FLORIDA STATE COACH JIMBO FISHER
October 9, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
JIMBO FISHER: Very excited about the way our team competed in the game against Maryland. I thought we executed very well on all three phases, had our moments. Still have a lot to work on in all three phases to get better but playing with much more consistency. Very proud of that. I thought defense made some tremendous strides in how they did things. We practiced very well the week before. Special teams did a great job. Offense once it found its stride did a great job.
But have a lot to work on. This off week is very important for us to work on our fundamental things that we need to better on, future opponents that we all play down the road, the rest of the seven games, get ready for this stretch and trying to get better, set goals and get better each and every day, kind of continue to practice hard.
But very proud of our team where we're at right now. We're still growing as a team and making sure we identify ourselves and things we're doing well and things we're doing poorly, but again, like the progress and looking forward to the stretch run.
Q. Talk about this week's preparation for next week's big battle against Clemson. What do you have to do during the off week? I know it's a good week for you to get everything cleaned up and ready to go.
JIMBO FISHER: Well, it's not just about Clemson, it's about us getting fundamentally better and about other future opponents, the other six opponents that we have there are issues or things down the road that they may cause on offense, defense and special teams.
We'll work on Clemson some and we'll work on all of our opponents this week, and just fundamentally have to get better and identify some things that we need to improve on and maybe add to our repertoire on offense, defense and special teams. But it's going to have to be a very hard, physical week, and we're going to have to get better, there's no doubt.
Q. Talk about your tight end. Seems like he's having a good year this year. What did he do in the off?season to get himself improved?
JIMBO FISHER: I think he worked very hard. Nick is a very smart football player, very intelligent. I thought he had a good year last year, really did. Balls just seem ?? they would cover him and give other guys options, and I think now as we're spreading the ball around, Jameis is doing a good job of making decisions when other guys are doubled or getting it to him or getting it to Nick when he has to, but Nick is a very good pass catcher, a very good route runner, very instinctive, blocking has improved. He's just studied the game and gotten bigger and stronger, and he's a very instinctive football player.
Q. This weekend you're going to be watching that Clemson game, so I guess you're going to bring up some film to see what their weaknesses are?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, I'll watch some maybe, but we'll try to spend some time with the family on Saturday, spend some time with my wife and my two boys.
Q. Do you feel like because the Florida State, your guys talked a lot at media days about Clemson and the expectations they have. Do you expect that their minds, even as practice is all about betting better as your own team, do you expect they're already in a game time mindset the next two weeks?
JIMBO FISHER: No, I hope they are every day in practice. We try to get to that level every day in practice where we're creating great habits so when the games come we handle things. That's something that we always concentrate on when we get to the practice field. But we'll play the game when it's time to play the game. You can be too ready to play a game at times, and you've got to make sure you prepare first.
Q. Of course when your offense takes the field two Saturdays from now it's going to be your offense versus Clemson's defense. At the same time, is Jameis the type of kid who relishes the challenge to be matched up against Tajh, because that's going to be one of the big story lines going in.
JIMBO FISHER: Oh, it'll be a story line, but again, like you say, they don't play against each other. What Jameis has to do is manage the game, run our team, put our team in position to score points, and be successful in the game, and it's not about him against Tajh. It's him against the other defense and what we have to do within our own selves, and it's us against us, also. So he has to manage the game and do what his role is, and if it is to throw touchdowns or make runs, fine. If it's to hand the ball off or check off or do those things, it's fine. I think he just has to play the game and let the game come to him and trust his eyes.
Q. What have you seen of Tajh so far?
JIMBO FISHER: Oh, everything. Same thing I've seen the last three years, except he gets better. That daggone guys is strong, he's elusive, he makes all the throws. He's a leader. He's the returning player of the year. I mean, the guy is an outstanding player, and more importantly when I've gotten to meet him, I've been very impressed with who he is as a human being. Very classy guy.
Q. How much are you wishing the four?team playoff was in effect this year and not waiting until next year?
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, it could be, but hey, we're concentrating and going by the rules we have at the present time.
Q. This Florida State?Clemson game has just gotten so big, it feels like it's turned into the LSU?Bama of the ACC. Can you put into perspective how big you think it's gotten in terms of importance and national attention?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, I mean, you're going to have obviously two top?six ranked teams so it's very important in the national title hunt, it's very important in the Atlantic Division, in the ACC, all those things. That's why you come to Florida State, to be in those games, to be in those positions. You've got other common opponents which are in the league; Clemson is doing a tremendous job, Miami is doing a great job, Virginia Tech. All these teams are all doing a great job, so it's a great league. But that's why you play in college football, and that's what you want to do as a player to get in these games that matter. We're very blessed to be there and to have a great opponent like Clemson.
Q. When somebody asks you about the Boyd?Winston match?up you said they don't play head?to?head, but he will be playing head?to?head against the nation's best pass rush. Talk about protection for Jameis, and especially Vic Beasley and the problems he presents.
JIMBO FISHER: I'm trying to get the ACC to give me 13 guys and give me two more linemen so we can block them. I'm serious, they bring pressure. Their stunts, their inside ?? Beasley, Crawford, the inside, 50, they all do. They blitz, they bring different combinations. Brent does a tremendous job as a coach. They present a lot of problems. You cannot be one?dimensional and you can't be the same protection. You're going to have to be multiple and to give them different looks, and they present a huge problem because they're very good and they're very well coached.
Q. Is there anything you can do in the off week to kind of gear up for that?
JIMBO FISHER: We just keep practicing. You know, we keep good on good. We'll practice a lot of good on good. It's not just the scout team guys. If you're playing against the speed of the game and different guys, nothing ever simulates like a game, but you've got to do the best you can, and we'll definitely have our hands full, there's no doubt.
Q. Just a quick question: Obviously so much hype with this Clemson game, and like you just said, guys come to FSU for games like this, but how do you get them to not make it more than it is? It's obviously a huge game and all the implications that comes with it, but do you talk to the guys about managing all the hype that surrounds this game?
JIMBO FISHER: You've got to manage it but you've got to embrace it at the same time. You've got to understand the implications of the game, but we talk about that all the time, it's not a one game season, but it's a very, very important game, it's a very?? for what we want to do and our goals and what we want to reach, we understand that, and it's a game that we're not trying to minimize by saying it's not a one?game season. We understand that part of it, too. But keep it in perspective and let it be what it is and enjoy the moment. Don't worry about the moment, enjoy it. That's why you come here; embrace it, play it well, and make sure you prepare well to have an opportunity to be successful, and then we'll see what the results are and then you've got to move on, and that's the way you've got to handle your business.
Hopefully if we're here at Florida State and these guys are here, we're going to be in these kinds of games every year, so you'd better start dealing with it.