Zook Speaks About Spring

Florida Head Coach Ron Zook speaks about Channing Crowder, Jarvis Herring, Chad Jackson and a whole lot more.

On Thursday's practice:
"I didn't want to just go out there and beat them up. But, we wanted to get a lot of plays in…and, we ended up getting in a lot of plays. Without getting anybody nicked-up, we went short yardage and goal line, which was ‘live'. It's hard…they got a little sloppy here. But, I thought it was more important to get in plays, than go out here and try to beat people up. I was pleased the way it turned out."

On the team so far this spring:
"I feel good about the consistency…as a football team. The consistency is going to be important. It's going to be important that we can't play a couple plays great, and, a little bit of that's ‘spring'. You're doing a lot of things. We probably have more offense and defense in than you would ever have in a game. They're accountable…responsible for everything. Sometimes, that's hard. But, I think, for the most part, we've accomplished the things we wanted to accomplish. On Friday, we'll practice…and, get something out of it…and, get something out of Saturday (in the Orange & Blue Game). I don't think there's any question that this football team is much improved, just like it was a year ago. Everybody thought I was ‘left of center' last year, when I said that I thought that the team would be better than the previous year. And, I think this team is going to be better than the last year."

On getting in more plays during spring practice:
"It depends on how much time you take in-between plays. The less time you take in-between plays, the more plays you're going to get. Of course, the down-side to that is the faster the defense is on the field, too. I think it's the tempo. It's a lot easier to slow down than it is to speed up. Once you get into the ‘speed up' tempo and be able to go fast, you can always slow down. But, I don't think you can go into the fall and say that we're going to be a ‘speed up' offense. Because, if you don't work it…if you're players don't have an understanding…it's just like on defense. If you don't talk about…if you don't practice disguising defenses and disguising the coverages, it's not going to happen. You have to practice it (speeding up)." Coach Zook also said that it doesn't have to do with running or passing more).

On Sophomore LB Channing Crowder's pulled groin, and, his chances of playing in the O & B Game:
"There's a good chance (he won't play). I don't want to take a chance (of hurting it worse). I don't think it's a serious thing. In fact, they did an MRI on it. Sometimes, if a guy's has got a nick like that…you know, he's protecting that, and, something else happens. I don't think it's worth risking that."

On the depth of the LB's:
"Depth is always a concern. That may be one spot that the guys who come in need to be ready to go."

Coach Zook also said that some other players won't see action on Saturday…including, Freshman DE Julian Riley, Senior OL Tavares Washington, and Sophomore RB DeShawn Wynn. He said that Sophomore CB Nick Brooks should play.

On the WR's:
"You can't buy experience. There's nothing you can do to put them in that situation. There's no way of…you know, the emotion…how they think under pressure…when somebody's beating on them…and, the only way they can do that is on the field. So, (experience) is invaluable."

On the secondary:
"(They're) continuing to improve. And, I think, by the time we line up in September, we're going to be fine."

On new Secondary Coach Dan Disch:
"He's doing fine. I think when you go into a new situation…you know, I've been in that situation that he's been in several times…and, he's done a great job. He really has. He's come in and is a good football coach, just like I knew he would be. He's demanding…and, coaches in a way that we want them (the team) coached. He's brought a lot of new ideas to the table, too, that we talk about. He's going to be fine."

On Junior FS Jarvis Herring:
"I said the other day that Jarvis is having an excellent spring. I'm really proud of him and happy the way he's come in…and, not only played well, but, assumed a leadership role. I think Daryl Dixon did a great job in teaching those guys how to be a leader. And, they're kind of following his example.

On Sophomore DB Terrance Holmes:
"I think ‘Hot Tamale' (Holmes' nickname) is doing a great job. He's a very smart kid. He's got like a 3.25 GPA. You can tell…he doesn't make the same mistake twice, and, he's feeling better and better about it. He's going to play an awful lot of football for us."

On Sophomore QB Gavin Dickey:
"We want to get Gavin in. You'd like to have every spring, but, he's important to the baseball team. And, he wants to play baseball. I think it's important that he has that opportunity (to play both football and baseball). But, on the same token, he knows that we need him on this football team as well. He's a ‘team' guy…and, he's going to do what's best for the University of Florida."

On Sophomore WR Chad Jackson:
"He's going to get better and better. "He's going to be all that we thought he's going to be."

On the RB's:
"I think it remains to be seen on Saturday. It's kind of hard to tell out here (at practice). Of course, DeShawn Wynn has got a sore foot. He didn't go today (on Wednesday). I don't know if he's going to be able to go Saturday or not. But, I think, they're be fine. I really do."

On Junior TE Markell Thompson:
"Two years ago, with Aaron and Ben, it was much easier…because, we we're putting a whole system in. It was new for everybody. So, obviously, we didn't go as fast. (This spring), he's kind of gotten a ‘double whammy', because, we kind of picked up where we left off. So, he's had to learn the whole thing in a short period of time…and, getting better and better."

On Sophomore LB Howard Lingard:
"He has made some progress. And, that's good to see, because, he's a talented guy. If he stays straight and does the things he's supposed to do, he's got a good chance to be a good football player."

On Junior DB Vernell Brown returning punts and kick-offs:
"He's done excellent (this spring). He was the back-up guy last year. We haven't worked as much on the catching part or return part, as much as the blocking and the return technique…and, those kinds of things. He had a couple of punt returns last year, and, did a nice job."

On who else will get to return kick-offs:
"I think Dee Webb is going have a chance to be in the mix back there on kick-off returns…along with Jemalle Cornelius. "Bubba" Andre Caldwell's a guy you'd like to be able to do it, and, Chad Jackson, both. Chad had a couple last year. "Bubba" has done it, but, he didn't do very well the last time he was in there. But, he's a guy that can run…is strong…is big. You'd like to have a big guy back there if you can."

On the offensive scheme compared to last year:
"There are not a lot of changes. We've tweaked some things, and, we did some things that we felt like we needed to do…which, you always do with your personnel….to make the system more compatible to your personnel…and, they've picked up on it."

On getting to ‘know' the players:
"Every offense and defense, even in the National Football League…because, they have a 30% turnover rate…you know, your system has to be flexible that you can make the changes that you have to make and adapt to the personnel you have. I think that's why you see teams continue to improve. You learn the players and the players learn the coaches. Not only do they learn the system, but, you're able to do some things that can make it better for them (the whole team). Just because one particular player can do one thing, doesn't mean another player can do exactly the same thing. I think once you know people, the more you're around people, and, you see them under pressure, and so forth…the more you know them, I think the biggest thing is that you know what they can do. I think coaching is trying to put your players in positions where they can be successful. They know what they're good at. They know what they're best at. And, they also know that there are going to be some things they're going to have to do that's not their best thing. That's why you always talk about working on your weaknesses, and so forth. The more you get to know people…the more you get to know the players, you know how they respond, and, you know what they do the best."

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