Aug. 20, 2001
All-America safety Chris Hope and his teammates began the final week of two-a-day practices Monday in preparation their Sept. 1 opener against Duke. The Seminoles continue two-a-day practices through Thursday with game week beginning Sunday. The team received surprise visits from former Seminoles All-America safety Deion Sanders and All-America lineman Jamie Dukes. Hope discussed Prime Time and dinner at coach Bowden’s house in his Daily Drill with seminoles.com.
Entering The Final Week Of Two-A-Days, What Are Your Goals?
Entering the final week of two-a-days, my main goals are to stay healthy and continue to improve. It is very important that we continue to improve in all aspects of our game and fix the mistakes that we made during the scrimmage on Saturday. We also have to continue to learn what the coaching staff is teaching us. The biggest improvement that we have made as a team so far during practice is that we have learned how to fight through pain and how to practice when we are sore and don’t really want to practice. We all have to come out every day and continue to get better as we prepare to play Duke in the season opener.
Was Having Deion Sanders At Practice A Learning Experience For You?
Having Deion Sanders at practice was a good experience for all of the players on the team. For me, it was exciting because he knew who I was and I felt comfortable asking him questions. The first time I met him during my freshman season I had to introduce myself to him and initiate conversation with him. This time he came in and talked to me and, because of what he knows, was able to help me. It was very interesting to me to listen to him and realize how much he knows about the game of football. He is a student of the game and that is one reason why I think he has been successful. The biggest thing I learned from him is that you have to know the game before you can play it. I feel knowing the game of football well is one of my assets. I know how to play the game and that helps you when you have weaknesses in your game. If you are not that fast or can’t jump that high, your knowledge of the game can help you be successful.
Who Are Your Closest Friends On The Team?
I am very much a team guy and consider all of the guys in the team to be my friends. We always go out as a big group. My closest friends are Darnell Dockett and Bryant McFadden.
What Do You Guys Like To Do When You Hang Out Together?
I enjoy being with my friends and having a good time. We spend a lot of time enjoying each other’s company, especially while playing video games. The hottest video game right now is the college football game on PlayStation 2. It’s fun to play that game because sometimes we get to play with and against ourselves. I get a kick out of seeing my player on the screen.
The Senior Class Had Dinner At Coach Bowden’s House On Saturday Night. Tell Us About That Experience.
Dinner at coach Bowden’s house Saturday night was a lot of fun. Because this is our last year it gave us seniors the opportunity to meet some of the people we wouldn’t normally get to meet. We were able to meet some of Coach Bowden’s friends, relax and have a good time together.
Is the Dinner As Coach Bowden’s House Something The Player’s Look Forward To As They Become Seniors?
The senior’s dinner at coach Bowden’s house is something we all look forward to. It is something that you hear great things about during your career and it was fun to finally be able to participate in the dinner. It was something that I would not have been able to participate in if I had gone to the NFL after my junior season. It fosters a unity among the seniors and coach Bowden. As senior leaders, that unity is going to be very important to the success of our team this season.
Tell Us Something That Outsiders Might Not Know About Coach Bowden
One thing that people might not know about coach Bowden is he notices all of the little things that the players are either doing or not doing. I noticed that early during my career and I have found it continues to be true. Some people think he just sits in the tower and doesn’t do too much coaching. They might think he is a little bit distanced from the team. That is the furthest idea from the truth. He sees the big plays on the field but he also sees the little plays. He notices, for example, when a player jogs on and off the field and in between drills. Those are the kinds of things he picks up on. He does a great job of building team morale when he notices things like that.
Who Was The Most Impressive Defensive Player In Saturday’s Scrimmage?
It’s kind of hard to single out one player because we all made mistakes we have to improve upon. The second team defense gave up a touchdown or two and the third team did as well. The best part of the scrimmage for the defense as a unit had to be the goal line situations. The first defense didn’t give up any scores and I think many of the younger guys stepped it up on field at that time. The younger guys saw what it meant not to allow an opponent to score a touchdown.
What Does The Team Have To Improve On The Most Heading Into Next Saturday’s Season Opener Against Duke?
The biggest improvement we have to make is limiting our missed assignments. I saw a lot of mistakes that we, as a defense, made on Saturday. I am able to see a lot of action from the back in my safety position, and saw that we made a lot of mistakes in losing containment, leading with the wrong shoulder or spilling with the wrong shoulder. Coach Bowden said that we fought well, played aggressively, and he sees everyone trying to get better. But the closer we get to eliminating our mistakes and missed assignments the closer we will be to becoming a better football team.