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September 5, 2015

Jimbo Fisher

Tallahassee, Florida

Texas State - 16
Florida State - 59

COACH FISHER: Overall, I thought it was a solid first game. I thought offense played pretty well, had a few ups and downs in the first half, but for the most part with the offensive line out there and all the guys playing together the first time, I thought their communications and everything were really good. I thought they managed that part of the game.

I like what Everett did, not just throwing the ball, what he managed to gain. Got us in and out of the right plays, got us in and out of the right checks. Did a really nice job in that regard. Still got some things he's got to work on, a couple of little things.

Defensively, I thought we played very well defensively. I thought we got after them, played well. They had the one long drive late. They had some guys in the game that we've got to get better and get experience and got to play better. Very disappointed with special teams and that we dropped two punts. Two guys that haven't done it all camp.

We didn't punt the ball particularly well at times and Roberto kicks two balls out of bounds. We've got to get those things fixed because that is something that needs to -- we can punt and we can kick, and we need that to be a strength, and we definitely can return. Bobo came in and did a nice job of that, and good thing we have three guys that can do it. Have to get those things ironed out really quickly.

Thought the kickoff return game was better. Jalen had a great one. Kermit had a big-time one. One nice one, one really nice one. We're doing a better job up front in that regard.

Kickoff coverage team was well. When we kicked the ball inbounds, I thought we covered well, tackled well. I thought our defense tackled in space well today. I thought we kept good leverage on the ball defensively. I thought we had good pressure on the quarterback for the most part because they're a tough team. Different formations, different things they do.

But, overall, I thought it was a solid first game. Nothing spectacular. There is a lot of work to be done, but you can see the potential for this football team, and if it will keep its nose down and worry about the process of getting better, I think we have a chance to be a good football team.

Q. What did you feel like you needed to accomplish today offensively, and did you get everything?
COACH FISHER: I think establish the guys up front with the confidence of how to run the football and how to pass protect and communicate. In other words, the one thing about tonight we got multiple, multiple blitz looks in the run game and in the pass game. Those guys did a great job of communicating, getting hats on hats and not turning guys loose.

When you have four of your five new guys on the offensive line up there, I said in camp, that was something I was very pleased with throughout camp that they've been able to do that. I thought we did that extremely well. I thought that was important for them to establish themselves. Establish that we can run the football and be a physical football team. Establish that we can be a great play-action team and we can throw it on third down when we have to. I thought from those things we got better.

There is a lot of work to be done. Defensively I said work about keep it contain, which i thought we did for the most part, tackle in space and play the run well, which I think we did. Special teams is some things we've got to get worked out. But just there are still so many little, little things that you got by with tonight, but you've got to improve on. You've got to improve on.

Q. Specifically what did you like about Everett's performance, and what are some of the things you feel he needs to work on?
COACH FISHER: The first thing is communication. Getting us, getting the plays, getting the line of scrimmage. I want to get to the line of scrimmage a little quicker. Got to process a little better getting us up there. We've got to be some more urgency. I think that wasn't only on him. Got some young offensive linemen, young tight ends. Guys just kind of got to learn the urgency to get up there so we can do more at the line of scrimmage and get a faster tempo in what we're doing.

But I thought he did a nice job of getting us in and out. A lot of the first couple runs we hit for touchdowns were checks, and he got us out of bad looks and got us into the right play which we wanted to get into with certain looks and I thought he did that very nicely. I thought he was accurate with the ball. He protected the ball for the most part. Took a sack there one time which I did not want, and that came from a missed signal from the sideline. So he just pulled away before we finished a play. I was putting a tag on the end of a play.

Q. (Indiscernible) in that third quarter was that by design?
COACH FISHER: A little bit design, also letting the offensive line get their feet on the ground. We want to be able to run it and throw it, and we've got to be able to drop back, we've got play action and get the ball down the field. But we know we loosened up. The receivers got comfortable in what we were doing and it came out. We're going to have to do both.

