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FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
November 9, 2015
COACH FISHER: I said Saturday, a very hard fought game. Again, proud of the way our kids competed in the game. Thought they left everything on the field. We didn't come out of it on top, but I think we learned a lot about ourselves in situations. A lot of young guys for the first time playing in that kind of atmosphere and environment and, I think, grew a lot.
I think it's something that they'll feel, they know, and then they felt after that game that they had opportunities that they could have come out on top of that game. But they understand there's a different perspective on how to get there.
Again, how we played the game, how we competed in the game, extremely proud. Again, we had opportunities out there on offense, on defense, on special teams -- all three phases -- that we could have maybe changed the game. In those games, there's only one or two plays that generally do it, you fight for those inches. But our kids fought for them. I was extremely proud. Again, we have to execute a little bit better in a couple of key situations, and you put yourself in a lot better position.
But Clemson was a great team. It was a great game. Two classic teams that fought very hard. You go back to all the great games I've ever played, that I've ever coached in and you've ever watched, go back in the history of this school and any other school, there's always missed opportunities in all great games. That's what great teams do to each other. They make each other press and do things and push to the limits. All of a sudden, one makes a play and the other doesn't. We didn't.
They have a very good team. Again, we have a very good team too. I'm very proud of our guys and the way they competed in the game.
So we'll move on and get ready for NC State this week. As you turn that film, it makes you forget Clemson real quick. This team is a very good team, very dynamic on defense. Great front four, big, physical guys up front that can rush the passer. Rose and those guys can sack the quarterback. Street, Hill, Chubb, all those guys are active. Play a lot of press man coverage. They're aggressive there.
The quarterback Brissett, is a playmaker. Can create big plays, hard to get on the ground. A different kind of runner than Deshaun, but he's mobile and strong. They get the ball down the field. They run the ball in a lot of different formations. They have good returners. They ran a kickoff back against Clemson that was a touchdown in that game. We'll have our hands full. There's a lot to play.
We need to finish out this season very strong, have a chance to have double digit wins, which is always critical. Appreciate having a great year.
Our kids will play very hard and go to practice today and get going for this week against NC State.
Q. How did Sean grade out when you watched the film?
COACH FISHER: He did great. There's three or four plays he wished he could have made, but there's three or four plays he's making, and he could drop the ball, fall down, or just miss -- he's getting it off as he's getting hit and he's going right to the right guy with the right place. He played a solid game. Is there some plays he wishes he could have made? Yes, there's no doubt. But there's not a player on our team that doesn't have that.
He played it very -- I don't think he played a great game. I don't think he played a poor game. I think he played a solid game. But when you play great teams like that, that's what you're going to get, especially with the rush and the pressure and the things they were able to bring.
Q. It seemed like early on you guys had a pretty good tempo and played well, and then it seemed like you were bogged down later in the game. Is that it?
COACH FISHER: The young center a couple times tried to over call some things. Not to blame him, but he was trying to get us in the right thing, and the quarterback calls for the ball, you've got to do it. He was trying to, on two of them, trying to redeclare a mike and didn't happen. That's something with youth, once you get tapped or once you get the kick, you've got to deliver no matter what, and we adjust on the run, and he knows that.
Just trying to be right, and it came from a great place in his heart. One time we did let the clock go down there once. Again, we're having a great rhythm, they're going to make a few plays.
Even though on offense, disappointed we didn't get at least a field goal on the one drive we had the interception. In the other one we tripped, going in the end zone and just stumbled. Guy catches us by a shoelace, or we're going around the corner for a touchdown. Get that one and end up with a field goal.
But we were moving the football, which was very dynamic, and then we were punting the ball well, which Clemson had a long field. Field position is critical. You saw, even in an offense, they're a very dynamic offense, but at the same time, when you make guys go the whole distance of the field, when you're backed up, it's hard. So I think from that standpoint.
A couple, though, we had three delays on that, two of them was we're calling for the ball, and he's trying to redeclare something, and there's youth in that situation, knowledge. And then once just got ran down.
Q. Defensively, what was kind of your thoughts on what they did, both good and bad?
COACH FISHER: I thought we tackled well, got aggressive. Played the inside runs very well. Late, I think we got out of our gaps because, as they were running past us with quarterback draws in the quarterback run game, got us a little bit. On third down a couple times, we could have got off the field, and we had them backed up down there two or three times, and then you punt it. Now you're getting the ball midfield instead of letting them get three or four first downs and punting it down there in the field position battle.
