Notes from Dan Mullen’s Media Day Press Conference (8/2/18)

Here are notes taken live during Dan Mullen’s press conference with the media on August 2nd, 2018. News and notes are expected to cover the start of fall practice and the quickly approaching season. Apologies for any spelling errors or related – I’ll do my best to go back and correct later:

  • Knows everyone enjoyed family time but are excited to get back out there. Coach Savage has prepared the players mentally
  • Tre Grimes and Van Jefferson have been officially cleared by the NCAA to play. Getting a final result from the SEC office on Jefferson, but they expect no problems there.
  • Can’t wait for the first game – have been feeling the excitement and are ready to get things kicked off and going. Questions –
  • Thoughts on Coach Meyer? Sent him a text that he and his family are in their prayers but has really just seen the headlines. Focused on training camp in Gainesville, but our prayers are with his family as they go through it as the families are close. Haven’t seen enough about it and doesn’t have enough information to have a formed opinion. Those situations, regardless of where they are happening, are sad and hard to handle on all fronts. Look at it how to prepare himself as a coach.
  • Urban has a strict code of conduct, what is the current policy at Florida. Believes we hold the same conduct at Florida and will continue to. Domestic violence has become a major problem today and something we have no tolerance for. One thing he has learned is that we are in an ‘immediate’ information and decision age, where we need to sometimes gather information before making a quick decision or opinion.
  • Megan (his wife) is involved a lot in the players lives on a day to day basis. Whether it’s situations with staff members, players personal lives, and other things. Everyone becomes a family so they are all close with the wives and kids, making them an important support system for the program.
  • In response to ‘Tay Bang’ incident, he believes we have to focus on decision making for these young men and why it’s important to do the right thing and make good decisions. We look at each case independently in terms of suspension or punishment. Sometimes GDP does that, sometimes the University, and sometimes it’s us who determine standing. Game day is when we would announce any suspensions ahead of games, in general.
  • Players mentioned feeling threatened during the ‘Tay Bang’ incident and question is around the coaches response to that. Eludes to the fact that players may have a unique target on their back because of their status as football players at a major university. Needs to rise above the problems that people may try and cause around that and make better decisions.
  • A football question, finally!!! Mullen wants to have a quarterback sooner than later in the process and ideally is making a clear cut decision. Will not put a time table on that since you have to be confident in that decision, but knows things need to define themselves first around the team and the players.
  • Asked if Urban incident reminds coaches they are held to higher standards than just on the football field. Thinks most coaches know they are in the public eye. All should know it’s about teach young men about life and not just processing football players. Making a positive impact on someone’s life will always outweigh the desire to win, which is incredibly strong and important.
  • When he started at Mississippi State he wanted to develop a consistency in performance throughout the program first. You look back and you have two recent 4 win seasons and two East championships. That shows we have a lack of consistency in the program here and that needs to change. Mullen admits he’s trying to figure out where our bar is and needs to be to get to a championship level. It could be there was an investment in certain teams and not the overall program. I expect to compete for a championship with this team this year, but also need to help get the program on track as a whole.
  • Excited to find out how the quarterbacks have worked this Summer and to see who has put the real time. Hopeful it’s a heated battle
  • Nick Savage has done a good job not only building big guys and giving them good things to do, but has also got them mentally tough and together that translates to the field.
  • Thinks we have a lot of excitement around the program in terms of recruiting right now and thinks that will build when we compete in games. Realizes a lot of kids haven’t seen how we run plays, but know the Gator Standard. Feels good with where we’re at right now.
  • Coaches are going to put the defense in positions to be successful. We have a young defense to adapt around. We also have some guys who have played in tough environments where we want guys to get out there and make plays. Believes defense is #1 and to be a championship level team you have to play great defense. We will do that.
  • Does Franks have the tangibles they need to fit what Dan wants? He’s learning those things and thinks he never got them early on so needs to learn. He’s growing him into the leadership role that he is striving for. Emory is learning it and Kyle does a good job. Thinks that all the guys want to be ‘first’. Knows they all need to grow vocally, which he hopes they will when they get more comfortable.
  • Thinks Franks has the ability to make big plays (asked specifically about him) but needs to do all the ‘non’spectacular’ things too. And more importantly needs the quarterback to do that consistently. He has the skills to do it but needs to show he can to be successful.
  • Has a no weapons policy, but knows it’s the right of people to own them. We educate on them and his biggest concern is making sure that people who choose to own guns are properly trained to use them. Has a general ‘no guns’ policy to avoid confusion of actual rules using them. Obviously knows they have rules that are specific but wants to keep it simple.
  • Need to live up to the standard of the University as well as the standards of the team as players. Evaluate each person to make sure they are doing the best to help them learn.
  • Says Grantham is passionate and has great intensity. Likes that he brings an edge and hype to that side of the ball. Has coached at all levels so knows how to get the most out of different players. Has tremendous knowledge front to back. Knows both the front and back end of the ball and can zero in on details to improve in game. Has great overall knowledge.
  • Always concerned with players making good decisions always, regardless of situation they are in. Test them on making good decisions and eventually better decisions based on experiences. It’s not something you know happens over night, but you have to keep educating them.
  • Expect everyone to participate in practice. May have a couple people in non-contact, but everyone will participate.
  • Wants to make sure that the technical side of the ball is perfected and, with that, we are the toughest team on the football field every time. No matter what he wants to be confident that we have not been outworked every Saturday.
  • Will put schemes and plays in very quickly as camps begins. Knows that he needs to make sure everyone knows the details in his head, especially since it is the first Fall with this staff and group all together. Has expectations but will make sure everyone gets to that level.
  • Toney and others need to keep being educated on what the decisions they have made or are going to make can effect them. How to do we improve their decision making is the focus. Very rarely will make a judgement on one line or one article or one quote. Need to get the full picture first.
  • Not concerned with players associating with ‘gamblers’. We, as a program, would look into that but it’s not something that is a concern right now to them as coaches or with the players.
  • We looked into everything in regards to the ‘Tay Bang’ situation and have not found anything of additional concern.
  • Both Keovannis Davis and Justin Watkins have moved on from our program and will no longer be joining us moving forward.
  • No matter the sources or credibility of sources we always have our compliance department look into a situation, almost always and more than mot probably know.
  • Anytime you have a close friend go through a situation, just like one that Urban is going through, you do hope the best for them and that the situation is resolved quickly.
  • Doesn’t have a floor or a ceiling for a program. As the team goes, winning the game will always be most important even though scoring as many points as possible is a focus for him. Scoring 1 more point than the other team is what will always matter the most.
  • Really didn’t get to see Florida play much in recent years so can’t comment too much on their offensive struggle. Obviously knows the expectations for him will be to score a lot more and have an offense that will win games.
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