Perhaps one of the least talked about discussions about a change of coach in the middle of a season is the impact it has on the players of a given program.
This is the case for the Florida Gators, who are currently inaugurating a new coaching team led by head coach Billy Napier, while also being coached by the former team led by interim HC Greg Knox.
This transition period during Bowl Game week gets even tougher, essentially with two separate entities pulling you in different directions.
It’s just a bit of what the Gators had to go through as they prepare to face the UCF Knights on Thursday in the Gasparilla Bowl. It’s been a challenge, Knox said Monday during a meeting with reporters when he was available this week for the program’s bowl game.
â€œOur guys did well with that,â€ Knox said when asked how the team balances the two coaching teams.
â€œYou know, that was a big deal because the new staff got certain things that they wanted them to do. And again, they worked with us on the practice and everything. So I think they handled it very well. ”
Knox only met Napier for about 10 minutes, he said, not enough to really know the ins and outs of what he’s going to bring to the program, but enough to know he looks like a guy. and a great trainer.
Napier himself has also met with the players, making sure he gets to know them and apparently getting them to do things outside of what they’re used to during a normal training week. It’s been a challenge, Knox said.
â€œYou know the last two days have been pretty tough for them because they’ve had to do some things for the new staff and things that we ask them to do to get ready for this bowl game,â€ Knox said.
â€œBut other than that I think the kids handled it really well. And again I think I just got to the bowl site, I think they can now relax and get ready. to play.”
The Gators arrived in Tampa, Fla. On Monday in preparation for this week’s game, giving them a few normal training and setup days to focus and have a straight mind for their matchup against UCF.
According to Knox, there has been no change in how the program has played out over the past week. Normal preparation is key for Florida as they look to end their eventful season marred by drama and a change of coach, on a high note.
For the Gators cornerback Kaiir elam, who is still undecided about his future, that’s exactly what it is.
“What would that mean? I mean, that would mean, shoot, we’re the best team in Florida, honestly,” Elam said on Monday when asked what it would mean to beat another rival from the state.
That the Gators have already beaten three opponents in the State this season in the State of Florida, South Florida and the Florida Atlantic.
â€œI mean, that’s what the game would mean. I feel like, you know, this soccer team hasn’t really shown up, hasn’t played an elite game yet, and I feel like this is a great opportunity for us to do that. ”
So Florida will have that opportunity, albeit in the midst of some pretty big distractions as the week approaches.
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