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FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
August 29, 2016
COACH FISHER: It's that time again, isn't it? I'm glad it's that time. Getting ready to kick off this season. Very excited. Looking forward to playing somebody else, our guys I think are getting tired of playing each other, but glad we have another week of preparation because we have a tremendous opening game with Ole Miss, a great opponent, very well coached. A lot of success recently with the staff they've had and the players they've had, done a great job. We'll have our hands full.
Having said all that, our camp has been very good, very tough physical camp. Unlike NFL guys you can't have preseason games. You have to have tough, physical practices and get some good scrimmages in and things like that. And I think our guys have done that.
Still think we're a work in progress as always. I think all teams are at this stage. I think you find your identity. I like our work ethic. We've done some really nice things.
Now the key is getting these experienced guys and these guys to play like it all the time, which I'm not saying they haven't, but now it's time to kick in, you know what I mean?
They've got to be there for some of the new guys coming and some guys taking bigger roles. It's fun to watch your team emerge and develop its personality and their own attitude.
And like I say, I always say it's like a child, they grow. We're looking forward to it. We've got a great opportunity again to play a lot of young guys, I think. On this team, there's still a lot of young football players on this team I'm really wanting to watch evolve into what they can be. Even some of the guys that played here, because again we only have nine or ten seniors on this football team.
There's a lot of experience but still a lot of youth in a some key areas. I like what I've seen in camp from them and hopefully we'll play consistently enough on all three phases of the ball.
Offensively, Deondre settled in nice, and Dalvin has had a nice camp. Up front, doing a solid job, Izzo I've been very pleased with. Travis Rudolph has emerged in there with Noonie and the emergence of him there, but also the emergence of Bobo and Kermit in that situation.
Tate has done some nice things at times. Campbell has been banged up with some things there. But Ermon and all those guys there doing a real nice job.
Jacques and Ryan Green and Vickers emerging back there along with, still with the running back situation. So Freddie having a nice camp.
Defensively, watching some of those young guys and the impact guys, I think, can come in and play early, have a chance to help us. They've come in and done some nice -- but the key is there I think our veterans on both sides of the ball have done a great job of accepting those guys.
I think it's very critical, the quicker you get those guys stepping in the role and developing, whether it's how much they play early, but, boy, you start down that road, just before this season is out, they'll have to play big roles. We put them in a lot of situations in camp and very pleased with our young freshmen class, where they've come in and a lot of experience up front.
Like watching Josh Sweat emerge, watching Derrick Nnadi keep evolving. Derrick Christmas. Demarcus Christmas, excuse me.
And DeMarcus Walker, being the leader. Getting Matthew Thomas back out there. Ro'Derrick Hoskins. And Jacob Pugh, really growing in that area, a lot of areas there. Some of those young linebackers there, and of course watching Derwin and Nate and Trey Marshall back there. Marquez, some of those guys I'm very pleased.
And the young guys kicking, I put them under a lot of stress and under a lot of pressure, trying to block everything humanly possible coming at them. Putting pressure on the snapper, the kicker. And these young guys are punting the ball. Logan is doing a great job punting the football, and he'll probably do that and kick off for us. And Ricky will do the field goal. I've been very pleased in that regard where they're at.
We'll be a work in progress as we go, I like where we're at. Anxious to have a good prep week and go play a great Ole Miss team. Questions.
Q. You were just talking about the kickers. Logan seems like he has had distance. Will he be an option?
COACH FISHER: Could be, yes, I mean Logan definitely does. And that's nothing against Ricky. I mean, Logan can really hit it. You know what I mean? And Logan has never been kicking consistently, just about a year really is about it. He'll continue to emerge and grow, and that's why on the kickoffs he'll be kicking for us. Ricky is a great kickoff guy, too, but Logan is really strong. But there could be a possibility in that regard, yes.
Q. What are the advantages to opening up (indiscernible)?
COACH FISHER: Advantage of this, it puts your team in an atmosphere that you're fortunate enough to get in a bowl game, a major bowl game, playoff games, things like that, you get that atmosphere and environment. You get that again. It's great national exposure. You get to play an opponent you don't always get to play, a top-notch opponent in a big situation like that on national TV.