We had a critical penalty on third down. We had them stopped at third and eight and got a delayed hit on the sidelines. They're punting from the 17 or 18 yard line, instead they get 40 more yards on that series and pin the ball down the other way. So there's two or three things in that regard.
It comes from emotion. Nobody did it on purpose. It comes from wanting to make plays and do things. There's a couple times on blitzes we're coming free and pull up or do a couple of different things in different scenarios where we could have made plays. You start to see something and react to something else in games like that.
But they played well. They played hard. They tackled well. Kept leverage on the ball pretty well. The screen game, both the couple big plays they got on third down, we knew the screen, and we just didn't trigger. We had to play and didn't -- just hesitated and backed up and let the linemen get there. We trigger and make the play, there's nothing there. One was a critical third and seven at the end, and one was a touchdown, their only touchdown in the game. We knew what was coming and how it was coming, and we just didn't trigger and make the play.
But at the same time, there's so many plays in the game. They played outstanding. Just like on offense, we moved -- we didn't get the points we wanted, but we moved the ball, did some things. Third down we've got to get better. It's a good team. We had good plays out there.
But defense, I thought, overall played very well in the game, saying all that. I know that's a lot, but those are the little things -- those are the four, five, six things in a game that just pop right out at you, but I thought they played hard. They played well. I thought we pressured the passer and did a good job in situations.
Really played the true passing game very well. What I'm saying is the downfield passing game, played it very well in what we did.
Q. How did Dalvin come out of --
COACH FISHER: Actually probably as healthy as he's been all year, maybe since the first of the year. His hamstring is fine. Ankle came out very good. Very happy with that.
Q. On that fourth down call, a few people have asked me why didn't you just throw it up the middle? In that sense --
COACH FISHER: We got stopped the first time.
Q. Also, part of that, you want to give your best player a couple opportunities, a couple avenues to choose --
COACH FISHER: They did. What they were doing with bare fronts, they were going double and pinching the threes on the inside. That's what happened on the other one. What happened, that ball would have slid on the other one to the outside, but we missed the block on the edge. We're blocking out. If you watch, on the blitz, we just missed him, and the ball would have hit and slid to the B-gap, you know what I'm saying? With the pressure with them sawing down in, we wanted get him on the edge. On that play, we had that block, just got to stay on him a little more. As he was churning it up, that guy came off of a block and just turned him, got his shoulders turned and came up short.
At this point, it was third and two. Really should have had that one. We had the back, and we just go in and receiver is right there to make it. If he just makes the contact, we get it on third and two.
Again, it's nobody's fault. It's execution. We've got to coach it better, and we've got to stay in there, and it's inches on both of them.
Q. Jimbo, after the game, you guys talk about the run being over and it's time to start a new one. Considering all that you had lost from last year over these past three years, how difficult did you think it would be coming into the year to extend that run you guys had been on?
COACH FISHER: I expected to. I expect it to in our culture. We've got to go out and execute and do the things we do. We had opportunities in the couple of games we came up short in. It was difficult then.
People forget, during that run, there was so many games that came out to the end and how people played and you how things go on. You can look across the country. Anybody that starts a run, there's a ton of great close games that they're all like that, you know what I'm saying?
If we start a run again, there will be a bunch more of them. College football has such parity in it and the consistency to get up, that it's going to be difficult.
To answer the question, we knew it was going to be tough. It was tough last year, but that's our expectations and what we think of ourselves. I don't mean that with arrogance, but also, you've got to remember, you've got to truly understand the price you got to pay to have one of those runs. Kids and people, you give up a lot of things, to prioritize to make sure that every "I" is dotted and "T" is crossed to make sure those inches are there all the time.
It's not that we don't, but you've got to make sure you don't let those things get out of hand. The couple times they get out of hand, it's two or three inches, and that's the difference in games. It's been that way the last couple of years.
Q. Where do you learn that a team has to pay the price? Do you learn it in a game like Clemson? Is it off-season stuff?
COACH FISHER: I think it's all around. I think they're definitely heart, but they have to be educated in what to do, and sometimes they've got to be reminded. It's not that our kids aren't. Our kids give their heart and soul and work their tails off.
