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FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
October 31, 2016
COACH FISHER: First of all, I'd like to say, coming off that game, I'm very proud of our football team. If you said, you asked your players to leave everything on the field, I think they did that. They played with a tremendous amount of heart and soul and guts. That was a tremendously hard fought, very competitive football game by two good teams. Clemson is a very good team. I thought we were a good team. I think we are a good team.
They made one more play than we did and made a couple of key plays, but our guys battled and made a lot of plays, a lot of progress in a lot of areas.
I thought our offense moved the ball extremely well on the night against the Number 8 defense in the country. Our defense, we had some great stretches where we played extremely well and played well, did some great things, created some turnovers. Got big plays on offense, ran the ball. Covered well on special teams. It was a great college football game. It was one of the great college football games.
Unfortunately, we just came out on the bottom end of it. Could have made one more play and didn't do it. We'll continue to work and go, but very proud of our guys. I think we've made a lot of progress.
During the off-week, had some issues we thought we cleaned up and did. I thought we got a lot better during the off-week. I thought we played a tremendous football game the other night. Always got things to work on. Still got things to get better on. Had some key plays and key moments we need to play a little bit better. You're always fighting for that. Very proud of our team and the way we competed.
We need to put this one past us and get ready to go play NC State, which is always a very good game, very tough team. Very, very good defensive football team. Very good front. Very physical linebackers.
Like I said, I keep feeling like I'm watching the same guys from the last three or four years. It's all the same guys. Secondary did a really good job. Defense playing outstanding football. Offense, quarterback playing well for them. The running back runs hard, great cutback guy, great speed guy. I knew him in high school. In college, he's really become a heck of a player.
Skill guys very good. Big guys catch the football down the field. Their offensive line is very good. Big inside guys. Tackles really good. They got a really good football team. We'll have our hands full going up there to play. We'll be really hungry to win. They come off a tough football game this week themselves. We'll need to play really well. We'll have to put this one behind us, move on, and get better at what we're trying to do.
Q. Jimbo, will you touch base on the call (No microphone).
COACH FISHER: No, they'll send some things in, and we'll send some things in. We'll send in what we disagree with and apply back. I don't ever make those public. We either agree to agree or agree to disagree and move on.
Q. Looking back at the film, there's an image of a block (No microphone). So when you said it wasn't a chop, you meant it wasn't a cut block?
COACH FISHER: No. I saw what I saw. They'll see what they see. I saw what I saw. Where it goes and what happens.
Q. Jimbo, when you get that feedback, just generally get the feedback back from the ACC, do they sometimes apologize and say, okay, we messed up on that one.
COACH FISHER: No. They just say I agree with your call or disagree with your call. That's about what you get. That's what they say. There's always opinions. Officiating is always -- there's always questions, and no one's perfect. Trust me, I understand that. They have a tough job too. You got to voice your opinion when you think it's right. Coaches, players, everybody's accountable, and I think everybody should be.
And I think they are. I'm not saying they're not. So they'll do a good job.
Q. Were you happy with what you saw from Nyqwan?
COACH FISHER: Very much so. I think that was a really bright spot for the game. Been very anxious for him to play. What I mean by that, in getting ready to play. There's been times in practice -- even during camp. Remember during camp there was times I was really high on him. Then he all of a sudden, like a young guy, would just disappear and not do something, and it could be for a lot of reasons. The guy is a very talented guy. He's got to grow into that role. Hopefully, he's gotten out there in the game and seen what he can do.
He's dynamic. He can run routes. He can stick his foot on the ground. I'm anxious to get him loose on the punt return. They did a good job on the punt return. Either their kicks, you couldn't return them, or they've got pretty good hang time on them so you couldn't. He's a great punt returner too. He's got a great future. Very proud of what he did in the game. He did some nice things.
Q. Did you see anything from him in practice a week or so ago --
COACH FISHER: Have been, the whole time. We had a talk with him. We need you. We got some guys banged up. He had the most consistent practice he's had over the break, day in and day out.
You say, put him in there and let him see. When you get in games like we've been in, one or two plays change a game. If one of those things happens to cost you, it's hard to say that.
