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    Thursday, August 31, 2006

    Noles Continue Practice For Miami Game

    • The Seminoles worked out again in full pads Thursday afternoon in 90+ degree temperatures.

    • In one-minute offense, the No. 1 offense scored on a 16-yard touchdown run by Lorenzo Booker. The TD was set up by a 21-yard completion from Drew Weatherford to Chris Davis and a 14-yard pass from Weatherford to Booker.

    • The No. 2 offense failed to get into field goal range in one-minute vs. the No. 1 defense. Xavier Lee did have a pair of first down passes to Preston Parker and Damon McDaniel.

    • The first defense got a sack from Everette Brown and a pass break-up from Tony Carter.

    • The scout team usually wears the jersey number of the opponent's key players. Christian Ponder wore Kyle Wright's No. 3 while Jeremy Franklin had on No. 2 for Jon Beason as they simulated the Hurricanes.

    • FSU will practice again Friday afternoon and then once more on Saturday before departing for Miami Sunday around noon.


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (On practice)

    "We had a pretty good practice again. We handled the heat much better today then yesterday."

    (On what to cover to prepare for Miami)

    "If you try to cover everything, you won't be prepared in anything, spreading yourself to thin, so that is probably the biggest jeopardy."

    (What are you using the last few days to do?)

    "Still trying to run the plays you are going to run in the game, still trying to run the defense you are going to run in the game, and trying to do it over and over and over. Football is nothing but a game of repetition. If it is a habit you can go out there and play football, if it is not a habit you have to think every time you turn around."

    (On the future of the team)

    "It is exciting because you are anxious to see what you are going to do. This time last year we didn't know what and now we do."

    Center Dumaka Atkins

    (On going against his brother)

    "It is going to be really fun. I have been waiting for this ever since I got up here. It is time."

    (How much do you talk to your brother?)

    "We talk daily. It could be the second of April and we are talking on the phone. We talk a couple times of day. We just enjoy it."

    (What is this game like for your family?)

    "They love it. They love the attention. They love that the two boys of the family get a chance to shine. It is a beautiful thing down there in Sarasota."

    Rover Myron Rolle

    (Have you shown the coaches what you have needed to show them so you can be out there?)

    "I think I have. I feel a lot more focused this week. I guess it is because of getting nervous and jittery but I feel that I'm more locked in. There are still some things that I have missed from time to time but for the most part I'm playing my assignments and I'm playing hard. I'm playing the way that I want to play on Monday and you have to practice that way, to play that way so I'm very excited and I'm very focused this week."

    (On the possibility of starting)

    "It is a goal of mine to start, absolutely. I'm a very goal-oriented person. I want to reach all of my goals. It was one of the ones I set before the season started. If it happens that is great, if it doesn't happen then when I get on the field I'm going to make the most of my opportunities."

    Wednesday, August 30, 2006

    Noles Return to Practice

    After taking Sunday and Monday off and being forced inside Tuesday due to weather, the No. 10 Florida State football team finally got outside to practice Wednesday.

    • Bobby Bowden said Graham Gano would likely open as the starter at punter. Anthony Houllis (rover) and Alex Boston (defensive end) also saw practice time and still have a chance to be in the starting lineup Monday.

    • In 7-on-7 drills, Korey Mangum had an interception and Marcus Ball broke up a pass to lead the defense. For the offense, Greg Carr and Richard Goodman each had receptions of 30+ yards.

    • The top defensive plays in 11-on-11 were tackles for loss by Lawrence Timmons and Buster Davis, and a pass break-up by Tony Carter.

    • The offense got a 30-yard TD pass from Xavier Lee to Damon McDaniel in 11-on-11 along with a 10-yard pass from Drew Weatherford to Lorenzo Booker, who also had an eight-yard run.

    • The No. 1 defense held the No. 2 offense out of the endzone on all three goalline attempts. The No. 1 offense scored once on three tries (a Weatherford quarterback sneak). Darius McClure ended the day with a goalline interception.

    • FSU will returns to practice fields Thursday afternoon.


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (On practice)

    "Thank goodness we were able to get out today. If we hadn't, I'd say we were getting behind. We did goalline scrimmaging. Then we had pass skeleton. Most of it was thud. Got through the day, I don't think anybody got injured. (Alex) Boston came back and got some work, then came back out. (Anthony) Houllis got some work, (Charlie) Graham got some work. I can't tell how effective yet, but that is where we stand right now."

    (On the possibility of Houllis and Boston starting against Miami)

    "That is something that we probably won't decide until this weekend. We will see if they can get better. They got a little taste of it today and now are they going to go downhill from it or be able to keep improving? We'll keep our eye on the situation."

    (On special teams)

    "Kickoff returns, I think we will go with (Michael Ray) Garvin and (Joslin) Shaw. We will back them up with (Lorenzo) Booker and Antone (Smith). So we will see how these guys do. We'll have (Chris) Davis on punt return and (Graham) Gano will probably be the punter right now. When you watch them punt out there one day, one of them will get the best of it and the next day another one will. All of those are things by the third game you ought to be settled in on."

    WR Chris Davis

    (On Drew Weatherford working though last year's Miami game)

    "I think he handled it pretty well for a first time starting in a big Miami-Florida State game. He did pretty well in my opinion. I think he handled it like an upperclassman. They had a good defense and we fought through it."

    (On Weatherford's growth)

    "He's more comfortable with the offense after having a whole season under his belt. A lot of big games, ACC Championship, Orange Bowl, just playing against the big teams and he has that now under his belt."

    (How much playing time does it take to prepare for a big game?)

    "I think it is like after the first play, you have to be ready for anything. We practice things so that there aren't any surprises. It depends on the person, everybody takes it differently."

    Kirk Herbstreit Is A Moron

    If you watch ESPN Gameday, you have been subjected to awful analysis and moronic predictions by has been former Ohio State QB Kirk Herbstreit. Why ESPN keeps him on is beyond me. He has made some college predictions for 2006 and among his moronic "analysis" is his best defensive minds coaches. Here they are:

    1. Gene Chizik, Texas 2. Jon Tenuta, Georgia Tech 3. Vic Koenning, Clemson 4. Mark Stoops, Arizona 5. Jim Heacock, Ohio State 6. Bud Foster, Virginia Tech

    How anyone could leave Mickey Andrews off this list is beyond me. Wait, I know. Because he is a moron. He lists such powerhouse coaches and schools as Stoops at Arizona and Jon Tenuta at Georgia Tech. When was the last time they struck fear in the eyes of opponents? Give me a break Herbie. Go back to Ohio and leave the analysis to real analysts.

    Q & A: Bobby Bowden

    Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden spoke with the media Wednesday as part of the first teleconference of the season for ACC coaches. Of course, questions about FSU's game at Miami on Monday were on most writers' minds.

    First, Bowden addressed the status of several players whose availability remains uncertain.

    “We probably have three potential starters - that would be (defensive end Alex) Boston, (rover Anthony) Houllis and (tight end Charlie) Graham - that haven't practiced in two weeks because of ankles and might could play. I'm not putting a lot of stock into that because they haven't practiced. I don't think you can beat Miami without practice.

    “Other than that, overall we've been fortunate with our lack of injuries.”

    Question: What do you seeing as the benefits of playing Miami in week 1 as opposed to week 6, 7 or 8 or even later?

    BOWDEN: I think the only advantage whatsoever is the publicity and public relations you get out of it. You can't buy that kind of exposure. That's probably why we pick the game. I don't really think either one of us enjoys opening with the other because when you open with somebody like Miami or us, you've got to bring your “A” game. And most people, their “A” game is not there yet. It usually takes two or three weeks to get your “A” game down. . . . In the future we are going (against) Miami probably early October.

    QUESTION: Anytime these two teams play we're reminded of how consistent they have been, particularly over the last 20 years. Fourteen times over the last 20 years one of the Florida schools have played for the national championship in their bowl game. What has been the cause of that great consistency by those Florida teams?

    BOWDEN: I think that it's the fact that both of us are able to recruit real good players. We're in a hotbed of football players down here in Florida when you look at our population now which is probably 16 1/2 or 17 million. So it's bigger than Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee - a lot of the Southern states. Naturally there are more kids. Both of us have been able to get their share. You won't hardly see two teams play where you'll see more speed than the Florida State-Miami game. We've got guys that can run and catch them. And they've got guys that can run and catch us. Unless somebody makes a lot of errors - or unless one team makes some real big plays -- it's usually is a low-scoring ball game.

    QUESTION: To follow up on that, I know that you're disappointed in the last four years or so. You haven't been back in that national championship game, and you want to get back there. Can you give us a sense of where you think the program at Florida State is right now?

    BOWDEN: I don't think we're that far off base, and you can probably say that for about 10 or 11 other schools. Maybe one player away from getting there. Maybe you are going to get there. We hit a spell in there for about 14 years where we went every year. The last five years we have not been. We're still aiming and fighting to get back to that. And I think with the way our recruiting is going, I don't think we've dropped that much. I think our conference has gotten so darn tough it's hard to get through undefeated. Plus we play Florida and Miami, and they don't play each other. It's hard for us to get there because of that but everybody else is facing the same things.

    QUESTION: How comfortable are you with Gary Cismesia this time of year?

    BOWDEN: Down through the years that I've been here I felt confident with (Scott) Bentley. I felt confident with (Sebastian) Janikowski and Derek Schmidt. But then there have been times where we haven't shown the consistency that will let you get real confident. I feel like we're probably like everybody else. We have a kicker that will hit most of them but will also miss some.

    QUESTION: Have you noticed a change in him since the Penn State game?

    BOWDEN: Naturally, he's a very concerned young man and sees what his errors are and tries to get them corrected. He's kicked much better in this preseason than he did last year at this time. You're hoping that with this being his third year he gets better.

    QUESTION: You talked early about that the pool of talent you all fish from down in Florida. Is speed ultimately the determining factor that has helped you separate from the rest of the pack over the years, and is everybody catching up?

    BOWDEN: It's an easy answer. It's yes and yes, everybody catching up. Clemson came down here and probably got the No. 1 prospect in Florida this year (C.J. Spiller). I think Miami, Florida and Florida State are getting most of them but, boy, we have a lot of them get away. The speed of our conference has really picked up since we got in it 15 years ago. You can't catch speed unless you got speed. I think everybody has come to realize that.

