Negative talk motivating UF’s offense, Ivey says

Martez Ivey
Florida junior offensive tackle Martez Ivey was selected as a first-team preseason All-SEC player by the media that covers the league at this past week's SEC Media Days at the Hyatt Regency - Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala. [Gary Cosby Jr./GateHouse Media Services]

Five questions with Florida junior offensive tackle Martez Ivey, a Preseason All-SEC first-team selection:

How do you feel about the quarterback battle heading into preseason camp?

“It’s going to be a hard battle this fall camp. It’s going to be tremendous to see how they react to it. When we find out who that starting guy is, I know he will do great, but it doesn’t matter who it is. I feel comfortable with all five guys back there.”

How important is the offensive line to the team’s overall success?

“The offense goes as we go. It starts with us up front, and we have to protect and run block well. Expectations are high this year. The (coaching staff) knows how good we can be on the offensive side of the ball. We have a new energy on the offensive line, so I’m excited to see things turn around.”

You have a new offensive line coach in Brad Davis, what are your early impressions of him?

“The way he coaches and the passion he brings is contagious. It’s contagious even to the defensive line. He brings energy to all of our position groups.”

The Gators recently added quarterback Malik Zaire, what impact has he made already?

“He seems like a great guy and a great football player, and his energy, you can just feel it. He is always smiling. We’re excited to have him here.”

Florida’s offensive struggles are well-documented, how do you feel about the team’s development?

“I know we have struggled at times here and there. It has pushed us all to be better when we hear all the criticism. It’s only motivation for us. I wanted to be a part of the Florida turnaround. Y’all can start to see it now with back-to-back SEC East championships. The only thing we can do is to keep improving. Soon we are going to make that push and become SEC champions and then make that push for the playoffs. Coach (Jim) McElwain came in and changed the culture.”