The Florida Gators football team held their second scrimmage of fall camp on Friday night, just over two weeks before they will kick off the season for real against New Mexico State on September 5.
As the season draws near, Head Coach Jim McElwain and his staff will use the second scrimmage to start working on pairing up players to fill out the offensive and defensive packages but it may be the offense that needs the most attention.
Jalen Tabor, Vernon Hargreaves and Deiondre Porter all recorded interceptions on Friday night during the scrimmage and McElwain’s offense continues to show inconsistency more than anything else.
“Consistency and performance is really what it’s all about. Really, at the end of the day, these guys have the talent to do it,” said McElwain. “You talk about believing in yourself. Confidence. Confidence is something that’s gained by believing in through knowledge of knowing what to do.”
The biggest issue on offense has been with the receivers dropping passes. The Gators receivers have had seven coaches in the past seven seasons, so consistency has been completely nonexistent for the group, but the fundamentals — like catching the football — can’t be blamed on not having consistency with a coach.
The inconsistency at receiver from some veterans has opened a door for new players to come in and earn playing time early. Freshman Antonio Callaway has taken advantage of that open door.
“He’s not a rookie any more. He’s been through camp now,” McElwain said of Callaway. “That’s just an example of a guy who came in with the mind-set, you know what? I’m gonna go out and be good. We need to continue that mind-set with some of those other guys.”
McElwain is determined to get the passing game going and if the receivers can’t get the job done he’s prepared to spread the ball around. In past coaching stops, McElwain has used both the tight end and running back positions heavily in the passing game and Florida’s depth and skill sets at those positions will help Florida make up for receivers with board hands.
“I’m just excited the development there. What that does is allows us to be formational, trying to create some edges and do some things with those guys,” McElwain said of the tight end group. That’s a position I feel pretty good about.”
The Florida Gators offense needs to get better, it’s not an easy task to overhaul an offense when you have to go up against Florida’s defense every day in practice — they won’t make it easy on any offense this season — but time is running out for the offense to get with the program and start helping their defense out.