sides of the line of scrimmage, but Quinn said physicality had not previously been an issue for the Gators.

“I don’t think we weren’t a physical team leading up to that point. I wouldn’t say it has been a history of the whole season, in my opinion,” he said. “I’m looking forward to us hitting blocks and getting back to the style that we taught. That’s what I expect to see.”

Quinn said that is the line’s top priority heading into the LSU game. “The number one thing I’d say we addressed is we want to hit blocks. At times the tape showed we were catching but not shedding violently when we were hitting our guys,” he explained.

With the Tigers’ offensive line only having allowed three sacks all season long, Quinn realizes his first line of defense is up for another rough outing on Saturday. He explained Wednesday why LSU has been so successful in protecting their quarterback this year.

“It’s a combination of things,” he said. “Their offensive line is playing well. They also utilize their tight ends and their [running] backs involved in the protection. At times you’ll see some seven-man protections – usually that’s the five offensive linemen, the tight end and a back. Most teams are using six-man protections – the offensive line and maybe a back or tight end. They’re playing well as a unit; it’s an experienced bunch coming back.”

PLAYER THOUGHTS AND EVALUATIONS
[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]Sophomore defensive end Sharrif Floyd (and if he will play inside more): “Not this week there hasn’t been [any extra work]. Really the focus has been on us sharpening up our skills. There will be some times where he’ll play inside at tackle, but we’ve really been focusing him outside.”

Junior linebacker Jon Bostic (and the punch he threw Saturday): “He’s one of the guys we really count on for leadership for our team. For him to lose his composure was disappointing for us, knowing that he’s one that we’re really counting on in a leadership role for us. We talked to him about that and he understood that. I didn’t ask him specifically regarding that play. I would think it would be a culmination of things when you’re frustrated. He just lost his head and who he is and how to play. That won’t be part of our defense, that’s for sure.”

Redshirt senior defensive tackle Jaye Howard (and his progression this year): “I’m pleased with the progress that Jaye is making. He didn’t play the spring, so as we went through training camp he kind of developed a role with us where he can play nose and defensive tackle. For me to keep seeing him keep improving like he is has been a real positive for us and for him too. I’m pleased with where he’s headed.”

The team’s quarterbacks: “All the guys, to me, are impressive at QB. That’s a spot on our team that we got some really talented guys. They all kind of jump out at you in different ways, and he’s certainly one that has to me. Although they’re different in their own ways, they’re all really talented.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On his unit’s performance against Alabama in the second half: “We did start off the second half. Kind of our message was: “Let’s settle down and go back to playing our style of football.” We kind of got back to playing our style where we can play physical, get our hands on people. I thought we did that for a time in the third period and then, as it wore on in the game, it kind of fell back to where we all weren’t on the same technique. […] I’d like to give [Alabama] credit. They out-physicaled us in the game. That’s hard to accept and swallow and that’s what happened. We addressed it and now we’re moving forward.”

» On how the team is responding to an injured player: “As a whole team, any time a guy steps down, it’s not necessarily just [on] one player. We kind of had that message early in the season. We had one of our defensive players down for two games. It was the same message. […] Going through that experience sends the message for when another guy is down, it does not fall on one player to get it done [in his place].”

» On the challenges of facing two different quarterbacks at once: “When you go through the offseason, you have the study of who the QBs are. You kind of make some notes and go through a mock game preparation. That was important at the start of the week knowing, ‘OK, this player is back into it.’ You really had to have a little bit of plan for both styles of player because they’re different. One is really mobile and wants to move and is running and one is not so much of that. I guess that would be the biggest challenge, knowing the different style of the quarterback in the game.”

» On how the defense can better create pressure: “It’s going to start with the whole defense. Sometimes when you’re max protected you can do some different things from a cover standpoint – they have less guys out. It’s the back-and-forth. If they’re going to keep more in than there is more you can adjust in your coverage.”

» On the secondary playing well against Alabama: “It was certainly hard for us to find a lot of silver linings for us in that performance for our defense. They didn’t have a lot of opportunities with the amount of carries they had. Certainly in some of the man-to-mans we denied the ball. […] Although we played poorly on third down, there were some things on the back end that we saw as positives.”[/EXPAND]

12 Comments

  1. GatorNsc says:

    Will Easley play???

  2. gatorade says:

    Nick Saban has contacted Myles and UPD and this will blow over UNTIL UF completes its SEC West schedule after the Auburn game.

