Florida Gators Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson met with local media on Monday and discussed
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DO YOU TALK TO YOUR GUYS ABOUT BEING ON COVER OF NCAA FOOTBALL BACK IN THE DAY? GUYS PLAY AS YOU?
"No. It's crazy because like, I can't remember the last year they stopped making it, but it's been so long that they were probably like just getting to decent video game age when that came out. They were probably like 10 or so. Yeah, I do feel old now. But that was fun. I remember when it came out, it was really cool."
MULLEN'S BIGGEST WORRY GOING TO GET ON PLANE AND FINDING OUT 10 GUYS CAN'T GO DUE TO QUARANTINE. WHAT CONTINGENCY PLANS Y'ALL HAVE?
"Well I mean there's only so much that you can control in terms of contingency plans. I think the biggest thing is just making sure that we're organized and detailed and guys really take advantage of the reps and understand the plans going in. Coach has been doing this for a long time. There's obviously no manual for COVID in 2020, so you've got to be really flexible. But he's a really smart guy and I know he'll have a great plan for us."
YOU GOT PROMOTED, HOW'D THAT CHANGE YOUR ROLE?
"Obviously our entire offensive staff has been together for a really long time. I talked to coach Mullen, we talked probably before all this COVID stuff hit and obviously 2020's been a very weird year so I guess it kind of just got lost in the sauce a little bit, but excited to make sure that we go out there and compete at a really high level on a consistent basis each and every week.”
Logistics of move?
“I don’t know how much will change from a day-to-day aspect. Like I said, we have a lot of continuity on our staff, so our schedule and our routine is pretty set in terms of how we operate on a daily basis. In terms of game day, I’ve always been really heavily involved, myself and Coach Mullen, determining how we call the game and what we’re calling and what we’re running. From a logistical standpoint, I don’t know how much in a change in terms of our day-to-day operation.”
Excited to get the title?
“Yeah, definitely. It’s really exciting. We have great players here and a great coaching staff. I’m excited to get that opportunity and help our team go out there and perform at a really high level.”
Matt Corral evaluation?
“I remember going to see Matt. It was the first visit I actually went to. I got hired that Sunday and I was on a plane from Houston to L.A. to go see him first thing Monday morning. I met coach out there, we got a chance to visit with him for a little bit. I don’t think he ever made it to his official visit here - he decided to sign with Ole Miss. He’s obviously a guy that was really highly recruited in that class and I’ve had a chance to watch him play a little bit throughout the course of his career. I remember watching him in the Egg Bowl last year. He’s a really, really talented player and I’m sure he just like the rest of us are looking forward to getting out there Saturday and finally getting a chance to play some ball.”
Dan says Plumlee fast as hell, can you break down what he brings?
“Yeah, he can really roll. I remember, he’s obviously a Mississippi kid, so he came up to camp. He can fly. He’s very dynamic as an athlete and makes a bunch of game-breaking plays. Luckily, I don’t have to be Coach Grantham this week. I’ll let Coach Grantham deal with him.”
How much was OC promotion discussed when came here, what would lead to that?
“It’s just a really unique situation because obviously I’ve know coach a really long time, worked together a really long time - as with everybody on the offensive staff with John and Billy and Knox, as well. Even when we were at Mississippi State we had a system in place of how everything worked on game day and throughout the course of the week. It’s always been a really collaborative effort in terms of our plan. And you know one of things we always talk about is we really do most of the work calling the game on Monday through Thursday. When you get out there on the field it becomes a little of bit of instincts and things take over. For the most part you do your work early and the guys put in together and we’ve been very collaborative during the course of our careers together.”
Familiarity with coaches on offensive side being a big deal with COVID:
“I think it’s a huge deal just in terms of being ready to make adjustments. I think 2020 is a year where everybody has to be as flexible as possible. The fact that we have a lot of people on our staff who have been together and know the problems of what defenses are trying to do to you and have the adjustments ready to go and be able to present that and teach it very quickly and get it fixed on the sideline. That’s something that’s going to be very important to do this year. It definitely is a huge positive for us, I think.”
Potentially the first Black OC in school history?
