Powell Confident in This Team

Preseason is all about hype and sales. Everyone believes they can win it all. Everybody starts out on even footing and once the games begin, the players are separated from the pretenders. There is always a confidence around, but this year it seems a bit different for Florida and real. The Gators aren't picked to win everything, instead, they are supposed to struggle. Ronald Powell is confident.

Ronald Powell will be one of the focal points of the Florida defense in the 2011 season opener this Saturday. The sophomore 6-4, 245 pound BUCK is playing a hybrid position that has been one of the big talks of the offseason in new head coach Will Muschamp's first year.

Powell believes this team can do some things. "We are definitely up and coming," he said. "We definitely have a lot of talent. There are a lot of things we can get better at, but that is with every team."

With the high energy and positive vibe of the preseason, Powell also knows he has some things he needs to improve at. Everything so far has been much better for him than things were a year ago.

"There are some things I can work on as a player, you know some technique stuff," he said. "I have been working hard and trying to step up as a leader and bonding with my teammates. It has definitely been a better experience for me."

As far as his position goes, he does want to see how opponents attack him.

"I am anxious to see how they slide and protect against me, how they game plan against me, or if they are going to cut back on me," he said.

He also isn't ready to make the BUCK position to be the be all end all on the team. It is the play of group that matters.

"On the field, every position is key," he said. "We all work together and it takes all of us. If I don't have my safety coming down behind me, I can't do what I have to do. If I go outside and he isn't filling that B-Gap, then things are going to break down."

That team concept has made his fellow defenders depend on each other and work off of each other to actually work harder on and off the field. When someone isn't pulling their weight, this team is expecting someone to speak up and get after them.

"That is the standard for us," he said. We know the coaches are going to say something, but the team is going to take control and pick it up. If I am working hard then the guy next to me is going to work hard, then the guy next to him is going to work hard. It is kind of like a downhill effect.

"(Right now) the guys are coming in and really getting focused. There are a lot less mental errors and guys are just working hard."

We will finally get to see if all of this teamwork is paying off. All of it goes out the window because it is game week and Powell knows his guys are pumped to play against someone and in The Swamp on Saturday.

"Guys are going to be real excited," he said. "I am very excited. I am excited to see what we are capable of doing. I know we are going to do really good things this year. I just can't wait to see guys come together and be a team."


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