August 8, 2007 - by
DAY TWO: Full Squad Takes To The Practice Field For The First Time

Aug. 8, 2007

Watch Video From Practice | Photo Gallery | Coach Bowden Football Practice Report Podcast – August 8th

Tallahassee, Fla.For the first time the entire Florida State football team took to the practice field as one unit. The Seminoles practiced for 24 periods this morning in helmets and shorts. The schedule will remain the same on Thursday but the team will put on shoulder pads for the first time.



  • Head coach Bobby Bowden announced that redshirt-junior tight end D.J. Norris will have a sixth shoulder surgery and will receive a medical disqualification.

  • Linebacker Jae Thaxton has also been medically disqualified due to concussions.



  • The team once again opened the day working on special teams. With the full squad together for the first time the group of candidates to return kicks and punts started to emerge. Tony Carter, Damon McDaniel, Brandon Paul, Bernard Brinson and Russell Ball all worked as returners.

  • The team then broke up into position groups. Wide receivers and QB’s worked together and then the offense worked some against the scout team before moving to inside drills.

  • In inside drills Antone Smith showed off all his tools. The junior running back had impressive runs around the outside, up the middle and another one he sprung with a nice cut back move. Defensively Budd Thacker had a big day and it started with inside drills as he made two stops. Emmanuel Dunbar had a tackle for loss as did Toddrick Verdell and Paul Griffin. Marcus Ball recovered a fumble.

  • With all four QB’s on the field, the receivers and DB’s got extensive work versus one another. Drew Weatherford had a deep connection to Greg Carr and he also hit Joslin Shaw and Preston Parker. Parker’s reception was short but he turned it into a big gainer with some nice moves after the catch. Taiwan Easterling hauled in a long ball and Carr caught another pass this time from Christian Ponder. D’Vontrey Richardson hooked up on passes to De’Cody Fagg and Shaw.  On the other side of the ball Carter, Ochucko Jenije and Michael Ray Garvin broke up passes. Patrick Robinson recorded two break-ups.

  • In passing drills Darius McClure recorded a break-up for the defense. Offensively Xavier Lee completed passes to Carr, Shaw, Parker and had a nice hook-up with Rod Owens down the middle of the field. Weatherford hit Owens in the seam on two occasions and also completed passes to Parker, McDaniel, Carr and a deep ball to Parker once again. Ponder looked good too hooking up with Owens, De’Cody Fagg and Richard Goodman.

  • In pass rush drills Thacker, Letroy Guion, Everette Brown, Andre Fluellen and Emmanuel Dunbar all won individual battles. Brown displayed a beautiful spin move on one of his sacks. For the offensive line, Brandon Davis, Will Furlong, Daron Rose, Ryan McMahon and Caz Piurowski all recorded wins for the O-Line.

  • Practice wrapped up with 11-on-11. Weatherford and Fagg combined for a couple hook-ups. On the second Fagg busted loose with a couple nice moves after the reception. Smith had another nice run as well. Defensively Guion recorded a sack as did Rodney Gallon. Gallon’s sack was aided by heavy pressure from Kendrick Stewart and Justin Mincey.




Bobby Bowden


On DJ Norris:

“He’s just having an operation this week and he’s not going to play anymore football. We lost him last year, he’s one of those that we lost, and he just can’t make it back, can’t be cleared. He’s going to get an operation this week.”


“The injury bug got him, he’s one of those guys that would have started last year and he got hurt. He played some, but I don’t think the last half season he ever even played. He tried to come out this spring, moved him to tight end, he looked like he could play tight end, but he can’t get medically cleared. He’s not gonna play.”


On Practice:

“Practice wasn’t bad today, I thought we moved around a little better, of course you had them all out here, which means they had more chance to rest while somebody else was running. The heat’s very difficult again, gave’em a lot of breaks so they can get water, rest. They handled it pretty darn good, I was pleased with that. Now tomorrow we’ll come out with shoulder pad and hats, in the morning, everybody.”


On any difference between now and this time last year:

“No. No. They’re all in shorts, they all look like All-Americans, every one of them looks like an All-American.”


On the offense:

“I try to watch all of them some, I watch the ball mostly. They’re coming along. It’s hard to judge when you’re out there in shorts, you know as to really what’s happening. Main thing is they’re learning who to block, what steps to take and things like that. Getting that part.”


On conditioning:

“That’s one thing we look like we might be a little ahead of last year, is they seem to be physically more adapted to this thing. I’d say it has something to do with summer workouts.”


On Jimbo’s style:

“Well you know everybody’s different. He’s got his style, somebody else has their style, and you can’t guarantee results by a guy’s style. Some coaches yell all the time, they get this result, there’s another guy never yells, gets the same result. You know he’s got his own style, I like it.”


On other new coaches:

“Well, just different the way they coach. Different the way they inspire the kids. I think the blend is real good, what we’ve got.  Got some of them like this, got some of the–you don’t want them all like. You don’t want them all alike. One thing we know, they have the know-how.”


Xavier Lee


On Practice:

“Some of the short throws, the dinks and dally throws, you know I normally hit them, but yesterday and early today I missed them a couple times but as practice went on I got a lot better.”


On Coach Fisher:

“He’s a very intense coach. You gotta understand that he wants perfection and he’s gonna get it. If you don’t do it, someone else will. So you gotta take what he says for what it’s worth, but also don’t make the same mistakes again and just keep moving. My high school coach, he was a very fiery coach. If you messed up he was knee-deep in you, you know what I mean? That’s just how he (Jimbo Fisher) is and you gotta get used to it. I mean, he’s not going to change so you have to change for him.”


“I mean he’s gonna get down on us, that’s just how he is. You gotta take it for what it’s worth, just don’t make that mistake and learn from it. Yeah he yells at you, but you gotta have tough skin, bounce back and not make the same mistake.”


“He just wants to know why we made that decision and if you answer right or wrong, you know he’s just going to get on you whether it’s wrong or right, he wants to know why you made that decision.”


“When you play quarterback, you gotta know why you throw to a certain spot, cause if you don’t, you’re just gonna wheel and deal every time.”


“There’s a little give and take on like, he understands that we all don’t learn the offense the same, so he’s willing to work with us either way. However we have to learn it, he’ll teach us.”


Marcus Sims


On practice:

“I mean it’s going real good, we’re making a lot of progress, we just got get better. We gotta get tougher and everything like that.”


Alex Boston


“We’ve still got some great guys here. It’s just a little different now, you just gotta play more as a team and just hustle in getting to the ball.”


“We worked out hard this summer and the offense really worked hard to get their body weight down and moving much better as a whole. The defense, we took pride in that too, we didn’t want an offense line that’s just out there throwing us around and giving up our season. So it’s just one of those things right now, we just gotta keep trying. We’re a little rusty right now, but we’ll be alright by the time the season comes around.”


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