Billy Napier and Select Players Media Availability (11/21/22)

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    • #26625
      Mark Wheeler
      Forum Owner

      At approximately 11:45 Billy Napier and select players will be meeting with the media.

      Follow along for live coverage.

    • #26627
      Mark Wheeler
      Forum Owner

      Transcript courtesy ASAP

      BILLY NAPIER: Simply put, a lot of lessons to learn from our experience in Nashville. The laundry list of things that contributed to not playing winning football was way too long, and certainly as the head coach, all those things are my responsibility. We certainly can do a lot of things better.

      Simply put here, we’ve got to get up off the ground, dust ourselves off, and get back to work, fight for each other, work hard for each other. Quickly turn the page here in a short week to get ready against a good Florida State team.

      A ton of respect for Coach Norvell and his team and how it’s improved. Certainly when you watch the tape, you see that improvement year one to two to three, and certainly they’re playing really good football right now.

      So a lot of challenges. We’ve got to go play at their place. We’re right in the middle of the prep today. I thought we had really good meetings and walk through yesterday with the players and know our players are anxious about this opportunity.

      When I was growing up, Florida and Florida State were dominating college football. It was Steve Spurrier, it was Bobby Bowden, and pretty awesome to be a part of this game. Certainly having been at ACC for seven years and played against Florida State in the past, a ton of respect for that place and the history and tradition there.

      So I’m excited about the opportunities that come with this game. Certainly we all are very aware of the history, the tradition, the rivalry, and the things that come with that. So what questions do we have here?

      Q. When you look at the league right now, you’ve got a pretty good feel of it, what do you make of what’s happening around the league? When you look at Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida last week, South Carolina the week before, Vanderbilt’s winning games. Is it more parity maybe than before? And if so, why?

      BILLY NAPIER: I think — you know, I actually talked to the players a little bit about that yesterday. College football as a whole, if you just look at the games and the scores from Saturday, I don’t know if parity is the right word, but I think having the ability to perform on a consistent basis.

      I think for our team it’s handling success and handling failure, remaining steady and consistent with our approach, our mentality, our thought process, our methods relative to getting our team ready to play, as members of the organization but also as individual players. I think we live in a time where you just see a lot of inconsistency.

      But, yeah, when I got home, I’m watching that Carolina-Tennessee game too, and then I’m seeing Ole Miss-Arkansas, and a number of games that probably much closer than expected.

      I just think there’s a number of challenges that come with roster attrition and retention, the addition of players — all those things that contribute to your stability of the program. I think things can change dramatically in a hurry.

      I do think in this era there’s more information out there earlier. Recruiting is a completely different dynamic than it was maybe even early in my career. So I think the game continues to evolve.

      Bottom line — and I told our team this yesterday — I really have confidence in the work that we did throughout the week, but when the ball’s spotted and the first play begins, you got to go earn the right to win, and you’ve got to go execute, you’ve got to do your job. There’s hundreds of people that contribute to that in this game, and I think that’s the challenge, right?

      That’s what I love about the game is the leadership challenge that comes with getting the organization and the team to perform on a consistent basis. Great question, though.

      Q. What were some of the things that stood out to you after watching the film from the game, just some of the main lessons?

      BILLY NAPIER: Turnover on special teams. We had a few injuries there at returner over the last couple weeks. We had a short field turnover that led to a touchdown, really 14 points there in a matter of minutes.

      Two red zone opportunities early where we had to settle for field goals, so missed opportunities from a points standpoint but also momentum.

      I also think that the penalties were a major factor. I think for the first time since we’ve been here, penalties had a significant impact on the game. Three third downs, where they get earned first off of penalties. We had two explosive runs that were called back as a result of penalties. Those are five significant plays in the game. One of those runs is down to the 4 yard line.

      Then we were 0 for 2 on the two-point conversions. We missed a PAT. The hidden yardage was a disadvantage in the game. A couple weeks in a row there, we did what was required to win, and we did not do that Saturday.

      Q. What did you see in the run game on tape in terms of the execution of that? Was Etienne even banged up during the game, or was there a reason for the carries?

      BILLY NAPIER: No, I don’t necessarily think that had anything to do with it. I think we probably had less carries in the game than we have.

      I think early on in the game there was some time of possession differences, and then once you got behind, it became, okay, we’ve got to get back in the game. Two explosive runs that got called back, throw those in the mix, and I think the numbers are a lot different.

