VETTEL: One-on-one with Coach Dan Mullen, part 2

Today we wrap up my conversation with incoming Gator QB Coach Dan Mullen. We talk about the Gators and Canes, the Utes and Panthers… and Head Coach Urban Meyer.

Vettel: Dan, give us a feel for your boss. What's Urban like and how will people in Gainesville like having him around?

Mullen: He's an intense guy, and he's a winner. One of the things you'll see, his intensity carries over to the assistant coaches and it carries over on his team. He demands a certain way his team is going to be coached and that they're going to perform on the field. The people in Gainesville, next year when on Saturdays when they come into The Swamp, they're going to see a team that plays a hundred miles an hour. It's a team that plays hard on offense, plays hard on defense and plays great special teams. A team that plays as hard as possible with great, disciplined football 'cuz that's the kind of guy he is. He's a family guy, a great, friendly guy, but I mean when it's time to turn that switch and go he's one of the most intense people you're ever going to meet and he's going to demand that of the team. Every kid that has played for him has a tremendous amount of respect for him and they love to play for him and that's why we've been able to be so successful.

Vettel: It seems those of us in the media define coaches as either disciplinarians or players coaches. Urban really backed away from that label, so tell me how you go about the process of being tough demanding and intense while still making it a blast all at once?

Mullen: I always relate it, like we're a football family. You know there's going to be times when you come home and your dad, and Urban's kind of the dad of this family, there are times he's going to come over and give you a big hug. But there's also times he's the one who has to come over and kick you square in the ass. Those are the deals that he's gonna bring. You have that family atmosphere and he's got to keep it that way. That's his role on the team that he's going to demand the best out of you every day and is probably going to be as hard on our players as anyone they will ever meet. But at the end of the day, he's going to be able to give 'em a big hug and they're gonna know that he really cares about them and he loves the players on the team. That's the way he runs the program and that's the way he's going to do it. I know all our assistants will be the same way. I've always had the quarterbacks over to my house all the time. You have great, close personal relationships with all of them, but they know you're going to demand the absolute best out of them when it comes right down to it.

Vettel: Talk to me about the Fiesta Bowl matchup with Pittsburgh and what it'll be like to finish off a 12-and-oh season.

Mullen: To give you an idea, two years ago I went out to do some Christmas shopping when I was here for the first time and asked where do you go to get some good Utah gear. And they said, well the bookstore… but it was closed and they said well, maybe you could find a T-shirt at one of the sporting good shops in the Mall. Well, I went into the Mall today and they got Utah flags everywhere and Fiesta Bowl stuff for sale at every single store so the excitement around this town has been unbelievable. If we go out there and do what we've done all year and play Coach Meyer's style of football and play hard, disciplined football we have a great chance of coming out with a perfect season.

Vettel: Most people have all kinds of fun plans for New Year's Eve, but I suspect yours will be spent in front of a TV set watching Florida/Miami.

Mullen: I'll watch that game, and then afterwards I'll probably just stare at the game plan making sure I have all the calls set and all the personnel set so we're ready to go the next day. I'll be honest with you, I'm kind of a football nut and I can't think of a better way to spend a New Years Eve than sitting and watching a football game.

Vettel: Would you mind explaining that to my wife when you get to Gainesville?

Mullen: I'm getting married next July and luckily for me I have a fiancée who also loves football and can't wait to get down there as well.

Vettel: Well Dan thanks for joining us we look forward to getting to know you when you get to Gainesville and good luck finishing off that perfect season against Pittsburgh.

Mullen: Thanks, I can't wait to get down there and see everybody and get things cranked up and I can't wait to see a Gator victory in the Peach Bowl.

From The E-Mail Bag

Mike writes: You are way off base when you say Fason had no choice… being a first round pick is extremely important to sticking in the NFL. For a back that has never played a full game without limping off the field, another year in school would serve Fason well. So would a college degree. These kids just should not leave without a first round rating.

I suppose, in a perfect world, guys would be able to get drafted and then decide whether or not they are happy with the financial offer before they give up their college eligibility. Baseball players have that right, but football and basketball players don't. I believe Ciatrick's obligation to his wife and children increases the incentive for leaving. Plus it is doubtful he can afford the injury insurance policy that another year in college would necessitate.

Running backs have the shortest careers in the NFL on average, so once you are ready--- go for it. I expect Ciatrick to go middle of round two, and that should be worth between $ 3.2 and $ 3.5 million over five years with a little less than half up front.

The selfish part of me never wants to see guys turn pro… shoot, I'm still ticked I never got to see Kwame Brown in the O'Dome. I'll always wonder how good Emmitt who have looked in Spurrier's offense or how good the 2001 hoops team could have been with Mike Miller and Donnell Harvey.

But if some level of financial security is reasonably assured, I can't argue with their decisions.

Merry Christmas!

Keep those emails coming!

Don't forget to email me your questions and comments, but please do not include attachments! My email address is: vettel@gatorcountry.com .

I look forward to you joining me on the radio, Sunday nights from 6:00-to-8:00 on Gainesville's WSKY-FM 97.3 (877/975-9825 toll free)

Have a great week.


Fightin Gators Top Stories