April 2, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - After spending its first six practices on unfamiliar ground, Florida State returned to the friendly confines of Doak Campbell Stadium for the Seminoles seventh practice Saturday afternoon. The Seminoles went through their third full pad practice of the spring - this time settling back into their home stadium.
With renovations taking place at the Al Dunlap practice fields, FSU has spent the last two weeks crossing streets to practice at the intramural fields across from Doak Campbell. FSU settled back at home Saturday nicely.
"The effort was very good," Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "We got to execute a little better on some things, but I think we got a little tougher."
Florida State took some extra time at the end of practice to work on some two-minute drill situations focusing mainly on end-of-game-type situations.
"On offense, you got to have guys who want to make plays at the end of the game and we're not making enough of those," Fisher said. "We've had some nice runs and did some things. On defense, we've got to learn how to get off blocks. It's great when you're unblocked, but they'll start running the quarterback, they can put a hat on a hat and that'll continue to hurt us. We've got to learn to shed blocks. So much of football today, when you know you fill the unblocked guy, that's great; but when they run the quarterback, they can even that thing up and we've got to get a little bit better in those situations. I like our effort. We just got to get a little better and execute better."
Running back Chris Thompson missed another day of practice as he rests his back and Fisher said after practice Saturday that the Seminoles leading-rusher last season will miss the remainder of the spring. Also, rising sophomore Bryan Stork, whose been battling David Spurlock for the starting job at center, has missed some days this week with a groin strain. Fisher said hopefully he'll be back Monday. With Stork out, rising senior Jacob Stanley and JUCO transfer Jacob Fahrenkrug have seen even more work at center. Stanley was Ryan McMahon's back-up last season.
Despite the movement at the center spot, Fisher said quarterback EJ Manuel has progressed quite a bit this spring.
"I've been pleased [with] his consistency, [his] throwing the ball much better, [his] accuracy," Fisher said. "He's doing some really good things. Very pleased with how he's playing. There are a lot of little things that he can really improve on but I've seen a bunch of good things from him."
Now FSU's focus shifts to that first scrimmage of the spring on Monday where position battles will be on display even more.
"You've got to get yourself in position in the spring," Fisher said. "Get the job and hope to maintain it and learn to play consistent enough to keep it. These battles are important but so are the ones in the fall too."
Florida State will take Sunday off as the Seminoles prepare for the first scrimmage of the spring Monday inside Doak Campbell Stadium. All practices are closed to the public. Fans can begin counting down to 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. 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.