Those young guys, that's the thing that's hardest for young guys to understand is the consistencies with which they have to play with. It's not that they can't or won't. It's just that grind of doing it right every time. You know what I'm saying? Very proud of the way he's developed. I love him. He's a great kid. He's very smart. Has a great personality. Fun to be around. I think has a chance to be a really, really good football player.
Q. The deep ball that he caught down the sideline, he was in traffic and kind of had to go up and find it.
COACH FISHER: And turned. No, he's got those skills now. They love back shouldering him. He caught one hitting the two minute on Thursday, that was stupid. I mean, the throw was stupid, and he was stupid. I mean that in a good way. I don't mean it in a bad way.
Just the ability. He's so natural. The guy was a heck of a basketball player, man, a big time basketball player. He's got that lithe body, that explosive body, and really good ball skills. He has a chance to do some of that.
We wrong shouldered him. A lot of times they'll turn the other way, but he just turned it the other way. That's like the one K.B. caught in Florida on the fade route he did. Those guys can do that and still find that ball, that's hard to do now. They do that to him all the time. He does those kinds of catches all the time in practice ask stuff.
Q. What happened? Did he ultimately (No microphone).
COACH FISHER: Up and down practice-wise, just consistency. When school starts and that starts, just different things. Not that he was -- I don't mean -- just lack of focus, you know what I mean? Sometimes those guys, they want in there, but they don't want to take that responsibility. That's a big step. They know, when you go out there, and as I say it, everything they do will be scrutinized. Some guys have to feel their way through it, you know what I'm saying? It's part of it of the part of the youth that goes with it.
Q. When you sit down with the guys on your offense sit like you did with Nyqwan, do they usually respond well to that?
COACH FISHER: Most do. Just say don't worry about it. Just go play. I've got supreme confidence in you. We need you to do things. That's one of the reasons that I like college coaching is to be able to have those kinds of conversations and those interactions to watch these guys kind of as young kids take that step to being what they can be, you know what I'm saying? Even though they all come here and do it.
They're still kids. I know everybody doesn't see that with that helmet on. You see those bright eyes, big eyes -- not scared eyes really, but anxious eyes and things, and you watch them take those steps and take that responsibility and fall into those roles and all of a sudden become the people they can become, it is fun to watch. That's one of the reasons I like doing it. Having those talks and being able to get those guys to do those things.
But they've got to do them on their own timetable. You can force folks to do things. You know they can do it and give them little pieces of it, but everyone has their own timetable when they accept things. It's not bad. It has nothing to do with anything other than just their personality or DNA makeup.
Q. Did you tell him after the game?
COACH FISHER: Yes, no doubt. I'm very proud of him. I thought he played really well. I thought all of our guys played extremely hard and played well. There was a lot of big time plays in that game. There's mistakes we've got to clean up without a doubt. Things we have to get better at in critical moments. Everybody laughs all the time when I say those inches, but inches. You have two or three inches in that game, and it goes the other way. Those tight games and some of the games we've been in this year, that's the key. We've got to keep fighting for those inches.
Now, I'm proud of the way our kids have. The one thing they've done is fought for those inches, and we've gotten better. We've just got to get a little bit better.
Q. (No microphone).
COACH FISHER: They did a good job. The thing is they'd get the ball out quick. We were able to cover it once we got down and got a little tighter coverage. Some of the sacks came on coverage, not just up front. Our coverage guys did a much better job of holding the ball and making them get into a second or third progression. Sometimes with that, it goes both ways. And rush can cause interceptions. It goes both ways.
They did a nice job in that. We rushed well. We pushed the pocket. One thing we did well that we're doing better now because inside we're healthier. We're collapsing the pocket. What I mean is sometimes you rush up the field and don't get that push. Guys step up and create those lanes. Our push inside is becoming just as good as the edges. That's kind of -- as I say, it's like a wall. You're in a room, and the walls just kind of close in on you. It makes it tough.
Then, of course, they can force some of those throws and interceptions because you're in confined areas and the quarterback can't finish on throws. Or like Deondre a couple times the other day, had some guys open you wish he could have seen, but the push, not bad, just human nature.
