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  • Jim McElwain, Florida Gators, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

    Jim McElwain observes the Florida Gators during his first spring camp at Florida. / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

Thoughts of the Week:
March 24 – March 30

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Written by Daniel Thompson, March 31, 2015, 2 Comments,
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We are now in our third week of spring practice and it seems like things are going as planned: defense is doing better than offense, no major injuries, people opining that Jacob Guy should get a shot to start at QB, the new coaching staff seems to be vibing well together, and the lack of depth is really hurting the Florida Gators football program. Just as we all expected!

Wait, one of those things was not like the other? Oh. Well, just chalk it up to ole fashioned spaghetti throwing.

Let’s look back at this week.

Mac’s Honesty

Last week, Coach Jim McElwain threw a couple zingers directly toward Auburn, Ala. and defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.

At his last press conference as head coach at Florida, Will Muschamp said “They’ve got a deep and talented roster, so don’t let that new guy tell you he ain’t got any players… I can tell you right now, there are some good football players in that locker room.”

He’s right, there are some good players (mainly secondary and defensive end), but it was a cheap statement. One that would not allow someone to pass the blame on him.

We knew Florida lacked depth at offensive line, quarterback, linebacker, and running back, along with a real lack of quality in other areas.

Therefore, when Jim McElwain said the following statement last week, “Quite honestly, the hand we’re dealt is really insufficient at some of the areas”, I was appreciative of his honesty, and lack of coach speech. And the best part? It didn’t sound like an excuse, because he followed-up saying, “there’s nothing we can do about it… It’s no excuse. It’s what we have.”

He’s right. Make it known that Will Muschamp didn’t leave a full pantry, but that you are happy with the progress your team is making and it will earn your political capital because people don’t care all that much for Will Muschamp and you are honest – win/win.

AND THEN…

On Monday, when practice didn’t go well, he left it all out on the field – letting his players know that he was dissatisfied with the performance at practice.

During his press conference McElwain said about his teams poor on field performance, “Today, a lot of guys, not all, made the choice to not get anything done – not to get better…not to drain the tank and get better.”

That is what motivates players.

 

NFA 7v7 Southeast Regional

This past Saturday, Kassidy Hill and I headed down to Bradenton, Fla. to cover the NFA 7v7 Southeast Regional at the IMG Academy.

Outside of the fact that scheduling for the event was terrible, it was a good event with perfect weather. Hopefully you enjoyed the coverage.

Although I wasn’t there for a full day, a few names stood out (not in any order):

  1. QB Dwayne Haskins – throws the ball beautifully and has a great stature that reminds me of most prototypical quarterbacks
  2. Trevon Diggs – good size, great swagger, and good hands. Obviously, great relationship with Haskins and it shows in their chemistry.
  3. Cyrus Fagan – will be a great college defensive back, with perfect size (6-2, 170 lbs.).
  4.  T.J. Chase – very versatile, good route runner, and good hands
  5. Brandon McIlwain – put good touch on the ball and was incredibly accurate. Doesn’t have pro-typical size, but should do fine in college.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay the entire day, so obviously, a ton of other players played well.

Looking forward to the National Championship in a few months.

 

“Second Chance” Signings

I am a guy that loves giving second chances to folks, I believe that everyone deserves a second chance (in most cases). However, violent crimes are inexcusable, in my mind.

This past weekend Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor was arrested on domestic violence charges – terrible. However, what makes it more terrible is that he was kicked off of the University of Georgia football program two years ago for….domestic violence. One year of junior college in between the two programs is all that it took.

College football must take a hard stance on domestic violence, and in my opinion, needs to have some sort of limitation on activities by players that are tied up in violent dispute cases, including transferring to member institutions until those matters are handled.

Marijuana, non-violent crimes, etc. – sure, fine second chance. But, violent crimes? Especially un-resolved violent crimes like Jonathan Taylor’s case in Athens? No.

Take a stand, NCAA.

 

Must Read Articles of the Week

Song of the Week

This past weekend I saw Eric Church in concert (for the fourth time) and he was incredible again — by far, my favorite country music artist, but I think he is the type of musician that anyone can like. Here are a couple of songs for you that have never been released.

Daniel Thompson

About Daniel Thompson

Dan Thompson is a 2010 graduate of the University Florida, graduating with a degree in Economics and a degree in Political Science. During this time at UF, Dan worked three years for the Florida Gator Football team as a recruiting ambassador. Dan dealt daily with prospects, NCAA guidelines, and coaching staff. Dan was also involved in Florida Blue Key, Student Government and Greek Life. Currently, Dan works as an Executive Head Hunter for a Tampa-based company. Dan enjoys golfing, country music, gin, travel, oysters, and a medium-rare steak. Dan has previously covered the Gators extensively on BourbonMeyer.com; on Twitter @DK_Thompson; and as the administrator of TheGatorsDaily.com.

