“We all we got! We all we need!”
If you were at fall practices this year you heard that phrase shouted from the Florida Gators football team. On the surface, they are just words, but to a team that is coming off of a 4-8 season, the words hold a deeper meaning.
“I feel like it means a whole lot to us just because, this year, I feel like we’re like brothers,” sophomore running back Kelvin Taylor said. “Our whole team is like, we have a great team chemistry. So I feel like that saying that — D.J. [Humphries] always says it — I feel like it means a whole lot because everybody really takes that to heart.”
The Seattle Seahawks made the phrase popular during their Super Bowl run last season and, despite the grammar which is a little bit off, carries an “us against them” mentality. Something every coach from little league to professional sports tries to instill in their team.
Last season — as losses piled up — fans, opposing fans and the media piled on. It was easy to find embarrassing stats or poke fun at two Gator players blocking each other. As much as they will say that they don’t hear the noise from the outside, the players heard it. They read the tweets and they rushed for their remotes when ESPN played and re-played Jon Harrison blocking Quinton Dunbar at nauseum.
A leader on offense, D.J. Humphries brought the Gators new motto to the team late in the summer, before fall camp. It was easy to latch on to after the season that Florida was coming off of. The butt of jokes from everyone to Florida State fans to the big talking heads on ESPN, the 2014 Gators wanted to make sure that the players and coaches in the locker room would be there for each other, no matter what.
“I’ve never been this comfortable around a team, from the top to the bottom. I feel like we’re all really family now,” D.J. Humphries said.
They’ve rallied around a phrase, but in reality, those are just words. Is it a battle cry? Maybe. Is it the motto the team has taken on this year? Absolutely.
It also serves as a reminder. The Gators have their eyes set on revenge and redemption but they’re not looking to impress anyone on the outside. This season is for them. For the players on this roster who went through last season and for the new guys in the locker room to never have to go through something like that.
“We’re really not playing for any recognition,” sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III said. “We’re playing for ourselves, we’re playing for our team.”
It isn’t just words to the Florida Gators. The words sound nice, sure, but the words just serve as a reminder. This team has faced it all in the past 12 months and the biggest thing that it taught them is that the only people they need this season are the ones that will run out of the tunnel just before 7 p.m. on Saturday.
“To be honest,” Taylor said. “That’s all we really need.”