SPRING: Coach Mattison Q and A on Defense

Coach Greg Mattison, the Co-Defensive Coordinator for the Gators along with Coach Charlie Strong, talks about how they are handling their duties together, about the defense, especially the line, which players stick out, and more...

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On the basics of the defensive co-coordinator position…

"Works great. We got 2 guys who have a lot of experience that enjoy working together and want nothing more then this football team to be the best it can be."

On whether they'll be in the sidelines or booth…

"Probably Charlie will be doing the signaling and both of will be on the sidelines I think at this point right now."

On returning 7 guys on the defensive line…

"With Marcus he's injured, but the rest of the guys have adapted pretty well. I think the hardest thing when there a new coach comes in to coach the position is getting to know each other and know what I expect and what was expected of them. I've been very pleased so far."

On the importance of a rotation…

"That's very important to me because my whole belief on defensive lineman is to play as hard as you can possibly play on every snap and if you don't play as hard as you can play, then you can't play. So we have to play a lot of back ups so that the Ray McDonald's, and the Marcus Thomas's, and the Jeremy Mincey's can play. Nobody can play 70 plays. Not at the tempo that I want them to go at."

On who's stood out in his opinion…

"The guys that right now are surfacing are Mike Hill has had a very good spring. Clint McMillan is coming on, Steve Harris is the veteran and has done a very good job and Derrick Harvey has done well."


Derrick Harvey (right), Clint McMillan (middle), and Tree Morant (left) form a three man defensive line.

On the move of Derrick Harvey to the first team…

"I love Derrick Harvey's attitude and I love his speed. He is very raw and he hasn't played much because he didn't get a lot of coaching because he was red shirted. I see him coming on and I think he is really going to be a good one for us this year."

On what will need to be improved between now and Sept. 3...

"Without a doubt pass rush. We got a lot of work to do on pass rush and I'm not very happy right now at how we're getting to the quarterback with everybody up front."

On the increase of blitzes…

"I like it a lot and I think it is always going to be our style here. We do believe in blitzing and we do believe in being aggressive. I think as long as the kids understand that and execute it we are going to be fine. It's going good. I really like our kids and we have great kids here."

Esteban's Take: Mattison's attitude on the field screams of Big-Ten Conference coaching experience and he has instilled a new toughness on the defensive line. While pass rush, as Mattison said, is an area that will be focused on between now and Sept. 3, the move of Harvey to starting opposite Jeremy Mincey is one that should have Gator fans salivating at a word that has become as familiar as orange and blue. Potential.

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