Disguise is the Name of the Game for Quinn

When talking to the different coordinators at Florida, you can get the sense that they're a part of the games as much as the players. Or, they would have you think so. Talking to offensive coordinator Charlie Weis or defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, they look as eager to match wits versus the opponent's staff as much as the players want to play. On defense, Quinn wants to be a master of disguise.

For Dan Quinn, someone who has coaches in the NFL for the last 12 years, he is used to having the ultimate warriors all across the field and on both sides of the ball, and depending on his and his staff's insight into the opponent to make a plan to win the game.

When you face a pass happy team like they do so many times in the NFL, your team has to be able to make life miserable and difficult for the quarterback on the other side of the line. At Florida, and especially in SEC play, it is all the same.

"Sometimes you hear me talk about affecting the quarterback," Quinn said Wednesday when talking to the Florida media. "In our rush we talk about hits on the quarterback and also there is a term called a ‘reset' where a quarterback has to move in the pocket reset his feet and then make a harder throw."

Gators want to 'affect' Tyler Bray on saturday.
Quinn knows the Gators have to use different concepts to confuse opponent offenses and knows he has to get more pressure from the outside than what he is getting.

"Some of it will be pressure, some with a four man rush," he said of mixing it up for the quarterback. "We certainly need to do a better job of collapsing the pocket from the outside in with our defensive ends. It is a huge emphasis for us and has been since I got here. For me, that's something I have done my most training in, so I am looking forward to helping develop the guys and push it along."

No doubt, these Gators haven't shown much of what they will be doing and that appears a great deal of making things appear different than they actually are. Some of the fun Quinn is looking forward to.

"Sometimes it might be just the disguise of a coverage where the quarterback has to wait just a little longer or the way we can bring a pressure on a guy," Quinn said. "In this week's matchup it is really about affecting the quarterback with our whole defense. It might be a linebacker blitzing or a safety showing one coverage and doing something different to affect the quarterback. Sometimes it is the mental pressure that you can put on, is it looking like pressure and then feels like coverage. Those are some of the games that you play as a defensive coach when you go against a talented offense.

"It is important each week and as we get into each game plan, things will change every week. It is certainly a part of our package all the time where we are playing one defense and showing the look of another. Most of the time, it's about affecting the quarterback prior to the snap. Give him one look and play something different.

"Usually there is a disguise. There is a predetermined plan on how you do it, but that is week to week and practice to practice. It is always the kind of battle that goes on between the offense and defense."

Quinn is certainly happy to have one of his stars back up front. Defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd has finished his two game suspension from the NCAA and it seems that Quinn is ready to utilize his talents in different places up front, maybe even more so as an interior lineman than on the end of the line of scrimmage.

Floyd should be ready to go.
"Anytime you have a guy with size and length to him… Sharrif is a big guy," Quinn started. "He has some speed to move and is a defensive tackle that can play defensive end. We line him up in multiple spots. He's a good technician and strong when he gets his hand on you, he is very heavy handed. He's a good inside pass rusher. We have been working him hard since I got here so I can't wait to watch him play.

Quinn also knows his teammates will be better off with Floyd as an anchor on that defensive line. "He's such an outstanding teammate and everyone is looking forward to having him out there," Quinn said of Floyd. "We missed not having him out there."

A mainstay so far in this young season has been sophomore Dominique Easley. Easley has been scrutinized by some for his dancing antics in between plays. Quinn doesn't have an issue with it.

"To me he brings a lot of energy to our defense," Quinn said of Easley. "That has certainly been brought up a lot, but I don't notice it as much as the next guy. He does bring a lot of energy and juice to the defense and I am anxious to watch him play this weekend."

One guy that needs to step up his game is BUCK or weak side defensive end Ronald Powell. Florida head coach Will Muschamp let it be known that he talked about Powell needing to step up his game and Quinn elaborated when asked about the comment from the head coach.

"It's the BUCK, a unique spot," Quinn noted letting folks understand that Powell has a lot to learn at the position. "It is the guy that can stand up and rush, play over a tight end, and really is one of our featured spots where we play him over the open side of the defense a lot. That guy is counted on to be one of our big rushers. "With Ronald, we are certainly looking for more production as a rusher and something we have been working really hard at through training camp and the start of the season. I am looking forward to seeing him develop and move forward in that way."

Quinn reiterated that it is the learning of the position that is making it tough on Powell, not his abilities at the position. He also thinks the light is about to come on for the athletic sophomore.

"I think it's a little bit of the system," Quinn said. "You are up in a three-point, you are down, and for him it is about feeling more comfortable and playing all the techniques. When you first start you can be so many different things it is hard to master something. Now that he has been in the system through the spring and two games under his belt, I think we will start to that production increase."

Jeremy Brown's status is still unknown.
Questions still remain whether or not Jeremy Brown will return for Saturday's contest. A knee injury has sidelined the sophomore cornerback since the second week of fall camp and he was projected as a starter. Quinn wants him back now.

"Jeremy looked good in the early part of the week," Quinn said. "He was out for so long. It was cool to get him back in and be back in the mix there. I think we will find out more as we get further on during the week and he gets through the whole week. We will make decisions from there.

Brown could certainly help with the biggest issue happening in the Gators young secondary. Sometimes the signals get crossed and the Gators are at risk for big plays. That could be deadly this week.

"When you are facing a really efficient offense like these guys, you have to be on point with communication," Quinn said. "When you are playing a certain coverage or technique it needs to be communicated real fast. If I had to put my finger on one thing as you (will go) through in a new system, that is something you always have to emphasize. Constant communication happens more at a defensive back position than if you and I are playing defensive tackle together."

In the end thought, Quinn says that turnovers remain the priority for this staff and what they are preaching to their young players.

"Affecting the quarterback is a big emphasis for us, but even more important than that is taking the ball away," he said. "Coach (Muschamp) and I have made a big emphasis on that. If I had to circle one area that needed the most improvement it would be taking the ball away."

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