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Florida State practice notebook: October 28

FSU’s defense takes a turn at the podium

Florida State v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images


We spoke with Florida State Seminoles football head coach Mike Norvell, defensive coordinator Adam Fuller and defensive tackle Marvin Wilson today, each taking the time to address the team’s shortcomings so far, the progress its made so far in 2020 and what still needs to be seen.

“This [bye week] is a time to really reflect and evaluate who we are. Things in offense, defense, and special teams that we have to get cleaned up. It’s been a big fundamental week.”

“We’ve seen guys do get caught in the scoreboard and the urgency in the game without just doing their job. The confidence in what you are doing, that needs to always show up.”

“Our guys are learning...We are building a foundation.”

Fuller addressed the obvious — the FSU defense hasn’t lived up to expectations so far, and it has lacked an identity through six games.

“Everything that is wrong gets amplified when you aren’t playing well. The lessons are there.”

“You hate learning lessons by failure but that is what’s happening right now.”

We’re super inconsistent. Whether it’s pass rush or pass coverage. You have got to rely on some sort of foundation. Right now we are trying to stick with a plan. Executing and making one-on-one plays. It’s not that simple, but it is sometimes.”

Meanwhile, Wilson talked about his own takes from the season and his own performances.

“We’re going to keep fighting. It definitely not what you want, the points we’ve given up the execution, but you never go up. We are trying to go 8-4. That’s the mindset every single day, keep pushing.”

“We gotta figure what we gotta do to be successful these last few games. See the season out the right way.”

“When you have an opportunity to get there and make the plays, you’ve got to make the plays.”

That was the thesis of Florida State Seminoles football head coach Mike Norvell’s message about the defense after Saturday’s loss to the Louisville Cardinals — players have to play, and they have to do it within what’s being called, rather than what’s comfortable.

At least partially, he’s attributed that to instability within the program, something he touched on during yesterday’s press conference.

“I haven’t wanted to talk about [the challenges of] being a first year coach, because there are plenty of first-year coaches...[but] the difference with these kids is they’re in their first year coming off three years of coaches in four years.

“There’s so much change in expectations, and assignments and how to do things. Believing in that, that’s part of the growing and the trust of what guys are being asked to do...being able to see the confidence and grow in the confidence of how that plays out.”

We’ll be speaking with Norvell, defensive coordinator Adam Fuller and players from the defense starting around 10:30 this morning. 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.