Everybody looks and says can I get -- you take a company that's successful, and everybody says, I'm going to come in -- like a coach that comes in and gets coach of the year awards, and their team is 3-8, and they go 7-4. There's a lot of room for improvement when you do things like that. So you drastically jump 40 percent.
But once a team or an organization, even a company, it starts to run at a high, high level, what you've constantly got to have is that same ambition, but those percentages may be 1 percent. It may be a percent in that little part of your game here, one little percent in that part, and another percent in that part, and all of a sudden, that's 3 percent. That adds up to the difference of those couple inches you have, you know what I'm saying?
I think just making sure that you truly evaluate everything you do, as a player, as a coach, as everything, which we do, and make sure we can find those inches. I think that's the key once you become successful because it's not going to be drastic jumps or things that people would see glaringly, in my opinion, once you have success because you're always expected to have success and everybody gets focusing on the result.
But as a coach, it's just the little things in there that you've got to find those 1 percent or 2 percent here and there that add up to 3, 4, 5 percent and can make a difference.
And that's in everything, off-season, even the way -- how you go to school, what you do with your class work, what you do off the field, what you do for charity, and I know that sounds crazy, but it rounds the person, and it tells you you're committed to being something above yourself and more than yourself and to be the best you can be in all phases of your life, and it becomes a culture for the individual, not just the team, but a culture for the individual.
It comes in all facets of life. That's why we work with our kids constantly in so many different areas. The bad thing about it, when something bad happens, that's the ones that get seen, the one or two bad things that happen. But there's a couple of good ones that go on too, and we're constantly educating in that process because, if that goes good, it's amazing how that translates to the field.
Q. You said over the course of the year, you're not where the team wants to be, but you're about where you expect it to be, and that's not counting the two losses in the record. Is that the same? Is that where you view the team where you thought it might be?
COACH FISHER: Defensively, we're doing a really nice job. Offensively, we're moving the ball. You can look at the numbers as far as moving the ball in yards, we're doing that. Points are down just a hair because our red zone efficiency isn't quite what it needs to be and has been lately. And third downs are down just a little bit, you know what I'm saying? It goes back to me talking situational football. We work on them constantly. Sometimes on third down, it's first and second down.
The one thing I would probably say is a few self-inflicted wounds I wish we'd be over by now, a couple things like that, you know what I'm saying. I think that's put us in some tough situations. But other than that, we're relatively close, but, again, not where I think we can be and where this team can still be.
Q. Jimbo, have you ever been prouder of a team after a loss?
COACH FISHER: I don't take a lot of pride -- I don't know what I'm trying to say.
Q. Moral victories?
COACH FISHER: Moral victories, there you go. But as far as how they competed in the game and participated in the game, and you saw -- when you see -- when you're up close, it's just like you say, you don't ever realize these guys are kids until they take their helmets off because everyone sees them with the helmets on. But when you see the look in his eyes and see the hurt in his heart when you're talking to him after the game or during the game and things go on. Because no one feels worse than the kid when they make a mistake themselves.
From that standpoint, I was very proud of them in the respect, at least the way they laid it on the line. Whether they did it right or wrong, that's the key point, your intent, is it really genuine? Is it really there? I've been on good teams that have won that I've questioned that. I'm not talking about here, but I'm talking about in the past, other places. You've won some games, and sometimes their intents are selfish. It may be I'm doing it for myself or my pro career, which is the way you've got to do it. But this team was truly committed to each other and played in the game. From that standpoint, I was very proud of them.
Q. Do you feel like you learned something about them Saturday night?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, I do, and I hope they learned something about themselves. That's the key. I don't know if I learned it. They did some things I expected I thought they would do, and I'm glad they went through it, as far as that competing. And I hope they found some things out about themselves that can help us move forward and they can move past it.
Q. On that same track, this game coming up is the first game you guys haven't had a championship in your view for four years. Can you learn something about your team --
COACH FISHER: I think right now it's about class and character. That's what you're going to find out, about the character of these young guys and the organization and the class of it. Still at risk is a tremendous season, you know what I'm saying?
Our ultimate goal is to win a National Championship, to go to the playoffs, win the ACC. There's no doubt. But you can have great seasons if you don't still have those things happen to you. You can still have 10, 11-win seasons and go to a great Bowl game and be successful and win a high percentage of your games. That's part of the -- part of the playoff, when I was originally talking about that before, you know, I said the playoff, we've got to be careful -- that I still love about college football.
