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FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
October 3, 2016
COACH FISHER: Coming off a disappointing loss to North Carolina. Again, there's parts of our team we have to get fixed. We have to play better in all three phases in all areas. You all saw the game. You all know a lot of areas we have to fix and get better. No one around here is used to losing. We're not going to get used to losing.
We're going to go back to work and do things and take ownership for it. We're going to look at new ways to advance our program as far as how we play, what we've got to do on a day to day basis, make the right adjustments hopefully. Get the right people in the right position if we have to and make personnel schemes or change things to make guys be in the best position to do what we got to do so we can move forward.
Again, I think we have a very good football team, a chance to have a good football team. We'll perform and move forward and do some things. There's some areas we're doing really well in and areas we're not doing really well in. A lot of people in the same predicament right now. We have to advance, and we have to continue to educate. We have to continue to educate our players in situational situations. What we want, how we want it. Be very technical about how we want things done so they can execute that way. We've got to coach it better.
And educating, like I say, is not just informing, it's pulling it out of them. Not just making sure we tell them, but making sure they do it. Making sure we educate them and get them to do it and make sure they take it from the practice field to the game field and have the best chance to be successful.
None of them perform poorly on purpose. We have to have the right mindset and give them the right tools to be successful and make sure they understand those tools so they know how to use those tools. That's all on us. Like I said, expectations for us as far as how we want to go forward is proceed daily and getting better at what we do, take responsibility for what we do, and try to make the adjustments necessary to enhance our team and our performances.
Miami is a very good team. I don't know if they're top ten, but they're undefeated. Playing very well. They're 4-0. Dynamic on offense, play makers at receiver, quarterback, and running back. Very physical. Defensively, Manny does a great job with the defense, and what Mark does with the offense. A lot of blitz packages. A lot of different looks. A lot of things they do.
It will be a home game. They have a great environment. Very sound on special teams. We need to perform at a very high level to have a chance to have success, and that's what our goal is and that's what our intentions are. Questions?
Q. On that last North Carolina touchdown, there were a couple guys trying to chase the football down.
COACH FISHER: We did, and those will be adjusted. We coach those every day. We do a pursuit drill and start practicing. Guys will be out there running sideline to sideline. That's what that's about. They can never accept it. When that happens, gas will be applied just like Mickey did back in the day. You count the number of lopes, you run for them, you adjust for them. And if you can't do them, you won't play.
Effort is not about ability. Effort is not about a scheme. Effort is not about anything. That was guys thinking two guys had the other guy on the ground, and they broke two tackles, thought they had them and could relax for a second. No matter what, you chase the football. That's got to happen.
Q. Two former players asked a question as to the heart of the team or the motivation. Did you hear that?
COACH FISHER: Yes, I do. This team has heart. It's funny for a player who has played, guys never know what's on a team until you're on a team. For an ex-player to do that is very disappointing or an ex-coach because you can never judge what's in a guy's heart until you know him and you play with him. That's very disappointing from an ex-player.
Q. Going back to the posting, are aware of some of the issues?
PLAYER 1: You have lows. We have lows in the game from what our effort is. You always have that. There's always a guy that you think and you're pushing, that you're counting as a low. That's not something -- I've never been on a team that walked off the field and not had a low. I've never walked off the field. And no team that's ever played here has ever done it, I know that.
I know the guys, and we've got a bunch of ex-players on our staff who have been here, and I know exactly how it was done, when it was done in the fine times and all that. There was lows at any time anywhere.
Q. You had that situation like at North Carolina --
COACH FISHER: That's the point. I don't know. I wasn't here back then. I just know it's disappointing, and we will address that, and we will fix that.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: They have to chase the ball. They played hard. They did things well. But when you're out of position, it looks like you're not playing hard at times. And if you're not making the right plays, it's because the ball is cutting back or it's doing something. But those kids play hard and practice hard. I believe in those kids 100 percent.