    Weather Forces Noles Inside

    After taking Sunday and Monday off, the Seminoles held meetings and a walk-thru inside due to inclement weather

    · Senior linebacker Buster Davis was named to the Butkus Award watch list over the weekend and will face off against another candidate Monday in Miami's Jon Beason

    · Sophomore Drew Weatherford was listed as one of 34 quarterbacks on the Davey O'Brien watch list which includes 19 seniors, 12 juniors and three sophomores

    · ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit announced his annual preseason awards (The Herbies) and three Seminoles were noted: Drew Weatherford (No. 4 Old School QB - classic drop back style), Myron Rolle (Top True Freshman) and Lawrence Timmons (What's My Name? - players who will be household names by October)

    · The team and coaching staff will participate in Seminole Uprising, a fall pep rally, Wednesday night at 6:30 in Tully Gym

    · FSU will return to practice Wednesday afternoon and work in full pads


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (On not being able to go outside to practice)

    "We were all set and ready to go outside but decided to stay inside because of the threat of lightning. We let them divide up. The defense worked on its scouting report while the offense worked out. Then we switched it around."

    (On not getting outside in three days)

    "We'll get enough exercise inside to be O.K. During a regular game week of practice, today would have been like a Sunday so we wouldn't have been practicing anyway. We'll be able to get our time in but we can't have this every afternoon."

    (on Wednesday's schedule)

    "Tomorrow will be full pads, very much like today's practice would have been. We still can go over a lot of Miami stuff and go over alignments and stuff like that inside. It's not critical right now but if it continued, you'd have to sweat. I think Miami is going through the same thing."

    Cornerback Tony Carter:

    (On starting with Miami)

    "Starting off with Miami is going to tell us where we're at right now. We can start off injury free, meeting them in the 10th game of the season we may have guys banged up or things of that sort so it's good to start out with them. I like it. It gets you ready from the start."

    (On living up to past team's expectations)

    "The teams in the past didn't break down like we're doing now. The teams in the past started off high and kept going. In the past couple of years we've started off well or we've started slow but we didn't maintain the same tempo. This year's team needs to play at a high level and not have letdowns. If we stay focused and not have letdowns, we can live up to what they did in the past."

    Running back Antone Smith

    (On returning to the Miami area to play)

    "My goal is just to be successful right now. No yardage, no carries, no touchdowns, just being successful right now."

    (On his mother's influence in choosing between Florida State and Miami)

    "She doesn't mention that anymore, it's in the past. I love it here. She's going to have Garnet & Gold on."

    Saturday, August 26, 2006

    Noles Hold Final Scrimmage

    • The Seminoles held their final scrimmage of the preseason Friday evening, working for a little under two hours

    • Bobby Bowden announced his 2006 captains at the annual Kickoff Luncheon. Lorenzo Booker (offense), Buster Davis (defense) and Mikhal Kornegay (special teams) will call the coin toss at Miami. Permanent captains are voted on at the end of the season by the team.

    • There was no tackling in the controlled scrimmage

    • Toddrick Verdell returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown and Myron Rolle added an INT later with a return of 39 yards

    • Justin Mincey, Letroy Guion, Everette Brown and Lawrence Timmons each had a sack

    • Greg Carr hauled in a 95-yard TD pass from Drew Weatherford, who was 10-of-17 in the scrimmage

    • Lorenzo Booker had runs of 80 (TD), 27 and 28 yards

    • Antone Smith two TD runs (2 and 17 yards) along with a 16-yard reception

    • Xavier Lee had a 15-yard touchdown pass to Richard Goodman and a 46-yard completion to Joslin Shaw

    • The team will practice Saturday morning at 9:00 and work on special teams for approximately one hour. Sunday and Monday will be off days as classes begin and then practice is scheduled again for Tuesday afternoon.


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (On Mikhal Kornegay's selection as captain)

    "Kornegay played on a lot of our special teams last year. Our special teams are made up of just anybody. Some guys are on one special team and some guys are on two special teams. Kornegay is on about all of them, punt block, punt return, kickoff, kickoff coverage, kick return, he is on everything. Out of all of the kids you have on special teams he is probably the most deserving to be special team's captain. You have to be a senior."

    (On punter situation)

    "We have to make a decision next week. It could be a situation where we go three or four games before we decided to settle down with this guy here."

    RB Lorenzo Booker

    (On leadership)

    "I think we lead in a lot more positive way in then in the past. Not to say that they were negative but we are really focus on trying to build as opposed to tear down. Especially when you are dealing with younger guys, you don't always want to come off loud and rude. With older guys you can because they aren't as sensitive, they know what time it is. Our job is a lot easier than the guys in the past because with the younger guys it doesn't take much for them to listen. They understand what we are trying to do is help them so they don't have to go through what we went through."

    (Was part of the reason you came back so that you could be the leader?)

    "True statement. We have the opportunity to really lead. I think what makes our job a little different is because everybody kind of looks to us to lead. It wasn't just something that we kind of brought on ourselves. We have been through enough to know what it takes to get to the national championship, at least what we can do on our part."

    Friday, August 25, 2006

    Bowden Names Captains At Kickoff Luncheon

    It's been a big week for Greenville's Mikhal Kornegay. Bobby Bowden said earlier this week that the Florida State special teams player was awarded a scholarship. Then on Friday he named him the captain of the special teams.

    "He's the hardest worker we got on special teams," Bowden told a crowd of over 1,400 at the Civic Center for the annual kickoff luncheon. Kornegay walked on after transferring from Tennessee Tech. He enrolled at FSU in spring of 2003. He was a running back and cornerback for Madison County.

    Tailback Lorenzo Booker was named the captain on offense and linebacker Buster Davis received that honor for the defense.

    Bowden likes the defense's progress He was cautiously upbeat in his public address on Friday, just as he has been in meetings with the media throughout preseason practice.

    "The defensive team that I see out there working," they look like they got the skill and speed of our past defenses," Bowden said. "They don't quite have the experience ... but there is some real talent.

    "We're further now along defensive simply because you have a quarterback with (13) games of experience."

    Thursday, August 24, 2006

    Past FSU Captains Invited to Kickoff Luncheon

    The FSU kickoff luncheon will feature past, present and future stars as well as a Hollywood star. In addition to the FSU football team being introduced, past FSU captains have been invited. They are Jack McMillan (1947), Ron Schomburger ('57), Gene McDowell ('62), Gary Huff ('72), Wally Woodham ('79), James Harris ('81), Kirk Curruthers ('91), Casey Weldon ('91), Ken Alexander ('93), Kendrick Scott ('94), Billy Rhodes ('98), Casey Weldon ('91), Billy Rhodes ('98) and David Castillo ('05).

    Also, actor Burt Reynolds is expected to be in attendance.

    The FSU Alumni Association will host the 55th Annual Kickoff luncheon on Friday, Aug. 25. Gene Deckerhoff will be the master of ceremonies. Bobby Bowden, his staff and entire team will be present. Tickets cost $25.

    The buffet opens at 11:15 and the program gets under way at noon. It will be held in the Exhibition Hall in the Civic Center.

    Wednesday, August 23, 2006

    Wednesday Morning Practice Report

    • The Seminoles worked out for 21 periods Wednesday morning (three periods shorter than usual) and are scheduled to go back out for 18 periods at 6:15 this evening

    • The coaches usually have the team work in full pads in the morning and shells in the evening, but decided to go shells for both sessions after Tuesday's full scrimmage

    • In a.m. 11-on-11, Chris Davis continued his big-play theme of the preseason with a leaping 25-yard reception on a Drew Weatherford pass and a five-yard TD catch on a tipped ball in the back of the endzone (where he was not the intended receiver)

    • Greg Carr also had a TD catch on a 15-yard pass from Weatherford

    • Defensively, Darius McClure made a nice diving pass break-up in the endzone and Letroy Guion added a quarterback sack

    • After Wednesday night's session, the Seminoles will practice again Thursday morning at 9:45


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (On practice)

    "We came out in shells this morning. Just the shoulder pads and hats following yesterday's scrimmage. We didn't feel like we could put them back to back out here in full pads. This afternoon we will go again around 6:15, they will be in shells also. So again the main thing we are trying to do today is look at the mistakes made in practice and get them corrected, looking at new stuff we are trying to do offensively and defensively. Came out of yesterday's scrimmage in decent shape, thank goodness, and if we keep them healthy we can get some things done. We still have a long way to go but we are headed in the right direction."

    (After watching the tape of yesterday's scrimmage)

    "We had a couple of good plays by certain individuals, had some good catches by certain individuals. I felt (Jae) Thaxton did a good job of knocking the ball out one time causing a fumble. He just took his hand and rammed that ball right out of there. It is good for the offense to see what happens if you don't wrap it up correctly and for the defense to see what they can do. Overall it will be hard to pick out one guy and tell you how he played. The coaches will give me the grades and I will know after that."

    (On the offensive line)

    "Good at times. We put our second line in and its murder. Quarterback doesn't have time to cock his arm. Especially at tackle, those ends get that speed rush up field and they get by you and its dead, but that is the only way we are going to learn it."

    (On cross-training offensive linemen between first and second team)

    "These freshmen are going to be good football players. I don't know, but the toughest thing to learn is probably offensive line play. They are good players that don't know how to do it yet. It very obvious, you get in the scrimmages and that is where you see it."

    (on the competition at center)

    "They are playing well. Both of them are. We could end up trying to play both of them."

    Rover Myron Rolle

    (On returning to practice)

    "I feel real good getting out here. It feels good to start running again. Today I got to run with the ones a little bit. That was a plus. I think it is improving everyday, my shoulder."

    (On his injury history)

    "I have never really got hurt. I guess through the grace of god I have been able to stay healthy and that is a wonderful thing. Being injured can play a lot of tricks on your mind. You want to be out here and you can't, you see all of the guys out here and you want to join your team. Coach (Jon) Jost has really helped me mentally through this injury, just staying positive and trying to get through this recovery as fast as possible and getting out here and playing."

