Florida hasn’t started playing the 2018 season yet — or even opened fall camp for that matter, but Steve Spurrier can already tell a difference.

Obviously, change starts off-the-field for new coaching regimes, and in turn, leaders are defined and the team takes on a new identity. Florida needed many changes within the program, and one such area was in the strength and conditioning staff.

Strength coaches are with the players more in the off-season than the actual coaching staff, and hiring that key person can make or break a head coach. In Jim McElwain’s case, it wasn’t favorable. In Mullen’s case, it’s looking favorable, according to Steve Spurrier, who joined Mike Bianchi on 96.9 FM The Game.

“Hadn’t talked too much (to Mullen). I’ve seen the guys in the weight room,” Spurrier said. “Obviously, a completely different attitude in there than in the past. I think Coach McElwain’s strength coach was a little bit of a quiet guy. A little bit, not much yelling and pushing and this, that and the other.

“The strength coach Dan Mullen’s got, Coach Savage, he’s one of the best. He’s one of the best. The players really respond to him, and they like being pushed. They like getting the most out of them and so forth.”

Spurrier then turned his attention to the 2018 season, and the former college football head coach knows it all starts with attitude.

“I really think the attitude is excellent,” Spurrier said. “And you’ve got to remember last year right about this time of the year we had about 10 or 11 guys suspended and four or five starters, I think, out of the bunch. Scarlett, the best running back, missed the whole year. He’s back.”

Georgia undoubtedly enters the season as the SEC East favorite, but can the Gators give the Dawgs a run for their money?

“It’s a pretty good looking team,” Spurrier said of Florida. “I know Dan doesn’t want to get too big on predictions or anything, but I really think this team can certainly compete with Georgia for the Eastern division. I really do. Time will tell.”

You can listen to Spurrier’s full interview here.