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September 24, 2014

Jimbo Fisher

COACH FISHER:  Very proud of our team last week for a lot of resilience, how we competed in the game.  Must continue to get better.  We did get better in some phases of our football game.  I was very proud of our special teams, and kicking and coverage teams.  Return defense, we made a lot of great strides in short yardage, red zone defense, third down defense.
Offensively we made enough plays when we had to.  We have to run the football better, correct some of those issues.
Very proud of the resilience and the fortitude with which our guys fought, competed in the game no matter what the circumstances were.  Very proud of that.  Very happy with that.  I think that's where all good teams have to start.  They played for each other and had a very true caring for each other, how everyone just kept pulling together.
Saying all that, that's over with.  Need to move on quickly.  NC State is an undefeated football team, very explosive on offense.  Great quarterback, can run the ball real well.  Great backs, physical backs, good skill guys.
Defensively got very good front guys, inside guys, very big and strong.  Edge guys can rush.  Linebackers, young linebackers, that are really running, making a lot of plays inside.  Extremely confident in how they play.  You see them on film, you can see it's a second‑year coach, doing a tremendous job advancing this team.
It will be a heck of a football game.  I know they'll be ready, they'll be excited.  We need to, like I said, put that last week away and be ready to compete against a very, very good NC State team.
Questions, please.

Q.  Coach, obviously Sean Maguire had to be put into a situation that wasn't expected going into the season.  What can you take away from his performance when he had to be out there?
COACH FISHER:  Well, for a guy, had some frustrating moments, big moments.  First game, game of that magnitude, importance, him playing the next play, going out there for the next drive, kept focusing, kept the confidence of his teammates, guys felt comfortable around him.  Now he's been in that situation.  You don't have to guess or react when those circumstances come about.
He has a big‑time arm.  The more time he gets, as they say, in the saddle, in games, he will continue to grow.  For a 300‑yard game, the magnitude he did making plays at the end of the game, I was very proud of him.

Q.  As far as your starting quarterback, what you can take away from what he's learned, what do you really feel like he learned from having a suspension, having to stand on the sidelines and watch this game?
COACH FISHER:  Well, I think as much as anything, your decisions don't always impact you, they impact those around you.  Everyone who loves you, everyone who depends on you, which is a very critical thing, how quickly that can be taken away.  Hopefully that will be a tremendous learning experience for him so he can move on.

Q.  I wanted to know if there was something specific that you wanted to see out of Sean or did see out of Sean in that performance that encouraged you last week?
COACH FISHER:  My thing is resiliency and competitiveness.  I mean, mental and physical toughness.  In other words, getting hit, taking shots, staying in the pocket.  But the mental toughness to stay in the game when things at times got frustrating, at times it was close, moments you were inches away, not letting that frustration break you.
I thought he showed a tremendous large amount of poise for somebody who never played in a game, one of that magnitude.  When you play great teams, they make plays.  He stayed in that game no matter what the circumstances, kept making plays, kept leading his team.  For me those are the first signs and first qualities you have to have as a great quarterback, as a leader, battlefield‑tested situations.

Q.  What did some of the other players say to you?  Were they relieved at all?
COACH FISHER:  I don't know if it was relieved.  But very proud and happy because they like Sean, they knew Sean worked very hard to get in those circumstance and get himself in that position.  It's almost like, All right, it's my rite of passage, as far as I've been out there with him in a big game and I've looked in their eyes and they've looked in my eyes, knowing I'm not going to flinch.
From that standpoint, I think they feel very confident about where we're at and the hands we're in if anything else happens as far as an injury or something to Jameis Winston.

Q.  I'm sure you're aware of the report this morning about the letter that requested money from Jameis.
COACH FISHER:  I briefly have, but honestly I haven't read it.  Somebody made me aware of it.  I've been in there working on third down, red zone, tight zone, some offensive stuff.  I have not had time to delve into it.
Someone said there was a report out there, I said, Okay.  I haven't had time to look into it, but I did hear about it.

Q.  How do you guys handle this?  It seems like every week something pops up involving Jameis and something getting out in the media.
COACH FISHER:  Well, that's been that way for a year and a half.  I mean, that's something our kids ignore because it's clutter as far as they're concerned because it's not dealing with them.  Jameis handles it tremendously well.  We do.  We try to control the things we can control.  That's what we have our jobs here to do.

Q.  Is that part of limiting Jameis' availability so he doesn't have to deal with this as much?
COACH FISHER:  I think it does.  I think it helps him focus on the things that are important, which is school, keep making good decisions in life, being a great football player and great teammate.  I think that eliminates some of those issues of having to deal with it on a constant basis.  Lets him focus on other things that are very important that are very critical to his future.

Q.  Before today you hadn't heard about the letter at all, before the reports today?
COACH FISHER:  I hadn't, no, sir.

Q.  You mentioned NC State's running game.  In light of losing Nile for the rest of the season being a little bit thinner up front, how do you compensate taking into account the different backs they have?
COACH FISHER:  I think the thing about it, Nile didn't start last game.  Derrick Mitchell was a starter along with Eddie Goldman inside.  Nile just played just a very limited amount of plays.  We have other guys, Desmond Hollin, Derrick Nnadi.  Justin Shanks is coming back into the fold also.
From that standpoint, we'll adjust with those guys and play like we have.  Because Nile, we had a very limited amount of time with last time.  He played, but he wasn't in there large amounts of time.

Q.  What kind of challenges does a backfield like they've got do?  What kind of challenge does that present?
COACH FISHER:  You have to be aware of each guy's talents, what he likes to do, what they like to do with him, along with a big offensive line.  You're keeping a fresh set of legs in the game all the time.  They can catch it, screen it, throw it, reverse it.  All those different things, you have to be very aware.

Q.  Being around the team the last few days in wake of the win, is this team carrying itself any different now because they won without Jameis, showed what they are from a team standpoint?  Is there any feeling of that internally?
COACH FISHER:  I think they feel very proud of that, that they know they can accomplish things.  I think that gives you an inner confidence because football is a game that you never always start with the same team or finish with the same team you start with, whether it's injuries or different circumstances occur.  I think it does gives you great inner confidence to know that you can go out and play an opponent of that caliber in a game of that magnitude and be able to be victorious.  I think it does give you great confidence.
As I said, we were very happy after the game, but hopefully that's a starting point for us to continue to grow as a team this year, keep finding the things we need to do and finding our own identity with this team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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