March 21, 2008 - by
Seminoles Put On Pads For The First Time This Spring

March 21, 2008


  • Tallahassee, FL – While the Seminole football team will have to wait about 16 more hours to put on full pads, the squad did get its first chance to hit on Friday. The Seminoles went 26 periods in shells on a warm Friday afternoon. The squad will put on full pads Saturday and scrimmage for the first time this spring.



    • Former FSU players Charles Howard and Lonnie Johnson were at practice along with recent grad Andre Fluellen.

    • After a lot of work in position groups, the two sides of the ball started to work together. For the first time this spring the 3-on-3 drill made an appearance. Both Antone Smith and Brandon Paul had a great drill. Paul showed a lot of toughness breaking a tackle at the first level and popping up after a big hit by Patrick Robinson. Paul also showed off his moves on an electrifying run through the gauntlet. Pat Davis added a nice run as well. Budd Thacker had two tackles at the first level and Everette Brown and Jamar Jackson both made a tackle right off the bat. Vince Williams, Dekoda Watson, Marcus Ball, Recardo Wright and Derek Nicholson all brought down the back at the second level while Aaron Gresham had two tackles. Kendall Smith had the most impressive stop as he dragged down a back with just one hand who had run past him. Myron Rolle and Patrick Robinson had tackles at the third level and Roosevelt Lawson had two. The biggest play was turned in by Emmanuel Dunbar who caused the only turnover when he forced a fumble.

    • Smith had a great few periods during inside drills. The rising senior broke numerous big runs and many in spectacular fashion. The back who goes by the nickname of `Deuce’ sliced through the line for a huge run on the inside, made a great cut on another carry to get to the outside and then spun out of a tackle in the backfield to break off another long gainer. Paul also showed his toughness when he broke a tackle deep behind the line and turned it into a long jaunt. For the defense Thacker had a sack and Watson recorded a tackle for loss.

    • In 1-on-1, the offense got off to a very rough start as none of the QB’s and receivers were able to connect. Part of the reason for that was Patrick Robinson who would not allow his receivers to get off the line time after time. Dionte Allen and Darius McClure also were strong as each broke up a pass. After a few minutes, the offense started to put things together. Christian Ponder connected with Greg Carr, Preston Parker and Rod Owens. Drew Weatherford found Owens, Parker, Bert Reed and Taiwan Easterling who had a beautiful stop-and-go move and had to come back to the ball but still pulled in a juggling catch.

    • In ½ skel Weatherford hit Reed and Carr. Ponder connected with Reed and Richard Goodman and D’Vontrey Richardson hit Easterling and Carr on a deep ball. Richardson had one of the nicest throws of the day as he floated a short pass over the defense and right into the hands of Rod Owens who hauled in the dump pass and turned it into a big gainer.

    • During 7-on-7 Weatherford hit Caz Piurowski, wearing a new No. 81 jersey, and the QB connected with Parker three times. One was a short pass that the electrifying playmaker turned into a big gainer. Both of FSU’s other QB’s got some help from great receiver play as well. Richardson completed passes to Owens, Parker and Goodman, but it was Easterling’s catch on a high pass that the freshman plucked out of the air that dropped jaws. Ponder hit Paul out of the backfield, got a nice long run after the catch from Owens and hit Goodman deep on a leaping grab between two defensive backs. Darius McClure recorded the only INT of the day and Jamie Robinson had a pass break up.

    • The defensive line had a nice day in pass rush during the second period of the drill as defensive linemen were pushing their offensive counterparts back into the QB dummy on a pretty regular basis. Paul Griffin, Justin Mincey and Thacker all had power rushes. Emmanuel Dunbar had a nice drill getting to the QB three times and Everette Brown used his speed rush to get around his blocker on two occasions.

    • The practice ended with 11-on-11 which was highlighted by nothing but big plays. The drill started with Nicholson forcing a fumble that Rolle scooped up and took to the house. Weatherford then hit Parker who sped right through the defense for a huge play. Smith continued his great day with three big runs including one for a TD. Parker burned the defense once again on a great run after the catch after a Ponder pass. Richardson made it happen with his feet on a designed run he took in for six points. Reed also had a long run. The D had a couple big plays left in them as Justin Mincey recorded a sack as did Watson.




    Head Coach Bobby Bowden:

    Opening Statement:

    “We went out in shells today. We’ve been in shorts the last two days, today we went out in shells. Gave them a chance to do a little hitting, a little contact. Couldn’t put them on the ground because we’re not in full pads. I’d like to see a little bit more hitting then what we saw. (Darius) McClure had a nice interception out there today. Tomorrow we’ll go full pads and maybe we can scrimmage a little bit.”


    On if he can see the weakness of the team yet:

    “No but I think we can tell once we start scrimmaging a little bit more. See where we are breaking down. Can’t hardly do it in shorts, even in shell, because in shells we don’t tackle, we just try to butt them up but not tackle them”


    On how the quarterbacks are improving:

    “They are coming along. You can tell that Drew (Weatherford) is a fifth year season, you can tell (Christian) Ponder’s got another year under his belt. Of course D’Vontrey (Richardson) is you can tell he’s beginning to fell at home in the pocket, those things.


    On what they need to work on:

    “Trying to improve their blocking and improve their blocking and that. Nothing works if you don’t do those two things. We’ll get a gauge on how far along we are in that. I’ve got a feeling we got a lot of work to do to get better blocking and better tackling.”


    Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher:

    On how the running game is improving:
    “You can tell if it’s working to a point but I don’t know if you can totally tell because I think it’s all in and I don’t know if the execution of it is going to be where it needs to be right yet. But hopefully assignment wise, execution is one thing, but the assignments of what we are doing are getting better and that’s what I’m pleased with, then we’ve just to polish the execution and the technique of it.”


    On why he teaches everything in the beginning:

    “Well I’ve always believed in installation is a whole part whole. I mean throw it all in and then go back and repolish it and then as you repolish it’s already in and when you go back you’ve got the whole package. I’ve always found out when I put in a very limited basis and go slow; I end up never getting everything in.”


    On how this year looks different from last year:

    “It looks no where near where it needs to look but miles ahead (from last year). Two things, it’s the first time we were ever on the field with the kids and the first time they were on the field with us. So how we coach, tempo of what we did, how we do things, technique, what we demanded on the field. Until you get out here and do it. No one ever really knows what to expect from each other. So now I think they’ve got a much more expectation of us and them and what they are capable of doing. Then you can move guys and get them in better positions and do things. It’s miles ahead but no where near where it needs to be.”


    QB Christian Ponder:

    On how he is learning the spring practice:

    “I think everything is going pretty well, just picking up on offense, going through the little things. I think spring, especially me and a lot of the young guys, it’s helping out tremendously looking at the small details and focusing on the little things. I think after this spring, me and everybody else should be tons better.”


    On his expectations on the first scrimmage of the season:

    “I’m just trying not to make big mistakes and move the ball down the field. Just do what we’ve learned so far and not make it too hard and just get better until the end. It’s good to get a little contact, today was the first contact so tomorrow should be good.”


    On how the young wide receivers have grown:

    “It’s a huge difference. They’ve really stepped it up. I think they’ve gained a lot of confidence. They can play now; they don’t have to worry about the redshirt. I think that’s loosened them up a little bit, now they’re ready to go. They’re great; they should get a lot of playing time this year, if not starting. They’ve really improved.”

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