When you used to go 10-2 or 11-2 or 9-3, whatever it was, 10-3, win your Bowl game, go to a New Year's Day Bowl or major Bowl, that was a great success. We're all disappointed if you don't get to the playoff, but that doesn't mean you can't have significant seasons and great seasons. That's one thing about college football that, to me, is great. You can have a great taste in your mouth and have a great season and not always be the champion. That's our goal, and we know that here. We're not going to hide from that. I've never hid from that. But at the same time, to have a heck of a season and win 10, 11 games and go to a major Bowl game, that's --
Go back to the run of the 14 years. That's what happened. I mean, 12 out of those 14. And I just don't want the changing times to make sure that we don't forget that, not just with us, but other football teams out there that things are going like that.
Q. You said Sean played pretty solid. So will he be your starter?
COACH FISHER: We'll evaluate what we do like we do every week in practice, and whatever our game plan is is which way we'll go with it. I feel comfortable with Sean, and I feel comfortable with Everett. We'll wait and see how we're going to plan and look at what we have to do in this game to be successful going forward.
Q. What is the balance of finding -- you guys still have a lot to play for and still can have a great season, but looking at the future, wanting to see maybe guys that don't have big roles, is there a balance in that?
COACH FISHER: No, we're playing for what we play for now. The guys in the future have got spring and all that. If you're part of the next three ball games and the Bowl game that allow us to be successful, this is what you'll be. This is not, for lack of a term, like an NFL thing, where you say I'm going to play -- no, no, no. These seniors deserve that. These upperclassmen deserve that. Our fans deserve that. Our coaches deserve that. Everybody deserves that to go out and be the best you can be.
There's no way, shape, or form. We're coming to win three football games. We've got to win one first. We've got to play very well this week, again, against a heck of a football team. This team is a very, very good football team. I don't want any cliches or thoughts like that. We're coming to be the best we can be.
Like I say, if that's the best this team can be, then okay.
Q. Jimbo, Sean mentioned the other night comparing this to 2012, he said the success in 2013 had a lot to do with the guys, those losses they went through in 2012. Can you see that?
COACH FISHER: There's no doubt because they're gut-wrenching, and you're like how do I let that happen? How does this happen? In games -- and it's just a few inches here and there. Both of those games, we had control of those games, but that's what happens.
I think, hopefully, you know, you wish you don't ever have to do that. You're not going to win every game. I'm not trying to take a short road out. I want to win every game. That's our goal. I think we can win every game, but realistically, things are going to happen, but it's how you respond to them and how much it means to you to have that feeling five minutes after a game, good or bad, how important those feelings are to you and what you're willing to do about it.
And if you're willing to do everything you can and it doesn't come out on top, so be it. There's nothing wrong with that. But make sure you do everything you can so those feelings aren't there again. Put yourself in a good position.
Q. Is this important -- I think there's 72 guys on this team who weren't here in 2012. So especially for younger guys, losing in the environment you lost?
COACH FISHER: You got to see a team storm the field, have a celebration. Usually, those are ours, you know what I'm saying? But they weren't. That will be how they sense that or feel that. Hopefully, you don't have -- I wish you didn't have to go through those. I'm not saying you do. I don't think you always have to. But we're going through it, so I hope we'll respond in the right direction.
Q. Terrance Smith, how did he look?
COACH FISHER: He played well. A few cobwebs early as far as getting rusty, just getting out of the gate, but he tackled well and cramped up a little bit in the game. Part of that is anxiety, but I thought he played a really good, solid football game. It was great to have him back on the field.
Q. How did he come out health-wise? And also Ro'Derrick?
COACH FISHER: He was fine. Ro'Derrick just hit his rump. When you see it, he makes a tackle, and he's flying. You could see his body bounce, like a cartoon, boom, boom. It was just a bad bruise. It wasn't on the tail bone or anything. He'll be all right. He'll be okay. Terrance just typical sore from playing in the game. He hadn't played in a game in a while, that physicality. But he'll be fine.
Q. Did Mario play?
COACH FISHER: I'm sorry?
COACH FISHER: Yes, he's capable of playing. He could have played. We were real low on backs all week. We'll make sure and see health-wise where it's at. I want to check that out again too before I do that. He may be able to get a year back from that series of what happened.
Q. Does that surprise you how quickly he's been able to come back?
COACH FISHER: He's out there running around. He hasn't really been hit yet. Yes and no. One, it's remarkable, but two, knowing him and how bad he's got to play and the things he's been through in his life and to bounce back, it doesn't surprise me. He's a heck of a young man now in that regard.
I don't know if I could have gone through the things he went through with the injuries and that. At his age, I don't know if I would be that kind of a guy. Dadgum, that's amazing.
Q. How much can you tell about a quarterback who's not playing, how much can you tell what their future is going to be like, with that first fall on campus? With that in mind, how is Deondre?
COACH FISHER: You can tell from a demeanor standpoint, a leadership standpoint and a willingness to work. You can see a talent level. I go back to guys I've had that were great. I go back to JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn days when Nick would come over throwing a fit, thinking they were terrible, and JaMarcus is making throws all over the field, Flynn.
And I remember Mick Andrews sitting there talking when they had Peter Warrick and Randy Moss and Dugans over there, and I don't know who else, running scout team. They had a great defense, and the scout team would get 600 yards a day.
Now I'm going to say this. There's a difference from playing off a card. Guys, there's a transition now. Everybody looks at that card, okay, I'm running that route, that's what I'm doing. I'm throwing the ball right there. You get on the cards, it's easy because there ain't no ramifications if it's good or bad. They've got to take it to football.
But what you can see is a guy's willingness to work, his competitiveness, his athleticism, and his skill level against really good players because they're usually going against your first team, what they're capable of being, you know what I'm saying?
And saying what you're saying there, I think Deondre has done a really nice job for them. We've been very, very pleased with what he's doing.
Q. Have you been able to appreciate what Dalvin's been able to do so far this year?
COACH FISHER: At times I have, but I think it's hard because as you're getting into games, but it is amazing, you know. I'll tell you what, you go back and look, he's made some amazing runs, but we blocked some really good plays in those things. We knocked everybody down, and you get to the guy, and our guys know there's incentive there, if you get everything done right, that guy's got chance to put points on the board every time he touches it.
Probably not to the fullest that I will after the season, hopefully he continues to go, but I understand what he's doing, there's no doubt. That's why we keep trying to find ways to get him the ball.
Q. Individual or team accomplishment that he could set the single season school rushing record?
COACH FISHER: I'm sorry? You said individual or team --
Q. He could set the individual season rushing record.
COACH FISHER: What about it now?
Q. Is it a team or individual accomplishment that he could end up getting it?
COACH FISHER: Both. This is the ultimate team game. Nothing in this game is ever achieved without great teammates. I don't care what you say. But saying all that, he is a tremendous individual talent who has done tremendous things by himself. He's one of the best, if not the best, in America. There's no doubt about that.
They've blocked and got him down the field, and, of course, he's made guys miss and run over guys. Receivers have blocked. I think it's both. I really do. It's an accomplishment for him, especially his tenacity to play, do the things he has to do to play while he's banged and bruised and things like that. Pretty amazing.
Q. You said at the beginning of the season, Sean did a good job of taking that leadership in the backup role as quarterback. How is Everett going to handle that?
COACH FISHER: He did a nice job. He was great in the game, on the sidelines, calling what needs to be done, trying to make adjustments for guys and talking. Extremely pleased with that.
That's the one position that's tough. If it's not a quarterback position, you can roll them in like crazy, but it takes some special guys to be able to do that.
Q. Jacoby Brissett had a great game against you last year. What does he do so well that presents pressure?
COACH FISHER: I think, one, he's strong in the pocket and can make all the throws. Two, he has mobility and can escape. Three, on top of that, he's so strong, getting him on the ground. And he can throw in tight areas with people hanging on him.
A lot of guys, once you get a piece of him, they can't -- but he's strong enough to stand up there and throw the ball back down the field. Reminds me of a guy when I coached, reminds me of Rohan Davey a lot in that area. Plays with guys hanging all over him.
It's like when your big brother is in the backyard and ten little kids and five of them hanging on him and he's still throwing the ball down the field, and they're trying to get him down. That's what he reminds me of, those kinds of players. They're all over him.
Q. I guess you loved him when he recruited him?
COACH FISHER: We loved him. It strung out for a long time, and Jake Coker and them -- we ended up taking Jake. He and Jake and them were all in the same area, same year. I guess we're still picking pretty good guys. They're both doing pretty well right now. Both similar style of guys in a lot of ways.
