March 26, 2011 - by
Showing Toughness

March 26, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A few days after challenging his team to be tougher, Florida State head football coach Jimbo Fisher hoped his message sunk in with his team. Turned out, it did as the Seminoles responded with a spirited and more up tempo practice Saturday morning, which was the first day in full pads for the team.

“I was very pleased,” Fisher said. “We had toughness and we had effort today which I questioned the other day and I was very pleased. That was one of the first real practices we’ve had. I liked what I saw on both sides of the ball – kids competing when everything wasn’t right, guys making some plays on both sides. Effort was good. I thought we had a good day on special teams. I liked the way we practiced today.”

The Seminoles wrapped up their first week of spring practice on the intramural fields across from Doak Campbell Stadium by strapping on the full pads. The addition of the pads seemed to make for that tougher practice that Fisher was looking for Thursday.

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“We were putting our face on people,” Fisher said. “Not turning our head and shoulders and when somebody was looking at each other, we were butting each other in the mouth.”

Junior defensive tackle Everett Dawkins echoed Fisher’s thoughts.
“It was pretty good, pretty intense,” Dawkins said. “The offensive line and defensive line just battling back and forth together had a lot of people energetic out there and running around to the ball. It felt real good.”

Florida State will take Sunday off before returning to practice on Monday. The `Noles will practice Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week before holding their first scrimmage next Saturday in Doak Campbell Stadium. That scrimmage is closed. FSU will also welcome area coaches for its 2011 Coaching Clinic which gets started next Thursday. The featured speaker is Indianapolis Colts Offensive Coordinator Clyde Christensen. With a busy next week, Fisher said his Seminoles better carry that intensity from Saturday over to the next day.

“It better be the same every day,” Fisher said. “We better not compromise intensity. Intensity needs to be high every day. If it isn’t, we’re going to have a problem. That’s what I had a problem with the other day.”

All practices are closed to the public. Fans can begin counting down to the SunTrust Spring Football Weekend Presented By Kia Autosport which will be capped off with the Annual Garnet and Gold Spring football game at 4 p.m. at Doak Campbell Stadium. The game will be carried on and replayed on ESPNU.

Season tickets are available now by visiting or by calling the Florida State Ticket Office at 1-888-FSU-NOLE. Single game tickets will go on sale to the general public June 1; however a single game sale is not anticipated for either the Oklahoma and Miami home games.


Head Coach Jimbo Fisher
On WR Rodney Smith and young receivers:

Rodney had probably his best day today. [He’s] learning to be more consistent, learning to do some things. [He] kept making the every down play. He’s keeping up, he caught a deep ball or two today. I was real pleased with him. He’s learning to be a much more consistent guy and actually had some nice blocks today as well.

Kenny Shaw and Scooter Haggins have jumped up. Greg Dent has made some plays. Some of the other young guys are getting a chance and are jumping in there.

On DT Anthony McCloud:
McCloud is as talented as anybody and physically gifted. When you’re talking inside being physical and tough and holding the point, McCloud is big, 305 pouns and athletic and very strong, very strong hands. He’s doing some really good things. He’s got a lot, a lot of potential.

Quarterback Will Second
On spring thus far:
It’s pretty good. I think I was a little rusty the first couple days but we kind of settled down, started getting in the swing of things. Tempo has been better at practice. Just trying to work back into stuff and get going.

On difference with challenging for back-up position:
It’s not really any different. We’re practicing the same. We’re just competing obviously for the number two job. Me and Clint are close, but practice hasn’t changed at all. We’re still doing what we do. We’re obviously just trying to do the best we can. I just try to focus on me and do what I can do to get better. Little things that coach always talks about, little things make a big difference. So I just try to do that and focus on those and try to do my best in practice and that’s really all I can do.

On the young wide receivers:
They’re doing great. They are all hard workers. They all run good routes and they all are getting better every day it seems like. Some of them look like they’ve played it for a long time. Everybody’s getting better. I think they’re kind of doing the same things I am, just trying to work on little things and take it one day at a time.

On how much more of a grasp he’s getting on the playbook opposed to last year:
I’m starting to get to the point where I can get details and stuff more so then I was last year. I kind of know the basics of everything so now I can kind of take it and break it into little pieces and work on the small stuff.

Fullback Lonnie Pryor
On having RB Jermaine Thomas back:
I love Jermaine to death and it just feels good to have him back. I’m glad he’s back. We need all of us again to do the same things we did last year.

On putting full pads on:
The first few days we didn’t have pads on so you just go out there and tap people. Now you have pads on, hitting people, so it feels good to put your pads back on and to shake the dust off them.

On whom he least likes going up against on defense:
When I’ve got to run outside, it’s definitely Nick Moody, but when it’s inside it’s either Nigel Bradham or Vince Williams. Nick Moody – he ain’t no baby. Nick, Vince and Nigel, those are the ones that really do it for me when I have to hit them.

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