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FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 12, 2016
JIMBO FISHER: The game on Saturday, proud of the way our guys got out of the blocks, had a great opening drive of 13 plays. Hadn't even had a penalty on the filed. We overcame it very poised in that regard. Need to stop those self-inflicted wounds. But for the most part on penalties, I thought we were pretty good on the day. Did a much better job there.
Defensively really liked the start we had, created turnovers again. Created field position in the offense, took that change of momentum and stuck them in the end zone and didn't wait for turn overs. Very proud of that.
So I thought we were very good in the red zone on offense, again, two weeks in a row, and very good on third down. Which is getting a lot of extra plays and getting the defense off the field. Our defense is doing a really good job on third down and getting off the field. So from that standpoint, very pleased.
Thought we tackled well. Thought we kept leverage on the ball on defense. We got those young guys in there, and you saw those guys. They've got a chance to be really good players, and we got Kyle Meyers and Becker and Levonta Taylor, and Emmett Rice and Jackson and Burns up front. I hope I'm not missing somebody.
But I mean, even Calvin Brewton and A.J. West, those guys are going to be really good players and we like all those guys. The young down guys, getting Arthur Williams in there, getting some of those guys.
Proud of our offense, and getting some of those young receivers some back. Getting some of those young linemen. Landon Dickerson getting the start. Boselli coming in doing a nice job, the other guys doing a nice job, Patrick ran well. I was pleased with Amir Rasul and how he ran. And now Ryan Green and Vickers had a couple really nice blocks and nice plays. So we'll keep building our depth.
Those young tight ends, Kurt did a nice job. We'll keep getting better and better, and we have a long ways to go.
Again, very pleased with the kicking game. Talking about the return game, worked on it very hard and now we got a punt return for a touchdown. Doing a much better job at the line of scrimmage of giving the returner space. Got Lane set up, thought he did a nice job hitting it, staying in it, finishing the play.
Our kickers are kicking the ball extremely well. Hitting our field goals and PATs. Our kickoffs are right where we want. We're kicking them out and hanging them and covering and doing both. Doing a nice job there. Got to get a little more hang, but. We're covering very well when we're in field position battle. Punting the ball well. Then our coverage teams are doing a nice job. We've got a lot of guys we can mix and match in there.
So very pleased. We're a long way off. We have a huge development part of our team that we still have to get to where we have to get to so we can feel comfortable rotating guys in and out and keep them fresh throughout the season. Those young guys have come along very nice. Proud of that.
We practiced okay last week. Didn't practice as well as we wanted to. We've got to learn that demeanor and we can play even better and create great habits on the practice field. One thing I missed about last week, it was more an almost endurance time to kind of half get them ready for what they were going to see. And didn't have enough time to work like a normal week and get better. I hated losing that week like that, but that's the way it is.
So we've got to get better this week in practice. Got a great team coming up in Louisville, very dynamic on both sides of the ball, playmakers, kicking game. I mean, extremely well coached. You go from A to Z. They're as good as there is around, so they do a great job. Got to get better, get ready for the challenge and get ready to roll.
JIMBO FISHER: Derwin has torn cartilage in his knee. Did not have any ACL or any structural damage whatsoever. He has some cartilage damage which we'll go in and see. His time out will depend on how it's repaired. If it's torn or something left jagged they have to cut it, it's actually less time. If they sew it or pack it down or whatever they say they'll do, it will be more time. We'll do whatever's best for him. All it was is a piece of cartilage that slipped. No structural damage in any way, shape or form. Don't know how long. That's all going to depend on surgery and everything on it. As a matter of fact, he's over there right now.
JIMBO FISHER: It was. Just for his sake. It was such a weird -- I mean, it wasn't a guy diving into your leg, falling into your leg to make a great hit. Tough to balance and when he came down, it's just all the power when guys are that strong. But for him I was very happy, no structural damage in that regard.
At the time I didn't think much of it. I thought he had a cramp or something because we couldn't tell during the game, and then they grabbed me afterwards. They said they weren't sure, but they were going to do the MRI that night and saw and made sure and hopefully we'll get that worked out and he'll be ready to go.
Q. (Inaudible) what's it like to know that guys are achieving that?
JIMBO FISHER: That's what we plan for. That's why we practice like we practice. And that's how we position, whether backs or fullbacks H-backs. I remember when we had Chris Thompson down at Miami. No one heard of Devonta Freeman. He gets hurt and all of a sudden he comes in but he has played enough. The way we practice, we had those young guys ready to play.
His first action he had two or three touchdowns that night and we were able to upset and play a great game against Miami. It's happening. The way we practice and the way we structure our team offense and defense, we're not playing for this, but you kind of put a safeguard around to make sure that all your bases are covered the way you've got to go. We've got some great young players I think who will be able to step up and play.
