Oct. 6, 2008
As part of an internship with the sports information office, senior Paul Griffin put his position coach, Florida State defensive line coach Odell Haggins, on the hot seat and asked him five questions:
Paul: How has the season been going so far especially with having some of your interior defensive linemen unavailable for the first few games?
Coach Haggins: “The season has been going pretty good and the young kids have been working hard and they’re eager to learn, but they make a lot of mistakes and they get hard on themselves,. That’s where I come in as a coach to comfort these guys, to let them know, `let’s go we have to keep going, and if you work hard and you give the effort, I can correct the mistakes.’ Overall, they’re doing a decent job–the young kids.”
Paul: How are younger guys coming along so far and out of the younger defensive linemen, who has made some of the best strides at improving their game?
Coach Haggins: “Well if you look at it, Everett Dawkins has his strengths and has his weaknesses, he’s a smaller guy and he’s attacking, but sometimes when he attacks he gets overpowered and that comes with the position. Moses McCray, he’s big enough that when he attacks he dominates but at times he wants to look at the backfield. I can’t say this guy is better than the other guy. Both of them have their strengths and their weaknesses.”
Paul: What are some of your expectations for the rest of this season?
Coach Haggins: “To be sound technicians as football players. If you’re a sound football player you don’t make many mistakes, you don’t blow many assignments. To go along with that, you must play hard and you must be very disciplined. Discipline is huge!”
Paul: What would you say is the #1 thing you think we have to do as a team
to keep ourselves on track in order to get to the ACC championship?
Coach Haggins: “Do the little things right, make big things happen. Doing the little things will keep the team together. We need to stop all the distractions that can come between the core of the team. For example, the defensive lineman must play low before he makes a play. You’ve got to be in that position so you can go make the play. If you don’t practice the little things right like technique as a team, then when you play against your better opponents, they’re going to expose you.”
Paul: What are your thoughts on being named one of the best defensive line coaches in the nation?
Coach Haggins: “Well I give a lot of credit to the kids I have had in here over the years. If we didn’t have the talent here, it wouldn’t happen. You know it’s an honor and I humble myself as a coach. You can say Mick Andrews helped me out, but it’s a team effort. It’s a great honor. Thanks to guys like Corey Simon, Travis Johnson, Paul Griffin, Andre Fluellen, Letroy Guion, and Brodrick Bunkley….those guys made it happen. If they didn’t have the talent, I wouldn’t have been named one of the best defensive lineman coaches in the country.”