Coach Bowden Football Practice Report Podcast – August 14th
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Seminole football team continued practicing for the season opener versus Clemson on Tuesday. It was the first of five scheduled two-a-day practices. The morning session started a little earlier and lasted 24 periods once again. The evening session will get underway at 6:15 p.m. and last 18 periods. There will be a brief report following the second practice but there will be no more quotes from players or coaches today.
- Antone Smith (hamstring) participated in most of practice today.
- Many of the Seminoles who are returning from off-season surgery did not practice in both sessions. Players like Marcus Ball, Derek Nicholson and Anthony Houllis were held out of the first session but are expected to participate tonight.
- The team once again opened with special teams. Tony Carter, Preston Parker, Richard Goodman, Damon McDaniel and Russell Ball all worked returning punts.
- The team worked on field goal block. Gary Cismesia hit all three of his attempts in the drill.
- After some position work and some routes with the QB’s and receivers, the practice moved to 3-on-3 drills.
- In 3-on-3 walk-on Joche Norona got through the gauntlet a couple times as did Marcus Sims and Pat Davis. Russell Ball looked very impressive making it through without being tackled four times. Coach Bowden singled out Alex Boston for his consistent level of play in 3-on-3 drills but Boston was not alone in making plays. Freshman Aaron Gresham made a big stop at the first level versus Ball, one of the few players that brought Ball down in the drill. Toddrick Verdell and Jeremy Franklin recorded tackles and Budd Thacker and Myron Rolle combined on another. Freshman corner Bernard Brinson recorded a tackle as he continues to impress with his toughness in the drill.
- Smith was a welcome sight in run drills and it looked like a few days off did the tailback some good. The Pahokee, FL native was bouncing off tackles left and right and a handful to bring down. Russell Ball had a nice gainer up the middle but it was Smith’s cut to free himself on the outside that was the highlight. Defensively Kevin McNeil had a hit in the backfield and Everette Brown and Andre Fluellen both got in behind the line of scrimmage to make plays.
- In 1-on-1 D’Vontrey Richardson hit De’Cody Fagg and Richard Goodman. Drew Weatherford hit Damon McDaniel deep and also connected with Preston Parker, Goodman, Taiwan Easterling and Cameron Wade. Patrick Robinson had a nice pass break-up on a deep ball to the sideline.
- In skeleton Goodman opened the drill with a great catch going down and away to snare a ball. He stayed on his feet and picked up yards after the impressive catch. On top of the connection with Goodman, Weatherford also hit Fagg on a couple occasions. Richardson and McDaniel combined on one pass and then he hit Joslin Shaw on a deep ball. Xavier Lee and Ball hooked-up as well. The biggest defensive highlight was turned in by Dionte Allen who had a huge hit.
- In pass rush the defense had the upper hand on Tuesday after a good outing by the offense on Monday. Kevin McNeil looked good getting to the QB twice, once on a bull rush where he pushed his blocker right into the QB. Neefy Moffett also overpowered his blocker and put him right into the QB and also beat a defender as well. Eli Charles, Fluellen, Kendrick Stewart, Paul Griffin and Budd Thacker all recorded at least one win as well. On the offensive line Rodney Hudson had a great drill winning two individual battles. David Overmyer, Caz Piurowski and Shannon Boatman also held their ground and got wins.
- In 11-on-11 Weatherford completed passes to Fagg and Goodman. Lee hit McDaniel twice. On the first, the receiver turned a short pass into a big gainer and on the second he hit McDaniel deep. Russell Ball had two impressive runs including one he broke for a TD with a vicious cut back move. For the defense Moffett had a big hit in the backfield when he read a reverse and stuck the ball carrier knocking the ball out. Moffett then scooped up the loose ball and scored it. Roger Williams recorded the only pick but he was the beneficiary of some great pressure applied by Toddrick Verdell.
