11/3: Austin, Azzanni, Henry discuss Georgia

By Adam Silverstein
November 4, 2010

Florida Gators defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Teryl Austin, wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni and senior punter/kicker Chas Henry spoke to the media Wednesday, taking a look back at the team’s game against the Georgia Bulldogs in Jacksonville, FL, last Saturday.

THANK THE OL FOR THE UP-TEMPO OFFENSE

After Florida’s victory over Georgia, head coach Urban Meyer credited Azzanni with helping implement and set-up the Gators’ new up-tempo offense. On Wednesday, Azzanni said it was the willingness of the offensive line to adapt to the new system that made it work so well against the Bulldogs. “Our O-line has been really great about it because they’re the guys who had to buy in,” he said. “The little skinny guys on the outside can run all day, it’s the big boys that had to buy in – they’ve been great.”

And why was Azzanni so instrumental in this offense being successful? “That’s just my background. That’s the world I’ve lived in for the last eight years of my career,” he said. “I just put it out there on the table and every week we’ve been a little more, a little more. Those guys have been great. We’re not running any new plays or anything, it’s all the same thing, it’s just how we’re doing it. Just to get a spark in the offense. I can’t say enough for coach [Urban] Meyer and coach [Steve] Addazio for believing in me and letting me put that out on the table and saying, ‘Hey, I think this will help us and spark this offense a little bit.’ I can’t say enough for those guys trusting me and letting me help out and get this thing rolling.”

HENRY LAUGHED AT “CHOKE” FROM SIDELINE

As he prepared to kick what he thought would be a 37-yard game-winning field goal, Henry was confused. Not because of the pressure of the situation or a “choke” signal from Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham but rather the fact that the Bulldogs called a timeout. Recounting the situation, Henry recalls, “I’m ready. I didn’t even know they had a timeout, I completely forgot. I’m like, ‘This is the kick.’ All of a sudden I hear the whistle blowing and I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ I start laughing like, ‘You’re going to ice me? I’m not the kicker. You’re going to ice me?’”

Moments later Henry noticed Grantham grabbing his throat, gesturing towards him and screaming. “I see a guy doing the choke. So I take my helmet off, I give him a little smooch at him – blew him a little kiss,” he said. Henry added that Grantham’s immaturity did not bother him; he said it was just a part of the emotion of the game.

QUOTES (After the break…)

Austin on if giving up so many passing yards affects blitz calls: “When you look at the tape, there were some of those blitzes that we thought could have got home. There were some that the quarterback made a heck of a play. What we have to do is make sure we get some one-on-ones and win some on-on-ones in those blitz areas. […] As far as blitzing, we’re still going to bring it. I think our guys operate better when we’re bringing some pressure and making some negative plays.”

Austin on if any changes have been made with the back-up safeties: “We have our guys. We have four guys we feel pretty good about.”

Austin on redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Jaye Howard’s ankle: “We’re hopeful he can come back at the end of the week.”

Azzanni on the turn-around for redshirt sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr.: “I can’t say enough about that kid. You talk about a kid that kind of came from the abyss… He made an awful choice in his life and he’s really learned from it. He’s still doing all the things he needs to do off the field with that, getting himself right. He’s come to work everyday, he shut his mouth and he’s working really hard. He’s become one of the best football players on our team. I’m really proud of him.”

Azzanni on the no-huddle offense: “We now have fast, faster and fastest, so it’s all going to be fast and up-tempo. There are certain times where we’ll slow down a little bit, not necessarily to get the O-line their breath, but just to more mess with the defense than anything.”

Azzanni on the players’ comfort with the new offense: “They are getting more comfortable every day with it. Every day in practice we’re learning new things. […] They like it, they’re running with it. It’s all the same plays and the same things we’ve been doing, it’s just a different way of doing it, that’s all.”

Azzanni on if Florida can be as fast as Oregon: “We’re still a little bit different style than Oregon. We run a little bit different style of plays than they do. Our tempos in-and-out of different plays are going to be a little bit different than theirs because we still run a different style of offense, but how we do it is very similar.”

Henry on the number of calls and text messages he has received: “Probably like 80 or so. Facebook messages have gone through the roof.”

Henry on the mentality of kicking: “90 percent of it’s mental, 10 percent is physical. […] When I missed in the Mississippi State game, my confidence was really low. Then the week going into Georgia I kicked on Thursday, made everything, did really well. All coaches and players were behind me, real supportive. Going into that game, I knew that was going to be my redemption week.”

Henry on transitioning from punting to kicking: “It’s a little different. It’s like riding a bike; you just have to keep doing it again. Once you start back doing it again, the technique kind of comes back. Luckily we’ve had some great kickers that went to here at Florida. Judd Davis and a lot of guys who used to play here have called me, ‘Hey, this is what you’re doing [wrong].’”

Henry on his pose after making the game-winner: “I don’t even know what it was.”

Henry on if he doubted himself at all: “There was no doubt. […] Going into this one, there was no doubt in my mind that we were making this kick, that we were going to win. This was game over.”

Henry on junior K Caleb Sturgis: “Caleb’s one of my best friends on the team, he’s a great kid. […] He’s really excited about it. If it was him, he probably would’ve gone three-for-three and it would have been over before…we wouldn’t have even had to go to overtime.”

6 Comments

  1. John S says:

    To this teams credit, they did not implode. Even through the struggles I haven’t heard anything about locker room issues (maybe excluding Dowling whatever that was).

    They seem to care about the team as a whole. There is still a great deal of hope on the team.

    With a 3 loss streak that’s hard to do.

  2. Aligator says:

    My god, who do you think was calling plays this past week? Hello …. Thank God and hopefully they keep this up. It wears the other teams out.

  3. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Seriously? Henry blew Grantham a kiss?! I love that kid!

  4. montanagator says:

    Pass rushers need to get their hands up when they get close to the qb, never seem to do that for some reason. cant believe austin was mouthing off to meyer and that nothing has been made of it or that meyer put up with it, definitely not right… up tempo was nice but still running too many dive plays with small backs,, run them around the ends for cripes sake… go gators

  5. ziggy says:

    Say what you will about the dive play. It went 4 and 5 yards the majority of the time. I’ll take that any day.

  6. Aligator says:

    i think with the play makers being back and the uptempo offense we will be in much better shape. too bad we may end up in the outback or capital one bowl if we do not win in Atlanta

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