Just back from this small event and have to say I am very impressed with Coach Fisher. He still talks faster than anyone I know, but you can still understand him. His vision of the where the program is, where it needs work, and the future is pretty simple. Hard work, family values, and a structured process from recruiting to life values will bring FSU to where the program should be. Coach Fisher feels like a friend, brother or dad who has been a FSU fan since he can ever remember.
First off, the family value aspect of his speech was impressive. He talked much about these kids not having role models. He also spoke of how kids these days don't know why they do what they do. "They don't know what they don't know", and we need to teach them that. Unfortunately he said the NCAA gets in that way of that. He dinged the NCAA a few times about the time limitations that keep coaches from molding the kids on a personal level vs just football coaching. [Due to time limits the NCAA places on coaches.]
A few things that stood out were that he has all the players eating together for every meal, "like families should". He also spoke of raising money so we can get all the players living under one roof despite the ncaa regulations. "With your help, we'll just build it big enough to account for the regulations". [Athletics only dorms aren't legal, but it's fine to group all the athletes together in one dorm provided the ratio of athletes to non-athletes is met].
Togetherness was a big topic. Offense, Defense, and Special Teams all being together vs separate. The unity council of peers taking care of peers vs coaches disciplining players. Fisher spoke of one player, who he wouldn't name, that he said was the biggest knucklehead he's seen in 22 years of coaching who he now thinks is ready for the unity council. The players are buying into the system/process. Fisher said that in his 20+ years of coaching, he has never seen a staff come together as quickly as this one.
Players making strides. Lonnie Pryor was the one player above all others who stood out day in and day out during Spring practice. Chris Thompson was excellent. Fisher said Ty Jones has made leaps and bounds now that we make him eat and take his medicine when he should. He commented on the challenge he has issued to Bradham to step his game up. X Rhodes had a great Spring as well as Greg Reid. "Reid will touch the ball on offense..shush", he said.
Training & Individual Attention- Fisher commented on how strength coach Vic Viloria has revolutionized our training program and is one of the best at motivating the stud players who don't think they need to work hard in the weight room. We now have a nutritionist and coaches making sure who sits at, " the fat table, the maintain table, and the lose weight table". Based on what he said, the support staff is at least 5X as large as it was last year. All players are evaluated by sports psychologists so that the coaches know the best way to reach and communicate with them. The list goes on and on, and is unfathomable that many of the changes weren't already in place at a program at this level. The important thing is that Fisher not only realizes FSU was sick but immediately implemented his plan to fix it.
All in all a good rah, rah speech, but very refreshing to hear the desire to want to work to change the whole program from top to bottom while respecting the past. Living in the present to bring about a bright future. If you're a NOLE fan and aren't excited about the direction the program is headed, you don't have a pulse. Get out your wallet and be a part of the future!
As this is my first and probably last Fanpost, please go easy on me. There were so many more comments that I cannot remember, but believe this, Fisher is the real deal in person. Felt like you've known him for years and been a part of the family almost the way Bowden could make you feel. GO NOLES!!!