Johnson: Not much changes after promotion

Sep 22, 2020 | 0 comments

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Offensive coordinator Brian Johnson and redshirt junior linebacker Ventrell Miller met with the media following practice on Monday night to discuss the team’s preparation for Saturday’s season-opener at Ole Miss.

Here are the highlights.

Brian Johnson

  • There's only so much that you can control in terms of contingency plans for players testing positive for the virus late in the week. The key is to make sure everybody is as prepared as possible so that they can adequately fill in at a moment’s notice if needed.
  • It was revealed Monday that he was promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator this offseason. He doesn't know how much his promotion will change his role. He's always been heavily involved with helping Dan Mullen decide what plays to call. They've got great players and coaches, and he's excited for the opportunity to be the offensive coordinator.
  • He's known Mullen for a long time, and, going back to their time at Mississippi State, they’ve always had a collaborative effort on game plans. They do most of the work on play-calling Monday through Thursday. Not much changes now after his promotion.
  • He was asked about potentially being the first Black offensive coordinator in program history, particularly given the lack of Black head coaches in college football. He didn't realize that possibility, but he's very proud if that is indeed the case. UF has a history of elite quarterback play, so it's an honor. He and Mullen have talked about this promotion for a while, and Mullen knows that the opportunity to advance through the coaching profession often runs through the quarterback coach and offensive coordinator positions.
  • Ole Miss quarterback and former UF commit Matt Corral was the first recruit Johnson met with after coming to UF in late 2017. He's got a chance to watch him play some, and he's a very talented player.
  • Everybody has to be as flexible as possible this season, and having an experienced staff that knows how to adjust and teach quickly is a huge benefit to them.
  • Kyle Trask weighs about the same as he did when Johnson came to UF. Trask gained some weight after his broken foot in 2018 but lost about 10 pounds this offseason. Johnson’s excited to watch him on Saturday.
  • Having a returning starting quarterback provides them with a little more comfort, but this year will present an entirely new set of challenges, so it won't necessarily be any easier than last year.
  • Ole Miss' linebacking corps is the heart and soul of their defense. As is often the case in season-openers, he expects this game to be a bit of a "crap shoot" from a schematic standpoint. It's more about execution.
  • Ole Miss co-defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin is very multiple in what he does and knows how to match his coverages and pressures together well. Going against a similarly aggressive coach in Todd Grantham in practice should help them.

Ventrell Miller

  • It feels good to be in-game week after watching other teams play. It's the first game, though, so they need to lock in and make sure everyone's on the same page.
  • His great play in coverage late in the Miami game last season showed his coaches and teammates what he can do. That play was a turning point for him.
  • It's going to take everybody being in the right gap and executing to slow down Rebels quarterback John Rhys Plumlee.
  • You'll never know when your number will be called this year, and you have to create your own energy with limited numbers of fans in the stands.
  • Having versatility on defense will put them in a better position with the possibility of losing players to the virus this season.
  • It's up for the coaches to decide the depth chart, and he trusts anybody the coaches put out there with him.

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