Chaz Green – Path to the 2015 NFL Draft: Lining up team visits, Florida Gators Pro Day recap

Through the 2015 NFL Draft from April 30 to May 2 in Chicago, Illinois, Florida Gators offensive lineman Chaz Green will keep you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive comprehensive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.

Green checks in for the third time after visiting with four more NFL teams and participating in Pro Day on Tuesday in Gainesville, Florida.

Since the last time I checked in, the only non-football thing I’ve done that is really notable is met with a stylist in Ocala. My agent set up that appointment, and I’m excited to see what we come up with ahead of my visits and the draft.

On March 20, I met with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They put me on the board in the meeting room for three hours to see how well I picked up installations – inside zone runs, outside zone runs. They showed me how they would block against 15 different fronts they see on a regular basis, and in order to evaluate whether I understood them, had me answer when they called out those specific fronts. When we got done, they gave me a test to see how much information I retained from the session. I think I did really well because I got some real good feedback from that workout.

I had a bit of a break after that meeting, so I just stayed up on my workouts in order to make sure I stayed best shape possible. We don’t have a whole lot of time left until the draft and everything runs together, so I’ve just been trying to work out and promote myself, too, keep my name out there as we go through the process.

Though I still haven’t had much contact with the new Gators coaching staff, I did run into Chris Rumph, the defensive line coach, in late March. We were talking in the weight room for a little bit, and he was messing with me, saying how they wanted me at Alabama during my recruitment. He definitely seemed like a really cool guy.

I had been spending a lot of time with D.J. Humphries and Andre Debose since returning to Gainesville. Kyle Christy is taking classes still, so he never left town while the other guys were working out across the state and country. Obviously everyone else came in for Pro Day this week and many of them will stick around until the draft.

Before Pro Day though, I had two more team meetings in Gainesville, and they came on back-to-back days on March 26 and 27.

Max Garcia and I met with the Houston Texans on March 26th. We spent about 45 minutes working out and did a lot of it inside the weight room because there was some weather in The Swamp. We had a nice 45-minute grind and then spent an hour – it was a little different than other teams – in the board room. Houston’s offensive line coach [Mike Devlin] didn’t teach us their schemes as much; he put on a lot of the things we did and we just explained our basic protections, basic run plays, why we did certain things that he saw us do on film. He wanted to know if it was something we were coached to do or something we picked up naturally. Devlin, I liked him a lot. He’s a real down-to-Earth guy. He just spoke to us about the whole process in general, what to expect at the next level. We went to lunch and had a great visit overall.

That night, I went to dinner with Frank Pollack, the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive line coach. The next day, we had the longest workout I’ve had to this point. Myself, D.J. and Max were out there, and we were probably out on the field for two hours. We spent the first 45 minutes doing a lot of agility drills, flexibility drills; he wanted to see how we could move as athletes. We did bag drills, foot quickness drills, and then the last half was straight football. We covered everything as far as blocking, pulling, pass protection, changing direction, hip explosion, balance, strength. That was another great grind, and then we watched some film as well. We spent another hour and a half on one protection that they run, one of their main protections. We were in there grinding for a good hour and a half as well, so it was a long day.

One thing that’s great about these meetings is that I am learning a lot about football. Every team teaches the same thing in different ways and every team has a different twist to the game of football. What’s interesting, from all these different coaches, is learning these different techniques. That’s one thing the coach from the Texans showed me – how to change my feet up a little bit on certain pass plays and certain run plays – but he noted that every team may say something completely different even though the end result might be the same.

On Monday, I had two more visit before Pro Day as the New Orleans Saints wanted to meet me for breakfast while they were in town. One of their assistant offensive line coaches wanted to get a feel for me. He had already seen me on film, so we talked through some base plays, my technique and how I think on the field. For dinner, I met with the San Diego Chargers and offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris. We did some board work for a good two hours, the same thing as before, going over how they call their plays and how I retained the information installation.

Coming out of all these workouts and interviews, it is unanimous from the coaches that [Florida offensive line coach] Mike Summers prepared us tremendously. That’s some feedback we’re getting from the next level. From a technique standpoint on the field and also a mental standpoint in the game of football, guys from the next level say we’re really well prepared and that’s a credit to Coach Summers, everything he taught us. I feel like we’re very prepared for this process.

