Oct. 19, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Improving execution is an emphasis every day on the Florida State football practice field, but with the Seminoles working out in shorts and helmets in Monday’s non-contact session, it was the sole focus.
Despite an open week on the schedule leading up to Thursday’s nationally-televised game at North Carolina, the Seminoles could use some fresh legs and sharp minds to open the second half of the season. To that end, Monday’s 2 1/2-hour practice – with a half-dozen NFL scouts in attendance – likely did Bobby Bowden’s team some good.
One day after senior defensive tackle Budd Thacker became the latest casualty on a growing list, the Seminoles maintained a brisk practice pace without collisions. That’s probably a good thing when you consider the team lost senior tight end Caz Piurowski for the season with a knee injury against Georgia Tech and linebacker Maurice Harris with a neck injury.
Thacker, who had strung together two of his best games against Boston College and Georgia Tech, is out indefinitely after suffering a left knee medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain. He sustained the injury – confirmed by an MRI on Monday – during an inside drill on Sunday.
Regardless, Bowden thought the open week, on the heels of a three-game losing streak, was what his team needed.
“I thought it probably worked out about right,” Bowden said. “It should have helped us.”
If nothing else, it gave a number of players the chance to refine skills before be asked to step up and fill playing voids in the wake of recent injuries. Likewise, it gave others like cornerback Patrick Robinson (ankle sprain), defensive tackle Justin Mincey (knee) and rover Jajuan Harley (illness), additional time to mend.
The Seminoles won’t have to wait much longer to find out just how much they improved. Tuesday will mark the final practice of the week and the team will depart Wednesday afternoon for Chapel Hill. It will be the first time any player on FSU’s current roster has played at Kenan Stadium.
“Every game is a new game,” said Bowden, whose team remains in the Atlantic Division mix despite an 0-3 start in league play. “You forget the last one, get your mistakes corrected and get on to the next game.”