The rest of the coaches came in little earlier than I did. I got in town in the middle of the week. I'd been out on the road actually twice recruiting before I ever saw Gainesville.
What do you tell recruits when you haven't even seen Gainesville?
Well that's kind of tricky to be honest with you. I think the young men that we're recruiting understand about Florida football first of all, what it entails and the tradition-rich family history Florida brings to young men. It's an easy sell, still, I mean Florida sells itself. We're trying to get after the guys that we want to bring in for the offensive and defensive systems we'll be playing with.
Have you watched enough video to get a feel for the receivers already here?
I'm still in the process of that and I think that's important, but the main thing for me right now is recruiting. You're kinda burning the midnight oils trying to find out what you have, and I've met with each of my individual receivers. I talked about our main priorities, what we expect. As a matter of fact I just came from Andre's (Caldwell) and Chad's (Jackson) apartment just now, I wanted to make sure of how they're living, that they're living the right way and continue to grow. They knew I was coming, so the apartment was pretty much spic-n-span clean.
As you go about establishing relationships with those guys, is that something you don't force that you just let happen?
I think you'll hear from Coach Meyer and from everyone who's been a part of this relationships are so crucial and they're hard to come by. It's just like you don't get married after you meet a girl for a day. It takes time, but at the same time we're going to go through that process. The wide outs are going to stop by each day. They know they're going to come up to my office and we're going to take the time to build that relationship. The one thing they can understand is that it's a positive that we're going to build that relationship and continue to grow but it's gotta be something we work on each day.
I'm extremely excited about coaching them. From the film that I've seen we have some truly blessed receivers here. We just need to tap into everything they've got and go with it.
How different will it be for them from what they've been asked to do in the past?
The unique thing we do with the receivers in our offense is that the wide receivers run the ball a lot. We're going to bring them back in motion, we're going to bring them back in pitch phase and use them in different ways. They ran the ball fifty-plus times in our offense last year for a little under five hundred yards. We've been going over this in the recruiting game, the wide receivers in our offense scored 39 touchdowns which I would think probably puts us at number one in the country.
Have the guys here seemed receptive to the idea of carrying the ball out of the backfield?
I think they're jacked, I think they're so excited. I think they're just as excited as I am to be here and have a chance to coach them. Most of them all watched our bowl game and they got excited. There's a ton of different ways; again one of the young men in the last program we were at (Utah WR Parris Warren) set the Fiesta Bowl record with 15 catches in one game. But at the same time he ran the ball a couple of times.
I've had Chad Jackson and Andre Caldwell and Dallas Baker in my office saying coach, give me the route trees give me the plays and that's the stuff I love. I want guys that are aggressive and I want guys who are eager to get after it. Obviously I can't give them anything yet, but that's great that they're hungry about coming in and hoping to learn.
What are your thoughts on Chris Leak?
I think he's exceptional, I think he's fantastic. Everybody gets excited about what he can do in our offensive system and you're darn right, he's exciting. But he could be exceptional, I think in a lot of offenses. He's a good athlete and a good quarterback and hopefully we can tap into everything he has and hopefully he'll bring the level up as far as the rest of the players on the team as well as a leader.
On some calling the offense "gimmicky":
There's nothing gimmicky about it if you look the board, we're going to be tough, we're going to be hard-nosed and we're going to play football. We're going to run the ball and we're going to throw the ball. If they're going to come into the box and try to stop the run we'll throw. If they try to stop the pass game, we'll go back to running it. There's nothing gimmicky about that. I think the one thing you're going to see if we're going to be a downhill offense. We're going to be tough and that starts in the weight room.
There have been some teams that kinda said that about us before and we've gotten after them pretty good and we expect to do the same thing here. We've got great football players.
"The rest of the coaches got in town early. I got in town this past Saturday. I've been out on the road recruiting. Getting situated was a big thing at first…trying to get organized with recruits. The young men we're recruiting understand about Florida football. And, what it entails…the tradition-rich family history that Florida brings to them. Florida sells itself."
On the new coaching transition and recruiting:
"I think if you take a look at our coaching staff…where everybody comes from…Coach Mattison, Coach Holiday, Coach Addazio…all the way through. You've got a group of guys who have been there before. They've recruited against some of the best schools. They've recruited for some of the best schools. So, it's pretty easy to get involved right back into the thick of things with some of those kids (recruits). I feel really good about some of the guys we've had on campus."
On meeting his returning receivers:
"I'm still in the process of that. I think that's important. I think the main thing for me right now is recruiting. We're kind of burning the midnight oil…trying to find out what we have. I've met with each of my individual receivers. I've had big meetings with them…talked about main priorities…what to expect. Obviously, academics are huge for us. I just came from Andre and Chad's apartment. I stopped by to make sure how they are living…living the right way and continue to grow. They new I was coming by, so, their apartment was pretty spic-and-span clean (laughter)."
What his squad needs to know for the transition:
"I think the unique thing with our offense…if you look at our offense; compared to some other things…I've got the statistical break-downs. We're going to bring them back in motion. We're going to bring them back…and, use them in different ways. The wide receivers in our offense last year scored 39 touchdowns…significant to help our offense spread it wide open. I think they're so excited. We're going to try to outwork every team in the country…and, that's what we're putting our stake in."
On the Gators versus Miami in the Peach Bowl:
"I watched a little bit of it. There are a lot of positives from it…a lot of positives to build on. You want to improve everything. If you look back at our team on offense last year, there's always room to improve. There's always room to grow in. As soon as we say we're happy, content and everything…that's when you start losing. We're in the process of evaluating the guys."
"As a football coach's job, I think it's your responsibility to teach them and organize…and, put them in a situation in practice. We'll do 2-minutes everyday, so, they understand what's to be expected in a certain situation. That's my responsibility as a position coach…to make sure that they understand when that situation does come, they're ready for it."
On QB Chris Leak:
"I think he's exceptional! I think he's fantastic! Everybody gets excited about what he can do for our offensive system. He's exciting. He's exceptional, I think, in a lot of offenses. He's a good athlete…good quarterback. So, hopefully, we can tap everything that he has. Hopefully, he'll bring up the level up amongst his teammates."