And you get to find out where you're at. You get to find out where your team is at before you go into the conference schedule and on down the rest of the schedule, everything in that regard. But disadvantage, you're playing a great opponent off the bat. You're not in your home bed, you're not in your home stadium. You don't get to grow into the season, do things like that. But that's part of it.
And you have some give and you have some take, but we've got to find out where we're at and what we're doing.
Q. This program is extremely positive when it comes to concussions, but there's (indiscernible)?
COACH FISHER: I mean, there could be. Like I said with Cole Minshew, I said, was one that was still in there. Let me double-check. Let me get my spectacles out here, find out where we're at.
Cole in that regard, as far as that goes, I'm trying to think. You're always watching, the guys have had them, like Alec and those guys, you're always constantly watching those guy, and guys that had them in camp and there's a couple others. Saw his name. Who else? Noonie. Those guys have always had them.
We're constantly monitoring those guys and watching. And that's where the GPS can come in and impact they get on practice, continually even say, high impact here, make sure and check on those guys. But probably Minshew would be the only one I would think but you never know as you go into it.
But we constantly -- all of those guys get that first one, we're really careful in situations we put them in, at least for an extended period of time until they can get help.
Q. Ole Miss, going against Chad Kelly and their receivers. What kind of test do you think that will be for the secondary this year, especially considering your secondary is going to get a lot of tests with Brad (indiscernible) down the road?
COACH FISHER: I think it's going to be critical. And I think it's going to be not just them. The up-front guys, being able to get pressure. But then on a guy like Chad, being able to get pressure and stay in your rush lane.
I mean, you rush crazy and give him run lanes, that's where he makes tons of plays scrambling, getting the ball down the field and keeping his eyes up. He's a great competitor.
He does a great job with his arm and his feet. And the receivers are big, they're strong. They come back to the football very well. They use their hands very well. Very disciplined in their routes and how they do things. It's going to be a huge challenge.
The quarterbacks and the passing games we're going to face all year, but this one is as good as anything. You look I think it's 31-13, touchdown-to-interception ratio, about 310 yards a game, over 4,000 yards.
They ain't scared to throw it. He can run it. I mean, he ran for about 500, if I'm not mistaken. You're talking about a guy who is one heck of a football player.
Q. With the four teams making the playoffs, is there more of a reason to play your biggest opponent week one?
COACH FISHER: I think you hope so. But also you are taking a huge risk. Because I think -- I think until the committee -- it will be anxious to see now that teams are doing that, how much they reward the teams that do play these kind of schedules.
If you happen to -- the key is a great two-loss team. I don't think it's ever going to happen for a while anyway. That's my opinion. But there's great reward, too, if you win. You can look at the thing, is the glass half full, is it half empty? And how you schedule it's going to be key. It's going to be key to watch how the committee views all this as it goes down the road. That will be very critical. I don't know the answer yet. You know what I'm saying?
Q. You feel like there's less risk now playing one of those big games early on?
COACH FISHER: I don't know. Again, I don't know the answer. I wish I did. I've sat and thought about it a lot back and forth. Because it's what you want to do. The ultimate thing is to put your team in the best position to be in the playoffs.
I mean, that's what you're trying to do, get in the playoffs, get in the National Championship game. That's the ultimate goal. That's how you have to play them. To me whether it's exposure money, all those things, I think that's all great. But I think at the end of the day when scheduling is concerned, it should be what gets me to the playoffs which is the National Championship game. So that to me is the -- you've got to win your conference schedule, those things, but how you schedule outside, to me, is the key.
Q. You recruited Kelly. What did you see and what jumps out at you that he does so well at the beginning of the season?
COACH FISHER: I think first of all, you see -- the guy can run. Great arm talent, and he can throw and he can run. He's a tough guy. Competitor on every play.
Reminds of you Kelly (phonetic). I hate to do that thing: You're like your uncle or me. But they were known to be tough guys that competed and cared. You see that it in how he played. This guy's a competitor. To me, you see the physical talent, but you see the competitor in him all the time.
