March 22, 2008 - by
Florida State Puts On Full Pads And Scrimmages For The First Time

March 22, 2008

Tallahassee, FL – The first day the full pads go on is a special day for any football team. That was no different Saturday as the Seminole football team went through a 27 period practice in full pads. Half the practice was spent on the practice fields and the second half inside Doak Campbell Stadium. Much of the final 13 periods were spent in 11-on-11.



  • For the first time this spring the Seminoles worked on FG and FG block. The star of the drill was former Countryside kicker Zack Hobby. The transfer from Delaware was a perfect 4-for-4 with three of the four coming from beyond 35 yards.

  • Special teams work continued with punt block/punt return. Shawn Powell looked very good during the drill. Tony Carter, Preston Parker and Bert Reed were handling punt returns during this period.

  • After position drills, the team moved inside the stadium. The first period was spent in 3-on-3. Emmanuel Dunbar continued his strong spring with a tackle and a forced fumble at the first level. Justin Mincey also made a tackle. The linebackers had a nice drill as Marcus Ball recorded multiple tackles and Kendall Smith, Nigel Bradham, Vince Williams, Dekoda Watson and Derek Nicholson all chipped in with stops at the second level.

  • During inside drills Christian Ponder had a nice run and Brandon Paul had two big gainers. Watson forced a fumble and the biggest cheers of the day came on a big hit delivered by Myron Rolle.

  • While inside was going on, the receivers, QB’s and DB’s worked against each other. Korey Mangum had an INT and a break-up while Tony Carter and Dionte Allen both broke up passes as well. Drew Weatherford hit Richard Goodman and Taiwan Easterling. Ponder connected with Goodman and Rod Owens twice while D’Vontrey Richardson found Bert Reed and Easterling.

  • In skeleton Weatherford had hook-ups with Owens, Lewis Givens and Reed. Ponder hit Marcus Sims and Reed and Richardson found Preston Parker, Owens twice and Givens. Defensively Mangum had a PBU as did Darius McClure, Carter and Aaron Gresham. Gresham‘s was almost a one handed interception.

  • In pass rush Budd Thacker, Dumaka Atkins and Everette Brown all got to the QB as did Justin Mincey on two occasions. The offensive line had a better day Saturday in this drill. Ryan McMahon, Will Furlong and Rodney Hudson had multiple wins. Brandon Davis, A.J. Ganguzza, Antwane Greenlee and Evan Bellamy also won battles.

  • The team came together for 11-on-11 and the drill was run with all plays starting at the 30. The highlights for the offense included a 13-yard run by Richardson, a nice 10+ yard run by Paul, three catches over 10 yards by Bert Reed and a tough inside run on a short pass by Parker. The biggest play came on a Ponder screen pass to Owens who broke the play 70 yards for a TD.

  • Defensive highlights were turned in by Brown, Josh Johnson, Mincey and Thacker who all had sacks. Gresham recorded a nice tackle behind the line on Richardson, Dionte Allen dragged Paul down deep in the backfield on a busted play that Paul tried to turn into a gainer and Jamie Robinson broke up a pass. True freshman Terrance Parks forced and recovered a fumble.

  • The next part of 11-on-11 took place from the 25 yard line in. For the Defense Brown continued to cause problems with a sack and a forced fumble. Thacker and Watson had sacks and Carter and Allen broke up passes. Neefy Moffett recorded a tackle for loss.

  • There was only one TD play and that came on a Ponder to Easterling hook-up from nearly 20 yards away. Weatherford looked to have a TD to Jonathan Hannah but a motion penalty wiped that out. Paul added a great run but he was dragged down just a yard shy of the endzone.

  • Practice concluded with goal line. The first team offense went 2 for 4 versus the first team D. Paul opened the drill by faking out two defenders in the flat to get in for six. Weatherford then scored from the one on a designed roll out. Watson, who was upset Weatherford got in on the previous play, took matters into his own hand and stopped the QB on the next play as the redshirt senior tried to run it in from the three. The defense then stopped Marcus Sims right up the middle from the one.

  • The second team defense did a great job allowing just one TD. The first play was a fumbled snap. Paul got to the edge on the second play and took it in. Dunbar stopped Ponder from the three on the third play and then the defensive front bottled up Joe Surratt from the one on the final play of the day.




Head Coach Bobby Bowden:

On today’s scrimmage:

“I don’t think you can say the defense got the best of it. I don’t think you can say the offense got the best of it. I thought it was a pretty even scrimmage. It really wasn’t bad for a first scrimmage.”


On Rod Owens:

“Rod has had a good four days of practice so far. He has had a good four days. A couple other guys have caught my eye, that just look improved. (Korey) Mangum at corner and (Darius) McClure at safety they have caught my eye several times out there, which is good. Another guy playing good is 36 (Dekoda) Watson. He is making some plays.


On the offense during the scrimmage:

“There is no doubt they know better what they are doing especially over this time a year ago but it doesn’t take but one man to break down to destroy an offensive play. You know you say `golly they were awful’ and then you go look at the film and he did good. You see that this guy missed his man and you get a bad play. Usually that is what happens, one guy busts a play.”


On the offensive line being extremely young:

“That is why you practice and we got to get them under pressure. You know it. We got to get that (bad snaps) ironed out. I think once they see it they will get a little more emphasis on making a perfect snap instead of thinking about something else. There mind is probably a little more on the block or something like that.”


Quarterback Christian Ponder

On competing to start:
“I am excited. Hopefully I will come out on top in the spring, going into summer. I am doing everything
I can to get there. Hopefully it will happen.”


On how valuable his experience was last fall versus Virginia Tech:

“You know if it didn’t happen I wouldn’t be here right now. I wouldn’t think the coaches have any confidence in me. The confidence he (Jimbo Fisher) has in me right now I think it is extremely helpful. I don’t think I would be here right now if that didn’t happen.”


On what he has to do to win the job:

“The thing right now is Drew (Weatherford) has all the experience. I have to do things on my own to overcome that. I have to play within my abilities, the strengths that I have. I need to get in the film room and do all that stuff. That is all I can do right now.”


Defensive End Everette Brown

On the scrimmage:
“It went pretty good for the first scrimmage. We got out there and looked pretty good. The offense moved the ball pretty good. Defensively we got to work on our assignments and not missing tackles. That was the biggest thing. The effort on both sides was there so you can always improve as long as the effort is there. That is a good thing.”


On the coaches’ expectations for him to be a dominant player in 2008:

“I don’t look at it as a challenge. That’s what I believe myself. When I grew up watching Florida State defensive ends were the dominate players and I want to bring that back here. For coach Bowden to say that is definitely a great compliment but at the same time that is my standard too, to be a dominating defensive end, to lead the defense and be that guy.”

Related Articles