Aug. 8, 2008
Tallahassee, FL – After spending the first day of practice on a basketball court of all places, the FSU football team was able to get outside Friday and practice for a full 20 periods. Although it was just a shorts practice, it was described as “very good” and “high-energy” by offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher. The Seminoles will work out in shoulder pads for the first time this pre-season on Saturday and then take Sunday off from practice for media and fan day.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
“It was a spirited first practice which it normally is. Everybody is fresh. Last night we had to go inside because of the lightning. We wouldn’t mind practicing in the rain but lighting – you can’t have it. Thank goodness we were able to get outside today. I hope we are that lucky – we will go tomorrow probably around 9:30 or 10:00 or something in the morning.”
On the talent level outside:
“There is some talent out there now it’s a matter of getting it together, getting it together. You have got to stay healthy. When you look at that team out there you see a pretty good looking team. Then you realize that about seven or eight aren’t going to play for three games. We are going to have to call on these young people more than we have — ever I guess.”
Do you have to call on the young players early in camp?
“It means that we work them more because some of them are going to have to play. Usually those freshmen you would like to bring them slow and if they are not ready go ahead and redshirt them. There are some that are going to have to play anyway to get through those first three ball games.”
“I was impressed with what I saw out there today. I’ll tell you there is some good young talent. This looks like some of the freshman teams we used to bring in.”
What makes these players special?
“They way the handle themselves. The way they execute. The way they run. The way they handle themselves I guess is the big thing.”
Knowing they are going to get the opportunity early, are the freshman more spirited?
“Yea. The opportunity is going to be there for some of them that didn’t realize it and I think they are the kind of kids that are going to give you what they got no matter what.”
Did you pay extra attention to the offensive line?
“I did not. I watched them some but I really watched the skill more than I did that. When I get the film I can see a little bit more of it. I think I got the feeling talking to Trickett after practice that he was kind of happy with some of the talent the kids have. What they are going to do is have talent, totally inexperienced and not be as big and strong as he wants yet. We just have to get everything the got and go from there.”
“What’s the fastest you remember a guy graduating from Florida State?
“Ponder (and Myron), too – did both of them come in at the same time? Isn’t that amazing – two and a half years. Ken Alexander was what, three years. Ken Alexander was three. That’s the closest I can remember.”
On E.J. Manuel
“He did some work tonight. He did some good things. A guy that’s not as good as him would panic under the situation – 11-on-11. You look at him and you think you look like he belongs. But he’s way behind as far as knowing what to do but he didn’t panic, he didn’t panic. So, you see some good things.”
Defensive Tackle Kendrick Stewart
On getting an opportunity:
“It’s a big load to fill. All this experience it’s my time to step up. I’ve been here and I’ve paid my dues so now it’s time for me to step up. I’ve got big goals set for this team. Everybody is working hard; this is the hardest I think we worked in the summer. Coach Stroud pushing us; coaches pushing us. I feel good about the season.
“It feels different (than last year). It’s much of a load but I can’t let that stop me. I have been progressing with my shoulder in jury and I have been working hard all summer. I’m ready to go.
Quarterback Christian Ponder
On graduating Saturday in just two and half years:
“I was actually shooting to be done this past spring, but things didn’t work out so it ended up happening this summer. To be honest, I was actually shooting to graduate earlier, but it worked out this way. I came in with 21 credit hours, went to school every summer term and took 18 hours a couple of semesters.”
On Corey Surrency and having such a big target to throw to:
“If he’s got one-on-one, we are taking him all day. He is such a great athlete; he’ll go up and get balls. He’s fast, he’s big and he’s a guy that you can never look off. He’s always going to make plays and he’s going to be a playmaker all year.”
On the soft hands of Corey Surrency:
“Once he came in he made a big impression. He has great hands and basically every attribute you want in a receiver, he’s tall, he’s quick, he’s fast, got great hands and great body control.”
Defensive Tackle Budd Thacker
On helping the younger guys and getting them ready to play before the start of the season:
“We are in kind of bind for the first three games so we are going to do our best to teach him (Moses McCray) as quickly as possible. He’s got to learn this stuff quick; he only has two and half weeks of two-a-days to get it down.
“I’m just trying to help out the younger guys; we look like we have some good fighting dogs out there, so I’m looking forward to working with them. We have a lack of depth in those first three games. We have got to help everyone else get better. We can’t come out here goofing off and taking it easy. Not only that, but we have to get better for ourselves and help everyone else get better too.”