Yesterday we introduced you to the Florida Gators new defensive line coach Chris Rumph, a man who doesn’t mince words.
For all of the deficiencies that the Gators have depth wise on the roster, Rumph has what is generally considered the second best, deepest position group on the team. Florida’s defensive line has a solid mix of veterans in guys like Jon Bullard and Alex McCalister as well as young, talented players with a ton of upside and potential.
However, if you ask Rumph, he has a lot of guys who aren’t ready to go yet, which is fine because it’s spring, but also refreshing to hear from a coach in the day and age of coaches coddling players like newborn infants in the hospital.
Asked how his best defensive lineman Bullard was playing, “just ok,” responded Rumph. Bullard has been at Florida for four years, done everything that has been asked of him including playing multiple positions and has earned everything he’s been given. Rumph isn’t dissing his senior lineman, just being honest.
Everyone expects the Gators to have a great defensive line. Rumph expects more of them.
In his first media session, Rumph spoke frankly about almost every single defensive linemen. This is what he had to say.
Asked why Jon Bullard was playing “just ok” and what he can improve on:
Just being a professional, playing every play, being more of a student of the game and just playing defense. He is not seeing the total picture. Some of the things we’re trying to teach those guys is seeing the total picture and know not only your position, but know what the other 10 guys are doing because the most important thing that he had to understand.”
Asked if he was surprised by Bullard’s play thus far:
No, most guys are like that. But you know will hope a guy – nothing against the other staff, those guys did a great job – but you want him to pay more attention to details. Granted it is a new defense, so the why is going to come. Maybe if he was in the defense they ran before then I wouldn’t have the problem with him understanding the defense. But with it being a new defense, I’ve got to cut him some slack as well and teach him. It’s my job to teach him to understand.”
On Taven Bryan’s potential:
He brings energy. That’s my big Wyoming wild man. He’s a big old cave man and wants to use all his brute strength. But he’s athletic for a big guy. His football IQ is really, really low because he hasn’t played a lot of football. I don’t know how many great players have come out of the state of Wyoming, but he could be up there. If there is one, he could be just as good as those guys once he learns the game. Everything right now is just new for him. I got him on Gerber, baby food. I can’t even feed him table food yet, he would choke. But once he learns, his teeth are starting to come in, maybe we will feed him off the table before long.”
On Caleb Brantley’s progression:
Caleb has to push himself. He’s a very, very talented young man. Very, very talented. But right now, mentally, he’s playing like a freshman. Sometimes he’s relying on his talent and his athletic ability to do things. As a coach, one of the hardest things to do is to coach a guy up after he’s done something wrong, but yet he’s had success. He’s so result oriented that’s all he sees. When I tell him, ‘Hey look at your footwork here. Look where your eyes and your hands were on this particular play.’ He blocks that out and the only thing he’s saying right now is ‘Coach you’re crazy. I just made a sack. I just made a tackle for a loss, that’s what you want.’ So I have to tell him yeah you get away with that against this guy but what if it’s LSU? What if it’s Georgia? What if it’s that other school? You may not have that success, so when you’re going against just as talented as you are it comes down to technique and fundamentals. So trying to get him to buy into it, which he is, he’s trying, all those guys are trying to do that, but him in particular because he’s so talented.”
On Thomas Holley and what he saw in the redshirt freshman when he recruited him while at Texas and Alabama:
You just saw a big guy that could run. He was dunking a basketball and his elbow was at the rim, at that size. He’s almost like Taven Bryan in a sense, big guy, athletic guy that can run. Those are the guys that you take a chance on, guys that are athletics and can run. Hopefully we all think we’re gurus and great coaches and we can coach him up, stuff like hat. Some of the things I saw were that he could run, hold the point, could rush the passer and he was just doing it naturally. I was happy to get here and hopefully, if I don’t screw it up he’ll be a great player.”
On Alex McCalister:
Oh man I love him, man he’s the Energizer Bunny man he’s bouncing all over the place. He keeps me going, he has energy all the time, I love the kid. He plays hard, he practices hard. One of the things, not only him but a bunch of the guys, he asks the right questions. When he asks a question it makes sense, there’s a reason why. You know you just gotta keep a tight rein on him because sometimes he’ll go ‘hoooo’. But he’s a great kid, looking forward to working with him, I think he’s going to do a lot of great things for this university.”
On redshirt freshmen Khairi Clark and Jay-nard Bostwick:
Khairi’s out there, Jaynard is I think he’s injured or something, I don’t know what’s going on with him but he’s out there, now he may be back before the spring game is out. Khari he’s working really well right now. He’s getting better every day man, I’m excited for that kid because he’s a kid once he gets it right and you celebrate him getting it right it’s just like, he’s just so happy to have accomplished something, because he’s a kid that you know he wants to make coach happy. He wants to make people happy. He wants to do good, and so when he does that and we celebrate it, I just love looking at his face.”