Florida Gators offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio, assistant head coach and defensive line coach Dan McCarney, redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose, redshirt senior running back Emmanuel Moody, redshirt freshman linebacker Jelani Jenkins and freshman quarterback Trey Burton spoke to the media Tuesday as the team took a final look back on its close loss to the LSU Tigers and ahead to its match-up against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday.
BOOING DOESN’T BOTHER ADDAZIO
Addazio was booed during Florida’s final scoring drive on Saturday, something he has claims does not bother him. In fact, he has taken the incident in stride and understands what is expected of him and the offense.
“I really don’t pay much attention to any of that stuff,” he said on Tuesday. “You are locked into the game. What I really hear in that game is just the energy from the game. I’ve got so much going on; I’ve got headsets on. […] Hey, this is not a sport for the thin-skinned now. It’s a tough business and I think we’ve talked about this before here. You came here for a reason – [there are] high expectations, that’s why you’re here, that’s what it’s all about. You better embrace that. If you don’t embrace that, then you are at the wrong place.”
DEBOSE A READY FOR PRIME TIME PLAYER
Showing his playmaking ability with an 88-yard kickoff return and some other nice passing routes on Saturday, Debose has proven to coaches that he deserves more touches and should be a bigger part of the Gators offense. “He’s emerging as a guy that can make a play. You can see that. It’s really nice to see that. He’s a guy that can make plays,” noted Addazio. “[He’s improving because of] experience and getting on the field and doing it and gaining all that confidence and that trust. That’s what’s happening with him right now.”
The player agrees with his coach’s assessment. “[It was] just picking up the plays. Just feeling comfortable and making the coaches feel real comfortable with me and the ball and everything,” Debose said. “It was just the little things as far as reading coverages on the run and stuff that takes time and takes more game experience.”
POWELL MOVED TO LINEBACKER
One interesting tidbit coming out of the media availability Tuesday was McCarney confirming that five-star freshman defensive end Ronald Powell has been moved to the strong outside linebacker position for the remainder of the season. Powell, who also played tight end in high school, is more than athletic enough to play the position and coaches feel he is a better fit at linebacker right now. Expect him to head back to defensive end after the year is over.
POSSIBILITY OF A FAKE WAS BROUGHT UP
Asked whether or not the concept of a fake field goal was discussed with the field goal blocking unit prior to LSU running that exact play, Jenkins told the that it was part of the team’s conversation during the timeout. This confirms what a handful of other players said after the game.
QUOTES (After the break…)
Addazio on Rainey rejoining team: “He’s got some stipulations that he’s working back through. I know Urban [Meyer] released a statement on that. All of that is being handled internally right now, so he’s not there yet. Chris is a great athlete, great speed, a play-maker, explosive guy. You guys all know that. You’ve seen that. That’s documented. I do know him personally, and I do care for Chris. Absolutely.”
Addazio on if he is spread to thin and overwhelmed as offensive coordinator: “Absolutely not; not even a little. I’ve been doing this a long time, coaching the offensive line a long time. I feel great. I feel great about my guys. I don’t think Mike Pouncey has ever played any better than he is playing right now to be honest with you. I don’t think Marcus Gilbert has ever played better than he is playing right now. I think Mo Hurt is playing great football. I would tell you that we’ve got a great staff here on offense. This has never been about a guy – me or anybody else for that matter. We don’t operate that way. To say overwhelmed, no.
“There are great coaches here with great input and great ideas and segments they are responsible for, and I think they are doing a great job with that. I think right now it’s really all about keep working, keep grinding, keep developing young players, keep finding the right mix. There were some good things that happened in that game. We don’t like the result – you don’t and I don’t. But there were some things that were pretty productive in there; what struck you the most was a 17-play drive that we didn’t get any points on. We were down to the six-inch line. That was kind of one of those deals you would like back. In every game we are doing some really good things. We say it, and I know it gets boring […] you would just like to see those good things done more consistently. You don’t want to make excuses. You just got to keep working. We’ve got good players and you’ve got some good thoughts. You just gotta be steady in the boat and just work, just go. We’re all hurt over a game, that’s the way it is.”
Addazio on first down: “You’ve just got to be more efficient. We’re a pretty good mix on run and pass, so there is no tendency there at all. There’s just a bunch of efficiency issues that we’ve got to get worked out. We’re a multiple offense, we always have been. So what we’ve got to do is stay on schedule the best we can. […] First down is something to me that has to even out better.’’
Addazio on the offensive line’s play: “We’ve got a real high bar here. They have played pretty solid throughout the year. What happens is, when things don’t go right, I’m going to pick things apart […] you don’t have all the facts really what’s going on in there. I want certain guys to fire out a higher level, because I’ve got a real high bar.”
McCarney on the familiarity between the coaching staffs: “I think a little bit of it is overrated to be honest with you.”
McCarney on Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen returning to The Swamp: “He had a lot to do with the success and the history making seasons that he and Urban put together here. The same old thing, the gun goes off, the game starts, the foot hits the ball and everybody’s just trying to win games and put their players in a position to win games.”
Debose on what opened his eyes: “Not getting on the field. I’ve never experienced that in my life. I’ve been playing football since I was seven and I’ve never sat on the bench, so I had to figure out something – fast.”
Debose on if he wasn’t giving good effort: “I feel that I gave great effort. I don’t know why the coaches felt that I wasn’t giving great effort. I think I was just doing a lot of thinking, and when you think playing football it does slow you down. I think that had a lot to do with it.”
Moody on junior RB Jeff Demps’ injury: “Jeff’s, his injury is legit. He’s really tough and he really wants to be with the team and playing out there. You can see it’s killing him being out of practice and [not] being out there with us. We’re trying to get all the guys healthy to have a full stable of running backs again.”
Moody on Rainey’s personality and return to the team: “He smiles a lot. He’s a great kid. We love having him around the program. He’s not some guy who brings negative energy. He’s not that type of guy. Seeing Chris back, we love him. We’re happy he’s back on the team. He’s told me he’s learned a lot from the situation. He’s become a better man and now he’s starting to grow up from it and he’s saying. […] He has a great attitude right now. He’s just smiling. The first time I saw him he was just sitting with his arms crossed in the hallway and just looking at me smiling the whole time. He’s like, ‘I’m back, man.’ I gave him a hug and stuff. It’s really good to have Chris back. We missed him.”
Burton on the orange jerseys: “At first I wasn’t too sure about them, but once I put everything on they were pretty sweet.”