UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
August 2, 2018
Q. I wanted to ask about Tyler Jordan. He's played four of the five offensive line positions, and you're going to be, I believe, his fourth offensive line coach since he's been here. How well have you gotten to know him, and what are your plans for him because he's played pretty much across the board, and what kind of kid have you found him to be?
JOHN HEVESY: He's a great kid. Just obviously in the seven months being here, getting to know him and personally who they are but also as a player and just seeing the same background and find of figure out what they've done here. You look at Tyler right now, he's going into guard, but he's done all summer, worked the reps at center because I think you can never have enough -- you can always move guys to tackle and guard to me. The center position, you have to do it all summer, the snaps, because it's a huge part of it. So to me, he's working at guard, taking reps at center, just getting snaps, doing that stuff, so in case it's an emergency down the road, you're always prepared to have four or five of those guys ready to play at the center position.
Q. First of all, Dan talked a lot about how the quarterbacks have to come back after the summer and they've got to remember everything. Is it similar with the offensive linemen who I'm guessing have had to change their blocking? And also, how many guys are you looking to have that can play? Is it like an eight-man rotation?
JOHN HEVESY: Yeah, for me the biggest thing coming back from the summer, the whole thing of obviously the stages coming into the program compared to what it's going to be as it goes, was you came in the winter and you kind of teach them what you're doing offensively, terminology, techniques, fundamentals. You go through spring and you give it to them to learn.
I've always said over the years, they have all the information, now to me the summer, again, you don't get the opportunity besides the two hours a week you can kind of work with them a little bit, is that's their time now to start honing those skills and master really coming into camp -- there has to be a difference from the last day of spring to the first day of camp. We can't go back to teaching whether it's the first step or whether it's this, and I think we'll see that come tomorrow where they've gone.
Just in meetings, the meetings we've had, the two hours a week, their understanding of the offense, their understanding of schemes and my terminology, I think they're pretty good with. Again, we'll see tomorrow live action as it gets going, but I think they've done a good job this summer so far from what I've seen.
In terms of rotation, I usually say eight. When I look at three tackles, three guards, two centers, and then one of those other ones have to be a center. I think looking at can you get 15 -- you have 15, 16 guys on scholarship. Can you have 16 ready? No. I think to be prepared for a game, to be very successful, eight guys have to be able to play, and you've got your two starting tackles, got that third guy that's able to go both ways, the same thing with guards, two centers, plus a third guy that can be a center. The benefit -- if we get nine, we get ten, I can move up with that, terrific. But to me, eight guys have to have the game plan, understanding everything going into that game for us to be successful.
Q. A guys like Martez Ivey coming back for his senior season, obviously there are some benefits to keeping him at that left tackle position, but have there been a lot of discussions about using him all across the line?
JOHN HEVESY: I haven't, just because, then, I think, again, everyone learning from me, to see and evaluate each individual for what they can do, if you start taking Martez, for example, okay, let's play left, here, learn this left tackle, hey, go play right guard, go play left guard, I'll never get a full evaluation of what he can do. So to me through the winter, through the spring, through the summer, going to camp is stay where you are so I can see what you can do, and at that point is someone better than him that I can move him. But still, again, I look at the first top five, who are the top five going. The best five are going to play. Now, if they've got to switch positions, then we've got to do that. But to me, give them fair evaluation instead of making a mental burden on them jumping around and saying, well, I don't know if he can do it physically because mentally he's not learning it. Let them learn it mentally so they can give me everything they've got physically, and that will tell me everything I need to know, so we can move from there.
Q. Obviously there's been a lot made about how much depth you have on the line. Was there a point where you found yourself in spring having three position coaches in as many years where you had to kind of break some more bad habits than you kind of anticipated?
JOHN HEVESY: Yes.
Q. Can you go into some of those?
JOHN HEVESY: Yeah, and I hate saying they're bad habits, they're just not my habits. To say they're bad habits or good habits, I'm not going to say that because I don't know the guys before that so I can't criticize what they did. If they worked and it's been successful for them, terrific. I say the same thing to my guys, and I tell my kids that. I say, what I've taught and what I teach for all the years I've done it, it's worked for me. It's been successful. That's what I'm teaching you. To say that's obviously dead wrong, no. But what I'm going to teach you has worked for me, so again, that's what we're going to go on because as you learn it, you're learning what I know.
