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September 7, 2011

Jimbo Fisher

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Florida State football Coach Jimbo Fisher.
COACH FISHER: Yes, we came off a game with Louisiana Monroe, thought our kids played very hard. Thought they played good, sound football in the first game and we had very few communication issues. We took care of the ball for the most part. Special teams I thought was really outstanding in the game and set the tone for the game.
Our defense played extremely well with the field position it was given and played well in third down and got off our offense, was able to hit some big plays. I thought we passed very well and able to convert on third downs very well and let a few red zone opportunities slide by us.
We got a lot of key guys some playing time but ULM I thought did a very nice job as a very good, sound football team and hopefully we'll make a lot more improvements going into the second game but we definitely need to do that.
For an opening game I was pleased for the most part about the structure of how everything was ran.

Q. Tell me about Greg Dent and how he worked his way up from a special teams guy last year to somebody who looks like he could be an impact player for you?
COACH FISHER: He really has. He's from Belle Grade, Florida. We always thought he had great potential. Last year Greg did some really nice things in practice toward the end of the year. We felt really confident, and had a good spring. And he has big play potential. He can run. He's a tough guy. He can play on special teams, which is a good sign.
And actually he had a drop right before he made that big catch and that's what I was very proud of, he was able to shake it off, he was very mature to come back and make a big play that I thought got the game going in our direction for good. And very high on him and hoping he can have a great year. But has a lot of potential, and he was a guy we really liked out of high school. We really liked him and thought he was a big-time player, and plays out of Belle Glade, and that's an area that seems to produce a lot of good football players.

Q. On special teams was he a guy, you mentioned the way that they set the tone, was he that kind of guy last year and does he still play special teams?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, he's on different special teams, off and on. We have a lot of guys, some of our new guys that may have moved into starting roles and he was involved in special teams and will always be involved in special teams. And yes, he was -- (indiscernible) -- he can hit you. He can tackle you. He's an offensive guy that played a lot of defense in high school, was a safety in corner, never came off the field, returned kicks and did all those type of things. You know, he's a physical guy and he has a defensive mentality.

Q. With Kelvin and Greg out, wonder if you already have somebody in place, kick returner, punter returner --
COACH FISHER: Yeah, we have at linebacker, of course we have Vince will start and we have Christian Jones who plays in the middle at times on other things, and we can slide the other Sams in up top out there, too. Christian played in the middle two, will play there. And on the returner we have Rashad Greene will be in there and Bert Reed that can return kicks, and along with Kenny Shaw if has to back there. But I'm anxious to see Bert and especially Rashard Green, I'm really anxious to see him in the return game.

Q. Working on a story on play calling and going back to the Florida State / Clemson game last year, I think you surprised Clemson with the option look I don't think they had seen from you too much. Curious what the idea was behind those plays?
COACH FISHER: I'd have to go back and think about that. I think it was what we had to do to move the ball. (Laughing) We have a lot of things in our offense at times that sometimes we use, sometimes we don't and we have to pull out for a certain situation. Clemson was an outstanding defensive football team. We had some linemen that were banged up in that game, and their front forward was very good. And we felt it just gave us the opportunity to move the ball I remember in that game.
It's something that we have always had in our offense and we will run periodically. But it's not a mainstay but there's times in the game you have to make adjustments. Got to figure out a way to move the ball, and Clemson was really outstanding on defense last year, as I'm assuming they will be again this year, too.

Q. Do you remember, were you really searching for something to be effective and were you going down a list of trial and error of what would work?
COACH FISHER: Not really from that avenue. That's something that's always in our offense and we have all kinds of things in our offense over the years. You always keep those in there and we were able to do that.

Q. You're facing a team that lost 62 to nothing and numerically did not do a lot in its season opener. How do you keep your team focused?
COACH FISHER: Well, it's about us and how we have to prepare and if we want to be the kind of football team that we hope to be, those teams play well no matter who you play and where you play. We have to be able to perform, we have to be able to practice, we have to be able to create the habits all week so we can go out and execute in a game just like you would no matter who you're playing. Southern -- you give them respect by preparing and playing as good as you can play, and you know, it tests our team maturity as far as how they want to look at things.
Like I said, all great teams -- you're not a great team if you only try to play hard in the big games you play. In football, it's not like baseball and basketball and all those things. You're only guaranteed 12 a year, so you'd better make them count.

Q. Wondering, I know you are new to the scheduling part of things, but can you talk about your philosophy on how you want to schedule your out of conference games, and whether -- splitting up the BCS conference teams?
COACH FISHER: I think the first thing we better realize right now before we go do a lot of out-of-conference games is where are these conferences going? It sounds like there' been a lot of changing going on right now. So before we go scheduling way ahead, we better figure out who is in our league, who isn't in our league and what's going on in the future; if they are going to change, I don't know if they are. Every time you think they aren't, somebody on the news says they are. I think we need to find that out before we go jumping in.
But we play Oklahoma and Florida out of conference. Next year we play West Virginia, South Florida and Florida. I don't anybody has a non-conference schedule close to ours. We are as good as anybody's in the country. We definitely play a lot of great non-conference games.

Q. Is the idea to prepare the team for conference play --
COACH FISHER: It is and you have to create games that you think can get your team ready to be a championship-caliber team and where you and what you do. Florida always going to be our constant non-conference, we always know that, it's going to be as good of a non-conference game as anybody in America can play and the other games will be determined by scheduling conflicts or whatever.
But we love the challenges and we will try to work that way. We will try to play some other good teams and hopefully we won't play four great, great conference teams, but it's hard, everybody today is very good. Like I said this weekend, that Louisiana Monroe football team we played, they had 20 starters back and there are some really athletic guys on that football team. They are going to have a good season.

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