12/21: Quinn “ready to rock,” prepared for bowl

By Adam Silverstein
December 21, 2011

As the Florida Gators prepare for their 2011 Gator Bowl match-up against the Ohio State Buckeyes on Jan. 2 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, FL, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn met with the media Wednesday to discuss the upcoming game.


There may be some turnover on the offensive staff this offseason, but Quinn made it clear Wednesday that he will be wearing the orange and blue in 2012 (and he expects all of his assistants will be as well).

“I certainly feel that way,” Quinn said when asked if the entire staff will be back, saying there was “no doubt” in his mind and that he was “ready to rock” as soon as the bowl game is over. “I plan on being here. I really do enjoy it,” he continued. “For me, part of the reason leaving the NFL was to get an opportunity at a place like this. I’m having a blast with these guys and doing everything that we do.”

He is also sure that the team will benefit greatly from the continuity because “any time you get some experience at something, where you get some turns and you build some trust with some of the players and they back at you, I think that can only be a positive thing moving forward.”

That is why Quinn expects his defense to be even better in 2012. “So many returning players coming back along with the staff, I think that’s a big thing,” he said with a smile.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]» Quinn said that, with sophomore Sharrif Floyd moving back to defensive tackle for the bowl game, senior William Green will likely start at defensive end. However, Floyd will also play the end in certain sets with redshirt junior DT Omar Hunter playing on the inside next to redshirt senior DT Jaye Howard. Going forward, Quinn expects Floyd to play both positions depending on the roster.

» On practices being like training camp: “It was kind of like going back, ‘Alright, let’s work against the offense, fundamentals, technique, playing blocks.’ It was kind of a cool thing to go through to say, ‘Alright, let’s work our skills hard against each other.’ I think that’s some of the best work you can do. So that’s what we’ve done. It has been more like a camp mentality. It’s been a physical time in the bowl preparation; going forward I think that will help us playing against that style of team.”

» On how he can help the defense create more turnovers: It’s going to have to come through the practice reps first. […] For us to have that [few] takeaways for I feel like the talent that we have on defense and the style that we can become is not acceptable. We recognize that and will move forward accordingly.”

» On the team’s third-down defense: The third-down defense – you’ll hear us talk about affecting the quarterback – sometimes it’s just resetting the guy, getting him off the spot. For us affecting the quarterback is going to be getting more sacks and that kind of thing. Some of them were not all pass. They were some short-yardage where we played well at times in the run game. I was pleased, when you look back at the results, I wasn’t necessarily thinking going into the year that these guys are really doing it on third down.

» On improvement he’s seen from sophomore Buck linebacker Ronald Powell at the end of the season: “With a lot of the guys, I thought he got better as we went along. […] I thought the last couple of ballgames we saw [good things] out of him. He’s had a terrific bowl practice.”[/EXPAND]

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