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2 posts from April 10, 2013

April 10, 2013

Unhappy Fisher Ends Sloppy Practice Early

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Jimbo Fisher did not like what he saw on the practice field on Wednesday afternoon as Florida State conducted one of its final practices before Saturday's Spring game.

After attempting to impart a message about toughness and being a hard-nosed football team just two days ago, Fisher watched his team turn in one of its worst practices of the Spring on Wednesday afternoon

"It kept dragging and dragging and getting worse, so before somebody fooled around and got hurt," said Fisher. "It just got to be a waste of time at the end there.

"Defense wasn't lining up right, then the offense would get confused and run a play and it was going back and forth. And it was just, 'if you don't want to play, we'll go again tomorrow.' It happens one, twice, three times a year in whatever sport you're in. they go and feel sorry for themselves, and they've gotta go wake up."

Florida State held its second scrimmage of the Spring on Monday. It was a tough, hard-hitting affair that left the team bruised and battered. Fisher tried to get his team to play mean, hard-nosed football without provocation, he wanted them to come out and swing hard first.

"The overall thing he said was he didn’t want it to be like we have to get busted in the nose first before we take it to that level and get hard-nosed like that," said RB James Wilder. "He wants us to come out like that from the beginning."

The team did a lot of goal-line work during the scrimmage, a lot of running between the tackles to be specific, and they really exchanged some vicious blows.

“That was the biggest practice, scrimmage, everything since I’ve been here," said Wilder afterwards. "Towards the end it was just crazy. I mean just straight hard-nosed, no pass plays, just straight hard-nosed up the middle. Even when you don’t get the ball there’s not going to be a play that you just don’t get hit. You’re going to knock somebody’s helmet off or somebody’s going to knock your helmet off. And you’re tired so you just have to dig deep and go. It was definitely the toughest practice I’ve had so far.”

Apparently the hangover on Wednesday was pretty severe.

Mario Pender took a shot to the head and left early on Monday, he was not on the field on Wednesday either. James Wilder also aggravated a rib injury that plagued him at the end of last season too and will miss the rest of Spring. With Devonta Freeman doubtful for Saturday with a high ankle sprain, FSU could potentially be without all three of their backs.

The bigger disappointment to Fisher though was that his message about toughness- one which he thought got through on Monday- didn't carry over to the next practice.

On Wednesday, Fisher's team did not display the toughness he was looking for.

"You've got to bounce back," said Fisher. "Back in the day, you'd go 20, 25 days, went live and tackled every day. It's a mentality. Our kids today, we get softer and softer. Our society gets softer and softer and it trickles down. When it's time to work, it's time to go to work.

"Turn it up from the first play to the last. Play the whole time. You can't pick and choose. What were we, a handful of plays last year from winning every game? Five or six plays? How do you know what five or six plays those are? If you don't turn it on in practice every day, how do you know what you're turning on in a game? You don't."

After witnessing enough sloppiness and mental errors Fisher opted to end the practice prematurely, sending his team back to the lockerroom after a thorough tongue-lashing.

With just one practice remaining before Saturday's Spring finale there's a good chance the Seminoles are in for a very tough day tomorrow.

Hell hath no fury like an angry head football coach.

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Receivers Looking to Pick Up Quarterbacks For Once

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The questions for Florida State in 2013 is not whether they have any receivers.

No that's never been a question. Whether or not someone can get them the ball consistently could be an issue, but the Seminoles enter the season with considerable depth at the receiver position.

Rashad Greene, Greg Dent, Kenny Shaw, Kelvin Benjamin and Christian Green have all had solid Springs for the Seminoles and that's important because the Florida State quarterbacks are going to need all the help they can get as they fight to replace EJ Manuel.

“I think Dent and Greene are playing the best, by far playing the best," said Jimbo Fisher recently. "I think Christian Green is making progress too.”

Greene has been the Seminoles best receiver the past two seasons. The junior receiver from Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas broke on to the scene as a freshman before injuries derailed his season. Last year he lead the team in receiving again. 

Greene isn't getting complacent. His goal is to lead the team in receiving for a third year in a row.

“I'm just always trying to chase perfection, you’re never too good to get better," said Greene. "I can always work on the little stuff as far as things I’d done last year as far as not going deep enough on a certain route, you know analyzing those things and getting those things down pat because you know that can take you a long way, just having those fundamentals.”

“Greg Dent’s been having a blowout Spring too," added CB Nick Waisome. "He’s just been making catches out of no where, you know amazing catches.”

Dent is heading into he senior year and most players will tell you he has been the most transformed of any player in camp. He's been making big plays all over the field and really making a case for significant playing time come next season.

“He’s stepping outside of his role of what he was when we were coming in as freshmen," said Kenny Shaw. "He’s just a different guy.”

Kenny Shaw continues to be consistent as well. He lead the team in receptions during the last scrimmage. Of all of Florida State's receivers he may be the most workmanlike. Despite not getting some of the same hype as the other receivers Shaw makes the right reads at the line on a consistent basis and is usually open. 

Kelvin Benjamin continues to try to live up to his potential, Fisher says he needs to see more consistency from the 6-5 receiver, but has also been encouraged by some of the plays he's made on the field.

All of the receivers have been working to try and build a rapport with quarterbacks to ensure that whoever wins the starting job is on the same page with them. It sounds like it would be difficult to keep switching in and out, constantly trying to catch balls from different guys, but they insist it hasn't been.

"It’s all about making that QB feel confident," said Greene. "When he throws you the ball he knows you’re going to try your best to get the ball and you’re going to catch it, and that’s my job to go out there every day, I try to get reps with all the quarterbacks and just make them feel comfortable.”

It's a bit of a role reversal from when they were all young players but the lessons are largely the same.

“We were the inexperienced ones when EJ was here so it’s our job to take that role now," said Greene. "We have to pick them up when things aren’t going good and make those plays when the ball is not so perfect for you.

"Just make them look good.”

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...


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