“I didn’t realize that. If that is the case, it’s obviously something to be very, very proud of. Coaching the quarterbacks is obviously a big deal, especially here at a place like the University of Florida, where they have a very rich tradition of elite quarterback play and there’s three statues downstairs that prove that. It does make you proud, if that is the case. I haven’t looked that up, so I’m not sure. But it’s definitely something to be proud of, for sure.”
Offers to leave UF this offseason?
“Um, not necessarily, no. Like I said, it was something that Coach Mullen and I kind of talked about for a little while. I think for him it was the perfect opportunity to make everything kind of fit into place. I don’t know in terms of our day-to-day operation … I think we’ll continue to have a really collaborative effort. Obviously, when you’re head coach is very involved in the offense, it’s a little bit different. He knows the ability to advance in this profession, being a quarterbacks coach is a pipeline to that and it’s something that’s his specialty and he’s done a good job helping me throughout the course of my career and helping me develop as a coach each and every day.”
Hope you weren’t blindsided by any of that
“No, it was a good question. I just hadn’t given it much thought to be completely honest with you. I mean, obviously that narrative has been out there in terms of guys climbing the ladder from an offensive perspective kind of goes through that quarterback pipeline. There’s definitely some truth to that. At the end of the day I just want to make sure that our guys play really, really well and consistent week in and week out and I’ve always been under the impression that you know, be where your feet are and make sure you can do the best job that you can in your current position and good things happen.”
Y’all said Kyle Trask lost weight, but the roster has him weighing one pound more…. WTF?
“His body has definitely changed. He’s probably about where he was when we first got here. Like I said, once he broke his foot in the end of ‘18 is kind of when he gained a couple of pounds after he broke his foot. He’s done a fantastic job of working himself back down, eating clean, taking care of his body, and just being a pro in how he handles his business each and every day. I’m excited to go out there and watch him cut it loose on Saturday.”
Kyle says he can be a better rusher now….
(Laughing) “We’re going to turn him into Lamar (Jackson), you know? Kyle’s going to be efficient running the ball for us. Like we always say is he has to be willing and then be a great decision-maker in terms of knowing when to get down, knowing what we need for a first down, and being efficient in the run game. Being able to take what the defense gives you and keep our offense on the field is what we’re looking for.”
Any favorite stories you can share about going against Ole Miss?
“Those guys were there a lot longer than I was, with Coach Mullen and Hev and Knox, so they have some. I was a part of, I guess, 3 Egg Bowls, and it was as fierce of a rivalry as there is in all of college football. If I have a favorite moment of mine, I think it was the 2016 year we went up there and won pretty good, so that was fun.”
Ole Miss a tough scout in a sense, guys on their defense you’d circle though?
“Yeah, I mean, they return, their linebacking corps is probably the heart and soul of their defense, so we’ve got to be ready for those guys. You know it does provide a unique challenge, you know, first games are generally a crapshoot anyways in terms of schematics, because teams spend the entire offseason working on new things, so you’ve got to be ready to adjust and like coach says, our first game is really about you. It’s about how hard you play, your attention to detail and your technique and fundamentals, and making sure that you bring your own energy.”
What have you seen from watching old Durkin tape and what can you expect from Rebels defense?
“You know, I think the biggest thing is they provide, they are very multiple in what they’ve done, so they give you a lot of different looks. And the system marries will together, I mean Coach Durkin’s been around for a long time so he knows what causes problems and how to marry his defense well, between mixing fronts and coverages and things of that nature, so you know the good thing for us I think is that we go against the defense every single day. Throughout Fall camp, going against Coach Grantham, you see a lot of different looks, so I think it can help you process what you’re seeing in terms of kind of looks that you don’t see very often, so we got to do a great job of communicating and being ready to adjust on gameday, because like I said, these first games can be tricky, especially when you’ve got a new staff on both sides of the ball, because they’ve been working on stuff all year as well, so we’ve got be kind of ready to see how they play us.”
Lorenzo Lingard not on the depth chart?
“I didn’t do any of the depth chart stuff, it was all Coach, so you can get with Coach Mullen.”