Florida coach Billy Napier appeared on the SEC football coaches teleconference on Wednesday.
Here’s some of what Napier had to say before UF’s debut on Saturday (7 pm, ESPN) against No. 7 Utah.
Gators Special Teams
Napier was asked about his philosophy on special teams and Florida football’s emphasis on it during spring and fall training camp.
“We call our special teams revolutionary and we really think that’s a big part of the culture that you’re trying to create,” Napier said. “I think the intangibles that show up in the kicking game is an opportunity for offensive and defensive players to work together, it’s an opportunity for young players, some of their rookies and potentially some of their foot players to earn a spot. and it may be your first time to run between the lines and represent your team, so that’s important. I think we spend a little more time than most on that, in terms of planning, meetings, walking through practice times.” .
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The battle for position continues at kicker
Napier said Wednesday that position battles in the kicker and return game have yet to be determined. Sophomore Jeremy Crawshaw returns as UF’s starting kicker, a player Napier said on his radio show had “unique leadership qualities” for his job because players are drawn to him.
“Field position is very valuable,” Napier said. “I think if you’re going to have a good football team, you’ve got to cover kicks, maybe you’ve got to make a game-changing play in the return game. We’ve got a good group of specialists, I think you start there.” .”
Posted Depth Chart
Florida will release its depth chart on Wednesday night. But Napier made it clear Wednesday that the starters won’t be set in stone for the rest of the season.
“We have a lot of players who have worked hard and earned our trust to give them a chance,” Napier said. “I think for our team, particularly this year, the number of snaps these players play each week is going to be based on how they did the week before and also what we look at from a discipline standpoint, from a football standpoint. of urgency and how they perform in practice, meetings, tutorials…”, performance practice”.
Napier said off-field factors will also come into play when determining depth chart decisions.
“Once a guy wins our trust, it’s a big deal, it’s a privilege,” Napier said. “You have to earn the right to walk between the lines and earn the right to be one of 11 who represent this current team, but also this place, this community and all the people who came before you.”