  3. aziatic41 says:

    Our d-line really has to step up this game. They are suppose to be one of the best d-lines in the country. Last week they looked like the same old defensive line last year that got shredded by Marcus Lattimore. I think our d-line is a little overrated, especially Floyd and Easley. Those two guys were rated as 5-star prospects in high school. They certainly haven’t played like it. I also realize that Floyd and Easley are both from the northern parts of United States, NY and PA. With football being more competitive in the south, a lot of southern people will argue that a 5-star recruit up north is equivalent to a 3-star recruit in the south, like Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Texas. Those two guys have played more like 3-star recruits so far. Also Jelani Jenkins and Bostic haven’t impressed me yet. But either way hopefully Muschamp will recruit some mean tough down south lineman in the future. Location doesn’t really matter in a player though I guess.. But I’m really waiting on our supposedly 5-star guys to standout. So far it hasn’t happened.

    Now in order to beat LSU we are going to have to stop the run. This is a winnable game. But you better believe that LSU is going to try to run it down our throats like Alabama did. Their tailback Ware is very physical but nowhere near as explosive as Richardson. If we can shut the run down and then avoid turnovers on offense we’ll have a chance. Gators 13 LSU 12

    • goldengator says:

      In short, those two guys have played like sophomores with gobs of talent. They are certainly 5* talents and are showing it. Bama has a Veteran OLine with several All-Americans and a coaching staff that remained in tact. Other than Bama, our DLine has looked solid. Let them mature before you throw them under the bus.

    • GG says:

      Agree with the 5 star scenario, RP hasn’t lit it up yet either. Someone suggested we move him to middle LB with his size, move the other 2 guys to the edges. Guess we are so thin on de’s might not be possible, sounds good to me. And Urban said we were loaded.

    • scooterp says:

      I think its funny how some bail on our talent after one tough Alabama game. They looked pretty good in September. I’m guessing 5star players all over the country would struggle against the Tide. I watched Floyd/Easley/Powell dominate other 5stars, even the ones from the southern schools, in the UA & Army AA games. I know some of you think that if you don’t perform like Suh then you must suck, but these kids will be alright. So, why don’t we wait a little longer than the 5th game of a sophomore season, before labeling someone a bust. Stupid.

  4. npgator says:

    I disagree on our D-line being overrated. We ladk cepth and if you don’t have a good rotation then the players get exausted.

  5. HardToKillGator says:

    At least Quinn is not trying to get us to believe everyone graded out as champions.

  6. TonyM1449 says:

    I’m with golden gator on this one. Give them another year and WATCH OUT! Go Gators!

  7. aziatic41 says:

    Everyone keeps having career games against our defense. In our last two biggest games the last two seasons against SC and Alabama we have got shredded. It was Lattimore last year and now Trent Richardson this year. The line needs to step up. They have potential but haven’t showed it in big games yet. True they are young but this FLORIDA everyone. Losing is not accepted here. If guys wanna be satisfied with winning 8 or 9 games then they are at the wrong school. Go to UT, UK or Arkansas, if thats what success is to you. We expect championships here!

    A win against LSU will be a huge win for the Gator Nation and also the program in general. I’ve said all alone that this is a winnable game. Lets hope our d-line and the rest of team can step their game up and get this big win. GO GATORS

  8. TonyM1449 says:

    We play in the SEC, big boy football! You show me a team as young as we are across the board that was installing new systems on both sides of the ball that didn’t lose games in the process and I’ll show you the Ea sports case it came out of. There is a reason most guys don’t play right away out of high-school irregardless of stars. There is a learning/experience curve. This is not necessarily indicative or deserving of the bust label. If you are truly a gator fan, you should be optimistic about what we’re seeing and there is no way but up baby! We may struggle now as we did after the 06 champ season, but know this, the future looks bright! Never down play the role experience plays in being successful. We are rebuilding for tomorrow and looking good while we are doing it. I’m excited! Go Gators!

  9. swiftt_tech69 says:

    5 stars or not all that our d is missing is experience. I think you have to start at least one full season in the Sec to get a real gauge on our players. Plus they are all true sophs, and were not even halfway through the 2011 season. Throw in new coaches, scheme, instant results are not likely. Elam,jenkins,easley,floyd, and powell will be a wrecking crew next year. Roberson and pop will have a full year under their belts, bostic will be a senior. Shaw, watkins, riggs, brown,taylor,mccray,orr & hunter will provide depth. We just have to be patient…..in the words of 99% of all fsu fans….wait until next year!! Our d will be sick.

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