  1. landportMarch 31, 2015, 9:22 pm

    Coach Mac’s candid yet troubling assessment of his current roster was, to me, both refreshing and instructive. Refreshing because the assessment was made by one who is actually in a position to know and accurately articulate the nature of the challenge in the next 2-3 years. It was instructive because he was suggesting gently but firmly that some of the more spirited football fans in Gator Nation need to acknowledge the unfortunate reality in which the football program has been placed. I am reasonably optimistic but I am not one who seriously thinks that the Gators will be in Atlanta next year battling Alabama for the SEC Championship.

    • scooterpMarch 31, 2015, 11:17 pm

      Totally disagree….I expect us to be in Atlanta next year. Nothing wrong with that. Several rosters across the SEC don’t look much different. Our recruiting classes have looked better than Oregon,, Ohio st, auburn, Oklahoma and LSU’s over the last 5 years. In fact u can make an argument that FSU and Bana are the only 2 schools that have recruited better. The “no playmakers” is bull shit. We have them. Our OL and LB is a concern , I get that, but NO Atlanta for 2 years….it’s on this staff. Saban turned around BAMA in 2 years, so did Urban with OSU, who you guys ran off….and Malzahn did it at Auburn. So don’t feed me the “cupboard is bare” BS . Atlanta or BUST!

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Florida-Gators-florida-football-spring-2015-practice-March-18th-2015-Florida-Gators-head-coach-Jim-McElwain-claping-150x150.jpg Daniel Thompson FeatureFootball ,,,
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We are now in our third week of spring practice and it seems like things are going as planned: defense is doing better than offense, no major injuries, people opining that Jacob Guy should get a shot to start at QB, the new coaching staff seems to be vibing well together, and the lack of depth is really hurting the Florida Gators football program. Just as we all expected!

Wait, one of those things was not like the other? Oh. Well, just chalk it up to ole fashioned spaghetti throwing.

Let’s look back at this week.

Mac’s Honesty

Last week, Coach Jim McElwain threw a couple zingers directly toward Auburn, Ala. and defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.

At his last press conference as head coach at Florida, Will Muschamp said “They’ve got a deep and talented roster, so don’t let that new guy tell you he ain’t got any players… I can tell you right now, there are some good football players in that locker room.”

He’s right, there are some good players (mainly secondary and defensive end), but it was a cheap statement. One that would not allow someone to pass the blame on him.

We knew Florida lacked depth at offensive line, quarterback, linebacker, and running back, along with a real lack of quality in other areas.

Therefore, when Jim McElwain said the following statement last week, “Quite honestly, the hand we’re dealt is really insufficient at some of the areas”, I was appreciative of his honesty, and lack of coach speech. And the best part? It didn’t sound like an excuse, because he followed-up saying, “there’s nothing we can do about it… It’s no excuse. It’s what we have.”

He’s right. Make it known that Will Muschamp didn’t leave a full pantry, but that you are happy with the progress your team is making and it will earn your political capital because people don’t care all that much for Will Muschamp and you are honest – win/win.

AND THEN…

On Monday, when practice didn’t go well, he left it all out on the field – letting his players know that he was dissatisfied with the performance at practice.

During his press conference McElwain said about his teams poor on field performance, “Today, a lot of guys, not all, made the choice to not get anything done – not to get better…not to drain the tank and get better.”

That is what motivates players.

 

NFA 7v7 Southeast Regional

This past Saturday, Kassidy Hill and I headed down to Bradenton, Fla. to cover the NFA 7v7 Southeast Regional at the IMG Academy.

Outside of the fact that scheduling for the event was terrible, it was a good event with perfect weather. Hopefully you enjoyed the coverage.

Although I wasn’t there for a full day, a few names stood out (not in any order):

  1. QB Dwayne Haskins – throws the ball beautifully and has a great stature that reminds me of most prototypical quarterbacks
  2. Trevon Diggs – good size, great swagger, and good hands. Obviously, great relationship with Haskins and it shows in their chemistry.
  3. Cyrus Fagan – will be a great college defensive back, with perfect size (6-2, 170 lbs.).
  4.  T.J. Chase – very versatile, good route runner, and good hands
  5. Brandon McIlwain – put good touch on the ball and was incredibly accurate. Doesn’t have pro-typical size, but should do fine in college.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay the entire day, so obviously, a ton of other players played well.

Looking forward to the National Championship in a few months.

 

“Second Chance” Signings

I am a guy that loves giving second chances to folks, I believe that everyone deserves a second chance (in most cases). However, violent crimes are inexcusable, in my mind.

This past weekend Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor was arrested on domestic violence charges – terrible. However, what makes it more terrible is that he was kicked off of the University of Georgia football program two years ago for….domestic violence. One year of junior college in between the two programs is all that it took.

College football must take a hard stance on domestic violence, and in my opinion, needs to have some sort of limitation on activities by players that are tied up in violent dispute cases, including transferring to member institutions until those matters are handled.

Marijuana, non-violent crimes, etc. – sure, fine second chance. But, violent crimes? Especially un-resolved violent crimes like Jonathan Taylor’s case in Athens? No.

Take a stand, NCAA.

 

Must Read Articles of the Week

Song of the Week

This past weekend I saw Eric Church in concert (for the fourth time) and he was incredible again — by far, my favorite country music artist, but I think he is the type of musician that anyone can like. Here are a couple of songs for you that have never been released.

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