JIMBO FISHER: Oh, Westbrook, Calvin Brewton, Kyle Meyers, Levonta Taylor. When you're talking about nickel and dime, talking about Becker, about all those guys. How do you lose (Indiscernible)? What do you do with Marquez White? What do you do with Trey Marshall? Is he a nickel, is he a safety? How do you get Nate Andrews back? Plan on getting him back this week. Get him back on the field in different looks. So you've got a lot of variations there.
Then even how you play Matthew Thomas, whether it's a Mike, whether it's a Will, whether he's a rush guy. There are a lot of variations of guys like Pugh and guys that can do certain things in certain packages that can be beneficial. They're athletic guys that can run in space and play in space, and that's the thing we're happy about.
Q. You think you'll have Nate back this week?
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, that's what we're thinking as of right now. If practice goes well, he'll be back in practice.
JIMBO FISHER: No, no.
JIMBO FISHER: I love you, but God dang. I don't know until they do the surgery and see how it's repaired. I have no idea. It could be from two weeks to six weeks or eight weeks, I don't know. I don't know.
Q. (Inaudible) what do you miss in his leadership?
JIMBO FISHER: I think the presence. I mean, he has tremendous presence on the field. But I think also the way he is with his presence, that he won't allow that to be a factor either, because I think he'll be such a big part of those guys on the side of generating them, motivating them, and getting them to step up to the next level. I think on the field they'll miss him with his physical abilities and his leadership. But I think his presence on the sideline and his off-the-field things and the way he'll be with them, he'll have those guys mentally ready to play too. He's one of the few guys that I've been around since Jameis and stuff like that that has such a unique effect on players in such a positive way.
When we had to play without Jameis, and Deshaun played wonderful, a great game, big game against Clemson here. And I think Deshaun did great, but Jameis had presence on the sideline for his team too. And I think he's one of those guys that has an influence that way. Those guys will want to play well and do well for him.
Now we've got to go out there and play. That doesn't make that happen. We'd much rather have him on the field. He's as good a defensive player as there is in this country. But that's just the way it is.
Q. Anything you take away from last year? What do you take away from a game like that?
JIMBO FISHER: Structurally you know what he does and they're still doing similar things. They'll have adjustments and do things better. But he's progressed so much more as a player in my opinion with the poise and the leadership. But it's just passing skills and his reading. But we've played against him so we know what he's like. But that doesn't make it any easier. That guy's dynamic in all phases of the world and how he plays.
So we're going to have our hands full. We've got to keep contain. We've got pressure. We've got to play Florida State football. We've got to tackle in space, but then also you slip up and they're banging you up inside with inside runs and Power and stuff. So we've got to play a complete football game and be disciplined. Have great eye control.
Q. (Inaudible) what is it about that offense that people might overlook or even that defense?
JIMBO FISHER: Oh, they've got good players. I mean, just like a couple years ago in 2014 they said man how'd you go through Louisville? They had ten guys drafted. We had 11; they had ten. Last year, look at the high sticks they've got. They've got guys, receivers, players too. They've got really good players. Josh Harvey-Clemons and Wiggins, and the junior college guys, Hearns who is a defensive end from right here in town at Lincoln.
Kelsey at linebacker, the corner, the receivers Quick, and the linemen. They've got good linemen, tight end can run and kick, the backs are good players, and all two or three of the receivers, those guys are big guys. 18, the tight end is athletic. They've got really good players and they're coached well.
That team, you look at the history of the players that have come out of there recently, they're as good as anybody.
Q. Do you like what you saw from Deondre on tape?
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, pretty much so. He had a few mistakes here and there that we'll continue to clean up and decisions and things like that. But I love the way he's progressing, very much so.
Q. What type of players are A.J. and Calvin?
JIMBO FISHER: Very cerebral guys, very smart, learning well. Play in space well, tackle, understand the game. Understand the game a lot. There is a lot of versatility and plays that you can put them in.
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, we've got some good backs. I mean, I love the way Jacques runs. You saw Amir come in and do good, but Ryan Green and Patrick didn't have as much chances on the run. But I'm pleased with their progress the way they're catching the ball, rubbing the ball. Vickers had some really nice blocks, couple of short yardage runs that were nice. Those guys are progressing very nicely.
Q. (Inaudible) talking about depth and tackles and about practice habits. Do you think these younger guys are starting to get those new practices?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, we've got to get there. We're not there as a team yet. Even with the varsity guys, I say varsity, but the experienced guys, I still think practice habits are about how you've really got to every play. The focus, the concentration, you've got to have it and you've got to play your way into it. You've got to develop that identity and you've got to grind.
There is no easy way to get ready for games. I haven't found it in 29 years. Monday through Thursday, I'm miserable. I've got to watch the film, I got to figure it out, and I got look at what they've got.
