NCAA FB

Judging by practice, the Gators have a long way to go to fix passing game

Apr 11, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Will Grier (7) throws the ball during the first half at the Orange and Blue Debut at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 11, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Will Grier (7) throws the ball during the first half at the Orange and Blue Debut at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jim McElwain knew he had work to do to get the Florida passing game up to his standards, but he may have just realized how much work he'll have to put in to get the Gators up to speed. According to the Orlando Sentinel, both the quarterbacks and receivers have been struggling without even going against defenders in practice.

"Pitching and catching is the No. 1 thing we've got to consistently get better at and I know it will," McElwain said. "There's no reason to me you should ever drop a ball on routes on air. Likewise, there's no reason to me that you should ever miss the throw on routes on air."

"It's on air. There's nobody else out there."

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While the results may not be pretty now, McElwain knows the potential is there and is currently setting out to change the culture and preparation the offensive skill players must bring to each and every practice to truly excel at their craft and eventually on the playing field.

"The hard thing for guys to understand is the attention to detail and how important that route on air is," McElwain said. "Sometimes guys do it thinking it's a warm up. No. You have to understand that you've got to be critically detailed in that particular period."

Naming a starter at quarterback and giving that guy the majority of the reps with the team's No. 1 offense would be a good start toward the consistency McElwain desires, however at this point it's clear neither Treon Harris or Will Grier has done nearly enough to separate themselves. In fact, McElwain appears slightly irked by both players following the first week of practice.

"If you can't throw a completion against air, you're sure as heck not going to throw one when there's a bunch of people out there," McElwain said. "It's pretty simple."

(h/t Orlando Sentinel)