William Green was supposed to play much more than he has. For whatever reason, that just didn’t happen. Finally, he is listed as a starter on the Florida depth chart and Green relishes the chance to prove himself. He knows what it is going to take.
“A lot of it is just being on the field,” he replied when asked what it is going to take to get him going this year. “A couple of games (last year) I played 30 something snaps and others I only played five.”
Green has learned some things in his three years on campus. Nothing is handed to you at this level where everyone’s athletic ability is a little closer to your own.
“What you see here in college is a lot different than what you see in high school,” he said. “You know nothing is guaranteed at this point.”
The whole defensive line went through a bit of a shocking year in 2010. There just wasn’t much they were capable of doing, even with all-American players at almost every spot on the field. Green says they will get past that.
“All the guys that got the high school all-American honors, at some point they were young guys too,” he said. “Nobody knew who they were. So, it can be done again.”
He knows what it will take from himself.
“I have a real hunger and want to get better every day,” he said.
One bright spot so far has been the adaptation the players have taken to a more cerebral style of coaching from defensive line coaches Dan Quinn and Bryant Young. The group is learning more about the finer techniques to beat their man instead of flat out physically trying to whip someone that may be their equal or close to it.
“I love Coach Quinn and Bryant,” Green said. “They are real good teachers of the game and have taught me to be a better student of the game. I am real appreciative of them. They are more of teachers as far as coaching goes and they care about us.
“There is a lot of stuff we never focused on here, before they got here. Like the first step in pass rush and gaining ground with the first step.
The Gators have to get more pressure on the quarterback. Something that was lackluster at best in 2010.
“We worked on that real hard over the summer and will just continue to work on it in camp,” Green said about the pass rush. “I think we will be able to provide more pressure this year.”
Green has also seen an intensity in the younger guys around him that wasn’t there as freshmen last year. Florida will rely on a group of sophomores extensively in 2011 that will determine much of their fate for the season.
“Their maturity level, I think they take more of a professional approach to the game,” Green responded when asked what has improved with the younger guys. “They work a lot harder and have grown up a lot. The way they prepare, going over the plays and watching film, spending more time with it.”
In essence, the star power of the defensive line group will be a year older, wiser, and stronger than in 2010. With the addition of some techniques and a more aggressive scheme, William Green and company are feeling a lot more confident about putting heat on the quarterback in 2011.