After 29 years you'd think you'd figure it out, but you can't. You've got to grind at it, and they've got to learn if I'm going to play well on Saturday, I've got to grind through the week. I've got to practice well and I got to have attention to detail in how I prepare, play, and lineup, and my eye control. They've got to create those habits and there's no easy way to do it. We're continually getting there.
Q. We've all seen the coverage when they complete the pass. Are there more of those?
JIMBO FISHER: No, no. They just nose a couple. I mean, for the most part really good. But in the back end, that's the thing, when you mess up on the back end, it's usually very obvious. There are a lot of mess-ups sometimes underneath the thing that you have no clue about. Not a lot of people do. I know that sounds crazy, but that's just the way it is.
But, no, it's just one missed communication, and that happens. Any team I've ever been on, I mean, very few times. Now hopefully you just keep winding those down and closing those down because mistakes back there will cost you. You've always got to air, in my opinion, on taking something deep and not making that call. They only had one actually the whole game. Or two, excuse me, two. They had two.
Q. The fact that (Inaudible).
JIMBO FISHER: Well, I mean, they're going to run what they run. It's like us, you have certain plays and things, but you're basing it on what you do and how you do it. Everybody's going to have tricks hidden and trick plays and things like that. That's part of it. That's why I say conceptually. But at the same time, people say you hide all those things, and then you don't rep them, so how do you know how you're going to rep live? There is a double-edged sword to that.
You hide all that stuff and don't rep it, or would you rather have it repped and polished and know you can execute it when you have to execute it. But Bobby's always got tricks. They always do things. They'll have a great plan, there is no doubt.
JIMBO FISHER: Tell you what, (Inaudible) graded out the highest both games in what he's done. Rob played solidly, and we're getting better at times. Landon, Landon played better. Ricky got a little better in this game in what he was doing. Derrick Kelly had a solid game, assignments what he's doing. Getting a hat to a hat. Those guys are getting better because we're just mixing and matching so many guys.
Q. Do you expect to have (Inaudible)?
JIMBO FISHER: I don't know that. I really don't. We'll have to wait to see from the doctors. I have no idea. We're planning as if we don't, and if we do, we do.
JIMBO FISHER: Well, we got protection twice. Two times with a missed protection on a lineman. The receiver did run around. We're looking at the post and looking at the corner. He kept it high when he should have just grabbed it off and taken the sack. The other time we had two protection issues on deep balls. We had one we got a hold on, which was kind of picky which was there. The other one we just had a bust on and didn't slide to the side.
The other one we had to hold it the one he threw to Izzo and he dropped it, remember. He didn't want to leave the ball down the sideline there. A really nice throw. There was just one decision where he rolled out and he got frozen because he thought he was going to break off and he didn't. Just threw it away quick enough.
I always say with young quarterbacks, it's not them doing their job, it's when somebody around them doesn't do what you expect to and how they react to that. For the most part he's been great on that. That was just one time they got him.
Q. You mentioned a bunch of young guys. Is it important to take advantage of this opportunity?
JIMBO FISHER: They better because we've got to get them developed. Not just for their own sake, for our team's sake. We've got to feel comfortable putting them in the game in how they practice. The bangs, the bruises, the depth, all the rest, you've got to get these young guys ready as quick as you can.
I think we played 16-plus in that game last week, 17-plus something like that. We've got to get those guys out there as much as we can.
Q. I want to ask about Josh Sweat. Obviously he played last year but was still kind of getting back into things. Now that he's got a couple games under his belt, what kind of progress have you seen from him?
JIMBO FISHER: He's doing a nice job. Josh is a really good player. He's going to be a really, really good player. Keeps getting better every week and playing the run pass. He's having a solid year.
Q. Talk about Dalvin?
JIMBO FISHER: He really ran well all night. When you go back and watch the film, I was pleased. One run he didn't finish like I wanted him to finish. But other than that, I thought you go back and watch his runs and he ran well, ran with his eyes really well. Made really good cuts, wasn't double cutting. In other words was seeing the one cut and made it. The two bounce runs were good, inside run was good. The last run was phenomenal.
The screen he took his eyes off a guy and got popped right there. But other than that he's getting better and better each week and playing himself really back into shape. Not shape, but he's playing really well.
Now last week everybody thought he was bad. He had 192 yards of offense. He had a 100-yard receiving game and 91 yards rushing against a pretty good team, so he'll get back. Everybody expected him to have 200 yards every game. I say this, everybody expected Deshaun Watson to go 0 for 500 every game. You don't just walk back out there and turn it on. People playing for you and doing things, and each year's different. Just because your numbers aren't the same doesn't mean you're not playing as well. It just maybe other things that feature what's going on.
But we're pleased the way he's playing. Again, he's still really getting into it. I like his progress where he's at right now.
