Jeff Bowden said."> Jeff Bowden said.">

Camp Notes

Florida State started Thursday morning on its practice fields and then moved into Doak Campbell Stadium, concluding its first preseason scrimmage. There's plenty of news to report, from the return of <b>Eric Broe</b> to the injury suffered by <b>Willie Jones, Jr.</b> to the big hit by <b>Ernie Sims.</b> Click here for all the details. "Right now I see a lot of live ammunition but it's just straying all over the place," offensive coordinator <b>Jeff Bowden</b> said.

Florida State started Thursday morning on its practice fields and then moved into Doak Campbell Stadium, concluding its first preseason scrimmage. The threat of severe weather interrupted the session Wednesday afternoon.

The scrimmage had plenty of highlights and lowlights.

The Seminoles' first-team offense started slowly -- first four plays resulted in a pair of interceptions and a pair of sacks -- but ended nicely on goal-line drills, highlighted by two scoring receptions by P.K. Sam over Rufus Brown and Antonio Cromartie on corner fades.

However, freshman linebacker Ernie Sims placed a punctuation mark on the session, flattening a spinning Leon Washington near the 2-yard line and causing a fumble that Pat Watkins scooped up and would have returned easily for a touchdown.

"I am on another level and people expect me to do big things. Obviously, I just did and I hope that's the start of big things right there," Sims said and grinned.

"It was a toss sweep away from me and I got away from my blocker. I saw Leon Washington come off of his spin off one of my teammates and I just hit him right in the middle of his spin. It felt kind of good."


The Seminoles did not escape injury, however, as reserve defensive end Willie Jones, Jr. suffered an Achilles tendon injury during blocking drills prior to the scrimmage. Jones was in considerable discomfort and carted off the field.

Starting tight guard Eric Broe returned to action after injuring his left kneecap during goal-line drills Tuesday. Broe, however, wasn't at full strength as he worked with both the first- and second-team.

Bobby Meeks continued to fill in at tight guard as well as walk-on John Hamilton. Ron Lunford also has been used at both tackle and guard.

"When I hit (Tuesday) it pushed my kneecap to the side and kind of stretched it out a little bit," Broe said.

"I hope to be full speed by Saturday. I have mobility. The pain is there but I don't really care about the pain. It's going to be there regardless. I would rather be blocking somebody than not blocking somebody. It's still a little bit swollen and my strength has diminished a little bit but that's going to come back as time progresses."

Of course, the unit's depth continues to be a cause for concern. FSU coach Bobby Bowden said his staff will address any personnel moves in today's staff meeting. Additionally, reserve center John Frady was held out after suffering a concussion Wednesday.

"We will keep adjusting people around," Bowden said.

"The main is the injury thing. If you had Broe and Meeks… Meeks played the whole game against North Carolina last year. But Broe has been out. Meeks has been 50 percent. The other guard has stood up. The center has held up. The second-team center, (John) Frady, was unable to scrimmage today because he got hit in the head. Again, we've had so many injuries in there that it has been hard to piece a solid, especially a second offensive line together."

While Broe said FSU's incoming freshmen are playing well, plenty of work remains, especially with pass-blocking.

"They (freshmen) are coming along nicely but there is a big difference in blocking in high school to pass blocking against the best defensive line in the country.," Broe said. "It's definitely going to be a challenge for them."


Chris Rix didn't start off the scrimmage on the right foot. He overthrew Willie Reid in the end zone on the first play and was intercepted by Pat Watkins.

Scrambling to his right and under pressure, he opted not to step out of bounds but instead throw to P.K. Sam near the sideline. Sam adjusted his route and raced back toward Rix, who instead threw long. It was easily picked by Claudius Osei.

Rix was then sacked on consecutive plays by Buster Davis and Eric Moore, who continues to play well this preseason.

"We were getting some unexpected looks," Rix said.

"We could have had some better plays in that situation. They were disguising their coverage pretty well and we just gambled on a couple of plays. But we got it worked out. I think we finished strong. There are things we still have to get worked out but we are doing some good things."


Reserve tight end Donnie Carter continues to make strides. He made a difficult catch over the middle in traffic during the scrimmage and has played well in run-blocking as well.

"It's not so much the comfort level -- I know the offense, I know the plays," Carter said.

"But going up against different fronts, 50 fronts, stacked fronts, eight-man, cover two, single safety. Knowing how to read those guys and make my breaks and stuff off of them. All it's going to take is repetition -- going over it again and again. I will be ready for Aug. 30 (opener against North Carolina)."


Cornerback Bryant McFadden said the team felt the affects of back-to-back scrimmages.

"It was tough mentally and physically," McFadden said.

"We had a long scrimmage (Wednesday) and we are almost through before the bad weather came. Physically, our bodies are tired and sore and a couple of people are banged up. For us to come out and practice half the period and then finish the scrimmage the last half of it was tough, but that's what you have to do. You have to fight thru it to be successful."

McFadden, the Seminoles starter at left corner, has been moved to right corner in the Seminoles' dime coverage. Rufus Brown has moved into McFadden's slot on the left side.

"It really doesn't matter to me -- I can play either one," McFadden said. "That's always good when you are versatile and play either one. But it really doesn't matter."


Offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden likes the progress of his unit thus far.

"I really think we have something with our tight ends finally, where they can contribute in the passing game more," Bowden said.

"Right now I see a lot of live ammunition but it's just straying all over the place. We have to be a lot more crisp in what we are doing offensively, to routes to catch and throws to decision making. But I see guys getting in the right areas."

Nole Digest Top Stories