August 14, 2008 - by
First Two-A-Day Concludes With 18-Period Practice On Band Field

Aug. 14, 2008


Tallahassee, FLThe first two-a-day practice of the 2008 pre-season came to an end this evening on the band field with the Seminoles going through 18 periods in shells. The two-hour practice was a little lighter with just a short dose of inside drills and less hitting but there was still plenty going on.



·         Practice started with special teams and position groups. After that, both the offense and defense worked versus scout teams.

·         Team inside was short but that didn’t stop Antone Smith from busting a TD run. The senior tailback got around the edge and took it to the house. The biggest defensive play was turned in by Recardo Wright who had a huge hit in the hole.

·         While the lines worked on pass rush, the rest of the team was running 7-on-7. Drew Weatherford completed an underneath route to Smith and Toddrick Verdell closed in to lay a big hit but it was Verdell who lost his helmet in the collision. Roosevelt Lawson had a nice play on a pass down the middle that looked destined for a big play.

·         When 7-on-7 moved into the red zone Verdell started things up with a PBU at the goal line and that was as close as the offense was able to get to getting six points.

·         11-on-11 got off to a poor start with an offsides call on the offense but on the next play Christian Ponder hit Jarmon Fortson for an eight yard gain. After a Smith run, Ponder overthrew Rod Owens in the corner of the endzone. Everette Brown and Neefy Moffett combined on a sack on the next play ending the first series.

·         On the second series Weatherford began with a long scramble and then hit Bert Reed for a TD on a rollout. The offense started back near the 30 and Carlton Jones had a nifty run for short yardage but showing some good moves in the process. Weatherford moved the offense to a near six points on a completion to Cameron Wade before he was replaced by D’Vontrey Richardson.

·         Richardson began with a designed run and then hit Greg Carr down inside the 10 yard line. On the next play Verdell got a measure of revenge on Smith as he timed up his hit perfectly to light up Smith just as the ball arrived. The period ended on a Smith run.

·         With Weatherford back under center Jones got his number called on the first play for a short gain followed by a completion over the middle to Reed. Weatherford went for six on the next play but Ochuko Jenije had great coverage on Corey Surrency not allowing the big wideout to get inside him at the goal line.

·         Ponder led the offense back out starting at the opponent 45. The first play almost resulted in a TD, for the defense. A poorly run pattern almost resulted in a gift TD for Tony Carter on an out pattern. On the next play the offense was called for holding on an incomplete pass. On third down Emmanuel Dunbar got to Ponder and forced a throw away. On the final play of the drive Ponder completed a long strike to Rod Owens.

·         Weatherford started his series with a long scramble after the pocket collapsed and he was unable to locate an open receiver. Jones followed with a nice long run to the outside before Weatherford found Timothy orange on a deep out. Weatherford completed a nice long ball over the middle to Caz Piurowski but a jarring hit by Nick Moody dislodged the ball for either an incompletion or fumble.

·         Richardson opened his series with back-to-back incompletions. Dunbar came up with another play forcing Richardson out of the pocket and the series ended with a third incomplete pass.

·         Practice ended with the 1:00 drill and the defense capped of the practice on a familiar note. Kevin McNeil started things off with a sack and then Brown crashed the pocket and forced an incompletion but the D was flagged for pass interference. There was a holding on the offense on the next play and then Derek Nicholson dropped deep into coverage and broke up a pass. Moffett once again got pressure from the front four on the next play but Weatherford was able to find Surrency for a 12-yard gain. On fourth down Moffett got a QB pressure on an incomplete pass that completed the final practice of the day.






