Florida head coach Dan Mullen watches from the sideline during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against South Carolina on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Mullen Faces Media Ahead of Samford

In his first in-person press conference of the season, Dan Mullen addressed the Gators’ recent staff changes and expectations moving forward.

The Elephant in the Press Room

Less than 24 hours after firing defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and offensive line coach John Hevesy, Mullen said the decision had to be made.

Mullen said the decision was not an easy one to make. Grantham has been Mullen’s defensive coordinator for the past five years.

Mullen has coached with Hevesy for about 20 years.

“My responsibility as the head coach is to do what’s best and what I feel is best for the Florida Gators,” Mullen said. “I thought you know what for the health of the program, for the health of everybody, if you know you’re going to do it let’s make that move now.”

Mullen said he made the decision after taking a look at how his team has improved throughout the season.

“One of the ways you look to say ‘Is this a successful season,’ is are you a better team at the end of the year than you were at the beginning of the year,” he said. “We’re not better than we were earlier in the year. In fact, we’re worse than we were earlier in the year.”

Mullen said the problem for the Gators this year has been inconsistency.

“There are times we play I think Todd’s an excellent football coach,” he said. “There are times we’ve played great defense but just haven’t done it consistently.”

The decision will give linebackers coach Christian Robinson his first opportunity to call a game for the defense.

The Gators take on Samford on Saturday at noon.

Looking Ahead

The Gators will enter Saturday with a 4-5 record.

Mullen said he takes the blame for how the team is doing.

“My job is to make sure that we go perform and this team plays to the Gator standard which we’re not doing right now,” he said, ” So it’s my responsibility to find a way to fix that.”

Mullen said everyone has problems but the key is finding solutions to those problems.

He said he is confident he can find those solutions.

Looking ahead at Saturday’s game Mullen said he always looks forward to this week’s game. He said he is thankful for the troops and the opportunity to coach the Florida Gators.

He said the biggest struggle going into this week is getting the team he sees at practice to show up on Saturday.

Mullen said the team had a great week of practice before the Gators’ loss to South Carolina.

He said the team he saw Monday through Friday did not show up on Saturday, and he said that’s a problem.

Mullen wouldn’t look too far beyond Saturday’s matchup with Bulldogs. When asked about bowl eligibility, Mullen said he just wants to perform well on Saturday before looking at Sunday.

In Other News…

Mullen said quarterback Anthony Richardson hurt his knee dancing in the hotel on Friday.

After suffering a concussion against Georgia, Richardson was cleared to play but was still experiencing soreness.

 

About Christopher Will

Chris Will is a second-year journalism student with a focus on sports and media. Originally from the Fort Lauderdale area, Will now covers all things sports in Gainesville.

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