JIMBO FISHER: The thing is he still had 192 yards and averaged 7.5 yards. He had 11 for 80-something, 83. That's still where he was last year, 7.5 yards a carry. He had a first 100-yard receiving game. He's just evolving and developing as a player in different ways. Just sometimes maybe you guys are seeing him differently now than you're seeing him in the past. But he can still do those old things too.
JIMBO FISHER: His speed and everything has been extremely good. He's still as fast as he has been.
JIMBO FISHER: He had it all summer. He ran with it all summer and ran with it all fall. He's been great with it. Like I say, his numbers, speed. You're only talking four or five pounds. It's not like you're talking 15 pounds. He played last year at 206 to 208. This year he stays anywhere from 211, to 213, 214. I mean, 5, 6, 7 pounds, it's good weight.
Q. Is it just eating healthy or just being in his third year?
JIMBO FISHER: Both. Just growing up, maturing and playing with a lot more consistency, urgency, and that's right where he should be. Again, I keep saying all the time, man, a lot of the great players you ever had in this program in history never played till their third years when they were mature enough to play. They didn't play great a lot of them till their fourth year.
So it's just maturity, depth, feeling comfortable with what we're doing on defense, and he's healthy again, that looks good and playing good.
JIMBO FISHER: You can drop him, you can rush him. You can have him and Sweat or him Sweat and Burns or him, Sweat and DeMarcus Walker. Just inside, outside, different things you can do with him. It's really good.
Q. How good is it to have the match-up for him?
JIMBO FISHER: I think it's great. I said this all along. Everybody keeps talking about the kick. Our conference is really good, guys. I mean, a couple years ago we had 11, they were talking about it. We had the most players of any division drafted in college football with us playing all those guys. I mean it (Indiscernible). It is great, great football in the ACC and I'm glad that people are starting to see it.
Q. How big of a benefit is it?
JIMBO FISHER: Oh, I think it's critical. It keeps adding to your confidence. It adds to -- what am I looking for -- it adds to credibility. You're saying it and saying it, and I know when you play in it, but I mean it's there. It's there.
Q. Ole Miss to start off in Louisville (Inaudible).
JIMBO FISHER: It's going to be that way the whole year. You're everybody's Super Bowl. You're ranked up there high, that's what you do at Florida State. You get used to going into those environments and hopefully it's like going to work every day. That's what it is and you respect it and you do it. You put your work in, don't get caught up in the clutter and the hype. You concentrate on what you do and how you prepare and how you play, and learn to have the great process of getting ready.
That's what we got to do. We have to have the process of getting ready. Great practice habits, we're still trying to develop that to the extent we want it. Each team has to go through that. No team hs it magically like that. That's part of grinding it out and hopefully we'll get there. You better get there quick with the schedule we've got.
Q. (Inaudible) August through September, does that change from a conditioning perspective?
JIMBO FISHER: You've got to be careful sometimes heat and humidity, different things, how you prepare during the week, and also how much on a Thursday because you don't have those six or eight hours of recovery from a night game. So it may change in preparation and we'll use the numbers to judge where the guys are and where we see them and loads are and on the recovery time. But we'll be able to add a little bit of time to that.
But also you catch it on the back end and some of your recovery going into Monday is a little bit better because you pick up those six or eight hours, so it can work both ways.
JIMBO FISHER: Same thing. Those two young kids that I'm extremely pleased with. Hitting the kickoff where we want it. Getting hang time, kicking them out. When we're kicking them out, he punched the goal really well. Just very proud of what he's doing.
Q. You've had some great kickers here. Is his leg as strong?
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, probably so. I mean, he's probably one of the strongest one. We've got one crazy strong and the other one is crazy accurate, so I'm happy.
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah.
JIMBO FISHER: Sometimes we'll try to hang. I mean, you saw the Patriots do it last night. Whenever they moved it to the 25, we've been doing that for a couple of years. I mean, it is because that's an extra five yards. If you've got guys that can cover and get down in there and shorten that up, it helps your team. But depending how explosive that guy is and where your coverage teams are, and what you want to do. Keeping that versatility is really good.
Q. For a guy like Jared your kickoff coverage unit is awesome. For a guy like that, a walk-on receiver there to play the way he has?
JIMBO FISHER: You know, again, you look like Javien Elliott was and that's how he earned his role. What I'm saying is the guys that make it that far for three are on four years as walk ons generally, they either figure it out quick that they have to play at a higher level and really adapt to what's going on, or they kind of fade away and say I don't want to be a part of it. Jared's a guy who said I want to continually fight and play at this level and he kept raising his game, conditioning, getting bigger and stronger and got used to the guys around him and surrounded him. Said I want to be one of those guys. He has developed himself now so he can be a very good contributor.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports