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Florida State practice notebook: September 9

The Seminoles continue to game prep for Georgia Tech

Florida State Sports Information

Update, 12:00 p.m.

Mike Norvell spoke to the media today after another day of Georgia Tech prep as we’re just three days from kickoff. FSU has continued to work the little things and situations this week, focused on the things they can control. Norvell said, “Worked good situations today, continuing to build towards Saturday. Giving them a better understanding of what they can expect.”

Florida State’s special teams group was given no real clarity when the depth chart was released Monday. Every position has co-starters listed with the infamous ‘OR.’ Despite being just three days away, Norvell still isn’t ready to name starters. He said, “We’re working towards that. I feel very confident on how that will play out. There may be a couple game-time decisions.”

When asked about what his message to the team would be on Saturday, Norvell kept it simple. “Play to the best of your ability, play smart, play fast. That’s the ‘Nole way.” He went on to add “Since the first day I got here, I want to be a team that finishes, whether that’s academics, the weight room, etc.”

FSU has had a few turnover props the last few years, as it’s been the trend in college football. This year, there will be no props for Florida State. On the idea of turnover props, Norvell said, “We don’t need props.”

Update, 12:15 p.m.

We heard from defensive line coach Odell Haggins today, who was in a great mood heading towards game day. I think most coaches would also be excited for the upcoming season when they have a position group as deep and talented as FSU’s DL. On the depth at DT, Odell said, “I really think it’s going to be great. You got Fabian (Lovett), you got Tru (Thompson), you got Malcolm Ray. That’s going to be big for Marvin (Wilson), (Robert) Cooper, and Cory (Durden).”

He also shouted out special teams coordinator and defensive end John Papuchis, saying he’s going to take him fishing soon and help him finally catch a large-mouth bass.

Update, 12:30 p.m.

Defensive linemen Marvin Wilson and Robert Cooper also met with the media, each sharing their expectations for the season and what they’ve seen so far from the staff and defense.

“I feel like this defense is going to be great for us especially up front,” Wilson said. “The depth that we have...I’m very impressed with where we’re at right now.”

“It comes down to who’s willing to live up to that potential,” added Cooper. “If we all do what we’re supposed to do its going to be a good year for us.”

Cooper, who has slimmed down a bit in the leadup to the season opener, joked that if FSU pulls out a win Saturday, he might treat himself with a cheat meal of “some grilled chicken on my salad.”

After getting our first full Florida State Seminoles football depth chart on Monday, we spoke with head coach Mike Norvell, as well as offensive line coach Alex Atkins, running back La’Damian Webb, tight end Camren McDonald and wide receiver Warren Thompson.

Norvell spoke a bit on his philosophy when it comes to rotating players, on what the team is looking to emphasize this week, and also dropped this gem that fans have been partial to:

“We are at one of the most iconic programs in college football. The standard and expectations, that’s something we embrace. When we run out of that tunnel, we say yes to that standard and those expectations.”

He took the time to clarify what those OR designations on positions meant, saying that while the players who appear on the chart are ones who they have faith in contributing on the field, they aren’t going to see playing time just because they’re listed.

“We’ll play as many guys as we need to to make us successful, on offense, defense, and special teams. If you earn the right to play, you’re going to play.”

Atkins spoke on the varying schemes that the line has to confuse the defense, Webb spoke on what he brings to the table as co-starter at running back, Thompson addressed some questions about a turbulent summer and what it means to be listed as a starter after it all and McDonald took the time to shine the spotlight on some teammates, as well as discuss the weight he’s added and the excitement he has to show off his skills in the run blocking game.

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 at 11:15 a.m. In the meantime, feel free to drop any questions on your mind heading into game week, and we’ll do our best to answer them.