Notebook: Gators’ first scrimmage was ‘herky-jerky,’ Mullen says

The Florida Gators take the field for a practice. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Dan Mullen on Monday described the quarterback play in last Friday’s scrimmage as “OK.” The same apparently can be said of the Gators’ overall performance.

It was just OK.

“The thing I didn’t like in the scrimmage, it was very herky-jerky. It wasn’t great football to me,” Mullen said. “Offense, there’s a lot of mistakes and you’re seeing three-and-out, three-and-out, three-and-out, 90-yard touchdown, three-and-out, three-and-out, 50-yard touchdown.

“That goes offensively and defensively, right there. When you see good football, you see execution on both sides of the ball and some playmaking. (We need) cleaner execution on both sides of the ball.”

Mullen did praise the players for their overall effort.

“Our guys play hard,” he said. “When I talk about playing with great effort, they really try to buy into that and pay attention to that, of how to go hard. That’s to me the most important thing.

“If you go hard, we can teach you how to play football. If we’re constantly spending all our time saying, ‘Run faster, go harder, finish the play,’ I’m not coaching you about where you step, where your hand placement was and where your technique was. So I was pleased with that.”

Cleveland returning

Mullen said there’s a chance junior wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland will return to practice in some capacity this week. He has been sidelined since injuring his hamstring in the first practice.

“We’re hoping this week he should be back and able to do some stuff,” Mullen said. “With the hamstring, I think he’s had that issue in the past so it’s something we’re not going to force on him.”

Reckless effort

Sophomore defensive end Antonneous Clayton, who saw considerable playing time with the No. 1 defense, played with relentless effort on the scrimmage, but that effort was misguided at times, Mullen said.

“I thought he did a good job,” Mullen said. “What I loved is that he played really hard, which I would rather that, than not play hard. But, he’s got to learn to play harder the right way.

“He had some really good plays and some really bad, bad plays because he just kind of recklessly got himself out of position and out of control and regularly gave up some really big plays.

“There’s give and take, but I know it’s rather that way with players. I would say, ‘You just keep going hard, don’t slow down. Now just learn to go hard the right way all the time and not out of control sometimes.’ ”



  1. I’m, pleasantly, surprised. I didn’t expect any honesty from Mullen, especially after he orchestrated the sham before and after photos that was an obvious scam. I think he now realizes that UF’s offense didn’t suck because of “poor” coaching. It’s hard to have a good offense with a bum like Felipe Franks or the scrubs that make up UF’s offensive line. It’s, also, evident that he knows the defense isn’t much to write home about if they allow anything to the bums that make up UF’s offense. It’s interesting that some pundits and fans are droolinghing over Adarius Lemons because of his long run. Mullen, to his credit, isn’t that dumb. He knows that UF’s de3fense was just plain awful to allow such a play. If you saw that, and were excited, you know very little about football. Antonneus Clayton getting around UF’s tackles is nothing to get excited about. Let’s see him do it against a team wearing an opposing jersey, who will probably be smart enough to let him come full bore and just run right where he vacated because he can’t handle his responsibilty of setting the edge of the defense.
    Mullen now knows, all too clearly, why UF was 4-7 last year. He knows that UF is still in terrible shape at QB, and all the other flaws. He has his work cut out for him until he can make up for the poor recruiting by his predecessor. It looks like Emory Jones is NOT going to be UF’s saviour, at least not this year.

    • Hey @ the curse. So, since you are the expert and obviously know way more than anyone here, why do you bother stepping down from your throne to visit us peons? Oh master. Please forgive us for being excited about a play or two. Please bestow upon us your blessings and let us live, Oh God of the internet forum. Thank you almighty one.