      We also threw it to the perimeter at times. We did not block well on the perimeter. We dropped a few. Like I said before, when we rush the ball really well, every position contributes to when you rush the ball effectively. So I think as a whole there a lot of things across the board we could have done better.

      Q. You said that Clark Lea kind of designed something to make Anthony make decisions that he maybe shouldn’t have. What do you see, some weeks he runs with ferocity, some other weeks maybe it’s not quite as assertive. Is that accurate?

      BILLY NAPIER: You’re talking about running the ball?

      Q. Just week to week running the football.

      BILLY NAPIER: I think there’s not many plays where he’s not involved in it. I think much like a pass pattern that you call, sometimes the coverage dictates where the ball goes. Anthony was forced to hand the ball off quite a bit in the game.

      So the design run, we came back with a few of those in the second half, but to some degree — and that’s happened before. I mean, when Montrell and Trevor get handed the ball and they have success, typically he’s eliminating one player by reading that defender. So I think the key there is that we continue to take what the defense gives us. So nothing significant on that end.

      Q. You have these ferocious comebacks in three games that could have resulted in winning the game. How frustrating is the inconsistency that you can’t get that kind of effort and that kind of production earlier?

      BILLY NAPIER: Yeah, I agree with you. I think about that at times. You know, I think that you’re — until you get in the middle of the fight, I think that’s one of the things, kind of what we’re talking about with Mark’s question relative to performing with consistency, handling success, handling failure, being a consistent competitor.

      I think ultimately, when you see that, you kind of flip that switch in times when you get behind or maybe you’re behind the eight ball or it’s a closer game than expected. Those are the things that I’m talking about from a maturity standpoint. As a team, I think that’s a little bit of where we’re at.

      But I think it’s a great question and one that I think about often.

      Q. Talk about the maturity there. Is understanding that you’re good enough to play with these guys part of the equation here in getting these guys to understand that, okay, you’re as good as the teams you’re playing?

      BILLY NAPIER: I think we’ve got a lot of young players that have developed confidence as the season’s went on. I also think we’re a team that can be very average and we’re a team that can be elite. I think that it comes down to doing it when it counts, right? Put the ball down to go execute and go do your job.

      I think consistency is the — that’s what we’re searching for. Certainly Saturday was a little bit of a reality check in a lot of ways.

      Q. Billy, what’s the message you would send to the fans right now who are obviously discouraged and disappointed about where you are?

      BILLY NAPIER: I think — that’s an interesting question. I would tell you we’ve got a lot of folks working extremely hard, a lot of people that care. There’s nobody that cares and works like this group of people — players, staff members. The time that these people spend relative to doing their job at a high level, I would say that one day at a time, one person at a time, this group, we’re going to get it done.

      Q. A lot’s been made of staffing with you guys. How does special teams fall into that? Who’s running it? Because there’s not like a special teams coach. Is everyone involved in it? How does that go?

      BILLY NAPIER: We’re doing it much like we’ve done in the past. We have all parts of our staff contribute to special teams. We’ve got two coverage units. We’ve got two return units. We’ve got the two PAT field goal rush units. Each coach is assigned one of those that needs a point person. Chris Couch provides the leadership there, the organizational part of that. We game plan together.

      And those guys execute the plan in the meeting and on the practice field. So it’s the same blueprint we’ve used in the past and one that’s been very effective for us. It will continue to be effective for us.

      Q. Florida State having played Louisiana last week, can that be beneficial on some levels for the guys, the coaches who carry over?

      BILLY NAPIER: That’s a great question. I think there’s pros and cons to that to some degree, if that makes sense. I think you may get some insight to the team that play against them, but they also win against a similar structure the previous week. There’s pros and cons on that each week for sure.

      Q. When it comes to Marcus Stokes, I don’t know how much you can comment on that particular incident? Maybe just in general. Is there a policy, when something like that happens —

      BILLY NAPIER: We can’t comment on it. Per the NCAA rules.

      Q. To the challenge of the roster, what’s the message that you send to players after a loss like this? Maybe in terms of ones that you have to recruit back next year or ones you’re trying to recruit here just in general.

      BILLY NAPIER: I think so. We spent extensive amount of time with people relative to what we do and how we do it. We’re, much like many staffs in the history of this game, we’re in the first year. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

      I couldn’t be more excited about what I’m observing relative to the improvement. Now, obviously didn’t get the result that we wanted Saturday, but we got a group that’s working extremely hard. We made improvement in a lot of ways, and certainly we’ve got a bright future in front of us.

