Napier pleased with installation progress, aiming to minimize penalties

Florida Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Co-Coach Sale Robspeaking to the media at UF’s preseason camp report day, felt the offense had the vast majority of their system in place throughout the 34-year spring training window days extending from March to mid-April.

“There’s a little left. But we are going to press reset. I mean, there are always game plan pieces that you put in, but I would say if I had to give a percentage, 80, 85 percent is already in place. So we’re going to go back and hit reset, install one and install two, and then things on our shelf that we haven’t installed we still have to go back and put in there.

After five practices at fall camp, the head coach Billy Napier provided an update on Florida’s progress schedule, saying the Gators continue to make progress, but warned there’s still a long way to go before UF opens the season Sept. 3 at Ben Stadium Hill Griffin against Utah.

“We continue to get very high quality work. We’re working our way through the facility, and we’ve got miles to go and we’re making progress here,” Napier said Tuesday ahead of Florida’s sixth practice session. “We’ve had some really productive days and we have to keep doing that.”

The Gators will face off for the first time on Saturday, and a limited portion of the intrasquad battle, which will take place either at the indoor practice facility or at Florida Field, will be open to local media. Florida’s most recent pair of workouts seemed like a bit more subdued affair energetically during the 14-minute viewing window, though multiple sources told Swamp247 that the workouts were getting livelier over the course of the 14-minute viewing window. as the session continued after the media left. ease.

This may be due to the amount of information the players have been tasked with digesting rather than a reflection of the team’s current investment in fall camp, and it’s not a situation exclusive to Florida.

“I think we have momentum. We have some momentum. We’re trying to build for Saturday to be number one in the scrum,” Napier said. “At this time of year, it all depends on the right combination of the amount of installation you’re doing and the level of execution, right? So I think we’ve kind of seen the ebbs and flows of that. We’ve been sending them a lot of information and the run level is going down, and we’re kind of recovering and it’s getting better, so that’s kind of where we are.

Among the many information launched towards the players at the start of the fall camp, a list of penalties for the 2021 season was part of it. The Florida players didn’t need to be reminded of their average of 7.8 penalties per game, which ranked them 13th among SEC programs and a putrid 119th in the nation, but there was plenty to rehash.

There was also a dot in the recall. The Gators needed to realize that errors were correctable, did not reflect their current stature and, if all went according to plan, an indicator of progress.

“It wasn’t consistency (that was a problem), it was discipline. We had a lot of offsides and everything. Coach Napier came in and (pointed out) discipline. He showed us the other day before he came out to practice all the penalties we had last season. He was just showing us that it wasn’t the big penalties that hurt us. It was just all the unruly penalties – offside, holding, things we can learn not to do,” UF tight end Dante Zanders said Saturday, Florida’s first day off since resuming fall camp. “He passed out a piece of paper and it had all the highlights of all the penalties we had and the lost yardage we had. Which were unruly and which were holding, offside, stuff like that.

“It was shocking and a bit embarrassing.”

Forget about comfort – in theory, setup could take months, or even Napier’s entire first year on campus, for many players to become fully familiar with the system.

By comparison, cleaning up unnecessary penalties is a straightforward process, one that will continue alongside the installation process throughout Napier’s first fall with the program.

More games are lost than won, and I think one of the things you need to do as a manager is to teach your players what winning football looks like. We’ve always been extremely proud of not giving anything to the other team, and I think unruly penalties are things you can get rid of,” Napier said. “You start there, you start with unruly penalties, you start with turnovers, you start with mental errors, effortless plays, fundamental and technical flaws. We want to eliminate the cracks in the armor, to ensure that the other team beats you, and we’ve always been very proud of that, and I think gradually every year in the previous stop, we’ve improved in those areas.

Of course, penalties are going to occur throughout the 60 minutes of competition, except on rare occasions, such as Florida’s 49-42 loss to LSU in 2021, a game in which the Gators weren’t flagged for a penalty.

The goal, Napier said, is to weed out senseless mistakes. Like the setup process, it’s an aspect of Florida’s football program that remains a work in progress after a week of fall camp — and one that will become much more apparent when the Gators begin to compete, starting with the Saturday scrum.

“You know, we’re going to have penalties in the game. Our goal is to have (have) one game in 30. We want it to be technical games and not unruly penalties, so we are progressing there,” Napier said. “We won’t know until we get this competitive opportunity and these venues, but I think it’s part of growing this team and educating this team.”

About Irene J. O'Donnell

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