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Spring Game Quotes

April 12, 2014

Head Coach Jimbo Fisher

Opening Statement:
"First of all I thought we had a very competitive scrimmage. I liked the way that both sides went at it. They competed hard. There was good hitting in the game - good clean play. I thought you saw some youth in some positions (and) early it showed and then they grew as the game went on. I think it was a great time to get out there on that field to play in that environment. Overall, I was not displeased at all. I liked what I saw. I know we're three-and-a-half months into this. We've got a lot of work to do. We still had eight starters out, but (I'm) very pleased how we progressed. (We had) a couple turnovers early on; the hand off here, but Freddie (Stevenson) hadn't been back there much. I really liked the way he ran the football. He's a natural runner with the ball. I think he can help us. I thought Sean Maguire came out early and played really well - probably his best showing. I saw a lot of things out of Sean that I really liked. John Franklin finished up really well. I am really proud of that. I thought Jameis (Winston) started out slow early. We didn't have many guys open and that secondary was locking them down. We gradually got guys open and he made some throws. We had a couple drops in that game but he made two or three really nice throws in the game. Overall I thought we had a good day. I thought the offensive line at times; we ran the ball for not having a lot of backs. I thought Giorgio Newberry flashed at me - not just getting sacks, but batting balls and getting length inside (and) it was what I was hoping it would be; good disruption. I think he'll get much better. I feel good about (Chris) Casher. (Eddie) Goldman didn't play much today. He and Mario (Edwards Jr.) I feel very comfortable there. Matthew Thomas flashed at me a bunch. I saw Terrance Smith going through and E.J. Levenberry made some nice plays. I thought Marquez (White) made some nice plays. Of course PJ (Williams) and Jalen (Ramsey) are playing their tails off. It's great to see Tyler Hunter out there. I'll be anxious to get that green jersey off of him. But very pleased. I thought Kareem Are did a nice job for his first time out there - got with the ones in the second half. (He) had to block some guys the first half. (I'm) very pleased at the end of it. We've got a lot of work to do. We are nowhere close to where we need to be, but I can picture where we're going to be."

On the first string defense:
"And (Ronald) Darby isn't even out there. Jalen Ramsey and PJ and Darby and Marquez and I'm going to tell you, Trey Marshall is going to be a heck of a player in that group. Nate Andrews wasn't even out there. You saw Lamarcus Brutus playing good football. There's a lot of guys emerging in that group with a lot of depth and a lot of combinations we can use back there. There are other guys, I know I'm missing somebody but I'm very proud of the way they're doing it. I love it. They tackle well, they cover well and they're good blitzers - they're good pressure package guys and they're long."

On his assessment of the wide receivers:
"I will have to watch (the film), early they didn't get open as well but that's kind of expected. But then as the game went on they gradually made plays, did things and we helped them get open with some formations and things. I'll look at it but I'm not disappointed in them at all. I thought Bobo (Jesus Wilson) made a really nice long catch, which showed you've got to hang on to the ball when it's tipped behind, but that's part of the maturity and growing and being in that position. Rashad (Greene) actually had a couple of drops but still had a lot of catches. Good solid day."

On if that is a part of the young receivers growing:
"There's no doubt. And you relax and realize that the sky's not falling and the world is not coming to an end and I'll relax and play and play up to your capabilities. That's why a spring game is important because it is different than a practice. (There are) people there and the lights are one and you are here. To them it's really different."

On if he liked the way Freddie Stevenson played:
"I really did. We didn't get it to him as much because we had the other backs early, but as we moved him back there, you remember me saying a couple of practices ago that I really like the way Freddie runs the football, and as he polishes his routes - he had a chance to catch a couple balls and he's drifting on those flat routes a little bit, but as he learns, if he learns to flatten those things out. That's a big 230-240 pound guy and Karlos (Williams) is big and fast. He's big and heavy and you've got the other guys. It's a really good combination of things."

On Isaiah Jones' play:
"You know something (it was) really good. Isaiah struggled early in scrimmages. He got a little nervous and went in the tank a little bit and he got better each spring. Last scrimmage he's played much better and I was extremely pleased the way - I'm going to tell you what he is, he's physical, he's tough and a naturally tough guy and he doesn't mind the contact. I think once he relaxes he'll realize - he puts a lot of pressure on himself and grows (because) of his youth, he'll be a good player."

On Jameis Winston's progression through spring:
"I think solid. I think he's had a good spring. You say `how do you improve' like Roberto (Aguayo), what do you improve on? What you do, as I tell those guys, the downfall of most great players and people is boredom. You get bored of doing something over and over again. You think there's something magical there that you have to change and it doesn't work and `I've got to get better' well Jameis does need to get better and what he's got to do is give me one percent of your reads, footwork, accuracy, in third down decisions and blitz pick up and all of sudden we have six percent. That's a major difference. I think that's where everyone wants to see, when you talk about changes it jumps off the page at you, well he didn't really do anything bad. But you can always find the one, two, three, four, five percent."

P.J. Williams, rising junior DB

On overall satisfaction with what has been accomplished in the past couple months:
"Definitely. I feel like we've gotten a lot better and a lot more confident. As a team we've really come together so we're ready to go into this summer and feed off this feeling and get better"

On how the young receivers have improved and made the DB's better:
"They're real good and they push themselves and Rashad is a good leader to all of the receivers. With us playing against them we've gotten better and them going against us has made them better so I really believe we've all gotten better this spring."

