FOOTBALL: Q and A with Jeremy Mincey

Defensive end Jeremy Mincey opened his question and answer session with the media by stating that the Gators were going to work harder and play better next time. While that statement is all too obvious, the session did reveal, again perhaps all too obvious, what the Gators mindset is at this time. However, there were some interesting comments by Mincey later in the interview.

His comment regarding Jerious Norwood hones right in on the fact that despite what the coaches say at times, some of it is indeed lost on the players. It's a 24 hour job getting and keeping the attention of some members of the team. We'll see if the whipping applied by Alabama sticks with this team and hope that the leaders pick-up on any red flags and promptly handle them. If they can convey the message that respect, preparation, and inspiration carry a lot of weight in the standings maybe Florida will get to Atlanta after all.

How do you get past it (the loss) and move on?

"Just focus on the game we've got this week. We've got Mississippi State Saturday, and that's who we're thinking about."

After what happened last year (against Mississippi State), does that help you focus on them?

"No, we're just taking it one game at a time. We're just going to focus on Mississippi State and playing, and do what we've got to do against Mississippi State."

What sticks in your mind from last year's game?

"Losing. You know, they came to play. You've got to keep your mindset straight, and we've got to focus on Mississippi State."

Is this where the seniors come in?

"It's definitely where the seniors come in. We took a loss last Saturday and we've go to put that in the past and keep on rolling."

Have you been going around and speaking to the younger players as a leader to make sure that they're alright?

"Everybody's fine. The game last Saturday, we knew that we could've played a lot better, but we didn't. The other team came to play. They came to play and we didn't. But, we've got to keep moving ahead man and getting better."

When you guys came off of the field, the looks on everybody's faces was stunned. Would that be a good way to describe how everyone felt?

"Pretty much."

Jeremy, Tate (Casey) said that Urban lit into you guys pretty good after the game and he also said that he was curious to see how you guys were this morning. Have you guys talked to him? And what has his mood been like?

"He's just like us. He's upset, because he knows that we could have still played a lot better. We didn't play as good as we are and as good as we can become. We just have to re-evaluate a lot of things and keep playing hard and see what happens in the future."

You said re-evaluate some things. What are those things?

"We've just got to get it together. You can't pick and choose the day you play."

Are you disappointed with the pass rush? And where are you going to get a better pass rush in the weeks ahead?

"Actually, I'm not disappointed in the pass rush. Everybody just had some mental mistakes and that's what hurt us."

Was it difficult watching the tape?

"No, actually it wasn't. It was just simple mental mistakes. We beat ourselves."

Is the defense better equipped to deal with Jerious Norwood (Mississippi State) and the running game they have this year?

"We know that he's a very athletic back and he's going to play as good as he can play against us, like everybody's else does. We have to keep him in our mind. Jerious Norwood is a good player. Stop the run and do what we've got to do to beat him."

We're you surprised by him last year?

"Yeah, he really surprised me. But, the coaches had told us earlier that week that he was a really good back. But, since nobody had heard his name all the time, they didn't see that. But, he lived up to his expectations and played really good. He has been playing really good and he'll play as hard as he can, but we've got to do what we've got to do to stop him."

Hypothetically speaking, if you guys can win out and get to Atlanta- do you really, really hope that Alabama is there?

"I wouldn't mind playing them again. Sure. I really do hope (that) It doesn't matter. We've got to keep playing. We've chose our own destination. If we play the way we're capable of and the way we should be playing, we'll be alright.".

Is there any doubt in your mind that it would be different next time now that you've gotten your eyes opened?

"Of course it would be different! We know what to expect. A lot more than last time. There was a lot of stuff that went on that I haven't seen."

Do you still feel confident that you guys can run the table and get there?

"Yeah. I've still got confidence in all of my players. I still have a great amount of confidence in my teammates. I've got a great amount of confidence in my coaches. The past don't determine our future. We're still in it. It's not over. I'm not going to give up and I know my teammates are not going to give up. So, I'm not worried."

Does it feel a little bit like last year with all of the turmoil?

"Not at all. Who cares about the people. It's all about the team. We're going to come together and play the best we can play. Nobody is on the field with us. Regardless of all of the write-ups and what people talk about. They're not on the field with me. I know what's going on with the team and we don't care about the negative energy surrounding us."

What would you say to negative people?

"There's nothing that I can say to them. They're not on the field out there beside me. They're not sweating and bleeding with me during practice. There is really nothing they can say to hurt me and affect me, so it really doesn't matter."

Do your teammates feel the same way about this?

"Oh, yeah. We've got this saying, "No one but us" And I let that stick in my mind, because that's all there is- no one but us. Regardless of what the coach calls on a play, you have to execute that play. You're the player on the field and the team is to the one to make the decision to come out there and play. That's all we've got is us."

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