Going into Pro Day on Tuesday, I had decided beforehand only to do on-field drills. I felt great going in, and it was nice to see all my boys out there, guys I haven’t seen in a while. Having all those guys out there for one last go-around in The Swamp was great.

We did our standard position drills but wound up being worked longer because there were about 15 offensive line coaches on the field, so I was told we as an offensive line group worked nearly a half hour more than normal. There was a really good turnout for everyone, which definitely gave us extra energy.

I feel like I did well on the drills overall. Obviously there are some drills you wish you could have back. I had some early jitters, obviously, but I feel like I showed everything I needed to show. Overall, it was a great experience to be in The Swamp and on the field one last time.

The memories I had with my brothers in that locker room and running out of the tunnel in The Swamp flashed back to me while I was there. Those are incredible moments in my life. And let me tell you, the coaches that were there understand what it is all about. I saw coaches standing around taking selfies – I’m not going to throw any names out – but they all realize how unique of a place it is.

I’ll be flying out Wednesday morning for a top-30 visit with Dallas, which I’m confident means they liked what they saw when we met last month because teams only get to bring out 30 guys for all-expenses-paid visits. I’ll spend the day with them and then fly out on Thursday to New York to meet with the Buffalo Bills for a job interview.

From what I’ve heard, I’ll meet all the staff again, the trainers, they’ll check me out [medically] one more time. I’ll meet with the coach, they’ll put me on the board and test me to see how I learn and whether I can fit in with their systems. The visits are usually pretty standard, from what I understand. They want to get a feel for who you are and what they would be getting while showing you what they’re all about as a franchise.

From there, I expect to return to Gainesville, and I’ll catch the spring game on Saturday, but I should be right back on the road again after that as I’m supposed to visit with the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons before going to Tampa on April 15.

Overall, I’m just trying to stay positive, remain confident and put my best foot forward. My goal is to leave a lasting impression with the coaches I meet so I stick in their minds on draft day.

Go Gators!

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4 BITS: April Fools, Speights, McDonald, Spikes

1 » The Florida Gators pulled off an elaborate April Fools’ Day hoax on Wednesday – not that anyone was actually fooled, per se – by creating a “Freaky Friday Night Lights” campaign that included University of Florida president Kent Fuchs and head football coach Jim McElwain switching jobs after Fuchs supposedly exercised an unknown clause in his university contract.


The video is good. What really sent the “prank” home was the president and coach changing their respective Twitter profiles and the men, plus the players involved in the video, all playing along. And fun was had by all. Considering there is a Florida football practice this afternoon, though, maybe Fuchs will actually open up and provide some details on what exactly the Gators will be doing offensively this season.

Continue Reading » 4 BITS: April Fools, Speights, McDonald, Spikes

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Former Florida Gators LB Brandon Spikes: ‘I’ve already set my watch: it’s Tebow time.’

While discussing his free agency during an interview Wednesday on NFL Network, former Florida Gators linebacker Brandon Spikes did not parse words when asked whether quarterback Tim Tebow would succeed if given another chance in the NFL.

“I love Tim Tebow. I love Tim Tebow. He’s a great person, and I think he’s a great quarterback. He gets the job done, and at the end of the day, he wins,” Spikes said. “Given the opportunity, I think he’ll go out there and perform.

“I’ve already set my watch: it’s Tebow time.”

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators LB Brandon Spikes: ‘I’ve already set my watch: it’s Tebow time.’

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4 BITS: Harvin, recruiting, Pounceys, McDonald

1 » Former Florida Gators wide receiver Percy Harvin has found his fourth NFL home, signing a one-year, $6 million deal with the Buffalo Bills for the 2015 season. Harvin, who has been traded twice in the last two years and was cut by the New York Jets this offseason, follows head coach Rex Ryan to the Bills. Injuries and character concerns have derailed Harvin’s NFL success, but he is still seen as an explosive playmaker who can be a difference-maker both on offense and special teams. The one-year deal allows him to prove his value and potentially facilitate a long-term deal with a franchise in 2016.