Q. Never really had to deal with a placekicker, left with some All-Americans. Was it close with--
COACH FISHER: We had Roberto here with Dustin.
You forgot that one, huh? No, but it was. We just compared, equal shots, equal situation, scenarios, made it equal across the board on plays, number of shots, how we did it. Consistent season.
Like I said, a 70-yarder, he had to hit it to win, definitely Logan would be a guy you'd go back there and do it with, you know what I'm saying. Ricky's a little more consistent in all the things he did.
Still, I say that, we have Ricky, Ricky can still have great range, can kick the ball very well, great range.
Q. First game of the season. Not to pass this game over, can you really take a look at your team and say, okay, these are the guys I have (indiscernible)?
COACH FISHER: I mean, I think you will for right now. But I think if we're coaching, that group will continue to grow. That's one of the key things I think that's very important, how you develop players and how you bring players along during the season, especially the young guys, because you can't say, okay, I've got this group of guys. What if one of them gets hurt, you're not developing anybody behind them.
I think you constantly have to build the depth, the way college football is. That's the other thing, the more games like this you go play, you better have more players at hand and more players developed, because the physicality of the games, types of games, they're going to be tougher and harder.
Q. You have that confidence right now?
COACH FISHER: I feel comfortable right now. But never comfortable enough. As a coach, we're always Debbie Downer now. I'm going to tell you. We see everything that can go wrong.
I mean, you have to. You have to plan for the unexpected. I mean, centers, quarterbacks, kickers, snappers, receivers, tackles, getting the best scenario, getting the best players on the field. Even the linemen and nickel guys.
We all as coaches see everything that can happen. And we also know how truly ready some guys are. They can be ready on appearance and play well, but we know there's a lot of things that could have been called or things like that with your young guys.
From that standpoint, you never ever have enough depth, I'll tell you that right now.
Q. How did Sean feel after getting out there a couple of days?
COACH FISHER: Good. He's doing good. He'll continue in that, see how he progresses through. Of course a little soreness as expected, but we try to limit it and that's what the doctors wanted to do.
COACH FISHER: I don't know. We'll see. We'll have to play it by ear.
Q. Just curious, what do you kind of think the atmosphere is going to be like? Ole Miss has said in the past they're viewing this as a road game and treating it accordingly. So what do you expect the atmosphere to be like and the sound to be like?
COACH FISHER: I'll take a home game. I think it's going to be -- I think it will be bowl-like, I really do I. Think it will be very loud and a lot of energy, first game, neutral site. They'll bring a lot of people in. You know that they found ways to get their people to find tickets here and there and everywhere they can get them.
So I think it will be a very dynamic -- it will be a great atmosphere. I really do. I think it will be like a bowl playoff-type atmosphere.
Q. A lot of the (indiscernible) on your depth chart you guys put out today, mostly curious about the secondary, the star, the cornerback, how --
COACH FISHER: They all look like that. They'll all be moved in, depending on personnel, depending how we want to play them. They can all play those position and how we personnel matchup.
We cross-train those guys all the way across the board in all those different positions, because if there's a bigger, more physical guy in there that wasn't as quick, maybe, you know what I mean, just different body type, Levonta Taylor, Marcus Lewis, him, Trey Marshall at different times, and you can even throw Derwin in there. All those guys know those positions. We cross-train them. We have to do that.
Again, if one set is out, you've got your set, if that end is out, who is the next best nickel, get your five best players on the field, because sometimes you -- guys will be in a position to be second team, but then there's -- you'll look and say I want the five best players, he's really not one of the five best, he's backup.
But also what it takes out of kids, I'm very proud of these guys, everybody, when they can do that, it takes a lot of intelligence.
There's a lot of worrying that goes on. They can physically do it, but can they mentally learn, train their eye to do those things. That's what I've been very proud of those guys that have done a great job studying the game and learning different positions. Not just physically, but mentally.
Q. How has Trey Marshall done, working at safety, at star mostly last year?
COACH FISHER: He's already learned safety. We started him at safety when he began. He can do both and is doing it very well.