Sometimes they get in your passing lanes. And we did a great job of batting balls. Reading rush, reading quarterback's eyes. I don't know how many balls we batted, but it was quite a few. I know DeMarcus had two or three himself if I'm not mistaken. I don't know what the exact numbers were. Those guys are stopping and batting balls. That all affects the quarterback. It all gets in your psyche of what's going on. That's part of it. They're big up front and do a real good job.
It was two very talented football teams that played extremely hard in that game. It was a heck of a football game.
Q. After the game, you said (No microphone). How much did losing Trey impact you guys?
COACH FISHER: I think it definitely did. As much as anything, not because -- but also you have the loss of Nate Andrews and the loss of Derwin James. So you're talking about three guys in that position of that safety that makes calls and angling, and it did affect -- Trey, again, is one heck of a football player, on top of that.
Not that the other guys aren't, but now you're really -- because other guys you were putting in position to do other things, now they have to ask somebody to do something else because somebody else has to go in the game for what he does.
That's part of the injury part that goes with football. You have to stay healthy as long as you can. We've had bad breaks as far as those kinds of injuries, and you have those years. But it did affect us.
Q. (No microphone).
COACH FISHER: Good player. They're big and strong inside. Wilkins, 94 -- I mean, 42 gives a push. 99 gets on the edge. 56 comes in. They've got good, strong big guys up front. That's why I was proud that we actually, you take sacks away, ran for over 200 yards in the game. Ran for 200 yards, threw it for 286.
Had some sacks and things, but they're going to make plays. They're going to get your quarterback, and they're going to do things. That's just -- when you play a team like that. But as far as whether we moved the ball, scored points. We had an opportunity to score a couple other drives I wish we would have. We should have.
Q. On the offensive line, what's your thoughts as far as wanting to see them move forward?
COACH FISHER: When you watched that game, we run blocked in that game very well. Some of the sacks and hits he took -- again, I go back. They had six sacks in the game, two at the end. We had a guy beat inside on one of the assignments, guys weren't where they were supposed to be. A couple guys physically got beat on a couple hits.
Then we had some on the fullbacks and tight ends. We had the ends doubled, and they split them. Wilkins and those guys split some double teams and came off and made some hits too. It's not just always on them.
And one sack he did take early on naked that he should have thrown away. They played him naked, and he rolled out. When you're out naked off a hard play action and you're rolling back out, you've got to throw it away when the pressure comes. He took one he shouldn't have taken in the game.
I think they're getting better. They're doing much better as we go on. Again, we're moving the football. Still about 480 yards a game. Perfect, no. Have we got things to work on? Yes, without a doubt. But we're still scoring points and moving the football very well.
Short yardages are good. Our red zones are good. Our third downs are pretty solid. We're still not quite close to satisfied with what we can be, in my opinion.
Q. (No microphone).
COACH FISHER: You weigh it, and then you have realistic -- you know what they can and cannot do. What those guys are capable of doing and what you do in a game. You rate it as a coach. From the experience of being there. We had some breakdowns and didn't play well at times and played really with the at other times, really well. Just give and take. Need to play with a little more consistency.
We're always going to say that. Quarterback, we had some plays we could have made. At receiver we had some plays. Even at running back, we had a couple of runs and cuts that really could have came out. You kind of come away from games like that most of the time.
I don't want Deondre to get hit as much as he did, and we need to do a better job protecting him. A couple times we've got to get rid of it, but for the most part, you're trying to make plays. When you're in a game that every play matters, that's going to be part of it. Deshaun got sacked four times and took a lot of hits and a lot of near sacks. He got hit probably three times as much as he did. Both teams had a lot of tackles for loss and things. That's when good football teams get at it. That's kind of what happens.
Q. It seems that Jack is getting a lot more aggressive on the ball. What is he doing?
COACH FISHER: Just a lot more consistency and knowledge of our defense. Just getting more comfortable. You know what I mean? Get ting in a role. We're trying to keep the reps spread out and keep developing him. I think he's got a chance to be a really, really good player. Doing a nice job.
