A few questions with Coach Azzanni

It’s difficult to find a more animated coach on the practice field this spring than Zach Azzanni. But with the youth the Florida wide receivers coach has, it’s difficult for him not to get excited about coaching the young group of receivers.

Q: “How has Carl Moore been after missing all last season?”

A: “He’s been good. We’re being smart with him. He hasn’t played football in a year. He’s another guy who is a football junkie. I’ve got to kick him out of the film room and kick him off the field. He wants to be a really good player. I can work with that. That’s why I’m excited about this group. I don’t have to get anybody going. He’s a little rusty but he’s been out here working every day.”

Q: “What is RD-8?” (Deonte Thompson mentioned it in a previous interview, saying it has become the mindset of the Florida receivers and was brought in by Azzanni)

A: “Oh, I can’t tell you that. I’d have to kill you if I told you that. It’s just something we live by at our position. It’s something we rally around. It’s something more than the whole team thing in our team within the team. It’s something we rally around on the football field and off the football field. Really, it means do the right thing all the way around in different areas of your life.”

Q: “What is it that you look for in young guys to see if they can contribute?”

A: “I just want to teach them how to practice. They have no idea how to practice at this level right now. That’s my job to teach them. They don’t understand the effort level yet, and they will. They’re making mistakes out here now. They should be going to prom in a month, and they’re out here going in circle drill. I just want them to work hard and get tougher. I’ll teach them all the other stuff.”

Q: “When you first got here, did you tell them all that it was starting over with a level playing field?”

A: “Yeah, I think that was automatic. Coach (Billy) Gonzales did a hell of a job and was a great coach, but it’s always good to get a fresh start for some people sometimes. Some of these guys needed a fresh start. They were all excited about the change. Every coach has their own style and philosophy, and I think I brought some things in they hadn’t heard before and a different way of teaching the same thing Coach Gonzales did. It kind of shocked them a little bit. It put the shockers on their heart and got them going again, and that’s a good thing.”

Q: “How big of a concern is it without a lot of experience during your first year?”

A: “Everybody keeps reminding me of that (laughs). I’m excited about it, to be quite honest with you. I walked in here with a bunch of guys that want to learn, not a bunch of guys who have all the answers and who have played four years of football. These guys are all looking at me bright-eyed because none of them have had an extensive period of playing time minus Deonte (Thompson). It’s kind of neat that I get to mold along the lines of my philosophy and Coach Meyer’s philosophy.”

Q: “Do you get a sense that some of the guys are more excited because the offense will probably be throwing it around more with Brantley at quarterback?”

A: “I don’t know if that has much to do with it. Receivers think in different ways some times, but it’s not like we didn’t throw the ball around here. What’d we throw for 400 yards in the bowl game? We throw it around a little bit, but (John) Brantley is more of a pure passer. Everybody knows that. By pure passer, I mean not a runner like (Tim) Tebow was. They’re all excited because they know (Brantley) can spin it too.”