Watch: Napier post-game press conference

Sep 24, 2022 | 1 comment


(Photo courtesy Florida Sports Information)


After Saturday’s 38-33 loss to No. 11 Tennessee, Florida head coach Billy Napier, quarterback Anthony Richardson, and wide receiver Ricky Pearsall met with the media to discuss the game and what’s next for the Gators.

Video courtesy GatorVision, transcripts courtesy Florida Sports Information

Billy Napier

Opening statement
“Nobody likes to lose, in particular that group of people in that locker room. Especially when you work as hard as they do, when you’re loyal to each other and you commit to each other, and you give your very best effort in a lot of ways. There’s a lot of opportunities out there where our group could have folded their cards today, but they kept swinging. Can’t complement the effort, the physicality, the competitive spirit, the togetherness [enough]. I think we need to execute a little bit better and we need to coach a little bit better. In particular, myself today. I think I can do better for our team, our players. But I do think, although we lost the game, we grew up a little bit today, in my opinion. Just relative to actually flipping the switch and competing. When you combine offense, defense and special teams today, we didn’t do enough to win. We gave up a few cheap ones. We left points out there on offense. In the kicking game, we didn’t do anything to change the game today. So, a lot of credit to Tennessee. But I think when we go back and watch the film, there’s going to be 12-to-15 plays where Florida beats Florida tonight. And I think when you think about that, you think about coaching. That’s my responsibility. I love that group in that locker room, I really do. I love the competitive spirit that they have. And you know what they did? They did what we asked them to do today. They went on the road, we brought 70 here today, and we put the ball down and they competed. Did we play perfect? No. We didn’t do enough to win. No moral victories. No moral victories. So, back to work.”


On what happened during the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty…
“I lost my poise. I didn’t represent our team. I didn’t represent the University of Florida the right way. I need to do better. I apologize for that.”

On what he was upset over on that play…
“Of the amount of time that they spent on the review. But, we got a great, unbelievable crew. They called a great game. They let the players play. I can’t tell you how impressed I am… Phenomenal.Class act. I need to keep my composure and represent our team better.

On what areas of the game concerned him most…
“I just think when we go back and evaluate all the situations in the game, we can help the players. This is a team game. It is offense, defense and special teams. There is strategy involved relative to the clock, relative to down and distance, and relative to the field zones. I think we are going to see some areas where we could have done a better job for the players and that is all I am saying. I think the collective effort of our team today was not good enough to get it done.”

On Hendon Hooker…
“He is a good player. I think one of the things that really makes him unique is the ability to rush the ball and his ability to scramble, extend and escape. We had him dead to rights a few times tonight. The guy is a good player. I think we had our opportunities.”

On the impact of the drive before the half…
“I think that is one of the areas I feel like I could have helped the players a little bit. It is 3rd and 10 and we are trying to get it back on a short field and we have the guy dead to rights. We are in a great call and he escapes a little bit and makes a great play. Then we gave up a big play there on the perimeter. I think that ultimately when we look back at it, that is an area that we can help the players and that I can help the players. But there is no question when you think about the end of the second and first part of the third, there was a momentum swing there. We had control of the game and we let it slip away right there.”

On Anthony Richardson’s performance…
“I think that Anthony Richardson is a phenomenal young man. He takes so much pride in his role on the team. He works, he is humble, he cares and he competed today. He flipped the switch and he competed in the game. I know how hard the young man works, I watch him every day. He showed who he is today. I think when you go through a couple rough outings and then you go play on the road against a really good team – He responded today, physically but more importantly, he responded as a teammate. He responded with character. He stayed focused on improvement and I think that showed up today.”

On Anthony Richardson’s hard work…
“That is what he is, he is a product of his work. We started this process back in the offseason. Between the beginning until today, he is a product of his work and I think he showed all the time that he has invested, and is trying to be the best for his team. That is what showed up today.”

On Ventrell Miller…
“Ventrell Miller is as good a human being as I have been around. He is a really good football player, but Ventrell Miller is a leader, he is an example setter and he is a great communicator. He is one of the best I have ever been around when it comes to his ability to influence other people in a positive way. Ventrell Miller, couldn’t be more proud of him.”

On the breakdowns in defensive coverage…
“Well, I think when we evaluate the tape, like I mentioned earlier, there’s going to be things we can do better in all three areas of our team. Players, coaches, in-game decision-making, fundamentals, communication. And that’s where we’re at. That’s exactly where we’re at as a football team. So, we need more repetitions, and we need to stay the course. And I’m confident in our process and I’m confident in this group and their attitude towards the work, and I know they’ll respond the right way.”

On how the players will respond after a game like this…
“They’re going to do what they’ve been doing. They’re going to show up. They’re loyal to each other. They want to do their very best for their teammates. And I think that their attitude, they haven’t flinched. If there’s one thing this group does, is they respond to adversity. I think we got to help them do the technical things better. And our football team needs to do the simple things better. I think we know what winning football looks like. We got a collective effort of our offense, defensive and special teams – we got to do things better to position our team to have success and win. And we’re going to do our very best for them to help them do that.”

Anthony Richardson

On his confidence and ability to get the ball down the field…
“We prepared all week to take some shots. The receivers and I have worked on building chemistry and confidence, and we showcased that tonight.”

On his 500 yards of offense…
“It feels good to have fun out there and play football. Just being out there with my brothers is fun. It’s a blessing and I just have to take advantage of every opportunity I get. We tried to do that tonight, but overall, it was pretty fun just playing football with them.”

On his preparation for the game…
“I just prepared hard. I focused a lot more, and put a lot more time and effort into the game plan and the defensive study. One of my coaches told me that preparation is key, and pressure is for the unprepared, and I feel like I was prepared for this game.”

Ricky Pearsall

On the team’s comeback at the end of the game:
“It feels good always scoring. It would feel a lot better if that helped us win the game. Anything I can do to help us win, I’m going to do.”

On his offensive success…
“Executing what we do in practice every day. We are at practice grinding, and that’s what we work for. It looks good to go out there and execute it. That’s what we’ve been trying to do, we just need to get on the same page and keep working on those little details and keep getting better in practice.”

On the team’s offensive chemistry…
“At the end of the day, we didn’t get the win so I think that hurts us a little bit. As far as looking at all of the things we did execute good, I think it’s going to put confidence in a lot of guys, including myself, moving forward. Just like I said, we need to get back to practice and continue to grind and get better every single day.”

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