Q. In terms of the deep shots that you take with Deondre, he's taken a lot of hits --
COACH FISHER: That's the give and take. If you don't fade it, then they've got nine guys sitting there at the line of scrimmage, and you ain't running the football. You can't throw any short routes because they end up pushing him out. We had double-teams on him, and we got split on. We've got to hold up. That's the thing about taking shots. But you've got to take them. You cannot not take them because, if you don't, you'll never move the football. They'll play eight, nine guys in the box on runs, and they'll squat your underneath stuff, and you won't have any routes.
We had some opportunities down the field which we didn't get, but we got three or four interference calls on the night. It's give and take. That's the thing you always fight when you're taking shots. Finding ways to make sure you get protection and get it out. Again, some should have been a couple we could have thrown a hair earlier.
Q. I realize that. I'm just wondering, in terms of maybe the percentages, how much of it is line, how much is because he's young?
COACH FISHER: Like I said, a couple was fullbacks. A couple was tight ends. Three or four was offensive line. There was one -- on the shot plays -- the one wasn't a shot on the one he took a sack on. There wasn't really any of the things he could have ever done on any of them. He actually got it off quickly. One of the guys got beat and got it out of there. Again, they're good on that side. If you don't take shots on those kinds of teams, you'll never move the football.
Q. Does it seem to you that he takes more physical shots?
COACH FISHER: He does. It's weird because I've never had one take quite as many, you know what I'm saying? But a couple, in my opinion -- again, in other games, have been very late. The worst ones he took in a couple of the other games, he should have never been touched. Ball's out. He's clean. So how do you coach against that? You got to call it, you know what I'm saying?
And I say this all the time. I think we've got to do a better job. I'm not talking about just in here. I'm talking about college football -- of protecting quarterbacks, when they're vulnerable and making throws and taking shots. I think we've got to do a better job and really emphasize, like they do in pro football, the quarterback protection because that guy is so vulnerable if we're worried about the safety of the game.
I see it across the board when I watch games all across the country, how it's emphasized. I think that's something that we need to do. And late hits need to be really, really scrutinized and maybe even some more severe punishments to stop people. Just like throwing guys out of the game for head shots, you know what I'm saying? If you're going to do that and you want to protect them, if you want the integrity of the game, make those penalties very severe for hitting those guys late.
Q. You've been around a lot of quarterbacks and a lot of tough quarterbacks. Could you know how tough --
COACH FISHER: You never know until you get in there. There's a lot of tough things, but your competitive spirit and your mindset. That's one thing we've been blessed here with. I'll say that. The guys I've had have been extremely -- Drew and those guys were extremely competitive. Christian Ponder was one of the toughest guys that ever walked the earth, and he never got credit.
I watched him play a game, and I never even knew it. We played NC State one year, and I was still the coordinator. He broke two ribs the first series. Played the whole game. No one knew. During halftime, they told me. I said, well, he's not done. They said, oh, they made him shoot. Come out, first play, gets blind-sided. We miss a block, gets blind-sided in the ribs, gets up, goes down the field, and we win 45-42.
E.J. played the Notre Dame game with a broke leg. The whole second half of that game with a broke leg. Played banged and bruised. Jameis, ankles, knees.
Those guys have all -- we've been very blessed to have tremendous competitors as our leaders. And Deondre is right up there with any of them as far as that goes, with any of them.
Q. (No microphone).
COACH FISHER: He's banged and bruised up. The shots -- we knew his shoulder was hurt earlier and his neck and all those things -- when he went out, but he's fine.
Q. (No microphone).
COACH FISHER: It is, but also you learn to adapt and get better and get quicker. Most quarterback when's they're young do get hit a lot. That's as you learn the game. That's part of it. I heard a great stat today. One that Brady may be playing the best football of his life. One of the reasons they're saying because in the last couple years he's been beat to death and still been -- they were maligning him. This year they're really protecting him and doing a good job. I haven't seen it. I've just seen numbers. He's playing at a tremendously high level.
But you learn to hang in there and learn to do it. The competitors, they just move on. But everybody gets affected in the game. If you're getting continual pressure and pressure and pressure where you can't function, but he hasn't done that. He's executed at a high level.
