Green Says Chemistry is Improved on OL

The offensive line will experience plenty of turnover going into the fall, but Chaz Green doesn't think there will be regression on the field. That's tough to expect after losing four contributors from last year's unit. The bond that Green expects to see on the offensive line this season actually started to be built last year on the second unit during practice.

The younger players had all of last season to watch the veterans work. Marcus Gilbert, Maurice Hurt, Carl Johnson and Mike Pouncey set the example on the practice field and in the weight room for the younger players to follow.

The players also grew close off the field. They spent a lot of time together off the field, and that has translated into chemistry for the unit this spring.

"We're a young group, but we're a close group, too," Chaz Green said. "We can pull from each other. We have real good chemistry. With the guys we've had, we were close last year."

Green has found his position at left tackle. That's where he spent almost all of practice during the fall as he took a redshirt. Green also had hernia surgery that kept him out four weeks, but he didn't allow it to hold down his ability to learn in the film room.

He was recruited to Florida as a left tackle, and that hasn't changed at any point since he came to campus.

"It's my most comfortable position," Green said. "I can play either of them, but left is where I'm the most comfortable."

Losing the coaching staff that recruited Green to Florida was tough, but the transition has come easier than expected. It's not hard for the offensive linemen to buy in to their position coach Frank Verducci because of the NFL pedigree he brings to Gainesville.

"He is a good coach," Green said. "I like Verducci a lot. He's a real good teacher and brings in NFL experience. He has some different techniques, and I liked Addazio too, but (Verducci) is a different coach. He knows a lot and has been around the game a while."

The new offense means new roles for the skill players, and one player that has received plenty of praise early is Chris Rainey. With injuries thinning out the depth chart at running back, Rainey has seen plenty of reps out of the backfield, as well as his time at the slot receiver as well.

Wherever he lines up on the field, Rainey is turning heads this spring.

"Our offense really fits him because he has got so much speed," Green said. "We've got some things to put him in one-on-one situations and space. It'll be good to use his athletic ability."

It's hard to find a player who should benefit from the change in offense more than quarterback John Brantley. After struggling in the spread, he has spent the spring under center in offensive coordinator Charlie Weis' pro-style offense.

The players are starting to notice his confidence returning.

"He has a strong feel for this offense, and it's good for him," Green said. "He has a year under his belt and is taking a leadership role a lot more. It's a new offense for all of us, and when he sees us getting off track, he just tells us to focus in because it's new to everybody."

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