With just one week remaining in spring practice, the FSU football team returned to the field and practiced for 22 periods Monday afternoon. One of the highlights of the day was a visit from Florida Governor Charlie Crist who went up to talk with head coach Bobby Bowden in his tower and then threw the ball around with wide receiver De'Cody Fagg before meeting new offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher. On the field the team worked on punt block and protection, in position groups, 3-on-3 and in skel. The practice finished with 11-on-11 and 1:00 offense.
• In running drills the play of the period was turned in by Marcus Sims who may not have gained a lot of yards but was impressive with his solid run between the tackles.
• In Skeleton Drew Weatherford completed passes to Richard Goodman over the middle, to Rod Owens who made a great grab for a big gain and to Antone Smith on a deep ball after the tailback flared out of the backfield. Xavier Lee connected with Greg Carr on an out and Jamaal Edwards on a swing pass that went for a long gain. D'Vontrey Richardson recorded a TD pass when he hit Goodman in the endzone.
• Pass break-ups were recorded by Korey Mangum, Michael Ray Garvin, Patrick Robinson, Myron Rolle and Ochucko Jenije.
• In 11-on-11 Smith broke off a nice run and later bounced off a tackler for another good gainer. Sims had a big run as well but the rush came to an end on a big hit by Mister Alexander along the sideline. Weatherford hit Owens twice on TD passes and also connected with Fagg. Weatherford hit Fagg again later on but Jamie Robinson punched the ball out. Lee hit Damon McDaniel underneath. In red zone Sims had a nice 8-yard run from the 10.
• Neefy Moffett recorded a sack, Mangum broke up another pass and Justin Mincey forced an errant pass pressuring Weatherford. Alex Boston got the defense fired up picking off a pass on 3rd and 10 to end the first team's drive in 1:00 offense.
• Lee had success in the 1:00 offense as he connected with McDaniel and Carr. He then dropped jaws when he scrambled out of the pocket and found Chase Walker in the back of the endzone as the wide receiver made a spectacular TD grab.
Florida Governor Charlie Crist
"I'm a Nole. I love Florida State University and I love coach Bowden, I really do and I love what he has done for my university."
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
"We came out in shells today and I thought we had a pretty good practice. We worked on different situations - things like that. We're not catching the ball as good; we need to catch the ball better. I believe the defensive secondary is playing better. I think I can tell a difference in a year on our corners and safeties - I think I can tell the difference. I feel like their coverage is a little tighter than it was at this time a year ago. They are making some progress."
(on Governor Charlie Crist visiting practice)
"It was good to see him. We are both Pike's (Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity members). It was good to see him. He throws the ball pretty good doesn't he? I thought he threw it pretty dog-gone good. It surprised me. He throws it better than any governor I have seen. It's the first time I have [seen] him since he has become governor. He was maybe a sophomore or a junior when I first came here. I think he went to Wake Forest then he transferred here. Then he went to - he got his law degree where I got my degree - which is Samford University. I think he was on their (Wake Forest) team. He's from St. Petersburg. He's born in Pennsylvania and moved to St. Pete when he was three."
(on his spring game philosophy)
"I'll leave that up to the coaches. They might want to just play it plain or they might just want to throw the whole thing at them. I'll leave it up to them. It won't be like we'll be trying to shield a whole lotta stuff. We really aren't doing that much. It will be like it was last year - points - offense vs. defense. We will probably go 10 or 12 plays and out rather then try to go ones vs. twos. A lot of times when you try to go ones vs. twos and the end of the scrimmage you find out that ones got 45 plays and the twos got 80. We will let them go so many plays and them put the other group in there. We will go ones vs. ones and two vs. twos. That's what we talked about today."
(on keeping the players attention through spring practice)
"There are so many battles going on that are equal. Nearly at every position there is a battle going on. I think that helps keep their attention. It seems like it has been pretty good."
(will performances in the spring game help determine the starting quarterback?)
"It could if somebody has a great game and the other guy didn't. That definitely could happen. They look kind of even to me - pretty dang close - I don't see a big separation. Jimbo will play a big role in that. I have really tried to stay out of that so we wouldn't get old opinions - so we just get a fresh opinion of this thing. I really don't know how he'll do that. Very easily, very easily (on the race going into two-a-days)."
(on jobs being more defined at this point)
"There are two ways to look at that. No. One -- you would like to know who the guy is at all positions but the other thing is you maybe have a little better depth and making a fight out of. Nothing makes them practice harder or performer harder than having competition. Every time you walk out here and have competition - it helps.
(is competition a pleasant surprise?)
"It keeps them on their toes knowing somebody might get your job - or somebody's about to take your job."
Defensive Lineman Andre Fluellen
"This is basically my fifth year - it's the last year and I have to leave something around for the younger guys. It's not all about going to the next level; it's not all about making millions of dollars; it's trying to set a legacy here and trying to set Florida State's standards for the younger guys. Everybody is coming along. I think Budd (Thacker) is probably coming along more than anybody just leading the techniques and everything. But everybody is coming along - once we have everybody healthy for the fall - we can be unstoppable, I think. I want to keep the track record going. We have had some elite defensive tackles come out in the last three, four or five years so I just want to keep the legacy going - I don't want to look back and say I was the guy that broke the links. I'm doing whatever I have to do this summer to work my hardest and be my best."
Wide Receiver Rod Owens
"I just had two big plays but I did have a mistake. The coaches are making us realize that we have to be close to perfect. I'm not too pleased with my blocking. I feel like I have to be more aggressive and really focus - just concentrate a little more. I feel like I haven't been concentrating as much. To be honest with you, I think I am still shaking the rust off. I feel like I still want to get stronger and I still want to get faster so I feel like I am still in that process right now. I'm still working on it."
For further information, visit: www.seminoles.com