Q. One of the defenders after the game said they were maybe lacking some confidence --
COACH FISHER: Matthew Thomas said it. If you're going to say it, please say the name.
Q. (Indiscernible). Is lack of confidence something that you've seen?
COACH FISHER: What does confidence come with?
COACH FISHER: No, success. We haven't had as much success. So a guy isn't going to be as confident in what he does. To have success, get prepared and make sure you play well. Get your things down so, when you do it right, yeah, you have success. Nobody has confidence when you don't do well. I don't care what you are at any level. Confidence comes with success and doing it right. That's what we're going to practice for and do.
Q. As far as the (indiscernible) struggles, do you as the head coach get involved in that?
COACH FISHER: I do. I talk to the whole team. What can I help you with? How can I help you prepare?
Q. This week are you planning to get more involved with the defense?
COACH FISHER: I will. We'll have to look and evaluate and make sure all the schemes and everything we do and the players understand what we want. As a head coach, you want to do that, which I've always been involved in the defensive side and looked at things and talked to them. They're doing this, this would cause a problem. They're going to do this, this would cause a problem.
I always do that. I meet with them every day. This is the part of the game plan we're in. What are they doing? What do they like? This may cause some problems.
I watch the film. They have a hard time with that. They may have a hard time with that. You're always doing that as a head coach. As a head coach, it's your job to evaluate all the players. Just because I call the plays -- I love defensive football. I've always said that. You're never great until you have great defense. You've got to be great on defense to have great programs. That's where the foundation of all programs are. I love defense.
We'll be involved and support those guys and make sure they're doing the right things and we're doing the right things for them. What can I help you do? Tell me how I can help you. What will make you prepare better? What will make you see it better? What can we do better? You've got to give them a voice too.
Q. Have you ever thought about making any sort of changes to scheme, personnel?
COACH FISHER: We do, yes. I said that. We made scheme. We moved personnel. We moved guys around. We moved them in the last game in different positions they were asked to do, and we'll continue to do that and evaluate in all phases, from how we coach them to how we're doing schematically and personnel and all things. We've done it on offense already.
We've had Ricky Leonard. We've had Brock Ruble. We've had Wilson Bell, Landon Dickerson, Derrick Kelly, Kareem Are. We're getting Mavin Saunders now more involved because he's practicing better, doing better. Jacques Patrick has taken a greater role. We've continued to do that all the way across, and we always will.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: Defense we have. We moved the nickel guys. We moved the pass rush guys up front. The backers, we moved them inside, outside, mike to will. We've done the corners, the boundary corners, the strong safety, the nickels. We've done that in all different positions.
Q. With the play cards used on Saturday, is that the first time you've done that (no microphone)?
COACH FISHER: Well, also to get information out quicker. Also to block signals and what they're calling. They read signals from the press box. It also blocks signals on what you're signaling and which cards could be viable and what they do. Could be information on them and couldn't be. Also could be valuable to those guys. They can't hear in a game, and you look forward to get the call and you don't see it, you could find it in the sideline with the possibility of doing something like that, just like offenses do.
Remember Oregon was famous for doing that for years. A lot of those guys, sometimes they meant nothing. They were all trickeries and went on and on. You can use them as different times to keep formations, what your call is, to help get information when you're dealing with no huddle on the other side to make sure guys get communicated properly.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: It could.
Q. Sometimes a players says something, and it's not what he means, but Dalvin --
COACH FISHER: Did you read the whole comment of Dalvin? He said what can we do? That we can control what we can control on offense. But we win as a team, we lose as a team, everything. That's what he's saying. We scored, but we're a team guy. We're not pointing fingers. Dalvin is as big a team guy as anyone on this team.
This team will never split offense and defense. That's why we have the locker room split up like we do. We have offense and defensive guys room together. We do all that because that's the biggest division that can happen. That will never happen here, and it never will.
What he said was we played well and did some good things. He said I've got to control what I can control on offense. We scored. But we win as a team, we lose as a team, and we have a lot to play for. We have a lot of teams on this schedule we want to beat. We want to perform well and do well.
