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FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
November 16, 2015
COACH FISHER: Again, very proud of the game our kids played on Saturday. Showed a lot of class, a lot of character the way we competed in the game. Kept our poise in the game and kept playing the next play. I thought the defense was outstanding throughout the day, only giving up one drive in the game really, and did a great job in the end and having a lot of pride at the end not letting them get in the end zone.
That was a very good team. Quarterback's a good player. Thought we pressured him well on the day. Affected him. Played the runs very well and kept good leverage on the ball. Offensively we shot ourselves in the foot with some penalties, and got behind in downs and distances and caused us some bad situations. Had a couple turnovers and moved the ball, stayed in the game early, and then got in the groove into the middle of the second quarter and then the rest of the game did a real nice job moving the football.
Still had a couple opportunities there, and had a pressure which we could have gotten the ball out quicker and not had a turnover and missed a short yardage on the other one. Had a little pass that was open and could have scored every drive again.
But very proud of those guys the way they battled back. That was a very physical team. The linebackers were good solid players, had a couple good corners and safety, and they were ninth in the country in defense. So we had 437 yards in three quarters and 27 points right there unanswered, so I was very proud of those guys in that regard.
Thought the kicking game was outstanding. Thought they did a great job. They were first in the conference in giving up punt returns, and I think punt return set up a lot of field position in the game. We did a really nice job of getting space for Bobo and getting him some running room. Thought we punted the ball pretty well. The punts were effective, not as well as he has kicked it all year, but they were effective, had a 43 yard net.
Thought we cover kicked really good all day on special and the punts. One kickoff came out just a little bit, but otherwise we covered them well. Had a good, solid kicking game day. So from that standpoint was very proud of the way the guys played.
That was tough coming off a tough loss, and the adversity early in the game to battle back and control the game like we did against a good opponent I was very proud.
Now we've got to put that one behind us. And focus on Chattanooga, again, Senior Day. Very proud of these seniors, but this Chattanooga is going to be a national playoff team. They have been the last couple years. Very good team, throw the ball, the quarterback is the returning conference Player of the Year. Can make plays, throw it, they can run it, lot of different formations. Defensively always effective. Play a 4, 2, 5 front. Excellent football team. They've played really well and lost a tough game to Jacksonville State early in the year. And we know what that Jacksonville State battled Auburn at the wire. They had them all the way.
This team is used to playing 1A teams, used to having success. So we'll have to play an A-game and that's what I'm worried about us getting better, and play well and compete well in the game and get better in practice in the things we do.
But looking forward to the opportunity, and also for Senior Day. Sending these seniors out on a great note and what they've accomplished in these last four years winning almost 90, 91% of their games. It could be the 48th win this weekend or 47. That's a lot of W's in a short time span. I think that goes along with only five losses.
So it's been a heck of a run for these guys and a tribute of what they've meant to the program and what they've done. Hopefully we'll have a great crowd which I know we will, and send these seniors off the right way.
More importantly, we have to put all those things behind us and get ready to play and get better. We're banged and bruised a little bit. Not terribly bad, but we'll get ready to go this time of year, and hopefully keep getting better and finish off the season strong.
Q. Reevaluating the game, can you explain what Sean did?
COACH FISHER: Played solid, had some mistakes in the game. His energy and enthusiasm and toughness staying in there. We got into a rhythm and made a few plays after that, and we quit the penalties. We didn't put ourselves behind the 8 ball. Lot of the other things came too. We had penalties and put ourselves behind the 8 ball a couple times and some down and distances that caused us to do some things that are hard to overcome. They capitalized on them on their defense. They're a top 10 defense in the country.
So but Sean did a really nice job managing the game. Then he made plays and stood in there and delivered the ball. Took some shots. Everett did too early in the game. But just got us into rhythm. Got confidence, got the running game going, and just played an outstanding football game. I thought he played extremely well.
Q. Will Sean be the starting quarterback?
COACH FISHER: Yes, he'll be the starter based on what he did in the last game. Everett will be right there with us, and there is a lot of ball left to play. He's had an outstanding year for us. It's been a big part of why I'm glad he's here and I'm still glad he's here. There is a lot of football left to play.
