Aug. 28, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State was finally back out on the practice fields on Thursday. The squad was in full pads for 24 periods under bright sunny skies for the second day. High temperatures were a factor for the second consecutive practice after a pre-season that saw cooler than usual temperatures for summer in Florida. The Seminoles seemed to handle the heat better on Thursday than they did on Wednesday according to head coach Bobby Bowden.
· Defensive tackle Emmanuel Dunbar was back at the University Center following practice Thursday.
· The team worked on special teams including punt block and kick-off returns.
· In pass rush Everette Brown looked like he was ready to start the season tonight with the handful of colleges that kicked their season off Thursday. He won four individual battles. Kevin McNeil won two match-ups while White and Moses McCray both won a battle. For the offense it was Rodney Hudson once again leading the way. The freshman All-American won four of his match-ups. Andrew Datko, Ryan McMahon, Zebrie Sanders and David Spurlock also had wins.
· In skeleton Myron Rolle and Jamie Robinson each had picks. Christian Ponder had a nice drill connecting on two passes to Greg Carr and also hitting Rod Owens, Surrency and Fortson. His biggest completion was a TD to Reed. D’Vontrey Richardson had hook-ups with Richard Goodman and Cameron Wade. Weatherford hit Easterling, Carr and Owens.
· In 11-on-11 Reed tore up the drill with a touchdown from Ponder that came on great individual effort after catching a short pass. Reed also caught a ball from Weatherford as did Carr who had a great run after the catch to score a TD. Mangum had another nice period with a break-up and a forced fumble. McNeil had a sack.
· In 4:00 drill Seddrick Holloway had a nice run breaking tackles while Nigel Bradham had a big hit. Jamie Robinson had a pass break-up but Easterling was able to haul in the rebound. The offense was unable to run 4:00 off the clock and turned the ball back over to the ‘opposing team’. On the next series the offense ended practice in a different manner as Weatherford went deep to Reed for a practice-ending TD.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
“It (the heat) was exactly what we need cause probably exactly what we’ll be playing in. The kids handled it a lot better then they did yesterday. Those four days off, I think we lost a lot of our conditioning but we’re getting it back now, thank goodness. It was very, very important (to work in the hot weather), we saw how much yesterday. We had them in pretty dawg gone good shape and then we got that hurricane winds coming through here and rain and everything and we didn’t do anything and you could really tell it so they were able to get back into it.”
On Emmanuel Dunbar being released from the hospital:
“Yea that was the best news I’ve heard today that he’s out, out working around thank goodness.”
WR Greg Carr
On the hot practice:
“It pushes your conditioning to another level when your out in the heat so we know each and everyday that we’ve got to be prepared for anything. With this heat out here it pushes us a little harder because we know with the heat beaming down on us and the way coach pushes it means things are going to get a little harder but at the same time it we know it helps us mentally as well physically so we just try to us every aspect we can to get us better each and everyday.”
If he feels pleased with his performance this preseason:
“I am, but I know I have a lot more to go. I’m not going to say I’m happy but I’m kind of feeling better about it so I know each and every day I got to continue to come out here and get better and coach is going to continuously push me each and everyday because he’s always tells it, ‘what you did yesterday doesn’t matter, once you come out here the new day starts’. We just have to come out here each and everyday and I’m feeling better about my performance but I still know I have to be consistent and still got a long ways to go.”
Cornerback Tony Carter
On practice, in the heat:
“It was pretty good. From a players’ standpoint, you don’t want to see it. But it’s a good thing. We need the heat, that’s how it’s going to be on Saturdays, especially down here in Florida. Coach Bobby (Bowden) said Florida has been spoiling us with all this rain. It going to test us, with the heat. It’s good for us.”
On not playing on Labor Day:
“No, we like Labor Day. Everybody is watching us and it makes you want to perform, under the lights. It’s a big game. And it’s less practicing. It is going to give us time to prepare for our season coming up. But we would love to play on a Labor Day night, in front of a big crowd.”
On the defensive backfield:
“It’s good. We have a lot of guys with a lot of experience and we have some pretty good players and as everyone knows some good leadership. I think we’re going to be good as a group.”
On Dunbar going down in practice:
“You definitely don’t want to see a guy get hurt. It’s someone we hang around everyday, and we pray for him and let God do his work.”
On regrouping after seeing someone get injured like Dunbar:
“It’s definitely tough because in the back of your mind you don’t want that to be you. But it’s the risk you take playing football. It’s a humbling experience because anytime football can be taken away from you.”