Jim McElwain: 'I believe I can win with my dog Claribelle' playing QB

Jim McElwain held his introductory press conference at Florida on Saturday, and like every coach at an introductory press conference ever, he showed no lack of belief he would succeed in his new job.

But many coaches would likely admit, at least, that they could not win SEC football games starting a canine under center. In response to a question about the Gators' recent quarterbacking woes, though, McElwain revealed that he is not one of those many coaches.

"You got to understand this. I believe I can win with my dog Claribelle," he said. "That's the attitude. There's good players here. That's just our responsibility to get that going."

As for the humans available to play quarterback for Florida in 2015, McElwain says he hasn't had a chance to truly evaluate them.

"I haven't been with them yet. I've seen some things," he said. "I think being able to kind of watch them interact with the team, see how they practice, we'll get an idea."

As for what kind of offense McElwain would run with those quarterbacks, he cited his variety of influences in another man's-best-friend-based analogy.

"Here is who I am. I'm the dog they dropped off down at the Humane Society. He has a little bit of about every breed in him. Whatever the situation is, you try to bring that breed out that helps success," he said. 

"Obviously we believe in balance. Yet some games, based on what the defense has taken away, you need to have the versatility to do the other thing. That's really where it evolves. ... Whatever works. I've seen some pretty good stuff that's worked here in the past. We'll get that going."

McElwain said his recruiting pitch would be simple.

"Number one, you got an opportunity to win a national championship," he said. "But first and foremost, it's about what that is going to do for the rest of your life, what being a Gator is, then adjusting to that and understanding, look, we're here to make sure that your experience is going to do nothing but set you apart for the rest of your life. That's what it is to be a Gator."

McElwain was hired by Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley on Wednesday after a series of negotiations over his $7.5 million buyout. In his three seasons at Colorado State, McElwain took the Rams from a 3-9 record the year before his arrival to a 10-2 mark in 2014.

Jim McElwain is confident he can succeed at Florida. (USATSI)
Jim McElwain is confident he can succeed at Florida. (USATSI)
Our Latest Stories