DAY EIGHT: Seminoles Hold One Last Practice Before First Scrimmage Of Two-A-Days


* FSU opened practice with special teams work. The squad practiced kick off returns and field goal block. Gary Cismesia was 6-of-7 on his field goal attempts.
* After some position work the practice moved to 3-on-3 drills.
* In 3-on-3 walk-on Joche Norona got through the gauntlet a couple times again on Wednesday. Both Marcus Sims and Russell Ball also made it through unscathed. Roger Williams, Aaron Gresham, Paul Griffin, Ochucko Jenije, Recardo Wright and Kendall Smith all recorded tackles.
* During inside drills Antone Smith had three nice runs, one of which was the result of a great spin move. Jamaal Edwards had a good gain and Pat Davis gained some tough yards on an inside run. For the defense, Darius McClure had a big hit on Ball and Emmanuel Dunbar and Kendrick Stewart combined on a tackle for loss.
* Xavier Lee took most of the reps in 1-on-1. He connected on passes with Joslin Shaw, Preston Parker, Taiwan Easterling, De’Cody Fagg, Cameron Wade and Greg Carr. Dionte Allen recorded another pass break-up as the highly recruited corner continues to have an impressive preseason.
* In 7-on-7 Lee and Carr connected for a completion. Weatherford hit Richard Goodman, Brandon Paul and Damon McDaniel. McDaniel turned a short pass into a big gainer but then let one slip away from Weatherford after he had beat a defender on a deep route. Jamie Robinson, Korey Mangum and Tony Carter all broke up passes.
* In pass rush Ryan McMahon, Brandon Davis and Caz Piurowski all stood their ground as did Shannon Boatman on more than one occasion. For the defense Everette Brown continues to show his skills getting to the QB three times. Kevin McNeil was very impressive once again beating his defender twice as did Dunbar. Andre Fluellen, Budd Thacker, Neefy Moffett and Paul Griffin also won individual battles.
* 11-on-11 was once again conducted with down and distances attached to the plays. Many of the best plays came on the ground. Joe Surratt turned in a big run as did McDaniel as he continues to get some work out of the backfield. Smith had some solid carries as did Ball. Sims had a big gainer on third and short and walk-on Antonio White had a strong run up the middle. Weatherford connected on passes to Goodman and Fagg, who had a nice run after the catch. For the defense JR Bryant picked off a pass, Kenny Ingram had a nice tackle, Dekoda Watson made a great stop in the backfield and Thacker, Derek Nicholson and Roosevelt Lawson all combined on a tackle as well.
* After the offense dominated goal line yesterday, the defense had something to prove but the unit still struggled stopping the first team from getting in the endzone. Sims scored on the first carry and Surratt got into the endzone on the next two plays. After that Geno Hayes’ 1-on-1 stop right at the goal line seemed to inspire the group as the defense did not allow another TD. Mister Alexander followed Hayes’ stop with the biggest hit of the preseason so far completely wiping out Damon McDaniel. Marcus Ball followed by tackling Xavier Lee in the backfield on a broken play. The seventh play never got off due to a bad exchange and then Recardo Wright ended the day with a stop of Ball.


Head Coach Bobby Bowden

On practice in general:

“Terribly hot day again. Very hot. Kids withstood that part of it pretty good. Had a pretty good goal line scrimmage—it was more even today. The first goal line scrimmage, the defense got the best of it, second one the offense got the best of it. Today it was more even.”

“Mister Alexander had the best hit. He had the best hit of the day. Get hits like that we can win some darn games.”

“We’re moving along, still got a long way to go, but moving along.”

On Jimbo Fisher’s coaching style:

“Well you know every coach has to be his own self and I wouldn’t change him. They way he is, I like what he’s doing, I like the way he does it, I think he’s probably one of the tops in the business. And the kids, they just got to keep listening and keep doing and we’ll be okay.”

On how much play he’d like to see from RB Antone Smith:

“Antone—I’d like to see him a lot. That means you’re moving the ball on the ground. You know I’d love to see that a lot, but that’s to be determined by how we’re executing and getting it done. I think you’ll see more than you saw last year. I hope we’ll run the ball more and better.”

On getting Smith back into full-contact.

“I’m not sure, going off what the trainer says. I’d like to see him get some work, but I don’t want to end his career.”

On freshman Anthony Grosso leaving the team:

“Well he’s not here. Nearly every year, some freshman goes home. It’s just not what he thought. It’s different, it’s tough. And so a lot of them come back, I’m usually pretty patient with them. So we can get him some time to think about it before we know for sure.”

