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Florida State practice notebook: October 7

Today, we’ll be hearing from the defense

Don Juan Moore

Update, 11:50 AM

We heard from Mike Norvell after a practice that he thought the standard was not met at a consistent rate. Norvell is still looking for more investment and consistency in this program. On today’s practice, he said, “Thought there were good moments, and moments where the standard was not met. We have to continue to work in that positive direction.”

Norvell said that every player on the team has a choice, and they have to make it on their own. When the players start making the choice every day, the consistency will come. “Every person has a choice. Our job is to inspire and hold players accountable. Each guy on our team has a desire to what they want to accomplish on and off the field. At the end of the day, the opportunity is here and now.”

Despite the negatives from practice, there were still a lot of positives Norvell said. On a player that has stood out, he said, “Tamorrion Terry, his last two weeks of work and mindset has been so much improved from earlier on in the season.”

Norvell has also been pleased with the leadership from a handful of defensive backs. “Jaiden Woodbey shows up every single day. Renardo Green and Asante Samuel Jr. have also done an exceptional job.” He also mentioned the RB, OL, and QB rooms as stepping up as leaders.

A DB that we haven’t seen yet this year is highly-rated freshman Demorie Tate. Norvell gave some clarity on that situation today. “Demorie’s doing well for us. This year he’s having to take an academic redshirt. Unfortunately he won’t be available for us this season.” Norvell also mentioned that he’s been developing well in practice.

Update, 11:55 AM

Linebackers coach Chris Marve spoke to the media today on the development of his linebackers. The LB group has had a flurry of young players on the field this year. On the young LB’s, he said, “I think we have some really young players who are really special. Stephen and D.J. have earned their opportunities. It has been really fun to watch, fun to coach.”

With young players in the rotation comes a lot of development. Marve has seen the growth in their development each week. Marve said, “I think they are rising to the challenge every opportunity they get. Each week I have seen growth.”

To the staff, it doesn’t matter the class of the players, they just want to put the best players on the field. “Whoever is on the field, the opposition doesn’t care if they are a freshman. Regardless of classification, we want to put guys out there that we trust.”

To Norvell, the standard wasn’t consistently met during today’s practice. On that standard, Marve said, “Nobody is perfect, but the standard never wavers. Our job is to make sure the standard is met, and at some point we hope to exceed it.”

Update, 12:00 PM

Running back La’Damian Webb was the first player we heard from today. The running back room has consistently been praised by the whole coaching staff for their effort and their close-knit relationships. On the running back room, Webb said, “Everything we do, we do together. We make sure we keep each other uplifted, and nothing negative between us.”

There have been some clips of Webb throwing big blocks circulating around twitter recently. He’s been bringing the punch out of the running back room. On his blocking and willingness to do it, he said, “I really have to help my team as much as possible. Blocking is very important. If I block for them, they’ll block for me. I just try to do whatever I can do to win.”

Florida State will be going up against one of the better defenses in the country on Saturday in South Bend. On Notre Dame’s defense, Webb said, “I think they have a pretty stacked defense. We just have to focus on ourselves and do the little things. We have a plan, of course. We just need to play full speed.”

Update, 12:15 PM

Defensive back Meiko Dotson was the first defensive player to speak to the media today. Dotson saw his first action of the season this past Saturday, after missing the first two weeks with injury. On getting back on the field, Dotson said, “I was excited, just to be around the guys. I was happy to be there anyway I could.”

On his journey to Florida State and his first FSU game, the defensive back has faced a lot of adversity. That adversity and his maturity has helped him with dealing with adversity to the start of the season. On being a leader, he said, “Me just being older, I just want to make sure everybody around me is on the same page.”

On playing a top-ranked opponent like Notre Dame, Dotson said, “Whether it is Notre Dame or any team, we have to just do our job and everything will take care of itself.”

Update, 12:20 PM

Freshman linebacker DJ Lundy spoke to the media today to cap off the day. The freshmen saw his first collegiate action last week. On getting into the game, Lundy said, “It was exciting, it felt to be out there with my brothers, and be able to contribute to the team.”

Lundy is one of two freshmen linebackers that is seeing time early in their career, with the other being Stephen Dix Jr. On their relationship and how they help each other out, he said, “We just help each other at as much as we can, if he needs something I help him, and if I need something he helps me. Really the whole linebacker room is like that.”

The freshman also saw time on the offensive side of the ball on Saturday, as he lined up at fullback multiple times. On playing full back and what it does for the offense he said, “Takes me back to my high school days... I think it is very helpful to the team in short yardage situations.”

Through three games, Florida State Seminoles football has struggled to find a true identity on defense.

Against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, a first half shutout fell to the side as freshman quarterback Jeff Sims navigated a negated FSU pass rush following defensive end Joshua Kaindoh’s injury. In Miami, a three-man rush did all it could to contain Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King, challenging him to throw, but an ability on his end to freeze up linebackers and create big-play opportunities through the air and an inability to reset the line of scrimmage (something that has been a consistent theme throughout the 2020 season) led to the most points scored by either team in the rivalry.

During Florida State’s win against Jacksonville State on Saturday, quarterback Zerrick Cooper was able to easily navigate the short pass and efficiently move the ball down the field as the Gamecocks stormed to a 14-0 then 21-7 lead — but as the game went on, FSU began to find its groove, with the Seminoles registering its first multi-sack game of the year:

Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell talked about what the defense is working on, as well as the multitude of rotations in personnel, yesterday:

“We’ve got to get more consistent, continue to push…We’ve got to get our pad level up. We’ve got to continue to establish that mindset, and that is something that has not been consistent enough yet.”

“There is some give and take. We’ve had some things communication-wise and alignment-wise. Quite frankly, we’ve seen some things effort-wise where we haven’t been able to take away the throws underneath.”

He also said that a partial reason the team has seen so many personnel on the defensive side is that “nobody has taken the lead” on securing the spot — something that was echoed by defensive coordinator Adam Fuller said on Monday.

“We’re just trying to find the best players that we can. If we’re rotating at certain positions, it because we think they’re both good enough to play,” adding, “we’ve got a big pool of players and nobody’s really taken the reins at certain positions. It’s a rotation until we feel that somebody’s taken absolute control of the position, then we let it roll.”

Florida State has had issues getting off the field on third down —

We’ll be hearing from Norvell today, as well as defensive players and potentially 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.