10/6: Austin on Lemmens, Elam, Hill and tackling

By Adam Silverstein
October 7, 2010

Florida Gators defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Teryl Austin along sophomore linebacker Jon Bostic and redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Omar Hunter spoke to the media Wednesday as the team took a final look back on its crushing loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide and ahead to its match-up against the LSU Tigers at home on Saturday night.

LEMMENS “BETTER THAN YOU THINK”

Though he began the season as a starting defensive end, senior Duke Lemmens is now playing a hybrid role in what the Gators call their “heavy package,” where a larger player is used as a stand-up linebacker in an effort to close rushing lanes. Austin raved Wednesday about what Lemmens brings to the table and how effective he has been.

“What we’re getting from Duke is great effort. He plays in space better than you think. He’s a big guy, he’s a 250 lb. guy on the edge, and that really helped solidify some of the run lanes,” Austin said. “Duke’s done a great job with it and we’re going to keep moving forward with it. Because of his size he gives you a real stout guy at the edge of the defense to hold the edge of the defense, but he also gives you some pass rush being a former defensive end.”

YOUNGSTERS RESPOND TO VETERAN LEADERSHIP

With more than half of Florida’s players in their first or second year on the team, rebounding from a tough road loss is a difficult thing to do. Austin noted that the veteran leadership on the defense has gone a long way to making the younger players get over the loss and concentrate on the game ahead. “[There are] not a lot of losses around here to reach back and dig from and talk about, but the one thing they did [say] what happened Saturday we can’t change that so what do we have to do to get better this week? The seniors and the older guys have really led the way and they’re trying to bring the young guys [in],” he said. “We’ve had two pretty good, spirited practices, and that’s really what you’re really looking for as a coach – the guys really coming out, competing and trying to get better. Because what happened last Saturday has no effect on what happens this Saturday.”

THE TIME IS NOW FOR HILL TO IMPROVE

Over the last few weeks OGGOA has been poking and prodding around to find out what exactly has been going on with the development of junior safety Will Hill. The most anyone would tell us was that he was inconsistent in practice and not showing the same gumption he did in the offseason. Austin confirmed exactly that Wednesday when asked directly about Hill’s performances.

“No. [He has to] play better,” said Austin about Hill’s consistency. “He has the ability really to be an impact-type player because he’s big, he has range, he can tackle, he can do all the things you want a safety to do – [what] all the great safeties around here have done. He hasn’t taken that step yet so we need him to take it. It starts out there on the practice field and hopefully carries over to the game. Because he’s been working hard. We gotta get it to carry over into games, and I think hopefully it will start this week.

“Right now he’s just not playing up to the ability he has right now, and that will come. I’m not worried about him. I think he’ll play better this week and he’ll continue to play better as we move [forward] because he had an outstanding fall camp. You want him to play better, but I know he can play better and he will.”

QUOTES (After the break…)

Austin on what his unit took from the Alabama loss: “We have a long ways to go. We have to get a lot better. There’s really no moral victories. Sure we did some things well. We did some things not so well. At the end of the day you want to come out a winner and we didn’t. We’ve got a lot of areas to improve and we’ve got to really work at that this week.”

Austin on facing another great running back in Stevan Ridley this week: “I think the big thing is he doesn’t go down on first contact. He really gets through the hole fast. He gets to that second level pretty fast. He’s not afraid to run through the tackles, he gets there, and he goes with some good speed.”

Austin on the status of senior S Moses Jenkins: “He’s still recovering. [We] expect him back soon. I’m not going to put a timetable on it, but we do expect him back soon. He’s doing some work but he’s not ready to come back yet. He’s making a lot of progress.”

Austin on how freshman S Matt Elam is playing: “He did well. I think the big thing with Matt is to show some consistency in his practices. He had a good week of practice last week so he played well, so we’ll take that week-by-week with him.” Austin noted that Elam and senior Ahmad Black were capable of playing both strong and free safety positions.

Austin on not missing tackles and Florida’s record when missing less than 10 in a game: “It’s emphasized every week. At the end of the day, I’ll take that record. I believe it’s at 45-3 or 46-3 right now. We’ll go into every game wanting to miss less than 10 tackles and working so that we don’t miss 10 tackles.”

Bostic on what changed in the second half against Alabama: “We were kind of thinking too much. They gave us a lot of movement at first, but really all the plays were the same. We missed a couple gaps down in the beginning which led to some big runs. Once we settled down, we figured out that they were doing the same thing.”

Bostic on how practice went Tuesday: “I felt everybody responded well. Everybody came out ready to practice, ready to get back at it. It’s a new week. We got LSU coming up this week. Coach [Urban Meyer] really didn’t have to get too many people excited to go play LSU in The Swamp at 7:30.”

Hunter on preparing for two quarterbacks: “[For Jordan] Jefferson we played South Florida with [B.J.] Daniels, they’re kind of similar running styles. That helped us out a lot.”

Hunter on who he would pick on offense to get one tough yard: “That’s hard. I’m picking all those guys. They all run really, really hard.”

Hunter on, if he was playing a video game with the Gators and had to get one yard, who he would use: “I’m subbing myself on offense.”

Hunter on taking the next step in his development: “Definitely every day I’m trying to go out and work on my pass rush. That’s one of the things I have to get better on.”

9 Comments

  1. John S says:

    Teryl Austin has really done a great job. The offense has put the defense in some real spots, and they’ve performed. Great quotes too, smart guy.

  2. Jeff says:

    Agreed. I really like what Coach Austin has done with the defense. His quotes are right on the money when he analyzes his team’s performance.

  3. ^^ Agreed. Imagine how we’ll look after he has actually coached a whole year.

  4. brlgator says:

    I gotta say I ve been a little disappointed with hunter. He gets pushed off the ball way to easy. On ingrams second td run in the second quarter(the one yarder) he was legitmately 3 yards into the endzone on his butt. I wish shariff floyd would get more snaps. He seems to penetrate the oline on nearly every snap.

  5. Joe says:

    The real one bright spot this year is how the DEFENSE is able to make adjustments at half time. The DEFENSIVE coaches seem to have the ability to figure out what the other team is doing and can adjust to stop it. It’s refreshing to have DEFENSIVE coaches that have the ability to see what is not working, and then adapt and adjust their their play calling accordingly to put the DEFENSIVE players in position to make plays.

  6. Gatorbuc15 says:

    I love Teryl Austi! He has done a great job here.

  7. HardToKillGtr says:

    Coach Austin is well spoken. He is easy to understand. Speaks in sentences without using “gotta” 500 times.

  8. Jbgator says:

    It’s interesting to look at the interior d-lone development under Meyer. We’ve never gotten back to anywhere close to Marcus Thomas, Joe Cohen. Ray Mac, and Steven Harris. It seems that players have had to earn their time and spend time bulking up to play in the current system, and perhaps it’s just been the injury bug (Antwine, Marsh, etc.) that has kept this group from being a strength, let alone doing much at all. Maybe some of the younger and faster guys deserve a chance, considering that guys like Antwine can’t get out of their own way and guys like Duke Lemmens are starting d-end. It seems that LB, DB, and sometimes S have been the primary defensive positions where we have excelled.

  9. Joe says:

    Jbgator, I agree we have had a drought for sometime with quality tackles but I am very confident that drought will come to an end in just a few more games.

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