TALLAHASSEE FL- The Seminoles have retained lots of their star veterans this off-season while also bringing in some instant impact transfers that are going to make this team better.
While practice does show a lot, having these players in a live scrimmage environment is the first litmus test of how they have improved and how they fit into this team.
The Seminole's assistants detailed what they saw today at this first scrimmage and what work they have ahead of them for the rest of the spring.
DC Adam Fuller:
On Pat Payton’s improvement:
“I think he’s our most improved player on the team. Patrick is gonna be a good athlete he’s going to be a really smart football player - that’s what he is and that’s what he was last year. But he had to develop physically too with strength and size. Now you’re seeing the physicality and that’s critical because there are no great finesse defensive linemen.”
On Greedy Vance in his second year at FSU:
“Coming off the end of last season he was playing at a really high level and we’ve seen that continue. He’s put on some good size. Him being in year 2 with the system and his teammates we’ve seen great confidence from Greedy so far. I am proud of the steps he has taken.”
On Duke Cooper move to safety:
“it is easy to grab the narrative now of Duke just playing safety and I get it because it is a change. But he’s still a DB, he has taken some reps at nickel and corner this spring. Duke’s a really good player and a great teammate... last year lost some more than he won but he’s still the same person that we recruited. The arrow is pointing up on him, he is extremely coachable and has taken strides through this spring. Duke is gonna help us win games this year.”
OC Alex Atkins:
On Rodney Hill’s development and where he is at:
‘You see his confidence growing with his comfort level in the offense. He has always been explosive but now you are seeing him play with a lot more confidence in knowing what to do. He had a lot of explosive runs and was able to break some tackles. I’m proud to see how far he’s come, he has a chance to be special.”
On how the QBs ran the show at practice without Jordan Travis:
“We didn’t hold anything back. For the most part, they managed well and handled all the things we were putting on their plate. It was a lot. I was glad to see that they were able to stay poised. With Brock going live he had bullets flying at him and he handled it way, way, way better than I expected him to. I saw him be really calm when he was able to execute at a really high level.”
On working on the offensive line’s continuity:
“Continuity is always a focus with o-line but in the spring that’s not the focus. Since you never have a set of five that is going out there all the time. There is always gonna be a different guy in there. With that, it’s more about creating matchups of competition… Continuity is not the focus at the moment it’s more of the improvement and evaluation.”
Coach John Papuchis
On the work that special teams are able to do in the spring:
“The spring for us is really a big focus on fundamentals and techniques, similar to how the first couple of weeks of how fall camp works. For the coverage unit, the goal is to get off the block when you don’t have time to run around the block. For the return unit, it’s really about finishing the blocks and using the fundamentals and techniques we teach.”
On the improvement that Pat Payton has been able to make:
“I do see significant improvement in how he is playing the game but more specifically his physicality and how he is playing the run. We saw some flashes of what he could be as a pass rusher a year ago. One of his goals is to be an every-down guy and be a complete player. That started to show up really with how he approached his off-season, getting stronger in the weight room. I think that gives you the confidence to be more physical on the field.”
Full interviews below: