April 3, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - With the annual spring game just 24 hours away, the Seminole coaches decided to have a light practice on Friday. The team practiced for 20 periods in shorts and helmets as they worked mainly on situations. This year's Garnet and Gold Game will not signal the end of spring practice as the squad will have three more chances to work out next week.
· In pass skel Terrance Parks, Dionte Allen and Chad Colley all broke up passes. Ponder took all the reps under center and connected with a whole array of receivers. The only player to catch multiple passes in the drill was Bert Reed.
· 11-on-11 was situational starting out working on first downs. Ponder connected three times with Louis Givens, twice with Jarmon Fortson and deep to Rod Owens. He also hit Reed and Gehres, who made a diving catch. For the defense Kevin McNeil had a pressure, Craig Yarborough had a sack and Justin Mincey had a pressure as well.
· 11-on-11 was run out of all third downs in the next series. Ponder started off running for a first down and he then threw to Jermaine Thomas for a 27 yard gain. Mincey followed with a sack then Owens picked up a first with a nice run after the catch. Bo Reliford pulled in a first down pass from Ponder but Fortson was just short of the sticks on the next play. Ponder and Ty Jones hooked up for a first despite a pressure from Brandon Jenkins. Everett Dawkins forced Ponder to scramble on the next play but the QB was able to get out for a first. The defense closed the drill strongly. Toshmon Stevens had a sack, Dawkins pressured Ponder into a throw that Korey Mangum broke up, then Moses McCray had a sack and Yarborough pressured Ponder into another sack by McCray.
· Practice ended up in tight zone where the offense did not get into the endzone on six tries. The most success the offense had was on the first play from the ten where Ponder hit Fortson for nine to the one. There was an incompletion from the eight and then Mangum broke up a pass in the endzone from the six. The second team defense closed the drill on a high note. Maurice Harris sacked Ponder on the first play then Mincey had back-to-back sacks from the eight and the six.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
"Today we went 20 segments - that's shorter than we normally go and we went with jut the helmets and we tried to do a lot of polishing for tomorrow. We kind of walked through our kicking game and then just, again what we did was real good; we got a lot more out of it that I thought we would. That leaves us with tree day s of practice next week - we'll go Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Today was again just polishing for the scrimmage.
"The quarterback did a good job today. Making some darn good decisions and making some goods throws. There were some good catches out there. The secondary is beginning to get a little bit better and that is very important because they have struggled this spring."
How many days will you be able to go in full pads next week?
"I'm not sure. I'm not even interested in going in full pads to be honest with you. If we do have a day of live we probably will. Some of our work next week will be preparing on next year's opponent."
Does Christian Ponder have the passing game down?
"Oh yea. I would say no doubt about it. From one spring to the second spring to the third spring he is way ahead. You look back three springs ago and you wonder how you ever won a game. They are picking it up good."
"What are you to get out of tomorrow night?
"Well, just watching the guys play under game conditions - that's the biggest thing. Some players are game players. I men they play the game and they bring it. Others practice beautifully but they don't do it in a game. There is usually somebody - there us usually a surprise - somebody that stands out that you didn't know was going to stand out. And a lot of times there is a disappointment. I think learning your personnel; seeing how they respond and see how they are taking on what you are trying to teach."
Wide Receiver Bert Reed
"The passing game is picking up. Coach (Fisher) is putting an emphasis - a big emphasis on the passing game. He told us today - `We are going to throw the ball, like it our not. We are going to throw the ball. We can get it done with the guys that are here or he is going to bring some guys in who are going to catch the ball and make plays. But we are going to throw the ball.' That gives guys an opportunity because the ball is going to be coming your way. All you have to do is catch the ball and make plays and we are going to be fine and keep moving on.
What are your expectations on tomorrow night?
"Just to come out her and play solid; to put on a solid performance. To put everything together that we learned. There is a lot of stuff that Coach Fisher has been moving this spring. He's told us that he is not going to hold back any more and he is going to put it all out there. We have put a lot of extra stuff, a lot of new stuff in - different concepts and things like that. We hope to put it all together and have it go well. It's like a big final exam for us."