Notes from Dan Mullen’s End of Week Press Conference (8/10/18)
Here are notes taken live during Dan Mullen’s press conference with the media on August 10th, 2018. News and notes are expected to cover the first two weeks of fall practice and the upcoming scrimmage. Apologies for any spelling errors or related – I’ll do my best to go back and correct later. Also the video is at the bottom of the page:
- One thing to note, Dan’s presser was scheduled for 10:10 AM EST but he was nearly 50 minutes late without reason.
- Classes are ending this week so now they can move ‘into the hotel’ and start to really focus on the season ahead.
- Practice effort has been good but they need to learn how to flip the switch to push things even further and become even tougher. Wants to be tougher at the end of the season than the start of it. See’s them trying to figure it all out.
- Asks himself jokingly ‘Hey Dan how are the QB’s’ – they’re coming along and part of it is learning the responsibility of being a QB and a leader at Florida and how to learn the little details. It takes time, but he has seen improvement in each one. A lot is going to be put on them in the coming weeks and then hone in on their true skills.
- Could a starting QB be name after Saturdays scrimmage? Maybe, but we want to be comfortable in the decision. It’s important for everyone to know their role so they prepare correctly.
- Corrected* Scrimmage is Sunday.
- In scrimmage Mullen wants to see guys make plays. This is an opportunity to show that a player cannot only do things the right way and the correct way, but also be able to make big plays on top of it.
- Will not release Copeland injury status or timeline. All injuries will be released after training camp.
- Biggest differences after pads put on? You get to watch them ‘finally’ play football. Has yet to see a day when he has had to get on the guys from the beginning. The NCAA doesn’t give them a lot of time to give rest periods with limited time. But we have still been able to attack practice.
- Message to players is to utilize that rest time wisely with doing school work, watching film, reading the playbook, etc. Recovery time is important and honestly mental rest is important too – they need to take breaks or take time away to focus so they can come back and ask questions. Wants to make sure they are resting players correctly so they can actually do all that they are asking of them.
- The players have a tough stretch of practices they will test them all a lot this week.
- Uses the off days to let the coaches catch up, stay fresh, and catch up on all missed film and to make any adjustments needed for the upcoming days.
- Things we do a good job rushing the passer. Things the defense does a great job celebrating big plays and having fun, which is really important. Likes that we play with the right swagger on that side of the ball. Need to stay physical every single snap and we need to keep seeing it. Especially from young guys, hustle is constant. They’re learning but that takes time too.
- Offensive line competition is ‘interesting’ – wants to create depth; who is our best 5, then our next group, then our next group. Thinks first group is coming along nicely but the second group has a lot of question marks and that’s where positions are up for grabs. The 3rd guy should be able to be the stater. We need at least eight starters on o-line and then build from there. The guard center spot is interesting with TJ and Heggie.
- Thinks tempo of offense is good, learning how to get up and snap the ball quick is crucial and going well for the group.
- Will have officials at scrimmages, but it won’t be super tight – mostly so they get used to having them there and seeing things. More eyes is better – sometimes the coaches are tougher on penalties than refs.
- Asked about Zuniga – thinks he could be great but just needs to keep learning how to be an every down player, in all ways but more so by giving that extra effort throughout the game. Needs to continue to grow and develop, but he has the potential.
- Retention of installation is ‘ok’ – he wishes it was a bit better, but not awful either and it’s improving. Realizes the entire team is learning together, but might be looking at it from an unrealistic view to think they would get it so quickly. Next year you expect it to be smooth and then the year after you expect perfection. Retention also makes a difference in terms of depth and who is learning or able to step in. You want those guys to rotate year to year to keep things smooth.
- Likes how running backs are running the ball. Tight ends are making plays on offense. Receivers are making good down the field plays. Defensive side of the ball, edge guys on defense are VERY athletic. Doesn’t like calling guys out too much either way – feels like it’s a jinx sometimes (tells Rick Wells joke about catching and dropping balls in practice). Really wants consistency in everyone.
The hot takeaway is that we’re still slowly learning and Dan is clearly tempering expectations a bit – have a great weekend Gator Nation!