      It’s more about the body of work at that point in time.

      Q. You had mentioned on Saturday that you guys would take a second look at Ventrell’s targeting penalty and consider a potential appeal. Have you guys had a chance to look at that, and how are you planning on proceeding?

      BILLY NAPIER: We did extensive research on this. I think all those things are done behind closed doors with the league office and different people. So we’ve got great leadership in that area, and certainly it is what it is. Certainly there’s challenges, good and bad, that go with that, right? They’ve got a tough job to do, much like we’ve got a tough job to do and you’ve got a tough job to do.

      Q. Just wanted to ask you real quick, now that you’ve had a chance to see how the group has responded after some losses, how have you seen them kind of improve in handling those things, maybe not just from an emotional standpoint, but moving on to the next opponent? Especially now that you’ve got a short week.

      BILLY NAPIER: I joke around to my wife, the kids are more resilient than the adults are, truth be known. This group, it’s one thing that I think we all can be proud of is how they responded. Not only after difficult experiences on game day, but also within the game.

      I think that this group has showed some resiliency. It’s a tough group. It’s a group that cares about each other. It’s a group that’s worked extremely hard for a long time. There’s no question they’ll be ready to go.

      Q. The rush to judgment everyone makes in these situations, what’s your kind of big picture view of that? Whether it’s us, fans, whatever. Like you say, we’re in year one, you guys. So what’s your feeling on that? It’s being evaluated all the time on Twitter, and every week the sky’s falling.

      BILLY NAPIER: I think you’ve got to get consumed with the things that you know are under your control. You’ve got to get consumed with improvement, efficiency, refining every part of the systems that you run, what you do with your time.

      We’ve been through this before, right? This is a process, right? These things aren’t — you don’t just flip a light switch and the house is built. I think it is truly one day at a time and it’s one person at a time.

      I think that there’s lots of things that contribute here, but we’ve been here before. I’ve got a ton of confidence in what we do and how we do it.

    • #26628
      Mark Wheeler
      Forum Owner

      Transcript courtesy ASAP

      Q. The run game has been so effective, impactful. What kind of was going on on Saturday, do you think? I’m sure it was frustrating for you guys.

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: I think it was probably the communication and us playing together and not being able to execute some of the plays that were called and not being on key with each other.

      I want to give Vanderbilt defense some credit for coming out with a good game plan to get us out of our game. I think it slowed us down in the start, and we got behind. We had to lean on the throwing towards the second half of the game, and it just took the run game up out of it the first half.

      Q. Now you guys are heading to Florida State. You haven’t played in this game. It’s a longstanding history, very heated rivalry. How excited are you for the opportunity, and just how big would this be for the program to kind of end the regular season with that?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: I’m very excited because so far this season every rivalry game we’ve played from the start, even though the outcome hasn’t been what we wanted, it’s always been fun to play in them. It’s just another one of those rivalry games we have to come in ready to play from the start.

      From what I’m feeling from the other players on the team and for the history that I’ve noticed, like from recent research, it’s a big game. It’s a big rivalry. So it’s important that we get this win, and it’s important that we get it leading into next season in order for both seasons to have momentum going into that time.

      Q. Is it frustrating for you guys that you’ve got five losses, but four of those games, you look at them and you see that mistake here and there cost you a ballgame that you could have won? How frustrating is that?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: It can be pretty frustrating at times, especially when we think about how close they were, but I tend to look at it as a learning experience instead of letting it be frustrating. Like looking at things we can change on our part. It’s more of things we did.

      Our line coach always tells us, it’s not about them, it’s about us. Most of the times, our mistakes and things we do bad in the game, it’s from us shooting ourselves in the foot. I feel like the majority of the time, things that happen to us, like the last game was a lot of penalties and just us beating ourself.

      I think looking back on it is pretty tough, but looking back on it as a learning experience helps out.

      Q. How is that frustration coming out within the team? Are you seeing guys stay the course and look at the light at the end of the tunnel, or does a loss like this really kind of upset guys?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: After the game, of course guys are going to be upset. Yesterday we watched the film and kind of put it to bed and see the leadership part of the team kind of stands out when we get in these types of moments. This isn’t our first loss. We’ve been here before.

