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September 28, 2011

Jimbo Fisher

MIKE FINN: Coach Fisher, go ahead with a brief opening statement, and then we'll go to questions.
COACH FISHER: It's been an off week. Probably came at a good time for us. We've been a little banged up the last two weeks. We played a few physical tough football games. Disappointed that we had a chance to beat a tough one against Clemson, but we didn't pull it out.
But Clemson is a fine football team, and did a great job in the game. There were two good football teams playing, and unfortunately we came up on the short end.
We have to get better on the off week, heal up, and get ready to finish a regular part of our season and have a great year. I think we can. We've got a very good football team. We played two good football teams and lost by one play, and we've got to get a little better, get those corrected and go on.

Q. How does having a kicker with the kind of leg that Dustin Hopkins has figured into your game planning? I mean, do you factor in certain things -- and I realize that it depends on situations in the game too. But if we can reach such and such a yard line, does that factor in at all?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, when you're calling plays and you know where your comfort zone and his comfort zone is field goal-wise, there is no doubt when you're calling it. I think it factors in big time defensively when you know for at times you can cover kicks and kicking it, the other team's starting at their own 20. I think that helps tremendously, maybe as much on offense is where it goes.

Q. Where is his comfort zone?
COACH FISHER: He comfortably hits them 55 and 60 all the time. If he hits one good, it can go 70. Somewhere in that range. But his 55 to 57 yards, somewhere in that range, he's still pretty comfortable there. 52, 53 is really comfortable.

Q. One other question on him do you think that he's an example of the old -- the old myth used to be that kickers did their thing, but they weren't necessarily good athletes. But he's a really good athlete. I understand that he played secondary in high school and how good a football player is he?
COACH FISHER: He's a really good football player, and a really good athlete. When you test him, we run, jump and do all of our testing and all that stuff. He's up in the top 10, 15% of our team. He can run 4.5, he can dunk basketballs and all that stuff. He's a really good athlete.

Q. I'm curious on your history as an offensive coordinator forever and you're still a primary play caller. As a head coach and everything else going on, how hard is it to give up those responsibilities, and give me a quick overview on your philosophy and approach to play calling?
COACH FISHER: I don't think it's very hard. I don't want to. You've got plenty of time to do it. We've got a lot of time to do it, it's fine, just like a lot of guys do across the country. It's part of the game that I'm always going to be interested in just like our quarterback.
Maybe down the road years from now maybe. But just like Coach Bowden did for all those years until he was 60 years old, basically. You have plenty of time to do it. I watched film with the offense, the defense, and everybody every week, and very active in what we do. We still have time to run the team and do the other things, but it's a part of it that, at least for right now, we won't give up.

Q. You were a quarterback your whole life. How much responsibility did you get in play calling at the position?
COACH FISHER: It depends on which coach I had and what part of my career I was in. In my career in college I had a lot of ability to check and do things, In high school sometimes and even in junior high. Came a time in each of those segments where you understood everything, and the coaches feel comfortable with how you were calling the game, and you're trying to win it, not just throw it.

Q. Does that affect the way you think about giving some freedom to the quarterbacks that you coach?
COACH FISHER: I think it is. I think it's stuff you have to do. People do it from the sidelines and check and do things. People do, we've done, we all do. But he has to see things and the way you teach him. It's the way you coach him. He sees things through your eyes.
That's a big part of how the game is played. When you call the play, what you're wanting to accomplish, what you're really seeing and why you're calling the play. That was one of the thing that's I thought Clint did a nice job of last week.

Q. You mentioned with the week off, you're getting some banged up players a chance to get better. How does E.J. Manuel stand in that? Is there a chance he'll be back next week?
COACH FISHER: Yes, yes, oh, yes. Most definitely. He's made a lot of progress. Feels good throwing the ball ask doing some things now. So we feel very good about that.

Q. Trickett played so well that going forward do you have a role for him?
COACH FISHER: No, E.J.'s our quarterback. Just like E.J. played terrific when he filled in for Christian. But I think you get in trouble when you do that. I think you have to identify your quarterback. If one's not playing well, you have another one to play.
E.J. was playing well when he was injured. So E.J. will be the quarterback.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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