Notes from Dan Mullen’s Mid Week Press Conference (8/15/18)

Here are notes taken live during Dan Mullen’s press conference with the media on August 15th, 2018. News and notes are expected to cover the first couple 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:

  • Mullen starts off by admitting he missed the the conference yesterday to attend 1st grade with his daughter (then took her to Chik Fil A, which started a fun twitter discussion) – brought the reporters Chik Fil A for lunch as an apology for missing.
  • Scrimmage was ‘ok’ – a lot of fun to be in there in the Swamp again. Will be in there one more time.
  • Need to get mentally tougher. When things go well we do well because we have tons of talent. Need more confidence on offense. In body language and demeanor. Recalls when we scored a touchdown in. In 3 endzone plays we dropped the first pass, came up short on the 2nd play, and then scored on the 3rd and it was treated as a relief. Shouldn’t treat it as desperation but be confident in each play and opportunity. Be mad you didn’t score because someone else now gets to.
  • Got a lot of reps in and they have installed a lot of offense and defense already.
  • Younger guys need to learn that physical effort is important but having both mental and physical toughness is most important. Need to do things hard AND right.
  • Clement was very unselfish and helped the team out by taking a CB role in practice today, with DB depth lacking due to injuries. Not concerned yet.
  • QB’s are coming along. Also need to show the confidence in the offense, but realize they’re all learning. If one guy makes a mistake you should know exactly who made the mistake, not wonder if it was you. Know each play and decision. Coming along, but QB’s need to learn the game more. They can all light it up in 7 on 7, but adding those other elements changes everything in regards to how they play.
  • Will likely have a QB answer after the second scrimmage – though this will likely be kept to himself.
  • Insider linebacker depth is started to be built. Polite is a dynamic pass rusher. We have elite corners on the outside, so we’re helping them and everyone else learn every aspect of the game – be good at what you’re good at, but make sure. Vosean Joseph is great at making ‘special plays’ for example, but wants to make sure everyone can do everything to create great depth. Keeps everyone fresh. Wants to play 25-30 on defense each game. Wants to get to that point.
  • Malik Davis (asked about him) thinks he has a lot of finesse and is happy he’s looking healthy, but is still learning as well. Coming in behind because he physically couldn’t go in the Spring. He will definitely be ready for the season.
  • Was asked about situation at Maryland situation, in general. Wants to constantly ask if his own program is doing well, make sure everyone is on the same page and has the same expectations. It’s a big organization that Mullen wants to be involved in as much as he can, but always important to keep the standards high throughout.
  • Chauncey in a non-contact, but nothing to worry about.
  • Lenton will likely miss the season due to a torn Achilles. No other injuries have occurred that would expect players to miss any time outside of that.
  • Depth is incredibly important, especially in practice and camp. When you have legit 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s it means you create talent gaps in depth and it costs you on the field. But if you raise the skills of the 2’s then you can plug in more seamlessly and it forces the 3’s to improve to get on the field too. When everyone is play a lot of learning the same skills it keeps the team fresh through the game and season, and also makes practices more effective when you have good talent testing good talent.
  • Coach Gonzalez is going to play a lot of guys in a lot of spots to create good mismatches. We’ll have certain plays for certain players and even more plays where there will be multiple reads. Gonzalez’s skills have been at getting the right guys on the field at the right time.
  • Mullen admits he delegates a lot more. Not a screaming lunatic every single practice anymore. Trusts his coaches more, but that takes years of being together. Learning how to react and move forward. Learning how to make decisions that will help make the players better, make the program better, and get wins. That’s the focus.
  • Several things stood out to Mullen in regards to what needed to change when he got here. But it was less ‘changing things’ and more coming in and establishing new things. You have to put the effort in in all phases of the day, of the season, of the program to be a champion. You represent UF everywhere and forever and knows what he wants that to mean.
  • Asked about players at other schools selling Jordan brand clothes and being suspended. Mullen aggressively says they explain to players how those items given to them work and that it’s meant for them and them only. Hopes they want the memorabilia to hold onto and pass along to family in the future, but if they don’t want it they don’t have to take it. You can make arguments on both sides of the fence – you gave someone shoes, they should be able to do whatever they want with them. But that’s not the rules and we have to establish these items as privileges for being able to play for Florida and that is reserved only for those few and not sold to others. If a player is caught or there is any issue related the player will not only be suspended but will also receive no other items.
  • Learned that he can’t control every single aspect of the program. It’s impossible. So you have to hire and teach people you trust and then help them improve themselves, you, and the program. You have to let those people do it to be successful.
  • Asked about offensive-line – you can tell Mullen isn’t thrilled about it. Says the 2’s really need to come along much faster. Not upset with the 1’s, still thinks they need to continue to improve, but is mostly concerned with the depth behind them because they aren’t making the strides that he wants.
  • Feels good about the Center position. Lots of guys rotating through. Probably the most wide open position on the o-line (corrected from saying the entire team). But they also like getting multiple guys reps throughout anyway.
  • Guys are competing for reps more so than starting. The last play is sometimes more important than the first. All the spots are ‘open’ but when he says they are he means they are open for the most amount of reps. You earn your time on the field.
  • Would have thought he’d get something free from Chik Fil A for all the free publicity he’s giving them, but…

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