After last week’s scrimmage, Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks said he has really been focusing in on improving his accuracy this offseason and spring.
The work apparently is paying off.
“He’s gotten a lot better (with his accuracy),” UF coach Dan Mullen said Thursday. “I think he’s done a good job of working off his frustration. If he makes a bad throw he doesn’t make three bad throws. If he makes a bad throw, say all right, that was a bad throw, it’s not real hard to see that was a terrible throw. Don’t worry about that one, worry about the next one. I think he probably used to get frustrated with it.”
Mullen said it’s evident Franks and the other returning quarterbacks — Kyle Trask and Emory Jones — have grown comfortable in the offense now that they’ve been in it for a year.
“I think so,” he said. “You can coach and you can teach a lot more and you can worry about teaching other bits of technique and fundamentals when you understand the offense.
“If you’re spending the whole time just trying to learn the offense your mind is not thinking about decisions. It obviously helps with accuracy and in decision-making and quickness — how fast you can do it.
“That helps when you know what you’re doing offensively instead of worrying about the scheme and the first time learning it all. I think that’s obviously a big help.”
Mullen said Franks, in particular, is making much quicker decisions on where to go with the football as he goes through his progressions.
“Understanding the offense helps so you can get to your decisions quicker and you’re on time,” Mullen said. “If I know where I’m going with the ball it’s a lot easier to figure where I want to place it then I’m just trying where to go with it.
“He’s done a much better job than that. I think he’s tightened up his delivery since we’ve gotten here, which is hard for a taller guy. By tightening it up you have less moving parts and the less chance of a mistake.”
A positive start
The Gators made a favorable impression on their head coach with their overall performance in the first spring scrimmage last Thursday.
“I was somewhat pleased how they went after the day,” Mullen said. “I want to see you perform at a high level and compete every day to be your best and to push yourself. But when you do step into the stadium, there’s got to be a step up of intensity.
“It’s like, ‘Hey, if I go on my morning run and then I got in a race, it’s a little more intense because you are trying to beat other people.’ Just that slight step up once you hit the stadium. So, I was pleased with that.”
Mullen said he’s looking for some of the young players to step up this spring and show they’re ready to take some game snaps in the fall. Several of those young players are on the offensive line, where four starters must be replaced.
“We’re still really, really young and inexperienced on the offensive line,” he said. “But we still have a long time until we have to play a game. You see guys that are not ready to play but are making big strides.”
‘Dogs playing catch-up?
Georgia made a bit of a splash earlier this week when it announced the school has scheduled future home-and-home series with Florida State and Clemson.
Mullen was asked if UF is looking to be more aggressive in its future non-conference scheduling.
“We play Florida State, so people are trying to catch up to us, with how tough our schedule is,” Mullen said. “We play Florida State every year, right? Georgia is playing them. They’re trying to catch up to us, I guess. Toughen their schedule.
“We play one of the toughest schedules. It would be hard-pressed to find somebody’s non-conference (schedule) next season tougher than ours. We’re playing Miami and Florida State.”