Drew Weatherford: 5-for-6

Christian Ponder: 1-for-3

D’Vontrey Richardson: 2-for-3

EJ Manuel: 0-for-2


Brandon Paul – 2 catches

Greg Carr – 2 catches: highlight 30 yard catch from Richards

Rod Owens – 1 catch

Marcus Sims – 1 catch

Jarmon Fortson – 1 catch: highlight – 35 yard catch from Weatherford

Richard Goodman – 1 catch


11 vs. 11 (45 yard line)

Drew Weatherford: 0-for-2; 1 rush 4 yards

Christian Ponder: 0-for-2; 2 rushes 6 yards

D’Vontrey Richardson: 2-for-2, 57 yards, TD; 1 rush 0 yards


Antone Smith – 3 rushes, 55 yards, TD

Carlton Jones – 1 rush, 5 yards

Bert Reed – 1 rush, 4 yards

Brandon Paul – 1 rush, 3 yards


Corey Surrency – 1 catch, 45 yards, TD

Bert Reed – 1 catch, 12 yards


11 vs. 11 (20 yard line)

Christian Ponder: 3-for-3, 26 yards

Drew Weatherford: 1-for-1, 20 yards, TD

EJ Manuel: 0-for-1


Antone Smith – 1 rush, 0 yards

Carlton Jones – 2 rushes, 20 yards, TD

Brandon Paul – 1 rush, 11 yards


Greg Carr – 1 catch, 5 yards

Jarmon Fortson – 1 catch, 13 yards

Taiwan Easterling – 1 catch, 8 yards

Antone Smith – 1 catch, 20 yards, TD


Goal line


Offense scored on the fourth chance on a pitch to Carlton Jones from Ponder



Head Coach Bobby Bowden:

Opening statement:

“Our fields are so wet that we have begun to practice on the synthetic turf. We had a pretty good practice today. The kids worked hard, made some nice plays, catches and runs. There were also some good defensive plays.”


On if he is worried that things won’t be cleared up for Tavares Pressley:

“I thought he was going to be cleared yesterday. Evidently they have a whole lot of transcripts from our student body. They had a lot to go through but there is only two weeks until school starts. I thought he would be out here today, but maybe tonight he’ll be back.”


Working on kicking game:

“They punted good. Field goals were also pretty good. I think (Graham) Gano hit all of his.” 


On if Gano takes the lead over Hobby for the job and if it will have a negative affect with all his responsibility:

“The only negative thing that can happen is an injury. If that does happen, then we would put the other guy in anyways.”


On Garvin showing up in practice and making plays:

“That’s what we need. We need to be getting that ball.”


Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher:

On how the starting quarterback is lining up:

“I’m gonna tell you what, it’s getting interesting. They’re making progress, I mean, really being competitive and you see them start to top each other. So we’ll see how the scrimmages go. I don’t have a crystal ball, but they’re not letting up. They’re not making it easy. I promise you that, they’re not making it easy.”


On how to determine who will be the starting quarterback:

“First of all consistency and ball security, you still say that. How you lead the team, the demeanor of the team, how you handle the huddle and all those other things. But then also we’ve got to make plays. Who can be creative enough to get the ball down the field and hit the big plays, find numbers, be consistent in the reads and sometimes you’ve got to make the plays with your legs. We’ve got to score points and who can score the most points and taking care of that ball the most and moving something down the field. ”


Quarterback Drew Weatherford:

How did practice go today?

“We had a pretty good day but still have a lot of work to do. There are some mistakes we’re making out there that we have to fix.”


What do you want to see out of the other quarterbacks?

“They are all doing a fantastic job. E.J. Manuel is a very talented and intelligent guy. He has come in here and run the offense a lot faster which I expected him to do. D’Vontrey (Richardson) is doing a good job as well. Were all just trying to compete with one another, encourage each other and learn from each others mistakes.”


On the offensive line?

“They are doing a really good job. We just need to keep them healthy. On running and blocking we need to do some work there but they will figure it out once our first game comes.”


DE Kevin McNeil:

On coming back to play football:

“It’s hard to watch football. You come to play football, of course you’re coming to do academics also, but I came here to play football so it’s hard watching it but I’m back so it’s good to be back.”


On being a little rusty coming back onto the football field:

“Of course when you miss as much football as I missed there’s going to be rust. Me and coach are working on it, watching a lot of film and I’m getting back into it real fast.”


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