I can't fix -- you can try this -- I tell them all the time because kids will watch NFL film or they'll watch the NFL on TV and be like, well, he's doing this, Coach, and I say, yes, and if I know what it is, I can teach it and correct it, but if you're put in situations where I can't correct it because I don't teach it, what do I tell you. You can do this. Well, Coach, we were taught this. I don't understand how to get out of it. So I can teach you that -- what it is, but if I don't have an answer to your problem, I can't do it, so what I do, I have answers for.
If it's getting a tackle, a speed rush, a ball rush, here's what I teach, so I have the answers to counter what they're telling me. I can't base it off what someone else has taught you. So again, it's just learn what I'm teaching because that's what we're going to go fight with.
Q. Just a follow-up to that, when you have guys that have been taught a certain way and then you teach them your way, have they been receptive to the change?
JOHN HEVESY: I think they have. Early on it's always -- kids are kids. They're trying to get the feelers out for how much will he give, and then how much we won't give, and to me at what point do I got to break. Like I tell them, I'm getting older. I'm not feeling that old yet, but I'm a tough one to break, and you can try. You can keep trying, but we're going to see who breaks first. Again, over the years I've seen a lot of things, so I say, you can keep trying, but we're going to keep going.
But I think anything you do with the kids, you can only educate them on -- educate them and teach them, here's where I'm getting you. I answered the question of I can't get you out of these problems if I don't know what you were taught. So learn my techniques so when you get into problems, whether it's pass rush or a pass technique, I can teach you how to get out of it. If you're stuck in a thing that I don't have answers for, what do I tell you? So that's why to me I have answers for the things I teach. Let's learn that way so I can help you in the long run which, again, ultimately these kids are all trying to play the next level from here, so again it's going to help you.
I do a lot of comparisons with the kids, whether it's installing plays or techniques, so here's a technique, you did it successfully. Now watch, here's the left tackle of the Cowboys doing it. Same exact thing, and it works for him. So I think when kids see that, what they want to ultimately get, here's the three techniques, the pass rush, the pass blocking we're going to use. Here's the same three he uses. So they say, let me learn that, and it works.
And then you have things -- obviously credibility to do it, it helps the kids learn it and want to learn it.
Q. How collective a decision is the quarterback one among the whole offensive staff?
JOHN HEVESY: I guess everyone -- I say everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I think ultimately Coach Mullen and Coach Johnson see them the most. Again, everyone will give their opinions on things that they see here and there, but I think obviously Brian and Coach Mullen spend the most time, 100 percent of time with him. I see him whether it's team periods and that stuff, film, watching film, but to me all those different things that they see, they see more of it. So again, everyone has a kind of say, but I think obviously ultimately the decision is going to be with Coach Mullen and Brian.
Q. What do you look for in a guy?
JOHN HEVESY: Well, what I see is protections. Different things in protections, I'll say, hey, he's drifting to the left. And he does this better or it's timing or different things in the run game, the checks that you see. But just it's more obvious things that I see than it is the little things that they're seeing every day with the meetings, the personality that I don't always see because I'm not -- I'm watching film of it, so you don't understand it or you don't see his facial expressions because I'm watching what I'm watching. So they see everything.
It's no different than my guys. They'll have an opinion that's the obvious of what's going on in practice or on film. But to see, hey, everything can he learn in the meeting room, not everyone is in the meeting room with me, but they can learn, how they learn. So I think that's the biggest thing. You've got to trust. Obviously we have great coaches on the staff that each of them are individually in their meeting rooms with the kids. They know the kids more than I know the quarterbacks or I know the linebackers is I have 24/7 with them, trust obviously take more of my opinion, more weight of my opinion because I see them every day, what's going to go on, and obviously everyone sees something different, so just give their opinion so you can always look at it.
Q. What are your expectations on how much Jefferson and Grimes can bring to this offense? Have you seen enough on them at all in film study to know what they can bring?