You can take that, but that is not in the intent of what was said, and it's not how it was said.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: He said we did our job. I control what I can control. What else can he control? He's on the offense, and it did it's job by scoring in the last drive. We win as a team, we lose as a team. Did he say that?
Q. Yes. But he said he did all he can do and also at times it comes off --
COACH FISHER: Well, it does, if you do all you can do. A player has to look at that. It's not finger pointing. I mean, that's what -- you get frustrated because you don't get the results you want. But you're doing all I can do, so I'm going to go back and do it again. It doesn't mean I'm going to quit doing it or I'm going to get mad at somebody else.
But you can call each other out in practice. Do you think Jameis, Telvin, all those guys didn't have that issue going on? And guys in practice, if you're not doing your job, I'm calling you out. You've got to do your job.
That's what leadership is. That's what education is. Pulling it out of them. Leadership is not standing in front and talking to y'all. Did you ever see that thing from Ray Lewis about leadership? Leadership is done behind the scenes when no one's around. If you're going to a guy that isn't doing what he needs to do or preparing like he needs to prepare or whatever the scenario may be, and approaching him, you've got to do this. That's where leaders get in.
You have to be vocal like that. You have to say these things. That's what actually happens on all football teams. It happens when we're undefeated. Do you know how many behind the scenes meetings the undefeated team had because guys had arguments where a guy wasn't playing to his potential or not preparing to his potential or off the field wasn't doing something right or wasn't going to class, whatever it may be. Those happen all the time. They're always brought to more light when you're not having success in what you do.
But the division of this team will never be there. Those guys love each other, and they play each other. There wasn't a guy who took that in stride yesterday. They had a great day. They talked. We'll do it today, ask what we can do to help them, and we're going to move forward. When you see the guys walking in, they all walk in the building together, offensive guys, defensive guys, all that stuff.
Guys get frustrated when they don't get results. What frustration has got to lead to is how do I change my behavior? How can I take what I'm doing and translate it into somebody else? That's what leadership is. How can I get him to play like I do? That's what they're trying to say.
They're going to get twisted and turned by how things are said and done, but you ask them if they don't love each other and don't play for each other, that's not true.
Q. Do you sense a friction between offense and defense?
COACH FISHER: Not really, no. I don't believe that. If I ever catch an offensive player doing it, I snatch him by the neck. If I catch a defensive player doing it when I was the coach, I addressed it to him and went to his coaches. I've never been a part of that. I've never been a part where offense and defense have gotten divided.
Q. With the way defense is playing, can you ask more from the offense?
COACH FISHER: Ask anything you want out of everybody. They're together. They're a family. Do you have any brothers or sisters? If you were struggling, do you think your brothers and sisters would step up for you and do more? You would hope so, wouldn't you? That's what being a part of a family is. Mine was. I would for mine.
But you always do that to be a family and to be successful. That's what you do. That's why you never divide. That's why you never talk that way. That's why you never even insinuate no matter what. That's what you do. That's what being on a team is. That's what being a teammate is.
It isn't about winning the championship. We want to win. That's a goal. We don't play for goals. That's a reward for what you get after. You play because it's a camaraderie of the teammates, the competition, it's who you are, it's what you're made of, and you help the guy beside that. That's a life lesson for football.
Right now you're going to find out the pretenders and the contenders on your team and who they are and what they really want to be, the true character. That's what this game is all about. It isn't about all the media. It isn't about all the money. It isn't about all that other. That's what it's about. At the end of the day, that's all they're ever going to remember. The old team, they remember the friendships and the bond in the locker room. That's what it's all about.
Q. Talk about all the items like character. How do you make it happen? (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: You want to talk about the last play of the game? We lost to a very good Clemson team, and we lost to a very good Louisville team. It doesn't change how you play. You don't have character because you didn't win? That's what you're saying.
Q. No, the question I was asking is how have you seen these guys deal with that because they're not --
COACH FISHER: They deal with it every day. They're progressing and going to work every day and trying to get better and having a good attitude. That's what it's about. We've had great consistency over that time. Just because you've had a down spell does not mean your program is going or your team's going or anything else is going. You continue to do the same thing, make adjustments as you go, tweak and turn as you go forward with things that need to be tweaked and turned with all the players, and you adjust.
Q. Are you satisfied with the way they practice?
COACH FISHER: No, I'm never satisfied. I've never walked off the field satisfied. Even when we won 29 in a row. I've never walked off the field satisfied. When we win or when we lose. If you're ever satisfied, you need to quit. When good enough becomes good enough, then there's nothing else to do.
Q. Can you talk about it seems like you're not pressing the guys hard, like how they interact with each other. Do you still feel 100 percent confident in the program with the way the guys play?
COACH FISHER: Yes.
Q. Jimbo, I wanted to ask about Miami. What do you see on film that's different about Brad Kaaya than what you've faced in the past?
COACH FISHER: I guess more experience. He's calmer and more mature. You can see the energy as he keeps going. You know what I'm saying? He's just growing as a player, a very good player.
Q. Jimbo, you look at Miami's rushing attack, how are you guys going to handle that going into the game?
COACH FISHER: We've got to be physical at the line of scrimmage. We've got to be gap controlled. They have good receivers down the field in play action. You've got to defeat the blockers. You've got to be physical at the line of scrimmage, up front with them, for starters. You have to mix your looks.
Q. What are some of the hallmarks of a Mark Richt team?
COACH FISHER: He's always going to have a good quarterback. Going to throw the football well. They run well. They're always going to have good backs. When they were at Georgia, they had good backs down there. Stacy Searles is the line coach. He's really good coach, coached with me at LSU for four years. They'll do a really good job defensively. They've always had very sound defenses. Very special. Like they are now. Don't make many mistakes, do the things they've got to do.
Q. When you've had teams in the past struggling with one side of the ball or the other. What can you remember about how it worked itself out?
COACH FISHER: In what ways?
Q. You've had one side --
COACH FISHER: But I mean work them out as far as --
Q. How successful seasons go?
COACH FISHER: In successful seasons?
Q. What's a season you recall?
COACH FISHER: 2011. We still come out with all those young players on offense. Couldn't move the ball. Won seven in a row. Lost two games that year at the end. Lost to Clemson. Lost by a field goal to Virginia. That actually propelled us to 12-13 for having the season we did.
LSU, 2001, won the SEC. We were 11th in the league in defense. First SEC Championship we won down there. And we were 4-3. Come back, won the league. Come back and upset Tennessee, who was going to play Miami for the National Championship in the SEC Championship game. That team won eight in a row, got hot, identified its identity. We got better on defense. On offense we took off and expanded and won the SEC.
2000, the first year there was like that. Auburn, when I first went to Auburn, '93, we were undefeated. Offense, we were very average. By the middle of the year, we were really good. Played really good on defense. Won a couple games with luck at the beginning of the year, got hot, went undefeated. Coming back 2002, 2003.
2004 at LSU, after the National Championship, 3-2. Had to go to 4. We were down 21-3. On a last second play, went 4-2. Then we lost the last play of that year to Iowa. Went 9-2 during the season. We were really good on defense, but we had a new quarterback on offense. We're up and down on offense and had new offensive linemen. That was the year after the National Championship. And guys got beat by Georgia 45-7 when Nick was the head coach. Got beat 45-7 over there and lost the second one pretty significant right there right off the bat. I can't remember who it was. Then came back and battled, and you keep sawing wood, and you got better, just like now. We had done the same things.
2002, we ended up -- we were 6-1. Ended up 8-5. That's what propelled us. We're playing Arkansas backed up, score against Arkansas, kick a field goal, go up six points, kick it to them. They're 0 of 13 on the day throwing. Back up on the 6 yard line, a minute to go, All-American corner lined up in trips, All-American corner doesn't see the widest guy, stays inside. They throw a 60-yard bomb down the sideline, throw one more pass to win the SEC West, go play for the West Championship. Went on, lost that game, lost the Cotton Bowl that year to Texas. Next year won a National Championship.
But they all ended up 9-3, 9-4, 8-5. Got a couple of good Bowl games out of it. A couple we were 10-2.
That year we won the National Championship, got beat by Florida, lost both tailbacks. 2003, had not tailbacks. We were 5-0. Got beat by Florida at home, at LSU. Had to start two freshmen tailbacks. Had never played a down. They had 1,000, 1,200 yards in the last seven games of the year. Put two freshmen tailbacks, changed their identity on offense, didn't move it around, made it simple for them. We got hot. Defense was really, really good. Got better on offense. Won a National Championship in 2003. We had no sights of winning a National Championship. We were dead in the water, three tailbacks hurt, and doing that.
So all those years. You go through this all the time in coaching. You adjust, you coach, you move on. Just like LSU, we were up and down like crazy. But we were still consistent in the program, just like we're doing right now. Still very consistent with how we win, what we do, how we change things. We make adjustments within our scheme, our personnel and our people. That's what coaching is, educate and move on. There's about seven of them.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: To what? Nothing's going on. He's up there coaching his tail off and going to work every day.
Q. When you play after a loss, is that --
COACH FISHER: Give you a little more juice. It could help. Hopefully, it will. It doesn't help that Miami is real good. That never helps, no matter if we're defeated or undefeated. I think it will get the kids' attention to go down and play, knowing what it means historically here to what happens.
Q. What was going on with the offense when your running back received the ball on the tackle (indiscernible)?
COACH FISHER: Well, sometimes we plan on that, sometimes we don't. Sometimes he was a checkdown read. Sometimes he was a second or third read and making good decisions. Any time you've got playmakers that can get the ball. That's what we did. Our tight ends were so dynamic. When they start catching the ball. When your receivers catch it. When your back catches it. You ain't got to block everybody now to get him in space. That's what McCaffery does so well. That's what McCaffery did so well at Stanford and a lot of great backs.
You look at Marshall Faulk and those guys, you go back, and they were some of the best receivers around. Some of your best pure backs are guys that can really, really catch the ball out of the backfield. They don't have to take all the punishment to get the yards and the touches.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: They were. Those were. Some of those were. The checkdown and the 40-yard gain wasn't. That was a great read by the quarterback. We were working on a dig on the back side. He was an outlet. They left him open, we hit it, and we moved on. There are things we design and things we build in the normal offense. You keep making decisions, and he'll find ways to get them the ball.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: He has. He's getting better and better. He's understanding the game of football. I know that sounds funny. He only played two years and grew up in the Bahamas. Didn't grow up around football. He had to learn to block and run routes and how you're catching it and how you get open to scheme. Tight end, you're always confined around somebody. So how is the defense on this play compared to that play, you know, where the hole is. He just gradually has pushed through. Like I said, I think he has a very high ceiling if he continues to progress and keep a good attitude because he has the physical skills, and now he's understanding the game, and he just gets better and better.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: They don't play football there.
Q. But getting the ball --
COACH FISHER: I'm sorry. I misunderstood what you said. What was the difference of him growing up in the Bahamas?
Q. I'm saying, because he grew up in the Bahamas and didn't play a lot of football as a kid.
COACH FISHER: How you teach him, you mean?
Q. Is he different than your typical American kid?
COACH FISHER: No doubt, because he's never played. He has no background in some things that normally you would take for granted from a guy playing it since he was like -- like the Miami guys, they play from 5 years old up. And even the physicality of the game and how the toughness goes and all the instincts and how you explain things to him, making sure you're very technical and understanding the big picture. When you teach those guys that, it's that way.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: Well, no, he's fine. He hit three field goals. He was 11 of 12. Two 45-yard field goals, and the left side is his strong side. We looked at the tape, and his plant foot was too close on those kicks. His toe was turned in. It was all a technical thing. After the game, we were able to look at it. He'd been lights out. He'd been kicking the ball really well. We'll fix that and go back.
But Logan is always there to kick if we have long field goals or things like that, but yes. It's funny, we talk about he went back to his basics on his PATs. You see after those kicks, his foot, we got it -- I guess he worked on the side and didn't kick it the same way he kicked it back there. He got his foot back and his toe normal and made the kicks. Just made him come across the football, as we saw it on film.
Q. (No microphone). For lack of a better question, how disappointing is it for the team on Saturday?
COACH FISHER: Well, we're disappointed we're not playing to our potential. And any time you don't play to your potential, you're disappointed. Whether that is being the number 1 defense in the country or being the number 15 defense in the country or being the number 30, whatever your potential is. That's your job as a coach to try to get that potential out of your players, and that's our job and that's what we have to do. We're disappointed we're not getting the potential out of the players. We have to ask them, how can we help you? How can we help you play better? Ask them, how can we help you prepare? Can we explain something different? Can we do something differently?
And this is an ownership thing between both sides. People say in the old days you go browbeat them as coach. You do, but at the end of the day, kids have to take ownership of what they're doing. What I want to do is get them to understand how we can help them. We're in this together one way or the other. We want them to perform better so we can play better so our team can do better. That's our goal as a coach.
You're never not disappointed in someone, even if your winning, is not reaching its potential. That's what we have to do. We have to find a way to maximize that.
Q. Can you do that?
COACH FISHER: Yes, there's examples right there I just gave you. You go back in 2000 and 2001 at LSU, we couldn't stop anybody. We were last in the league. Talk about a Nick Saban team being last in the league in defense. But those last seven games, we got better, and we scored points. We were able to pull out, and we ended up with three losses because our side was crazy, but then we won the Sugar Bowl. Yes, you can. You can get better during the season.
We did it in 2002. We did it in 2003 on the offense when we were stagnant. We did it in 2003 and lost our tailbacks. Think about it. Two freshmen tailbacks played the rest of the year and never took a snap. One gained 800, and one gained 1,200. You have to adjust. You have to do it. The kids did it, and we did it. That's what it is. We have to continue to do that. That's what coaching is. Seasons go up and down.
I gave you a couple more scenarios when I was talking about it. That's what happened during those seasons. We had issues. We adjust them. We coached them, and we had time. Over periods of time, they slowly got better and better and better. Team took an identity and had success. That's what happens.
What's going on now is expectations and everything else. But that's everywhere. As a coach, you don't worry about that. You worry about what you coach daily. That's all you can do. And we're a product of our expectations. We've had success. I understand that. That's no problem with that. But I live in the reality of what we have to fix and what we have to do.
When I understand fans get frustrated. Heck, I get frustrated when we don't do what we're supposed to do. That's life. I don't mean I can't worry about it. I can't deal with it. All I can do is fix what we can fix. That's how we coach them every day.
Q. You have defensive players (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: No, they don't. They understand what to do. A lot of them do. A few guys obviously don't at times consistently, and that's why we play like we play. So we ask them, what can we help you do? Can we practice in a different way? Can we practice something more? Can we practice something less?
I ask our quarterbacks that. It's not revolutionary. When I do game plans. I like this. Do you like this? Do you not like this? Can you throw this? Can you read this? Can you check this on the run? I do it religiously, how I call plays, how I want to start, how I want to do things.
It may be, Coach, I like this. But this is one I've got to have. You've got to give me one or two, and he'll work on that for a week. Coach, I really like that. That's not as good as what this can be. That's what coaching is. It's educating and pulling it out of them. You've got to get it out of them.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: Yes. The guys are communicating, and we'll continue to communicate.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: I don't want to use that. That doesn't matter. We can't deal with that. Does it hurt that Derwin's not in there and we have some guys banged up? No doubt, but everybody has that issue. I just gave you scenarios of having it there, and we figured it out.
But it's not -- it didn't change the next day. It got better and better and better over time, and little things went on. There's no doubt you want to be healthy, and the guy we're losing, if not the best defensive player in the country, one of them. He's a great leader. He's a great guy that keeps things together, and other guys don't have to do things they would be doing.
But everybody deals with that. That's not an excuse in any way, shape, or form. You have to play with what you've got, and we've got good players, and we have good kids. We've just got to figure out how to get them to play well.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: Yes.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: I understand it, and I don't blame them. You guys write the stories to get your -- I understand that. You're doing your job. Fans are frustrated. They do that. But as a coach, you respect that, but you don't listen to that. Because it doesn't fix your problem. That doesn't -- you know what the issues are. Sometimes you can fix them quickly. Sometimes you can't. You coach, and you do the best you can, and you move on.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: We've got to do better.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: Consistency. Just got to be more consistent. Take it from the practice field to the game field.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: Whenever Derrick calls it. Derrick's the linebacker. Calls all the plays on the field.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: No doubt. He's never done it. It's a new part for him which he's getting better and better at. Whether it was Telvin, whether it was Derrick Brooks back in the day, they all make a mistake on a call. They occasionally get you lined up wrong. He's done a pretty good job with that. It's also a different burden on how you play.
I'll give an example, if you move up in management in your business. You get to go all the little things you used to do and how you wrote things and how you do things. As you love writing probably. You don't get to go write the columns and spend all the time you get to do because you're the owner. So when you move up, there's also another burden. I've got to make the call and make the play and still do what I do. That's a learning curve for kids. But he's doing it.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: All that money and they get hurt. Them guys up there catch you. You've got quarterback runs, which puts you up a guy, if you understand what I mean by that. Do you guys really understand what I mean how a quarterback run changes it? I'll give you this, and you won't write this because you won't care. When I give you the real stuff, you never want to hear it. That's the bad part. You don't listen, and you don't understand.
Anyway, if I'm at center and I run a stretch play to the right, and I'm blocking the back to right here. Being that guard, got to work to that angle. Got to push a guy back that way to cut back. When a quarterback runs it, you know the guy they block? It's usually right there. This guard comes down on my guy and it's sealed up that way.
So with an angle, if I run that play, see how much better the angles are? He just made me ten feet better. He made me three steps quicker. He made me stronger because I don't have to push and fight for that edge. So quarterback run in college football, they're always going to change the game of football.
Now, can you keep quarterbacks healthy? Do you have enough of them? It changes the whole dynamic of what you do on defense. And then when you can now fake the ball and linemen used to be used -- linemen went down to forward pass, put the linemen downfield. Now they can up three yards down.
If you're a safety and leave an unblocked guy. You're supposed to read through the unblocked line. Hitting a guy and blocking a guy and he's three yards downfield, what's your trigger? Come back and play.
Now the quarterback can do that. You see that? Pull back and throw the football. It's not illegal. I know that sounds -- but those are points going across the board everywhere in America. That's why. Quarterback runs, you have linemen downfield.
And then you say, well, Alabama does it. It cost Alabama a National Championship. When we played Auburn, when we played Auburn for the National Championship, they had lineman seven yards down the field and tied it up before the kick six. It never would have been there.
Last year when they played Ole Miss. Remember the game on TV? Alabama just gave up 48 to who? Ole Miss. They gave up 40. What did we give up last year? Same scheme, same coaches, gave up 23. We didn't score enough on offense.
So it doesn't matter. When you get into those schemes, it's going to happen. There's rules of how you play defense. You're outnumbered, and then you're -- and what goes on in spread offense. That's why the splurge of offense in college football is crazy. There is a physical difference, guys. And the guys back in the '90s didn't take that. It wasn't around. It wasn't legal. Guys didn't do it.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: Yes. And how much punch can he take. How much does he get hit? When do you do it? All of a sudden, he gets hurt. Just think about when we lost Sean in the game you were talking about with LSU. We moved the ball up and down the field, right? And he was the first to drive it. Missed the field goal. We lost Sean for a quarter and a half, right? You lose your quarterback. And at that time, Everett wasn't with us. So we had no backup.
When you have that, you can do it. Then you run it, and you get him hurt. All those guys. Almost hurt his knee in that game. And he blew his knee when he was a freshman running. So it's great, but if you lose him too, there's a risk and reward for how you do it. That's what's going on in college football. You run your quarterback, and you do it. That's the reality of it.
The numbers on offense are going through the roof across the nation. I'm not saying that -- we got to play better. I'm not deferring that's why we're playing like we're playing. We have to play better on the defensive side of the ball and such. But as a generality of what's going on. That's the dynamic of what happened. That's where the game of football is at in the college game right now.
Q. You mentioned running your quarterback. It seems like you've taken a lot of hits.
COACH FISHER: I learned to get downs. By then, you've got to get first down, but that's part of it. You say run the run softly. How do you do that?
Q. Slide after you get a first down.
COACH FISHER: That's a lot easier said than done. What does that come with?
COACH FISHER: Exactly. And you've got to learn to do it. And if you're young, what's the first thing you want to do? You're competitive, and you want to do what? You want to go get things. There's a fine line between being smart and tough. Going to slide the nine yards. But it is.
That's what we fight every day. You know what the answer is? There's no answer. You educate them to get what you can, don't take a shot, get out of bounds or get down. We exactly do that. And he doesn't mean to do that. Sometimes he'll say that. Sometimes that's all part of what we go through.
See we're chasing the what ifs. That's why I don't chase what if. I look at what we do, and we've got to fix it. It's our job to fix it. That's the reality of what's going on. On defenses, it's tough right now with all the run/pass reads and RPOs, run/pass options. There's a run call, but they can throw pass. Not the bubble screens. The bubble screens are different. That's behind the line of scrimmage. That's a whole different animal. I'm talking about throwing the ball down the field and doing things. I'm telling you, it's tough on defenses.
You've seen us incorporate it now. We do it. I don't think it's everything we do, but we put it in our package because we have to be consistent. We have to move the ball and do the things we do and take advantage of the rules. I don't think it's fair to defensive guys. It has nothing to do with our success on defense. I'm talking -- I've said this before. I think it should be like the NFL. The NFL actually started doing it. They're allowed one yard now. Used to be allowed none. But the screens are different. They have the screens, and you can't block downfield in the NFL.
So even on your bubbles, if you're blocking down the field before the ball is caught, it's illegal. So that limits -- the game is totally different. That's why a lot of those guys struggle when they go to the NFL because now instead of a one-word play, they've got to call a play that long and adapt to a different game. It's a whole different game. That don't matter to us. We've got to win in college.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: No, we'll never go back.
Q. Never go back?
COACH FISHER: No, that's not what people want. And in defense of officials, it's hard as heck on them to call. When a guy throws the ball, he looks like he's four yards downfield. But where was he when he threw it? Was he three? Was he two? It's impossible for them to call. It really is.
Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: Most of the time. You look at it, and they miss one or two in the game of what teams do a lot of. But those guys for the most part get them right. They really do. Occasionally, they miss one.
That was just an example I gave. Two of them jumped in my head. I knew we were preparing for the National Championship that year, and I was thinking about Alabama, my God, that guy was seven yards down the field. The corner came up, and the safety came up. I know why they came up. But no one saw. Sometimes you don't see it.
That's part of ball. It's tough. But when a quarterback runs, it changes everything. I mean, it changes everything. And then you say, well, don't do it, but that's why the NFL is going crazy. That's why they have trouble getting guys developed as quarterbacks. That's what's happening in L.A. Every guy in those systems, it's different.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports