Aug. 19, 2008
Tallahassee, FL – The Florida State football team wrapped up the second of three two-a-days Tuesday night under the lights on the practice fields. The squad practiced 18 periods in shells following a 24 period practice in full pads earlier in the day.
PM PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS
7-on-7 (Down and Distance)
· Weatherford completed balls to Rod Owens and two to Taiwan Easterling. D’Vontrey Richardson hit Owens and Ponder found Cameron Wade, Commack deep and then Bert Reed over the middle. Three guys converged on Reed and after the collision all three were on the ground and Reed was still running. For the defense, Toddrick Verdell, Ochuko Jenije, Myron Rolle and Jamie Robinson all broke up passes.
Pass Rush (TE vs. DE)
· Not surprisingly the best TE as far as blocking was former offensive lineman Caz Piurowski who won a couple battles. Josh Dobbie also got a win. For the defensive ends, Markus White, Kevin McNeil and Benjamin Lampkin all got past their men.
· In the more traditional pass rush White had two sacks and Moses McCray, Budd Thacker, Everette Brown and Everett Dawkins all got past their man. Toshmon Stevens had the most impressive rush though bull rushing past his man. For the offense Rodney Hudson, Zebrie Sanders, Andrew Datko and A.J. Ganguzza recorded wins.
7-on-7 (Red Zone)
· Brown had a sack, Thacker a tackle for loss, Jamie Robinson a break-up and Emmanuel Dunbar batted a ball down at the line. Ponder connected with Greg Carr and Weatherford found Commack and Parker. Richardson had a good period with a completion to Parker and touchdowns to Rod Owens and Carr.
11-on-11 (Red Zone)
11-on-11 (3rd Down situations)
· Brown had a QB pressure as did Kevin McNeil. Rod Roberts’ pressure led to a Terrance Parks interception. Patrick Robinson had a PBU as did Toddrick Verdell. Weatherford converted firsts to Fortson and Holloway. Richardson hooked up on a first down play with Reed and then with Fortson. Fortson’s catch was a hard-nosed grab over the middle where he went down, took a hit, held the ball and picked up a first.
· The first group that went out came away with six points as Richardson drove the offense down the field. He completed a pass to Marcus Sims and then converted a fourth down play to Parker. Richardson hit Commack deep to the goal line where a big hit by Roosevelt Lawson kept the freshman out of the end zone but the offense got in on the next play. Under heavy pressure, Richardson rolled out and hit Reed just outside the end zone and the speedy redshirt freshman took it in. During the drive Nigel Bradham had a QB pressure and the defense made a big stop on 3rd-and-1 for a loss of two.
· Weatherford finished the drill by getting his group a shot at six but they were unable to get in the end zone. The senior QB hit Owens deep, found Antone Smith, Owens again and the Easterling. A Korey Mangum sack and a Carter pass break-up put the offense in 4th-and-10 with just :15 on the clock. Weatherford had a chance for the TD but just missed connecting with Carr for the score.
AM PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS
· After the team worked in position groups and versus scout teams, the receivers, backs and tight ends worked with the QB’s. Following the break, the squad went straight into 3-on-3. Brandon Paul had a couple nice runs as did walk-on receivers Timothy Orange and Louis Givens, who filled in for a depleted group of running backs. Chase Walker had two big blocks and Greg Carr had a nice block as well. Everette Brown, Kendrick Stewart, Emmanuel Dunbar and Budd Thacker all made tackles at the first level. Watson and Nigel Bradham recorded stops at the second level while Jamie Robinson recorded a tackle and Nick Moody had the biggest hit of the drill.
· Paul had a nice 25-yard run for a touchdown and Pat Davis also broke a nice sized run. Brown had two tackles for loss and Dunbar, Stewart, Kevin McNeil and Everett Dawkins also had tackles behind the line.
· Rodney Hudson won two battles and Rhonne Sanderson, Brandon Davis and Antwane Greenlee also won match-ups. For the defense Dawkins and Neefy Moffett had multiple sacks. Brown, Paul Griffin, McNeil, Toshmon Stevens, Markus White, Moses McCray and Thacker also got to the QB.
· The star of 1-on-1 was walk-on QB Corey Eddinger. The Wakulla product hit Corey Surrency and Jarmon Fortson on deep TD passes and also connected with Easterling, Richardson completed two passes to Owens, Weatherford hit Givens, Ponder found Reed and Wade while E.J. Manuel found Timothy Orange and hooked-up with Walker on a leaping grab.
· Patrick Robinson broke up a completion as did Korey Mangum on a deep ball. Derek Nicholson almost turned in the biggest play as his break-up just slipped through his hands or it would have been an interception. Drew Weatherford hit Carr, Paul and Rod Owens deep. D’Vontrey Richardson connected with Owens and Marcus Sims while Ponder had two completions to Preston Parker, two to Ja’Baris Little and a short one to Cameron Wade that the redshirt freshman took a long way.
