August 15, 2001 - by
The Chris Hope Diary – Practice In Full Pads

Aug. 15, 2001

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  • Florida State’s All-American safety Chris Hope and his teammates began practice in full pads Wednesday as they continued preparation for their season opener against Duke on Sept. 1. Hope discussed the difference between practicing with and without pads as he stopped by for his Daily Drill with seminoles.com.

    Aside From The Obvious, What Is The Biggest Difference in Practice With Pads Vs. Without Pads?

    The biggest difference is that when you practice in full pads everything is at full speed. All of the coaches are out of the way and each individual determines what he knows and can do. Practicing in full pads is like taking an exam where you practiced all week and learned the plays and now its time for you to show the coaches what you have learned. Practicing without pads allows you gain a feel for the plays because everything is moving at a slower pace. Being at Florida State, everybody is fast, so practicing without pads here is quite fast. You get more of an opportunity to learn plays and formations when you are not practicing in full pads.

    How Do You Motivate Yourself For Practice?

    It is very easy to motivate myself for practice. You have to be on the practice field whether you are tired or don’t feel well, so you need to learn and improve during each practice. If I am sore at the beginning of a practice, I try to get some extra stretching in to warm up my body and get myself going. Getting excited for practice is not hard at Florida State.

    Are You Satisfied With Where You Are Physically As Well As Mentally At This Point Of Practice?

    Though I don’t feel that I am out of shape at this point, I do feel some rust in my techniques. Through film work, continued conditioning and more agilities I will work my way into game shape by the time the season begins. Mentally, I am a fourth-year senior, so I know pretty much what I have to do on every defense. This year, I have the opportunity to take over things from the whole team perspective. I have to get everyone lined up correctly with the defensive calls. Being that I played with Brian Allen, Tommy Polley and some of the older guys last year, it took some of the pressure off of me. I have to be mentally strong because I am playing with a number of younger guys this season. I have to stay mentally strong and alert because I have to help make the defensive calls this season.

    What Are Your Goals For Yourself Between Now And The End Of Practice?

    My goals are to stay healthy, to be a role model and a leader for the younger guys and continue to try and improve on my cover abilities, my techniques and my tackling abilities each and every day.

    How Are Your Goals Different This Season As Compared To Last Season?

    My goals this year are similar to the goals I had for myself last season. I want to be an All-American, I want to be an All-ACC player, I want to be an Academic All-American, I want to win the Thorpe Award and I want to be a first round draft pick. Overall, it is very important to my teammates and me that I take every play in practice and in games more seriously than I have before. As a senior, my teammates and coaches are always going to be watching me, so I have to set an example.

    How Is Your Intensity This Season Different From Your Intensity Last Season?

    My intensity is always going to be the same. No matter who we are playing against or who I am going against in practice, I always have to play as hard as I can. My intensity level has to be as high as it possibly can be whenever I step on the field.

    Complete This Sentence: This Year Will Be A Success If…

    This year will to be a success if God continues to bless and watch over us and keep us from injury and if our young guys can improve and gain game experience each and every week.

    Who Is Your Favorite NFL Player and Why?

    Walter Payton was my favorite NFL Player. He was a hard worker and he was a leader both on and off the field. Even though he was the best player at his position, he worked every day as if he were an average player. His outstanding work ethic allowed him to excel against everyone.

    What One Thing Do You Know At This Stage Of Your Career That You Wish You Knew As A Freshman?

    The biggest difference between being a freshman and a senior is that I know now that you can’t take any days off. Every practice is important and you have to improve on some aspect of your game every day. It does not matter what you work on, but you must work on improving every day. As a freshman, you think that you have all the time in the world to learn and improve but time sneaks up on you quickly. Maybe you are unfortunate and become injured. I know now that you don’t have all the time in the world to get better.

    Do You Have Any Message That You Would Like To Give To Robert Morgan?

    It’s kind of hard to talk about the injury to Robert Morgan being that he was a senior leader on this team. Hopefully he will be able to play next season when his injury is healed and his rehabilitation is through. Hopefully he can put things in the hands of the Lord and everything will turn out in a positive manner for him. We are going to miss him on the field this season but he will be with us every step of the way.

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