Q. Do you want to see ejections for late hits?
COACH FISHER: I don't know if it's ejections, but just severe penalties. I think it's that. As we go into this game of football in the future, we're all going to be -- it's for protection and things, and we're trying to protect the people that are vulnerable, you know what I'm saying? Whether it's receivers or people that are exposed and things. And I think it's something we're going to have to look at, in my opinion. Especially as much as you throw the football today.
So you go back in the old days like they say, but you didn't throw the football. You didn't have the number of throws and the body types and different things going on with the blitzes and all the big bodies on defense like you are now. The game is changing, and I think it's something you've got to look at.
Q. (No microphone). Do you think he gets credit for the work he puts in during the week to get ready?
COACH FISHER: I think he does. I think people really appreciate him. It's like anything you do, take him for granted maybe. I don't. I know how special he is.
But I think people do and recognize that, you know what I mean? Again, you go back and look at those runs, those runs were blocked very cleanly too. We did a great job of blocking, getting hats on hats, and made some adjustments at halftime to create different formations and create some runs off things they did because they were a team to always stack the box. They force you -- you talk about taking shots, I'm not going back to that.
But they're a team who put extra guys in the box on the run and play the safeties extremely low. Even the extra guy on the extra guy. They force you to beat them over the top, and you have to take the shots and chances to do it.
But he's an extremely, extremely talented guy, but he's an extremely, extremely team guy that works at the game. He really does. I don't take him for granted, I know that. I don't know. I guess that's a question for somebody else. I know how special he is.
Q. Does he still surprise you at times on the field?
COACH FISHER: Yeah. I could say that, yeah. You keep going dadgum. You look at it and just go, again, huh? I'm going to tell you, the thing I don't think he does get credit for as much, you watch him run inside the tackles. He's a very -- he's become a much more physical runner as he's gotten older, in my opinion. Learning to drop his pads.
I think, when you're young, I met him in high school when he was so dominant, you're used to making those runs on every play. I think he's learned when those runs are there, but also when to take a four-yard run and make it a six-yard run or a seven-yard run and drop his pad level. It was one of the touchdown runs. The first one, he wound back, and there was a safety there. He dropped his pad level and ran through the safety.
As you go higher levels of ball, I think that's extremely important. Eventually, no matter how fast you are, those levels going up, people are just as fast, and eventually you get banged up, and you have to learn to go north-south and play physical, and I think he's doing that more and more in his career.
Q. Jimbo, you guys have had some issues the last couple times in Raleigh. Do you think there's similarities akin to that? (Indiscernible.)
COACH FISHER: They had good teams. Had good quarterbacks. They had Russell Wilson one time. They had the guy up at Tampa Bay. Who was that? Glennon. Very good players. But Brissett up there last time, that was a big dogfight. Jacoby was hot as a firecracker. They have great skill guys. Good defensive line. They always have a good quarterback. They've got another one this year. It's a great environment. They like playing us.
I think that's kind of always been -- for some, even back in the '90s, back to the Winkie days. That's always when they sent them up there, one of those games early in the year. Certain teams match up in conferences against them, and they always do a good job. They're coached very well and play well.
Q. Do you feel different about this team after a close loss to Clemson than you did after the close loss to North Carolina?
COACH FISHER: Yes.
Q. Have you seen the team grow?
COACH FISHER: Again, you say that, and people say, this team is growing and getting much better. The competitive spirit, the things they do. Their toughness, their mindset. Those kids, they did at North Carolina, but they're leaving everything out there. They're playing the way you want to play as far as the effort and snap. Do we have to clean some little things up? Yes, but, again, I say this, very proud of the way they're developing and growing. Much, much more.
I walked off that field disappointed because I thought we could have won the football game, but not disappointed in them as people or their effort or their commitment to winning and the things they do.
We want to make a couple more plays at key moments and do some things, and we've got to coach them better and help them get to there. But I'm going to tell you what, the want to and ability are there. I like this team, and I like it going forward. I really do.
Q. Were you worried a little bit out there?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, you worry as far as intangibles. You know what I'm saying? About getting what I call the process. I think our kids since then have really developed that mindset and have locked into it. I really do. Because it's the foundation of what we've always done here. That's the one thing here we've always played with great pride, great grit, great toughness, effort, things like that, and getting them to understand that. Sometimes it takes us a little longer.
