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Florida Football

McGee praises Jones' grit

November 16, 2021
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Quarterbacks coach Garrick McGee, offensive tackle Richard Gouraige, and wide-out Ja'Markis Weston addressed the media after Tuesday night’s practice.

Here are the main takeaways.

  • “A lot has happened since then my man,” McGee said as one of his opening remarks in a season that has seen two assistant coaches replaced with many calling for McGee’s job as well.
  • McGee mentioned the progression of Gator quarterbacks this season as one that is still coming along. “They’re still in the process of learning how to be great quarterbacks, learning what it takes to be a great quarterback. The type of emotional and mental strain that you have to have for 60 straight minutes is something that, you know, they’re working through,” McGee said. “I think that they are getting to the point where they’re learning how hard it is mentally and emotionally to be a quarterback on this level.”
  • McGee praised Emory Jones’ grit in dealing with the hardships that come with the starting role. McGee motioned that it was hard for Jones’ mother to come to the games early in the season because of the things she’d hear being said about her son as she sat in the stands. “He had to deal with that while he was out on the field trying to execute and worried about his mom who is in the stands. And those types of things are something no one talks about,” McGee said. “We would have these deep conversations, me and him, him and his mother, about how we’re going to withstand this and keep battling through this.”
  • McGee said that despite troubles Jones has kept grinding through adversity. “One of those early games he played 60 snaps in the game, he had six really bad plays and 54 really good plays. He had to learn that those six bad plays are all that anybody cares about, including us,” McGee said. McGee said that recognition of the weight of those six bad snaps are learned during the season.
  • The emergence of Anthony Richardson despite his role as a backup has brought the spotlight to his relationship with Emory Jones. “I told Anthony, as soon as we start Anthony and he runs out there and he turns the ball over, everybody is going to say that we just need to put Emory back in the game and get you out,” McGee said. McGee says that he preaches support between both quarterbacks, understanding their assignment and providing support for whoever is under center. McGee mentioned that Jones would hear when fans wanted Feleipe Franks to be subbed out for himself as he stood next to Franks on the sideline. “Now it all happened in reverse, it was let’s get Emory out and get Anthony in. So, Emory had been through this situation on both sides. His maturity of understanding emotionally how to handle it I think really helped for him to keep grinding and keep working,” McGee said.
  • When questioned about how involved he was in choosing the starting quarterback each game McGee conceded to his limited role as an assistant. “My job as an assistant coach is to make recommendations and the head coach’s job is to make decisions.” McGee mentioned his prior experience as a head coach and the trust he had in his assistants, stating that Richardson’s involvement this season has been limited due to injuries.

Richard Gouraige

  • Richard Gouraige had high praise for his teammate Dameon Pierce when asked about his work ethic. He responded with, “Usually after every play coach throws a white towel and Dameon is always the one who finishes through the whistle.” “He always comes in and works hard, I am glad to have him as a teammate.”
  • When asked about some of the younger guys on the team he responded with, “They did a phenomenal job, and it shows they are buying into the game scheme. I have faith in those guys and it’s good that they can go out there and showcase their talent.
  • Emory Jones was brought up from the media quite a few times and when Gouraige was asked about his teammate’s performance against Samford he said, “I am so happy for Emory he is a great leader, and I would do anything to make him shine the way he did.”

Ja’Markis Weston

  • Veteran teammate Dameon Pierce was also brought up by the media. When Ja’Markis Weston was asked about his teammate he said, “He brings great energy to the team there is never a problem with him, he is a great teammate.” Weston mentioned Pierce’s athleticism and that it is unexplainable. He also mentioned that Pierce is one of the hardest players to take one-on-one.
  • On his touchdown against Samford, he mentioned that Jones’ performance was one that his quarterback must use to move forward. “Just keep going and stay positive on the situation.”
  • When asked if coach Dan Mullen has helped the team block out the criticism and move forward as a team, he responded with “Yes he has done a great job of helping us throughout this season.” On blocking out the noise this season: “You know just staying together as a team, Mullen has been helping us out with that.”
  • On his recruitment to Florida: "The thing that led me to Florida was that it was a home environment. It felt like home for me, and I wanted to feel comfortable.” He also mentioned his respectfulness and character led to Mullen's interest in him.
  • On learning from Billy Gonzalez: "I never really had a father figure. So, I look at his role as a father figure. Every day I ask him ‘can you coach me your hardest.’"
  • When he was asked about the mood in the locker room this week after the win over Samford ended a three-game losing streak, he responded with, “Yes sir the energy has been lifted most definitely.”

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Rafael de los Santos and Joseph Munroe contributed to this report

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WCC: Updates on everything Garrick McGee, Richard Gouriage, and Ja'Markis Weston had to say can be seen HERE.

McGee praises Jones' grit

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