UF Media Day Q&A Transcript: Sean Spencer

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    Mark Wheeler
    Forum Owner

    Courtesy ASAP Transcripts:

    Q. You’re coming from the NFL and teaching — Gervon even talked about it, very high-level technique. He says in one month he’s grown so much. He can’t wait so see how it continues. How quickly have guys assimilated that and what’s the challenge for young guys there?

    SEAN SPENCER: I think what you have to do is be consistent. If you’re consistent with what you’re teaching, they believe that you believe in what you’re professing to them. I think he’s a student of the game. He’s constantly in my office trying to perfect his craft. One time I asked him, Could I borrow my office so you could get out of here one or two times?

    But in terms of assimilating the techniques from the NFL, it’s stuff that I did backdating back to Trinity College, and just as it grows, you just get better football players. I’m very consistent and we are very consistent with what we’re teaching ’em.

    Q. What are your expectations — I know you guys don’t like singling out guys typically, but of Tyreak Sapp?

    SEAN SPENCER: Well, he had a heck of a spring, right? He had a heck of a spring, just unbelievable football, played great energy, work ethic, always. He’s a guy that I use as the example a lot of times in the meetings to show ’em how we want to practice. He’s got great a skill set, powerful kid. We’re excited about him.

    No one rises to low expectations, so the expectation is set for him, for him to be one of those a ascending players. But obviously we keep it grounded with that. We’re not going to use that every day. I want him to be consistent just like I’m going to be in teaching.

    Q. Gervon said that two guys that he expected to really make a jump this year with Jalen Lee and Princely Umanmielen. What do you think about those two guys that you’ve seen from them yourself that you feel like they can make a jump?

    SEAN SPENCER: First of all, you a did a great job with his last name. So a lot of times I just say Princely.

    Q. Princely Umanmielen —

    SEAN SPENCER: Exactly.

    But both of those guys had really good springs. Obviously Princely played a lot of football last year. Jalen not as much, but he did play some. He had a rotational role there.

    So same thing with everybody else. We expect them to ascend from what they were prior, where they were prior. So prior to that, in the spring, they had a level. I want it to go up a notch. I’m excited about both guys. I think Jalen Lee is a technician. He’s like Sapp. He’s on the tape all the time as the example of how to do things. The thing is he’s not as big as those guys. He’s not as big as Big G or Des, right. So he has to be exact in his technique, and he works on that.

    And I think Princely is really a guy who has not even reached a ceiling of where he can go.

    Q. You mentioned Big Des. Where is he at in his weight and also just his ability that you guys feel like to contribute on a consistent basis?

    SEAN SPENCER: He’s working at it. He’s very persistent in getting himself in playing shape. That’s kind of all we are concerned about. We just want him to be in great playing shape. He’s working at it real hard and we’re excited to see him here in a few hours.

    Q. Discipline is something that the players talked a lot about this morning and kind of instilling that discipline over the past few months. How have you seen that play out over these past few months and before camp now leading up?

    SEAN SPENCER: When you first come into a program, you got to establish the discipline. And as I talked to him about, you got to be, you have to be consistent with what you talk about and what you’re expecting them to do.

    And then you got to hold them to a standard, right? You got to hold them to a standard and if they don’t do it, if they don’t do what you ask ’em to do, there’s got to be a consequence. The consequence has got to be one such that they don’t want to mess it up.

    What you want to try to do is you want to make them try to not want to let their teammate down by failing discipline. I think the peer pressure is one of the tougher things that we can do. I seen it in the NFL. I seen it at other levels. So that’s how we try to stay consistent with that.

    Q. Was there somewhat of a hard learning curve early on in the process with dealing with that discipline?

    SEAN SPENCER: Yeah, it always is. So you come into a new program where — there’s an expectation here the at the University of Florida and obviously prior to us getting here, it was different, and we’re going to try to change that and make it the way Napier wants it. We have the same vision. Coach Napier has a vision. All the assistants see the vision, and then the players see the vision.

    Q. It seems that the basic idea here is: Do as I do, not do as I say. You know a lot of guys have that do as I say, but I’m not going to do it myself. And here it seems to be: Do as I say and do as I do or else you’re not going to be here long.

    SEAN SPENCER: Well, in terms of not being here long, that’s Coach Napier. But you hit it on the head. I like the way you said that and I like the way you phrased that. That was pretty smooth.

    I’m just going to tell you, for me and my room, I’m going to tell them that they can’t match my intensity every day. So I’m expecting those guys to have a certain intensity, so I have to bring it every day. I have to bring it every day, and they have to — they can’t see any flaw in that intensity.

    And in terms of doing what they’re supposed to do, there’s an expectation that’s set. The bar is set high, and we’re going to reach that goal. There’s nothing in between. And like we talked about discipline, there can’t be wavering. There’s a standard set by Coach Napier and that’s where we want to take it.

    Q. I would imagine that spring practice, you had ’em for 15 practices, and I would imagine there were a lot of deer in the headlights looks on their faces. How have you seen in the months since then that they’re adjusting to everything they took in and absorbed in the spring and putting it into work now?

    SEAN SPENCER: It was a little bit of a shock when we first got here, right? Like, we come and everything is on and off the field full speed. I think the deer in the headlights, and then the anticipation that they wanted to get better, knowing that here’s change, right, and you got to be willing to accept change.

