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Five Things We Learned From Spring Practice

Discussion in 'RayGator's Swamp Gas' started by gator10, Mar 23, 2021.

  1. gator10

    gator10 All American

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    I think this article (Five things we learned from spring practice | GatorCountry.com) is very insightful and falls very much in line with what I suspected about the Gators given our current personnel.

    1. The quarterback transition might not be as smooth as anticipated - I never thought it was going to be smooth and I think there are real concerns here from the coaching staff about Emory's ability to run this team. We definitely aren't hearing things from Mullen suggesting Emory is firmly entrenched as the starter. I think this is going to continue to be a battle between Richardson and Emory throughout the season which I really don't see as a good thing.

    2. The wide receivers will be fine. - I agree with this and think we will be fine here. We may not have a Toney but hopefully Copeland will emerge to be a complete receiver and maybe hit that elusive 1,000 yard mark. Also, Shorter should provide us with a good possession receiver if he hits the Juggs machine in the offseason.

    3. The offensive line on the other hand … This is where the real concern begins. The recruiting here has been subpar as we know and I think the performance on the field will continue to reflect that. A sack-fest in the scrimmage does not give me the warm and fuzzies. I believe Gouraige and Braun were 4 star recruits. All others were 3 star or below. We will likely lose at least 2 games due to issues here.

    4. This defensive line could be elite. - Seems as if we finally have some beef up-front again. The transfers were critical and can really provide much needed depth. If Gervon can make the big sophomore jump, we could really be strong at tackle. End I am a little more concerned with. Zach Carter can be an above-average defensive end but beyond him, we don't really have any game-changing talent. Cox only had 3 sacks last year and unless he makes a big jump, that's a problem. Hopefully, someone will emerge from the logjam here. While having quite a few bodies, I'm not convinced there is an all-SEC caliber player anywhere in there.

    5. They’re going to be much more aggressive in the secondary.- Boy do we all hope this is true (except for throwing shoes). I think losing Marco will make the secondary instantly better. No matter how much you want to defend him, he just didn't play well last year. If Marshall can provide some depth, we should be a lot better here. The recruiting has been relatively good here and it's now time that shows up on the field.

    Agree or disagree? Happy to hear all views!
     
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  2. Gatorrick22

    Gatorrick22 GC Hall of Fame

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    Your description in parenthesis #4 doesn't quite fit your highlighted initial statement.

    But I agree that we will have some growing to fix on offense... if we want to compete for the SECE.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
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  3. fox

    fox GC Hall of Fame

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    Mullen usually has a number one QB but states every year he sorta doesn't and has said it is so all QBs will prepare to be number one.

    I always expect growing pains from a first year starting QB but Emory has more experience than most and skills to make up for some of the inexperience.
     
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  4. gaterzfan

    gaterzfan Senior

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    Well, we’ll know how it all shakes out, including injuries, in 8 months. Go Gators!!
     
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  5. WC53

    WC53 GC Hall of Fame

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    If the QB are........ the WR won’t be fine
     
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  6. 1976gator

    1976gator Sophomore

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    EJ is the starter. Mullen has always gone with seniority.
     
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  7. KSAGator

    KSAGator GC Legend

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    I am surprised by nothing in that article. There was always going to be some reversion to the mean (we won’t throw as well as we did last year every year—or be as bad on defense). But I think last year was especially quirky because we had very real problems on offense that were buried under our passing statistics and masked by the abilities of Pitts and Toney—and we weren’t as bad (from a coaching and talent perspective) as our defensive performance indicated.

    A couple of things that stand out for me:

    - Look, Emory hasn’t progressed as quickly as people had hoped. If he had, Trask would not have gotten his opportunity when Franks went down. I have confidence in Mullen’s ability to get him to the right place, but it may take work over the course of the season.

    - We are on track for our 4th consecutive year of unacceptable OL performance. I do think having mobile QBs will make it easier, but the line will still be a weakness and not a strength. At some point you have to ask why Mullen is allowing this position coach and “run game coordinator” to hold us back.
     
