Sept. 5, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher started his Monday press conference this morning by praising his team’s overall effort in Saturday’s season-opening win over Louisiana-Monroe.
“I thought our team came out and played hard, together, they played with good passion in the game,” Fisher said. “From the first play to the last play you couldn’t tell what the score was with what was going on. Kids were flying around to the ball whether it was on offense, defense or special teams. I thought focus was good for the game. I thought our mental preparation was good.”
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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FISHER ON HIS QUARTERBACK
In his first season opener as the starter at quarterback, EJ Manuel had an good performance as he threw for over 250 yards and had two touchdowns.
But he also missed on same passes that he would surely like to have back. He short-armed a throw to a wide open Nick O’Leary when the pocket got pushed back, missed Rodney Smith on a deep ball early and threw an interception in the endzone.
Despite the couple of miscues and mis-throws, Fisher said he was very pleased with Manuel’s decision-making in game No. 1.
“He made some real nice throws on third down,” Fisher said. “He hit the deep ball well. Could of had the throw of the day they called out of bounds on Bert [Reed]. That might have been the best throw of the day; stuck it right in the corner. I think Bert should have given him a little more room.”
Just like Fisher, Manuel watched game tape and saw the plays he made and the plays he missed.
Manuel said Monday that he is his own harshest critic.
“I feel like I can make every single throw out there,” Manuel said. “I don’t feel like I am perfect or anything like that but I always want to strive for that.”
In addition to being a critic of himself, Manuel also had admitted after the game that he had some butterflies early that caused him to not play relaxed against the Warhakws.
His head coach thinks that was a good thing.
“I think that’s great,” Fisher said Monday. “You don’t have butterflies, why you playing? I told them I had butterflies. I been in 22 years and every game I am in I have butterflies. When I lose them I’ll quit … if he’s nervous and throws for 65 percent every week, we’ll be pretty good.”
POINT OF EMPHASIS THIS WEEK: REDZONE OFFENSE
While the Seminoles did several things well Saturday, there was one area of the game that Fisher wants to see quick improvement in this week at practice: redzone offense.
FSU was 2-for-5 in touchdowns while in the redzone against the Warhawks and will need to correct that with stiffer opponents and defenses on the horizon.
“We dropped two touchdowns while we were down there and had a penalty on the one-yard line that cost us,” Fisher said. “We left some points off the board but that’s something we can clean up and get better at.”
DEPTH CHART UPDATE
FSU’s new depth chart for the week was released Monday and there weren’t any real changes.
Junior wide receiver Willie Haulstead is still not on the depth chart as he continues to battle back after sustaining a concussion late in camp. Haulstead did not play in the season opener and is scheduled to be re-evaluated Monday. He could return at any time.
Another wide receiver that’s not on the depth chart is true freshman Kelvin Benjamin, who was not in pads during the opener either.
“We are working with him right now, “Fisher said about the highly-touted pass catcher. “As we see fit when he’s ready to go and he’s doing great. I think he’s going to be a super player here.”
NEW GUYS GALORE
A grand total of 18 Seminoles made their respective debuts this past Saturday.
That number includes 11 freshmen (Karlos Williams, Timmy Jernigan, O’Leary, Devonta Freeman, Nick Waisome, Rashad Greene, Tyler Hunter, Terrance Smith, Bobby Hart, Austin Barron, Josue Matias, Clint Trickett, Wil Tye, Nigel Terrell, Christian Green and Cameron Irving) and two junior college transfers (Cornellius Carradine and Jacob Jahrenkrug).
“Timmy Jernigan, he was in there throwing guys around like he’s a fifth-year senior,” Fisher said after naming several newcomers that had an impact.