    (More on his injury)

    "The most important thing is to get ready and be ready for that Miami game. I will be ready and I know football is a violent sport and you have to play through pain sometimes. It really doesn't hurt to the point where I can't function. I feel that I'm just going to get ready for the game and prepare just like everybody else is and we will look at it and take precaution with it but I will be ready for that game."

    New NCAA Rules Changes for 2006

    College football fans realize that the NCAA has agreed to standardize instant replay for all of its games. Die-hard college football fans know about the changes to the game clock rules coming in 2006. Here is a list of rule changes for the upcoming season, along with the theory behind them.

    1. Excessive crowd noise - The rule has been deleted, since referees could not enforce it. Good job fans!

    2. Eye shields - Tinted eye shields are not permitted. This has long been a rule in the NFL, so that trainers do not have to remove the helmet from an injured player to get a look at his eyes.

    3. Extra point - If a touchdown is scored at the end of a game and the EP doesn’t affect the outcome, then it is not kicked.

    4. Halftime - It’s now 20 minutes unless both teams agree upon a different amount of time prior to the game.

    5. Kicking tee - The tee can place the bottom of the ball no higher than 1 inch from the ground. This is an attempt to reduce touchbacks. So those 4 inch tees will be useful only at Notre Dame.

    6. Fouls on a kick play from scrimmage - (Wow, that wording is awkward.) Basically, teams can opt to add the 5 yards to the end of a return than to make the opposing team re-kick.

    7. Instant Replay - Standard throughout the NCAA now.

    8. Game clock - It now starts when the ball hits the kickers foot AND when the referee signals ready for play after a 1st down.

    Tuesday, August 22, 2006

    Tuesday Scrimmage


    • FSU went through a full scrimmage Tuesday morning at 9:45 on Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium

    • Prior to the scrimmage, the Seminoles worked on the punt and punt block teams with Jae Thaxton, Lawrence Timmons and Anthony Houllis each recording a block

    • Drew Weatherford led all passers, completing 8-of-11 for 166 yards with a TD

    • Xavier Lee was 9-of-19 for 104 yards (1 TD) and Christian Ponder completed 4-of-6 passes for 58 yards

    • Matt Dunham (2-25 yards), Antone Smith (2-21) and Lorenzo Booker (5-18) were the top three rushers

    • Chris Davis (5-162, 1 TD), Richard Goodman (4-43), Damon McDaniel (2-32), Greg Carr (2-25), Rod Owens (2-20) and Caz Piurowski (2-15, 1 TD) led the receivers

    • Scrimmage Defensive leaders:

    Dekoda Watson (6 tackles, 3 sacks)

    Everette Brown (5 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 TFL)

    Korey Mangum (5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU)

    Lawrence Timmons (4 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 INT, 2 PBU)

    Jae Thaxton (4 tackles, 1 forced fumble)

    Toddrick Verdell (4 tackles)

    • Goalline drills ended the day with the No. 2 offense going 0-for-4 vs. the No. 1 defense (stops by Thaxton, Geno Hayes and Timmons) and the No. 1 offense scoring on two of four attempts (Booker 3-yard run, Dunham 1-yard run) vs. the No. 2 defense

    • The Seminoles return to practice Wednesday for an 8:30 a.m. session (24 periods) and a 6:15 p.m. session (18 periods)


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (On the scrimmage)

    "We did some good things out there. The offense moved the ball pretty good and the defense made stops when they had to make stops."

    (on Drew Weatherford)

    "I thought he threw well and led this team well. I also thought the other quarterback (Xavier Lee) made some improvements and is coming along much better too. That is what we have to have."

    (On Myron Rolle's status)

    "He has to get healthy before we can let him get back out there. He should be back soon."

    (On Chris Davis' development as a player)

    "The first thing you have to learn coming out of high school is all of those moves in high school don't work in college. You get about one move then you better get gone and I'm sure he has gradually learned that."

    (On Gary Cismesia's two missed field goals in Saturday's scrimmage)

    "You are going to get those things and you just hope you don't get them at the wrong time. But the two days before he was perfect then he missed two that day after he had hit two. He kicked good today and he kicked good in practice yesterday so maybe he has found out some things."

    (On Lawrence Timmons' three sacks and interception)

    "We expected that out of him. He does that every Saturday."

    WR Chris Davis

    (On his outstanding catch during the scrimmage)

    "There is no real explanation. I concentrated as much as I could. Luck was just on my side "

    (On his performance today)

    "Anytime you step on the game field you want to have a good day. I just felt good. Drew made some nice reads and just threw the ball where it needed to be."

    (On his versatility between catching short routes and deep routes)

    "You can't just think I'm just going to do a short route. Now you have to look out for me on the deep ball. All of our receivers are capable of the deep ball. Greg (Carr) is 6'6" with the deep ball, so you have to respect that and if they don't respect it they are going to get caught slipping."

    (on his goals)

    "I want to be the best receiver I can and be an all-around receiver. Route running, catching, down field blocking, I want to be all of those threats."

    (On his two deep receptions)

    "The line held for us and anytime that happens and Drew has time, there is no telling how far we can get down the field or out-run the coverage and it happened for us today."

    LB Lawrence Timmons

    (On his performance so far in the preseason)

    "I'm just being me and playing the style that I know how to play, just getting to the ball and doing what I love to do."

    (On the scrimmage)

    "The offense did well at times and defense did well at times. It was a pretty good scrimmage on both ends of the ball."

    (On interception)

    "I was kind of caught off guard. The wide receiver dropped the ball and I just took it and was good to go."

    FSU Kickoff Luncheon This Friday

    The 55th Annual Kickoff Luncheon featuring Bobby Bowden and the 2006 Seminoles!Join Coach Bobby Bowden, Gene Deckerhoff and the 2006 FSU Football team for the 55th Annual Seminole Kickoff Luncheon presented by the FSU Alumni Association.

    The event is Friday, August 25, 2006 at the Tallahassee/Leon County Civic Center Exhibition Hall. Doors open at 11:15 A.M. You must have a ticket for admission. For security reasons, all attendees must enter through the main entrance of the Civic Center.

    Event: Seminole Kickoff Luncheon
    Date: Friday, August 25, 2006
    Time: Lunch buffet at 11:15
    Program at Noon
    Location: Exhibition Hall - Tallahassee/Leon County Civic Center Ticket Prices:
    Tickets are available at the
    Alumni Center for $25.
    Call 644-2761 to order.

    Monday, August 21, 2006

    Monday Practice Report

    NOTES • FSU returned to the practice fields after taking Sunday off for two sessions on Monday (full pads in the morning/shells in the evening)

    • In 11-on-11 in the a.m. practice, Jamaal Edwards broke off a 40-yard touchdown run with a key block coming from Cory Niblock

    • Edwards added a 16-yard run later thanks to a block by Mario Henderson and the offense picked up another long ground gain on a 17-yard rush from Antone Smith

    • The longest pass play in 11-on-11 was a 20-yard completion from Drew Weatherford to Chris Davis

    • On the other side of the ball, Buster Davis had two stops including a tackle for loss while Michael Ray Garvin recorded one tackle and a pass break-up

    • In goalline drills, the No. 1 offense scored on all three tries vs. the No. 2 defense

    • Scores came on a three-yard pass from Weatherford to Caz Piurowski, a two-yard dive over the goalline by Lorenzo Booker and a one-yard run by Joe Surratt

    • The No. 1 defense kept the No. 2 offense out of the endzone on all three attempts thanks to a big hit at the one by Roger Williams and a QB hurry by Neefy Moffett

    • The freshmen class got a quick history lesson on the sod cemetery at the end of the morning practice as Doug Mannheimer explained the FSU tradition. Construction had forced the sod cemetery to be put away for the last year, but it will be put back in place at the entrance of the practice fields in the next couple weeks.

    • The evening session was cut short due to lightning in the area and the team finished up inside

    • The Seminoles will hold a full scrimmage Tuesday morning at 9:45 in the stadium


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (On practice)

    "Today was not a real good practice. It was the first time they have come out and everyone was feeling sorry for themselves and all of that stuff. We will see how they pick it up after I talked to them. We got in what I wanted to get in, but there just wasn't any fire and spirit."

    (Is there anything standing out in practice?)

    "Not especially. They have been doing what we want them to do. Nothing is jumping out at me. We don't look superior in any area."

    (Dealing with the heat)

    "They have to learn to practice through the heat and through the uncomfortableness that is out there at this time. It is just there and there is nothing we can do about it. We have to assume that Miami is down there with the same feeling, working hard."

    LB Buster Davis

    (On the current status of the defense)

    "I think the defense is playing very well right now. Hopefully we can continue that more into the Miami game. We are going to have 13 more days now and ten more practice before we play them. These next ten practices are going to be the best we can have out here as far as everyone coming together so we can get the defense how it is going to be for the games."

    (On how he handles when people take it easy in practice)

    "You have to tell them to pick it up. Miami is not going to be lethargic. They are going to come out and hit you in the mouth every single play so you have to play that speed in practice. When it comes to game time, it isn't going to be the same as it is going to be in practice but you have to practice to the most that you can so hopefully in the Miami game you can be right on top of your game. The thing about it is when you play defense, especially on a defense that is a caliber that we are, you have to play lights out every play."

    RB Jamaal Edwards

    (On 40-yard rushing touchdown in 11-on-11)

    "My line, fullbacks and receivers are doing a great job blocking for me. They made it easy for me. It is a great confidence booster, knowing that you can still do it."

    (On practice)

    "It has been going well. I have been getting a chance to sit back and look at the guys ahead of me and learn from them. All of the running backs help each other out so that makes it easy for me. Everybody helps everybody."

    Special Uniforms for B.C. Game?

    In case anyone missed it a couple of days ago, Florida State University Athletic Director, Dave Hart, said that Nike has approached the school about a special uniform for the Boston College game. The uniform would be themed as a tribute to the Seminole Tribe, and would only be worn for that game.

    Saturday, August 19, 2006

    FSU the Best NFL Pipeline

    The Wall Street Journal rated Florida State as the best school when it comes to supplying the NFL with players who succeed at in that league. A complex system that tied points to starters, reserves and victories. FSU finished with 2,720 points. The top five was rounded out by Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Ohio State.

