Florida State held its first fully padded practice of the season this morning. After a brief weather delay the Seminoles took the field a little after 10 AM and worked until 12:30. The practice was the first of two scheduled workouts on Saturday as the team continues to prepare for their September 1st opener against Murray State.
It was an overcast day with intermittent showers throughout the late morning and afternoon, but the storms held off long enough to allow the Seminoles to get their work in. The media was booted after the first half hour, but we did still have enough of an opportunity to catch a few things around practice.
-Junior LB Telvin Smith continues to lead both by word and example. Early on during special teams drills Smith was flying around, getting after teammates and begging coach Fisher to let him pop a return-man or two. Each time as Smith would hustle to the back of the line you'd hear him as he passed Fisher, "let me hit him just one time, coach!"
-Ronald Darby was flashing his ability again in the limited time we were permitted to watch. Every day it seems like the talented true freshman is growing a little bit more and given some of the praise he's been receiving from his coaches and teammates, I would be really surprised if Darby doesn't have a significant role on the defense by the start of week one.
-It was the first day that FSU did any redzone work. Coach Fisher said much of the period was spent ironing out details.
"That was the first day down there on [redzone] so we had to iron out a lot on both sides," said Fisher. "The coverages you've got to do and how they change, the routes and the runs, and blocking. It's a little quicker, a little faster, but for the first day I liked the attitude."
-Fisher said he was very impressed early on with the level of play from his offensive linemen once the pads went on.
"Extremely impressed, they're moving people, blocking people, the line of scrimmage is not coming backwards. I mean very, very pleased the progress they're making."
-The level of competition all over the field has been extremely high and that's something that Fisher is thrilled about. It's what him and his staff have been building towards.
"[You see that] on good football teams," said Fisher emphatically. "[It's] for pride. Those guys, if you're a really successful player you don't know how to turn that off, that [competition] happens naturally."
-Anthony McCloud will be out a few weeks with a partially torn pectoral, meanwhile Jacobbi McDaniels is yet to participate in team drills of yet and continues to rehab doing individual work off to the side.
Not a ton else to report, FSU has one more workout tonight and then will have Media/Fan day tomorrow. Fan Day is open to the public at noon at the Leon County Civic Center and the event will be followed by an open practice at Doak Campbell Stadium.