Floyd stepped up; players on Meyer, Marotti, Weis

By Adam Silverstein
December 21, 2011

With the Florida Gators hoping to end the season on a high note with a victory in the 2012 Gator Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes, three players were made available to the media Tuesday to discuss a number of topics.


A career defensive tackle, sophomore Sharrif Floyd moved to defensive end before the season began at the request of head coach Will Muschamp, who was searching for a capable starter and depth at a very shallow position. “It was good on my part because it shows that I can do more than just what I’m here for. I can do what’s best for the team and learn things the best I can. I think it was a good fit for my resume this year,” Floyd said, putting a positive spin on the move.

With redshirt senior Jaye Howard and sophomore Dominique Easley manning the inside, Floyd played out of position on the end but still finished sixth on the team (and second on the defensive line) in tackles with 44 (18 solo, five for loss). “As I started to progress at D-end, I started noticing more teams just not coming my way. It was frustrating but at the end of the day it was make a play however it happens,” he said. “It was frustrating at the beginning until I started talked to my coaches about it. They told me to just hang in there and work with them. I did what was best for the team and came out as one of the leaders in tackles.”

That is exactly what Floyd did and though the plan was always for him to move back inside in 2012, Easley tearing his ACL has prompted that move to occur one game earlier. “[I’m] definitely more comfortable,” Floyd said of moving back to tackle. “Don’t like the way it happened or the reason why I went back in[side], but it happens in the game of football. I can’t be more excited. Three-technique is definitely my position now and until I’m done. Since I’ve been playing over eight-nine years now, I’ve been at D-tackle. I know it. I know all the blocks. I know what’s coming at me. There’s no thinking, there’s just going. I understand it a little more and there’s no need to be patient at D-tackle.”

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]Floyd, junior safety Josh Evans and redshirt sophomore wide receiver Andre Debose each spoke about the impact and provided their unique opinions on former head coach Urban Meyer taking a new job at Ohio State, strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti leaving Florida to join him, and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis taking the head coaching position with Kansas.

Floyd on how the team felt about Meyer’s decision: “There’s a lot of the guys on the team. We all got own opinions about things. I can’t really talk for everyone else but for me personally, I think that’s good for him. He’s going to do what’s best for him and his family. No hard feelings over here. If I saw the guy today, I would still shake his hand, talk to him, have a normal conversation. That’s the name of the game and it can happen anywhere. Congrats and good luck to him.”

Evans on Meyer’s choice and if the team was angry: “It was a shock. It was a little surprising, but we moved on and we’re past it. […] He’s a good coach, and I wish the best for him. […] I’m pretty sure there are some people that feel some type of way about it, but we don’t really discuss it as much.”

Evans on Marotti being a huge loss for the Gators: “That was big for us because he was a good coach and like a father to some players. That was a big loss because we came in here and basically everybody knew him as the strength coach. We got [Scott Holsopple] now and he’s a good strength coach, too. We kind of figured once Meyer took the job that it was a chance he probably was going to leave because we knew they were close, so everybody kind of had a heads-up on it.”

Debose on Weis suddenly departing: “It was a total shock. We had no clue that he was leaving. My reaction was that he had a great opportunity to be a head coach. I wouldn’t turn that down either. I wish him the best of luck.”

Debose on if Meyer’s decision or Marotti moving on was tougher: “Coach Marotti was just as important as Coach Meyer. I think Coach Marotti was a bigger shock to everybody because that’s our strength coach. He makes a lot of good decisions and he helps our bodies. For him to leave, that was a big shock.”


» Floyd on Muschamp’s proclamation that training camp was not hard enough: “If coach thinks it should have been tougher, than it should have been tougher. I’m behind whatever he wants to do.”

» Evans on redshirt sophomore cornerback Jeremy Brown not playing: “To me that was a big loss because when I came in that was one of the first guys I met. Seeing him not play was difficult for me because we are real tight like brothers. He should be healthy after the season so he can get back in the spring and hopefully he can [play].”