    Saturday Practice Report

    • FSU spent 25 minutes on special teams and then worked for six periods on the practice fields before moving over to the stadium for a one-hour situation scrimmage

    • Senior linebacker Buster Davis and senior tailback Lorenzo Booker will participate in a live chat on Monday. The chat will begin with Davis at 1:00 p.m. with Booker scheduled to follow at 1:30 p.m. Fans can send their questions in through or

    • Highlights for the offense during the scrimmage:

    o 37 yard TD pass from Xavier Lee to Damon McDaniel

    o 3 yard TD pass from Lee to Joe Surratt

    o Two 1 yard TD runs by Matt Dunham

    o 32 yard run by Antone Smith

    o 21 yard run by Lee

    o 19 yard completion from Lee to De'Cody Fagg

    o 12 yard completion from Lee to Greg Carr

    o Gary Cismesia was 2-of-4 on field goals from 44 yards

    • Highlights for the defense during the scrimmage:

    o Rumble recovery by Derek Nicholson

    o Tackles for loss by Derek Nicholson, Paul Grffin, Geno Hayes, Buster Davis, Dekoda Watson, Roosevelt Lawson and Lawerance Timmons

    o Pass breaks ups by Korey Mangum, Toddrick Verdel and Patrick Robinson

    • The Seminoles will not practice Sunday but will attend Bethel AME church in the morning and then hold meetings in the afternoon

    • FSU will practice twice on Monday (8:30 a.m. for 24 periods and 6:15 p.m. for 18 periods)


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (On practice)

    "We worked on third and short, goal line, red zone and coming off the three yard line and things like that. The coaches got a good look at some of the stuff that they wanted to see. It was a pretty good practice and we are getting a little bit better."

    (How pleased were you with Xavier Lee's performance today?)

    "That is exactly what we were hoping. That he can pick it up where he left off and show improvement. Each scrimmage he has shown improvement. He needs all the scrimmaging he can get. We can't afford to do too much because of injury but I think each scrimmage he has gotten a little more comfortable with what he is doing. He made some nice throws out there today."

    (On freshman wide receivers Damon McDaniel and Preston Parker)

    "Those kids are making some progress. I like those two freshmen we got in here. Preston is a little more explosive, a guy that can break tackles but Damon is very consistent and runs good patterns and catches the ball good."

    (What does the offense have to work on?)

    "Execution, execution, execution, doing it and doing it perfect. They are a little bit more versatile than they were a year ago. But a lot of that goes right back to the quarterback. You can't go any further than the quarterback will take you."

    QB Xavier Lee

    (On practice)

    "I practiced pretty well. My offensive line blocked well and the running backs ran the ball well. I just called the play and they ran it. The receivers caught the ball and that is all I can do. "

    (On passing accuracy)

    "My arm is much better. I have been working hard over the whole summer to get my accuracy back and my strength back. It is coming along good and it showed today."

    (What does a good day like today do for you?)

    "It gives me a lot of confidence but it is hard to have confidence when you aren't really getting the reps or playing time. Being out there and making plays and the offense is blocking for me and everything else just feels good. It gives me confidence."

    (Are you back all the way physically?)

    "There is always room for improvement but where I'm at right now I'm comfortable but I always want to get better."

    (On his progress)

    "Mentally I can always get better as well. Mentally where I am right now is good because I make the plays and I understand the game. Reads are a lot clearer for me now."

    WR Damon McDaniel

    (On his 37 yard touchdown reception from Lee)

    "It was a real confidence boost. We work hard, run our routes and read. It is a lot of thinking to do. Most of the time when you try and run your route you have to think too much but you just want to come out and compete."

    Friday, August 18, 2006

    Friday Morning Practice Report

    • FSU practiced for 24 periods at 8:30 Friday morning and is scheduled to go back out for the second session of the day at 6:15 p.m. (18 periods)

    • In today's Wall Street Journal, Florida State was rated No. 1 in a study that evaluated schools in terms of producing the best NFL player by measuring each pro's impact

    • released a list of the ACC's top 10 players which included two Seminoles (Buster Davis at No. 5 and Drew Weatherford at No. 8)

    • Freshman cornerback Patrick Robinson continued to impress, recording a pass break-up and an interception in 11-on-11 Friday morning

    • Other defensive highlights from 11-on-11 included tackles for loss by Buster Davis, Geno Hayes, Rodney Gallon and Andre Fluellen

    • Drew Weatherford led the offense with an 18-yard completion to Lorenzo Booker and touchdown passes to Brandon Warren (12 yards) and Chris Davis (5 yards)

    • Marcus Sims had two rushes for 13 yards, Antone Smith ran twice for 11 yards and Jamaal Edwards gained 13 yards on three carries

    • In goalline, the No. 1 defense stopped the No. 2 offense on all three tries while the No. 1 offense was 2-for-3 against the No. 2 defense with touchdowns coming on the ground from Smith and Lorenzo Booker

    • The Seminoles will practice once on Saturday (9:45 a.m. flex) with one hour on the practice fields and one hour in the stadium


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (On practice)

    "I thought we showed some improvement. That is what we have to do every day."

    (On the defensive line injuries)

    "We hope to get them back. (Letroy) Guion is back working out there. The other kid (Emmanuel Dunbar) isn't back yet but we hope to get him back. They play and they are veterans and we sure need them. After they go out then we are talking about freshmen, pure freshmen."

    (On Marcus Sims)

    "Marcus is doing well. He runs better than I thought. I thought he might run like a fullback but he doesn't. He has some little moves in there and his balance is pretty doggone good."

    (Thoughts on the Miami game)

    "I think there is too much hard work in practice. It is too hot to even think about two weeks away. We are just trying to get through the day."

    (On Patrick Robinson)

    "He made two big plays out there today."

    Cornerback Patrick Robinson

    (On making big plays during practice)

    "It feels good. It builds my confidence. When you are out there you have to be comfortable, then once you are comfortable you make more plays."

    (On his confidence level)

    "I feel confident right now. When I make the plays I feel happy and then my confidence just builds up and builds up. Then you feel like you could do anything."

    (First feeling at Florida State)

    "When I first got here I was happy. I have been through a lot in high school and I worked hard to get here. I was thankful to be here and after that I was ready to go to work. In college it is a whole another level. It is faster and everybody is strong and fast."

    (On playing time)

    "I came here to play and compete. When I was being recruited and thinking about coming here, everybody asked about playing time and starting. But I came here to compete. When you go to college you are going to have to compete to start."

    Thursday, August 17, 2006

    FSU Thursday Practice

    • The Seminoles practiced once Thursday (at 9:45 a.m.) for 20 periods in shoulder pads

    • Highlights for the offense in 11-on-11 included:

    o 47 yard completion from Xavier Lee to Richard Goodman

    o Two completions totaling 40 yards (35, 5) from Drew Weatherford to Chris Davis

    o 18 rushing yards on two carries from Lorenzo Booker

    o Two completions totaling 20 yards (13, 7) from Lee to Preston Parker

    o Two 5 yard completions from Weatherford to Brandon Warren

    • Highlights for the defense in 11-on-11 included:

    o Sacks by Paul Griffin and Lawrence Timmons

    o Tackles for loss by Timmons and D.J. Norris

    • FSU returns to two-a-day practices Friday morning at 8:30 and then again in the evening at 6:15


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (Rotating guys on the offensive line last night)

    "We did a whole lot of substituting and probably a lot of experimenting. The main thing is that we are trying to get everyone playing where they are going to play. Trying to see who is going to start and who shouldn't be and things like that. It disrupts their timing when you put another guy in there but you have to do it."

    (Confidence with the first seven on the offensive line)

    "I'm as confident as I can be. We still have a long way to go. I think nearly everybody behind them is either a freshman or a sophomore with no playing experience."

    (On Tony Carter)

    "I noticed him limping. I didn't know whether it was an ankle or what. I saw him when he got hit. I hope it is nothing serious."

    (On Jamie Robinson)

    "He had a pretty doggone good spring but has missed a couple things. I'm glad to get him back. It might be awhile before he gets going after missing the start of two a days."

    WR Chris Davis

    (On making several receptions last night from Drew Weatherford)

    "We just are connecting. We had a little groove going. He just hit me at the right spots at the right times."

    (Improvements from last season)

    "I think it just comes from the years that I have been here, knowing the system and reading the defense better."

    (Are you and Weatherford on the same page?)

    "It is a timing thing. You have to have a clock in your head and know at a certain time the ball is going to be in the air and you have to be ready for it. It is just clicking for us."

    (On Weatherford)

    "He is a lot more confident. He is running things a lot more. He knows where to look at the right time."

    (On the receivers)

    "The young guys are learning and getting better and the older guys are continuing to get better. We still have room to get better but so far the receivers are doing pretty good right now."

    (Tight ends)

    "They are great. Defenses now just can't key on Greg (Carr), Da'Cody (Fagg) or me across the middle or even the back side of the back field. Now we have an extra weapon. Our tight ends are getting open and running after the catch which makes it a whole lot better."

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    FSU First Full Scrimmage

    • FSU held a kicking scrimmage in the morning and then a full scrimmage in the evening - both on Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium

    • The field goal kickers were a perfect on nine attempts in the morning from distances of 32, 37 and 42 yards

    • Gary Cismesia led the way, going 6-for-6 with two field goals from each distance

    • The No. 1 offense had three scores in the full scrimmage while the No. 1 defense did not allow a touchdown

    • Drew Weatherford was 11-of-13 for 127 yards with touchdowns to Chris Davis (5 yards) and Greg Carr (40 yards)

    • Carr led all receivers with three catches for 54 yards with Davis second (4-35)

    • The other TD came on a one-yard rush by Joe Surratt

    • Xavier Lee completed 7-of-16 passes for 57 yards

    • Lorenzo Booker led all rushers with 39 yards on six carries with Antone Smith rushing four times for 35 yards

    • Everette Brown recorded a team-best five sacks

    • Derek Nicholson led all tackles with eight stops, including two for loss

    • Buster Davis and Paul Griffin each had five tackles and two tackles for loss

    • In goalline, the No. 1 offense scored on three of four tries against the No. 2 defense with TD's coming from Surratt (1 yard), Booker (3) and Matt Dunham (1)

    • The No. 1 defense allowed just one score on four attempts vs. the No. 2 offense with the lone TD coming from Dunham from one yard out

    • The team will practice once on Thursday with the start scheduled for 9:45 a.m.