JOHN HEVESY: You know, obviously through spring practice, obviously in practice as if they were going to play through spring practice, we see they bring a bunch of things to us. Obviously they bring depth, they bring with Van, Van brings some more experience, obviously, with it from playing in this league for years, so he brings that experience.
But to me I think the biggest thing right now is you're bringing depth at the position. You're bringing, again, experience with him and you're just bringing -- there's different qualities they each have. But I think they both bring in -- they're both very talented kids that we've just got to utilize more as we see as they go.
JOHN HEVESY: I mean, for us, we always look to be efficient. I know people want to hear, let's score 500 points. Okay, I think the biggest thing we talk about is always being efficient. To me in the run game I want to be efficient four yards. If we get the big plays, we get the big plays. But constantly being efficient. We can obviously score points, but be efficient at everything we do, whether it's in the pass game or the run game. Just constantly moving forward, get 1st downs, which obviously leads to touchdowns.
So I think for us our goal is always we want to be efficient. Run game, we can have four yards a run because that's puts us -- you get two four-yarders, you're at 3rd and 2, which is in a good situation on 3rd down what we can do. The big plays are going to come, which we have obviously our goal offensively to have big plays in a game. To me, big plays -- you do all those studies of big plays in drives, it leads to touchdowns. So we want to be efficient, we want to have the big plays, but to sit there and say every play scripted to be a big play, absolutely not. I think I spoke at the women's clinic the other day, and they all want 100 yards -- there were 15 women that gave me plays that gain 80 yards every time. I said, give me them all, we'll put every one of them in, but it's unrealistic, so when you watch -- when you're watching the game and you get four yards, and I understand, my wife does the same thing to me. Well, why would you run that play when it's only getting four yards. Well, there's a reason for that, and it sets up play action, does those things.
So to me, our thing is to always be efficient. That's always -- each week we do that, go through the efficiency of stuff, and that's one of our goals is if we're efficient and we're getting those explosive plays, we're doing what we need to do to be successful on the field in the end to have the win.
Q. You know from coaching the league the quarterback is always one hit away from being injured. With that in mind, how much do you want your offensive line to take pass protection personally?
JOHN HEVESY: Very personally. That to me is -- that's their job. Ultimately that's what they're here for. Obviously it's to run the ball and protect the quarterback. That's the two things you look at, the basic things we look at, so to me it's a huge deal, and constantly you evaluate that in practice with them and tell that at practice that he can't be touched because he has a job to do. The quarterback has a job to do, and if he's looking at protection, if he's looking at is he going to get hit, he's not looking where he should be, which I tell my kids on the offensive line, I tell them, listen, if quarterbacks throw interceptions, I'm going to tell you 70 to 80 percent chance it's your problem because he's looking at who's hitting the quarterback, who's doing this, who's getting beat, and he's not spending time reading coverage, understanding what's going on.
So for you, our job is to make his job very comfortable back there so he can do his job, because if he can't do his job, because again, there's nothing we can do. I can't put in an extra player to help him, so we have to do our job for him. Everyone has to do their job. 11 guys on offense have to do their job. No one has to do anything spectacular. 11 guys on that field at that time, do your job and we will be successful.
JOHN HEVESY: No. It's interesting because I haven't -- to answer your first question, I haven't been around -- we've had the one guy, and then you've had two that's a good player, and three, okay, he's got to learn and develop. To have the number we have, whether it's three or four -- there's a bunch of kids. Malik wasn't there all spring, which I haven't really seen him live besides watching film from the previous season, just see how talented he is. He wasn't even out there in the spring. There's a handful of them now to go out there, and I think the biggest thing for us, going back to earlier questions of evaluating them in spring. How good were they this spring, I don't know, because were they still in the mental part of learning everything that we had to learn. So I think going back to what did they do during the summer so the mental part is not going to hamper them from being physical, to be better players than they were in the spring because they've learned the offense and now they're confident in the mental part of it to be physical. I think that's the biggest thing with all the kids is you have to be mentally confident to be physically confident. You can be as big and strong as you are, as fast as you are, as hard as you run, if you don't know where you're going, it doesn't help.
