Green Will Utilize Speed to Get to QBs

William Green heard about the criticisms of the defensive end position for the Gators heading into the fall. A quiet guy who is kept to himself, Green gets noticeably frustrated when thinking about it. However, he does know the question marks around the position are valid. Green simply sees solutions in his position group.

"I take every criticism of the team or program personal," William Green said. "I really don't need any more motivation. I can't really listen to what people say about me."

Green is coming off a spring where he looked noticeably improved. His weight is now slightly over 250 pounds after coming to campus as a freshman barely over 200. The added weight allows him to take on physical offensive tackles in the SEC, which will be imperative for him if he will pressure the quarterback this season.

Green's first step off the line is the best of the Florida defensive ends. For any defensive end with as much ability to get after the quarterback, the temptation would be to forget about playing the run. It's an adjustment Carlos Dunlap dealt with, and it turned him into a second round pick. Green recently realized the importance of playing against the pass and run with equal tenacity.

"I've been focusing on getting better with my pass rush and the run," Green said. "We've been playing more in the nickel package and being more diverse."

Straight-ahead speed off the line has never been an issue, but that's not the end of it. Just as skill players on offense must master moves to avoid defenders, defensive ends must find a few moves to attack offensive tackles with.

Green's athleticism has improved from working with the Florida staff in his time on campus, allowing him to be more aggressive in his pass rush and showing versatility in his moves.

"It's my flexibility, hands down," Green said. "I've gotten a lot more flexible. I'm able to bend a lot more on the pass rush and fit under the blocks better."

The defensive ends have an easier job when the defensive tackles are collapsing the pocket and providing a pass rush of their own. The key for the defensive tackles, whether providing a pass rush or not, is to eat up as many blockers as possible. This gives the defensive ends the ability to go one-on-one with offensive tackles, something a defensive end dreams of.

Sharrif Floyd and Dominique Easley both had their helmet stripes removed Sunday night, making them officially a part of the team. The two defensive tackles are turning heads early in camp, and Green would be surprised if he didn't see them on the field this fall.

"They both have a chance," Green said. "It's extremely hard coming from high school to college. In high school you're playing against kids, but in college it's grown men. Very few people can do it and do it at a successful rate. Those guys will be good players. It's very difficult, but I wouldn't count them out at all."

The freshmen may be turning heads, but it's a veteran that is getting plenty of talk at defensive tackle. Jaye Howard had a great offseason in the Florida strength and conditioning program. He provides the Gators with their best pass rush threat from the defensive tackle position.

"Jaye Howard has been doing really good," Green said. "He's over 300 pounds and very fast. He's almost as fast as I am and very strong. The sky is the limit for Jaye."
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