But I've been very pleased with their responses and how they've responded to everything that's going on.
Q. With that in mind, how big is this Saturday?
COACH FISHER: I think it is. That's what I say. We can't look at this as a negative. Even though we're not -- I mean, we're all disappointed. We don't have, like you said, more victories at Florida State. I don't go like that. But I want to see how they're responding. I think we'll have a good week of practice and go compete. Again, I think this game will be very competitive. It will be a heck of a game up there. It always is. I want us to go play well.
Q. Going back to Dalvin, was that one of his better games --
COACH FISHER: Who's that?
Q. Dalvin. (No microphone).
COACH FISHER: Yeah, I would say so, as I look back over it. He did a really nice job with some runs inside early. Pushing the pile. The line was pushing. He was pushing. A couple of inside and red zone runs. A couple of short yardage runs. Yeah, I really do, now you say that.
There was four, five, six different times in that game that those were very indicative, along with, of course, the bounce outs and the great runs.
Q. You talked a lot about the offense (No microphone).
COACH FISHER: You're exactly right. There's areas we've got to get better at, and we've got to protect the pass better. You talk about offensive line, but it's receivers on routes, getting in and out of cuts. Passing game is all the way across. You can also talk about line and this, but are you running in your routes to the right place, the right times, the right depths, the right speeds, the right tempos to get the reads out, to get the ball out? That all ties in.
Everybody says, you know, a guy -- back in the old days, fast receivers get to where they got to get to so the quarterback can make a decision and get it out or get to the next guy. It's all part of it.
Yeah, it is. We don't want him to get hit, and that's something I've always taken great pride in, but we've got to do a better job. It's not just line, it's receivers running routes, quarterbacks getting out, tight ends picking up, backs picking up -- the whole thing. It's a conglomerate all the way across. We're throwing it for great yards and very effectively. Good yards per completion, good yards per average, not throwing picks. We're efficient, but we've got to get the quarterback to not take so many hits.
Q. It tends to be like a machine where you have to have all those different parts. One cog is broken or something, it kind of screws everything up. Is that correct?
COACH FISHER: That's exactly right. That's the way football is. That's why football is such a team game. It's not like baseball. It's not like basketball. I don't mean that any disrespect to them where it's individual. Football is like a car. I always say, when we run a car, you can put gas, oil, have the best engine. If a spark plug wire is loose, a car won't start sometimes, or it sputters. You know what I'm saying? Just going back and tightening the wire, it can be that simple. Or you may have to rebuild the engine. There's a lot of reasons for that.
But football is the epitome of that. The more you -- running game, passing game, those kinds of things, sometimes the problems are greater than you think, and sometimes they're less than you think. It's just a matter of tweaking. You've got to constantly fight for that and figure out what it is.
Q. Jimbo, earlier you talked about the pass rush on the interior of the line. (No microphone.)
COACH FISHER: Huge, really big. Him and Christmas and those guys. Again, pushing that pocket, pushing that pocket, and getting it back. Derrick's played really good football here lately. Really good football.
Q. Before the start of the season, Derrick said he wanted to be a better pass rusher, disrupting the quarterback. What things is he doing particularly well?
COACH FISHER: Transitioning and reading run/passes. His run reads, his pass reads. They do it just like a quarterback would read the coverage. Three deep, two deep, quarters, whatever it may be. They do that from signals to presnap reads to formations, alignments, down and distance. How a guy reacts -- is it a run? Is it a pass? Reacting to a draw. It's a lot more than when you say getting suckered out and rushing and they run a draw on you or throw a screen. All those keys.
I think just his knowledge of the game because Derek was a guy that didn't play tons and tons of football, you know what I mean? Just his knowledge of the game growing so much and him recognizing those keys so much faster, and allowing his ability to take over.
Q. That same starting five on the offensive line for five or six straight games. Are you satisfied with the progress there? Have you kind of settled in that's going to be it?
