Shannon has one focus until Monday

The general consensus among most that follow the Florida Gators is that Randy Shannon is the most likely replacement for departed defensive coordinator Geoff Collins. Listed as co-Defensive Coordinator on the official staff roster, head coach Jim McElwain has named him the defensive coordinator for the Outback Bowl versus Iowa. That is all he is worried about at the moment.

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Shannon has been a coach at all levels in college and even a positional coach in the NFL. No doubt he has aspirations to climb the ladder back to a head coaching job. Some may think this is a rehearsal for the job as they face a tough hard-nosed Iowa team on January 2, but Shannon‘s focus is solely on trying to beat the Hawkeyes.

“I don’t even think about it, to be honest with you,” Shannon said shortly after practice on Saturday. All I can do is worry about this game, worry about these guys on this football team. Worry about the University of Florida. That’s one of our biggest major things as a coaching staff, what we can do at the University of Florida to get this win against Iowa.”

McElwain has made it a point with Shannon to just concentrate on what he has to do to win this game and all of the other things that are usually involved with the coordinator position will be taken care of by others.

“Just coordinator for this game, stuff like that, just getting ready,” Shannon said of the head coach’s emphasis with him and this game. “The biggest thing we have to worry about is this game. I can’t worry about being coordinator or the things that they’re probably going to ask about — like which juniors are coming back. I can’t worry about that, we can’t worry about that as a team. The guys right now are practicing hard. They’re practicing well and giving it their all the whole time we’ve been here and when we were at home. That’s all you can expect from these guys.”

He has approached the game as a defensive CEO. Mark DeBastiani has stepped in to coach linebackers for the contest and that allows Shannon to be more hands on across the whole unit.

“You bounce around as a coordinator,” he said. “I bounce around from the corners sometimes, sometimes with the safeties and sometimes the linebackers and a little bit with the d-line. As a coordinator I’ve coached them all in my lifetime, I bounce around and work with each group since I’ve been doing the coordinator job.”




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