"This is a different team. Different attitude. Just a hungry team. We always keep telling each other, ‘Stop talking about it. Stop talking about it.' But when you are so excited about something, you can't help but want to tell your teammates, ‘Hey, let's work. Let's do this. We have to get it together.' Guys are bringing it up and talking. It's not that it's all talk but for the first time in the last two years, we are really, really passionate about it before it gets here.
"We were passionate the past two years but it was like once it got here. Now it's the Miami game. We are passionate. Okay, we just got a loss, now let's get passionate. You can't win that way. With the talent we have, you can get away with that. But if you want to go and be like the past Florida State teams, that passion has to start in January. That passion has to start during matt drills. That passion has to be there during spring ball and throughout the summer. That's what is different about this team. For the first time, we got passionate about it before the point of attack, so to speak."
Basically, it appears this team is not scrambling in terms of developing a chemistry.
"Exactly. At the last second, now let's work hard. Now let's mend that friendship with the quarterback. Now let's change the bickering between the defense and offense. All that adversity is gone. That's what is different about this team. We are taking care of business. We love the defense, the defense loves us -- and I even hate to say we because I still think I am part of the defense (laughing). We are going to kill all that (bickering) right now. We are not going to wait until something happens and we are going to deal with it. It's right now. We are going to change that right now. We are going to come in with a different attitude. Like I said, we are passionate about it. We have a desire to be great. We are sick of people telling us we are good. We don't want to be good anymore. We don't want to be a talented team anymore. We want to produce and be great. It's all about right now. Right now is when all that production comes from. Working hard during the season is great. But that's not going to produce great teams. That's going to produce good teams, like we have been the last two years. Just a good team."
You've had a good relationship with Chris Rix and been very honest about his play. Do you believe he has made the strides needed to win back his teammates?
"He's working his butt off, harder than he has ever worked. His attitude is changed. He wants to change. The thing is he wants to be part of the team. He wants to be one of the guys. That's the biggest thing you will see. He wants to hang out with this guy and that guy. He wants to build relationships and friendships with the guys on the team as opposed as before, you just felt like it was him against everybody else. And he was just going to deal with everything on his own. He realizes he can't do it by himself anymore. It's going to take the guys all around him to really lead this team. We are going to be a good team. Once again, if he was doing his own thing, we would be a good team. But that's all we will be is good. We will be 9-4 and everybody will say, ‘Hey, they are a good team. But they are not the same Florida State we've always known.' But he has become one of us. The guys have starting to accept him.
"But the process is still not complete. We have not played a game. It's easy to do that during the summer when no picks are being thrown, no games are being lost, no fumbles or anything like that. It's easy to do that right now. But to do that when the season starts, that's when you know that what happened before. … "
It sounds as if team has more trust in one another.
"Exactly. We've earned trust with each other. We are just ready to play. We are ready to produce results."