Q. What does he particularly well? (Indiscernible)?
COACH FISHER: Physical. Athletic. Loves to tackle. Very good tackler in space. Plays to the ball. He can blitz. Trey's a really good football player.
Q. Do you believe that there's such a thing as clutch, that some guys perform better in big situations?
COACH FISHER: No doubt. The ones that prepare for them. The ones that prepare for them. The ones that have the great practice habits.
I give the greatest example. Everybody always asks, ask Michael Jordan, what do you do so different during the game, what's make the difference? The answer was: I'm not. Everybody else is.
I practice every day like it was the NBA finals. I practice every day like it was a championship game. So when those moments come in the game, he's like he's at practice.
Everybody else is worrying about the results, but are they process-oriented. His habits -- when pressure comes, your habits come straight to the surface. What you do daily.
We can pretend like we all have this image of who we are, what we are. We are what our habits say we are. Because when pressure moments come, it's just like what people do in situations.
They always revert back to what they knew and what happened before, when they make a decision. All the time. Most of them. You know what I'm saying? Most people aren't willing to expand out, grow, and do that. I think the guys that handle those situations the best are generally your best practice players.
Q. It will be a learned behavior over something that (indiscernible)?
COACH FISHER: I think it is. I mean, I think there's certain guys who maybe, through life experiences, I've seen that, where they handle those situations better. Don't panic. Things don't bother them. They've been through some crazy things in their life or maybe even had a lot of those situations when they were younger.
And they remember how to excel at them and they can keep their poise in those situations. But most of them, I think there's a little DNA involved there. Life experience and a lot of practice habits. Having confidence when those moments come in.
Q. Too early to tell if Deondre was -- (indiscernible)?
COACH FISHER: You know (indiscernible). You'll never know with any of them. I feel good, he has great practice habits.
That's why I'm so hard on guys like I am in practice. Ever wonder why I'm so hard on quarterbacks? I am in practice. Extremely.
The only way I can get the stress level up. That's the only way I can demand and drive. How do you simulate pressure? You can't, really.
That's the best way I know, and trying to fluster them, because I don't want them to do it out there. And if they do, be able to -- if they do, then show them how to bounce back.
I've had practices where I've broke -- I've had quarterbacks, not break, but just get flustered. Then I start bringing them back and all of a sudden they come back in and I say, look, you just learned a great lesson. Maybe one that will save you and win you a championship.
Because there's going to be tough moments and hard times. Nothing is utopia. I mean, on anything in football. And those guys that can handle that and play the next play and move on.
Q. One of the defensive players had got mad in a scrimmage and made (indiscernible). What kind of things would influence you to get you irritated?
COACH FISHER: Just decision-making. Sometimes you get in that green jersey, you're not used to it, you know what I'm saying? And the mental capacity to play fast and function and that was it.
As a quarterback you don't get a play off, there is none. Your mind has to play -- you touch the ball every time. Everybody tells you that.
The game is about the ball. Don't you watch the ball every day, every day, everybody on TV? Everybody? You're the guy who gets to touch it every play. That's a huge responsibility. You know what that means? I think a lot of you.
Now you need to think a lot of us and your teammates to take that responsibility very seriously and do the right thing every time.
You say, well, yes. Or strive to do them or be doing them in a direct, that I think you're thinking the right thing. You know what I'm saying? And you're going to learn there's curves.
And I'm not going to demand that from you or get it right back until I know you understand what we're doing. But when it's time like that -- and that's if you're a receiver, running a route, that's if you're a tight end or a tailback, you're whoever you are.
You've got to touch that ball. Everybody on the field wants it. You're the one guy that gets it. We must think a lot of you to give it to you. Take that as a responsibility.
COACH FISHER: Oh, he does. And it's not just to me. It's to your teammates. And them guys are doing everything they can do. Taking their responsibility very seriously. I think that's the only way you can put stress on them.
Q. In terms of putting them under stress and seeing how much they can handle, what part of the situation (phonetic) do you put them under?
COACH FISHER: A lot of them. I mean, the way you practice them, how you get on them mentally, physically. But I'm going to tell you this, when you put it under, what you've got to do at the end of the day, what people, no one else sees, that you walk up, put your arm around them and explain to them exactly why you did it.
