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  • JFlorida Gators quarterback Treon Harris with head coach Jim McElwain= 1280x852- Florida Gators Football

    Jim McElwain is taking a different approach to the offense at Florida and he knows he must be patient as it develops. / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

McElwain working a new
approach for Florida Gators’ offense

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Written by Nick de la Torre, May 28, 2015, 1 Comment,
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There’s an old football saying that goes, “if you have two starting quarterbacks, you have none.”

That’s where the Florida Gators stand heading into Jim McElwain’s inaugural season as the head coach of the Florida Gators.

The past three years Florida was led, for better or worse, by Jeff Driskel. Heading into 2015 the Florida Gators are looking for either sophomore quarterback Treon Harris or redshirt freshman Will Grier to take the reigns and lead the team. The Gators have two quarterbacks but McElwain is still waiting to find out if he has one.

“I’ll be interested in August to see how they kind of led the team through the player driven OTAs and that kind of thing,” McElwain said speaking to media in Mobile, Alabama on Wednesday. “We’ll get a good sense then of how they kind of affected the people around them.”

McElwain spent most of the spring acclimating himself to his players. Where most schools are fine-tuning technique and honing in on intricacies of the offensive and defensive plans, a new coaching staff had to take time to find out what they have. Who are our playmakers? How can we effectively put those players in a position to be successful? What are our strengths and weaknesses? How do we exploit one while simultaneously hiding the other? It was a learning process, but one that McElwain feels went about as well as expected.

“Those two guys did a great job of what we were trying to accomplish,” he said. “For the most part, threw it to the right color jerseys — that’s something that we kind of stress. That’s something that we kind of stress.

“Really what we did this spring offensively was more so find out what the individual position groups did well, what some of the specific players did well, as we kind of now put the pieces together going into August.”

McElwain isn’t going at it alone. He’s brought along Doug Nussmeier to tutor the most important position on the field. McElwain is involved, but he’s more of a CEO on the field. At practice he oversees everything, not sticking to one position group for too long. That leaves the bulk of the teaching to the guy who will call plays. That involves a lot of trust, something the two coaches have built throughout the years.

“Nuss and I go back, obviously we were at Michigan State together. I coached against him when he was a player at the University of Idaho,” McElwain said. “We’ve been longtime friends. He’s a guy that we kind of have like thoughts and ideas on what we’re trying to accomplish. I’ve got total trust in him to implement the system that we’re looking to do.”

Still it will take time. The past four years were marred by offensive coordinators trying to bend and prod the personnel they had into what their idea of the offense should look like. McElwain and Nussmeier know that it’s a fruitless endeavor and have instead embarked on trying to do the opposite.

“It’s gonna be one of those things, we’re going to have to evolve in to. I’m a believer in trying to fit what you’re doing to the pieces that you have,” McElwain said. “As time goes you kind of build your product or mold it a little bit more to maybe what we will be in the future.”

Nick de la Torre

About Nick de la Torre

A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC

  1. skyflakeMay 28, 2015, 1:16 pm

    The most important attribute of a quarterback is what lies above the neck, not below it. That said, I think the job will go to the quarterback who is best at the number one physical trait, accuracy. We have seen that Harris is not very accurate, at least his freshman season. We have not yet seen Grier. I could care less about arm strength. Driskel had a very strong arm, the problem was that he was not accurate. Tim Tebow was not great at accuracy either, but he had so many other traits that were outstanding that it didn’t matter. I think UF won’t get lightning in a bottle twice, so one of these guys needs to be accurate.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Florida-Gators-florida-football-spring-practice-april-1-2015-gfhc-and-Treon-Harris-150x150.jpg Nick de la Torre FootballThe Latest ,,,,,
Print Friendly

There’s an old football saying that goes, “if you have two starting quarterbacks, you have none.”

That’s where the Florida Gators stand heading into Jim McElwain’s inaugural season as the head coach of the Florida Gators.

The past three years Florida was led, for better or worse, by Jeff Driskel. Heading into 2015 the Florida Gators are looking for either sophomore quarterback Treon Harris or redshirt freshman Will Grier to take the reigns and lead the team. The Gators have two quarterbacks but McElwain is still waiting to find out if he has one.

“I’ll be interested in August to see how they kind of led the team through the player driven OTAs and that kind of thing,” McElwain said speaking to media in Mobile, Alabama on Wednesday. “We’ll get a good sense then of how they kind of affected the people around them.”

McElwain spent most of the spring acclimating himself to his players. Where most schools are fine-tuning technique and honing in on intricacies of the offensive and defensive plans, a new coaching staff had to take time to find out what they have. Who are our playmakers? How can we effectively put those players in a position to be successful? What are our strengths and weaknesses? How do we exploit one while simultaneously hiding the other? It was a learning process, but one that McElwain feels went about as well as expected.

“Those two guys did a great job of what we were trying to accomplish,” he said. “For the most part, threw it to the right color jerseys — that’s something that we kind of stress. That’s something that we kind of stress.

“Really what we did this spring offensively was more so find out what the individual position groups did well, what some of the specific players did well, as we kind of now put the pieces together going into August.”

McElwain isn’t going at it alone. He’s brought along Doug Nussmeier to tutor the most important position on the field. McElwain is involved, but he’s more of a CEO on the field. At practice he oversees everything, not sticking to one position group for too long. That leaves the bulk of the teaching to the guy who will call plays. That involves a lot of trust, something the two coaches have built throughout the years.

“Nuss and I go back, obviously we were at Michigan State together. I coached against him when he was a player at the University of Idaho,” McElwain said. “We’ve been longtime friends. He’s a guy that we kind of have like thoughts and ideas on what we’re trying to accomplish. I’ve got total trust in him to implement the system that we’re looking to do.”

Still it will take time. The past four years were marred by offensive coordinators trying to bend and prod the personnel they had into what their idea of the offense should look like. McElwain and Nussmeier know that it’s a fruitless endeavor and have instead embarked on trying to do the opposite.

“It’s gonna be one of those things, we’re going to have to evolve in to. I’m a believer in trying to fit what you’re doing to the pieces that you have,” McElwain said. “As time goes you kind of build your product or mold it a little bit more to maybe what we will be in the future.”

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