In the offseason, Norvell and his staff put in the work to help the program take the next step, bringing in an infusion of talent and experience via the transfer portal and building up the homegrown athletes already in Tallahassee. After spring camp, offseason workouts and now fall camp, the Seminoles are gearing up for an August 27 season opener vs. the Duquesne Dukes.
Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Alex Atkins, defensive coordinator Adam Fuller as well as special teams coordinator and defensive ends coach John Papuchis all took the podium today to preview the start of the Seminoles’ season, speaking on the progress of the team in all phases of the game.
Offensive coordinator, offensive line coach Alex Atkins
Atkins mentioned the position changes on the offensive line and what makes his group unique in regards to depth, “We have true competition where, even there is a depth chart out there, guys are still fighting for those opportunities,” adding that having multiple players cross trained has benefited the team, “Having multiple guys that can go in there and not have that drop-off be steep. Just more competition, I think guys have grown a lot more just answering the bell.”
Atkins mentioned quarterback Jordan Travis’ improvement and how he’s handled the offense “Full ownership. going back to guys being in the same system for a while so he knows what we are trying to accomplish.”
“We give Jordan full range out there.”
Defensive coordinator Adam Fuller
Fuller went over how well he felt his team transitioned from spring to fall camp with the new practice rules in place “Felt really good from spring to the summer to fall camp. Kinda three different sections with new rules and our access to the players. It was the first in my tenure I've had a smooth transition from spring into summer.”
Mentioning the depth, Fuller said players like Malcolm Ray and Derrick McLendon stepped up into their roles over the fall, “I think we’ve got a lot of returning depth last year there were players like Malcolm Ray and Derrick McLendon that you haven't really heard about that much they came on and had solid years”
Over the course of last season, Florida State's defense seemingly got better in the back end of the schedule. Fuller reflected on that change, “I think as we got going and got our hands on that group as the season was going we are able to lock in on some roles I think that started for sure, especially the back end. Allowed guys we thought played well together to play with each other for longer stretches of the game. I think schematically it got pretty simple for us.”
Special teams coordinator, defensive ends coach John Papuchis
John Papuchis spoke about his own evaluation of last season and evaluation throughout the course of spring and fall camp saying that they looked at what they could do better and focused on that. “At the end of every season especially when things don't go as planned in a lot of cases there is a critical self-evaluation from everything to how we teach the fundamentals and what we're doing schematically and after you go through that evaluation you kinda step back and say ‘what do we like about what we did and how we can do better?’”
After losing starting defensive end Jermaine Johnson to the draft last year the depth on the edge might’ve been a question mark for some people. Papuchis gave some insight into the depth they have at that position. “It’s something that took some time to build the depth to the place at which is now. The biggest thing is not having significant drop-off when you're rotating players throughout the course of practice and as you’ll see out there on Saturday throughout the course of the game. I feel really confident right now. We have six guys that are repping and rotating in the defensive end spot. I feel very confident that we will be able to execute at a high level.”
Florida State kicks off vs. Duquesne at 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 27, with the game set to be broadcast on ACC Network.