Q. Will that be something where he comes in (Indiscernible) and he's a better match-up?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, we're going to start and play the guys we want to play. If Sean's our starting quarterback right now and what we're doing. Hopefully he'll continue to play well and we won't have to relive that. I've been pleased with Everett's performances. He had one tough quarter-and-a-half all year really. It was disastrous as far as making a couple tough plays.
But some of the situations he was put in was self-inflicted wounds by our offensive football team around him too at times. So I've been very pleased with him, happy with him, and we're ready to go.
Q. How is Stevenson doing?
COACH FISHER: Actually responded really well. Actually they said passed an impact test already, which is early in the week to be able to do that. But we'll still have to evaluate, keep him out and see what goes on. If you see he's not in there, it's a big part of it.
Q. How about Patrick play?
COACH FISHER: He played solid. He was still rotating. We were always going to play the two tailback system when he got healthy enough to practice. But he did a better job. He did a nice job in the game. There were some things in that game. He went to fullback, ran some nakeds. On the short yardage play, that 4th and 1, he stuck and hit that backer right in the mouth. Did a heck of a job. Created enough space for us to get up in there and did a really nice job with the O-line.
He and Dalvin in the back did a nice thing. Keep a little note on Dalvin, what kind of guy he is. He is breaking every record known to man. He's in the back field back there a couple times and we had some runs called, and they could have easily been in that two tailback system, he could get the ball.
But Jacques, I think just making sure on his blocking assignments because he hadn't done that a lot where he's blocking and doing all that. So Dalvin says go run the ball, let me block. I mean, how many -- you talk about a team guy?
You talk about a guy that has character? You talk about a guy that's not worried about himself or thinks about himself, what a team player that is now. And then of course Jacques had a couple big runs off that. That could have been yards for Dalvin at times. You think the bigger back will block. They don't care. That was a good moment in our team, and I think it reflects who we are.
Q. Was that in conversations on the sideline or were they in the huddle?
COACH FISHER: I could watch and see. I could know what's going on and talking. But Dalvin has taken that role and he's been in that role before and Jacques has. But until you do it a couple times, he and Jacques blocked later, but just letting him run the ball.
Q. Also that block on Everett's run?
COACH FISHER: Oh, yeah. But they're just team guys. Remember how Jameis used to do it? He'd throw it? That same personality as far as we're going to be great for our teammates. We're not going to be great for -- we're going to be great for our teammates and that's kind of his mentality.
Q. Who was your best offensive lineman on Saturday grade-out-wise?
COACH FISHER: Probably Mavety. Yeah, playing at tackle, I mean, a new position. The guy's a talented guy, man. He's going to be good. I was pleased. Like I said, after Craymar (sp) slowed in, and he slowed in and played a solid game. Wilson had a solid game. The center he's going to be a really good player now. He's doing a nice job, and Coach Big Rod plays a solid football game. But Mavety is a talented guy.
Q. Is that a place he might stay?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, he could be a guard or tackle, guys. Right now, most definitely. Right now most definitely. But in the future, I mean, I think he has potential to be either one and play a high level at either one.
Q. Defensively (Indiscernible) what did he do to earn that scholarship and did you ever expect him to play on that big of a stage?
COACH FISHER: That's funny. To be out there and say he's going to play on that stage, you don't know that. But the guy earned it in practice by what he did every day. It doesn't surprise me he's doing this because he did practice on scout team. When he had his reps as a chance as a back-up and we moved him over there, but you take it to him, it's a whole other thing.
You see those young players take it in practice all the time and do it. Boy, it takes time to evolve to the field. He didn't have that. He knows that. It's quite remarkable to me of how he's playing and what he's doing. But he prepares like that. He practices like that.
