Dan Mullen discusses the importance of the backup QB role, notes he plans to 'play multiple guys' next fall
The importance of having the backup quarterback ready to compete if called upon is something some programs manage better than others.
While Dan Mullen deserves all the credit he has received for the work he’s managed to do coaching up his starting quarterbacks, the Florida coach also has a strong history of having backups ready at a moment’s notice.
All Florida fans know Kyle Trask’s story and the heroics he showed on the road at Kentucky when Feleipe Franks went done but they may be unfamiliar with Dak Prescott coming off the bench to lead Mississippi State to a victory in the 2013 Egg Bowl and Keytaon Thompson nearly doing the same in the 2017 Egg Bowl after Nick Fitzgerald went down with an injury against Ole Miss.
It’s experiences like those that prove Mullen not only understands the value of the backup quarterback on his roster, but that Florida’s coach knows how to get all of his signal-callers ready for action.
“It’s critical. It depends a lot on teams – we are a very quarterback-based offense. We put a lot on our quarterbacks here,” Mullen said during his latest media availability. “There are some that don’t really put as much on the quarterback. It’s not as critical for some places as others, or some systems as others, ours it is because we put a lot on the quarterback. So you have to be ready.
“You are one play away from that guy being the starter and being the starter at Florida is a great responsibility. And within our system, it’s a great responsibility for our success.
While most assume Emory Jones will be the starting quarterback for the Gators next fall, the junior signal-caller has already noted redshirt freshman Anthony Richardson has been pushing him this offseason.
Throw in freshmen Carlos Del Rio-Wilson and Jalen Kitna and there will be plenty of competition in the QB room this offseason in Gainesville.
According to Mullen, he’s eager to get several of his quarterbacks on the field early next season.
“I always want to have multiple guys ready,” Mullen added. “We will play multiple guys early in the season, whoever the starter is, just so guys are ready to play like we always do.”
At this time, we may not know which quarterbacks will be the ones taking the field for the Gators in 2021 but rest assured, it will be the ones that take what Mullen is teaching them now and best translate that information to fall camp.
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