The much anticipated Jim McElwain press conference as expected stayed on the rails as the Florida Gators coach has clearly a ten degree black belt in coach speak. As expected the first question out of the gate was in regard to what seems to becoming a major rivalry between Florida and LSU.
Here is what McElwain had to say about how that rivalry is building:
Well, I think first and foremost, rivalries are what makes college football as awesome as it is. And for us at the University of Florida, here’s the great thing. We got a bunch of rivalries. And each week you go out there, you get an opportunity. And so, you know, whether be them, whether it be FSU, Georgia, Tennessee, you name it. You know it’s one of those deals that that’s why you come to Florida, playing big ball games and great rivalries.
Yes, there is absolutely nothing said in that quote, but wait, there’s more. This time is regards to the school naming the LSU game the homecoming game for the Gators:
Yeah. Here’s what I love about this. So, I get off the plane, okay, having been gone for a week, and, you know, kind of focusing on the future and actually reflecting on the past a little bit like I do every year when I’m up in Montana, and believe it or not, unlike maybe Coach Saban at Alabama, I have no choice in it. Okay? It’s a university choice. So, they didn’t tell me until I got off the plane and somebody said, hey, guess who your homecoming game is? That’s the first I heard about it.
Okay, so he abdicates any responsibility on this part, which is fine, it’s expected.
One of the biggest question marks going into the season is who will play QB. With Notre Dame graduate transfer Malik Zaire coming to town, it’s expected he may be the front runner to win the position. Here is how McElwain addressed this situation:
It’s one of those situations where it doesn’t matter the position group. We’re always looking to add to everything that we do and create competition. And ultimately it doesn’t matter what the profession you’re in, but true competition is something that really breeds excellence. And I’m excited about having him in there. We’re now up to finally our number in the scholarship count that we want to be in the quarterback room. We’ve got some real options there. And that’s a good thing. And yet, you know, he’s a guy that can light up the room with his smile. He’s excited to be there and excited to compete, and we’re looking forward to seeing what happens this fall.
That’s some great coach speak. Reading between the lines, it looks like Zaire has the edge, but for goodness sake McElwain masks that commitment really well.
Finally it wouldn’t be a McElwain presser without a question about the naked photo with the shark. You would think he would be more in jest with his answer, but he seemed kind of serious about it:
You know, I love the humor in it, all right, and yet, you know what, what it did, that actually not only attacked the university but attacked my family, when you know it’s not you — you know, I bust chops with the best of them now, and yet when it got personal…
Apparently the room after this comment drew some silence as if the media was shocked he was so taken aback by this whole ordeal. It could have been a moment for him to really go lightly, but he went in the other direction.
Still McElwain proved he is a master of coach speak. We expected to get nothing from him in this presser and that is exactly what we got. You have to be sharp if you coach in the SEC, because the media is all over your every word. McElwain talks like he may run for governor one day. If he keeps winning SEC East titles, he may indeed become a front runner.