August 18, 2008 - by
FSU Opened Its Final Week Of Pre-Season Practice Monday Morning

Aug. 18, 2008

Tallahassee, FL – With just one week of pre-season practice remaining, the Florida State football team got back to work Monday morning following a day off on Sunday. The squad practiced for 24-periods in shells under cloudy skies and cool temperatures. The Seminole defense ruled the day as Dekoda Watson had two interceptions and the offense was unable to score on either of their 1:0 drill drives.



·         Head coach Everette Dawkins has moved from defensive end to tackle.

·         Practice got off to a familiar start with specialty, punt block, position group work and scout team.

Team Inside

·         Drew Weatherford connected on passes to Antone Smith, Taiwan Easterling and Ja’Baris Little. Christian Ponder hit Carlton Jones and Cameron Wade while D’Vontrey Richardson found Avis Commack. Smith also had a big run. For the defense, Tony Carter had a pass break-up, Benjamin Lampkin had a tackle for loss as did Vince Williams. Williams and Watson both had QB hurries as well.


·         Weatherford, Carlton Jones, Brandon Paul and Joe Surratt all had big runs. Smith had two big gainers. Nigel Carr had a tackle for loss.


1-on-1 – Red Zone

·         The drill began with receivers blocking defensive backs and then moved to the red zone. Ponder connected on touchdowns to Easterling, E.J. Manuel with one-hand but was ruled out of the end zone when he came down with the ball. Defensively Patrick Robinson had a pick and Korey Mangum broke up two passes.



·         1-on-1 moved back to midfield after the red zone action and all four QBs made some plays. Ponder completed a pass to E.J. Manuel completed passes to Owens and Wade. Michael Ray Garvin had the only break-up for the defense.



·         Ponder had the biggest completion of the drill hitting Surrency deep. He also connected with Greg Carr and Easterling. His best throw wasn’t even a catch though. Ponder dropped a beautiful ball in between two defenders that Easterling went up and made a great play on the ball but the redshirt freshman receiver was unable to get a foot inbounds. Weatherford hooked up with Parker, Little and Wade while Manuel had completions to Carr, Commack and Wade. Richardson hit Easterling and then Fortson turned in a big gainer on a great run after the catch. For the defense Patrick Robinson, Rod Roberts and Roosevelt Lawson all broke up passes.


Pass Rush

·         The offensive line had a very nice drill. Everette Dawkins, Everette Brown and Kendrick Stewart each had multiple wins. Paul Griffin, Kevin McNeil, Markus White and Budd Thacker also got to the QB.


·         There were only two plays of note for the offense in a drill dominated by the D. Outside of a Weatherford completion to Owens and Manuel hitting Paul, there was not much offense to talk about. Watson made his presence felt with a nice open field tackle at the line on a screen and a brilliant one-handed interception that came after Thacker collapsed the pocket. Myron Rolle had a TD saving play as he just got his hand on a pass that was headed right for Easterling down the seam that would have gone for six points. The biggest hit was delivered by Darius McClure who lit up Marcus Sims on a screen but Sims held on to the pass despite the jarring hit. Lampkin and Everette Brown combined for a QB pressure on the same play and McNeil and Kendall Smith registered QB hurries as well. Dawkins batted a pass down at the line.


1:00 Drill

·         Both drives in the drill ended with interceptions. Watson picked off his second pass of the day at the goal line and Kenny Ingram recorded a pick off following a deflection as the offense was unable to score. Weatherford got off to a great start in his drive hitting Owens on four straight plays including three first downs on the final three passes. After a first down pass to Carr, Brown had a highlight on a QB hurry. Ponder’s lone completion went to Wade.




Head Coach Bobby Bowden

Opening statement:

“The big thing we did today, of course, was look at those films and show it to the kids and try to show them the errors they were making or the good plays they were making and try to get them corrected.  That was the big thing we did today – trying to correct the errors we made.  We moved (Everette) Dawkins, a freshman, from defensive end to defensive tackle because we need some help in there.  He didn’t look bad; he didn’t look bad.  Once he knows what he is doing he’s going to be okay. 


