Notes from Dan Mullen’s Spring Practice Update Press Conference – April 9th

Here are the detailed notes for Dan Mullen’s Spring Practice Update held on 4-9-18 for the media. A link to the video can be found at the end of the notes:

Opening updates from Coach Mullen:

  • Last week of practice is coming up – a big week to get things cleaned up. Will have a situational day, a no helmets run-through for Summer preparation day, and finally the Spring Game.
  • Excited to have a ‘First Responders’ open practice this week. And of course #PackTheSwamp this weekend.
  • For the Spring Game, they will have a draft on Friday – won’t be 1’s vs 1’s it’ll be all mixed up rosters of players.

Responses to Media questions:

  • The scrimmage was ‘good’ (exact quote).
  • Starting to look like we’re playing football.
  • Need to better assess game situations – capitalize when you have a field advantage and get both units to work together.
  • I think we played better football than a week ago, when you compare tape to tape, but we just want to play fundamental football as well – managing situations, making the right calls, and working hard every single play.
  • No separation in QB’s for Mullen. Doesn’t think there needs to be right now – it’s all about getting the entire team up to speed. Those decisions won’t get made until closer to the season.
  • Thinks the QB’s both improved and made mistakes he was disappointed with. Annoyed that they do the hard things easily sometimes, but then can’t manage the simple situations and opportunities. Game overall was better than the week before.
  • Franks did well in this second scrimmage, scored a few TD’s. Need to complete a higher percentage of passes and make smart educated decisions. Knowing the situations and how to make a decision.
  • Franks likely had the best statistical day. But it really doesn’t matter much in Spring because of how non-contact they keep things.
  • Needs his QB to know the offense, but most importantly know how to use the offense in the right way.
  • Emory is working and learning how to be a college player. As a young QB you want to put him in the right situation to be successful – specifically give him more run plays to let him slowly build off his strengths.
  • Franks mostly called his own scrambles on ‘reported QB runs’ from scrimmage. Thought he did make some nice runs though.
  • Offensive line has time to sort things out. Want to have 8 guys by Game 1 ready to consistently play, but right now we’re going 15 deep – so sometimes the play is watered down a bit. Will hope to refine more as we go into Fall.
  • Most improvement with team has been the attitude – approach to the second scrimmage was really good compared to the 1st. Weren’t overthinking things and did well to go from one play the next, working and winning each and every play. They are learning that the biggest thing to continue improving on is how to always give their ultimate strength.
  • Thinks it has been a successful Spring. The scheme will come – right now they’re sorting out the talent and how they can build around the players they have. That’s what coaches will do going into Summer, then install the packages into Summer/Fall.
  • Miller and other guys getting to play with the 1’s and 2’s at linebacker. Tried to keep in mind he’s still getting back into football.
  • Wants to create true depth at defense. Wants to be able to roll bodies through so that they are always attacking hard throughout the game. the more guys you have who can play at a high level the better your defense plays.
  • Want 10 total lineman to rotate – want to see who rises to the top.
  • Gap integrity is improving. More about the young guys learning the technique, then the scheme, and then the skills. Still installing, so you don’t expect overnight changes.
  • For the Gators to be successful, we need the next practice in August to feel like the day after this last Spring practice. Need guys to give 100% in the Summer for us to be successful in the Fall.
  • Slaton is potentially really talented – when he decides to ‘go’ and give it all he’s an incredible talent. When he’s not going all in he’s just average and nothing more. We’ll see where he pushes his game. A lot of guys in HS were the best of the best, but now giving half effort keeps you on the bench. Need guys to learn they need to be better – the right way with the right effort. Slaton is a 50/50 guy now to be honest, but that happens with young players. He can do it, he just has to do it every snap.
  • Thinks the Spring Game is important. A lot needs to be built to make this what it should be, a National Championship winning program. If our fan-base and students come to support and elevate the energy, then the players truly translate that to the field – when you’re more hyped with all the energy around you, you’re giving more of yourself.
  • Having a big Spring game day is also important for recruiting – we want to show future players this is the coolest place to be. We want to get all the top prospects here and impress them.
  • Told Urban had around 58,000 fans at his first program. Mullen’s response, “So we need more… what’s the most ever?! Only 60k?! Well we got to beat that…
  • Brunson has a banged up shoulder but they expect him to finish Spring. Everyone else is good to go who have been thus far. Might protect some guys, but everyone should be able to go.



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