- The offense obviously was a little angry about scoring once in eight tries on Monday because it was the complete opposite Tuesday. The offense scored on all five of their first five attempts. Marcus Sims ran three in with the first team offense and Joe Surratt pounded one in as the first group went 4-for-4. After McDaniel scored on a run for the fifth straight TD, the defense shut the offense out on the final three plays and ended on a good note. On the last play Dekoda Watson got the ball carrier in the backfield, slammed him down and knocked the ball loose.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
On the heat:
“Heat plays a roll, no doubt about it. We started at 8:40 this morning instead of 9:20 you could really tell the difference. That first hour was fairly comfortable, and then it got back into the heat again.”
On morning practice:
“We spent a lot of time on kicking, course we’ll come out this afternoon. Mostly in the morning we’ll feature our running more `cause we’re in full pads. And in the afternoon we’ll feature our passing more `cause we’ll be in shells.”
On goal line drills:
“Yesterday on the goal line, defense just whipped the heck out of the offense. They just whipped the heck out of them. So what do they do? They go back in, offense gets mad; they get upset, they come out today, the defense very happy what happened yesterday, offense wore’em out. Offense wore’em out. It’s all attitude.”
“On the goal line we put [Damon] McDaniel back at ball carrier and boy he had some good runs. He was the most effective runner.”
On trying McDaniel at tailback:
“You’re seeing more of that now, you know how Florida did that good receiver they had–he beat us with about a forty yard run. I think we’re seeing that more in football, taking a specialist and putting him in a position where he can perform.”
On Geno Hayes:
“He’s very quiet, but if you go by when the ball is snapped, you’d say he’s the leader.”
On players not participating in the morning practice:
“They had slight injuries. Marcus Ball missed, Derek Nicholson, [Anthony] Houllis, of course [Geno] Hayes was out, but the defense missing some people there. I tell you who also looked pretty good yesterday in this thing, [Toddrick] Verdell. Verdell on goal line had a couple good plays yesterday. It’s always good to see because you’re looking for depth.”
On the return of RB Antone Smith:
“Antone was back and he didn’t get everything, but he nearly got everything.”
“Well gosh you just have to keep your fingers crossed from day-to-day. Every time you look in the paper, somebody is losing somebody, you know? You just hope it’s not one of those `out for the year’ type things `cause you’re gonna get the mix, you’re gonna get the bruises and things like that, just hope it’s nothing severe.”
On practice so far:
“Generally I feel like we’ve done everything we can do up to this point. I think we’ve gotten everything out of them right now that we can get.”
On returning from his injury:
“I’m feeling very well, I think I just need to let my body rest a little more. Trying to be very positive about the situation with the hamstring, `cause it can be a very serious injury, but I didn’t mess it up too much. I came out there, got a little work, it felt pretty good at times, and sometimes it didn’t. They kept me out of the last part of the drills, later on I’m just going to sit out here and watch everybody. I’m just going to do a little bit of running.”
On how soon he will be back full time:
“It’s really not a rush, but at the same time I have to get the timing down with the linemen and everything.”
On talking with former high school teammate and current Gator Percy Harvin:
“We talked a little bit during last season, I haven’t really talked to him as much `cause I’ve been in two-a-days. Trying to learn my playbook, you know study a little bit harder, so I really haven’t had much time to talk to anybody.”
On working at tailback today:
“I suggested it to them yesterday, you know they wanted me to come out there, they said I run like a running back when I have the ball in my hands, so I just wanted to come out there and see what I can do.”
“It’s just a fit. Just like what we did in high school. I’m just trying to come out and do the same thing. Bring back some memories, just get my legs going.”
“It felt good, I was kind of tired at the end, but I just had to suck it up and keep going.”
“Everybody wanted me to go in [at tailback], a lot of my receivers told me to go in.”
On summer workouts:
“It was a different workout program this summer, so you know we were at the weights, just working hard, man. Just trying to do a little bit more or a lot more than we did last year so you can get different results. I’m trying to get on the field basically. I got to work harder in the off season to get where I need to be.”
On his workout goals for the season:
“I want to keep my weight down a little bit and keep the body fat down so I can still use my speed, but I’m running real good out there with this body I’ve got now.”