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Bullet Points from post practice Zoom conference with McGriff and Montinar

March 19, 2021
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Florida's two new defensive back coaches, Jules Montinar and Wesley McGriff, met with the media after Thursday's practice.

Here are the highlights from the Zoom conference.

Jules Montinar

  • He's excited about the new job. He talks about when he introduced himself to the team. Literally 10 min after that he was working with the cornerbacks.
  • His style as a coach comes from how he was as a player. He wants to figure out how guys can learn. They learn by seeing and doing it. He emphasizes he is a hands-on kind of coach.
  • He says Todd Grantham's been in the game a long time. He's coached defense at the highest level and he coaches a pro-style defense. There are some similarities with the defenses they’ve coached considering he’s familiar with Grantham. As a defensive backs coach, they play a lot of press, man-to-man which he likes. But they're not scared to bring pressure either. The defense is very multiple they won't just sit and play Cover 2 all day long. The last defense he coached, they had no corner blitzes. When Grantham told him they had several he got excited.
  • Montinar loves Kaiir Elam's work ethic and attitude. He writes notes and asks questions even if it’s something he’s heard three or four times already. He mentioned them watching point-of-attack tape to look for improvements. Not one time was he not asking when he could meet with Jules again.
  • His previous stop - USF - was a good and refreshing experience. Jeff Scott's father Brad Scott recruited him out of Naples back when Montinar played. Scott's a good football coach who does things the right way.
  • When Montinar was hired the first thing he did was watch all of Florida’s games. He shared his thoughts on the cornerbacks. Elam is a stud and called Jaydon Hill athletic and physical. He remembers Jahari Rogers and Avery Helm through the recruiting process when he was at Texas State and Georgia. Brought up early entry freshmen Jason Marshall and Jordan Young doing a good job learning the defense. Both are very smart and very athletic. The biggest thing with the younger guys is it's the first time they've been through spring practice.
  • The biggest challenge with a younger group is reps. It's a challenging deal and nobody feels sorry for you. They're going to have to mature early. Luckily, they have some experienced guys and younger ones who answered the bell. "They're not going to learn by standing next to me,” he said.

Wesley McGriff

  • The biggest thing for him as safeties coach is making sure he does his role. Everyone has one. He can't speak about last year but there are some things they're doing to make sure they're playing well at a high level. And that's the job as an assistant coach. Making sure guys are ready, playing fundamentally sound.
  • He loves the players' work ethic. He's seen guys get better and he loves just the attitude they have right now.
  • When you hear Todd Grantham's name that means you're at a high level. McGriff mentioned he doesn't want to be on the other sideline against him. He gives you a whole different “menu” every week at his “restaurant.” Being in the meeting room you can see why he's revered. He's a smart football guy and highly demanding and McGriff loves that.
  • McGriff said Florida's an opportunity people want. You want to reach out when you hear a position is open. The best thing about teaching young players is they want to get better. You can build them up. They may be young but have a strong football IQ and work ethic. They want to watch video. It's about keeping that energy and intensity going.
  • McGriff coaches safeties, while Montinar coaches corners. At Auburn, McGriff was the only secondary coach. But, to him, it's no different at Florida. It's helpful to have another guy working with you. You have to be on the same page.. He thinks Montinar is a detailed coach and loves that he focuses on the specifics.
  • McGriff expresses his gratitude for working at Florida. Mentions how he hated coaching against that offense when he was at Auburn. Brings up the best thing he does is matchups. He's great getting them early through formation and play calls. He can remember plays like yesterday from the Auburn-Florida game in 2019. He's glad he's on Mullen's side now. "If you want to be a good defensive coach, just listen to some offensive coaches talk,” McGriff said.
  • The thing you have to do as a coach when transitioning is take a small sample size of what they've done in the past. Look at their strengths and build on those then work on what they might not be too strong at. He pursues it like it's a partnership. It's gratifying to help young men get better. One thing he's guilty of coaching is confidence.. The best thing about being a new coach is you don't focus on the past.
  • You live for being able to coach a player like him Trey Dean. He has all the tools and is excited every day about getting better. You can find him on the practice field because he'll give 110 percent every play.
  • The game has changed a lot and you want to keep the physicality. You teach them to be physical but you have to lower they're strike zone. A worry of his is guys having knee injuries now. But you don't want to not teach them well because that can make a difference in a game. The biggest thing is teaching them how to tackle. Plus, teams are throwing more now. That leads to more focus in the passing game learning you can make a tackle but not take a kill shot on a receiver.
  • Mentions it was a tough year in 2020. It was a different year for everybody. You saw a lot of mistakes made because spring ball is critical. You can have guys not playing as fast or as sure. Spotty tackling, leaky yardage and not as much study time leading to unfamiliarity with some formations are some of the effects.

Bullet Points from post practice Zoom conference with McGriff and Montinar

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