You can be nice -- I always say people that are nice when they coach; they don't ever tell a kid nothing, that's meaner than me yelling at him telling him everything under the sun, if I don't prepare them for what's about to happen.
You put them under mentally, tired, sore, banged up, bruised. Just like the guy in the NFL Players Association came in the other day. Listen, 100 percent of the guys in the NFL get banged up and bruised up. You get hurt.
That's what I tell them here. You're never going to be healthy. If you're injured, that's one thing, you have to learn to play with pain and a swollen ankle here and there and learn to mentally grind through when you're tired, when you've had six straight days of practice.
Or it's a 90 degree -- wet balls out there and it's 92 degrees or whatever and you're practicing, or you just had two bad plays, and all of a sudden I change it and put the duress right back on it, instead of going away from it, say go rest, I put the pressure right back on you: You have to make three more throws, gotta make two more catches. You've gotta make four more.
You just fumbled the ball, but give it to you two more times right here, where everybody knows you just fumbled it, told you you fumbled it, how mentally tough you are.
Then walk back in at the end of the day, put your arm around him, explain exactly why you did it. Now when that situation occurs in the game, you're prepared for it. It ain't because we didn't care, it's because we do care. I think that's the key to all this during all those situations.
Q. (Indiscernible) Marquis Haynes, pre-season All-American, (indiscernible) quarterback?
COACH FISHER: He can rush. He can rush, run, come off the edge now. He's fast and athletic. But we've got to protect him.
But we've got some guys who can rush, too. All you can do is practice your guys. I'm sure that guy is one heck of a player on film. He made a lot of plays, a lot of sacks. Athletic. Change direction. He can come off that edge, dip that shoulder, good player. We'll have to know where he's at.
COACH FISHER: I'll tell you what, he can wing it. He's actually a lot like Ted. And I say that -- I mean, Rizzo can throw the heck out of the ball and moves very well. I mean, you're not going to be Chad Kelly -- he would be playing, be an All-American quarterback right now. But he has a good look.
Q. How much of a challenge especially (indiscernible)?
COACH FISHER: Conner does play safety, but he really doesn't; he really plays like a Sam linebacker, like a nickel, they're a 4-2-5-type thing. One of them guys that plays there. Very physical, tackles well, play man, really good player. Blitz.
Q. Do some of the players have (indiscernible) team kind of remind you of '13. Are there any lessons from the 2014 team that you try to pass along?
COACH FISHER: You learn from -- history is your greatest teacher. Look at it, see why things happen. Why they didn't happen. Study it. You know what I mean?
That's why 2013, that's great, but work habit and things, I hope they have the same work habits. I hope they have the same demeanor, you know what I mean?
You've got to go out and play well on Saturday. But hopefully as far as camaraderie, they're very close. They're a pretty tight knit group. It's a group that works pretty good, does good things they're involved in and I think likes to be coached.
I think sometimes. Sometimes I think they don't. But that's part of it. But it's a good group of kids. It really is. I hate to say kids. But they're young men but they are, they're still kids. And that's what we've got to remember.
Q. (Indiscernible) over the last couple years, got the team back, you have a lot of people returning. How long does it take to go through that process of getting your organization right back to where you want it?
COACH FISHER: That's always a change. I don't think you stay where it was. It can never be where it was; it has to grow.
Nothing ever stays the same. And sometimes we look at wins and losses, sometimes, as where the organization is at. That's not necessarily true: When you're going, what's happening and everything that goes on.
And it can be window dressing when things look great and they're not. Could be things look average and they're not. They're really good. That's part of everything.
But you're constantly trying to find that chemistry and trying to grow with the times and how kids change, what they change, how teams change.
But at the end of the day, the reasons all these teams have success usually doesn't change. I mean, it's kids -- you can't make football easy. You can't make success easy.
Guys are willing to work, not only willing to work, to work intelligently, and to be able to execute what their job is. Be able to do your job at the end of the day. That's what you're required to do.
I mean, coach, I'm trying. I know you mean well. I love you. But you've got to do your job. But you've got to have the right attitude to be able to get to that point.
