What Billy Napier said on SEC Teleconference ahead of Arkansas matchup

by | Nov 1, 2023 | 0 comments

Billy Napier SEC Teleconference

As the Florida Gators are preparing for their game against Arkansas, head coach Billy Napier met with the media to discuss the upcoming matchup.


Opening statement

“Right in the middle of prep for Arkansas. Really excited about playing at 12, noon. We’ve got a sell-out, big week relative to Saluting Those Who Serve. Doing some really unique things from a military appreciation, first responders appreciation this week with the team. Good week in that regard. Been able to hear from speakers from each branch of the military. James Slayton, in particular, last night was really inspirational. Purple Heart winner, awarded the Purple Heart. Thought he had an unbelievable message to the team. you know, Arkansas presents a number of challenges. This is a critical week. They’ve played a lot of close games, they went toe-to-toe with Alabama, A&M, Ole Miss, LSU. You know, this is a group that has been very competitive and the defense is the strength of their team. And certainly, they’ve made a change on offense, so I think that creates some challenges for you. So, big week for our team, and right in the middle of preparing for that opportunity.”

Preparing for new Arkansas offensive-coordinator

“Well, I mean I think you’re asking the question for the right reasons. Certainly, you know, we’ve got a process that we began late last week with the second tier of the staff in terms of prep. But, I think they’ve got a great group of players. Obviously, the quarterback is a fantastic player and is a very accomplished, veteran player. Big, long up front, can play with power. They’ve got unique skill players. So it is a challenge, and I think for the same reason you’re asking the question, I think there are things that come with that. That’s kind of what I mentioned earlier that are a little bit unique. So, we’re working hard on it. Have a ton of respect for coach [Kenny] Guiton. Obviously, he was a very accomplished player and he’s got a good career as an assistant coach, and I know he’ll be excited for the opportunity.”

On what Napier sees from the Razorbacks’ defense:

“They did a good job in the portal. I think that they’ve got good players at every level of the defense. They also have a couple of young players that have stepped up. But good players at every level of the defense. They have some length on the edges, some power inside, I think their backers are athletic and do a good job of playing coverage in the back end with all the man and match and bracket coverage. I think they’ve done a good job. They play hard. I’ve got a lot respect for what I see on film.”

What Napier hasn’t seen this season that he’d like to see for the final stretch:

“Well, ultimately we’re chasing consistency. I think we’re trying to put the best performances of parts of our team together. I think ultimately I think that’s what I would like to see down the stretch, can we put it all together on the same day? I think we’ve had some bright spots in all parts of our team. But the consistency of doing that and playing really complimentary football is really important. Ultimately I think that’s what we’ve been pursuing and I do think we’ve seen improvement, a lot of individual players growing up and getting better. We’re just trying to put it all together.”

Advantage of playing at home:

“This place is special for a lot of reasons. But I think in our league playing at home is an advantage. I think every coach and player will tell you that, especially when got a group of fans that are into it and ready to go. I think that Saturday is special for a lot of reasons. I think we’re wearing black uniforms for the first time in the history of the school. But ultimately it’s not about the uniform but about the cause and creating some awareness and some gratitude for the cause behind the uniform. The Swamp is a special place. I think there have been a lot of great competitors walk out of that tunnel. A lot of great teams, a lot of great coaches and I do think we’ve got a passionate fanbase that can impact the game. We’re hopeful that Saturday they’ll be there early and they’ll be at their very best. We’re going to need them.”

Former OL Josh Braun starting for the Razorbacks:

“A ton of respect for Josh. Josh was a class act and a guy that, really smart, had character, did a good job while I was here I thought he did a good job representing the university. Got a degree. (I) wish him nothing but the best.”

Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson:

“Well, I mean, first of all, he’s a big, physical player. He’s a big man, he’s athletic, and tough to tackle. An accomplished passer when you really evaluate his career. He’s done a really good job being a leader there. They’ve had some great wins. He’s a guy who takes tremendous pride in his role. I think just watching him as a whole and throughout his career, I’ve always had a ton of respect for him as a player and a leader. I think the dual-threat component, combined with the accuracy and the arm talent, he’s a tough matchup.”

Bouncing back after loss to Georgia:

“I feel the same way I’ve felt about our group. Much like I said after the game, I think our team, we’ve got good people in that room. I think the character makeup of the group, the leadership, and the accountability is healthy. We’ve been dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s here so far this week. I think this group is loyal to each other and they want to do their best for each other. I think that’s a good quality to have.”

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