“Marcus Sims ran good the other day.  He ran so good in that scrimmage Saturday.  I thought No. 6 (Antone Smith) ran much better, too.  There are some good things happening we just got to get all the mistakes corrected and quit making errors, errors, errors, errors.  The kids are giving good effort; we got to just got to eliminate errors.  That’s what every school’s is going through about this time probably. 


On quarterback play from the scrimmage with three quarterbacks:

“I got out of it that they are going to do a good job.  I’m sure there are degrees of difference in who is No. 1, who is No. 2 and No. 3.  I feel good with all of them.  They are doing some good things.  It’s the one who can end up the most consistent and the one who makes the fewest errors.  We worked on a 2:00 offense here at the end of practice and they both ended with two interceptions.  Dekoda Watson got one and Kenny Ingram got the other.  Of course, you want to eliminate that.  They are so much further along than they were a year ago it seems like.  Especially your twos and three.  11 (Drew Weatherford) we expect him to do it.  The others continue to make good progress also.” 


Do you see the three quarterbacks bunched together?

“I would think so.  One of them could go crazy and win that job. I’m sure it’s close.” 


Do you remember a time when you chose to give three quarterbacks snaps with the first team?

“No, twos but not threes.  I think the thing everybody wants to see is that they are all working under the same circumstances.  And then they can see themselves who out to be there; who is moving the team the best.” 


On moving Everette Dawkins to defensive tackle

“He went out there and worked at tackle.  We had talked about it and Odell (Haggins) made that move.  The kid was willing to do it.  I watched him a little bit on Saturday to see how he did.  I was satisfied with what I saw.  He’s a freshman – a pure freshman – at least he looked like he had the fundamentals.  He came from a high school that’s real good – Byrnes – in South Carolina and they play for the championship every year just about.  He looked like he has had some real good coaching.” 


Is the Everette Dawkins move based upon Moses McCray’s limited practice so far?

“That would probably have a little factor in it.  You need four, you need four and you’ve got three with Moses.  Of course he hasn’t been able to get a lot of work which make you think you better get somebody else in there, too. “


Defensive end Everette Brown

On the play of the defense in Saturday’s scrimmage:

“Saturday, we came out and got off to a great start.  You look at the first eight plays of the scrimmage and you would have thought the defense had the day for sure in terms of dominating.  But we let up, had breakdowns and lost our concentration.  Like any good team, we had to go in and watch our play on film.  We met as a defense and coach Andrews let us know how he felt about our performance.  As far as our effort, he thought it wasn’t great.  We looked at that as a team and came back out today and had a much better day.”


Did you feel something was missing from the play of the defense in last Saturday’s scrimmage?

“Like I said, we got off to a great start, then after those eight plays everything dropped.  The intensity dropped.  You didn’t see that passion in the player’s eyes and their body motion showed that they weren’t passionate about scrimmaging.  That doesn’t start with coach, that starts with leaders on the field that starts with the upperclassman; we have to do a better job of keeping the intensity up, keeping everyone on the same page.”


Wide Receiver Rod Owens

On Saturday’s scrimmage:

“It went well.  We have a lot of talent out there. Sometimes we may think it went well but isn’t as good as we thought it was.  We definitely have a lot of room for improvement.”


On making the most out of his opportunities at practice today and about wanting to be the go to receiver this year:

“I don’t really worry about that, I just try and play every play like it’s my last play.  Last year, at around this time…I lost my position.  It was a bad feeling and I don’t want that to happen again.”


On the talent of this year’s receiving core:

“Everybody has something that they possess that is really special about them.  It definitely raises the level of competition.  I try and learn something from everybody, even the young guys.  We have a lot of guys that can go out on the deep ball, we have the quick guys.  Everybody does there part, everybody plays a big role (in this offense), so I just try and learn what I can from everybody.”


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