Gator Receivers Looking to Improve

Throughout the week, just about every area of Florida's performance against Ole Miss has been analyzed and discussed. From fumbles to big plays allowed on defense to play calling, but there was another area that stood out – drops by the wide receivers.

Earlier this week, wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales talked about what changes, if any, had been made at practice to improve the catching ability of the receiving corps.

"We've been jugging it every pre-practice," Gonzales said. "During drills, we've been working on getting their heads and eyes around. We've been putting numbers on the balls. The bottom line is that we're going to continue to do the same thing we've been doing and more. When something isn't working you have to tweak it and get re-motivated."

Even though it's been the receivers out on the field not making the catches, Gonzales put a lot of the blame on himself.

"The bottom line is that you drop a ball because you're not focusing," he said. "That's my fault because I have to make sure they're focused. If someone drops it, I need to make sure they're focused so it doesn't happen and that they're ready to play a football game."

Many of the drops came by Florida's top receivers, but there were a few by the ones that don't see a lot of action. The ball distribution this season has primarily focused on Percy Harvin, Louis Murphy and Aaron Hernandez, but that shouldn't be an excuse for the lesser used guys when their number gets called.

"They've got to stay focused when they're number is called," Gonzales said. "The physical part of the game is going to come to you, but you've got to stay mentally focused. Your number might not be called until the fourth quarter, but when your number is called you better have 92,000 standing on their feet because they don't know what you're going to do when you catch the ball."

Gonzales said that it all starts with sound fundamentals.

"Your fundamentals are what you're focusing on at the end of a game," he said. "When you listen to great coaches and great teams, it's doing the little things that makes you great. When you're doing the fundamentals right, in the long run you'll be better for it."

The coaching staff has talked this week about getting more people involved on offense against Arkansas, but if not, it's still the job of the receivers to do what they're asked to do if their number isn't being called.

"We stress that all the time," Gonzales said. "We have a big sign in the meeting room that says play as a unit. That means when you step out on the football field, you'll do whatever it takes for this team. If that means to go out and play offensive line if you're asked to play offensive line. If someone goes down on special teams and you've never played it before, you're ready to go out there. That's part of the creed. When you're number is called, you better be ready."

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