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June 20, 2013

The F Club: Anthony, Green reflect and look ahead



F-CLUB SERIES: Cornerback Larry Kennedy

Over the course of the summer, Inside the Gators will be catching up with former Florida players to discuss the past and present of the positions they played at UF. Up today are former wide receivers Reidel Anthony and Jacquez Green.

Background: Few players have left a mark on Florida football history the way wide receivers Jacquez Green and Reidel Anthony did during the mid-1990s. During three-year college careers, Green and Anthony combined for 4,455 yards receiving and 49 touchdowns.

Both went on to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the National Football League, while Green also saw time the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions.

Today, both Green and Anthony have remained connected to football in some regard. Green is an assistant coach at Valdosta (Ga.) High after previously coaching Florida wide receiver Raphael Andrades at Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln. Anthony recently stepped down as offensive coordinator at Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central and runs a wide receiver academy while also working as a trainer at Performance Compound in Tampa.

Assessment of the current wide receivers: "I think we got a lot of talent coming in this year and we've got some guys there that can also play. They've been getting a lot of heat lately, which I think is uncalled for considering the people who give them the most flack can't even watch the film and see whether they're open or not. Hopefully we'll get some progression at the quarterback position this year and those guys can flourish in the new system. I think it's been unfair. With a defensive head coach, I feel they're not going to take as many chances in the passing game, which is rightfully so because they've had such a dominant defense the last couple years. Also, a young quarterback isn't going to give you many chances down the field in the passing game." -- Green

"We've had a lot of different types of receivers, which is a good thing. They just haven't had that - well, Frankie Hammond Jr. showed some spurts of that game-breaking ability - but besides him we haven't had many game-breakers from what games I've watched." -- Anthony

Who stands out on the current team: "I think Quinton Dunbar has the chance to be the top guy on the team. He's been there a while. I think he has all the skills, quickness, agility and I think he has good hands. Demarcus Robinson is from my hometown, so I've been watching him play since his freshman year of high school. He always had a tremendous skillset. He always had good size, good hands, good speed. I coached Raphael Andrades in high school and he always had great hands. He was never a real fast guy, but he was always a guy who always ran routes, knew how to use his body and had great hands." -- Green

What's missing from the current offense and what does it need to do to take the next step: "It always starts at the quarterback position. You can have all the weapons in the world, but if you don't have anyone who can get it to them, it's all for not. Hopefully Jeff Driskel will step up and be more of a leader and improve his accuracy and decision-making. Those guys have been working hard. Like I tell my quarterbacks when I coach, most of the successful quarterbacks in the NFL don't throw the ball 65 yards down the field. They throw it within a 10-yard radius and let the receivers and running backs do the rest of the work. When you've got explosive guys around you, you've just got to get it in their hands and do all the work." -- Anthony

"It all depends on the quarterback. I think he will get better. It's his second year in the system. He started out with Charlie Weis and had one year with Brent Pease, so this will be his second year in the system. I think Driskel is very athletic and he has a good arm. I think he's a smart kid, so I think he will progress a lot more this year and take off as a quarterback for us." -- Green

The best player you played against at Florida: "At the time, I thought it was Corey Chavous, the cornerback at Vanderbilt. Most of the time, we saw a lot of short and quick cornerbacks, but Chavous was a big guy. He was about 6-2, probably over 200 pounds. Vanderbilt did a lot of press from the outside and they did a lot of blitzes, so you knew if you didn't get off your guy real fast they were going to sack your quarterback. Chavous was one of those guys who could use his size and quickness to lock you down." -- Green

"If I had to pick someone I went against, I would say (Alabama cornerback) Deshea Townsend. Me, him, 'Quez, all of us came in Class of 1994. We got a chance to play against each other two out of our three years. Deshea was athletic and smart. He wasn't a speed guy, he wasn't physical, but he was smart. He made up for a lot of his lesser talents by being smart and being in the right place at the right time. And he didn't care about taking risks. That's why he played so long in the NFL. He knew where to be at all times and where everyone around him was supposed to be." -- Anthony

The best player you played alongside at Florida: "Ike Hilliard, obviously, 'Quez, Fred Taylor. All of the skill guys were up there. One that really gets overlooked that was a real good defensive tackle but he hurt both of his knees at Florida was Ed Chester. People forgot about him. He used to wreck shop when he was healthy. He was a great defensive tackle when he was healthy but he kept getting freak injuries to his knees." -- Anthony

"I have to put it right down the middle: Ike and Reidel, one of those guys. Ike and Reidel had it from the day they stepped on campus. From day one of 7-on-7s, those guys were way ahead of anybody on our team that day. Reidel was special. Ike was special. I used to model my whole game after those guys." -- Green

Who is the best wide receiver in UF history: "Ike and Reidel are 1A and 1B. Two and three would be Jabar Gaffney and Darrell Jackson. I think I could be up there, but I don't want to put myself in there. Percy Harvin was a good receiver, but I don't think he was a complete receiver like those guys were in college. He was more of a dual-threat, slot guy. Those guys could really get out there and run pass routes in college." -- Green

"I'm guessing people would say it was our trio. When I'm out there, I don't toot my own horn but people tell me that all the time about the trio we had. We don't look into it, we just say, 'Thank you.' The numbers speak for themselves and another thing you can look at is all of us were in the same class. All of us came in 1994. All the other trios were different classes. Two went in the first round and one went in the second round. I don't think they had that too many places in a two-year span." -- Anthony

Your take on the direction of Florida football under Will Muschamp: "I think it's going in a great direction. Look at how he recruits. He's getting them back in there like Urban Meyer was doing. He's changed up the offense to fit in the SEC, pound and throw it. The defense is coming along also. They're playing some good football. We had a couple of little down years, but I think they're on the right track. They're just doing everything the right way from the outside looking in. He's building it into what he wants it to be and not what other people want it to be. That's key. If I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it my way. If that doesn't work, at least I can walk out with my head high knowing I did it my way. That's what he's doing." -- Anthony

How different is it watching the Gators now compared to the teams on which you played: "It's different, but people underestimate the fact that we ran the ball really well back in our day. The passing game got all the notoriety, but every game we would have at least one or two backs run for 100 yards. We always ran the ball, but the high-flying ways stole the spotlight." -- Green

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