      • You must have mistaken me for someone else. I just try to bring up reality, something that is in short supply since Gatorland is filled with fools like “Hollywood” Bob, Zach Alboverdi, Dooley, etc. that pass out the B.S. like it’s gospel, only to be shown to be complete fools when real games are played against teams not paid to come to Gainesville and lose. The only thing that can really be learned fronm Spring, good or bad, is whether UF has a good punter and kicker. I don’t know if the kicker is enrolled yet, so that might not be true this year. But I do know onwe thing, if it walks or quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck, and anyone thinking that Franks is going to become a good QB must be deaf, dumb, and blind. Forget everything about him, if you want, but remember just one thing. If you remember what he said after the FSU game last year, that’s all you need to know. That, alone, should make it clear that he’ll never be intelligent enough to play QB.

        • Wow Mikey you mean sports writers that cover a particular team actually write positive things instead of constantly bashing that team? No you don’t say. Newsflash loser, that happens everywhere. You know kind’ve like every single offseason when your beloved Noles are preseason champs only to completely fall apart once the regular season starts. The way sportswriters talk about the Noles in the preseason, especially last season, is far worse than anything written about the Gators you hypocrite.

  2. Really loving Mullen’s honesty. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — the turn-around will take 4-5 years. If the fanbase cannot come to terms with that reality, Mullen will be out in 2-3 years and we’ll become the next UT. It’s that bad. We kid ourselves into thinking we’re something that we’re not, but reality will very quickly (and cruelly) put us in our place. We are (and have been for more than 40 years) the third best program in the state. Our only time on top (the Tebow years) came when FSU and Miami were at historical low points. Even SOS had losing records against FSU and Miami. It still boggles my mind how UF — the largest, oldest and best endowed university in the state — could be so lacking for so long in such drastic ways. With Mullen, we finally have a real opportunity to change that — hopefully we don’t blow it with delusional and unhinged expectations. Let’s give him a chance.

    • Tim I think you’re a little off with your assessment. I mean hell if Mac can win 10 games with his crappy coaching and patchwork teams, there’s no reason to believe Mullen can’t surpass that success. He inherited a better situation than Mac did too with far more talent, at least offensively. Last years 4 win season was more about a lack of available players. If he can get the QB situation straightened out relatively quickly and keep the players on the field, then this team should have no problems bouncing back quickly. He brought MSU from 4 wins in Croom’s last season to 9 wins in year 2. If he can quickly turn around a program like that, then he should have no problem doing far better at UF. No way in hell this fan base will allow for a 4-5 year rebuild and even Mullen knows that.

  3. We. as Gator fans, have had enough “reality” the last 6-7 years to last us a lifetime. So forgive us if we enjoy hearing some coherent honesty from our head ball coach, and some genuine enthusiasm from the fans. Go Gators!

  4. Not sure what everyone expected. After only 11 practices with a new staff, new offense, new defense and some new players it ain’t going to look great. There are 32 practices and an O&B left between now and opening kickoff and lots of Savage time. It will get better.

    No one is claiming this is a championship level team. Even Dooley said he sees an 8-win team right now …which is about right. I have no idea where some of you claim there is sunshine pumping from these guys in the media but haven’t seen/heard/read any of it. The team has lacked confidence and leadership more so than talent, regardless of what Little Mikey says, and that’s not something easily remedied after 11 practices. It’s a LOOOONG time between now and Sep 1st, let it play out.

  5. We will be better than last year, better S&C, more depth, more experience, better coaching and less injuries (as related imo to poor S&C), and better motivation. How much better who really knows. I do agree with the assessment of FF. He talks a good game but imo he doesn’t have it and I doubt ever will. Frankly, I’d rather see Toney there than him. I do think if he stays healthy trask will be the starter. I think with the rbs we have the run will set up the pass and that if Trask is the starting qb, he will be brought up slowly. My hope is that Jones is a quick learner, but even more, that he works on his passing. He can extend plays with his feet. I do think the OL will come around and will be average. We just can’t afford to have crap again.
    For this O to work, the qb will have to run some. I think Trask is up to the task. And I think our D will be improved.

    I like DM, and yes it will take some time to flush out what has allowed to take place these past several years. But good coaches can make improvements if their worth their salt.