    So I don’t know necessarily if anybody was just like, oh my, what just happened? But they understood that it was just going to be different and this is the way we’re going to do things.

    Then I think when it becomes nature to them and natural to them for them to do this thing and they meet our expectations, they see that it’s really not that difficult. It’s really what’s required and let’s get a little bit higher.

    Q. Can you give examples of consequences for lack of discipline?

    SEAN SPENCER: We can’t tell. We can’t share that right there. (Laughing.) Pushups, pushups, pushups, chaos. We just say chaos and it’s all good.

    Q. But you also mentioned that internally when — the peer pressure of it, how do you get guys to get involved in that or does that come naturally to leaders picking themselves, as it were?

    SEAN SPENCER: One of the great things I saw in the end of spring was Justus Boone got on one of the players before I did. He turned around and he said, That’s not what we do. We expect more. And when you start to get that, you start to get them talking like that, man, it can be special. So that would be an example.

    Q. What does a guy like Brenton Cox off the edge do for a defensive line in your ability to be able to scheme around him and open things up front?

    SEAN SPENCER: That guy’s done an incredible job changing his body type. He was a real muscle-bound kid in the spring, I looked at him, I said, Wow, he’s really big. He did look like an NFL football player, but he’s really changed his body and leaned up, slimmed down. I tell you and I tell the guys all the time, especially in my room, that guy is a professional in the way he handles himself day-in and day-out. He is going to work at his craft. He is constantly changing what he does and evaluating it. So I’m excited about that.

    In terms of singling him up and things like that, we got 11 guys on defense. And he’s going to, we’re going to get, everybody’s got to get touches. So he’s a guy we expect to excel in the defense, but we don’t put that type of pressure on him because there’s 10 other parts that work with him.

    Q. How have you seen Desmond Watson improve and maybe that’s physically or on the field, like in what ways has he changed his body at all?

    SEAN SPENCER: Right. So as he asked before, he’s constantly working on it. He’s really bought into doing what he’s supposed to do off the field to get him himself right to play. And it’s just more about conditioning because if you watch the guy he can move at that size. I mean it’s pretty incredible. It’s like it’s a wonder that he can move like that.

    So he can hold points and do things like that, but what we’re trying to do with Des is just not make him a guy that’s just a two-gap stop guy. We’re trying to make that guy a complete football player. So I don’t treat Des any different than I treat Big G in terms of what I expect him to do on the defensive line, if that makes sense.

    Q. Just reading your bio, defense line, had 40 sacks for the Giants in 2020. How do you develop that kind of pass rush here, pass rush techniques and so forth and what do you see in the potential on this unit as well?

    SEAN SPENCER: Yeah, one thing I tell you, you get real good players, that helps you out. So when you got those good players you make a lot of sacks. Carl Nassib when I was at Penn State had 15 and a half sacks, so he was a really good player. But in terms of that it’s how we, in my opinion, every guy has a touch on that on that ball, so each guy has a chance and an opportunity. Whether it’s schematically or physically, those guys can excel to their potential.

    And I think once they buy into that it’s the group, right, it’s the group. And if you do what you’re supposed to do — if you’re on left side and you hold point and this guy does an up and under move and you’re standing where you’re supposed to be then we got a chance to sack as a group. So we all celebrate together. If that answers your question.

    Q. Gervon mentioned that he’s kind of focusing on end right now. I believe his first two years he was kind of a three-tech nose moving around. What are the strengths of his game that kind of just fit in there at end?

    SEAN SPENCER: Yeah, he’s guy that really can play a lot of multiple positions for us. So he can play end for us and he can also do some other things. So he’s just a guy that the techniques, no matter where he plays, inside, outside, those techniques will carry over.

    So you still got to stay low if you’re on outside, you still go to the stay low if you’re on inside. So those things I think have great carryover. And because he’s such a talented guy we can use him in different positions.

    Q. When you’re showing Gervon what he can become, a lot of coaches find guys who are comparable at the next level. Are there some dudes that either you coached or that you saw at the Giants and you have shown Gervon, This is what your tape can look like?

    SEAN SPENCER: Yeah, you know, I’m careful making comparisons, but I will. Reminds me a lot of a combination of Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence. Very, not as big as Dex, but kind of more Leonard’s body type. And he can do some things in the short area with his quickness and he’s got good length and all those things that he can really create one-on-one pass rush moves. But I don’t like to compare, those two guys are first-round picks, so that’s a lot it to put on him.

    But as I talk to him I do say there are many similarities between you and those guys right there.

    Q. I heard the pad level for those guys is sometimes a problem. How do you address that? Is that just through reps or is it a mindset?

    SEAN SPENCER: We put ’em in the chute without their helmet on. I’m just kidding. (Laughing.)

    Q. That sounds like a good consequence for discipline.

    SEAN SPENCER: That will keep you down, right?

    But, no, it’s something that you got to emphasize in practice with your drills and things.

    Like I said, we will get under the chutes and constantly calling out the expectation and the thing that they’re not doing. So say for instance someone’s pad’s a little high and they make the play. Well you can’t commend them on making the play if the pad level is not what you wanted. So the expectation has to be that of such each play.

    So we’re going to work on that all the time. We’re always going to work on ball get off and those things, so we prevent ourselves from jumping offsides, so…

    #18593
    LizardLover4144
    ITG Subscriber

    This coach has lots of energy! I can see where he gets the name Chaos. Very fitting.

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