home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


December 30, 2000

Atrews Bell

Anquan Boldin

Cha Ron Dorsey

Travis Minor

Jarad Moon

Mark Richt

Chris Weinke

Brett Williams


HERB VINCENT: Coach Richt, if we could get an opening statement from you on preparations for this weekend.

COACH RICHT: I was telling the players that after we finish practice today that if we'd have gone by the practice we had two gay days ago -- or actually three practices ago now, I was a little concerned at the effort. And kind of started out real good that day, and by the end of the day, we made a lot of mistakes, looked sloppy, were not throwing or catching the ball very well, and just got me a little concerned about the effort level. The last two days, the guys have really picked it up. The spirit has been really good. We have practiced pretty physical against the defense. We were in pads yesterday and what we called shells today. Today is the last day we'll run into each other pretty good. We came out without any injuries so we're happy about that. If we keep the attitude and the effort level up and the concentration level up for the last -- over the last two days, I feel that we'll be ready to go.


CHRIS WEINKE: Just regardless of what, obviously, people are saying about this game in terms of us being the No. 3 ranked team coming in as a 12-point favorite, I think -- don't anybody think that we're not motivated playing this game. Don't let anybody think that we're not preparing to the best of our ability to play in this game. In my opinion, the coaching staff that has been intact for the most part over 15 years knows how to get us ready for this game. Obviously, we know we've had 41 days off between the games, but in terms of us preparing, reiterating what Coach Richt said, that's the way it is sometimes. You don't strap it up the first few days, but as we get closer to the game, I think the focus has been a lot better and will continue to get better. Yeah, the media says we're a 12-point favorite. It's going to be a dog fight. We understand that. That's the way we're approaching it from that side of the ball. We need to play our best football if we plan on winning this game. We've been in this situation before. We've had a taste of defeat in '98. Obviously the taste of success in '99. The feeling in the locker room after the game obviously much better than the '98 one. We don't want to repeat the feeling in the '98 game. This team is focused and will be ready to play on January 3rd. It will be a great match-up. So many things about their team makes them a solid football them. I think all three aspects of their team are very solid, and that's why they are 12-0. No one has found a way to beat them yet this year. That is our goal. But to do that, we need to play our best football Vinny.

TRAVIS MINOR: Like Chris said, this team knows a lot about focus. We feel like it's up to us to take care of things, going out and practicing. When we first got here -- not being overwhelmed with the City of Miami and the things that are around us. But it's all about hard work. Being focused out there in practice. Like Coach Richt said and Chris said, even though it's going to be a dog fight, Oklahoma is a very talented football team, especially on defense. We'll have our work cut out for us.

ATREWS BELL: Our job don't have to change much as a receiver. Someone just has to take up. Can't take what Snoop did for granted this year for us, but we have seven guys who can get it done and have stepped up there every game, and they are thrilled by this challenge. The most thing I hate about the whole thing is the most person who was hurt was Snoop. We've just got to go out there and play hard for him.

CHA-RON DORSEY: I feel that as the offensive line, we have not been preparing ourselves as we're capable of doing the first couple of practices. But as the practices have gone on, we've really been preparing ourselves. And as a team we've been preparing ourselves day by day and really concentrating on what we have to do. I feel like we're going to come out and be focused on game day.

JARAD MOON: I think some of the concerns coming into this Bowl practice season from the coaches and players -- I'm going to go by Chris and Coach Richt -- was the spreads of the game, the way the national press and odds-makers have favored us over Oklahoma. And especially with the loss that we have, it parallels '93 when we played Nebraska and down here. And I think we were 18-point favorites that year and it came down to a last-minute field goal. And if you see the team from Nebraska (sic) around town, that's a focus group. They had never been in a game like this. That group of seniors has never been in a game of this magnitude, and they are doing everything they can to get ready for it, and you can see by their team they are getting ready to play. It has the opportunity to be a lot closer than the odds-makers have guessed. So it's going to be a fight. That's something, the concerns about the practices picking up over the last few days. We know that we are going to have to bring our best game to the table to be able to compete with the team that they have.

BRETT WILLIAMS: I was a little worried the first day we got here. It seemed like everybody was kind of distracted. We were staying right there on the beach and everything, and everybody was looking out and talking with what we were going to do in Miami, and everybody seemed like it was more of a vacation than here to play a game. As we have gone on, we're getting better and better and everybody is focusing more and more each day, and by the time the game rolls around, we'll be an all cylinders and be ready to go.

