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.
This was not the usual Monday press conference. Jimbo Fisher was fresh off a flight after him and his wife, Candi, had appeared on Fox and Friends that morning to discuss their Kidz1stFund charity. Fisher was in the early stages of a cold -- at points having to stop and turn away as he sneezed and coughed -- and the media was under strict orders to keep the focus on football.
It was anything but a normal Monday.
“I liked our game after watching the film from the Syracuse game. Really was proud with the way our kids came out of the gate again," Fisher began. "Started the game very fast in all phases. Offense had a great first drive, we were able to execute some different run-pass options and things we had. Defense was dominant again. In special teams, I thought Roberto [Aguayo] kicked the ball exceptionally well. Cason [Beatty] did what he did on punt – we covered well. Kenny [Shaw] had an outstanding game in the return game, setting up field position and catching all the balls in the air.
'Again, I thought our defensive front played exceptionally well – affected the quarterback. I thought up front and skills position wise I thought we threw and caught the ball really very well – finished big plays. When we got in space we were able to finish downfield – great downfield blocking in my opinion. I think we’re getting better and better at that each week in what we’re doing. There’s still some things we have to continue to grow on and get better. Again, but very proud of the performance and the total focus."
Fisher's high point came when he discussed going to visit injured Syracuse player Julian Wigham after the game. Without knowing if Wigham would have anyone there with him that night, Fisher made it a point to go visit him after he was done at Doak.
“I’ve never had a player on the other team have to be hospitalized after the game here and I didn’t know if his parents were here and what was going on and you’re a coach and I know when you’re at the other side of that thing, when I had to leave Chris Thompson [after Wake Forest] I went to the hospital after the game and saw him as much as I could, but I had to take the team back home and get ready for the next game and when you’re a coach and I’ve got to leave one of my players, I just think when that young man was injured and I don’t ever want to see anyone injured, it scared us," said Fisher.
"They said he had some internal injuries and he’s fine now and all that, I wanted to go by and make sure he was okay. I didn’t know his parents were there, which was good because he was from West Palm Beach and his mom was there and got to see him and make sure if they needed anything. (We) made sure they had numbers to people here so we could help too if anything went wrong or communication or whatever they may need.
"We’re all competitors, but at the end of the day, these are kids, they’re somebody’s baby. If that was one of my children, I would want someone to look out for them.”
More from Jimbo:
##- On his senior class:
“What a group there. There’s some guys that you’ll remember to the end of your last dying days. Those guys made an impact on your life, not just with football, but people and how they impacted the guys around them. That’s a tremendous group of guys to me, ought to be remembered in Florida State lore for a long time for what they really meant and how much they’ve actually done for this university and for their teammates. Golly, it’s a tremendous group.”
##- On Nick O'Leary
“That guy is like your silent assassin. You talk about all the other guys out there, you talk about another guy that understands angles, that understands ball, where to sit down in the hole, how to get open and then tremendous hands and ball skills. Just gets the game, knows where to be and how to be and Nick’s really turned into a heck of a football player.”
##- Defense Exceeding Expectations
“I don’t know if they’ve exceeded them, I thought they’d do very well. I’ve known these guys a long time, I thought they would coach very well and teach very well. That’s the thing – they teach it, they get it across and I think we had a group of guys that totally bought into it. Those older guys really set the tone for how they bought in and got those younger guys believing that this is what we need to do and sometimes that is hard, especially for guys that were playing in an old defense that was very successful, (thinking) okay, can we learn some new tricks here because there’s some things we can add to what we already know. I think it’s a testament to our coaches and those older players doing it and getting our younger guys to buy in.”
##- On distractions
“We always address everything. You’ve got to know what’s going on, no matter what the situations are and I think that’s an important part of being a good team is being able to focus and control things that you can control and deal with the other issues when it’s time to deal with them. That’s part of maturity. I think as coaches and people everyone has that issue in life. It’s a very hard thing to do.”
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