Florida Gators 2015 spring practice – McElwain infuriated over practice effort: ‘That irritates me’

Head coach Jim McElwain took the field with the Florida Gators for the ninth time on Monday as the 2015 spring practice session rolled along. After practice, he met with the media to discuss some of the early goings on with the team.

Infuriated over effort

McElwain indicated Monday during a media availability that he was none too pleased with how the Gators practiced earlier that afternoon, the first time he has shared such a sentiment this spring. Upon revisiting his own stance on said issue, McElwain pulled no punches in discussing his disappointment with the team, getting progressively louder and more angry as he made his point.

“The attention to detail and the focus was not what was needed to be successful, and it bothered me. It irritates me when we take a step back because everybody came here today to either get better or worse. You chose whatever your mindset was whenever you walked through that door. Our mindset was not to get better today. It was to endure the practice, and it really bothered me, and that’s unacceptable,” he said.

“You don’t do that and play championship football. It wasn’t good, and you can see I’m a little irritated by it – and rightfully so – because that hasn’t been our MO. They’ve, for the most part, really come and really focused on getting better. We didn’t do it today.”

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Florida Gators 2015 spring practice: Brandon Powell held out, recruiting with depth issues

Head coach Jim McElwain took the field with the Florida Gators for the sixth time on Friday as the 2015 spring practice session rolled along. After practice, he met with the media to discuss some of the early goings on with the team.

Opening statement (Tuesday)

“It was really important to get today’s stuff [installed], which are a lot of situations that are going to be executed [Saturday] when we do some scrimmage work – things like coming out, obviously a couple of the two-minute situations. We’ll work basically four different two-minute situations [Saturday] as an introduction. We want to make sure we hit that today, and I thought they handled that well. Also, work some different areas in the red area as well as some last play ideas, so in other words, no time on the clock, you’re not wasting it you’re actually working the situation. The kids know the exact play that you’re going to work and then obviously the defense might get caught into a personnel group that might not fit necessarily the formation that they’re seeing. Defensively understanding situations.

“It was some really good stuff that I thought occurred today. The guys, I’ll tell you what, this group is willing participants, man. It’s great to see. They’ve really grasped the idea of helping each other get better. That’s really what it’s all about. It’s good to see.”

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Florida Gators 2015 spring practice: McElwain on snapping, TE development, Powell, secondary

Head coach Jim McElwain took the field with the Florida Gators for the second time on Wednesday as the 2015 spring practice session rolled along. Afterwards, McElwain met with the media in a short session to discuss some of the early goings on with the team.

Opening statement

“Second practice – obviously some new things going in, thought it was a little sloppy actually today. We got a lot of details that we need to take care of, and yet, that’s expected when you get new install like this. Friday as we get going we may have to actually take possibly a little bit of a step back, and yet, the key right now is to kind of keep loading the wagon and keep loading the wagon and come back, reteach it again.

“They’ll be able to go through it this summer and we’ll get ready for the fall. Overall, still like the tempo still like the way the guys are competing against each other and helping each other get better. That’s kind of one of the things we’re striving for.”

Snap to it

With Florida’s offense going back to having multiple packages with the quarterback under center – and with the Gators rolling out two second-year quarterbacks as well as a thin, inexperienced offensive line – the team is far from comfortable with the ball exchange.

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Florida Gators 2015 spring practice: Buy-in, communication a focus on day one and beyond

Head coach Jim McElwain took the field with the Florida Gators for the first time on Monday as the program opened its 2015 spring practice session. Following the day’s festivities, McElwain met with the media in a short session to discuss some of the early goings on with the team.

Opening statement

“Fun first day. Gotta say this: finally – it seems like it was taking forever to get out on the field and do what the heck we’re here to do, and that’s coach some ball. I like the way the guys have come together, the competition between the units, understanding that each and every play is an opportunity to get better. They probably took a lot more reps than they had been used to in the past and yet we need to increase our pace. It was pretty good for the first day. I felt good about that.

“Defensively, they’re obviously ahead; there’s a lot of carryover from what they’re doing. You can see how fast they were playing. You saw some things offensively from some guys, especially with not that many offensive linemen, guys in there battling. We have to do a lot better job in the run game, but overall you can see some communication going on and that’s really a start. Fun day, great to be out there, now we get to go watch video. That’s even better!”

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Jim McElwain talks injuries, depth problems, other issues ahead of Florida Gators spring practice

New Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain met with the media on Tuesday for just the third time. The 30-minute back-and-forth saw McElwain touched on a number of topics regarding spring practice and the upcoming 2015 Orange & Blue Debut spring football game. McElwain was once again extremely close-to-the-vest on most topics, often times failing to answer even direct questions.

INJURY “UPDATES”

With a handful of important Gators – at least as far as 2015 is concerned – injured with spring practice on the horizon, McElwain was asked to provide some updates on their statuses at the start of practice. He relented, sort of, despite not providing any specifics regarding the injuries or timetables for return.

Senior linebacker Antonio Morrison announced he would return to Florida days after being injured in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl. Morrison’s injury, a torn ACL, has yet to be mentioned by the school at the request of his family. “Morrison will be out. Things are going well with him. He’s really attacking his rehab and been with us,” McElwain said. “I’ve got to tell you what now, here’s a team guy. He doesn’t miss a team meeting. He’s out there at every practice doing what he can do. That’s really good to see.”

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Florida picks up big commitment from four-star 2015 RB Jordan Scarlett

With National Signing Day approaching, the Florida Gators desperately needed to start landing some top-notch prospects and did just that on Monday when four-star running back Jordan Scarlett (Fort Lauderdale, FL) announced his verbal commitment to the program.

A one-time Florida Atlantic pledge who was committed to Miami as recently as Saturday, Scarlett (5-foot-11, 222 pounds) is ranked as the 12th best running back and No. 118 overall player in the nation per the 247Sports Composite.

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Skipper on Florida: “I was ready to walk here.”

More Florida Gators assistant features: Randy Shannon | Terrell Williams | Geoff Collins

The second-youngest member of head coach Jim McElwain’s recently-announced Florida Gators staff, running backs coach Tim Skipper, 36, has earned the nickname of “handy man” from McElwain due to his versatility.

Skipper is so trusted by McElwain that he was his assistant head coach at Colorado State, where he coached linebackers. Skipper has also coached defensive backs and coordinated defenses in college despite the fact that the rest of his family has made a name for themselves coaching running backs in the NFL.

Of course, Skipper has done that, too, most notably at Fresno State under McElwain, a stop where he recruited and coached up Ryan Mathews.

“He’s outstanding. Played for Coach [Pat] Hill as a linebacker, came back as a running backs coach, really wanted to go back and coach defense, begged him to stay on offense. You look at the production of the players he had at Fresno State, how he recruited to the position, what he did with those players, the guy is a phenomenal football coach,” said Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

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Florida Gators hold on to top East Carolina 28-20 in 2015 Birmingham Bowl

As it often has for the program over the last four seasons, it took a defensive play to send the Florida Gators to victory in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl on Saturday afternoon at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

Florida (7-5) triumphed 28-20 over the East Carolina Pirates (8-5) despite being outscored in the second half and outgained 536-339 on the afternoon.

Gators sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III intercepted Pirates signal caller Shane Carden in the end zone with 1:20 remaining, ending ECU’s bid at a comeback victory while sending UF to its first bowl win since the 2011 season.

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