2 » Florida football is going young. How young? Well, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the Gators recently sent offers out to a high school freshman in running back Lorenzo Lingard and an eighth-grader in wide receiver Blake Hinson. According to their head coaches, Florida’s offer is the third for each player; Lingard also heard from Georgia and Iowa, while Hinson was offered by Miami and North Carolina. How did the Gators go about offering an eighth-grader? Hinson’s coach, DJ Mayo, told the News-Journal that he showed the player’s tape to head coach Jim McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier on his cell phone; an offer was sent the next day.

Continue Reading » 4 BITS: Harvin, recruiting, Pounceys, McDonald

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2 BITS: SEC/Big 12 Challenge, Miller, Hernandez

1 » The Southeastern Conference and Big 12 announced Thursday that the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge, which began last season, will undergo a significant format change. Instead of being 10 games played over three days in the fall, it will now be 10 games played in one day early in the spring. That date has been set for next season with all 10 games tipping off on Saturday, January 30, 2016, though match-ups have not yet been determined at this time. “Moving the Big 12/SEC Challenge later int he season will raise the profile of this event and give our coaches, student-athletes and fans the attention that it deserves,” said Mike Slive, the SEC’s commissioner. The 10 games will all be played on ESPN networks with the four SEC teams not given match-ups going head-to-head against each other on the SEC Network that day.

The Florida Gators wound up playing a home-and-home series against Kansas in the first two iterations of the event, hosting the Jayhawks last season and travelling to Lawrence, Kansas, this fall. Florida is expected to host an SEC/Big 12 Challenge game in 2015-16, though renovations to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center would have proved that difficult if the game was played during its previously-scheduled window. Whether the event was moved to help accommodate UF remains to be seen, but the scheduling adjustment was not just made for next season but for the duration of the event’s existence.

Continue Reading » 2 BITS: SEC/Big 12 Challenge, Miller, Hernandez

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Former Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 16 & 17

The 2014 NFL regular season concluded this week with 36 former Florida Gators spread out over 20 of the 32 teams in the league.

Twelve teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Philadelphia and Tampa Bay (three each); and Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh and St. Louis (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 26 players (16 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 16th week of the regular season as well as the same information for all 29 players (15 starters^) that were active in Week 17.

Eight former Gators advanced to the postseason. Florida is represented on seven of the 12 teams that moved on to the 2014 NFL Playoffs.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK (16)
WR RILEY COOPER, Philadelphia Eagles: Started | five receptions for 53 yards (target: 7, long: 16), two touchdowns

PLAYS OF THE WEEK (16)

PLAYER OF THE WEEK (17)
S REGGIE NELSON, Cincinnati Bengals: Started | three solo tackles, pass defense, interception (-4 yard return)

PLAYS OF THE WEEK (17)

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

Continue Reading » Former Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 16 & 17

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 15

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 35 former Florida Gators spread out over 21 of the 32 teams in the league.

Twelve teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Philadelphia and Tampa Bay (three); and Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh and St. Louis (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 25 players (15 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 15th week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Started | six tackles (five solo, two for loss), sack, three QB hits [all team-highs]
DE JEREMY MINCEY, Dallas Cowboys: Started | three tackles (two solo for loss), two sacks, two QB hits

PLAY OF THE WEEK

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 15

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 14

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 34 former Florida Gators spread out over 21 of the 32 teams in the league.

Eleven teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Philadelphia and Tampa Bay (three); and Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh and St. Louis (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 29 players (20 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 14th week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
WR PERCY HARVIN, New York Jets: Started | six receptions for 124 yards (targets: 9, long: 45) [all team-highs]; two carries for three yards (long: 4), fumble (not lost); four kick returns for 109 yards (long: 47)
» The receiving touchdown was Harvin’s first since Oct. 25, 2012 and just his second offensive touchdown in that same span. The 124 yards were his second-most this season (129, Nov. 2).
» Harvin was feared to be lost for the season with an ankle injury suffered in the game, but the Jets diagnosed it as a low ankle sprain and he is questionable for Sunday.

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 14

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