ANQUAN BOLDIN: Speaking from the receivers' standpoint, I think we're working hard. With the loss of Snoop, we realize we lot a big part of our offense. But like Chris said, we have seven receivers that are capable of having a big game. Speaking as a team standpoint everybody is focused, because we realize that we have a chance to make history, even on this Florida State has had a dynasty, even after a decade, we still have a chance to make history, repeating as National Champions. That's something no one has ever did around here. The team has realized that and we're focussed, and everyone is working towards that goal.

Q. Jarad, could you just talk about the opportunity to win back-to-back titles, and even given all that Florida State has accomplished here in this 14-year run, how much more significant that would be?

JARAD MOON: Well, especially in college football, because there is no playoff system, even in the NFL, you look at the Super Bowl, you're only as good as your last game. I believe there's been eight dynasties throughout the years of college football, and we're the only running dynasty at this time. Many say that if we are able to pull off this back-to-back National Championship, the senior class would be recognized as probably the best senior class to have gone through Florida State, and that is an honor that we probably won't even realize for years to come. But one day we'll be able to look back and really be happy and appreciative of having an opportunity to be a part of something that great; and doing it right now, every day you have to cherish. But we know come into this game that we're only going to be remembered from our last game. That's going to be our legacy. So it is a matter of: Do you want to settle for being one of the great classes to go through Florida State or the best one ever? So that's our goal.

Q. Chris, beginning of this month, you were on the banquet circuit and the award circuit for a while. Was that a distraction for you? It was a few weeks ago, but was all that a distraction to kind of straighten out now?

CHRIS WEINKE: Like I said earlier, I think there's 41 days between the games. And at that point in time, although, you know, we were waiting to find out who exactly we were going to play right after the season, you know, it was just part of the whole process. And anyone that knows me knows that when it comes down to preparing for a football game, I'll prepare the way I need to prepare to be successful. And I think I was not going to let that be a distraction. I'm not worried about those things. Those things are in the past. I've come down here, and as the coaching staff has said; it is a business trip. That's the way that I'm going to approach it. And I'm preparing for this game like I have prepared for every other game, and that's to study the things I need to study and practice the way that I need to practice. So that stuff is over and done with. It has not been a concern. Those things are in the past. And I did keep somewhat of a focus on that game throughout all of that, and realized that, you know, I was really representing this football team while I was there. Although I won a few individuals awards, it was a representation of this whole football team. I needed to keep my focus on our main goal, and that was goal to win the National Championship.

Q. Chris, if you go by what the pro scouts say, Florida State has a lot more talent than Oklahoma does. What do you think?

CHRIS WEINKE: Obviously, I have watched them on film, and my opinion is they are one of the best teams in the country. And obviously being ranked No. 1 and watching them on film, they are a very solid football team. Am I going to sit here and speak about individuals? No. I can say that we are a very talented football team, but when it comes down to it, it is about who plays the best as a team, not about individual athletes. Yeah, we're stocked with great athletes. It is no secret. Everyone in the country knows that. I'm not going to try to sidestep that and say that we don't have some of the best athletes in the country, because we do. But for me to sit up here and say that Oklahoma doesn't have great athletes, I'd be lying to you. They have played together as a football team better than anyone in the country. That's why they are 12-0.

Q. Travis, would you just discuss the two linebackers that are such a hub for their defense and what you have seen in film of each?

TRAVIS MINOR: Actually, it is three linebackers. They are a very outstanding football players that stay around the ball, attack the both of them. I'm not sure who has the most tackles of both those gays. Those two guys, definitely you have to know where they are. The linemen, you have to take care of them, but I feel if we can do that, take care of that, things can go our way.

Q. Chris, how much of an advantage would your offense have against a defense like this that has not seen an offense like yours yet? Coach Stoops has talked about they have not faced an offense similar to yours. How much of an edge does that give you?