I mean, I said last week the defense had -- what did I say last week? They had some of the best practices. I was extremely high on the way they practiced. And it's starting to click about the preparation and the intensity of preparation and the mindset in practice that you can carry to a game. Because you can take yourself to that level, the game becomes easy. Because it's not -- you're not separating the difference mentally. You know what I'm saying? Enthusiastically, and that's the way they practice. The way they played this week is the way they practiced all week last week.
They say why don't they do it all the time? Well, if I had that magic dust, I'd do it all the time. But you talk to them, and sometimes it's just an evolution to understand it.
Q. Whitfield, two touchdowns, is he starting to get --
COACH FISHER: He is. That's the same as Kermit is, attention to detail. Kermit even sometimes he slipped again when he caught a ball and was running out there. I told him I'm going to cut that grass. He's got it up to his knees and it's dad gum tripping him out there.
But he gets so excited and he wants to do so well so bad. He has a great heart and just relaxing and having that poise to get -- I'm going to tell you the best route he ran the whole day wasn't a touchdown route. The best route was the vertical he caught on Everett on the 3rd and 17 early. And leverage that guy had on him and he used that speed to burst down the field and the guy had to run. All of a sudden he stuck his foot and crossed him. I don't care who you are. You're not going to cover the guy.
He's learning to do that, and I'm happy for him because he's worked at it and his confidence is starting to grow. And if he'll get that confidence and do that, that little sucker is hard to handle now. He really is.
Q. What did you think about him last year when it just wasn't clicking? Sometimes it never clicks.
COACH FISHER: You just have to take time. It's frustrating. Not that you give up on him, but you know it's there. You sit there as a coach and say what button can I push that makes it click? What makes it click for him? How can I get him to see it and do it, and how can I get him this, that and the other? And sometimes it's just doing it over and over and maturity. You know what I mean?
Sometimes guys will tell them once or twice and they get it. Otherwise, it's not anything wrong with them, it's just each individual is different. It's like that with lots of guys. The same thing about KB. How he struggled that one year. He made plays but the inconsistency and the things that go on and all of a sudden I'm going to do everything right. It's a mindset that they've got to fall into and accept that responsibility. You know what I'm saying? And then go do it.
That's why people get frustrated. I keep saying that all the time. It's because you have talented players, don't mean they're great football players yet. We're in such a society that we want it all now. We want it boom, boom, boom. And kids want it. I'm three and out. Just develop yourself. Every guy does it at a different pace, but when he does it now, it's pretty.
Q. With his size, what is it he can do?
COACH FISHER: I mean, be a great return guy, great on balls, great in space plays. But if he could -- see the thing that makes him his size that can make him different than most slot guys, because he has the ability to even go out, because he has pure speed. I mean, he has big, big-time speed.
So a lot of those guys built like that don't have that top end. He's got great top end. So he can learning to run routes and get off that press, because I'm going to tell you what he is, he's very deceptive and strong. You don't realize how powerful. He's a shorter guy, but he's not a frail guy if that makes any sense. He's not on the small, you know, Rashad was on a much smaller bone structure than Kermit is, with power. And learning to use that speed down field and be the deep ball guy and run to where they can change directions so fast. You know what I'm saying? And stick that foot in the ground like he did on that route and just play with his speed without the ball.
If he can do that, because when he gets it, man, he makes you go and be a great return guy. But he can do it. And he can slot reverse, things like that.
Q. The contribution from Bobo and Travis as well, how good is it to get all three of those guys?
COACH FISHER: It has been, and we were distributing the ball. And I keep saying Bobo silently keeps playing great football. All those third down catches, all the routes, the digging out blocks and things he does. Hasn't had as many opportunities down the field like the other guys have because of the coverages, but really, really, really playing sound, good football. And Travis had a nice down day, proud of him.
Q. You talked about it on Saturday, but what's it mean to you to have your senior class go 47-5?
COACH FISHER: Just a tribute to them, and I'm happy for them because that's what they came here to do. They've been outstanding. I'm proud of them and happy for them, but I want them to finish. I want them to finish their careers and try to get that 50.
Q. The strength of some of these young players, you mentioned the maturity. How good could some of these young players come out?
COACH FISHER: I think they can come out outstanding. But again, you know what it is? All of those things come back to them. You can say it as a coach or put all the players, you teach them, you do it. But at the end of the day, how important is it to you? Is it your top priority? Well, it ought to be.
Well, when you're 18 and 19, think about the priorities you had. You're doing what you do as a profession, you probably want it. You always wanted to be writers and things like that? But did you spend all your time doing it all the time or a lawyer or whatever you did, did you spend all your time doing it?
In football at the level they're trying to play it at, they've got school, they've got to be good guys, all those things they've got to do. And they have to work on ball, because other than that, there is not enough time in the day. It's going to be the key is how important it is to them. Not relying on talent, but how detailed they want to be and demanding from themselves.
At the end of the day, we can demand from them all we want. I have to say with Kermit and KB. KB will tell you. Bobby Heart sent one the other day to Coach Trickett. KB, you have to talk to him. Tell him to listen. Buy in. Don't waste a year not listening. Just do what you're supposed to do, and it will all happen for you. To me, that's going to be the key.
Q. What do you make of those young guys (Indiscernible) do they have a steeper learning curve?
COACH FISHER: Well, I think he has ability. I think he has physical ability, mental ability and competitiveness. And I think he's got a certain sense of maturity which actually has grown. Now there is one who I think has grown very quickly in a short period of time.
Josh Sweat's the same way. How they've learned to accept, because everybody says why wasn't he starting in the beginning? Well, he wasn't ready. There were too many little mistakes that could cost you games and he would play. He would play and make plays. You saw the flashes. But when you're playing championship football, every little angle and coverage and one or two plays.
But you know what he did? Okay, coach, that's what I've got to do? Okay, I've got to study more, work more, watch more film. And he did it. That tells me it's a priority for him. It's a passion for him. That's what I was trying to answer your question with. That's where I think I've been the happiest with him. He's so gifted. You know what I'm saying?
But what he's learning to be is learning to prepare without his gifts. In other words, let his gifts take over when it's time, but he's learning to prepare like he has no gifts. To me, that's when you have great players. Those guys prepare, and if they have no ability and do everything right and then when they're doing everything right, that ability jumps through the screen at you.
Q. Is he a potential leader?
COACH FISHER: Big time. Natural leader. He ain't no potential leader; he is a leader.
Q. Even now?
COACH FISHER: He's getting that juice, yes. He has that. Couldn't help not be. He's one of those permits. There is a lot of them in that younger group. There's more in the younger groups than the older groups. And I don't say that, I mean, personality types. A lot of really young personalities in a good way, they really, really, really like to play football.
COACH FISHER: He is. He's getting healthy. Guys, Nate, there is another one. You talk about team, you talk about leadership, you talk about doing things right in every phase of his life, you talk about putting his heart and soul in everything he does and does it for the team? I can't say enough good things about him. He's getting healthy again. I always love to watch good things happen to him.
Q. (Indiscernible) guys to take a look at him?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, I think he will. I said this in a crazy way, he reminds me of a guy that played for LSU when I was there getting Ryan Clark in a lot of ways. Similar-type player, and Ryan had a tremendous career. We thought he would play. I didn't know he was going to play that long, but he's had a tremendous career. But you don't know. You don't know. That's been ten, 15 years ago. But Lamarcus Brutus has been a heck of a football player for us. Done a great job.
Q. Was it last year he really has taken off?
COACH FISHER: And another one. They're fourth and fifth-year guys that don't hang around anymore. You don't have many of them, you know what I'm saying? The maturity of that. I can't stress how important that is to a team and how much better those guys play when they get it and they're at that age?
Q. How was Sean different today than he was in August?
COACH FISHER: Much different. I mean, at that time there was no doubt Everett was the best quarterback, and actually I think Everett coming here was a great thing for us. It really has been. It's been a huge thing for us. I think he's played great football. He was the second leading passer in the conference. When it was 6-0, we had a tough loss there on a free kick at Georgia Tech, and was playing tremendous football for us. You know what I mean?
