Coaches and Players Tuesday Press Conference

Find out what the Gator coaches and players had to say at their Tuesday Press Conference about this week's game.

Coach Zook:

On Eli Manning:

"He's grown up throwing the football. He's had some pretty good teachers there all his life and he knows the game of football. You talk about a lot of people being football smart, he's football smart."

On the kicking game:

"When a kick is missed, everybody always wants to point the finger at the kicker. And there are so many variables that go into it."

"There are so many variables that go into an extra point or field goal kick, and believe me, its not all the kicker. The snap, the protection, the hold. All those things go into it."

On importance of special teams:

"People always talked about how important it was and how its 1/3 of the game and I really learned this when I went to the National Football League, it truly is. Its not every game that they become so important but in a lot of games they can win or lose it for you. People are getting better and better at it."

Todd Johnson:

On being relaxed in close games:

"I actually think its from coach Zook and the way we practice. The situational things…It helps your mind prepare and gets you in a groove when you get in certain situations."

"From the things coach does in practice and the way he prepares us, we feel comfortable with the different situations we get in and how we are going to handle ourselves."

Mike Nattiel:

On playing on CBS for a third straight week:

"We're in the national spotlight each week and that's the great thing about college football, you have to go out there each week and prove yourself. This is a great university to play at, so you just go out and prove yourself every week."

"You want to show the world that this University is still one of the top programs in the nation."

Rex Grossman:

On playing against Eli Manning:

"Its always fun to play another team that has a really good quarterback. Its always a challenge."

On Ingle Martin playing receiver:

"He's an athlete. He caught a pass the other day. Most of the time we just try to get the ball in his hands quick and see if he can make somebody miss and get a big gain out of it."

Clint Mitchell:

On concern for Florida's pass- rush:

"It's not a big concern. Everyday in practice we work to get better. In the Kentucky and Tennessee games we had pretty good pass rush. In the Kentucky game, the pocket was closing every time he dropped back to throw the ball. You want to make sacks and you want to do everything you can for the team. Sacks are a big thing for the individual, but if you're asked to do something else, maybe create a sack for someone else, you want to do that too."

On John Thompson:

"Coach Thompson's a great guy. He's a mentor and asks us how we feel about the defense, he wants to know our opinions. I really enjoy working with him and doing what he asks. He's a coach that listens to you. He just doesn't say, "it's got to be this way". If you're out there and something's not working, he wants you to talk to him on the sidelines about maybe changing something. Sometimes we do and it ends up working, and sometimes it doesn't. But in that way we work together."

"Coach Thompson's familiar with a lot of offenses. He watches the SEC and he's been around for awhile. He'll get us ready and knowing what we have to do."

On stopping the Ole' Miss offense:

"It will be the same as every other offense. We have to stop the run and make them pass the ball. Eli's a good passer so we have to pressure on the quarterback."

Marcus Oquendo-Johnson

On the improving defense:

"That's what defenses do. You start at one point and your objective is to get better as you play more games. Each game we try to get better and better. By the end we'll be were we want to be, but you can never be satisfied with were you are."

"Right now I think people see us as a speed rushing team, so they've been bailing. We've just been playing with what we get. If they bail, we just try to contain them and push the quarterback up towards the pocket."

On John Thompson:

"He's cool, I like him. We have a great coaching staff and the players. Everybody has been buying into the way things are changing. Everybody's feeling comfortable and he's going to make good things happen for us. He's a friend and a coach. Anytime someone has a problem outside of football, you can go talk to him or any of the coaches."

"He has a more laid back personality, but when he gets mad, it's exciting. He'll get on you, he will get on you."

On being a Senior:

"I've been planning, I know it's running down for me. I have a family so I have to plan. That's one thing I've learned to do. Some people don't have the same responsibilities I do, so I always have to be a step ahead of the game."

"It's something that motivates me because I know there's no opportunity for me to play college football again after this season. I play every play like it's my last."


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