      So this is the time when the leaders of the team kind of really steps up and shows why they’re the leaders, and it kind of keeps the team in check because we know we’ve got a short week and we’ve got a big rivalry game. So there’s no need to mope on the last loss. We just get ready for the next game.

      Q. There have been quite a few players that already announced they’re going to be leaving the program if they haven’t already. Following a loss like this with a rivalry game on the horizon, what do you do in your position to keep guys bought in for at least one more week?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Just be the best example I can be. Just come in with my focus, and just lead by example even if I don’t say much. Just like lead and keep the focus of the team on the main goal, and that’s to win the next game basically.

      That’s kind of my main focus of doing it in my position group, me and the other leaders in the position group, and even the other leaders of position groups, their main focus is to make sure we stay the course. Yeah, we lost, but it’s not the end of the world. We’ve got another game to play, and we need to win it to be on mental going into next season. That’s the main goal just to keep our focus.

      Q. What have you seen from Anthony as quarterback in terms of leadership?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: I’ve seen him grow tremendously from back when I first got here back in the spring to him not saying as much to him like now every week he has something to say in the team meeting, standing up and talking after coach. Just being a leader on and off the field. Getting us in the huddle and keeping everybody on time and on point.

      Whenever somebody starts to play out a little bit, you see him talking more and being more of a leader. I’ve seen him grow tremendously from that point.

      Q. How satisfying is it for you that you come from a Group of Five program to the SEC, and you were thought to be the best offensive lineman in Group of Five, and now you’re thought to be the best at this level?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: It’s pretty satisfying when I think about it because honestly I didn’t think I would have this much success this early when I got here, but from the hard work I put in over the summer and with the help of my teammates and coaches, we all like — all of that helped me out in this journey.

      It really is satisfying when I think about it. I probably had a lot of doubts, but it’s just satisfying to be able to come out here and show what I can do and show that I really belong in a Power Five in the SEC.

      Q. What were your doubts?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Probably not being able to play as well as I think I am, like not being able to play as well as I think they’re playing. Because I was coming out of high school and didn’t many SEC teams look at me, so I kind of had that in the back of my head. But coming here crushed all those small little doubts, but those are the types of things I put on myself.

      Q. Coach Napier was asked about why there’s so many upsets and craziness in college football these days, and he mentioned that one of the reasons is the transfers and guys like you coming in and making an impact. You’re a football fan just in general, I assume. When you see stuff like Tennessee get killed by South Carolina and upsets like that, what do you attribute that to? Is it just the new era of college football?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: That and I just kind of think it just shows that any team could lose any week. Just being ready, it don’t matter what your record is, it’s about being 1-0 each week, and I think that’s what kind of those type of games show you that the record overall doesn’t matter so much as being 1-0 this week.

      That’s kind of what we’ve been saying these past few weeks is just being 1-0 each week, and I think that kind of plays a part.

      Any team can win any Saturday, I think. That game right there kind of shows this kind of effect.

      Q. Did you talk to any of the guys at Louisiana about Florida State?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: No, sir.

      Q. Were you surprised that it’s such a one-sided game, FSU and Louisiana?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Yes, sir, a little bit. I didn’t like the score too much.

      Q. What were some of the things at Louisiana that allowed for steady improvement under Billy? What were some of the themes that allowed you guys to get better so quickly?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Probably how fast we all bought into what Coach was saying. Probably just in the end playing together as a team and not splintering when we did have bad games and bad losses because there were times at Louisiana where we had bad losses where we should have won.

      I feel like in those times we came together as a team and was able to fight back and go on to win the next two games and just played together better. I feel like those are some of the things that helped us out.

      Q. I was asking Billy about people making a rush to judgment like on the direction of the program this early. Did you feel like that’s something that maybe he had to contend with right before you got there, when Louisiana went 7-7 and people were like, hold on, where are we going here?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: I feel like he went through that there too as well. I feel like it’s what a lot of coaches go through their first years in new situations, especially in winning programs like a program like here who’s used to winning and starting off kind of how we did, then kind of hitting bumps in the road and things like that. It kind of slowed us down a bit.

      I think it’s something that all coaches kind of go through, but I think Coach has handled it pretty well.

      Q. What was your first impression of Montrell when he first got to Louisiana?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Not much really, honestly.

