Practice Report: Noles Showing Improvement

Florida State hit the fields again on Saturday, and head coach Jimbo Fisher was pleased with his team's improvement.

Florida State hit the practice fields in full pads on Saturday. Below are a few sights and sounds from practice. A few key notes:

1) Keith Bryant was getting a few first team reps at nose tackle as FSU worked on some jumbo defensive fronts, which is an excellent sign. Bryant has been showing strides this spring, though he still needs to be more consistent with his assignments.

2) Fisher gathered the team together to express his displeasure early in the practice, but finished quite pleased with the practice as a whole.

3) Fisher was complimentary of the progress of the young wide receivers.

Partial Transcript via FSU Sports Information

Opening Statement:

"A really good, physical practice. It is getting much better. I like the progress of our wide outs the last couple of days. Some guys are really starting to make plays. We are playing faster and improving. Defensively, the secondary guys are still doing a great job. It was a very competitive practice. We did a lot of situational work: two minute drill, goal line, no huddle stuff. Tons of different looks. In the last three days the tempo and stuff is back to where I expect it to be and we are playing football the way we should be playing. It wasn't that we were playing bad, but we weren't playing with an edge. The last three or four days we are playing with an edge, getting physical and nasty. I'm very proud with the way we have been doing things."

On cross-training the offensive linemen:

"It is critical. One, a guy can get injured and you always have a guy that knows what to do. Two, you get a greater appreciation when you are playing your position in what the other guy has to do with certain looks so you know when to give him extra help. You get a better knowledge of the game and with what the other guys are trying to do beside you because sometimes you get caught up in your own little world. I think it is very critical. It is a big thing that we always do."

On offensive linemen playing different positions:

"I'll tell you what, Cam Erving in there at center is scary good because of how athletic he is. He can bend, run and move. Austin Barron has been doing a nice job also. It gives you a lot of opportunities. Josue Matias at tackle, wow. He is doing a really nice job out wide."

On the wide receivers:

"Bobo [Wilson] had some real nice plays today. Christian Green had a couple today. We have to continue to keep getting better. We are getting there. We just have to make them get to Jameis [Winston's] level. We have to force it and not ad-lib it. They are getting there. Their work and their attitude has been really good. In the last three days they have made a lot of progress."

On Jesus "Bobo" Wilson:

"He is fast. He has great speed. He can get the deep ball. He has great running skills afterward. He can stick his foot in the ground and change direction. He is strong for his size. He is very strong physically."

On freshman defensive tackle Keith Bryant:

"He is getting better and better. Keith had a good offseason. He is learning how to take on blocks and not getting overwhelmed by the whole scheme of things. He is learning his assignments and developing. He has a way to go but Keith is going to be a good player. Keith is going to be a really good player."

On freshman running back Freddie Stevenson:

"I've been very pleased. Freddie can run the ball. If you put Freddie back there on the goal line at tailback, he is extremely natural running the ball. He is a heavy runner. Since we are so nicked up we are having to play him as a tailback and I like what I see out of him not only as a fullback but as a big tailback. The man can catch the ball and he is a good pass blocker. He is a very talented guy."

On sophomore running back Mario Pender:

"He ran the ball really well. He has a lot of juice. He is 195 pounds but he is strong. He is a really good tackle to tackle runner. I like him. When he sticks his foot he runs violent. He has explosion. He is a really good goal line runner. You think since he's not a big guy but he is a really good goal line runner. He has the knack to sink that pad and get under you. He is strong so he can create leverage on the goal line. Plus when he gets to the edge you aren't going to catch him."

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