CHRIS WEINKE: Coach Stoops has faced an offense like this a few times. I know that he knows how to prepare his team defensively to face this offense. And he's had that luxury of being able to do that while he was at Florida. On the other hand, they have some teams that know how to throw the football in the Big 12. I don't know if they do it exactly the same way we do it or approach the passing game the way we do, but our -- really, our philosophy has been throughout the year to take advantage of what the defense gives us. And who knows exactly what they are going to do. They have had some extra days to prepare, obviously. But if you look at our offense, for example, the NC State game, you look at the number of times we rushed and the number of times we threw the football, very different than what you're used to at Florida State. What it is is a reflection of what the defense was giving us. So we have always been able to adjust, with as many seniors as we have on offense. To be able to adjust on the fly, whether it is changing some things, changing some routes, changing some hot patterns, sticking with the running game or just sticking with the passing game. Really, until we get out there and get through the first couple of series, we won't know exactly what to expect. I think Coach has done a good job of preparing us for what they think they are going to bring at us. You know, I can't say that I sit here and say that I know what every offense has done in the Big 12, speaking for ours, it is no secret we like to throw the football, but we also have the abilities to run the football.

Q. Two questions. Your assessment of Oklahoma's defense, from the Oklahoma side, you can't simulate the speed that Florida State has on offense, etc. But what are your impressions of Oklahoma defense. And the second question is about Chris, other than the fact that's big and strong, what intangibles does he bring to the huddle, week-in and week-out?

COACH RICHT: First of all, my impression of Oklahoma's defense is that they are very well coached. They play extremely hard as a team. A lot of times, you'll see certain players that play hard every down and a few guys that don't, but their entire unit plays hard down after down. It seems like when they get a little bit tired up front, they will make a substitution. They are not afraid to put other players in there to keep people fresh. They probably catch the football as a defense better than anybody I've seen in a long time, and that's dangerous, too. Because a lot of times you can make a few bad decisions and the linebacker drops the ball or the corner drops the ball, but these guys make great catches and they have a lot of interceptions because of that. So we have to be very careful of what we do in that regard. Chris Weinke is -- the intangibles he brings to the game, you really can't put words to describe it, I guess. Just extremely hard-working. Very serious about taking the game plan and learning it and working every day, feeling comfortable with all of the decisions that he has to make. Just very eager to learn more and more. He's very coachable. And he's got great command of the game itself. The players trust him. They know that at any given time, he'll make the play that will help them win the game. If we get in trouble -- if we've been in trouble over the years or he's made mistakes over the years, he's been able to overcome them and come back and play tremendously well. So I think the kids have the ultimate confidence in him. I know the coaching staff does. And not only do the offensive players believe in him, I think the entire team does, and sometimes it's tough to find a leader who can kind of transcend the whole team. A lot of times, you have a leader of the offense and a leader of the defense, but I think everyone would say he's the leader of this football team.

Q. Mark, when Chris came back, did you see at all any residual effect from that whole going through everything that he went through the first two weeks of September, and all of the awards, all of the banquets? And can you compare to the way he handled that to the way Charlie did?

COACH RICHT: Well, just Chris has really been practicing like a machine. He has really been practicing well. His fundamentals have gotten to the point now where it is hard for him to throw a bad ball. He may make a bad decision now and again, but rarely will he just throw an errant pass. And that's a big part of the practice day. He's got to make decisions, of course. And a lot of times, versus our scout team, we'll try to simulate Oklahoma. It's not the same thing you can get away with a little bit of a bad decision. He's been throwing the ball so accurately; it's been really encouraging to see. His foot is still bothering him a little bit. It's not bothering him like it was during the season. It's not 100%. You can tell it still bothers him some. It won't be a factor in the game because of the adrenaline and everything he is. But he's just practiced very well.

Q. Was Charlie the same way when he came back?

COACH RICHT: Charlie, I think, was fine. It's hard for me to remember that far back. I think people have a perception that maybe Charlie didn't focus as much as he could have or whatever because of the Heisman. But I think what really happened was Nebraska's defense that year was a whole lot better than anybody give them credit for. When we saw the point spread and then turned on the film and we said these odds-makers really don't know what they were talking about because that was a defense that we played against that day. And I think Charlie played his rear end off to help us win that game, because they were -- they had some great match-ups against us. And I just thought it was a hard-fought battle, and Charlie found a way to win at the end.

Q. Mark, yesterday Coach Bowden mentioned that one of the keys to this long run Florida State is keeping the staff together. This year, losing Chuck and yourself, what kind of effect do you think that will have on his program?

COACH RICHT: One thing that stays constant is Coach Bowden and the players, Mickey Andrews has been there through that whole run, too. And the defense probably more than any unit on the team has really been the group that has been consistent -- you know, consistently great year after year. I don't see that changing. Coach Bowden will definitely be able to attract a great coach, and the players are still there. So I'm sure they will continue to succeed at the same level.