      Q. Did you expect him to become what he has?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: No, sir, to be honest. I didn’t pay notice until the first few days of fall camp, and then I started realizing how he ran the ball like a pro from day one. I started realizing he’s pretty special. Then the first game came, and I started realizing he’s good.

      Q. What is it about him? Everyone struggled this last game running the ball, I know, but leading in he was really putting it together late in games, getting stronger as it went kind of thing.

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: I think it’s probably the way we practice. At the end we practice hard for those types of moments in games. I feel like he gets better as the game goes on with reading defenses and bringing linebackers to their own line of scrimmage and shifting his course in the right gaps and things like that.

      I feel like just the things we rep in practice from team runs to even the end of periods to the end of practice, all those reps and reps and reps just shows itself in the game.

      Q. Did you ever stop to think that here you are from Greensburg, Louisiana, two stop lights in the whole town, and now all of a sudden you’re being thought of as first or second round draft pick? Do you ever think about that?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Sometimes, but I think not to think about it too much because it can probably get a little overwhelming. I’m just trying to focus on finishing in the season as best I can. I think about it a little bit, but I try not to.

      Q. You’re kind of the big man in town, aren’t you, in more ways than one?

      O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Yes, sir, kind of like the hometown hero.

    • #26636
      Mark Wheeler
      Forum Owner

      Transcript courtesy ASAP

      Q. Florida State, what’s this game mean to you? What did it mean to you growing up in Gainesville, just the rivalry?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: It’s a rival game, a big game for the city of Gainesville, a big game for the University of Florida. We’ve got to bring it this week.

      Growing up, I always heard about Florida State. I always heard about the Gators. A lot of people trying to pull you to one side or another, but it’s a big game for the state of Florida as well. Definitely got to bring it this week.

      Q. Any memories, a game, one that sticks with you?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: I do have some memories, not great ones, you know, especially me playing for the University of Florida. I remember watching Dalvin Cook just go crazy against the Gators almost every year. So that’s probably one of the biggest memories I have.

      Q. Were you at that game?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: No. Actually, I think we did like a watch party or something like that at one of my friends’ house, and we watched it and just screaming at the TV, just heartbroken all the time.

      Q. How would you evaluate your performance from Saturday as a runner? Do you feel like you took advantage of opportunities like the way you should have on the ground?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: I know there were times I could have pulled the ball and probably ran backwards into the end zone. I didn’t realize until after I handed the ball off. Especially when it comes to RPOs and reads and stuff like that, sometimes you can misjudge the way defenses play at you or the way you’re supposed to attack the defense.

      So I think there were times I could have did it, but it’s in the past now. I can’t do anything about it now.

      Q. What do you take away from that, though? What did you learn maybe?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Whenever there’s an opportunity for me to take the ball and run, I’ve just got to do it because I can potentially help the offense. That’s what I took away from it.

      Q. The way you guys come back on Tennessee, on LSU, and Vanderbilt and so forth like that, and even Georgia in the fourth quarter, does it get a little frustrating to know that you guys are capable of playing with and beating anybody and yet you’ve got five losses?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: It’s not frustrating. It shows what we’re capable of doing when we actually want to go out there and attack the game how we’re supposed to. That’s the day we go and just letting the foot off the gas a little bit. It’s just eye opening for us and just lets us know we’ve got to go harder every time.

      Q. What’s it been like dealing week to week with different receivers being hurt?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: It’s been a blessing getting guys in there, building their confidence, help them catching the ball, help them get acclimated to the game, how fast everything goes. So it’s been pretty good. Just working with them, connecting with them, and just working like we’ve been doing since the off-season.

      Q. We heard a lot about Daejon from the spring and then had a good camp, finally got his chance. What did you think of the way he performed?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: I didn’t expect anything less from him. He’s a great player, great guy, one of my best friends on the team. Just him being out there able to show what he’s capable of doing, I was happy for him.

      I was definitely happy for him that he scored the touchdowns for us and got the yards that he did for us, helped us move the ball. So I was definitely proud of him.

      Q. From a momentum standpoint, just for the whole program, how important is it to beat Florida State this week? Especially given how fans are so disappointed after the Vandy game.

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: A lot of people are disappointed, but it comes with the sport. You win some, you lose some. Even though we don’t want to lose, it happens if you’re not on top of your A-game. So things like that happen.

      But momentum is always something that we try to work towards, always try to put something in our favor when it comes to momentum. We try to win every game. So we’re not really focused on who we’re playing because that can really alter your mind, what you’re thinking about when it comes to the game plan and stuff like that.

