We spoke with Florida State Seminoles football head coach Mike Norvell as well as defensive line and associate head coach Odell Haggins, as well as quarterback Jordan Travis, defensive lineman Dennis Briggs Jr. and defensive back Jarvis Brownlee.
Norvell took the time to speak on the continued progress of the team, as well as some of the recruiting challenges that have emerged as a result of the dead period, saying the perception of on-field performance is especially being amplified.
He gave a small update on receiver Tamorrion Terry, who underwent a minor knee surgery last week, saying he expects him back “soon.” As for defensive back Hamsah Nasilrideen, who has remained unavailable so far in the 2020 season, “He looked good running around today. We are working through the process. I know he is working with that sense of urgency to get back on the field, and I am excited about that.”
Briggs Jr. took the time to discuss his decision to opt back in, saying he felt comfortable with the way that the pandemic is being handled within the university.
“Honestly I surprised myself playing that many snaps on Saturday, but anything to help the team,” he said, adding that he’d been prepping himself to play while he sat out, but was still pretty sore on Sunday after his first actual game action.
Brownlee continued on the theme of “this is only the start.”
“We put in so much work. We just got keep working, that was a spark for us. We need another win against Louisville.”
Meanwhile, Haggins talked both about Briggs Jr.’s decision to opt-back in, as well as how the results have played out for the rest of the defensive lineman this season.
“Marvin will tell you this himself. They feed of each other as a group. They are practicing the way they are supposed to. Fundamentally sound. That is how you gain the confidence doing things the correct way.”
“The way you gain confidence is how you practice. That is anything in sports, if you go out and do the little things right.”
Travis spoke for his weekly availability, talking about the little things he needs to improve on and what the team’s mindset is like. To his credit, he avoided engaging in anything related to his past with the Cardinals (Travis transferred from the school last year.)
“It is just another game. I don’t get into stuff like that at all. What happened in the past is the past.”
“I think every single interview that everybody will ever do, they’ll talk about [getting better] 1% because that’s what emphasized on a daily basis.”
Tight end Camren McDonald summarized the last few days of availability in that last quote better than any article will — the team knows it has to grow and at least on the surface, it knows what it needs to do.
It got a taste of the results that come from that level of investment against Notre Dame, and then it got a little bit of a larger serving of success against North Carolina. To continue this contrived food metaphor, when Florida State travels to Louisville this Saturday, it’ll be attempting to eat an entire Shaq-a-Roni from Papa Johns without spilling garlic dipping sauce on itself.
While the offense, since the team’s first win against Jacksonville State, has found an identity under Jordan Travis, defensively the Seminoles hadn’t put a near-complete performance up until North Carolina, where some still-present cracks in the rebuild were on display.
“We are trying to write the book on how you do it for our defense in 2020,” defensive coordinator Adam Fuller said on Monday while taking about bringing pressure and finding the right balance of it. “Once you get a chapter done, now you can kind of turn the page.
“Saturday night will help that —Louisville will be a brand new book.”
That applies to the entire season so far, on both sides of the ball. Each week has been its own journey, and that continues this weekend against an opponent that FSU has a long history with.
Today, we’ll be hearing from head coach Mike Norvell, as well as a few players and coaches. You can follow along both in the comment section and on our Twitter, and in the meantime, drop any questions you have in the comments and we’ll try to get to them.