- ITG Mock Signing Class 7.0
- Updated Depth Chart: Dean & Umanmielen back in starting lineup
- Defensive Commits: Ranked too high, too low or about right
Ahead of this weekend’s homecoming game against Missouri, Billy Napier – along with linebacker Ventrell Miller and receiver Justin Shorter – met with the media to discuss preparation and the current state of the team.
Here are the highlights:
- Napier said that the team is excited for homecoming weekend – things such as Gator Growl and GatorMade, as well as former players coming back. He added that the team takes its role seriously in what they and their performance mean this weekend to the school.
- On welcoming former players back, he acknowledged that he’s been seen as more welcoming to them than some former coaches may have been. “Those guys put a lot of time, effort and energy into this place,” he said. “It’s a simple sign of respect … It’s a network of people that can be helpful for the University of Florida.”
- He said that they had a good practice today, back in pads. Added that they’ve been “cleaning up the plan” for Saturday.
- Napier is placing an emphasis on trying to eliminate “negative plays,” which is something he’s been preaching all season. He said that avoiding sacks this weekend against Missouri’s line is critical. “It helps when you have an athlete at quarterback.”
- On the Tigers, Napier praised their offense. He said they’ve been successful moving the ball and called them “creative.” Added that there are “no easy outs in the SEC.”
- Despite Trey Dean being healthy and listed as a starter this week, Napier said that Kamari Wilson “will still play.” He said he had a specifically great practice today and is “only getting better.”
- Miller said that against Tennessee, he was playing at just 60-70%. He added that they gave him a “numbing shot” before the game so he didn’t really feel anything. He continued to say that after he was able to see what he could do in that game, any anxiousness he may have had beforehand was gone.
- He said that when he initially injured his foot this season, his first thought was ‘not again.’ Looking back on his history of injuries, he said that he initially thought the injury would be worse than it ended up actually being.
- On if he is now back at 100%: “Yes. 100%. Most definitely.”
- When asked about how he’s been able to improve every season, he said it’s about not taking anything for granted considering his injury history. “There is always room for improvement, getting better each and every day.”
- Shorter said that the aspect of Anthony Richardson’s game that he’s seen improve most as this season has gone on is confidence and trust in his ability to throw the ball. He said that he’s “very thankful” to be able to have balls thrown to him like that of the first play against EWU.
- On how he can best help his quarterback against Missouri’s formidable front seven, Shorter said it’s just about being solid on routes and being prepared for the defense. “By having a knowledge of the defense, we can help him.”
- Recalling last year’s loss to UM, Shorter described the feeling after as “very, very sickening.”
- On aiming to get their first SEC win of the season this weekend, he said it all started right after the game Sunday. “Coach always says you win the game through the week.”
WCC: More of what Billy Napier, Ventrell Miller, and Justin Shorter had to say can be seen HERE.