Q. You talk about the short yardage being an emphasis this preseason. How much of that is on the back of understanding the situation?
COACH FISHER: I go back to '13 and '14, I was looking at the NFL, how many guys line up on third and one and just make it?
You go turn the TV on on the NFL on the goal line, those guys throwing it, getting it outside, throwing some kind of trick play, there's a few that get it in there. There's not a lot.
It's a lower percentage. At the end of the day, attitude, we go back and look we were 90 some percent. Okay. Sometimes we didn't block as good in the back, knocked them back.
You had Karlos, you had Wilder, big guys that knocked people back. Even Cramer (phonetic) was a little powerful guy. Other times we blocked the heck out of them. You know what I mean?
And last year, some of the runs, missed a cut or we didn't block, sometimes it was on both. When you look at things like that, they're on both. And you have to just find that niche of what you do and get good at it and keep practicing. A lot of that gets to be desire, heart, and at the end of the day, has to be some technique, get down and root them out.
Q. Have you been encouraged by what you've seen?
COACH FISHER: As much as we can. We try to go as much live and do what you can. I'll tell you that. When you want concussions, talk about concussion, go short yardage. Goal line to goal line.
Back in the old days you never had that. We used to do it -- I was at Auburn, LS -- we did goal line live all the time.
FSU did all the time. You can't do that anymore, because if you do, with all the way concussions are in practices are, you've got nine guys with concussions. Now it's different. It's just a different way and time.
We did a lot of it. We did as much as we thought we could get away with and feel comfortable about and you gotta go in the game and do it.
Q. (Indiscernible) personnel guys?
COACH FISHER: (Indiscernible). It's hard to simulate live. You can't go live. You do to a point, but it's hard to simulate. We have to do a better job. Our big thing was -- it was not any one guy. There's a guy here and there getting turned loose. Bobo -- some of them didn't have a chance. Some of your gunners and some of those things.
You gotta do a really good job, special teams. Guys are constantly switching up. We did a great job covering kicks. And kickers are better now.
You get into that, but these punters now, look at field goals around the NFL. If a guy doesn't make 90 percent of them, they're ready to get rid of him.
You look back at the old days, some of the percentages and things they had, guys didn't kick -- Ray Guy was a freak. Remember when Ray Guy came in and did all that? He still was one of the greats of all time. But there's so many guys now that kick the ball so well, the hang time.
That's a fact. It's harder to return. And I hope that's us. I hope that's us going into the future.
I know it definitely will be. These guys are really talented. But it's hard to get kickoffs. How many guys used to kick balls out of the end zone. Now how many of your kickers do it? Tons of them. You know what I'm saying? That's a part of it, too. But we're working on it hard.
Q. You have a quarterback making his first start since (indiscernible) what keys do you look at that first year to make sure (indiscernible)?
COACH FISHER: Just his body language. It's his communication. You can see it in his eyes. You know what I'm saying? How he responds to you. How he responds to what's going on.
The team out there on the field, if they're getting into formation right or going -- you can just see from a management process.
(Indiscernible). I want to clear this up. People say: He's a game manager at quarterback. Good. Every great quarterback I've ever had is a game manager. They all can manage the game.
Oh, like you're a game manager, they act like you're a bad player. That's the first foremost thing you better do at quarterback.
The first and foremost thing, in managing those situations, the clock, getting the plays in, the signal, getting to the 40-second clock and all this type of thing and making sure that goes on and how he responds to you coming off body language-wise. You may miss a throw here or there, you're making a right decision, seeing the right thing.
Q. You don't have a feel going into maybe their first start, how they're going to react, or is it sometimes a surprise?
COACH FISHER: Both. Sometimes I've felt good. But again, until it's live and the guys around you do things, you don't ever never know.
And when he's not going to do very good, guys jumped out there, bam, all of a sudden the game comes on, he can relax. Like you said, he had -- a little DNA in there that kicked in and the guy can deal with what he had to deal with. That's why we don't sleep well. I wish I did know.
Q. Were you a (indiscernible) did they even have that?
COACH FISHER: You all got -- all the talk shows and rights and all that stuff, and all your -- you've got to have something to say.