Q. Watching film of NC State, how have you seen the roster improve over Doeren's time there?
COACH FISHER: Defensive line wise, they're good up front. The big guys up front, they can run on defense. Secondary guys, the quarterback, offensive line. You see more athleticism, size, strength. They're a really good football team.
Everybody wondered why they played Clemson -- they got good players, and they're coached well. Done a real good job.
Q. Do you expect to get Lorenzo back at any point?
COACH FISHER: Yes, he should be. I don't know when, though.
Q. As far as Derwin, what's kind of in your thoughts it's a game where he wants to contribute, one of the leaders in tackles. Is he about where you thought he'd be or kind of exceeded?
COACH FISHER: Once I got around him, I thought things I thought he could be. He played really good in this game. Probably didn't play as well in this game as he had in the other games, but he played really well, especially with the environment and the atmosphere. Did a great job on special teams.
But his competitiveness -- and why I say that. After I met him, he was very mature when he was there in the spring, and he got that spring in. He's a very intelligent guy, and he gets it. Guys that are intelligent can process and learn. Not only learn the plays, but he's a guy, I think, learns from mistakes. He carries -- his ball is very important to him. He's kind of got that knack. It doesn't -- it really doesn't surprise me a lot.
Again, I was very optimistic because I don't like to put pressure on young freshmen like that because you still don't know how they handle all those things.
Q. When you talk about like his maturity, what's an example like how he handles himself at practice or what?
COACH FISHER: All of the above. The way he gets the big picture of competing, how important it is to be detail oriented -- not happy to play, he wants to play well, so he has to practice well.
A lot of guys that have been so gifted their time, they're so athletic and can do things wrong in high school and get by it, he's learned -- I think early that was part of what he had to learn. Even back then, you think, I can do a few things wrong, and I was so athletic. I think that's part of what learning to play at this level too, at the level where you're playing against champions, where everybody is as good as you are.
I think his ability to practice and have great attention to detail talks about his maturity. Not just learning what to do, but he takes a lot of pride in the film study of how to do it.
Q. Is there anyone he reminds you of or anyone he kind of --
COACH FISHER: No. I've had some outstanding guys, guys that have done that at different levels. Justin Vincent had 1,200 some yards as a freshman tailback at LSU and never played in a lot of games. He played seven, eight games. There have been outstanding guys like that. That just popped in my head right there.
But he's just an outstanding guy who does it as well as anybody. He's special. Josh Sweat is doing a heck of a job in that same regard too.
Q. That was the first time you got to see Sean really play an important game on the road?
COACH FISHER: What I loved about what Sean did in that game, there was no starry-eyedness. When he made a mistake, he knew he made a mistake, what he should have done. The communication, the demeanor. The way he called the game. The team has a ton of confidence. They love him and the way he does things.
I was so proud of him. He did it at home, you know what I'm saying? But the moment didn't -- I can tell that did not bother him. Just that it was a good team on the other side, and they played pretty good at times. But the moment itself did not -- he was full control of everything, talking, communicating, very into the game and what to do, ideas, you know what I mean? From that regard.
Q. When he was getting on the center about some of those not setting the ball, did you like that?
COACH FISHER: Oh, yeah, that's what you've got to do. He's not getting on him to -- hey, it's urgent. We're in this. Trying to let him know out there on the field. I'm not out there. The coaches aren't out there. No matter what, when I trigger something, you got to do it, you know what I'm saying?
To me it showed his competitiveness, his ambition. Do you think Tom Brady would have done that? Do you think Peyton manning would have done that? They probably would have bonked him on the head.
That's part of leadership. And even Eberle, he don't take it that way. Let me tell you this, Eberle is going to be a heck of a football player. That guy has got a lot of really good stuff about him now. I say that talking about a mistake, but where he's at and what he's doing.
Again, that's another position, guys, when you talk about all the things you've got to do and mental toughness and making calls, and then line up against a 300-pound guy who's generally an upperclassman and a lot stronger than you are at this stage of your career. Very proud of what he's doing now too.
Q. You talked about Sean and how the guys respond to him. Just generally speaking --
COACH FISHER: They do to Everett too. Both guys are genuine. People respond to people who are genuine and people care about what they're trying to care about, you know what I'm saying? And those guys exhibit it every day in how they practice and the way they do things in the organization. I knew somebody was going to do that.
Q. You knew the comparison I was asking --
COACH FISHER: You're right. They do. I said somebody's going to ask me that.