      So we just try to focus on winning the game. When we win this one, it’s definitely going to build momentum for us.

      Q. What are some of the conversations like between the team and maybe the coaching staff about this game being on Friday? Is that a distraction or something you guys have discussed just because of how much it affects the preparation?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: It’s not really a distraction for us. It’s just a quicker turnaround for us. We have the same game prep, schedule. It’s just bumped up a little bit. So nothing has really changed for us.

      Q. Ideal Thanksgiving plate — go.

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Honestly it depends on who’s cooking. If my grandma is cooking, I want everything she’s making. If my mom’s cooking, I want everything she’s making.

      But I’ve got to have macaroni and cheese, some ribs, some chicken, some collard greens, cabbage. I’m a big guy, so I like to eat a little bit.

      Q. What’s the plan for the team? Are you guys going to eat here or go back with your families, or what are you going to do on Thursday?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: We actually had a couple of gatherings with our coaches last week, just an early Thanksgiving for us because we knew with the game being on a Friday that we weren’t going to have time to go spend time with our families.

      I’m pretty sure we’ll have like a Thanksgiving meal Thursday night for us at the hotel. We’re kind of already ahead of the game with that.

      Q. You turning pro? Just kidding. Have you ever played at Doak Campbell?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: I haven’t. I’m excited. First game there. I’m just ready to put on a show.

      Q. Billy, I asked him about just kind of the rush to judgment fans make, with you obviously too, but just with the program’s direction. What’s your big picture view of where thing are headed under Billy Napier?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Coach Nape has a great plan, a great scheme. He’s a great coach. I don’t have any negative judgments towards him. Just knowing him for the past year and what he’s capable of doing, I trust him fully.

      I don’t blame the fans and the supporters for the way they feel because University of Florida once was a great program football-wise, even academically. So they’re holding us to a higher standard, so we’ve got to hold ourselves to that standard as well. With Coach Napier, I feel like everything will get back on course.

      Q. You said last week that you’re not thinking about going pro at the moment. You’re going week by week. In this era with the opportunities that could be handed to a player to come back and you compare that to the opportunities to go to the NFL, how difficult is that to balance in a player like your shoes?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: I think it could be difficult. It could bring a lot of pressure on a person, but it’s honestly up to them and their judgment and what they want to do regarding their future.

      They got to have a lot of talks with their family and just consider everything that’s happened. Sometimes you’ve got to be selfish and see what’s on the table, but I think it’s just up to the person and their judgment.

      Q. On the subject of pressure, how do you think you’ve learned handling pressure and handling adversity this season? What have you learned maybe about yourself?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: I learned a lot about pressure and adversity this year. I’m glad I went through it because it just made me a better person. I’m a better son, better brother, better teammate, just everything regarding adversity.

      Pressure, the only time we do have pressure is when you put it on yourself because, if you worry about what everybody else is thinking about you and what they want you to do, that can make things harder for you. But just staying true to yourself and understanding who you are and what you are, it just makes it easier for the pressure to go away.

      Q. A lot of aspects to Billy’s plan that you mentioned. What would you say maybe one tenet of that plan that gives you the most faith that things are going to end up — this program is going to end up being a national power again?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: He says it all the time. He says great people make great football players. So with him, recruiting great people, whether that’s on the staff or just us as players.

      I feel like he’s on point with everything. He knows what he wants. He knows what he’s going to get. So trust in him and understand he’s going to have great people around here, just so much time until great things start to happen.

      Q. How have you seen yourself improve? You talked about being a better brother, teammate, son, et cetera, like that. What specifically — was there a specific moment, something that was said that made you give some insight to who you are and how you could be better?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: A lot of things honestly. Just going back to the Kentucky game, just talking to my teammates and my coaches and them just telling me I need to just go back to having fun and just being myself, that’s one thing.

      Just thinking hard about that and understanding where I kind of veered off from that, it kind of put it in perspective and made me understand how much pressure I was putting on myself instead of just being in the moment, living in the moment, instead of trying to live up to other people’s standards. That was one thing.

      And I always remember this, staying true to my heart. My old QB coach in high school, he always told me before every game, a happy ant is a dangerous ant. So just me being happy and enjoying life, I’m dangerous whenever things do happen.

      Q. You’re a happy ant?

      ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Yeah, definitely.

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