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (On the full scrimmage)

    "I saw some good things then I saw some ragged things. Good then ragged, good, then ragged. The key is to be able to go out there and find out what you did wrong and get it corrected. That is the only way to get better. I think Everette (Brown) was pretty doggone good. There were a lot of mistakes so we have to get those things figured out. It's a good thing when you have a scrimmage like this because it shows you how much more you have to do."

    (On the running backs)

    "I thought (Lorenzo) Booker ran well. I thought Antone ran well. The guy that I really saw what I wanted to see from was Matt Dunham running the football. He scored every time on the goalline."

    (On the quarterbacks)

    "If you take Drew's game, he went good, ragged then good, instead of going all the way through with it. Xavier (Lee) got a lot of work. He has improved. You can really see the improvement from a year ago but he still has a lot to learn."

    (On injuries to defensive tackles)

    "It would be nice to have them in there. You are taking (Letroy) Guion and (Emmanuel) Dunbar out and they aren't getting any work. I'll be glad when we get them back. We can't beat Miami with those guys sitting over there on the bench so we need those guys to start practicing."

    Defensive end Everette Brown

    (On the scrimmage)

    "Today we wanted to come out and get a good look at everybody. I mainly wanted to focus on my pass rushing today. I haven't been getting a good pass rush since two-a-days started, I haven't been as dominant. Tonight I wanted to come out and stick to the basics and fundamentals and just get to the passers."

    (On his play tonight)

    "I have to get better. I had some good take-offs but I need to keep my pads down and play better with my hands to beat my opponent quicker. For the most part it was a pretty good day."

    Quarterback Drew Weatherford

    (On the scrimmage)

    "I just felt comfortable today. The offensive line did a great job of blocking. The running backs were making plays and we were able to run the ball which is really helping us out in the passing game. I'm really proud of everybody, for being our first scrimmage we have a lot of things to work out but we will get that fixed."

    (On touchdown to Greg Carr)

    "It was phenomenal. That wasn't me at all. He made the play and he makes me look good a lot. I am really excited about being able to throw to him again."

    Q & A: Bobby Bowden- Part 2

    As part of Sunday's Media Day, Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden sat down with the print media for approximately 30 minutes. In part II of the interview, the 76-year-old coaching legend talks about being elected to the Hall of Fame, his battle with Joe Paterno for the most wins, why Myron Rolle is a "Cant' Miss" player, whether he would be comfortable if the Miami game came down to a kick and more.

    Q: Drew said it was the Boston College game where he started feeling comfortable running the offense. Did you feel the same way or was there another game where you said, 'Okay, I think he's got it' last year?

    Bobby Bowden: Well, that was the game that had he not come through we would have lost. He had a good game throwing the ball and he had to because they were killing our running game. They couldn't stop the running game and him. That happened several games last year and then there were some where they shut us down anyway.

    Q: Tommy put a pretty good lickin' on you last year. Was he banned from the family thing this year? Do you have something for him this year?

    Bobby Bowden: Yeah, a touchdown. [Bowden laughs.] I don't think he's seen one of those from us lately. Now, Tommy could be the team to beat. He whipped us about as good as anybody beat us last year and he's got most of them coming back. If that quarterback comes through, he's going to be hard to beat.

    Q: You mentioned Buster's leadership. Apparently he's a history teacher as well. He said you're like George Washington on his high horse. What do you think he meant?

    Bobby Bowden: He said I was like George Washington on a high horse? [Bowden laughs.] Gosh, only Buster knows the answer to that. [The room of reporters erupts in laughter.] I don't think he even knows what war that was. [More laughter.]

    Q: He said you can coach 10 or 20 more years.

    Bobby Bowden: I'm going to have to win more ballgames, I know that. That's what my intentions are. My desire to coach is the same. It doesn't change. It doesn't matter how old you get. I've said this before -- as long as you are healthy, it makes no difference how old you are. Makes no difference. You may be sitting out there 28 years of age and in worse health than me and don't feel as good as I feel. But you're not likely.

    Q: Going back to the Orange Bowl with you and Joe and then both of you are elected to the Hall of Fame, it seems like both of you are building momentum into this season. Joe said his doctors said he can go 10 more years. Buster said you can go another 10 or 20 years.

    Bobby Bowden: Did I say that? I wish my doctor would tell me that. [Laughs.] Joe and I are alike in several ways. Number one, when you've coached as long as we have -- and whether you agree with me or not -- we can help kids. You might not agree with me, but we can help kids. I've been through enough things in my life that I can tell these kids what's best for you if you will listen. You know? Now, these young coaches can't do it because they haven't been through it yet. Joe and I both think that we can help these kids with their lives and it's important to us. We know we're running out of years, but it's a shame when you think about throwing away 50 years of experience if you don't have to. That's the way life is nowadays.

    Q: Has this Hall of Fame thing sunk in yet?

    Bobby Bowden: Hall of Fame? That is good. But it's one of those things you knew would happen one of these days. If I live another four months, I'll get to see it. But I'm not one of those guys -- I am not one of those guys who says, 'This is all I ever lived for. I'm in the Hall of Fame. That's all I've ever lived for.' It doesn't affect me like that. There's something else that's more important to me than that.

    Q: It seems like college football fans are saying, 'One of them is not going to give up until the other one quits.'

    Bobby Bowden: It looks like that, doesn't it? I look in the obituary section every day to see if he's still out there. [The room erupts in laughter again.]

    Q: Does he do that to you?

    Bobby Bowden: He might. I don't know. That's a good question. Joe's in good health.

    Q: What does it say that both of you got to a major bowl last year? What did it do for you guys?

    Bobby Bowden: It's good. Of course, Joe really had a great year. He had a fantastic year. I know that did his heart good. We nearly did, but not quite. Again, it just keeps you in there. I don't know what would have happened to me if we hadn't gotten in there. They probably would have run me off. [Bowden chuckles.]

    Q: Earlier today, Myron Rolle said that a lot of coaches used the age factor when they were recruiting him and said that you might not be here when it was time for him to graduate. He said especially the coaches in this state used that.

    Bobby Bowden: They've been saying it for 20 years. Once you get to be 60, you are too old. You ain't going to be there but for another year. Man, I heard that when Terry was back at Auburn. [Laughs.] All those guys are gone. I just keep hanging in there. Me and Joe.

    Q: You talked about playing on Labor Day and Monday night. Teams are playing just about every day of the week this year. You'll see games on Sunday night. What do you think about that? Is it too much?

    Bobby Bowden: That will be up to the fans if it's too much. I don't know. People seem to love it. I used to not be able to wait until I got home from practice on Monday nights so I could watch Monday Night Football. I'd catch a little bit of it. I don't know, but for some reason it doesn't seem like fans are not tired of it yet.

    Q: Would you play on Sunday nights?

    Bobby Bowden: I wouldn't vote for it.

    Q: Is that something you would fight?

    Bobby Bowden: I just wouldn't vote for it. I hope I never have to fight it.

    Q: Some of the younger coaches coming up today don't have the clout you have to vote against that. Has the competitive environment changed so much today that they look for whatever edge they can get -- even if it means playing on Tuesday nights for exposure?

    Bobby Bowden: I don't think there's a one of them that isn't looking for an edge. It's such a competitive business. It's all built around success. You've got to be successful. There's not a doggone one of them who is not looking for an edge.

    Q: You've had a lot of recruits over the years who have been labeled as 'can't-miss' prospects. What have you seen of Myron Rolle so far to lead you to believe he can be another Deion Sanders, Derrick Brooks down the road?

    Bobby Bowden: He has all of the tools to be an outstanding college football player. The one thing Deion Sanders had is a 4.19 40-yard dash, which Myron doesn't have and which most players don't have. As far as all the rest, he seems to have. He's got enough of everything to -- if he stays healthy -- can't miss. Well, now, you might say, 'How do you know he's going to do this or that?' Because he's smart. He's smart. If he was dumb, I'd say he might dumb himself out of it. But this kid is too smart. He's too smart. He competes so good, he learns so good, tries so hard. Again, if he can just stay healthy. That's the whole thing -- just stay healthy.

    Q: What's the health of the kicking game right now?

    Bobby Bowden: We've got a battle going on at punter. We've got a battle going on with the kickers. We're working with a lot of kids at kickoff returns and punt returns and we haven't decided on that yet. They get reps at practice.

    Q: As far as field goal kicking goes, no one has taken the lead yet?

    Bobby Bowden: Not yet. Not yet.

    Q: You talk about yourself and Joe Paterno placing an emphasis on helping these kids. How important is it to have guys like Derrick Brooks and Warrick Dunn, who have both won NFL Man of the Year awards, to come back and talk to your kids and say you can be successful and still be a good guy?

    Bobby Bowden: No doubt about it. That's what we need nowadays. That's what young people need -- good role models. Those guys are excellent role models. I bring them every chance I get. Every time they do come back to time and we have time with them, I'll have them address my football team. Because they need role models, they need good role models like that. Those are two of the best in the world.

    Q: With the rules changes out there to speed the game up and start the game clock faster between possessions, how do you think that will affect the way you guys go about your business?

    Bobby Bowden: Well, our coaches are going to have to be aware of what's happening and how much time you have left. You've got to get them off the sideline and on the field. We'll just have to be more conscious of what that clock is doing.

    Q: Does that give the offense an advantage or the defense an advantage?

    Bobby Bowden: It looks like you will see less of the offense because of it. Everything is done to cut down on time, which means your offense won't have as many at-bats. That's the way it looks to me right now.

    Q: Does it help an underdog team?

    Bobby Bowden: It depends on how tough they are defensively. If they've got a great defense, it would. I would think.

    Q: Coach, Beitia never recovered from the Miami game in terms of his success afterwards --

    Bobby Bowden: I didn't either. [Room erupts again.]

    Q: I say that in terms of Cismesia had a rough game against Penn State.

    Bobby Bowden: Yeah, that's just the nature of a poor kicker. You see it happening in pro football all the doggone time. Those guys are professionals and get paid a lot of money and you see them miss it, too. That's just the nature of the job. It's amazing. I don't know the answer to it. We practice it hard.

