August 19, 2010 - by
Chippy Day

Aug. 19, 2010

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Performance under pressure is the key to success in any sport. With that in mind Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher put the Seminoles’ feet to the fire Thursday with a practice session geared largely to situational play.

The Seminoles responded with a spirited effort on both sides of the ball which suggested that the Sept. 4 opener against Samford can’t arrive soon enough.

“We’re just trying to get them to understand and get comfortable in those situations,” said Fisher, who served up a heavy dose of clock management, end of half and end of game situations. “They’re going to make mistakes for a while, but they’re not making many. I like their attitude and they’re competing well against each other.

“They’re getting real chippy with each other now. I had to stop it and tell everybody to quiet it down and play ball again. I’d rather say `Whoa’ than `Giddy-up,’ I promise you.”

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There was ample giddy-up on both sides of the ball as practice wound to a close with a two-minute drill.

Count senior middle linebacker Kendall Smith among those who welcomes the situational preparation for the season.

“Coach Fisher really wanted to put us in situations that we are going to be in for real,” said Smith. “We’re trying to get people to think under pressure and know what to do under pressure. It’s been a more competitive two-a-days. We’ve been getting after each other more. We shake the offense and the offense puts something on us every now and then, so it’s more competitive.”

And it showed.

“Things are real competitive out there,” said redshirt junior Terrance Parks. “We are going head-to-head, with good athletes on both sides of the ball. We are all going 100 miles per hour, trying to compete, so of course some tempers can flare up.”

Fisher wasn’t overly bothered by the occasional flare-up.

“They’re getting competitive,” Fisher said. “When one guy gets a play on (another), they start chirping, then the other one chirps. … That’s what good teams do. They take pride and they don’t want to lose. That’s the mentality you have to have. You have to be able to do it and still have discipline and be able to process what’s going on mentally. There’s nothing wrong with that. Now if it gets you out of your mind, you’ve got to stop it.

“You’ve got to do it with discipline and intelligence.”

High marks for Trickett

Freshman quarterback Clint Trickett drew high praise from Fisher for his practice performance Wednesday when he chose to rest quarterbacks Christian Ponder and EJ Manuel.

“We rested EJ and Christian yesterday because of arms; just the wear and tear,” Fisher said. “Will Secord, unfortunately at the same time, got sick. So he (Trickett) took every rep with the ones as a true freshman and we functioned and were able to practice. Everything wasn’t perfect but we were able to get in the two-minute drill and he made a few nice plays. … I’ve been very, very pleased with him. He’s a tough son-of-a-gun. He understands what he’s doing. He’s doing a real good job.”

Manuel further confirmed what Fisher said.

“Clint showed a lot of poise, hung in the pocket, throws the very good,” said Manuel. “He did excellent. He took every snap of the afternoon. He did very well last night. He did very good. He’s got a young arm so I don’t think he was tired at all. I think his legs were a little tired.”

Ponder and Manuel were back in action Thursday and feeling better for the extra rest.

“It was nice to get a little day off. We are kind of unused to that – Jimbo giving us a chance to get our arms back – but it definitely feels a lot better today,” said Manuel. “We realize, and coach realizes also, that this season is a long season so it’s more important … to have us later on in the season than to have us at one practice. We definitely don’t want to miss a practice but if your arm is hurt your arm is hurt.”

“I tell you what, (the rest) showed in Christian’s arm today,” Fisher said. “He was sharp. I told him, `It’s nice to have you back.'”


With projected starting safety Nick Moody sidelined, Ochuko Jenije has been getting the lion’s share of repetitions with the first team defense. “Jenije is in there doing a great job,” Fisher said. “Jajuan Harley is finding some roles in there. … We’re getting a lot of chances to look at a lot of guys and you’ve got to. We’ve got to have that depth.”…Fisher said he expects to have offensive line starters Andrew Datko and David Spurlock back next week…Friday’s Alumni Association Kickoff Luncheon at the civic center is sold out. While MC Gene Deckerhoff will introduce the players and coaching staff, Fisher said he is not ready to introduce this year’s team captains. “I’m just trying to see how guys jump out and develop,” Fisher said, adding that the staff was still discussing possible selections.

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