December 29, 2007 - by
FSU Holds Last Full Practice Before Monday’s Music City Bowl

Dec. 29, 2007




    Nashville, TNThe weather was sunny in Nashville on Sunday and the Seminole football team was able to practice outdoors at Good Pasture Christian School for the first time this week. Florida State practiced for 16 periods in helmets and shorts as the team went through its final full practice of the season. The team got out to practice almost a half hour early after the Music City Bowl coaches’ luncheon finished up ahead of schedule. The luncheon, hosted by ESPN’s Ron Franklin, attracted nearly 1,000 people and was attended by both teams.



    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    On yesterday’s indoor practice:

    “We got a lot out of it. The big thing now-a-days is assignments, assignments, assignments. That is the one thing you can do inside. The thing you can’t do is air the ball out. So it was very important we were able to work on that.”


    On the role Preston Parker has played in 2007:

    “It is so much better than what we could have envisioned. It would be hard for us to envision what he has meant to our football team. He is probably our most dangerous player. Then we got a tailback hurt and we move him back there and he got 130 or something like that. He has just been phenomenal. I would never have thought when we signed him. I knew he was a heck of a receiver I didn’t know he could run like he does or throw the ball and play running back.”


    On the role D’Vontrey Richardson will play:

    “We got him working at wide receiver and at running back, kickoffs, everything really. He will go out on kickoffs, he will probably go down on punts, he’ll probably try to block punts, he’ll probably could be a wide receive. He can line up as a tailback as we need him.


    “He has got skills. I wouldn’t be surprised if we hit the field for that game with them and he ain’t the best athlete on the field. He is a quarterback and that is where he wants to play. That’s where we will play him so right now he is kind of a back-up at a lot of positions.”


    On Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson:

    He is a big leaguer. He is the kind you don’t like to see. I put him in that category with (BC’s Matt) Ryan. I put him in that category with (Florida‘s Tim) Tebow. Tebow is probably the best, maybe the best ever.


    On how Andre Woodson compares to Matt Ryan:

    “He is just as dangerous, maybe more so because he can probably run better.”


    On what being a heavy underdog will do to his team:

    “Well you hope (that motivates the team) but that needs to come from them. A coach can say `Boy this is something we can really rally around, men lets go out and rally around’ but unless you feel it down in your heart it is hard to rally around. You hope that they pick it up that way.”


    On his comfort level with back-up QB Christian Ponder due to his playing experience:

    “Yes, I think anytime you get game experience I think it is important. He has been under fire and we have an idea of what he can do.”


    On what he sees in Kentucky:

    “They are a real solid football team, very solid. It is hard to find a place you can just pick on them. Then the other thing that really overwhelms you is the ability of their offense that no matter what happens they can bring you back.”


    On the chance for a hero to emerge in the Music City Bowl:

    “If somebody can go out and make some great plays and win this darn game, they would be in the hero category. Their names would go in the book.”


    On how important this game is:

    “How important is it? It is important. We have played bowls before that we have lost and still came back and had a great year, same thing with Kentucky. It is not like your whole future is shaped by what happens in this game. I think where it helps the most is going into next year with some momentum. You know? And yet there have been times where we lost our last ballgame and kids go in there with a resolve maybe greater than you could have established any other way.”


    Defensive Tackle Kendrick Stewart

    On the opportunity of the younger players getting a chance to play in the bowl game:

    “It’s a great opportunity. It’s too bad that some of our players did make the trip but it’s a great opportunity for the younger guys to come in and showcase their skills. I’ve started four games this year which is a huge help and I have that game experience, so there isn’t that much of a drop off.”


    On the adversity this team has dealt with over the last two weeks:

    “It’s been a struggle but you have to push forward. For the players that are here, we are trying to win this game. We miss those players that are not here but we have to go out and do what we can for the team and show everybody that we are still Florida State.”


    Linebacker Kendall Smith

    On the opportunity to play in the bowl game:

    “Not many freshmen get the opportunity that I am getting right now. I talked to my friends and family and they keep asking me if I am going to play and I keep telling them that `yes, I am playing.’ I have to take advantage of this opportunity. I am just glad that the coaches trust me to go out on the field and be part of the first team. I really never thought that it would happen this year. I just thought that I would be playing with the special teams unit the whole time just like the freshmen lineman do in their first season. And when my sophomore year roles around, then get the chance to play. This is a step ahead and I’m just trying to help the team out and get a win in this bowl game.”


    Offensive Lineman Evan Bellamy

    On the opportunity to play in the bowl game:

    “This is a great opportunity. I am really enjoying playing right now and just hoping do to well and get some more playing time in the future.”


    On the guys that are stepping in and whether they have something to prove:

    “No, the guys are just going out there trying to play football. I have Rodney Hudson helping me out at left guard and we are just hoping to do well.”


    Quarterback Drew Weatherford

    On the attitude of the team heading into Monday’s game:

    “Honestly, this is a great opportunity for our team. There is a lot of adversity and you can’t have a great win unless you have adversity. And we have a lot of adversity coming right off the bat.  This is really exciting for a lot of guys to have an opportunity that they haven’t had previously.  But we are just excited to be here and looking forward to the game.”


    On this game being a huge spring board for next season:

    “This is a very unique opportunity. It’s something that we really can’t control, but the one thing that we can control is our attitude under these circumstances. And I think that is the most important thing. I have been really happy with the way all our players and coaches and even our fans have handled it throughout this whole ordeal.”

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