Coach Bowden Football Practice Report Podcast – August 11th
Tallahassee, Fla. – On Saturday morning the Seminole football team really started to get down to work as they put on full pads for 24 periods and had the most physical practice to date. The return to pads also brought a return to 3-on-3 drills and goalline. There were also a ton of big hits in 11-on-11 and goalline. The team will not practice Sunday as they participate in media day and the Seminole Superstars Strength and Skills competition as a part of fan day.
- Kevin McNeil (shoulder) and Antone Smith (hamstring) both dressed on Saturday but both were limited to non-contact drills as they nurse minor injuries.
- Marcus Ball had some soreness in his surgically repaired left knee. Preston Parker came out to practice wearing a cast on his left hand but participated in all 24 periods.
- Junior tight end Jonathan Hannah caught passes for the first time today but was unable to practice in full pads yet.
- Practice opened with special teams work and PAT/field goal block before the squad broke into position groups.
- The offense worked versus the scout team.
- Practice really intensified when the team moved into 3-on-3 drills, which were instituted by the staff this past spring. Anthony Houllis continued to look like he is headed for a full recovery as he was shedding blockers and making plays during the drill. For the receivers, Damon McDaniel and Cameron Wade both had big blocks.
- The defense did pretty well in run drills as the offense was once again without first team tailback Smith. Christian Ponder had a nice gain on a QB keeper and Pat Davis also broke a nice run.
- The receivers worked versus the DB’s in 1-on-1 and 2-on-2. Ponder connected on a pass to De’Cody Fagg and D’Vontrey Richardson hit Parker, Rod Owens and connected on a deep ball to Goodman, who had a very impressive practice. Xavier Lee and Greg Carr connected for the second day in a row and Drew Weatherford hit Owens. For the defense Roger Williams continued a strong first week with another pass break-up and Tony Carter broke on a pass that, if he would have held on, would have gone for six points the other way.
- In pass rush drills the offensive guys won a few more individual battles Saturday as Ryan McMahon, Tyler Graves, Rodney Hudson, A.J,. Ganguzza, Anthony Grosso and Evan Bellamy all held defenders at bay. David Overmyer stood up a rusher on a couple occasions. For the defense, Everette Brown continues to shine using his speed to repeatedly beat blockers getting to the QB three times. Paul Griffin, Letroy Guion, Andre Fluellen, Eli Charles and Alex Boston also beat offensive linemen. Budd Thacker had multiple wins as well.
- In skeleton Myron Rolle had one of his best days breaking up passes on both sides of the field on back-to-back plays. The first one though didn’t officially make it to the ground as Preston Parker plucked the batted ball out of the air but paid the price getting leveled by two defenders. Tony Carter stripped a completion from a receiver and Kenny Ingram had a big hit to break up another sure catch. Damon McDaniel turned in a great play as J.R. Bryant tipped a deep ball away but McDaniel stayed with it and completed the play. Xavier Lee completed passes to Carr twice, Parker and McDaniel who turned the short completion into a big gainer. Richardson had a completion to Pat Davis on a swing pass and Ponder connected with Joslin Shaw. The combination of skeleton was Weatherford to Goodman though. The pair hooked up three times, two of which were deep passes. Weatherford also hit McDaniel who turned the completion into a score.
- After pass drills the practice moved into 11-on-11. Parker had a nice run and freshman Bert Reed showed his toughness taking three big hits on a short gainer but never going down. Williams got the defense cheering with the biggest play of the drill. He knifed into the backfield, hit the receiver just as he caught the swing pass and then picked up the ball he jarred loose for the turnover.