But I think Sean has relaxed a little bit as much as anything. And the competition when Everett wanted it, and he did win it. So he said, okay, I'm going to be the best I can be. But took a little pressure off himself in a weird way of just practicing, getting better. Then when the opportunity came, he just said, okay, just go play the game. Don't worry about, like I said, some of the linemen did at times, and still do, about trying not to make a mistake instead of trying to make plays. You know what I'm saying?
And sometimes I'm not sure losing that hasn't been, in a weird way, the best thing for him in the big picture because he's relaxed and now he's playing and you see the ability he has and what he can do.
Q. So the best thing for the team, but also you think, I don't know, did it push Sean? You said it relaxed him.
COACH FISHER: Well, I think it pushed him. But Sean was always pushed. I don't think there was any more effort. I think it was just a realization that okay, this is what I can do. When I get my opportunity, I'm going to do the best I can. Sometimes it's taking a little pressure off yourself, and all of a sudden the game slows down and you start making plays, and he's done a great job of that.
He's stayed very in tune and in touch with everything we're doing. He didn't fall out of or get disinterested. In what was going on. They've been good for each other.
Q. One last thing on Dalvin and unless when he's asked about the Heisman Trophy questions, but from the story you told before, I'm assuming he's a guy who is not focused on the Heisman Trophy?
COACH FISHER: Oh, shoot, no, or a pro career. Because if he was, when he gets banged and bruised, I know guys when they do that you see them go lay down and don't come back. But this guy whatever he has to do to be successful, he loves to play. He loves his teammates. What he does in practice to keep them up, to go block.
I mean, this guy is about as unselfish as anybody out there. I mean it's the first time you probably ever heard him would you like to get the Heisman? Well, yeah. Do I deserve it? Well, yeah. He's not lying. He's not being arrogant. He's just answering the question yes or no. I hope we don't take him that way because he is nothing like that. He is one of the best team guys I've ever been around.
Q. Do you expect him on Saturday?
COACH FISHER: Who is that?
COACH FISHER: Oh, yeah, he's a hundred percent. He feels as good today as he has -- just the way the guy fell quick on his ankle it kind of just twisted him, but it didn't swell or anything. He just came down on it wrong.
Q. What do you think of the lack of Heisman talk around Dalvin?
COACH FISHER: I don't worry about it. What is worrying about it going to do? Is it going to help? Me talking about it, is it going to help? Because everybody in the media and what goes on and who we promote is going to be promoted. What I say or anybody says, I don't mean that in disregard. But just go play. Go play, and if it happens, it happens.
Do I think he deserves it? Yes. I think he's not only one of the best backs, I think he's one of the best players in the country. But that's for everyone else. And I don't hold anybody -- that's everybody's opinion, and I'm just glad he's on my team and playing football.
Q. As a college football fan, have you always felt it should be the best player in football?
COACH FISHER: Yes, I think that's where we went wrong with that thing. I really do. I just think it's -- isn't that the way it's supposed to be? I mean, think about this. Paul Hornung won it and he didn't win a game, did he? He only won like one or two games.
Q. Yeah, he had a losing record.
COACH FISHER: He had a losing record and he won the Heisman. You know what I'm saying? And Paul Hornung, it panned out that was the best play or one of them. Whatever goes on. To me, I think that's where we get caught up on the winning team. And that's just the way it's evolved. You know what I'm saying?
But that's a shame to me because it's supposed to be an individual award. Team, team awards and you have individual awards. You're punishing your guy because he didn't go to a school that wins the National Championship or played for it. I mean, that's not -- that's where I think we've gotten out of whack with it. Who in here votes? Anybody in here vote?
Q. Are you blaming them?
COACH FISHER: No, I'm not blaming them. But I wondered, do you all have conversations about that?
COACH FISHER: That's what I mean. If you're a voting panel, what is the criteria? When you get done, what is the criteria? I'm not trying to promote. I'm just saying there might be somebody who hasn't won five games but he's on a great team. To me that's the way I've always looked at it.
