GAINESVILLE, Fla.-- Florida head coach Jim McElwain did not mince words. McElwain did not approve of Thursday's practice and he expects more in the scrimmage. He discusses expectations, injuries and more .
did not mince any words during Friday's press conference. With 10 practices in the books, it's simple he expects the Gators to do better. According to the Florida
head coach, the team had strung together decent practices and workouts, and he left impressed after Tuesday's practice. On Wednesday, the team was allowed to step back, watch video and truly analyze their situation. But Thursday's practice was a different story.
"I’ll be honest, Thursday morning’s practice was unacceptable," he said. "We were not firing on all cylinders. It was the first real day that we had sunshine, heat, humidity, all that kind of stuff, which simply put you can use that as an excuse."
Although he was overall disappointed in the team's performance, it wasn't every body that faltered. "We had some guys play their tails off through it," he said. However, as a team the expectations were not met.
“Our issue is we had some guys we need to step up start to endure the practice, whether it’s counting reps, woe is me, feeling sorry for themselves rather than fighting through. What it’s going to take to help yourself get better. I was a little disappointed, quite frankly. It was the expectation or the standard that we expect for us to be successful," he said. "There are some areas that we need to get better at and let know. Now you’re going to ask what those are. Well, we’re going to find out. I’ll see if they learned."
- G Antonio Riles (knee) is out and has yet to have surgery - they are waiting for the swelling to go down.
- DB Quincy Lenton (foot) will be out for approximately 5-8 weeks after injurying his foot in simialr way that Brandon Powell had done, according to McElwain. Lenton has already has surgery.
- DB C.J. McWilliams (knee) is out and like Riles has not yet had surgery.
- WR Tyrie Cleveland (hamstring)
- WR Rick Wells (hamstirng)
- DB Chauncey Gardner (Hamstring)
- P Jacob Finn (appendectomy)
- Alex Anzalone and Martez Ivey (both shoulder) will both be limited during the scrimmage on Friday, however, McElwain is very pleased by Anzalone's speedy recovery. "Anzalone's taking actually probably more than what we anticipated and yet his strength level is there," said McElwain. "He's actually been stronger than anywhere he's been at that time."
Clearing the air
According to McElwain, Tuesday evening's practice was a stark contrast to Thursday morning's. However, there were reports that there were fights that broke up among the team, but those were quickly brushed aside.
"You obviously haven't grown up in Montana," joked McElwain. "Guys were getting after each other a little bit. So here's usually what happens in that situation: one guy's going harder than the other, the other guy gets his tail whupped and then he's got to get up and bark. That's really what it was. It wasn't anything (more than that). But the piece of the competition, that was the level at which we need to practice, although certain periods during the practice -- team run, they put 35 guys in the box, I don't care, put them all in there. You've got to learn how to go get it. There's certain periods like that that have to have a certain level of competition that you can't take no for an answer."
Action Speaks Louder
A lot has been said about Jalen Tabor
and the attention that surrounds the top cornerback. Tabor once again grabbed headlines on Thursday when he went on the Paul Finebaum show to talk about the rivalry game between Tennessee and UF. According to McElwain, he isn't worried about censoring his players, especially Tabor, who puts action behind his words.
"I love the guy. He's a guy who cares. He's a guy who has really invested in himself. I think he's grown up immensely as far as how he's going about his business," he said.
Until the official starter has been named, the quarterback question will continue to persist, however, McElwain has been pleased from what he has seen from the group.
The quarterback battle "has been pretty good," he said.
Could a public announcement in regards to the start be on the cards?
"I look into the next scrimmage, the next big scrimmage, which will be next Friday. We want it to be determined after that for sure, especially going in because then you are starting game prep, and if those positions aren’t clear, then we will put a plan together to make sure we get game time situations at all of the spots as we go forward.”
The Gators will have a Friday scrimmage to see how the team stacks up in more game like situations.
"We’re into practice 10 and this is an important moving day for a lot of guys to kind of see where we’re at, especially from an operation, from the sidelines, guys in the box, all those type of things," said McElwain. "From a scrimmage standpoint the operation itself, making sure we get into situations that stress the plan and I’m looking to put a lot of those into today’s scrimmage. Not only for the players but for the staff as well so we can kind of get together, coordinate some of those things that come up, try to create as many different scenarios as we can."
The Gators head coach adds he hopes this scrimmage will allow the staff to really look at the depth chart, referring to the scrimmage "as moving day." It is a chance for plauers to move up or down on the chart.
On Mark Herndon's Value to team:“When we first got here he didn’t go through spring ball and all that. And then when he got here you could see him dragging it a year ago. This guy goes about his business the right way and he’s set a tone for that running back group..but this guy’s going to be called on for a lot of different things, not only on offense but obviously on special teams. And this team has a lot of respect for him.”