August 9, 2008 - by
FSU Football Puts On Shoulder Pads And Practices For 24 Periods

Aug. 9, 2008

Tallahassee, FL – With late afternoon weather always a concern and summer school now over, the Florida State football team will be practicing mostly in the morning. On Saturday the team hit the field for a 24-period practice in uppers. Despite a cool breeze and lower temperatures, heat was still a factor as newcomers and veterans both felt the affect. Sunday will be an off day from practice but there will still be a lot to do as the Seminoles will spend the morning meeting with the media and then head to fan day beginning at 1:00 p.m.



  • Christian Ponder and Myron Rolle not only received their degrees on Saturday they both earned their undergrad diplomas in 2 ½ years. On top of that, the Seminole duo led the commencement crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and the signing of our National Anthem.





Head Coach Bobby Bowden

Opening statement:

“The thing that you have to do is make progress everyday for 25 days. I thought the kids understood a little bit more today what we’re trying to do. That’s going to be the key; just keep learning, learning, learning. The freshmen are going to have to learn real quick. I thought it was good practice. They all look good in those shorts.”


On the defense the last few years:

“It’s funny all of the blame goes offense, but our defense hasn’t been up to par either like it was during the 90’s and that’s what we’re trying to get back to. It’s been a breakdown on both sides of the football, maybe not as great defensively as it has been offensively. We really worked this spring on redzone. We got better at it during the spring; I hope we get better at it during the fall.”


On the reason for the defensive breakdown:

“Kids making mistakes or something like that is usually the case. It’s got to be either technique or a mistake, it’s one of those two. We gave up entirely too many bombs at the end of the year. We gave up two to Florida and one or two to Kentucky and Virginia Tech got one or two. The defense has got to start there, stopping that bomb.”


On balancing the work between the new players and suspended returners:

“Well right now we’re working them all equally; whether you’re on the second or first team you’re getting equal work. If you’re on the second team you could possibly be getting better work because you’re going up against the first-team defense. We’ll gradually ease that group that is going to play in that first ball game up to the first unit and build first unit pride.”


Is it difficult to balance?

“No you just put the other guys on the second team. We don’t have to bring them along as fast although we are bringing them along. We can’t afford to get to that fourth game and they’re not ready to play. They’ve got to be ready to play.”


On quarterback EJ Manuel:

“Jimbo has mixed him in there some and let him get some 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 and he handles it pretty good. I have not seen a sense of panic at all, but he’s got so much to learn. Those guys have so much to learn.”


On Manuel being a smart quarterback:

“He’s got that, he’s got character he’s got the things you’re looking for in a quarterback. Jimbo looked at a lot of quarterbacks and felt like he was the one he wanted. He has all those parts. I think what people have to realize is that (Chris) Weinke didn’t start until he was a sophomore. Charlie Ward didn’t start until he was a redshirt junior. Casey Weldon didn’t either; neither did Thad Busby. It usually takes them time to get it. We’ve had the misfortune here the last six-seven years of having to start a freshman quarterback. I think now Manuel has the luxury of us being able to bring him slowly, which I think is good. Now how fast he gets in there will be up to how much he progresses.”


Sophomore Quarterback D’Vontrey Richardson

On where he needs to improve:

“I know everything in the playbook now; it’s just the little things now that I need to get right like my drop and the protections. I look at it every night before I go to bed and then again before and after meetings.”


On talking to offensive coordinator Jimbo Fischer on his role:

“We’ve talked about a package, but we haven’t talked about how they’ll use me. I’m just looking to compete for the starting job. I feel like this year I can’t hold anything back. I’m looking at it as all or nothing and I have to go for it.”


Senior Cornerback Tony Carter

On what this team needs to do to improve on 7-6 seasons:

“Like Coach Bowden said last year we had five games last year where one or two points was the difference. We’ve been buckling down on making the big plays that will help determine the outcome of the game.”


On the incoming freshman wide receivers:

“They are big. You don’t see freshman come in that big, but big doesn’t mean that you’re better. You can tell they want to play and coach Dawsey has been working really hard with them.”


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