Florida Football Mailbag / October 13 Edition

Florida Football Mailbag / October 13 Edition

The Gators hold a 4-2 record halfway through the 2022 season. Gator Country provides you with a Florida football mailbag, answering all your questions about the Gators.

Uggator84: Rumors/whispers that Toney will ditch the 3-3-5 for a defensive front that works better against the run?

Nick M: No, Toney will not change his defensive scheme. Toney had success with this program at ULL and Gainesville players bought into it.

Ncargat1: Is there an expectation that we could see the Gators offense start trying to push the tempo more than 1 or 2 awkward plays per game? Seems like if the offensive line has the upper hand more often than not, that would help the offense, much like what Kiffen does with tempo but a heavy dose or running at Ole Miss?

Nick M: You won’t see a lot of rhythm this season. The Gators had a turnover problem in the first six weeks of the season; the last thing Napier wants is a chance for it to get worse with miscommunication. During Wednesday’s presser, Napier said they weren’t a team that was going to try to play 100 plays in a game.

MrB-Gator: How is QB Miller? Was he in front of Kitna before his injury? Also… do you think AR will leave after this year?

Nick M: Jack Miller was the number two QB before the injury. Napier called Richardson and Miller two QBs capable of winning. He said Kitna was working to become one. Very difficult to say where he is now without being in training. Napier says he has made good progress and is starting to train. Jalen Kitna will be that QB2 team for the LSU game because Miller hasn’t had a lot of reps in practice. Miller will be available for an emergency.

My personal opinion is that Richardson stays another year. I don’t think he put up enough records for NFL teams to consider drafting him in the early rounds.

Gator North: This is Year 5 of the Gator defense unable to get off the field. Is the problem schema, personal, lack of preparation or something else?

Nick M: It’s a question of personnel. I saw very good things about Patrick Toney’s film for the most part; I see poor execution from the defense. There were some questionable play calls in defense and attack, but Napier and his team admitted it.

bigmike64: What do rookies think of the season so far and training? has anything changed in the way they view this coaching staff positively or negatively?

I guess they must see that we need help in several positions, so I think that’s a positive.

Nick M: I don’t believe we’ll see a sea change or a backlash in recruiting no matter how much Florida loses. The rookies really like this staff, especially Sean Spencer and Corey Raymond. I think players seeing how much early game time they could potentially get is a huge benefit.

Kurt_Borglum: Is it time for Trey Smack to hit some treys (see what I did there?)

Nick M: I think you’ll see Adam Mihalek kicking for the rest of the year. Napier said during Wednesday’s presser that Mihalek was the team’s best kicker. It will be interesting to see if Napier plans to use Smack in kickoffs for the rest of the year and burn his red shirt.

Jcmiller910: Nick, what will be the main areas of improvement we will need for the team to make meaningful progress in the 2nd half of the season? What do you think has been the biggest improvement from game 1 to now, and what has been the biggest disappointment from game 1 to now? Finally, name one player who you think will become a Last 6 Matches contributor and has played sparingly in the first 6 matches? Thanks and Go Gators!!

Nick M: Improvement has to come from the defensive end of the ball if we’re going to see meaningful progress from the Gators. It will be almost impossible to see any significant improvement without the defense playing better. Second, the attack must take care of the football. If you’re only going to have a limited number of chances, you need to make them count.

The biggest improvement for me is the penalties. In the first three weeks I thought we might see a pretty unruly football team. However, this Gators team has made huge strides in that department. The last few weeks have been really clean football. I think the biggest disappointment for me is the passing attack. The whole nation was talking about Anthony Richardson as the Heisman nominee and first-round pick after week one. Last week, Richardson threw for less than 70 yards. We’ve all seen that Richardson can do it; we just need to see it more consistently.

If you count Miguel Mitchell as playing sparingly, I’ll pick him. I really like what I’ve seen from him this year in limited action and think the Gators could use him safely.

Oklahoma Alligator: With the total turnover of the coaching staff, outside of Napier, who do you see has hires at home?

Nick M: Corey Raymond was a home run hire. The players love him and he can really recruit. I’m a big fan of Sean Spencer, Matt Hocke and Patrick Toney. It’s really hard not to mention Rob Sale and Darnell Stapleton with the improvement we’ve seen from that offensive line.

UncleNunzio: How many personnel changes do you see for 2023?

Nick M: I don’t see many personnel changes after the first year. You never know what’s going to happen, but I don’t foresee much movement after this season.

Jonathan: Did our defense figure out how to stop the play LSU repeatedly used against us last year? Single run off tackle.

Nick M: I can’t tell you with 100% certainty that the Gators are going to stop the clock every time. However, we will see players in the right position to make the play.

Dhainer24: Assuming Richardson leaves (I don’t think he should, but NFL dollars are hard to pass up)… Do you think Kitna or Miller have the ability to lead an SEC offense superior to the mean ? Who do you think is the next starting QB… Miller, Kitna, transfer?

Nick M: I agree that if Richardson is offered NFL money, he’s probably going to leave. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Gators’ next starting QB will be a transfer. I think Napier will find one and make him compete with Kitna and Miller.

The Alligator: Can we still make the playoffs?

Nick M: There’s never been a two-game losing streak that made the playoffs, so I’d guess no. It’s so early in the season that the mathematical answer is yes, but that would force the Gators to win every game on their schedule, somehow sneak into the SEC championship game, win the championship SEC and getting help from non-conference teams.

90Gator: at mid-stroke, kicking is not acceptable. Will Napier make a change?

Nick M: I don’t see any change coming this season. We’re not practicing and can’t see the hundreds of kicks these two do daily. Napier says Adam Mihalek is the team’s best kicker, so I don’t see him making a change, at least not yet.

FloridaGatorMan: Do you think Richardson is a legitimate NFL prospect at the end of this season? Yes, the NFL writes on measurables, but what he’s shown this season is a very inaccurate QB who’s unwilling to shoot the ball and run.

Nick M: I think Richardson can be drafted simply because of his measurable parameters. How high he gets drafted depends on this 2nd half of the season he puts up. At this point, I don’t see him getting anywhere near the first round with what he has on tape. He has yet to prove that he can be consistently accurate with football. However, he has all the tools in the bag and can make every throw.

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