Florida's Jim McElwain on Missouri, Moving Past LSU, Del Rio's Return

Florida coach Jim McElwain talked about Missouri among a variety of topics on Wednesday's SEC teleconference.

Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain talked about the Gators’ next opponent, Missouri, and a variety of topics on the Southeastern Conference teleconference on Wednesday morning.

Here’s what McElwain said during his 12 minutes with the media…

McElwain's opening statement…

“I know our guys are real excited to get after it and obviously it’s Homecoming week, that’s awful special. We’re having our 2006 national championship team back. … I think it will be great for our alumni and fans. We’re dialed in and getting ready for a Missouri team that their explosive plays really jump off the film. We have to be on it both offensively and defensively this week. We’re looking forward to getting back playing.”

Defending Missouri’s passing game…

“Philosophically they’re just waiting for that one time, two times, three times, whatever it is where you fall asleep a little bit. I look at it as a great opportunity for our secondary guys who, you know what, they are pretty darn good and yet this is a chance for them go show they can stay focused, they can communicate throughout the game (with) the speed and pace of the game in which they play as well. This will be a great opportunity for those guys to go out and show who they are.”

http://www.scout.com/college/missouri/story/1716073-missouri-florida-by-...

On losing a recruiting weekend because the LSU game was cancelled…

“We didn’t have anybody on campus. It was cancelled. When we cancelled the game. Actually the recruits were cancelled before that. I know the two we had scheduled actually visited somewhere else last weekend. … It’s obviously a big loss. We had a ton of 19’s and 18’s coming as well, unofficially, for what really was our biggest game of the year as far as environment and that type of stuff. We were on the road the week before. I know people were looking forward to this game. Here’s the interesting thing when you really sit back and look at all the peoples lives that were in danger and the different things and scenarios that could have happened. It’s one of those deals where you don’t cry over it, you just pick up and figure out how you’re going to move forward. We’ve got a lot of people coming in this week, which will be good. Any environment on a game day in the Swamp is pretty special. We may have lost some things but in the big picture the safety of those recruits and those people who were planning on coming, that was the most important thing for us.”

On differences between Missouri quarterback Drew Lock a year ago and now…

“Actually watched him in high school, when we first got here. He was obviously committed there. But he’s a guy that, man, he’s talented. He gets the ball out quick. He’s got a very accurate and strong arm. What I see from him this year is a great understanding as to where he’s going with it immediately. I think that’s a testament not only to their offensive line, for the few sacks they’ve given up, but his ability to know and react and get the ball out. It really frustrates pass rushers. Him knowing exactly what Josh (Heupel) wants him to do and him executing it, this guy is really a good player and has got a long career ahead of him.” 

On seeing Nick Saban running more spread and zone-read at Alabama

“I think what he does a great job of is adapting and No. 1 and No. 2 to the strength of the guys he has on his team. I think it’s more so that it helps them defensively get a look when they are going good on good with a lot of the stuff they are seeing. I was able to see watch a little bit of it and there were a lot of familiar plays in there that they hang their hat on as well.”

On talking to his team about moving past the LSU game talk…

“It’s one of the things we’ve tried to but it’s human nature people asking them about it. The focus has got to be, this is Homecoming, this is Missouri, it’s the next game and look guys you can’t worry about anything but taking care of the here and now. For our fans. For the people coming to Gainesville this week. I think for the most part our guys have done a pretty darn good job of it. Things are going to get brought up and this and that, but I think they’ve had a pretty good attention to detail so far and we’ll see on Saturday.”

Has McElwain had to talk about it with his team… 

“Yeah. We talked about it from the standpoint of you worry a lot about, and this is a problem with whatever it is, the things that are out of your control you worry about it and it eats away about the things that are important and in this case the important thing is preparing and getting ready for Missouri.”

On quarterback Luke Del Rio's status for this Saturday…

“He was ready last week. Obviously the swelling comes and goes but that’s normal with a lot of those injuries. He’ll be ready to go and I know he’s excited about getting out there. Austin (Appleby) has had a good week as well, as far as preparation goes, but we’re going to move forward with Luke and see how he handles it. His recovery off of each practice has been a little better each day and that’s a good thing.”

On defending Missouri’s explosive plays (plays of at least 40 yards) and disrupting that…

“I think one of the things you have to do it take into account the pace that they play at but you can’t just give them a look that they know that they can just go get, if that makes sense. Try to put a little bit of indecision into Lock’s hands as far as exactly what he’s getting. The biggest thing is being able to play the ball in the air. It’s impressive the shots that they are taking and the production that they are getting is something that’s really huge. For us it’s going to be that discipline piece and making sure you never lose your eyes. He’s getting rid of the ball really quick and their line is doing a really good job of not giving up any kind of even penetration up front. That’s the big key I think is giving them different looks and when there is indecision don’t allow him to get his feet set. That’s something we have to make sure we try to do.”

On what he saw from quarterback Appleby with Del Rio out…

“I thought he did a really good job of taking the team. He’s ready to play as well. He did a great job of preparation. He’s got a great understanding. Believe me, I’m really happy he’s here. I know he’s had a good week too. They are still splitting the reps in the practice and that type of stuff. He’s mentally ready and he’ll be ready to go in at the drop of a hat.”

On possibility of having to calm Del Rio down after getting back in action…

“He is a competitive sun of a gun and he did a really good job I felt not feeling sorry for himself when he was hurt but rather taking that opportunity to really even dive more into it. His wanting and just understanding still, just take what they are giving you, when the shot’s there go ahead and do it. But I know he’s going to be really juiced up and excited to get back on the field.”

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com.

Want more BlackAndGoldIllustrated.com coverage? Become a member today to get insider information, members-only forums, exclusive videos, team shop offers and ticket discounts. Click HERE to learn more and get a 7-day free trial.

null

Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories