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Florida Football

Notes from Tuesday’s post-practice availability

September 10, 2019
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Offensive line coach John Hevesy, quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson and several offensive players met with the media following Tuesday’s practice.

Here are the highlights.

Hevesy

  • On using the loss to Kentucky last year as motivation: “We don't have to hit them with it constantly. They know. They know exactly what happened last year, and it's one of the games they lost at home. But to me, it's our first SEC game, so we've got to be ready to play.”
  • He said there are times and places for using losses as extra fuel throughout the week at practice. One example was the 2006 National Championship Game against Ohio State. A lot of people felt that the Gators didn’t even deserve to be in the game, and they fully embraced the underdog role. This week is not one of those weeks. Hevesy wants the focus to be on preparing to play the SEC opener, not on emotions. “Some of these kids might look at it like it's Kentucky of the last 40 years prior. It's not. They've done a great job with their program. And for us, we're building the same thing. We've got to understand and build up, and it's going to be big. We go to their house."
  • One of the little details he said they need to clean up is running at the correct angle. It might not seem like much to fans, but it goes a long way toward fixing some of the mistakes in the running game. He thought the players adjusted to coaching nicely, but it probably took them a little longer than they would’ve liked.
  • He was impressed with the way the second unit listened to his coaching throughout the game and applied it to the field once they got in. They didn’t wait until they were playing to listen. He thought the twos did a nice job of communicating and executing assignments given their lack of experience.
  • Left tackle Stone Forsythe has had a good start to the season so far, and Hevesy said a big key for him moving into SEC play is learning how to play low despite his massive frame. “People can't get underneath him. It's hard being 6-foot-8, especially last week when they're not as tall of guys, 6-foot, 6-foot-1 guys. This week, they're 6-foo-4, 300-pound guys. Now you've got to really bend and play with your legs.”
  • He said the key for his unit to not lose focus in their first true road game is to survive the first series and the initial surge of energy from the crowd. They’ve had the crowd noise cranked up in practice this week, and he wants to see them maintain their focus and attention-to-detail.
  • He said guards Brett Heggie and Chris Bleich are as good as he’s ever had at pulling. “For guards, the hardest thing for them is being in space. So, once they turn that corner, they’re now in space, so it’s how fast can you drop your hips, how fast can you get a base and withstand that linebacker that’s going to hit you in the face.”

Johnson

  • On the origin of the shovel pass when he played at Utah for Urban Meyer: “We were running a shovel play and we pulled it and the guy came and we pitched it underneath. I do remember that. It's interesting how in the game of football stuff like that develops.”
  • He said the offense Meyer and Dan Mullen developed at Utah was very creative and cutting-edge back then, but football is cyclical. “I think pretty soon people will be back in the I-formation and running downhill. It's been interesting to see how offensive football has evolved and the game has evolved in general over the course of the last 15-20 years."
  • On Kentucky’s defense: "They're very sound and very complimentary in terms of how things marry together. Structurally, they have guys in the right spots, and they put them in position to make plays. We have to be sound in what we do and how we attack and put our guys in position to play to the best of their ability."
  • He said Kyle Trask and Emory Jones have done everything they’ve asked them to do, so it was good to get them in the UT Martin game. He thought both of them played well.
  • On Feleipe Franks’ development: “He’s adapted and grown with everything that we’ve thrown at him. I’ve been really proud of his overall development the last year and a half, and, you know, he’s continued to make progress and shown an unbelievable desire and work ethic to become a much better player. And the results are starting to show, so I’m just really happy for him and happy for our team.”

Malik Davis

  • On scoring his first touchdown in nearly two years against UT Martin: “It was a good feeling. It was a special moment just because I know how hard I worked in the offseason, and I’m happy to see it paying off. It’s a confidence booster because it’s different from just practicing then taking it on the field in a real live game. I feel like it was something I needed.”
  • He said the energy has ramped up in practice with SEC play here. “I feel like it was a high-intensity practice. Everyone flying around the ball. Defense was flying, attacking the ball.”
  • On the loss last season: “When you go through adversity, you always learn more. When we’re winning and everything is going good and everybody is smiling, when we face some adversity, you see how guys really act. That was something that was big last year. I feel like we needed to do that to have the season we had.”

Kyle Pitts

  • As far as blocking, he said the tight ends are focusing on their hand and foot placement and exploding off the line. “[Kentucky’s] D-Ends are big, so we have to play very technique-wise and [blast] them off the ball.”
  • On UK’s defense: “Their front seven is pretty big, and they’re older guys who have been playing for a long time. We just got to play our game.”
  • On Florida’s trio of freshmen cornerbacks: “I think they’re ready. They’ve been behind CJ [Henderson] and Marco [Wilson] and working with them. They’re the last ones out every day, so I think they’re ready to play on a big stage.”

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