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ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE MEDIA CONFERENCE


October 2, 2013


Jimbo Fisher


THE MODERATOR:  We welcome Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher, whose Seminoles are ranked 8th nationally by both AP and the coaches poll, will face unbeaten 25th ranked Maryland at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee.  The game will have a noon kickoff and be nationally televised by ESPN.
Coach, just briefly, an opening statement, and then we'll go to questions.
COACH FISHER:  Very proud of our team.  Played a hard fought game in BC.  BC did a tremendous job in the game and played very well.  Our team dealth with some things and made some adjustments during the game and played very well down the stretch for the most part.  Still have a lot of room to grow in different areas.
Like I said, we're still developing and very proud of our guys for the progress that we have made.  I like our football team and the way we're dealing with things on the road.  I've been very proud of that.  Sometimes you don't find that out in the season until later.  We've got two road games, critical road games we play against conference opponents.
We've got a great Maryland team coming in.  They're tops in the league in offense, defense, special teams, you name it.  They've got dynamic play makers on offense.  They can throw it.  The quarterback can run.  The backs can run it.
They can mix you up different looks defensively, different packages, three down, four down, blitzing from all different angles, create a lot of different problems in coverage, whether they blitz or they don't blitz.
With special teams, they have dynamic returners and very good kickers.  So have my hands full.  Looking forward to the challenge this weekend.  Great to be back home in Doak Campbell.  Should be a very exciting Saturday.
Questions?

Q.  Hey, Jimbo.  You've talked a lot about how you pushed Kenny Shaw early.  Jimbo, what did you see in him that you took that tack and you pushed him and tried to get everything out of him?
COACH FISHER:  I think Kenny's a guy, when you watch him, he's extremely quick, great route runner, and a lot faster than people think.  I mean, he can run.
But he has great feel for the game, very instinctive, very natural, has very good ball skills.¬† I think just‑‑ I always thought ‑‑ had high expectations for him, and he's really starting to play in those modes in different things he's doing.¬† Just wanted to get it out of him.¬† Just wanted him to push it and be consistent.
You would see it in spurts, but now you're seeing it every day, and when he does that, man, he makes us a whole different football team.

Q.  When do you think he turned the corner?
COACH FISHER:  I just think maturity.  I think through the spring and this fall some, he's really grown.
Last year I thought he had some really nice things but not as consistent.¬† This year he's so much more consistent, and you really see it in his practice habits and things that go on.¬† Just understanding how to put the work‑‑ it's not that he didn't work.¬† You can practice hard and not do it right all the time.
Now he's taking tremendous pride in doing it right, affecting the other guys, being a leader.¬† I've just been extremely ‑‑ he's just really matured.

Q.  Good morning, Jimbo.  This time around, as opposed to, say, last year, what worries you about the Maryland offense as you look at them on film?
COACH FISHER:  All of them.  They can run it.  They can throw it.  They've got misdirection.  They've got quarterback reads.  They run the veer inside when they read it.  They've got speed sweeps.  They can throw it down the field.
Diggs and Long are dynamic.¬† The backs, Ross‑‑ and throwing to all those guys, and Brown is really dynamic.¬† The tight end can make plays.¬† They're very good up front.¬† They're just very balanced.¬† They can run and throw.
When your team is balanced like that, the quarterback can run it, throw it.  Backs got it.  They can screen and run it.  They can throw it deep and jump over you.  Just a lot of dynamics on their offense.

Q.  What did you learn about your defense coming off the Boston College game?
COACH FISHER:¬† I think we still have room to grow, but I'm still very proud of the adjustments we made in second and third quarter and basically shut them down.¬† As I say, I look at it, it was more so we gave up three critical penalties, which are big in drives.¬† We had four missed violations that gave them some throw‑back plays.
But we're still working to get better and better but still doing a nice job in a lot of different areas.  Just got to play with a little more consistency.

Q.  Hey, Jimbo, talk about the Maryland team, C.J. Brown, the quarterback.  What have you seen on film?  I know he wasn't there last year when you played them at Maryland.  They had like every quarterback coming out of the crowd coming against you guys.  What did you see in his film?
COACH FISHER:¬† We saw him down here two years ago.¬† Down in our place, he played.¬† Very athletic guy, very dynamic.¬† He can beat you with his legs.¬† He can beat you with his arm.¬† He beat you with his mind.¬† He's a tough guy.¬† You just saw a complete football player.¬† This guy averages 300‑some total yards of offense per game.¬† His completion percentage over 65 percent, seven touchdowns and one pick.¬† He's thrown it for about 270, 280 yards a game.
You name it, we could have this discussion‑‑ we could talk in here for about an hour.¬† This guy is a heck of a football player now.¬† I mean, he really is.
And a great leader.  The guys seem to respond to him as a leader.

Q.  Talk about your leader at quarterback, Winston.  What did he do last week?  I saw that pass at Boston College the last minute at halftime.  Was that one of those things that was a broken play, or how did that all come about?
COACH FISHER:¬† It was a scramble rule.¬† They got pressure, and we had our scramble rules, and he raised up and saw it, and created a one‑on‑one down the field and made a great play before ‑‑ and Kenny Shaw made a great catch before the half.
He's playing, getting better and better every week and continuing to grow.

Q.  Good luck on Saturday against Maryland.
COACH FISHER:  Thank you.

Q.¬† Quick question.¬† ACC has got four teams that are 4‑0, four teams ranked for the first time in two years.¬† What does that say about the overall conference after some of these down years?
COACH FISHER:  I think the league is a very good league, and I've said that all along.  We have a lot of good players.  It's very underestimated at times.  I think you've got some great coaches in this league, not just players.  I think you've got programs.
Definitely, we're facing one of them this week in Maryland.  Randy's done a tremendous job with those guys.  They're coaching them in all three phases.  Again, this is a tough league to go play on the road in.  A lot of long travel, a lot of different kinds of environments and atmospheres.  I think it's a very good league.

Q.  Is there something that stands out about this year where so many teams have started out so hot?
COACH FISHER:  No.  I just think maybe the league's playing with a little more consistency.  But that's here to say we're still only four games in.  We have to go see.
I just think that the programs and coaches are starting to be at these programs for two, three, four years now.  And they're getting their guys in there, and the guys understand what to do, and I think you're seeing the end results.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks for being with us.  Good luck this weekend.  We'll talk to you next Wednesday.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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