    Q: Did you get a chance to talk to him after the game?

    Bobby Bowden: Cismesia? A little bit. I've never talked to a specialist too much about what he's done wrong. Look at what you did wrong. We could have won if you had done this. I just don't talk to them about that. I think they are broken-hearted anyway, you know? I don't know of anything tougher than walking off that doggone field after missing a kick that would have won the game and facing your teammates. Wow. I'm glad my sons don't have to go through that.

    Q: Would you be comfortable if Labor Day comes down to a kick?

    Bobby Bowden: Would I be comfortable? [Laughs. The room laughs with him.] There are two ways to look at it. Number one, you are in the game all the way. You're in the game with them. You're playing just as good as them. Now, who's kicking -- us or them? [Room erupts one more time.]

    Us? Yeah, I probably would. Now if they were, I wouldn't. They blew it last year. They ain't likely to blow two.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    FSU Practice:Day 6

    NOTES • The Seminoles practiced once Tuesday (at 9:45 a.m.) for 20 periods in full pads

    • Highlights for the offense in 11-on-11 included:

    o 25-yard completion from D'Vontrey Richardson to Brandon Warren

    o 15-yard completion from Drew Weatherford to Antone Smith

    o 18-yard completion from Weatherford to De'Cody Fagg

    o 11-yard rush by Jamaal Edwards

    o Three 10-yard TD passes from Weatherford to Chris Davis

    o 8-yard TD pass from Weatherford to Greg Carr

    o Goalline TD runs by Smith and Marcus Sims

    • Highlights for the defense in 11-on-11 included:

    o Interception and long return by Tony Carter

    o Sacks by Paul Griffin, Andre Fluellen, Darrell Burston

    o Tackles for loss by Griffin, Jae Thaxton, Neefy Moffett

    o Pass break-ups by Myron Rolle and Michael Ray Garvin

    o Thaxton added an interception in 7-on-7 pass skeleton drills

    • FSU returns to two-a-day practices Wednesday morning at 8:30 (primarily kicking - ends at 10:15) and then again in the evening at 6:15 (scrimmage in stadium)


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (on practice)

    "We came out this morning in full pads. We went through our kicking. I think our punting is really picking up and I'm glad to see that. Everything went pretty good. I think the offense got the best of it today. Antone Smith ran the ball real well and stood out. We had some good throwing and catching."

    (on punting)

    "They all seem to be kicking better. We had them under pressure and they were getting them off quick. To be honest, it is kind of funny that they kicked better under pressure. That is a good sign so I hope that is true. On the punting, (Graham) Gano might be getting the best of it. He is getting the ball good and high and putting it out there some."

    (Is the offense ahead of where they were last year?)

    "I feel sure that we are. Especially the quarterback, this time a year ago we had a quarterback that was totally inexperienced. Now we got one that has those games under his belt."

    (Is there anything that you didn't get to do yesterday because you had to come inside?)

    "We went inside and there we could really work on assignments. You can't get the ball up in the air or run a sweep, but you can get assignments. So other than missing out on passing, we have time to make it up."

    (on the receivers)

    "They were all catching the ball. (Brandon) Warren is really picking it up. He is beginning to get familiar with it."

    (on Drew Weatherford's confidence)

    "You have to have that if you are going to play the position. Of course, a lot of it comes with experience and being under fire. He is still only a dadgum sophomore but he is still much further along than he was this time a year ago."

    Linebacker Buster Davis

    (on the scrimmage tomorrow)

    "For everybody this is going to be the first time we have a full scrimmage out here and we'll get graded. We really don't know what to expect from the young guys. They have had a week and a half to get things put in so they can memorize it. We'll see how it goes and see how they react to it."

    (What does the scrimmage mean as a veteran?)

    "Just getting my game and taking it to the next level. I just want to elevate my game and get everyone around me to elevate their game to a higher level."

    Monday, August 14, 2006

    Q & A: Bobby Bowden

    As part of Sunday's Media Day, Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden sat down with the print media for approximately 30 minutes. In part I of the interview, the 76-year-old coaching legend talks about playing Miami in the season opener, having a fifth-year senior at running back, Drew Weatherford's progress, using the tight end in the offense and more.

    Q: How do you feel about getting Miami away from Labor Day after this season?

    Bobby Bowden: After this year, I can't think of anybody tougher to open with than Miami. We have opened with them the last four years, the publicity part of it, you can't buy it. You can't pay enough money to get that type of national attention. I think it really helps our recruiting and it helps theirs. I don't think anybody enjoys opening with Miami. Miami is one of those teams that there is not a good time to play them.

    Q: Is it better to play them later on when both offenses are clicking a bit more and have some more experience?

    Bobby Bowden: Well, yeah you would probably rather have two or three games under your belt and they may have two but it is all relative. They open and we open at the same time and I think, I haven't talked to Larry (Coker) about it but I imagine that if both of us had a choice with everything being equal that we would both want to get some games underneath our belt before we play each other.

    Q: How tough will it be to turn this team around mentally following the Miami game when you return to the field five days later?

    Bobby Bowden: A lot of it is going to depend on whether you win or lose. If you win you are pretty high spirited. If you lose then you might be challenged to go out and work harder the next week so it is difficult playing on Saturday after playing on a Monday. That is why we didn't choose Southern Cal or Notre Dame for that game.

    Q: When you got Lorenzo Booker he was the guy that year, how much do you hope to have a special season for him?

    Bobby Bowden: Booker, of course this is Booker's last year, and Booker is street smarter than a lot of kids and the reason that I say that is that when he came to Florida State, his first year he hadn't been here three weeks when he came and asked me if I could red-shirt. Usually a guy with his reputation, they don't want to hear red-shirt – 'I am to good, I am going to play now'. He came in and he said coach, I need to red-shirt. We did red-shirt him his freshman year and now he is down to his senior year and has had a good spring and good preparation and he should be able to have a good year and I think a lot of it depends – I don't think it, I know it – will depend upon our offensive line staying healthy. I don't care how good Booker is he cannot run without some good blocking.

    Q: How close were you to burning that red-shirt during his freshman year?

    Bobby Bowden: That could have happened but we did not play him. That could have happened and we thought about it but didn't do it, thanks goodness.

    Q: A few weeks ago you said that if Florida State could stay healthy that they could be as good as any team in the country, how come?

    Bobby Bowden: Well, I think because our maturity is as good as anybody in the country. There are different levels of maturity, Penn State last year had 17 starting fifth year seniors, that is different from another team that has the same talent but they are all sophomores or freshmen. The maturity can change but I think personnel wise we are about as good as anybody else. I have always looked at it like this that out of a 120 teams you have between 20 and 50 and one of them will win a National Championship. You could list or I could list 20 teams and we would hit it. We would probably hit the two. What I am saying is a couple of those teams are going to get lucky, couple of them will stay healthy, a couple of them will get a couple of bounces and they will get there. That is what it is going to take. I don't think many people line up each year and go right through it without a break or two. When we won the National Championships we got several breaks.

    Q: It is a more wide-open race this year as there doesn't seem to be a distinct favorite, don't you agree?

    Bobby Bowden: That is right, right now they are picking who, Ohio State right now. Notre Dame, Notre Dame impresses me because of their quarterback.

    Q: Do you get the sense that there is some momentum already building on this team and that you may be flying a bit below the national radar?

    Bobby Bowden: There is always that possibility. I think that is the fun thing about the first part of the year because everybody is undefeated, nobody has lost a game, and everybody is so happy. Everybody's goal is the same, to win them all. So what is in store for us I don't know but you hope to get a couple of surprises you didn't expect. You hope to get very few disappointments. You hope you stay healthy. You hope you get a good bounce early. There are so many things that you have got to have to reach your goal. There is another thing you can't do and that is throw your eggs in one basket and your season is over if you lose the first game. I have seen that happen before.

    Q: Is the fact that you have largely avoided off the field headaches this off-season is good starting point for the season you are looking to have?

    Bobby Bowden: I can't say it is good because if I do then tomorrow there will be a bank robbery. We are lucky that we haven't had anybody step out of line publicly because that is just the way it is nowadays. Nobody is immune. Just as soon as I would start saying, 'Wow, look how good we are this year.' then tomorrow somebody would step out of line. It can just happen to anybody, to any team, and we just have been as lucky as heck for the last spring and summer.

    Q: Are you confident with the suspensions and coaching turnovers at Miami that your players are going to remember that it is still Miami they are playing?

    Bobby Bowden: No problem. If we don't then we are making the biggest mistake we have ever made. Miami has got football players. They have lost kids but they have subs. We will probably lose a couple before we play them because of injury. That is usually what it occurs. You better not ever get overconfident with them. They have beaten us so many times I don't see how we can.

    Q: Can you talk a little bit about how you view the situation of Maurice Clarett, do you view his situation as a waste, shame, or sad. What goes through your mind when you see the news concerning him?

    Bobby Bowden: That is nearly unheard of. Here is a guy that starts as a freshman and takes his team to the National Championship, wins the National Championship, and then all of a sudden they lose him. I have never seen that one before. For some reason down inside, a lot of it I would hate to say it but it is true goes back to up-bringing, they learn things in those first 17 years of their life that are going to stick with them all of their life. People expect the coach to change it in two years, it is very difficult. I hate it for him.

    Q: This preseason we have heard you use a term that we haven't heard very much recently in Tight End.

    Bobby Bowden: What is that? (laughs)

    Q: Those guys are young but do you think they can be a real weapon for you this year?

    Bobby Bowden: Well, our tight ends are talented, these young boys that we have brought in. Everyone of them is a freshman, every tight end that we have is a freshman. We have one that is a red-shirt freshman, he has been catching the ball a lot better in practice too which is good, by the way. They are more talented than any tight ends – we may have had a more talented tight end but we didn't have more of them like we have got this year. They are very talented. (Caz) Piurowski is 6-foot-7 and he ain't stretch to 6-foot-7, if you stretch him he would be about 6-foot-8 because he is about 6-foot-7 and a 1/4 . Then we have got the young man out of Tennessee who is about 220 pounds, he is fast, has good speed, and is not as big and husky like Caz is but he does have a lot of talent. Then you have (Charlie) Graham who is catching the ball better. These tight ends, it does look like you can re-insert your passing game to the tight ends but then again you have to realize they are totally inexperienced.