Q. When you have an offensive line as young as they are, and they struggle at times obviously --
COACH FISHER: We're moving guys around and all that, but we've played well at times. We've had five games of over 500 yards this year. 400 or 500 and one at 600. They've played well at times and done well. We can't use that as an excuse. That's just something we've got to fight through.
Q. How do you balance them teaching them compared to scolding them?
COACH FISHER: It's a fine line. There's an urgency, but at the same time, you've got to remember, wait a minute, I've got to teach here, and you push back and forth. We tell our guys, listen, I know I'm pushing here, but I've got to have -- there's certain things you've got to have and how much you give them, what we can do in the game, what they're capable of, and you've got to keep bridging that gap with young guys consistently, you know what I'm saying? That's the challenge.
A lot of it has to do with the quality of your opponents. You've got to take chances and lay it out there. The other day, we were just a couple inches away. If I ever sat down and showed you the film, guys just barely getting a sack, and the ball is ready to come out, and there's big plays. That's when you play good teams. That's football. That's just ball. That's competing.
Q. Sean took three or four chances deep, threw some deep balls. Were those the right decisions, and how close were they --
COACH FISHER: Actually, all but one of them I thought were the right decisions. There was one we didn't get off. Right after the fourth down stop we had, we got pressure inside. We got it, and they got the pressure up the middle. We didn't get to play.
But three of the four, yes, were exactly where -- should have went with the ball. One I thought he pressed and should have -- about an 18-yard over route one time. I hate to say that. That happens a lot of times.
Q. Did he make the right -- I think it was the first quarter or second quarter, he threw a deep one to Bobo. Probably could have been called pass interference.
COACH FISHER: That was a perfect read. He's got to get rid of it just a hair quicker than he did. I thought it was face guarding, but that's not -- either way it could be called. We had the over route, and they were in quarters, and the safety came down, and he got behind him.
We didn't think -- actually on the play, we thought we'd have a chance at it. Really thought we'd get the over. They gave us the deep ball, and he saw it and went right to it.
Q. There's a question coming up. There was a play on, I think it was, Harrison. Do you think targeting could be reviewed if it's not called on the field?
COACH FISHER: I wish it would be.
Q. That, to me, looked like --
COACH FISHER: I agree. It was a critical play in the game.
Q. And it would have given you a first down.
COACH FISHER: There was two or three things there. We had a critical play on that one. We had a critical, of course, in the red zone that time. Missing that third and fourth and one, and we're right down there. We had a drop that we got a 10-yard gain and probably going to turn and make another 10 or 15 yards. We all took turns on it.
Defensively, we could have got off the field two or three times on third down. Just had a little screw-up that would have pinned them back. Maybe punting from their end zone instead of gaining 30 more yards. When you play good teams, that's just those inches you've got to fight for.
Q. On the offensive line, a lot of procedure calls. How do you simulate that in practice?
COACH FISHER: We do it every way. We talk about it. We got guys up there yelling stuff at them on the defensive line. We've got GA. And really, we were really good until the second half of this game, or right until the end of the first. It's just concentration levels, and we do things that constantly build the mind, like the muscles in the mind to try to concentrate more and out here in practice and not tolerating it. It's just they did it better. Now we've got to do it for a whole game.
You've got to -- and I hate to say it, it's almost like kids. You focus for a long time. It's not really lack of focus, just take a deep breath, and all of a sudden it will happen, you know what I mean? One guy will do it, and the other guy will do it. It was just key moments and critical things.
Again, when you get them over there, you have no idea how sorry they are for it. They don't do it on purpose. We've got noise out there. Guys on the D-line constantly yelling at them, false cadences. People do all the time. That stuff happens. I mean, drills, different cadences. We'll stop -- even make them, not thinking it's rhythmic and stop a cadence and check it. It's just a constant battle. Got to continue to work at it.
Q. It's not an excuse, but you had three different starting centers every week. That's got to play into it.
COACH FISHER: There's no doubt, but that's the hand we're dealt. Get it done. That's life. Life isn't fair. Everything in life isn't fair. You got the hand you're dealt. You deal with it. You go do the best you can or be the best. That's our goal.
We're never going to -- that's the thing I think here that I'm proud of these kids. They expect that too. They always get it done. We do too. We're going to keep working and get there. That's why I'm anxious to finish the season like they want to finish it and we want to finish it. I think our fans deserve for it to be finished that way.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports