A few highlights:
Q.Tell me about that charity week.
A.That was one of the funnest weeks I had in my entire life. It was really cool. This is my second year of running a charity week. Last year it wasn’t as big. We had a 500-person little banquet. A little football tournament. This year because we worked all year with the N.C.A.A. and everyone from Florida and they did such a great job helping, there were more than 100 people volunteering for us. We had full-time, pretty much, 30 people working non-stop. We had eight or nine activities. We had a trip where we took 10 kids to Disney World and we took them on buses and had jerseys and stuff for them. Disney was amazing and that was great. One of the kids, their dad had died three weeks before. One of them, their dad had died four weeks before. I mean, they had never been to Disney before. They were the most underprivileged kids that we could find in Gainesville that we took. That was really cool and special to take those kids.
Q.Did it feel as good as winning a national title?
A.Better. Taking those kids to Disney World. One of the Powder Puff tournaments, we brought the Boys and Girls Clubs to hang out with the athletes, too.
Q. Could you ever imagine the brand you’ve built helping buy an orphan a bed?
A. It’s really cool. It’s because you look today and you look at how popular football is, it gives you a platform to do that. This is something that guys like Kurt Warner do a great job with, but most athletes take it for granted and they don’t use it or they use it for selfish purposes. Just by hospital trips. Without doing anything special you can make a big difference in people’s lives.
Q. We should probably talk a little bit of football. What changes from this offense from last year to this year?
A. Honoring more guys. You have to honor more guys and they have to be more spread out and they’ll have to account for more people. I think sometimes we would get too locked in on Percy or Louis Murphy. I think defenses could key. I think this year it will be honestly a lot harder to key on people. In the backfield, who are you are going to prepare for, Rainey, Moody or Demps? As a receiver, who is our go-to-guy? Is it going to be Aaron Hernandez or David Nelson? Carl Moore? Deonte Thompson? It’s honestly going to make teams honor each guy or lay very sound. I think you saw that in the last year or the last two years. We had some success because we were spreading people out. Alabama, South Carolina two years ago, F.S.U. when Percy got hurt. Vanderbilt two years ago. I think for me and play calling, you’re not having to find one. You’re making your reads and going to it. You’re going to have different guys step up and have bigger games. It’s going to be better for us and for them. It will keep the defense off-balance.
Q. Is this the best line and set of tailbacks that you’ve had in four years?
A.We think so. That’s going to make a big difference for us. The spread will still be our base offense and a pro-style package will be part our packages. That will be a package that we’re excited about. It will depend on how well we run it in two-a-days and how well we run it live.
Q.What have you thought of the spate of arrests by your teammates this off-season. How has that impacted you?
A.The good thing about them is that most of them weren’t big deals. Janoris was trying to break up a fight. Most of them haven’t been big deals. You don’t see guys on our team doing bad things to their girls. You don’t hear about that. It’s been little incidences here and there. Unfortunately, they’ve been in trouble. As a friend and a teammates and a leader on the team, you would say that you need to get on them and yell at them. But no, you need to let them know that we care about them and that’s not the right way and pick them up and keep going and keep going and not let that hurt the team chemistry wise. This year more than any other year, we have the best group of guys. You just trust more than any other. Out of all the years that I’ve been here, this is the best team as far as chemistry and accountability and just good guys on the team. It’s one of the reasons that I’m so excited about it. If you look at the guys on our team, you don’t see bad guys or guys who would purposefully wrong someone else. They may be at the wrong place at the wrong time, but they’re not doing terrible things. That’s why I don’t look at it like it’s that big of a deal.
For the complete interview, click here.