Bits & Bites from Saturday

Hear from Ron Zook, Larry Fedora, Chris Leak, Markell Thompson and others about Saturday's practice session.

Sophomore QB Chris Leak on Saturday's practice, and, its tempo: "One of the things that we've been working on is keeping the tempo up…and, trying to get better, trying to get a lot of reps, and, learning our plays. You've got to have timing. We're working on attacking the defense, which is the biggest thing right now."

Leak on what to get done by the end of spring practice: "We still have got to get sharper on our assignments. We want perfection. That's what we're shooting for. We're not going to be satisfied until we get it."

Leak on ‘play action' and fakes:"You get the linebackers hooked up…and, it looks so much clearer downfield. And, it helps the receivers to get open also."

Offensive Coordinator & WR Coach Larry Fadora on Saturday's practice: "I think we need more and more reps. --- we've got a lot of young guys in there. They're getting more reps…and, feeling a little bit better about what they're doing. They know their assignments a little bit more solidly. So, when you do that, you know your assignments…and, now, you know you can play. If not, you're confused and you don't play hard."

On the tempo of Saturday's practice: "It's something we've been emphasizing all spring. Until you establish that tempo with those players, where they understand that tempo, you know, it's hard to get it. I think they're starting to get closer to where we want them to be. I don't think they held it the whole scrimmage, though. That's something we've got to do."

-On what needs to be done before the end of spring practice: "We're practicing Tuesday. We've got to be better Tuesday than we were today…and, better Wednesday than we are Tuesday. As long as we keep building and getting better each day, then, we'll be happy with where we're going."

On Junior TE Markell Thompson: "No doubt (he's doing better). You saw him at the first practice…and, where he is today. He's gotten better everyday. A lot of that has to do with feeling more comfortable at the position, a little bit more comfortable with what he's doing, and, understanding his rules. Once he feels more comfortable, you get to see the athletic ability come out. David Kenner has done some better things, too. And, Darrell Carpenter always is very solid with everything we ask him to do."

Gators Head Coach Ron Zook on Saturday's practice: "I wanted to get in more plays. We're nicked up on defense a little bit. We still got in quite a few plays. But, I think, as I told them…we're better today than we were last Saturday. I think the offense is beginning to get into the tempo that we want…and, the mode that we want. We made some plays. It's hard. You want the defense to maintain the level that they were playing at." Coach Zook also said that Sophomore LB Channing Crowder has a groin pull (and, that a few other guys are hurting a bit). Crowder dressed on Saturday, but, didn't play. "If it was a game, they'd probably play. But, I don't think there's any reason to force them to play."

On Chris Leak's progression: "Everything's smoother for him. There's less thinking on his part…there's more reacting. He's able to react and let his God-given ability take over." Coach Zook also said that, "Leak is better than he's performed. He's pretty good. But, the more football you play, the older you get…you're going to be a better football player when you're 22 than you are at 20. We don't have time. We have got to accelerate their learning curve. And, I think for the most part, we have."

On the RB's so far this spring: Coach Zook said that he thinks DeShawn Wynn, Ciatric Fason, and Skyler Thornton are better than what they are showing this spring. "That's our job to get them to play at the level they can play at. For them to reach their goals, and us, they need to play at the level that they can play at. If we expect them to be ‘here' --- (as he raised his hand above his head to show what level, so to speak, to be at) ---- they may not be ‘there', but, they're going to be at a level we can all be happy with. In my opinion, I think they're better than what they've showed. They're pretty good. They're good enough. But, I think our job as coaches is to make them play up to their potential. Neither one of them know their potential. They just know they're pretty good. I think it's up to us to make sure that we get them up to their potential. I think they're better than what they're performing…and, they're performing pretty good.

Junior TE Markell Thompson on Saturday's practice: "It went fine today. The team played well…the offense played well. We came together. We're starting to get it together pretty good now. I think everybody's coming along real well. D.K. (David Kenner) had some good blocking. Darrell Carpenter made a nice catch. I made a nice catch. We're all molding together."

On getting familiar with his teammates: "As long as the team is helping me, I'll be fine." said Thompson, adding that he communicates with the O-Line, the quarterbacks, and the wide receivers. "They help me find out what I'm supposed to do. As long as we've got that communication, everybody's going to be all right."

On the importance of blocking: "It's very important. You've got to have a running game, as well as a passing game, to be a well-effective offense. I think we've got that."

Sophomore Punter Eric Wilbur on his spring fling: "Coach Zook has already told me that he's not afraid to put someone else in there. You see Nick Brooks in there (practicing punting), and, he's doing a great job. I'm just trying to work my hardest to get back. What I'm doing now, is not burning myself out…kicking a million balls. I'm coming out and doing drills…working on my drops, and my leg swing."

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Trivia Answer from Friday's question: Former Gator QB Kerwin Bell was the 180th pick by Miami Dolphins in the 7th round of the 1988 NFL Draft.

Today's Trivia Question: What two teams drafted former Gator Half Back Lindy Infante in 1963? (Hint: one NFL team and one AFL team).

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