After two games, Ronald Powell wasn’t giving the UF coaches the type of productivity they wanted to see out of the Buck position. A hybrid end and linebacker spot, it is designed to allow the player to affect the quarterback and drop back to help the linebackers. Through two games, Powell had only five tackles and one sack.
Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn shared publicly what they told Powell privately, and he responded with two tackles, half a sack and plenty of hits on the QB vs. Tennessee. Powell helped force the Vols’ first interception of the game and was one of three players who got the team’s Ball Hawk Award.
“I knew I had to do more and it was something that I felt already myself and they just addressed,” he said this week.
Powell said he was thinking too much in a new position, something Quinn agreed with. He said the coaches broke down the first two games with Powell and showed him what he should be doing.
“I thought that he got off the ball a lot quicker, and I really thought there was some of the waiting and the thinking that we saw maybe some of the first two ballgames, we didn’t quite see that as much in the (third) game,” Quinn said. “So I was pleased with the progress that he made and it’s more in line of what the position entails, and I thought he did a good job in the game.”
Quinn impressed with Willie Green’s improvement
Heading into his senior season at Florida, defensive end William Green had a total of 32 career tackles, with nine for a loss, and two sacks. It was unlikely he would earn a starting spot but he was thrust in the role with Sharrif Floyd missing the first two games because of an NCAA suspension.
With Floyd back in the starting lineup, Quinn says he is comfortable with Green backing up the talented sophomore. He has five tackles and assisted on a tackle for a loss.
Quinn said Green is probably the team’s most improved player since the spring.
“At the end of spring, you talk to each of the players and say, ‘OK, here’s three things that let’s really have you get better at it,’” he said. “And Willie took it really to heart, and when he came back for training camp, you really saw a difference. And it was kind of a cool thing for him because right early on when he started pass rushing well, the light came on for him.”
Sharrif Floyd to play both position
Floyd will play both end and tackle for the Gators this season, Quinn said, with where he plays depending on a matchup. At times, they will need him to generate a pass rush from inside.
Floyd was the top-rated defensive tackle in the class of 2010 but moved to end during fall camp to help with the Gators’ lack of depth there.
“He hasn’t done it as much over the course of time,” said Quinn. “We moved him there in training camp, so he’s getting more comfortable with it. I think it’s just taking him some reps to do it.”
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