Q. You said a lot of the quarterbacks were quarterbacks on great teams.
COACH FISHER: I think part of that in the future, what's happened with that a little bit is everybody knows how important the quarterback is so much more important now than it's ever been in the history of football because it used to be running backs back in the '70s, and 60's, and '70s, and even in the '80s.
We evolved to the west coast passing games and the Joe Montana's of the world and Morenos of just throwing the football, and it started coming out. But football's changed. I'm not I mean, all those guys are well deserving. I mean, heck, just best player. Best team gets the National Championship. Best player should get the Heisman.
Q. I think it was a couple years ago you talked about how SEC teams like Alabama have gotten strong because of the defensive lines and how they've built such strong defensive lines. Do you see yours getting that way?
COACH FISHER: Oh, I think it has been. And I think we put an emphasis on that. You've got to control the front. The college team controls the game, running game, passing game, affecting the quarterback, how the other guys play. You have to be strong. You have to be big, physical, and you've got to be strong.
You go back there and watch The National Championship Game, I'm trying to think of everybody's name. I'm getting old, Mario and all the guys up front, Eddie, I mean, that was great. Before Florida State had its great run here, look at the defensive linemen. If there is one consistent thing, probably the defensive linemen over that whole run of time.
Look at Miami's run. When you think of the great Miami teams, the defensive lines. Alabama, back even in the day, the great Auburn teams, the great Alabama teams, whoever teams, I mean all of them, you have great front guys. That's extremely critical.
COACH FISHER: Yes, and you have to keep developing. You have to have them and rotate them. They're going to get banged and bruised.
Q. Jimbo, I understand -- (Indiscernible) would you like to see any type of uniform rule whether teams should schedule FBS or get them off the schedule?
COACH FISHER: To be honest with you, I'm for scheduling. I'll say this, I think it's an opportunity for those schools to have equal opportunity because they've shown they can win. How about the money in which it brings to their program? The recognition it brings in recruiting, the things that goes on and gives those guys opportunities to do it.
I don't understand what the problem with it is. If everybody wants to schedule a game that's so physical and they're all down to the wire like NFL games, give us more scholarships, give us more time to treat the kid. The beatings and poundings these kids take, you know what I'm saying? Week-in and week-out. I think it is very rewarding to those teams. It's an opportunity for them.
I don't have a problem with it. I don't have one. I really don't. I've been on both ends of that. I was a 1AA coach and doing it. Some of the biggest things when we scheduled Auburn, I mean, it was man, I mean, our kids were he can static to have the opportunity to go down there and play and play against them and test themselves. A lot of them want to be Division I players and see where they were and have that opportunity. That's just my opinion. I've been on both sides of it. It was a good payday and helped build our program.
Q. This new playoff system where they examine the strength of schedule so much, is it ever a concern where if it came down to it, it might be held against you?
COACH FISHER: Everybody does it. How you going to hold it against us? Everybody's scheduling one, right? I'll be honest with you, some of the 1AA's are better than some of the lower 1A's. So I mean, I think we're splitting hairs there. It gets down to whoever 1AA schedule was, and I haven't seen it get that far yet.
Q. You lost four really talented football players off the defense last year that went early. Why are you guys so much better there this year?
COACH FISHER: You know, there is a lot of -- I always say this. Talent always doesn't win you games. It's not always the best 11 players on the field. It's the best 11 that play together. You know what I'm saying? Not that they didn't. There were unbelievable players there, and those guys were tremendous. But this group has a certain confidence, a unity, a cohesiveness that they're playing well together.
That is the thing about sports and team football. It's the guys that play the best together. Then something happens, you get a confidence, a bond, unit. Not that those guys didn't have it. They were really tight and played great football. It's just that we're playing a little more consistent this year. I mean, probably some of these guys are hungry that are back because they didn't feel like they played as well as they should have a year ago and didn't want things to happen. We learned from history, learned from mistakes.
Q. In your confidence in coach (Indiscernible) defensive coordinator. He's been here for a couple years. Did your confidence in him ever waver?
