Every Monday Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher holds his weekly press conference to discuss the week's opponent, the previous weekend's film and whatever else he feels like talking about that afternoon. We cover it in a weekly piece called, "Mondays with Jimbo."
It's Miami week here in Tallahassee (and FSU week down in Coral Gables) and Jimbo Fisher spoke about all things UM today at his weekly press conference. Stephen Morris, James Coley, Duke Johnson and the significance of the rivalry itself -- Fisher hit them all.
"We have a great game and great opportunity in front of us in Miami," said Fisher in his opening statement. "This is one of the great traditions in college football. One of the reasons why you come to Florida State, to be able to play in this game and then of course -- both teams being in the top 10 -- [it's] like the old days.
"They have a great team, they’re very well-coached. Al (Golden) has done a tremendous job, he and his staff and his players and we have tremendous respect for their program, tremendous respect for their players and know they’ll be ready for us on Saturday."
One of the major storylines heading into Saturday night will be the relationship of Miami offensive coordinator James Coley and Fisher. Coley served as the offensive coordinator for Florida State for the past three seasons before taking the job -- and play-calling duties -- at Miami last Winter. Coley never called plays at FSU, but he knows the offense and the players.
While the terminology has changed, some of the concepts will be the same and you can be sure the Hurricanes will look for ways to exploit Coley's intimate knowledge of FSU's program in any way they can.
"I’m very happy for him and his family. James is a great guy, he was a very good friend of mine -- he still is -- does a great job," said Fisher when asked about his former coordinator. "I’m very happy for him and his family to progress. We all want to progress in the business and do well. He’s done a great job. Very smart guy."
Fisher said he hasn't watched much of the Hurricanes' offense on film as he's focused more on their defense (he is an offensive guy after all) but he did have this to offer as an assessment of Coley's performance as a playcaller so far:
"We knew [Miami] had a great group going in -- as far as player-wise -- and he’s added to what they’ve done. They’re well coached all around the board… Coley’s done a great job. I always say Coley’s a great offensive mind, I think he’s a very good coach, a great recruiter and he’s got a very good future in this business."
As for Duke Johnson, Fisher told reporters it would be a shorter discussion to just list what the talented sophomore running back doesn't do well -- rather than get into all of his strengths.
As for Stephen Morris, Fisher doesn't see any lingering effects from the ankle injury Miami's quarterback suffered a little over a month ago.
“I don’t think [it's bothering him]. I think Stephen’s a great player, I don’t think he’s doing anything wrong, I mean that’s part of playing quarterback -- sometimes you make a mistake or so -- but he’s responded well from it and played very well," said Fisher. "I think he’s a heck of a player.”
More from Jimbo:
##- On Tim Jernigan and the guys in the middle of the defensive line:
“Defensive tackles and nose guards are the most unselfish people in the world. You talk about offensive linemen which are also, but defensive tackles and nose guards are too –they’re taking on double-teams, freeing up backers to make plays, not letting guys get second level. Those guys are very unselfish football players if you’re playing great football. They have to be very disciplined because you want to go make a play, but as soon as you do that you run out of your gap there goes a gash up inside. Those guys are doing a great job of keeping leverage on the ball and being disciplined in what they do. The guys that understand football when you watch him play you really respect what he’s doing.”
##- On what he told his players after getting jumped in the BCS:
“Don’t worry about it. Control what you can control and keep playing and don’t worry about it. Polls don’t concern us. We’ll worry about that when the year is over. We’ve got to control what we can control and that’s playing well, setting goals each week, setting a standard to which we want to play to and try to that standard and above and try to grow. Those things take care of themselves in time and you’ve just got to keep playing.”
##- Here's the obligatory Jameis Winston question on how he's handling all the hype asked weekly by an out-of-town reporter:
“What he’s doing because how he’s gotten there is the thing that he’s got to remember. He is doing a great job of that. He understands. Who was I before everyone knew me? I’m the same guy and I think he knows that and our team respects that from him. He’s one of the guys that doesn’t put himself above him at the same time they have tremendous respect for him for how he does handle that. How he differs things to them and he seems like the same guy to me. He continues to grow and work and play hard every week and he’s fun to coach. Like I say, he’s his own worst critic at times. Sometimes I’ve got to be easy on him because he demands so much from himself at times. He’s handled it tremendously in my opinion.”
##- On this weekend's recruiting impact:
“I think it always helps, but I don’t know if it matters as much as it used to because recruiting has changed so much. But at the same time, it doesn’t hurt you to be able to win that game. There’s a lot of other reasons other than recruiting to win that game. That’s your rival, it’s a conference game, it’s a national implication game and all those things, I don’t think it hurts it for sure.”
For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...Follow @PatrikNohe_MH