'Nole Head Coach Jimbo Fisher was far from shy in describing his disappointment with the Seminoles' energy at their first spring practice on Wednesday. He called it "awful," and followed up by stating that it was "as quiet as a church mouse" on the FSU practice field. But that criticism lies at the heart of otherwise lofty expectations, which Fisher mentioned before and after his criticism of the team.
As our Bud Elliott has already noted, this may very well be a motivational tactic aimed at encouraging a group that Fisher sees capable of great accomplishments. Fisher, after all, was adamant about reminding the press, on multiple occasions, of the recent history of Seminole domination.
He mentioned it first during his press conference on Wednesday morning: "We're the second winningest team in the country over the last six years, with 68 wins. And there's great tradition here, and great history, and we've built a great culture. and we have to continue that culture."
This came before Florida State's first spring practice, after which, Fisher was demonstrable in his disappointment. Yet after that well-documented panning of the Seminoles' energy, Fisher nevertheless revisited the same refrain, returning to his emphasis about where FSU stands in the college football landscape: "I ain't changing a lick. I ain't changing my standards. We've been the second winningest team in the country the last six years-- why am I changing? I ain't changing-- they're gonna change to me. They're gonna make me happy; I ain't making them happy."
That concluded Fisher's post-practice remarks. Yet Fisher's repeated recollection of the 'Nole dominance under his leadership underscores the point made by Bud: Fisher has high expectations for this squad, so much so that he's already comfortable placing the formidable history of FSU success squarely above them as a motivational shadow.
Look at it this way: did Fisher mention, on multiple occasions, the dominance of Florida State football at the beginning of spring last year? No. Because he knew that squad was not going to author its own remarkable chapter in the lore of FSU football history. But what did he do on the first day of 2016's spring practice? Mention it twice. Fisher, through his early condemnation of this team wrapped in a reminder of just how Seminole football is supposed to look, served a veiled, optimistic reminder of just what he feels this 'Nole squad could, and should, be: another dominant team beyond capable of claiming its own place in the pantheon of FSU football.