COACH FISHER: We've got other guys we're repping in practice and can put in and do things, but right now those guys are showing they play the most consistent right now. You're never satisfied because, even when you're perfect, you're want to go push up. We've got to get better. We've got to get better in a lot of areas, though, up there. But for right now, those are going to be the guys that go.
We'll keep working. We roll guys in with the ones. We pull guys out at practice and work different guys out at different times.
Q. (No microphone).
COACH FISHER: I think he plays more consistently. His knowledge. He doesn't make a lot of mistakes. He had a couple of penalties in that game that were uncharacteristic of him a little bit. He's playing the most consistent in what he's doing and has tremendous ability. I mean, tremendous ability.
Q. What's the take-away from watching NC State's game (No microphone).
COACH FISHER: He runs sweeps. He plays tight end. He plays fullback. He plays running back. He plays receivers. When you look to describe him, he's a football player. He can do everything. He can catch it, run it. He's a heck of a player. He really is. It's kind of, I'd say, a throwback type guy.
Q. (No microphone).
COACH FISHER: He is because guys that play that multitude of positions and have that size and the way he's built, but didn't have the understanding of the game to be able to do that.
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Our situation, got a couple of third and longs. Hit one in the hole. We were a man on the coverage. Slipped on the jam. The guy got two steps and hit a hole. That's the one Trey tackled the guy on and got the late hit.
Trying to think. They had one third and long. They converted and got to it fourth and one and were able to convert that. Guy made a dive. Perfect coverage. They made a play on that one. Trying to think of the other ones. I can't remember the others off the top of my head. Again, rise in their game. You know what I mean? And we're having to adjust guys and move guys around when Trey went out of the ball game to adjust to that. And then different guys in different positions. Made a few plays, and we didn't.
We almost had a sack there one time, really big time. Tarvarus is coming off the corner on the corner blitz, and backs coming off late and dove out and got a piece of it. Found a couple inches there and made it.
Q. The pick by McFadden, was he supposed to blitz?
COACH FISHER: Sometimes we trap them. You can blitz to, but you read quick pass, you don't come. It's just like a defensive lineman. They're rushing and realize they aren't going to get there, stop and get your hand up. They throw what they call hot routes. That's actually what happened the first third and long they had. He came, and we had to get -- the safety should have made a tackle on Mike Williams. We were a hair late. They caught it and got to fourth and one and made it.
That time, he came and realized there's a quick pass. You stop and run/pass read that. I can't get there. Let me try to get in your lane. Back up, his size and length allowed him to make a play. A lot of times when you're playing trap corners, you bluff them, you bring them. And sometimes when you do bring them, you realize -- and people know, if you're going to be unblocked, the ball has got to come out. There's going to be somebody usually replacing where you came from.
So as a defender, if you can read that in time, as you get experience, then you can stop, and when you're big like that, you can often tip it or become like a D-lineman or intercept it or something like that.
Q. Some seasons you don't have any adversity or things go more smoothly. Some years it seems like you have more adversity. In seasons of the past, in your coaching career, do teams usually come through that stronger the next year?
COACH FISHER: They do. What happens is you end up having to play a lot of other guys and develop team depth. Develop guys in key situations and count on guys or put more pressure on other guys to be leaders or be key components in game plans that might not have been there. All of a sudden, when those guys come back and you have those guys, in the future, it does build. It makes you stronger. It really does.
I go back to 2011. You go back to E.J. being injured a game and a half and missing those games. We had a bunch of them that year. There was a conglomerate of injuries, offensive line, everything. Remember we had to play all the freshmen linemen and all of that. After that, they responded -- I'm not saying all that's going to happen, but it does. If they handle it the right way and the young guys develop, and the older guys come back and do the things they've got to do and everybody heals up, it can make you stronger.
Also as a coach, it challenges you and makes you better because you have to adapt and develop and move things and stay very competitive in what you're doing. It can very much do that.
Q. Seeing those young guys in the secondary, how would you describe how they've taken on that challenge?
COACH FISHER: I've been very proud of them.
Q. (No microphone).
COACH FISHER: They've done a great job. They're very competitive, very attentive of wanting to do it, and jumping out there and making plays. They've all improved.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports