Saturday night, after his team rolled through its season opener against Murray State and emerged with a 69-3 victory, Jimbo Fisher addressed the media. While it is difficult to discern too much about this team from a matchup with such an inferior opponent, Fisher still made some interesting comments about his team.
One pressing topic that was cleared up was the status of Brandon Jenkins, who left the game in the first half with a left foot injury and was seen in a protective boot afterwards. Fisher said x-rays on the foot were negative, and that Jenkins just appears to have a bruised foot. Fisher said a fellow Florida State player accidentally stepped on Jenkins.
Fisher overall seemed pleased with his team, though he did say that they still need to improve a lot. The offensive line and the running game was noted as an obvious positive, though, and Fisher expressed optimism that it would help open up the rest of the offense this season. Fisher also said EJ Manuel appeared to be more poised and comfortable in the pocket, something he was glad to see.
More from Fisher and notes and quotes after the jump.
The many younger players who got some time on the field were another noted positive, with Ronald Darby again drawing enthusiasm from Fisher. Also, despite a muffed punt and some troubles fielding bouncing kicks, Fisher maintained that Rashad Greene will be the team’s top punt returner.
A final note of interest from Fisher came when he said Mario Edwards, Jr and Chris Casher would likely redshirt this season.
Notes and Quotes:
-"We’re much further along and I think we have more diversity with our running game," Fisher said of the success his team enjoyed on the ground. "I thought the offensive line did a really nice job—great pass protection and we kept pounding the ball. Long way to go, but much improved."
"You can force people to play the box now, now you can get some of those guys one-on-one down the field, the play-action, create the big plays. And if people want to stay back and play cover two, we should be able to run the football up inside. It gives you that second dimension.”- Fisher, on the benefits an improved run game can have for the whole offense
-"All that guy does between the white lines, when the lights come on, he can just play the game."- Fisher, on Bjoern Werner’s dominant play
-"I’ll tell you what I liked about EJ, and I think he’s really done a good job, is he’s slowed himself down in the pocket. Much calmer in the pocket. I think hes reading progressions."-Fisher, on Manuel’s improved pocket presence
- "That doggone Darby is quick as a cat now- he can stick his foot in the ground and make plays."- Fisher
-"I could tell throughout fall camp and going through practice that those guys are really working hard and trying to get the job done this year," Chris Thompson said of the offensive line. "Theyre more focused on what they need to do, opening holes for us, and the good thing is, everytime we come off the sideline those guys are wondering and asking me and the other running backs if we have holes."
--"He played amazing. When he first stepped out on the field I was like ‘look, it’s on you; you weight 230, they can’t hit you.’ I was like that is the mindset that you have to go out there with and it pretty much showed as everyone could see tonight."- Thompson, on the big game from James Wilder.
-"It feels good to be that guy that can go in down at the goal line and get the touchdown for us."-Lonnie Pryor, on his prolific night in which he matched his total TD production from 2011.
-"It was amazing. Me and Brandon [Jenkins] were in the hotel room and we couldn’t wait to get out there and play… it was just where we wanted to be, in the stadium doing it full out"- Werner, on getting the season started
--"I give my credit to my teammates. They set it up for me, and I just ran, you know?"- Greene, on his first career punt return TD on the first touch of the game.
-EJ Manuel said he was happy with his play, and that the presence of QB coach Dameyune Craig on the sideline, as opposed to upstairs in the box, was helpful for him. He also said his pass protection was outstanding.
-"It felt great. I don’t think I was pressured once outside of a naked or bootleg. As far as standing in the pocket, I thought their protection was perfect. It was great protection."- Manuel
"They just gave me player of the game and the game ball. It means a lot to me to get a 100-yard game. It is something I always dreamed of as a kid."- Wilder, on his breakout night