COACH FISHER: No, not one bit because what he was doing was sound. What he was doing was right, and sometimes motivating players and getting players, he was doing it great. But at the end of the day, players have to decide how I'm going to do it, and how consistent I'm going to do it.
We put it back on them. We said coach has this magical dust. Well, tell me this, and why do good parents kids go bad? It's the same thing. Or good parents do a great job parenting and your kid does something wrong or he's not consistent for a while. Then all of a sudden, he can come back. The parents didn't change. They kept saying the same thing. But the kid's finally what? The light came on, and that happens.
You're playing so many young guys, you know? You go back to it now last year, you're talking about a lot of talented players who were still juniors. All of a sudden now had to step into leadership roles. All right? They've been playing great as sophomores, but everybody else did all the other stuff. Now I get ten more things put on my plate because I've got to be a leader, I've got to do this. I've got to play. I've got to go to school. Now I may go to the league. Now I'm talking to an agent, and doing this, and my parents in my ear. There are 15 other distractions. People don't want to hear that, but that's a fact of life.
All that burden in one thing. And all of a sudden, I'm not focused when I go to the field quite as much. Or I'm going to, but I haven't found that happy rhythm. You know what I'm saying? All those things affect how you play. When you say the team's coming back, and that can be a great team. It can, but it has to go back to eliminating the clutter. Keeping the main thing, the main thing, and the maturity to be there.
Q. On that same line, Brad Lawing, what's he meant to the defensive front?
COACH FISHER: Brad's always been a great football coach. I've known Brad a long time. A very good, sound, fundamental coach, knows what he's doing. The kids have bought into what he's doing. He's worked with them hard. He gets a great relationship from them, and he's doing a nice job. He and Odell do a great job. They work together.
The thing about Brad, he's a team guy. He understands front, he understands the packages, how to rush and do things. And everybody's got their role. He and Odell do a tremendous job up there of building, and Charles do a good job on the other.
Q. How well did the defense play this last week considering they played really well defensively. Is this the best performance in the defense we've seen, do you think?
COACH FISHER: It would be one of them. I'd have to really think about that, but it definitely would. But let me tell you what, it was by far the best practice week, and it had been coming. I've seen this coming for three weeks. We kind of just starting to hit that groove where guys are just getting better and understanding what we want consistently. You know what I mean? And there is more maturity over there. I've been very pleased with them.
Q. (Indiscernible) from when you took over years ago up until now?
COACH FISHER: What stamp?
COACH FISHER: Don't be outcome oriented; be process oriented. Understand the ability to prepare and the ability to play every play like it's your last, to play it with toughness, effort, discipline and pride. And create a culture of family between each other that you care for each other, you play for each other, and you do your job for your team and become the best you can be. Understand there are people counting on you, and you have an accountability and responsibility in all phases of your life, on the field and in the classroom and as a person, to do the right thing. And that's what we preach over and over and over.
It's not about the results. If the process is right, the results will come. And to understand in life and in this game, if you short change it, it's going to bite you. If you don't short change it, you'll get everything you want out of it.
COACH FISHER: I tell you what, he had to stop. But I'll tell you who made that play first? Jalen and Nate Andrews. Jalen made it big time getting off the block. But you look back and watch how Nate played the dive, held it out so Jalen could get off that block? Again, there is a thing that's not noticed and how he got the pitch out at the time he got it out, and making it happen too quick. Because he made it happen too quick, and Jalen made a tremendous play getting off the block and knocked the pee out of the guy. And Charles was happy as heck. It was a combination of all those things and how they made the play.
Q. (Indiscernible) camaraderie, them celebrating on the sideline?
COACH FISHER: They're tremendous. Our whole staff is very close. We have a very, very close staff. I mean, the coaches suspend a lot of time together in meetings and talking. There is a great camaraderie in our staff. I love coming to work every day and sitting in the room with those guys. I really do, and they like it too. We spend a lot of time together.
Q. Have you ever let yourself during the season think about next season?
COACH FISHER: No, I don't in terms of long-term, but I do in terms of how I see things done if things don't get fixed now, because this guy's going to be here a while, needs to get this part fixed so his future can be right. Or I think this guy can have a huge role in the future for our program. And he needs to get this right or this right or keep doing this in that regard. Yes, from that standpoint, yes.
You're still coaching for the moment, but at the same time, you still have to have a big picture view of where guys are and how their development is, and how you're coaching them and what you need to get out of them the rest of this year for the future.
Q. So what you've seen, how does that feel?
COACH FISHER: Again, I said this, my emotions last week were crazy and again this week. Knowing we've still got things to get better. We've got a heck of a season to finish. But at the same time, the growth we've had in the last couple weeks has been tremendous for me. About what I think we can be.
It's not just what we can be, but I see us going down that path and direction to how we want it done. It's just when you talk to somebody, and all of a sudden, you can see it in their eyes. I mean, it's clicked, but I mean it's really clicking about how to prepare, how to practice, how to think. How to do things? You know what I'm saying? And I get that sense.
Just like I told you about the defense going into this game. I've gotten that sense the last couple weeks about our kids, I really have. Now we're far from perfect. There are a lot of things we've got to get now. But just I can just see it. You know what I mean? It's starting to.
Just like kind of like what I was talking about with Sean a little bit. It's starting to click about the big picture of how to play and what to play and that I can do it. And the confidence is starting to grow and different things that are happening.
Q. You mentioned the hard lesson of having to lose a couple games?
COACH FISHER: Well, yes. But what I was hoping is you can win close. You know what I'm saying? I don't know if it's losing. I think it's just the ups and downs of life. The trials and tribulations of maturity.
And I relate it to if people don't understand it, think about your kids. How long sometimes it took for something to sink in, and you'd say it every day and they'd see you every day. You know what I mean? And you think if they see you every day, live in your house every day, and do it every day, why didn't they do it? Same reason your kids didn't do it. It's just something.
As a parent and as a coach, you don't ever give up. You don't ever give up. You just keep sending the message. You find different ways for it to click, whatever it may be.
Q. Do you get caught up in the emotion or pomp and circumstance of Senior Day ceremonies?
COACH FISHER: Uh-huh, that's why I hate them (laughing). I do. I do. I mean, I hate them.
COACH FISHER: Because tell me something that's harder to do than to go out there and all of a sudden you're reflecting on -- I love them too -- but I'm reflecting on everything that's happened and this is the last time it's happening and all that, and I've got to do all that. Then go get ready to play and the most emotional -- to turn it back and forth. I'm telling you, I've seen it happen.
There have been some tough scenarios on kids on tough days. One that sticks out I don't want to mention. But I think it was for all the right reasons, it went through an unbelievable tough situation, and struggled in a game that you normally wouldn't have struggled in, and it was disappointing. But he ended up having a great career, and God bless him it's going well, but it was for the right reasons.
But there are so many emotions that go through a kid's mind and the families and everything to get to that point. Because when you see them, I reflect back to the first time you called them, till you saw them, until you recruited them. Imagine what they're going through. The last time they're ever going to play in that stadium and what it's meant to them and what it is. All of a sudden it's over just like it started.
Just like when your kids leave home. Think about that as a parent when your kid leaves home. What goes on and the amount of emotions they go through. That's like Senior Day. It's tough, extremely.
Because then you have no control over them and you worry like hell, just like a parent does. They turn them to you, and you're turning them back to the world and everybody else, and pray to God that the things you've tried to instill in them here, even if they haven't clicked here, they later on click.
That's why I love getting the emails and text messages later down the road like coach I understand. I always told them, as you get older, your parents will get smarter, hopefully I'll be smarter to you. And when you have kids the whole world's perspective will change to you. The things you used to think were important, you won't, and how that goes. You just pray that everything goes good for them.
Q. Will this one be more emotional for you because of all this group has accomplished?
COACH FISHER: We'll wait and see. We'll have to wait and see. It's Monday. Let me coach all week (laughing).
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports