clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Watch: Jim McElwain addresses Irma’s wake, Florida’s preparation for Tennessee

New, 23 comments

This has been a tiring season already, clearly.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Florida vs Iowa Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, when Jim McElwain seemed a little exasperated about his lot in life after the Florida Gators faceplanted against Michigan in their season opener, we talked about his body language extensively in the comments.

This week, with McElwain seeming very much like a man who has just been through a hurricane at his weekly press conference, we will probably talk about his body language extensively in the comments.

McElwain says “Ultimately, over 60 guys were affected, through their families, in one way or another” by Hurricane Irma — and if he is specifically referring to players, as I think he is, there, that means the majority of the Florida roster was under the gun of a Category 5 hurricane for much of the last week.

That Irma weakened after unleashing her fury on the Caribbean — and “only” produced frustrations like being without power and water, or being evacuated from their homes, or being inconvenienced by cleanup efforts for most Floridians, rather than the death and destruction on unimaginable scales that would have been possible with different tracks and different intensities and different preparation — is a blessing.

That doesn’t mean it hasn’t led to some sleepless nights for the millions in Florida affected by it, though. And McElwain definitely seems like a man who hasn’t slept well of late in this presser.

Other notes:

  • Injuries: DeAndre Goolsby practiced Tuesday and “looked pretty good”; McElwain thinks he’ll be ready for Tennessee. Kylan Johnson “will probably be out.” “No update” on James Robinson’s heart condition. Kemore Gamble “should be good to go.”
  • McElwain just recently got his power back, but: “Shoot, I wish everybody had their power on and mine was still off.”
  • McElwain hopes players will “release some frustrations” against Tennessee, and “give some relief to some people whose lives have been changed forever.”
  • Pat Dooley notes it’s been 308 days (!) since Florida last played a home game. McElwain thinks it’ll mean a lot to both players and fans to play — “It’s an opportunity that’s awful special, coming off what’s just occurred.”
  • McElwain announced offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier would move up to the booth earlier on Wednesday during the SEC coaches’ weekly teleconference, and explains the move to these assembled media members by saying it might help Nussmeier to call plays from “a sterile environment.”
  • “The measure of a true man is how he gets back up — and that’s what we’re gonna do.”
  • Asked about being “somber,” McElwain cited “the concern for the people — the families of our players that are my responsibility.”
  • McElwain demurred on several question about any specific hardships for any players, but explained that there was a plan in place to update families on the status of the players and vice versa, and finally conceded that some families have been “displaced,” but “right now, everything’s good.”
  • “Sometimes, third down and seven is not the most important thing in life.”
  • No update on Florida’s merry band of suspended players. So: Still suspended.
  • The one moment of levity from the entire presser — which was odd, as these are typically press conference in which McElwain at least ribs someone: McElwain explaining that while he was at Louisville under John L. Smith, the Cardinals once played on every day of the week, leading Smith and his staff to scrap typical weekly practice schedules based on those days and color-code the week. (I’m not sure whether McElwain is precisely right about the Cards playing on literally every day of the week, but Louisville played on five or more day of the week essentially for his entire time in town from 2000 to 2002.)