Tallahassee, FL - Two days out from the annual Garnet & Gold game, Florida State shifted its spring practice focus to finishing strong – treating Wednesday’s second-to-last practice as if the third quarter had just wrapped up.
“Whether it’s a tough game - an extremely tough game, you want to push your guys so we kind of use that as a reflection of today,” offensive coordinator and tight ends coach James Coley said. “How would you finish off the third quarter this game? How do we want to come out after halftime of this game? You want to come halfway done or do you want to come out like it’s another half, another opportunity to do better.”
The Seminoles practiced for a little over 2 ½ hours on a hot day on the intramural fields across from Doak Campbell Stadium. Head coach Jimbo Fisher missed Wednesday’s workout as well, but assistant head coach Rick Trickett and the rest of the coaching staff ran practice as normal. Coley handled interviews with the media following practice and said wide receiver Josh Gehres injured his knee in last Saturday’s scrimmage and is out. Also, wide receiver Willie Haulstead, who had a slight shoulder separation at the start of spring practice, returned Wednesday to practice but was held out of contact drills.
“First Half, I thought we were a little sluggish,” Coley said. “I thought guys came out like it was the end of the spring, but with a little added motivation. They started practicing a lot better. Guys picked it up. They competed. They got after each other. We saw a little pride, Coach Fisher’s deal – toughness, effort, discipline, pride. You saw the pride factor come out the second half this practice.”
The Seminoles will hold its final closed practice of the spring Thursday. The SunTrust Spring Football Weekend Presented By Kia Autosport which will be capped off with the Annual Garnet and Gold Spring football game at 4 p.m. at Doak Campbell Stadium this Saturday. The game will be carried on ESPN3.com and replayed on ESPNU.
Season tickets are available now by visiting Seminoles.com or by calling the Florida State Ticket Office at 1-888-FSU-NOLE. Single game tickets will go on sale to the general public June 1; however a single game sale is not anticipated for either the Oklahoma and Miami home games.
MORE FROM OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR/TIGHT ENDS COACH JAMES COLEY:
On how hard it is for players to finish spring practice knowing there are only a few days lefts:
“It’s as hard as you as you make it and that’s our philosophy as coaches. How hard is this? Is it really hard? No, it’s not hard. [You have to be] mentally tough. You got to challenge our guys because here’s what happens. Sometime down the road in that sixth or seventh game when you are tired and the season is dwindling down, no one’s a cupcake or anything like that. You have to push your body.
On the progression of the offensive line this spring:
I think we saw it right now in two-minute drill. Guys are going to get better especially guys that are high school seniors. Right now, they’re supposed to be going to homeroom , doing workouts after school, seeing their buddies. [Instead] they’re here. They’re grinding, taking college courses and they’re at a practice where at no time are they allowed to just think about stuff. They have to react. They got to play. They got to play fast. They’re getting better. They definitely are.
On what they’re planning to accomplish with Saturday’s spring game:
“We’re looking for game time execution. We’re looking for guys to line up right. We’re looking for guys to get open. We’re looking for guys come up defensively and to cover guys when it’s a 1-on-1 situation or to pattern match, to get the right call, to match the right type of route. Offensively, we looking for execution and we’re going to treat it – no matter what the teams are – we going to treat it like every possession we have, we got to go get our goals and what are our 10 goals and that’s what we’ve got to go achieve and one of them is winning.”
On helping Coach Fisher when he’s away:
However we can. That guy is a great guy, a phenomenal guy. He’s a great guy to work for. He’s a great friend. He’s a brother to everybody. Some of us, he’s like a father. We have his back 100 thousand percent. He’s on top of everything. He may not be out here, but he’s calling. He’s on top of things and things are working out just exactly how he wants it. He gets it on video. He can always tap in with his laptop and watch practice [film].