· Watson had a big drill with a sack and a leaping pass break-up. Tony Carter broke up a pass and Jamie Robinson had a near interception that went down as a PBU. The offensive highlight was a fingertip grab by Owens on a ball heading to the turf over the middle from Weatherford who also connected with Carr. Ponder completed a pass to Owens and Bert Reed who raced through the defense and all the way into the end zone. Paul and Richardson both had nice runs.
· Stewart had a big tackle for loss on a Weatherford rush and Watson, once again made his presence felt, with a QB hurry. Weatherford connected on a TD to Easterling. Ponder completed a pass to Reed who shed tacklers to score a touchdown, he also connected with Bo Reliford for a TD and to Parker who blasted a DB at the goal line to score the TD.
· The defense kept the offense out of the end zone on the first three tries. Pat Davis was gang tackled from the three on the first attempt. Jamie Robinson made a great play on the second try as he pushed a pass away at the last second right before Seddrick Holloway hauled the Weatherford throw in for a TD. On the third attempt Dunbar stood up Easterling at the goal line. Surratt ended the day with a TD plunge after spinning away from a tackle in the back field.
QUOTES FOLLOWING AM PRACTICE
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
"Pretty good practice, we got the goal line and thought the defense won more of the battles down there. Nothing stood out to me."
Bowden on whether the defense has responded to Coach Mickey Andrews' encouragement following Saturday's scrimmage:
"I thought they did today, I thought they made more defensive plays today which may be a pick-up from that."
Bowden on the shortage of players:
"We're really getting thin at running back. Getting beat up, 33 [Carlton Jones] didn't get any work today. [Jermaine] Thomas is out right now; our tailbacks are pretty beat up."
On how they handle practice with so many guys "banged up"
"We're fortunate to have some walk-ons; they can give us a look. We even put some of our receivers back there at tailback today. Put Taiwan [Easterling] back there today to run some. Not bad, it was just because of the lack of tailbacks."
On whether he feels the offense is ahead of the defense for a change:
"No I don't see that... neither one is really dominating the other. There are some good things happening offensively, but not on a consistent basis. There are some good things happening on defense, just not on a consistent basis."
Defensive Coordinator Mickey Andrews
On the defense
"It's about pressure on the quarterback and pressure on the receivers and we had some times when we were really, really good and we had some times when we weren't and we've got to get more very goods out there... more consistency."
On Jaime Robinson's progression
"He understands more what to do, but he doesn't fully understand how to do it. When he comes to the run, he's coming like a corner right now... Jaime still has a little bit of that left in him, he plays too tall too much, he hasn't learned to drop his hips or shoulder pads and explode on his breaks.... It's a whole different mentality back there."
Offensive Line coach Rick Trickett
"The longer [Will] Furlong is out the worse it is for him. Everybody is talking about Furlong, but he never started a game here. So what the Hell is the difference between him and [David] Spurlock? That's kind of where we're at right now."
On how he feels about the true freshmen:
"I think they've fought through it. I think we may be further ahead then where I thought we'd be. But we're getting a lot of blitzing in which is kind of confusing for them. That's what we've got and that's what we're going to make it work with."
Wide receiver Greg Carr
On how he felt practice went today:
"Things went kind of better; you just got to get better each day. Things were alright, we just have to continue to be consistent and get better. One day doesn't make you or break you. You've got to keep getting better every day. You just have to go out here each and every day and give it all you got and continue to work."
On how the receivers are coming together:
"It's coming together real well. Everybody is starting to get comfortable with the offense, learning their assignments, doing what they're supposed to do and really being able to play at the best of their ability. Once everybody is able to play at the best of their ability and do what they're supposed to do the sky's the limit for us. We just have to go out here and play everyday."
On today's practice
"It went fairly well today. There were a lot of mistakes, but we corrected those so it was a lot better today."
On defensive intensity
"The defense actually did very well today. The coaches have been coaching us all week about flying to the ball so I think we did pretty good today."
On the starting linebackers
"We are doing very well, off the field we are very good friends so that makes for success on the field and we have bonded very well."
On the progression of the defense
"One thing we are trying to do together is unite as a defense and demonstrate that on the field because we've got guys who are celebrating with each other when someone makes a play and we're trying to make sure everyone is great on the field."
On goal line
"We enjoyed it out there today. Anytime the offense doesn't score it's good for the defense."
On how tough it was to rehab last season
"It was really tough, it was my first time having a serious injury, but I think I handled it well, I had a lot of people helping me out and giving me motivation. Derek Nicholson, Marcus Ball, they gave me motivation [they] had torn ACL's and told me how easy it was to come back as long as you work hard so I just worked hard."
On expectations for this year
"I want to make an immediate impact, I'm looking to play and looking to play hard and make a contribution to the team."