Florida coach Billy Napier watches his quarterbacks, including Anthony Richardson (15), during the NCAA college football team's practice Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

Richard Gouraige Bonds with New Staff

The Florida Gators Football team started Spring practice on March 15.

Head Coach Billy Napier and his staff are currently in Phase Two of his plan to rebuild the program. Napier is building the team’s identity.

Senior Richard Gouraige has noticed some changes.

Sometimes, there is a long adjustment period when a new staff comes in. Gouraige said that did not happen.

The offensive lineman said he connected with coaches Rob Sale and Darnell Stapleton pretty quickly. The coaches treated the offensive line to P.F. Chang’s to introduce themselves, he said. Now, the unit goes out to eat once a month.

Gouraige said his new coaches are funny guys who are always cracking jokes. He said he appreciates their ability to keep practice fun.

He said he knows he can go to Sale and Stapleton with anything.

More is Better

Florida has two official offensive line coaches and a couple of supporting staff members.

“More is better,” Gouraige said.

He said that having multiple coaches keeps everyone on track. The team is focusing on the little things, he said. Thus, having multiple sets of eyes allows for more opportunities for the unit to improve.

Both coaches have emphasized the importance of watching film so mistakes are not repeated.

Gouraige is ready to do his part. He said it’s all about elevating the team’s game.

Intense Practice

Napier said he wants the team to be faster this season. Gouraige explained how the last staff was more focused on being heavy upfront. He said that may have made the line sluggish at times. However, now the weightlifting coach is focused on speed, explosion and endurance.

Gouraige said this is the smallest he’s been in a while. He believes the new program is helping the team compete and get into game shape. Gouraige joked that he is chasing a six pack by the start of the season.

About Trey Johnson

Trey is a third year sports media major at the University of Florida, and a WRUF reporter.

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