Update, 11:48 AM
Florida State Seminoles football head coach Mike Norvell spoke to the media today with 10 days left till the season opener against Georgia Tech. As the days go by, Norvell and staff are slowly adding pieces to the GT puzzle. After starting the game prep yesterday, the ‘Noles went through red-zone, third-down, and two-minute situations today. Norvell said, “Another solid day. Game week Wednesday. Jumped into a few 2-minute and 3rd-down situations.”
With the extra week of preparation for the season opener, much of FSU’s focus is still on themselves — Norvell still wants his team focusing on the fundamentals and small things leading up to September 12th.
“Our major priority is that we’re taking care of ourself. Continuing to build off the fundamentals. Thought there were some good things that showed up today.”
Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins coached previously at Temple, which plays in the same conference (the AAC) as Mike Norvell at Memphis. Despite never playing against him, Norvell had studied his Temple team during his time in Memphis and sees some similarities in their coaching style.
On what he saw from studying Temple, he said, “Teams that played hard. Similar philosophical approaches. A lot of versatility in the schemes they try to do. They play to the strengths of their personal.”
FSU has had multiple guys change numbers for the upcoming season. Most recently, linebacker Emmett Rice swapped out his #56 for #1. For Norvell, that can be a way of rewarding guys for the work they put in and the action they show. “It’s something that we evaluate all aspects of what they’re doing. If a guy has done a good job of working to the standard we want, you’ll see there’s a reward to that.”
Update, 12:05 PM
Defensive end Joshua Kaindoh spoke to the media today on the upcoming season and being selected to ‘break the rock’ to start game preparation last Saturday. When he was picked to break the rock, Kaindoh felt like his hard work was being noticed. He said, “It signified to me that the hard work is paying off. It goes to show that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.”
That hard work that he’s shown was something that his parents have instilled in him. He mentioned his parents example growing up has led him to where he is. “I learned from my parents. Them always working, and leading by example. I feel like that is kind of instilled in me. All I can do is keep working. Breaking the rock is showing me the work is paying off.”
Some of that hard work has come in his hand work along the defensive line. For Kaindoh, the technique of his hands has been the biggest improvement from last season to now. On his biggest improvement, he said, “It’s been using my hands. Keeping my hands up and using them has been one of my biggest improvements.”
FSU has one of the deepest and most experienced defensive lines in the country. Kaindoh believes the potential is sky high, but they still have to work every day to get towards that potential.
“We could be the best d-line in the country. But potential is just potential. We have to go out everyday and be consistent.”
Update, 12:20 PM
We also heard from defensive back Jaiden Lars-Woodbey today as he spoke on FSU’s game prep for Georgia Tech. With the new coaching staff, Woodbey is seeing more preparation than ever going into the season. He said, “The biggest thing they’ve taught us is preparing in every aspect. All of those things contribute to your performance on the field.”
With a mock game on Saturday, FSU is treating this entire week as a game week. For Woodbey, he feels that this week will help them get on the same page when September 12th rolls around. “The biggest thing is we will be able to get all the kinks out and get some correction in there.”
“It’s definitely been a roller-coaster,” he said of the last few months. “I have always been taught to control what you can control. Worry about the next play, worry about whats in front of you. That helped me get through these past few months, especially my injury.”
It’s a move that makes sense, and wasn’t too much of a shocker after freshman quarterback Chubba Purdy went down for a few weeks with a broken collarbone. Head coach Mike Norvell has alluded to redshirt sophomore quarterback Jordan Travis (who rushed for 228 yards and 3 touchdowns on 23 carries last season) being unavailable currently, though he’s declined to share details other than not being particularly worried about him in the longterm. Norvell, in fact, made a point to say that he believes all four quarterbacks could see the field at some point this season — something made more likely as a result of this year not counting against eligibility.
Norvell also spoke on the offensive line, saying that while he doesn’t have a full idea who the starting five will be, he says at this point, there’s 7-8 guys that he feels comfortable with putting on the field, also speaking to the possibility of having rotating lineups.
Follow along in the comments throughout the day, as well as on our Twitter and Instagram. We expect to hear from Norvell and the players starting around 11 a.m. — in the meantime, feel free to drop any questions you might have in the comments, and we’ll do our best to answer them.