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  8. gator4ever39

    gator4ever39 Junior

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    It’s hard to criticize the offensive line play in spring if the assumption is the D line is that good. I as well have mixed feelings about how our line will hold up. But I’m not sure if we can accurately gauge them until fall. Just my opinion.
     
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  9. KSAGator

    KSAGator GC Legend

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    There is truth in that. It is also true that he is heading into his fourth year in the program. He has no lack of practice and scrimmage experience—which is where he was struggling—and in fact has a good amount of game experience.

    The reason I am optimistic is the physical ability, faith in Mullen, and the fact that having a running QB opens up Mullen’s offense in a way that even a very accurate and efficient Trask could not.
     
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  10. crl

    crl GC Hall of Fame

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    I'm probably just about as concerned about WR as OL and QB. Unless Copeland has learned how to catch and Shorter run faster (and catch). :D
     
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  11. thale410

    thale410 GC Hall of Fame

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    I'm fine with giving CDM a pass thus far, with his first three years as mainly putting out the fires and righting the ship after 8 years of persistent program atrophy.

    But that's all in the rearview at this point, and we are going to get a very accurate assessment of what Mullen is over the next three seasons.

    No excuse for the OL to be a liability from this point on and it's certainly not unrealistic to expect EJ to be a fully functional weapon at QB, even as a first year starter.
     
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  12. gator34654

    gator34654 GC Hall of Fame

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    I would agree that the OL has been an issue and problem for some time. It's unacceptable. Yes I know we have acquired 3 star players on the OL but so has most of the SEC teams. And yet, most of them don't seem to have the same issues as us running the ball. Now I realize DM chose to throw the ball a lot last year, and thankfully KT was able to get rid of the ball quickly, otherwise it would have been a sack fest imo. This imho is where DM's loyalty to certain coaches will hinder the team. This year our bread and butter will be the running game, if the OL cannot run block effectively, we are in trouble.
     
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  13. your_perfect_enemy

    your_perfect_enemy GC Hall of Fame

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    I would add that as the author points out, they weren't going to let the QBs get hurt in the spring so they were limited from using their full athleticism out of the pocket. This will also be his first summer of being the guy to lead workouts with receivers to improve their timing/connection, hopefully they put in the work.
     
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  14. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus GC Legend

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    Given what we’ve seen from Gouraige, white, Reese, and Braun, I’d say having those guys as LT, LG, C, RG would be pretty solid. We desperately need options at RT tho, and was hoping Tarquin would be ready this year. Other guys will need some PT as well to get experience.

    My personal opinion is that we haven’t landed the talent we need, although, early indications are that ‘22 may have more 4* guys than we’ve seen before from this recruiting staff.

    White is playing above his ranking. Braun is at the level his high ranking suggested and may be very very good. Gouraige seems about where we thought he’d be, solid but not elite. Reese is a smart guy with lots of SEC experience and should do well at either C or G. Hoping the ‘22 guys are another step up and that a few of the guys we already have break out and play above their rankings.

    I’m cautiously optimistic.
     
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  15. 62gator

    62gator GC Hall of Fame

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    see #56 :eek:
     
  16. Gatorhead

    Gatorhead GC Hall of Fame

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    Great Post! Enjoyed the read. I'm hoping Shorter does explode a bit.
    Notice you didn't say much about the running backs but everyone knows we are "loaded" in that department. Per you post the line really needs to step up running the ball to help that talent out!
     
  17. gator10

    gator10 All American

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    Yeah, I guess I am being optimistic here and hoping someone will emerge at the end spot.
     
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  18. Gatorrick22

    Gatorrick22 GC Hall of Fame

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    I like optimism...
     
  19. gatorfanbill

    gatorfanbill Junior

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    Pretty sure CDM isn’t revealing publicly all he knows.
     
  20. fox

    fox GC Hall of Fame

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    He's quite coy.

    Perhaps the fact that we weren't scrambling to find inbound transfers on the Oline is a good sign.