Aug. 15, 2008
Tallahassee, FL – For the first time this pre-season the Seminole football team practiced in full pads with the full effect of a Florida summer beating down on them. The squad went 24 periods in full pads under scorching hot and humid conditions. This was the final practice before the first scrimmage of the 2008 pre-season Saturday evening. That scrimmage will be closed to the public.
· Graham Gano and Zach Hobby had both been excelling this pre-season. Gano entered Friday’s practice 14-of-15 and Hobby was 10-of-12. Neither averaged nearly that well in the kicking portion of practice on Friday missing on a more kicks than they made.
· After position work and scout team drills, the squad moved into Dallas (backs versus linebackers and safeties). Jamie Robinson picked off a pass during that drill.
· In goal line coverage Michael Ray Garvin had the only pass break up for the defense. Drew Weatherford connected with Greg Carr, Louis Givens and with Rod Owens. Owens made an unbelievable catch considering Garvin had great coverage on the play. D’Vontrey Richardson hit Chase Walker and Avis Commack for TDs while Ponder and Carr connected for a TD.
· The receivers and DBs broke off for 1-on-1 while the rest of the team stayed in inside. In 1-on-1 Garvin once again recorded the only pass break up. Weatherford had a completion to E.J. Manuel completed passes to Taiwan Easterling, Parker and a deep touchdown pass to Fortson.
· The defense performed very well in 7-on-7. Patrick Robinson, Ochuko Jenije, Mister Alexander and Korey Mangum all had pass break-ups. Toddrick Verdell had two huge hits. Richardson had completions to Seddrick Holloway and Bert Reed. Richardson hit Parker twice and Easterling deep. Weatherford completed two passes to Commack, one of which was a deep TD. The senior QB also went deep to Reed and got a lot of yards on a great run after the catch by Reed as well.
· The defensive line got the best of the offensive line in pass rush. Kevin McNeil had two wins as did Budd Thacker who split two defenders for one of his sacks. Everette Brown, Benjamin Lampkin, Neefy Moffett, Markus White and Dunbar also got to the QB. Rodney Hudson, Ryan McMahon and Andrew Datko all had wins for the offense.
· The trend continued for the defense in 11-on-11 as Mickey Andrew’s squad made big play after big play. Patrick Robinson had a pass break-up. Toshmon Stevens had a QB pressure that led to a Markus White bat down at the line. Alexander also had a QB pressure as did Lampkin. Brown had a sack and Rod Roberts had a big hit on Smith.
· For the offense in 11-on-11 Weatherford completed passes to Ja’Baris Little and Owens. Richardson completed passes to Surrency, Brandon Paul and Commack.
· In short yardage the offense went 3-for-4 on 3rd and 1 tries. The first play was a TD as Ponder hit Little on a rollout. Smith went up the middle for three yards on the second try, Marcus Sims dragged Recardo Wright for a first down on the third play and then Sims busted a seven-yard run up the middle.
· The offense did just as well in goal line scoring on three of four tries. Ponder hit Joe Surratt for a TD from the three. Surratt then plowed in from the one. Korey Mangum broke up the next play as he busted into the backfield and forced Richardson into a waiting Wright. The offense finished with six as Richardson connected with Fortson in the end zone.
QUOTES FOLLOWING AM PRACTICE
Defensive Coordinator Mickey Andrews
On the weather
“We had rain and it was kind of cool so we came out here to get better turf to work on, but the downside is it is a little hotter over here then on the practice field. They have better footing, but they have the heat coming at them both ways.”
On today’s practice
“We got a little something done. We continued to install our offense and defense. When you put something new in you can’t let that distract you from getting better and building on what we started. Our base defense and our base offense each day we install you just have to pick it up, but you can’t let that new thing affect what you’re doing while you’re learning the new defense or new offensive play.
“Looked like we had some pretty good pitching and catching today, the offense looked pretty sharp. The defense wasn’t as sharp as we need to be if we are going to play our role in us being successful.”
On what he’s looking at for the scrimmage tomorrow
“If we don’t tackle well, we aren’t very good. The main thing is doing your job and being disciplined, the main thing that is keeping us from being a good defense is we’re not very desperate, we’re not mean enough, we’re not tackling good enough and there’s not good effort. If you do those four things you play good defense.”
Quarterback Christian Ponder
On what has to be done to continue to improve:
“I think the biggest thing was our timing on our routes. Last year we weren’t comfortable yet and it was all the small things. When we’d get to the red zone, the smallest things matter and come to the top because everything is tighter, everything is faster. That was our biggest problem when we went through the spring and going into this fall. Everyone is getting a lot more comfortable and we’re timing things up right.”
On whether the quarterbacks will be split 50/50 at Saturday’s scrimmage:
“Yeah, I think so. We haven’t talked about it yet but I’m guessing it’ll be 50/50.”
On whether scrimmages are more important than practices:
“Definitely. Coming out of the scrimmage is going to prepare us more, it’s going to be more like a game-time situation and they’re going to put us in certain situations to get us third down and all the red zone stuff. So that’s going to help us out. It’s definitely a lot more pressure than at practice, we just have to come out focused.”
Punter/kicker Graham Gano
On Zach Hobby:
“It’s going really well. Zach is not an easy guy to try and beat. He’s doing really well kicking the balls for me. I think overall we’ve only missed a few kicks during two-a-days.”
Cornerback Tony Carter
On the heat at practice:
“The first day in full pads we got a lot of heat and hadn’t had any rain and went full speed. It’s real hot but these are the days you need, these are the days you remember when you’re down the season. These are the days you look back on.”
“It definitely means a lot, everybody can get better. Obviously people are fighting for starting positions and trying to work their way up in the depth chart. Even for a starter or someone like myself who has been playing for a while, you can go out and get better and build your confidence up.”
DB Dionte Allen
On rehabbing his injury
“It’s going well. Right now I am lifting weights and I was able to walk and run on it the other day, I was able to jog back and forth and get the rotation back into it. Going straight is getting better, but I have to get ready to be able to plant my foot into the ground.”
On how long he expects to be out
“Probably about two weeks, I’m just taking it slow right now. They were saying that they want to try to get me back out there by the start of school in two weeks.”
On what he is doing off the field
“I watch a lot of film, the offense what routes they’re running, the 1-on-1’s, I do everything that I would do if I was playing. I get stretched everyday and things like that.”