On Bobo (Wilson) and Isaiah (Jones):
"They've progressed a lot because all of them want to play next year and want to be able to earn that role so I believe from the beginning of the spring to the end they've progressed a whole lot."

On seeing Isaiah (Jones) as a player who can come in and make a difference:
"I think he can get a little more speed and he's going to be really good because he runs well and has some good hands so I think he'll be really great in this position"

Jalen Ramsey, rising sophomore DB

On pushing the wide receivers to get better:
"That's the best part. We have to be competitive, make them tough and most importantly have fun because that's how we get better. We just keep doing the same things in practices and work on making each other better. Just having to compete and stay on them."

On how it feels to have pushed Jameis during this game
"We joke about it a little bit on the sideline about how the country gets to see how he goes against our defense because we go against him in practice all the time. He makes us better, he makes throws on us and we make interceptions on him."

Rising redshirt freshman linebacker Matthew Thomas

On playing football again:
"It felt real good, you know, being out there experiencing the whole atmosphere, and being with my teammates. It was a real good opportunity for me, and I felt very blessed to be out there."

On how he felt out there playing coming back from an injury:
"I feel good, it's still a lot of stuff to work on, but overall I feel good. Got to keep making progress and working towards my goal."

What he is focusing on going into the offseason:
"I'm focusing on getting bigger, faster - stronger. You know just being a better teammate so we are all working on those things."

On getting bigger during the offseason
"Yeah, I'm trying to get like 235 lbs. It's a personal goal, I just want to get bigger. Here, I've actually been 235 lbs and I couldn't really move with it. I had to shed some pounds to 225lbs. I want to keep that muscle and be able to move."

Rising senior wide receiver Rashad Greene

On what it was like being out there today:
"You know, it was great going out there with the fans. Them supporting us for the spring game, it was fun. It was very competitive, you know, between the two teams, and most importantly it was fun."

On the Garnet offense's slow start and then getting into a rhythm:
"We definitely got into a rhythm. That was something I was definitely looking forward to as far as game, a real simulated game type situation, so we can see exactly where we stand going into the summer, and I felt like we did a pretty good job, but I feel like we have a lot of room for improvement."

On starting slow on offense:
"We were slow in the beginning and I feel like a lot of guys were pumped about the game. We've had 14 practices just going against each other and like practice type situations but actually having a game where you're keeping score and being competitive is a different feeling for us. We were all riled up for it, but once everyone got settled and calmed down, we were able to execute on both sides of the ball."

Jameis Winston, rising redshirt sophomore, Quarterback

Is it overbearing to balance baseball and football?
"No. It's all good. It's all good. The busier I am the better for me."

When's the last time you threw 56 pitches in a game?
"High school. Definitely, high school."

Were you surprised you played that much today?
"No. What we were trying to do today was get the chemistry going and just try to simulate a game as best that we possibly can. I think we did a good job at it."

How is the communication with your receivers?
"It was way better today. Our first scrimmage it was iffy; our second scrimmage it got a little better, this scrimmage it was way better. We had a lot of young guys step up. Kermit (Whitfield) he had a great day on their side. Isaiah (Jones) had a great day, Bobo (Wilson) on my side and look out for No. 87 (Jarred) Jackson, he's going to be a playmaker one day."

The passing game looked like it picked up as the day went on.
"It's just getting into the game. When it started, it started off fast. Everyone was going fast. It was our first real game in front of all those people that they actually started and obviously the first half was just fast. Everybody settled down and we started playing Seminole football. We have completion going on, everybody going back and forth with each other, that's when we settled down; that's when we played our best."

Did you talk with the receivers and tell them to slow down?
"Every time I came to the sideline I talked to the young guys individually and I was like `what you saw, what you need, were you open' stuff like that. Just to get their feedback on what's going on. It's good to get their opinion on what's going on. Sometimes I will tell them "that's not right' and I will overrule them but as long as we are communicating good it's going to be okay."

How is that different from last season with less experienced receivers?
"Our summer last year, I was telling them (the receivers) what to do. That's who I got the respect from those older guys because they were coming from EJ (Manuel) and I had to gain my respect by showing them that I knew what I had to do. So, it's kind of the same thing. But, obviously, they had more experience like Kenny (Shaw) - I had to gain Kenny's respect because his throw was the hash read so we can be on the same page. And KB (Kelvin Benjamin), me and him did extra drills during the summer - got his timing, worked on a lot of jump balls - the came in handy - and we did different things like that to help create a comfort zone for the wide receivers. I don't care about me being comfortable because I know I have a great offensive line and I've got great players around me - it's about everybody else being comfortable."

Do you feel like a coach or a teacher at times?
"I've got to. That's my job. I'm the quarterback."

Sean Maguire, rising redshirt sophomore, Quarterback

Were you comfortable today?
"It was pretty good getting out there right away and starting the way that we did. No missed assignments and everyone knew what they were doing especially for all the young guys we had out there."

Is it a big difference for you this season as compared to last season?
"It is different, obviously starting the game knowing that you are No. 2 instead of coming off in the second quarter like I did last year. It is different; I like staring off and getting that first completion and everything else after that just flows."

Was your pass on the interception tipped?
"It was tipped but I still think I probably shouldn't have thrown it. I know there was 30 seconds left, I knew we were down. I got a little greedy. It was tipped but I still think I could have got it in there."

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