The Florida State Seminoles returned to the practice fields Tuesday afternoon as they continued preparation for Saturday's game against Virginia.
The little healthy streak for FSU continued Tuesday, for the exception of Markus Eligwe, who wasn't at practice. While his absence could be due to a number of things -- not necessarily health related -- it's worth noting that Eligwe was dressed and participating Monday.
Terrance Smith, who missed last Thursday's game but dressed out on Monday, was again dressed and participating but continued to wear the blue no-contact jersey.
The kick return teams is noticeably bigger than last week's with the return of guys like Jacob Pugh, EJ Levenberry and Terrance Smith. These guys have been a mainstay on special teams, something that FSU players pride themselves in doing. Pugh, Levenberry, Smith and Thomas all look great and don't seem to have any noticeably lingering effects.
Mario Pender also looks to be getting better every day and was back taking reps as a two-deep kick returner. I haven't noticed any kind of limp or anything of the sort, so it looks like there's a possibility he makes his return on Saturday.
I kept an eye on the offensive line and heard something interesting. While they were repping as they usually do, I overheard Trickett say, in so many words, something along the line of.... "see, this is why these guys are going harder now and you can see how it's making them better." This was in reference to the defenders (2s and 3s on the OL) that line up over top of them and get driven back during drills. It looked like Trickett has made it a point for those "defenders" to put up more of a fight during the drills, forcing the offensive line to battle against more resistance.
Typically, the "defender" backpedals while the OL drives him in whatever direction the scheme desires. But on Tuesday, it looked different to me. There wasn't as much "give and take", but more of a battle. And the reason why this is interesting to me is, well, they haven't been as sharp as everyone, including myself, expected they would be at this point. We'll see if this is a positive change. I think it's a move in the right direction, and this is definitely something I'll be keeping my eye on throughout the week and into Saturday.
Jimbo Fisher will speak following Tuesday's practice, as will a few players.