Yeah, game manager, because I managed it. You had to. Great, you think Tom Brady don't manage the game? You think Peyton Manning didn't manage the game? I laugh when people say that: He's a game manager, that means he's bad.
COACH FISHER: Well, at the end of the day, he's still making those throws. You go look at his numbers. They're pretty good.
I mean, he may not -- some of those guys, that was like they may not have been the most athletic, but they can go look at numbers, you know what I'm saying? Because at the end of the day, what's quarterbacking anyway? What's the number one thing. Two qualities. I said them 100 times. See if anybody picked them up.
Q. Win the game. Accuracy?
COACH FISHER: Accuracy is one of them.
COACH FISHER: Decision-making. At the end of the day, you talk about athletic and is he big, is he strong. At the end of the day, does he make good decisions? Is he accurate?
He can have the greatest arm. He has an arm. Does he hit what he throws at. Is he a thrower or a passer? Can he make the throws? Is he accurate?
Ain't very many good players that miss guys wide open. And does he make good decisions? And decisions mean run check, pass-pass run check, read the coverage, throw to the right guy.
I mean, at the end of the day, decision-making -- he can be athletic. He can run. Boy, he can throw. He's big. That don't mean diddly doo.
If it was with Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees in a combine, ain't none of you all drafting them. Am I right or wrong? Ben Roethlisberger.
They can throw. They're not just phenomenal athletes. They are in their own right. But if decision-making and accuracy -- you go back in the history of ball, Montana, all those guys: It's great when they move. Great when they're athletic, and great when they have all that.
Do they make great decisions, are they accurate with the ball? If they usually do those things, you usually have pretty good leadership.
But guys like to apologize are smart and tough, play and do the right thing. That was a (indiscernible). In the park, I was telling them, that's why I like watching them guys pick a team: They know what quarterback they want on their team. That's the first one they pick. Doing those things, they pick 'em.
Q. Does it help when you recruit the kids if he has that?
COACH FISHER: You try to. And that's not enough. That's why I love to have them in camp. If I can get them in camp, coach them for two or three days, I can at least get a feel. You know what I'm saying?
You have character and you have all kinds of things. The recruiting process, now you find out as much as you can. You dig all that.
But at the end of the day, you don't know, to the point you use history and past lessons and personality and people you know and you judge.
But think about the NFL, all the time they get to spend with those guys, the limited amount of time we get to spend with them, it's just, you know, it's how it goes on.
Then when people tell you about a kid, what are they going to tell you? If they like him. All the good things. So it's hard. And in college football we don't have that time to go.
And I'm not allowed out. The time I go out to visit is December and January, that decision's over with. I'm done. I don't even get to watch spring practice, I don't get to see him be coached, unless he comes to my camp. It's hard.
We spend a lot of time, you've got to trust people and you have connections, and try to judge. And at the end of the day -- then when you get them, figure out what their strengths are, play to their strengths, try to get the weaknesses a little better, but try to minimize them.
Q. You saw Deondre in person. Could you tell --
COACH FISHER: The physical challenge, no doubt, on the film and that sort of thing, you saw him throw the football. Liked him.
He was very quiet. Easy going. But still had a little presence about him. Presence, I think, is very important, too. That's the other thing.
Have you ever been around very many good ones, when they walk in the room, you don't know who they are, and they're not trying to let you know. Great ones you know when they walk in the room. But Deondre impressed me when I saw him.
Q. How rare is it to be able (indiscernible)? You don't see that.
COACH FISHER: No, you don't. Last time we had was with Graham Gano here. Remember Graham did it for a whole season. And did it really well.
I think usually guys like that are really good athletes. And Graham was. You remember, I think Graham was a finalist in the 100 meters at state. Didn't he run 10.5, 10.6 in the 100 meters? Something like that. They realized how good an athlete he was.
And Logan -- he didn't even really kick one year. He was a quarterback, linebacker, fullback. He was a football player, you know what I'm saying? Just happened to have a good leg. They figured out if you did, this you have a future. You know what I mean? And is really strong.
But usually those guys that do that are really, really good athletes.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports