JIMBO FISHER: Again, very proud of our team for the effort we put forth Monday night. To say it was a tremendous atmosphere, a tremendous environment, two very good football teams, great competition, great for college football. But as you come out in those first games, you wonder what you have and how much fight your guys have. We definitely have fight, but we also have a lot of room for improvement all the way across the board in all phases of our game.
But there was some young guys that took some roles on and grew up as the game went on. Everybody is going to say Deondre Francois, but I thought Deondre actually was playing well the whole time through. There was some people around him that didn't play as well, but he was playing pretty solidly, but he grew and kept a lot of composure in the game. Our kickers, our two freshmen kickers, our punter and our kicker and our kickoff guy did a tremendous job in the game.
A lot of those young DBs that hadn't ever started had some communication problems and issues, come back later, made big picks, made big turnovers, really grew up in the game. The offensive line I think settled down in the second half, and really the two young guards, the two guards did a much better job in the second half of getting guys on there.
Some of our young backs, very proud of Jacques Patrick, the way he played. Getting Matthew Thomas back on the field was very good, seeing him make some plays. DeMarcus Walker of course was outstanding, creating plays on defense, and Derwin was good. Derrick Nnadi did a nice job inside.
So those guys kind of grew up, but we found out a lot about our team but we also found out that we have a lot of things that we have to continue to grow on, and we'll try to do that this week on a very short week, which makes it very difficult to practice. These are hard times to get prepared and play, and we've got a game Saturday and we've got to get ready to roll.
We've got to get better working on the things we have to work on, and continue to grow.
The other thing also, proud of our kickoff returns. The ones we returned were very nice. We had some kickoff returns. We're getting very close on those things again.
Q. If you'd humor me for a minute and think about your 2014 team, there were people on that selection committee who thought, hey, these guys find ways to win close games, that's the sign of a great team. There were other committee members who obviously said, you know what, you're a great team, you should be winning these games by two touchdowns or convincingly, and I wanted to get your perspective on that, just in the playoff era, how much pressure is there on coaches not just to win but to win big?JIMBO FISHER: I don't think there is. I think that's -- I think if people on the committee think like that, then I don't think they need to be on the committee. I think that's a very bad way of looking at things, and I think that people don't understand football and understand, especially when you play an opponent like you play Ole Miss, who's a top -- you go play these big games coming right out the gate, and the opponents that Clemson has played, Alabama, we all played -- to help this committee, I think those are things you have to grow with, and I don't think that should matter. I really don't, and I think that's people who have never coached and never understood what's on the sideline.
Q. What about when you're playing a team that's not one of those top-25 teams and it's a struggle? Like Tennessee-App State needed overtime, et cetera. It's not always a matter of who you're playing.JIMBO FISHER: No, it isn't, but it's also an opening game of the year, and you've got to understand injuries on a team. How much stress have they had the previous three weeks, what opponents have they played, and when you guys want to go putting all these great opponents and making the conference schedule across the board -- college kids there's going to be ups and downs. They're 18 to 22 years old, and that's part of it, but it's also the organization how you win. I don't ever look at that, and I never will, for style points or anything of that nature.
We want to dominate. Heck, I want to dominate from the first play to the last, there's no doubt about that. But I think it's people that really don't understand if that's the criteria they're going by.
Q. After the win on Monday, it came out that you're 10-9 as Florida State's head coach in games that you've trailed by 10 points or more at one point. What do you attribute that to?JIMBO FISHER: I don't know. Our kids believe we keep sawing wood, we keep fighting, but we've got to quit putting ourselves in those situations, too. But we play -- they've been quality opponents and people we've done it with. Like I say, a lot of people mark Florida State coming out is a game. But that's part of being here, and we need to eliminate ourselves and not give ourselves that many opportunities to come back. We need to play better early, and that's going to be one of our goals to -- you know, it's just not across the board just different positions at different times, but at the same time, we're very proud that our kids have fight, they have resolve, they have the ability to keep believing in what we do and remember it's a 60-minute game, and as I say, keep chopping wood.
Q. In 2014 you had several of those comeback victories, but a lot of new players in the 2016 team. Did you have a feeling that they might have had that same type of resolve as some of your previous teams, or is that something you pretty much learned on Monday?JIMBO FISHER: Well, I think until you're actually in that situation, you don't know until you're put in that situation. But how we practice and the type of toughness, the mental toughness that we try to instill in our players, which you hope you're doing -- not saying that other people don't, and everybody in the country tries, does the same thing, our guys, they take to it, and they have done that. From that standpoint, I'm very proud of them.
Q. I know last week of course Ole Miss took up all your time, but how do you and your coaching staff go about preparing for Charleston Southern given it is such a short week on top of everything else you had going on last week with the hurricane, the game, and just a late start to the week, as well?JIMBO FISHER: It did take some time away from some things, but we had a plan. We had worked on them in the summer. We had looked at them. This is a very good team, play very good football, and also they do some different things on defense, and often their schemes are not an easy team to prepare for. We're cramming it right now like we're trying to cram for an exam. That's what we're doing right now, and trying to get ready.
It's tough; you're on a short week, but you've got to make sure your guys are physically ready to play. There will be a lot of mental preparation, a lot of film watching on some of the things that -- we can go over most of them but just probably not all of them.
Q. How do you find that balance between trying to prepare for Charleston Southern, but like you said earlier, still work on and fix those errors or miscues you had against Ole Miss?JIMBO FISHER: Well, you do it at the same time. You do that whether -- that doesn't really change. Those are things you point out and you put drills in and you would do it just like a normal workweek. You still have to prepare, and that's why camp is so important that you try to get those things ironed out and you don't have injuries and things like that, but that's part of a team. You've got to manage that process as you go through the season with your good-on-good stuff and trying to develop guys in the right way.
Q. Jameis Winston's halftime speech has made a lot of noise and made the rounds on the internet over the past 24 hours. Can you give us a little bit of insight as to how that kind of comes to life? Is that something he takes upon himself? Do you approach him? How does that happen?JIMBO FISHER: No, he was just in there in the locker room, and he's been part of those guys and he said some things, and then when we come in and made our adjustments -- it's just a guy being around knowing the guys. I mean, that's not a -- you see that happens -- that's happened throughout ever.
But the thing I love about it, they're just trying to encourage guys, they're not trying to scheme guys, and that's what you've got to be careful of with ex-players, but he does it from the heart and he knows those guys, and he's doing it from a place of, hey, we want to do better. That's just what we do. That's happened a zillion times, but then the coaches come in and make all the corrections and do the things we do.
Q. To follow up on that, obviously with the Showtime cameras doing a season with Florida State football, has that presented any challenges to you guys having the cameras around, and how have you dealt with that?JIMBO FISHER: No, we haven't. At Florida State we've got cameras everywhere. I've got cameras on me right now watching this. I mean, that's just -- that's what you do. Around here there's cameras for everything. People are constantly filming stuff, doing documentaries. It's just part of the way we live and the limelight you live in being a part of a program like Florida State.
Q. Jimbo, just wondering if you could tell us the first time you saw Deondre Francois play in person in high school and what you thought at that time.JIMBO FISHER: Well, just that he had a lot of arm talent. He was a guy that we definitely wanted to recruit, and then you got to know him and his personality and things and heard a lot of good things about his work ethic, his demeanor and all those types of things. As we continued to recruit him, you could tell he was a very conscientious young man while you were recruiting him, thought things out very diligently.
I told him sometimes he overthinks. That's one of the things I think is good, because I'm the same way. I overthink things sometimes, and I think you can be good and bad about making decisions. But was very impressed with him, and of course the physical talent was there and we knew it, and once we got to seeing the psychological disposition, the intelligence, the character and all those things, it really just lit us up about him.
Q. I know Florida made a late push. Did you sweat that one out at the end or were you confident?JIMBO FISHER: Oh, yeah, any time. Guys from Orlando from that area going to Florida, going to Auburn, different places. Hey, you sweat them all out. You don't ever know what goes on in this business. Very proud of the way he started now. You've got to maintain, remember why he's had success and go back and, hey, let's go back to ground zero and get ready for this game and play them one at a time.
Q. After looking at the film from Monday, what's the biggest area that you think Deondre needs to work on and improve over the next couple games?JIMBO FISHER: All parts of his games, communication, run fakes, run drops, eye discipline, getting blitz reads, everything. I do, I don't mean it in a bad way, but it's something he's just got to continue to just get better in all phases of his game. There's nothing that is perfect and there's nothing that is imperfect. It's just part of your development and where you go as a player and you've got to keep finding a one percent, a half a percent each week to get better and better, and hopefully by end of the year that makes you significantly better.
Q. Is it encouraging for a quarterback so young, and you said he kind of overthinks things, and in the second half he was able to check down and take what the defense gave him?JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, everybody says that. I don't think he played bad in the first half. There wasn't issues in the first half that had to do with him and his decision making. There was one little series where he missed a throw or so, but physically that's going to happen. I thought his mindset and everything the whole game was in that realm. I thought he did a good job almost the whole game on his decision making and where he was going with the ball, we just weren't -- and that's why I say sometimes you don't see the results. That doesn't always mean a guy -- it may have been for some other reasons than he was the one that was playing poorly or wasn't playing well enough to move it down the field.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports