Tuesday Media Availablity: Jones talked out of transferring

Mar 16, 2022 | 0 comments

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Billy Napier spoke to the media after his first spring practice as head coach of the Florida Gators. He addressed the quarterback room, his first practice as coach of the Florida Gators and his thoughts on the start of spring practice. 

Here are the main takeaways: 

  • One of the biggest stories of the offseason for Florida has been the saga of quarterback Emory Jones. Last year’s starter was rumored to be entering the transfer portal, but as of now is still a Gator and participating in spring practice. Jones said that Napier and Ryan O’Hara recruited him to stay at Florida and that he was close to transferring out of the program. Napier didn’t explicitly say anything about Jones’s goals with the program, just saying that Jones was trying to learn the new system like the other quarterbacks. 
  • Anthony Richardson, the quarterback many expect to overtake Jones as the starter, was the subject of praise from Napier. “I didn't get a chance to see him throw it in bowl practice because he was injured and it certainly comes out of his hand really well,” Napier said. “There's a reason why people think that he has an opportunity to be a good player.”
  • Napier also added that Richardson is healthy and cleared to practice, but they’re still limiting certain sets that he runs. Richardson said it took two months to recover from surgery and he returned to throwing in late February. 
  • According to Napier, the players have bought into the new staff and the new system. “They've completely bought in, we have had very little resistance,” Napier said. “They're excited, and certainly I think that goes back to hiring really good people, not only people that are experts at what they do, but also sincere, authentic people that care for the players.”
  • Napier noted that the team is in a teaching phase right now and that it’s a long way away from naming any starting positions. “We're a long way away from naming any player in that facility in any position,” Napier said. “Right now we're trying to teach football. competition is happening, each and every rep, each and every day.”
  • Napier talked about how he evaluates quarterbacks, and the importance of the next few weeks of practice, particularly with lots of install work, is in that process. “I think the big thing here is installing creases, right? That will really uncover a lot about how quickly a guy can learn how much he can retain,” Napier said. “You know how fast he can process not only offensively, but it's the number of variables on offense combined with the number of variables on defense.”
  • The first practice of a new era requires a lot of moving parts to work. “The staff did a great job, all the different parts, you know, it takes a lot to get ready to practice and we're talking probably 200 people that contribute,” Napier said. “I was pleased with that. And so we were well prepared. We were organized, the effort was good for the players.” Napier also noted how he and his staff are also still working to improve and that things can improve from the coaches as well.

Tags: Player

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