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Florida head coach Dan Mullen looks at the scoreboard during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Takeaways from Dan Mullen’s Press Conference

The Florida Gators held a spring press conference today, and head coach Dan Mullen had a lot to say. Here are the biggest takeaways:

Spring Expectations

Mullen mentioned the purpose of spring practices is more about experimenting with the team and less about what the team’s depth chart will be in the fall.

Transfer Rules

With the rise of the NCAA transfer portal in recent years, Mullen hopes for the rules of the transfer process to be cleaned up a bit.

When asked about a consequence being other coaches recruiting players off of his roster, Mullen said he bets that it goes on anyway and therefore, doesn’t make “a whole big of a difference.”

“Every rule they make, there’s a lot of unintended consequences that come up.” – Gators head coach Dan Mullen

Kyle Trask

Mullen said it’s essential that quarterback Kyle Trask continues to develop his understanding of the offense so he could make the best, quickest decisions possible.

As expected, Mullen was mum on Trask’s hold on the starting job, though Trask did start every game following Feleipe Franks’ injury at Kentucky.

Tim Brewster

One of the biggest additions to Mullen’s team was when North Carolina tight ends coach—and renowned recruiter—Tim Brewster filled in the same role left by Larry Scott, who took the head coaching job at Howard University.

Mullen cited Brewster’s energetic, likable personality as a key reason for his recruiting success.

Prior to North Carolina, Brewster has had stints with Texas A&M, Florida State, Mississippi State and Texas. He also spent four years in the NFL.

Comparisons to Previous Teams

Mullen said he isn’t sure if he’s had a team that represented his personality yet, but he said that since he was named head coach in 2017, players have bought in since day one.

https://twitter.com/GrahamMarshUF/status/1237050215271501824?s=20

As for year-by-year comparisons, Mullen said it’s natural for each team to be a little unique.

Replacing Perine

With leading rusher Lamical Perine leaving for the NFL Draft, Mullen said that he and his staff can help the running backs fill in Perine’s shoes.

One player returning in the running backs’ room is sophomore Malik Davis, who redshirted in 2018 as a sophomore. Mullen is hopeful that Davis can increase his production in 2020.

Players to Step Up

As expected, the Gators are losing key contributors on both sides of the ball. That especially includes at the wide receiver position, where Van Jefferson, Tyrie Cleveland, Freddie Swain and Josh Hammond all entered the NFL Draft.

Mullen said that one wide receiver with a chance to step up is junior Rick Wells.

“I’m really excited to see the type of spring that he has. He’s worked really hard and now the opportunity is there.” -Gators head coach Dan Mullen

He also discussed the linebackers who will need to step up, citing their versatility as good traits to have.

https://twitter.com/GrahamMarshUF/status/1237053262173360129?s=20

Kicking Competition

Throughout the press conference, Mullen made it clear that the depth chart is far from finalized. However, he added if there had to be one kicker with a leg up on the competition, it would be incumbent starter Evan McPherson.

Team Identity

Mullen said he doesn’t really identify his team’s personality as one specific scheme, but rather as a team that shows “relentless effort,” among other traits.

He added that effort is probably the most important trait for him and for his football team.

Injuries/Health

Mullen said a team’s health is a direct factor in the team’s ability to compete for championships.

“The team that wins championships is the team that stays healthy.” – Mullen

Mullen’s New Look?

A new season apparently means a new look for Mullen, as he donned a beard while answering questions. It is still unclear whether the beard will be a permanent fixture for the upcoming season.

For other tidbits and information from Mullen’s full press conference, visit ESPN Gainesville’s Twitter @ESPNGainesville

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