Q. Coach, it used to be that when Oklahoma came to Bowl games every year, their speed was supposed to be their big advantage. This year, it seems like everybody talks about Florida State's speed and not Oklahoma. How do they compare in speed, these two teams?

COACH RICHT: I think they are outstanding. They definitely have kids who can run. You can see the quickness. You can see the ability for those guys to chase down defenders if something happens to break loose. There's not very many big plays against this defense, and that is attributed usually to great team speed. A defense that may not have great speed when something breaks in the perimeter, it is gone, but these guys can chase it down if they have to. They are great sideline to sideline. I don't know if they have as much depth as some teams might, but they definitely can run. I don't see a great advantage there.

Q. Mark, obviously a lot has been written about Chris Weinke over the years. But as a football coach, is it really hard to comprehend how much he has had to overcome from 1990 to now to be a great football player?

COACH RICHT: Well, I think when I got him in my first meeting back in the spring of whatever year it was, but the first spring football meeting that I had with him, I could tell he was going to be a great guy to coach because of how he would study the game plan, and he had already been looking at tape. He had been looking at some play book material. And when we started that first meeting, he was really up to speed on a lot of things, much more than any true freshman to be. But then when we went out there and practiced with him, you could see the rust. I mean, he was very poor fundamentally, dropping back. Things as simple as ball handling and his throwing motion was out of sync. His accuracy was not very good at all. He had no touch. I mean, he started out being able to throw the deep outs and the posts and the squarings much better than he could the little swing passes and the screens that you normally give a quarterback to get his confidence. We were throwing those kind of things early in his career and he could hardly hit them. So it look a lot of hard work to get where he is today then he had to overcome the neck surgery. At one time it looked like he might not ever play again. He is just a tough, tough guy. Tough physically, tough mentally and loves the game. And he's willing to do whatever it takes to be great, and he has a desire to be great, and a lot of guys -- you don't find that in a lot of guys. A lot of guys won't do what it takes to become great, and he does that.

Q. Is that a true story that you walked up to him before the Miami game and asked him about the foot and he said: "It doesn't matter"?

COACH RICHT: Yeah, it's true. Before the Miami game, I asked him how it felt and he said, "It doesn't matter, does it?" I said, "I guess you're right." That's the kind of guy he is.

Q. Mark, speaking of the Miami game, Miami might have been the only team that put a little bit of pressure on him. How much of that was attributed to the foot? How much of that was just he had a little bit of a tough time handling it?

COACH RICHT: I think his timing was off early in the game. He threw some passes that weren't very Weinke-like, at this point in his career; maybe earlier this his career. I think once he got into the rhythm of the game, he got better as the game went on. We played on a Thursday night against Maryland, and he hurt his foot -- actually, during the game, he told me he thought he broke his foot. And I said, "Well, let's get you out of there." He said, "Well, if you take me out, that might be the last game I ever play." And I said, "Well, maybe it's not broken. Let's get out and see what we're dealing with. If you keep playing on it you might make it worse." He really thought that he had broken it then. He didn't practice that Friday, Saturday, Sunday and all of the next week until the next Thursday. That's the first practice he even got into, and that was about a half an hour's worth of work, just to prove that he could play in that game. So he went into that game with very little preparation, and it showed starting out.

Q. So you thought it was more attributed to that than him feeling pain and not being able to play and throw?

COACH RICHT: Well, he felt pain. But he got used to, you know, how it was feeling -- or once you get going into the middle of a game, I guess it gets a little numb or whatever it might be, and you just realized how much pressure he could put on as the game went on, and I'm sure he adjusted his balance and things like that. But one throw -- he overthrew a guy down the middle that was wide open for a big play, and later, the very same play, he hit Bell for a touchdown to win the game. Exact same throw, exact same coverage; he overshot his target, and later on, he put it on the money. So e definitely got better as the game went on.

Q. What kind of advice did Chuck give you this morning?

COACH RICHT: Yeah, I just asked Chuck if he had any advice, and he said, "Just take your time, you know, making some decisions, staff decisions, and make sure you're sure about what you're doing before you do it." And he gave me his number for me to call him so we could talk at length about some things that he might have done a little differently, just the emotion that you go through, things like that.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297