    Q: If Piurowski is as tough as his dad then there should be no concern about him, correct?

    Bobby Bowden: Oh boy, there is no doubt about that. Paul Piurowski is one of the toughest kids – I have always felt like he made the best play of any player we have had in the 31 years I have been here when he made that play against Nebraska in 1980. They were fixing to go in and beat us and all of a sudden he makes a sack and forces a fumble. We win the game. I think that is probably the biggest one play in the 31 years I have been at Florida State. He is the daddy.

    Q: Drew Weatherford mentioned how much film study he has done and learned from since the conclusion of last season, how much have you seen him mature and how much do you think his almost unhealthy obsession of watching film will benefit him this coming season?

    Bobby Bowden: You would be scared if they didn't. If my coach said that Drew don't ever come in and watch film that would kind of scare you. They have got to study it. The great ones do. I am glad to hear he has which doesn't surprise. I think the other quarterbacks have been doing a lot of it too. There is an entirely different feeling going into this season with Drew having 12 games under his belt and playing the teams we have played, the defensive teams we have played such as Miami, Virginia Tech, Florida, N.C. State and against some other dog gone good defenses and he survived it and ended up being the most prolific freshman quarterback in the country as far as stats are concerned. I feel good going in. It is nearly like he is a senior but he is not, he is only a sophomore. I feel real good about him, I feel very confident about him but he is still only a sophomore.

    Q: As a freshman last year prior to the Virginia Tech game he spoke to the team, what does that say about him and his leadership ability?

    Bobby Bowden: Well, he is a leader. It is not a secret to you or anybody else that knows Drew. He is a natural born leader, just like number seven(Buster Davis) that was up here a while ago. First time I ever met Buster I told him 'Son, you can be one of our leaders if you come to Florida State' and he is a leader. Now Drew is the same way, he is a leader. You don't have to be a senior to lead. We expect it out of our seniors but Drew is one of those guys that just can't help it. Our kids believe in him, they have a lot of faith in him.

    Q: Did he have the best season of any freshman quarterback you have ever had?

    Bobby Bowden: Well, we don't usually start freshmen. He is the second freshman I have had to start maybe since I have been here. I think everybody else was a red-shirt junior or a red-shirt senior or something like that except (Chris) Weinke was an old sophomore. Yeah, he probably had the best freshman year of anybody that we have had.

    Q: What do you think the last two games of last season against Virginia Tech and Penn State did for this team and can that carry over into this year?

    Bobby Bowden: Well, we are trying use it to our advantage from playing Virginia Tech who was the number one defensive team in the nation last year and the number one offensive team in our conference I believe and beating them. Then playing Penn State who was a tremendous football team and if there was ever a veteran team, Joe (Paterno) had a veteran team last year. Then nearly winning, we will naturally remind our players of that and try to build off of it going into this year because during the last two games we looked like we were as good as anybody in the country. I got after our players after last year and I got after our coaches at least making it known to them that we are a funny team, we play good people and we play pretty good, we play people that we are favored over and we don't play them good and we get beat. We played pretty good against Miami, Boston College, Penn State, and Virginia Tech and maybe some others but maybe teams that we were favored over by 10 or seven or 14, they just beat the crap out of us. We have to play good every Saturday if we want to get back to where we were. We sure tried to stress that.

    Q: Where does that start, learning to play consistently?

    Bobby Bowden: Well, you hope you learned from last year, you hope you learned through experience. You hope you learned through experience. You have to be ready to play every Saturday.

    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    FSU Practice:Day 5

    • The team worked out from 9:00 a.m. until noon and practiced in pads for the first time

    • The defense created several turnovers in 11-on-11 scrimmaging at the end of the day with a total of three interceptions

    • Tony Carter picked off Christian Ponder and returned it 20 yards, Myron Rolle deflected a deep pass by Xavier Lee and Derek Nicholson got the INT, and Marcus Ball added the third interception off of Drew Weatherford

    • Lawrence Timmons and Darrell Burston each had a sack in 11-on-11

    • The offense's top plays were a 25-yard swing pass from Ponder to Jamaal Edwards and a 15-yard completion from D'Vontrey Richardson to Brandon Warren

    • In goalline, the No. 1 offense scored on three of four tries versus the No. 2 defense while the No. 2 offense was 0-for-4 against the No. 1 defense

    • The goalline touchdowns came from Lorenzo Booker (3 yards), Antone Smith (1 yard) and Joe Surratt (1 yard)

    • Media day and fan day will be held Sunday (8/13) and the first two-a-day practice is Monday


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (on practice)

    "I thought overall they handled it pretty good. It wasn't a bad practice in pads for the first day. We worked on the goalline, the first offense versus the second defense and I think the offense scored all but one time. Then the first defense got in their and stopped them nearly every time. They just got a good taste of it. Tomorrow is picture day and then Monday will be the first day for two-a-days."

    (on Lawrence Timmons' hit on Brandon Warren)

    "That is why he plays football. He carries a big stick on this football team. "

    (on Timmons' blocked field goal and punt)

    "He is versatile. He is a guy that you like to keep on the field all of the time because he just makes plays whether it is in the kicking game or the running game."

    (on fan day and media day)

    "The boys don't have to practice and they get their pictures made in their uniforms. They get to sign autographs and we get to meet a lot of nice people. It is good for us."

    (on the importance of depth on the offensive line)

    "Next year we will have a lot of depth. This year we are keeping our fingers crossed that nobody gets hurt on our front six, five plus one. Of course they have to make improvement and they will make improvement if they stay healthy."

    TE Brandon Warren

    (on the difference between college and high school football)

    "The speed of the game, guys are really physical and way stronger than before but you just have to dig deep and get the job done."

    (on his biggest challenge)

    "Basically just getting in the trenches and blocking bigger guys. It is just a different level. Everyone is just so much faster off of the ball and stronger."

    (Is this what you thought it would be like now that you have the pads on?)

    "Oh yeah definitely, I'm at Florida State. The level of competition here is as high as anywhere. I'm here to compete and I'm going to do whatever I can to get on the field."

    Friday, August 11, 2006

    FSU Practice:Day 4

    • The team worked out for 24 periods in shells (shoulder pads & shorts) for the second day on Friday morning

    • Saturday will mark the first practice in full pads and the first two-a-day practice will be Monday

    • Lawrence Timmons and Neefy Moffett each had a sack in 11-on-11 and Buster Davis recorded a tackle for loss

    • Timmons also had the big hit of the day when he met Marcus Sims on a running play up the middle

    • Lorenzo Booker broke an 18-yard run in 11-on-11 and Xavier Lee later found Chris Davis for a 15-yard gain

    • In 7-on-7, De'Cody Fagg made a great catch in traffic on a 45-yard pass from Lee with the other big pass play coming on a 40-yard strike from D'Vontrey Richardson to Damon McDaniel

    • Roger Williams just missed an interception in 7-on-7 on a diving pass break-up

    • Media day and fan day will be held this Sunday (8/13)


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (on Friday's practice)

    "Today was our second day in shells and tomorrow we will have full pads on. When you get the full pads on you will find out a little more about them than you knew before. We have looked at them in shorts for two days and shells for two days and we really can't learn much more. Now we will go into full pads and by doing that there will probably be some good surprises and probably be some disappointments."

    (on offensive tackle Shannon Boatman)

    It is hard for me to say through the first four days of practice. About all I can see now is if a guy does bad. Is he doing really good, I can't separate them like that. It is much easier to see a receiver or somebody out in the open. I haven't seen anything disappointing. We are trying to find out if he can step in there and play number one and allow us to do this or that."

    (on zone blocking) "The longer we do it the better we will get at it, but when you are working against yourself, is the defense that bad or is the offense that good? We really don't know the answer to that yet."

    (on the heat)

    "These kids so far have done everything that we have asked. They have handled the heat pretty doggone good under the circumstances. I think they conditioned themselves pretty good to be out here."

    Cornerback Tony Carter

    (on facing big receivers in practice everyday)

    "It is fun. It makes you buckle up the chin strap everyday and play. It gets us ready for when we have to go up against taller opponents. It is tough but helps us out in the end."

    (on full pads tomorrow)

    "Yeah, we are ready. You can't tackle anybody and I'm not a thud guy. I like to tackle legs and us my hands so I'm ready to put the pads on."

    (on what you learn about your team with pads on)

    "You find out who is tough and who isn't. A lot of guys look good with no pads on because they know that they can't be hit but tomorrow when they put the pads on you will see some people who aren't as fast as they usually are or maybe you will see some people who are faster than they are right now. You get the real deal."

    FSU Fan Day This Sunday

    Florida State Football will hold its annual Fan Day on Sunday, August 13th from 2 pm until 4 pm at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Doors open at 1 pm and parking and admission is free. Fans are invited to join the coaches and players for autographs, photos and much more. Early arriving fans will receive free giveaway items and kids have a chance to enjoy a host of interactive games. Free giveaway items include posters, schedule cards, schedule magnets and autograph booklets.

    Fans are encouraged to only bring one item to be autographed per person, as free items will be given out just inside the Tucker Center.

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    FSU Practice:Day 3

    • The team hit the field at 9:00 a.m. for 24 periods in shoulder pads Thursday

    • Buster Davis, Andre Fluellen & Anthony Houllis each had one tackle for loss in 11-on-11

    • Roger Williams added an interception off a deflected Christian Ponder pass

    • Jamaal Edwards (20 yards), Antone Smith (15) and Lorenzo Booker (10) had runs of 10 or more yards in 11-on-11

    • The two longest pass completions were 15 yards (Xavier Lee to Richard Goodman) and 10 yards (Drew Weatherford to Caz Piurowski)

    • Buster Davis and Andre Fluellen were named to the Lombardi Award watch list

    • Friday's practice will also start at 9:00 a.m. (24 periods, shoulder pads)

    • The team will work in full pads for the first time Saturday

    • Media day and fan day will be held this Sunday (8/13)


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (opening comments)

    "For the second day I can see improvement, that's what you want to see. You need it everyday. You could tell the difference between yesterday and today. They were a little bit more familiar with what we're doing."