Q. How big was it to get the running game going?
COACH FISHER: Oh, yeah, I mean you've got those two guys. You see them when you're throwing the ball out of the back field, those guys are dangerous now. They can make plays and change numbers on the scoreboard. They can get down the field fast. And you saw Vickers and Jacques in there. Very pleased with those guys. But we've got to be able to run the football.

Q. From a pure offensive balance standpoint, what kind of player is Everett? He looked like he made some really nice throws.
COACH FISHER: He did, he threw the ball nicely. It was crisp, sharp, ball came out of his hands very well. He was precise in his decisions tonight. That's what I liked. He saw the field, he didn't hesitate, he saw the ball, it came out and he was accurate with the ball.

Q. Everett hit nine different receivers today. What do you see from him chemistry-wise?
COACH FISHER: That's what this offense and what we do. We like to throw the ball to backs, tight ends, the different receivers and keep a multitude of things, and we give guys a lot of options. That is the thing. He learns our offense, and learns, all right, I've got a front side, but I can work back side versus this look. The more he learns and gets comfortable with that and the guys around him know, okay, he's getting it.

They've got to play fast around him too. They've got to see that too because young receivers a lot of times say that ball's over there. I'm not getting it. All of a sudden they're not running full speed. That's all still a work in progress for us. But I was very pleased for the most part how things went tonight.

Q. How much of the offense does he know? Does he know the entire offense?
COACH FISHER: No, no, they don't know the entire offense, no. But there is a lot of it. But he still knows a lot. He still knows a lot.

Q. There was a lot of circumstances where you ran two tight ends or two running backs. How much does that open up your offense?
COACH FISHER: I think it does. The diversity it brings and the physicality we can bring setting two edges, manage your blitz packages because those tight ends now can catch the football. You saw I don't know, 88 caught one ball and dropped one, but he is a very dynamic pass receiver.

You saw what 81 did. He can catch the football. Just because you have him in it doesn't mean he's always going to run it. So he can create some problems.

Q. Did Marshall get banged up?
COACH FISHER: No, he's fine. According to Jake we didn't have anything. Unless something pops up tomorrow, we come out of this thing relatively healthy. A few stingers banged up, but nothing of any significance.

Q. And on the defense, early they scored off that and the fake, other than that, the first team?
COACH FISHER: They were solid. I thought they played extremely well. Especially against the multitude of looks they were getting. The way we tackled, the way we kept leverage on the football, the way we played, I was extremely pleased with the way our defensive football team played.

Q. (Inaudible)?
COACH FISHER: They did and they're learning it, and guys are playing with more urgency and they're a little older guys and playing better football.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
COACH FISHER: That's when we said, we're going to be getting that football. We're going to be playing hard and if you don't, you're not going to play. We're not accepting anything less, offensively, defensively. We're talented. Be talented, but we've got to play hard and we're going to do that.

Q. It helps running a lot of options.
COACH FISHER: You're exactly right. You can sub guys. As I said, play hard. If you get tired, we've got guys, put them in the game. That's what we're going to do. That's why we build the depth. We're going to play them all.

Q. On the defensive line, to have two guys and keep rotating in the play?
COACH FISHER: We still need more. You've still got to keep the rotation. Those guys get banged and bruised, and you can't ever have enough D-line. I'm telling you, you can't ever have enough.

Q. You got Josh in early?
COACH FISHER: He looked really good. Very pleased with all those guys on the edge. Pugh, I thought he did a nice job, Casher and getting Josh in there early, I was very pleased. Everyone made nice plays in there. It was very good.

Q. What are you going to do on the punt return? The three guys?
COACH FISHER: I don't know yet. Just let me look at it because that had never happened all camp. We put them under every situation known to man, but we'll look at it and see.

Q. Can you assess your offensive line?
COACH FISHER: I was very pleased. The blitz looks, John Thompson is as multiple as anybody. If they put a hat on a hat, not turning guys free, coming through with pass pro and run game and doing the things they did and communicating, I was extremely pleased with that group tonight. Extremely pleased.

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