So to me, that will be an intriguing thing going into camp of who's done their job in the summer, got better in the summer to turn it over into fall camp.
JOHN HEVESY: I mean, again, you've got to -- ultimately we've got to evaluate even more through the camp, early on in camp. The more they can play, put them on the field. Find a way to get them on the field. If you've got to put three running backs on the field at once, put three running backs on the field at once. That's what -- you're walking in here, that's what you have, then you've got to utilize it. And how we can utilize it is we've got to put them in the right position.
Q. How much have you seen a change in the bodies, physicality, strength of those linemen?
JOHN HEVESY: I think a great amount. A great amount, even just -- again, you have some time off in the summer, you don't see them every day, so when you come back after leaving them, coming back after a couple times and seeing them during the week once or twice, but you just see -- one thing I noticed even as we did agilities last week with Martez, I think, was the biggest thing watching him run around agility-wise. His body looks stronger. He looks more -- he's tighter in everything he's doing compared to a little looser, which means there's a little weakness. But to me there's more strength and there's more bulk on there to me to help him -- again, he's had some injuries along the way, so to me it's -- you see the body changes. Now for them -- hopefully it's for them they see now going into camp they feel the changes they've had in the weight room.
Q. And you've worked with a lot of coaches or strength coaches I'm sure in your career. What is it that makes Nick Savage stand out?
JOHN HEVESY: The kids understand he's working for them. He's putting everything into it, to their benefit, their success. That's all of us as coaches. It's the same thing I tell my players dealing with them more than anybody is everybody that's touching you here is for your benefit, whether it's Nick, whether it's the academics, whether it's the coaches, no matter who it is, the nutritionists, whoever it is.
And again, for them I think the biggest thing they see in the weight program is -- and they do a good job. They take the pictures of them. I think there's a picture of CeCe when he -- in January and there was a picture of CeCe in the end of spring. You see the picture of just his body. And you say, okay, buy into what we're telling you nutrition wise, weight room wise, lifting, conditioning, all those things, you see the body changes. That's for -- the biggest thing for those kids is they see it. They see it football wise and teaching them, they've still got to see that coming up in August.
The weight room is a very quick dismal picture of here's what I looked like then, here's what I look like now. I wish I could be like 180 pounds. Here's before and after pictures. That's all I need to see, and it works. So that to me is already building them confidence in themselves and what they can do.
Q. Obviously this was an offensive line that last year was being touted before the season and did not play very well. Do you sense a hunger that they felt embarrassed by that? And again, for eight years Florida's offense has not been very good.
JOHN HEVESY: Yeah, I think listening to them last week, they had their last lift, you heard a lot of them, and Martez was just -- Martez is the one I think I've seen and heard the most of. He's taken the most leadership to that. He hasn't lived up to expectations of what is expected of him, and that's all -- keep talking about that. It's Martez and Fred and Tyler in the last year here. And I think I told them, where do you want more? I think I told them, the group that went out last year, whatever expectations they had they fulfill it. I said, this is your last go around. Are you fulfilling it? Not only -- don't be selfish for yourself, not for me, it's for the whole group.
Okay, you have to take ownership and leadership. I think that's the biggest thing that's gotten better probably from about April to now is them taking ownership. Instead of being very, oh, it's about me, I've got to get stronger, I've got to get better, I've got to learn it to where I force them to put it on Martez, you're responsibility for T.J. Morris. It's on you.
They listen to me so much; peer pressure is harder than anything. So to me, they hear from you, you're the senior, you push them. Fred, you have to push them; Tyler, you have to push them. It can't be about yourself, and collectively as a group we're going to go as five. To me you can grade out 100 percent. If you guy next to you doesn't, we lose. So it's your responsibility to make sure he's upped his end of the bargain. You've got to push the guys behind him. Something is going to happen where a shoelace is going to break, someone else has to come in. Are you prepared for him to go in the game? Did you make sure you pushed him hard enough whether it's practice, whether it's media, whether it's film study? To me it's helping them become better players, which will ultimately help you become a better player and help you get to what you want.
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