On going full scrimmage tomorrow:

“Well we need to. We’ve done about everything we can do the way we’re doing it. Just a little bit of scrimmage, short yardage, goal line and then a lot of thud. And so now we need to get out there and get in the darn game and see what that looks like.”

“Yeah you know that kind of answers your questions for you, when it happens in a scrimmage.”

On what the coaches will look for in tomorrow’s scrimmage:

“Kind of get an idea of offensively are we doing the right things? Are our kids grasping it? Are they getting their assignments? How’s there blocking technique and things like that. Then of course you’re trying to see the same things from the defense.”

On FB Joe Surratt starting at the bottom of the depth chart:

“He got himself way behind, it was his fault, and he’ll tell you it was his fault. He didn’t work out this summer, he had other commitments, but these other guys were working out and he wasn’t. So we started him at the bottom and let him work his way up. He’s made some progress.”

On his satisfaction of the quarterbacks’ play so far:

“Am I satisfied? I think I’m satisfied up this point, but if we leveled off we’d be in bad shape. Got to get better and better and better.”

On standout players so far in practice:

“The guy I see the most difference in this time a year ago to now is [Damon] McDaniel. This time a year ago I was beginning to wonder did we make a mistake? He had a good spring training and then he came back and has done some good things. That was good to see. I’m also seeing that out of (Anthony) Leon. That’s what you want, that’s what you expect—expect for them to grow up each year. There are others, but those are very obvious to me.”

Drew Weatherford

On practice in general:

“Just getting used to the intensity that the coaches are bringing into every drill. There’s no—even our walk-throughs are not walk-throughs so to speak. You’ve got the coaches screaming and yelling and they expect us to approach our team just like we would eleven on eleven. I’m making strides and becoming more comfortable and more decisive in my reads and decision-making.”

On the competition for the starting QB job:

“I’m doing my best to just not pay attention to any of it. I know there’s a quarterback race going on, but the objective is just to come out and for our team to play better day in and day out. That’s my objective coming out onto the field and I try not to pay attention to what’s going on elsewhere.”

On improving his play:

“I feel like I’ve been playing much better, much more consistent. I’m still making some bad decisions. I had an interception yesterday and today that could definitely be avoided so I still have some room to improve. But I’m definitely making strides and becoming more comfortable and more decisive in my reads and decision-making.”

On FB Joe Surratt:

“Yeah I’m definitely impressed by the way he bounced back. I knew he would, he loves to play this game and he’s always played it as hard as he possibly could. So he’s earning a lot of respect back from the players and the rest of the coaches.”

On tomorrow’s scrimmage:

“Scrimmages are much different than 11-on-11. You get down in situations and you actually get the flow of a drive and that’s kind of where we’ll find our identity. So we need to get some eight, nine, ten play drives to really establish what kind of offense we’ll be.”

“I’m curious to see what Coach Fisher thinks that we’re capable of. I hope that he uses everything he has in his book so we can be as versatile as possible.”

Michael Ray Garvin

On practice in general:

“My camp’s going good so far. I mean I had a couple things the first day, first couple days, and I’m just working hard every day. That’s the only thing I can do, take it day by day.”

On the competition for the starting job:

“It’s not really serious. All I do is go out and play hard every day that’s it. Just focus on me, I’m not really focused on anybody else. I’m just focused on doing what I do, on doing my job and trying to make plays.”

On his goals for practice:

“Right now my goal is just to stay focused and start, that’s the main key. And just get better as a defensive back and play to the best of my ability.”

On his improvement:

“I’m able to read the offense a lot better, you know reading the wide receivers and the quarterbacks, I see what they’re doing. And that’s good for me, I’m able to make plays, make interceptions.”

JR Bryant

On his improvement:

“I’m getting it, I’m not there yet. All of the corners, we’re getting there. It’s not about me all the corners are doing good right now. We’re getting there, we’re not there yet, where we want to be. They were telling us last year as a secondary we played good but we want to play great. We want to make plays instead of preventing a big play. We want to make a big play. We’re going to get there.”

On his competition at corner:

“Patrick Robinson, I think he’s going to be a great player. He has technique, footwork, speed. Ochucko Jenije I think he’s going to be great too. The young guys, they’re really stepping up.”

On how practice has changed:

“It’s different because we work ten times harder than we ever did in past years.”

“I think this the old Mickey Andrews, he’s back. He never went anywhere, he’s just enforcing the rules a little bit harder. And he just don’t take nothing from us, we got to do it first.”

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