    (on the weather)

    "I don't think it was quite as hot as it was yesterday, but the thing was we handled it better. We might have had a couple of guys that the heat got to, but overall it was pretty good."

    (on the first day of shoulder pads)

    "We had the shells on today so we got some contact, but no tackling. They knocked each other around fairly well."

    (on the punting)

    "Our punters did pretty well today. (Graham) Gano's been hitting the ball pretty dang good. We're looking for consistency out of our kickers. I'd rather have a guy hit it 34 yards every time than one who hits it 50 then the next one hits it five. I like a left-footed kicker because the ball spins the opposite way. You get used to one rotation then here comes another that throws you off, it can be a factor."

    LB Lawrence Timmons

    (on the tradition of great linebackers at Florida State)

    "I'm trying to live up to the reputations that our linebackers have had in the past. It's a big step up for me, but I'm going to work hard during two-a-days. We've been working on a couple of different schemes and I like it when we get more linebackers on the field because we can make a lot big plays."

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    FSU Practice:Day 2


    • FSU had their second practice in shorts on Wednesday and worked for 24 periods

    • In 7-on-7 pass skeleton, QB Xavier Lee hit WR Richard Goodman for a 40-yard TD

    • QB D'Vontrey Richardson connected with WR Damon McDaniel for 20 yards later in 7-on-7

    • Bobby Bowden complimented both freshman receivers (McDaniel and Preston Parker) at the conclusion of practice

    • LB Anthony Kelly picked off QB Christian Ponder in 7-on-7 to lead the defense

    • The 11-on-11 scrimmaging was limited with no pads on, but NG Paul Griffin and LB Lawrence Timmons each stopped running plays in the backfield

    • The team will put on shoulder pads for the first time Thursday

    • Thursday's practice will start at 9:00 a.m. and will be 24 periods again

    • Media day and fan day will be held this Sunday (8/13)


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (on Wednesday's practice)

    "This was the first day we got a full practice in. The heat got a couple of them, might have gotten about four of them. I don't mean heat stroke, I'm talking about cramps and things like that. Most of them got through it. We covered just about everything we wanted to cover. We had to call off our running which we usually do after practice because of our time limit. It was a good day of learning."

    (on the heat)

    "You would like for it to gradually get hot so you can do everything you want to do and gradually get them in shape. That's the only thing that works against you."

    (on the freshmen receivers and their opportunity)

    "It's according to how many you are playing. If you play four wideouts, everyone gets involved. A lot of it is determined by how many of them can play. Both of the freshmen have caught the ball real well. I don't see them catch one, drop one, catch one, drop one. They are catching nearly everything. Now again, its early and you hadn't started contact things yet but so far, so good."

    WR De'Cody Fagg

    (on offensive balance)

    "The receivers like the balance because it opens up the pass. The more you run and balance it with the pass, the more it keeps the defense guessing on what the next play is going to be."

    (on the heat)

    "It's hot out here. We had a couple of players go down so we had to fill in. Greg Carr and I had to go with the ones by ourselves until Rich Goodman and Rod Owens came and bailed us out. We've just got to beat the heat each day. It's a good thing to get through the really hot days early because it will pay off as we keep going through the next couple weeks."

    (on taking more of a leadership role this season)

    "I do feel like I have to be a little more of a leader now that Willie Reid is gone. We have a good group of young guys in here and we have to go out and play our role to show them the right way to do things. We all do a good job of motivating each other. If Greg Carr is lagging, I might say something to him. If he sees that I need to step it up, he'll let me know about it. We don't get upset or anything, we just go out and give a little more effort."

    FSU Practice:Day 1


    • FSU held their first practice Tuesday afternoon and worked out in shorts

    • The team was forced off the field due to lightning in period 11

    • Freshman tight end Brandon Warren was cleared and participated Tuesday

    • Next practice (also in shorts) will be Wednesday morning at 9:00 - 24 periods

    • Media day and fan day will be held this Sunday (8/13)


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (on shortening practice because of lightning)

    "We got everything in today except about 45 minutes. The fact that this is the first practice won't hurt us. I hate for it to happen everyday though because it will eventually catch up with you, but right now as far as time goes we have time. We will practice in the morning at nine o'clock and pick up right where we left off."

    (on the freshmen)

    "I spend most of my time watching the new guys, watching the freshman. There weren't any disappointments. Like I have said in the past, they all look like All-Americans in shorts. They all look good in shorts so you look and see if there are any disappointments. Are there any guys that can't run like you thought they could or can't catch the ball like you thought they could, but as I watched them I wasn't disappointed in anything I saw out there."

    (on how hard the guys worked over the summer)

    "They must have done pretty good. Jon Jost, who is the only one who could be out there with them this summer, felt really good about it. I didn't see anybody pulling up or holding back today. They handled what we did today pretty doggone good."

    (on Drew Weatherford)

    "He is a year older than last year and he has 12 games under his belt so that is big. This time a year ago you are looking at him and Xavier as one of them starting the first ball game not having any idea of how they would respond under pressure so now he has 12 games under his belt. His confidence has grown and our confidence in him has grown with it. Now we have to get Xavier caught up, looked like he was throwing pretty well today but he just has to learn the stuff which takes time."

    (on this year's team motto)

    "Best effort. That was kind of our theme this summer. Give it your best effort."

    QB Drew Weatherford

    (on summer workouts)

    "The only thing that I could tell the difference from is that this has been more enjoyable. Everybody got along, the guys on the team had a good attitude the whole time and we weren't fighting with people about showing up. Everyone was voluntarily there and happy to be there and work really hard which made it easier on the coaches."

    (Can you really tell the difference from one year to the next?)

    "Competely, just from the attitude that everyone has. In years past it wasn't bad but it wasn't as good as this year. There was a lot more talking going on. There were a lot more people who were vocal. Last year it was pretty much all seniors and then a bunch of young kids. Now it is in the middle. We have a bunch of sophomores and a bunch of juniors and because of that there are more people stepping up into leadership positions and speaking up."

    (Do you feel like you are falling behind if you aren't at voluntary workouts?)

    "If you know one team is doing it then you know everyone is going to do it. People are too competitive to sit at home on their butts while everyone is out there working. The coaches have too much of a competitive spirit to succeed and if you want to do that you have to work the hardest."

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    S.I. FSU 2006 Preview

    If Bobby Bowden was looking for a reason to step down after his 30th season at Florida State, he could have found several of them.

    After suffering five defeats for the second time in four seasons, losing a host of players to the NFL Draft and returning only six scholarship seniors projected to be on the two-deep, the Seminoles have the look of a team in rebuilding mode.

    Bowden doesn't believe it, though, and he holds the basketball program at his school's biggest rival as an example of what can be accomplished in 2006.

    "Florida's basketball (team) showed it can be done," Bowden says. "They showed a lot of people (that) if the chemistry gets right and you avoid injuries, that's who will win the darn thing."

    The Seminoles have plenty of holes to fill coming off an 8-5 season that was highlighted by a triumph over Virginia Tech in the inaugural ACC Championship Game.

    First, they must diversify a one-dimensional offense after managing only 94.0 rushing yards per game, the fewest in Bowden's tenure. And with only 10 returning starters -- the fewest of any ACC school -- developing young talent will be essential.

    Most of all, they must overcome the mistakes -- penalties, turnovers and missed kicks -- that proved to be their undoing in three of the team's five defeats.


    Quarterback Drew Weatherford broke Philip Rivers' ACC freshman passing record by throwing for 3,208 yards and 18 touchdowns while guiding the Seminoles to the inaugural conference championship game victory over Virginia Tech. He also became the first rookie to lead the league in total offense.

    Those were admirable feats considering the Seminoles had the worst rushing attack in 30 seasons under Bowden, which ranked 109th of 117 Division I-A programs. The one-dimensionality of Florida State's offense made it clear just how well Weatherford played in 2005.

    Bolstering the run game is the top offensive priority this season, which should bode well for the two-back attack of senior Lorenzo Booker and promising sophomore Antone Smith.

    Though the Seminoles have only modestly improved their depth on the offensive line -- junior college transfer tackle Shannon Boatman will start on the right side -- they do return five players with starting experience. Equally important was the spring emphasis on adapting a more physical mentality.

    Modest improvement on the ground should serve an already hearty passing game, provided Weatherford cuts down on his mistakes -- he threw 18 interceptions as a freshman.


    Replacing standouts is an annual chore for veteran defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews, but this season will be even more of a challenge. The Seminoles lost six of their top seven tacklers, including playmaking tackle Brodrick Bunkley, end Kamerion Wimbley and linebackers Ernie Sims and A.J. Nicholson, who were largely responsible for the team's run to the Orange Bowl.

    Senior linebacker Buster Davis, who was second on the team with 91 stops, including 10.5 for loss, will call the shots on the field. Several youngsters -- Lawrence Timmons, Geno Hayes, Derek Nicholson and Jae Thaxton -- have the talent to stabilize the hard-hit linebacker corps.

    Up front, junior tackle Andre Fluellen is poised to become FSU's next dominant interior lineman, and depth is not an issue. Developing a quality pass rusher remains a priority and could provide freshmen Everette Brown and Justin Mincey with breakout opportunities early on.

    In the secondary, freshman Myron Rolle may end up in the starting lineup as well, following the loss of two veteran safeties. The cornerback position may be a strength after Tony Carter, J.R. Bryant, Trevor Ford and Michael Ray Garvin were baptized under fire last season.


    Gary Cismesia authored the latest chapter in FSU's haunted history of kickers, missing a PAT in regulation and two field goals in the overtime Orange Bowl loss to Penn State. Cismesia is back, but the Noles will turn to a new punter. They must also replace electric punt returner Willie Reid.


    Bowden put Florida State's victory over Virginia Tech in the inaugural ACC Championship Game right behind his 1993 and 1999 National Championship wins in terms of importance. That triumph salvaged a disappointing 8-5 season that marked the fifth consecutive season the Noles lost at least three games.

    The talent to improve is on hand, but consistency has been lacking. If they can correct those shortcomings, the Seminoles could win 10 games this year and be poised for a national championship run in 2007.