- For the first time the team worked in goalline to close out the practice. Letroy Guion got things started on the right foot for the D. The junior got to the running back right as he was taking the handoff and broke up the play. He knocked the ball loose and recovered the fumble three yards behind the line. Roger William and Derek Nicholson combined for a tackle behind the line, Darius McClure recorded a big hit at the line and Jeremy Franklin made a last ditch tackle at the goalline to save a TD. Russell Ball was the only offensive player to get into the endzone as he went around the right end. Xavier Lee also scored over the top on a busted play but with the defense unable to touch him due to the green jersey, they lobbied for that score not to count.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
“It was hot as fire. I thought we stood that part okay. Got a lot of work to do. We’ll start two-a-days I guess Monday. Kids will be off, well they’ll be in meetings this afternoon, but won’t practice this afternoon.”
On Letroy Guion:
“Guion, think he is probably, in my opinion, second best tackle out there, behind Fluellen, the way it looks to me. That’s true, he’s been handicapped with injuries of and on ever since he’s been here.
On the first week of practice:
“I guess we got out of it everything we supposed to get out of it. You know you’re never satisfied. Always like to see it better. But with the heat like it is, it could have been worse. And so I guess ought to be happy with that part.”
On Preston Parker:
“He’s been playing with a cast and probably have to practice with it. Maybe, maybe by the game time he can get it off. I started to name him outstanding guy today, that’s what I started to do. Up there, usually I recognize one of them who I thought had the best hit or something, I started to use him, but he’s done well. You wouldn’t know he has a cast on his hand. Kid is good as the rest of them without a cast.”
On Jonathan Hannah:
“Hannah was there, Hard Headed Hannah, was out there and did some work. Since this is the first day, he has to go back to the rule of shorts, shells and then pads. We need for him to get healthy and get out there.”
On Letroy Guion:
“Letroy is playing probably better then he has ever played right now. He’s bigger, stronger, faster then he has ever been. Like I said, I think he is our next top ten, top 15 pick coming up, unless I am. To be that big, he is so mobile. He draws a lot of attention because you can’t single out Letroy, he will go right around. That helps me out, they might chip off of me and then double team him and that will leave me free. Or the same thing, they might chip off of him and leave him free.”
On the defense:
“We just came out here trying to work hard today, the biggest thing we can do better is just try to get some more big hits because we didn’t really lay any wood on anybody today, that was kind of disappointing. Everybody seems to be getting more disciplined I don’t know if it is the locker checks or whatever, but we have been a lot more disciplined on the defense.”
On challenging one another:
“Tony and I we talk pretty much every night about stepping up this year. Guys are gonna look at us and expect big things. We expect big things out of ourselves. We are always challenging each other in practice. I’ll say Tony come on it’s time for you to make a pick and we just push ourselves all the time. We are definitely ready for the challenge.”
On the team competition:
“Last year I was in the predicament where I was battleing for position and trying to get that start against Miami last year. It didn’t happen, happened later in the year and I thank coach for that because I wasn’t ready. But this year I see some guys really progressing and really competing out there and that is important. Especially in that cornerback position, I see that everyday between the Robinsons and Michael Ray Garvin.”
On being a leader:
“Our defense was slacking a little bit earlier in practice and Coach Andrews was telling me I wasn’t being a leader right now and I’m only a sophomore but he looks at me as a leader. I take it upon myself to try to pick the team up when we’re down. I’m not really a vocal guy but I try to do it by example and try to always stay motivated and always positive. It’s a long day, it’s hot, you have to motivate yourself.”
After practice for one week:
“It was great, it’s very exciting out here, it was hard today. It’s been hot out here for the week but it’s nothing, like I said, that we can’t handle. We got goals this year so we have to fight through it. We did a tackling drill today that was very, very intense. I’m feeling good right now I’m a little sore but I’m okay. When you are playing for after practice running, it gets a little intense.”
On working hard:
“I have no problem coming out here everyday and working hard because this is always where I wanted to go. I have no problem with coming out here and just working and giving it all I got and listening to Coach Andrews. Coach Andrews is a great coach and the other players around me helping us out, me and Bernard, about us being freshman and helping us out a lot and getting our feet wet right now and learning a lot.”