McElwain getting comfortable

While players and administrators continue to get used to Jim McElwain, the Florida head coach is starting to get his bearing in Gainesville.

Closing in on the four-month mark as the head coach, the big change for McElwain is he doesn’t have to ask for directions around the building anymore. The Florida coach joked after Wednesday’s practice that his first few months were filled with moments where he needed to ask for directions around the football facility.

After one of his first press conferences this spring, McElwain asked a sports information employee what the best way would be for him to exit the Gator Room and get back to his office.

“It’s still a whirlwind every day,” McElwain said with a grin. “I can’t say that it isn’t, and yet, I’m starting to get more comfortable because I’m starting to get to know the players a little bit. It sounds really stupid, but I know what doors to go through to get (around). That sounds bad, but there's a lot of that. I have to ask people all the time.”

His nightly checklist continues to reveal what the Gators need to accomplish through spring, but he’s still getting accustomed to living in Gainesville. McElwain hasn’t purchased a house and joked that he’d love to get settled in to his future residence at some point when they buy one, but the off field worries aren’t his biggest concern now. He’s trying to get the most he can out of his team over the final week and a half of spring practice.

“Every day, the checklist you make the night before on the things that you were able to accomplish and yet the list seems to grow as we move forward,” McElwain said. “Yet from a comfort standpoint, it's good. I'll be excited to get kind of moved into a house and some of those kind of things that have nothing to do with the football part, but the football part has been good. And that's a credit to these players.”

After ripping his team on Monday for a lackadaisical practice, the Florida coach was happy with what he saw on Wednesday. The team responded to the frustration of the coaching staff with a good day.

“We bounced back and did have a heck of a practice today,” McElwain said. “I thought especially in our situations, we worked two-minute, end-of-the-game, hit a field goal to push it into overtime. We worked overtime as well for the first time. It's the first time we worked goal line, just through goal-line situations. That was really good.

“There will be a lot of really good film work. What I'm searching for tomorrow is our guys really taking from the situational film. We're going to start stacking some things, and tomorrow's going to be huge for us in the meeting rooms as we're going forward. The message to them today was 'let's go ahead and win the meeting tomorrow.' That's what we've got to do, kind of one step at a time and let's get a little bit better."

INJURY REPORT: Tight end DeAndre Goolsby was out of practice with a left knee bruise, but it didn’t sound series. McElwain said his rule is that players sit out until 100 percent healthy, and Goolsby wasn’t on Wednesday.

Running back Adam Lane returned to practice Wednesday after McElwain said that he was “falling behind” when he met with the media on Monday.


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