» Debose on interim offensive coordinator Brian White: “Coach White is a great play caller. He has a track record; he has done it before. I’m behind him 100 percent. Coach White is a genius I feel like.”

» Debose said he had to work on his consistency each practice and looked to redshirt senior WR Deonte Thompson as a model of consistency and high effort for him to follow.

» Debose on having so many transfers this year: “All I can say about that is: If you don’t want to be a Gator, you won’t be a Gator. And if you don’t, you’ll leave. They left.”

» Debose on how redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley will be thought of after the bowl game: “I think John Brantley will be remembered as a hard worker, great guy, good football player. I want him to go out with a bang. I want him to have a career game for the bowl game. Even if he didn’t, I would still think he had a solid career, but I want him to go out like a champ in his last game.”

» Debose on Muschamp hiring a replacement offensive coordinator: “Whoever he brings in, we know that he’s going to be the best for this program. We’re behind him 100 percent.”[/EXPAND]


  1. Swiftech69 says:

    I like the quotes from debose. Good article adam!

  2. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Adam, Thanks for the good interview remarks. Gotta wonder how much is genuine and how much is just keeping up a unified front. Hope they all really mean it. That being said, we need someone at strength coach that is a big name and has an impeccable record (maybe NFL experience) that will toughen up our team. Toughness doesn’t happen in spring camp – it starts in DECEMBER in the weight room, and comes from an attitude of never feeling like you have made it, but that you always have to work to get better. That is the coachs job to instill that attitude, especially in these prima donna 4 & 5 stars coming in drunk on all the adulation they have been receiving in hs.

  3. ncgator says:

    No wonder Dubose has been so slow to develop……he looked up to Thompson! The guy can/t catch a cold. 1 more game and Brantley and Thompson are gone, I haven’t been this happy to see a player leave since Doug Johnson.

  4. ziggy says:

    Dubose sounds like he might be able to step up and be a leader for the offense next season. He says all the right things and is obviously Gator all the way. I love his quote about the transfers.

  5. drew says:

    I still don’t understand everyone’s fascination with wanting to have someone from the NFL. I’m hoping new guys come from the college ranks, and I’ll tell you why. It’s a big adjustment. You go from having all the time in the world to beef someone up, or teach proper technique. But you get to the college level and all of a sudden you have to change you entire program around to fit into the restricted time limit. Some guys might not be able to do that. Weis certainly couldn’t. That said, all I really want from the OC is some loyalty, drive, and some fu*&^ng creativity.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      You want coaches with NFL experience because that helps recruiting. Players figure if htey have been in the NFL they know what it takes to get to the NFL and will coach accordingly. The issue I have with NFL coaches, though, is they are used to players coming in a bit raw, but typically sound fundamentals and fairly mature (relatively speaking). In college, they are getting young kids out of high school and have to not only help them mature, but turn talent into on field production. At the pro level they have already gone through the fundamentals and can stick to the playbook. So much m ore growth happens at the college level and if a coach can’t work that then the talent will never truly be realized

      • Drew says:

        I get the recruiting angle of wanting someone from the NFL. But what really helps recruiting is WINNING. Spurrier recruited well with no NFL, Urban Meyer did the same, they got quality with the amount they won. We’re Florida, if we’re winning, people are going to come to our school. I just want someone who always does more with less.

  6. scooterp says:

    I just hope Muschamps decision on the OC is 100% based on the ability to run an offense – not who can hold the recruiting class together.

    • CeeThree says:

      amen.. so many on here want the name for recruiting.. give me the offense and the name and the recruiting will follow.. Weis proved it doesn’t always work the opposite way.

  7. Michael Richert says:

    I hope it will be Kerwin. The man bleeds orange and blue and I like the offenses he runs. He would be dedicated for the long haul. These interviews show class in these players and I like how they wish the best for UM. He did a lot for this school in his six years.

  8. CeeThree says:

    love Debose and Floyd.

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