Mickey Andrews Talks Defense

Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews talked with several members of the media Monday afternoon. Here are the highlights:

Opening comments)

Good win for us and we had a chance to play a lot of people. We had some things that were outstanding. In the first half, I thought we played about as good as we could have played. When you give up 67 yards and no points and it's very easy to see why. We weren't on the field – we had seven three-and-outs. We won about every first down and every third down. If you are winning those and not giving up big plays, you are going to pick up field position.
(on second half)

Second half was a little shoddier but we played our two's and three's and you are going to do that. That'll happen because two's are two's and three's are the third best.

(on kick coverages)

We don't need to be putting the ballr in play at the 35-yard line. We are going to be a lot better defense if they are starting at the 20 or within the 20.

Coach Steele made a little deal with them after the first (fumble recovery). Those guys will be out of agilities tonight. It's not many games that you get two turnovers out of your kickoff coverage.

(on giving up 14 points to break scoreless second-half streak)

It was unanimous. The coaches were a little upset about that, too. We gave them up though. We didn't do our job. Should have been a sack and a fumble on one score. The guy didn't do his job. Same thing on the touchdown pass. You have to be a little bit smarter than that or we have to coach a little better.

(on the performance)

The thing you are always concerned about after an open week is being stale. But actually we were a little bit sharper in the first three quarters than we had been. I thought we started freelancing and losing our discipline late. You can't create plays that are not there without getting burned. You start trying to make plays and not doing your job you're just hurting the team. If we are going to be a solid ball club we are going to have to eliminate that.

If we coach smart and play smart, we will eliminate those types of things.

(on defensive line)

Some (penetration) was off of base front, four man and three man fronts. You rushing three guys and getting a sack, it means you're doing a great job individually of getting of a block.

(on pass defense)

You look at the stats and we are giving up almost 60 percent (passing completions). You at the film and we're not seeing as many deep routes. We're talking about flares and check-downs and little dink routes were you know that you are going to see a high completion percentage. As long as we can keep making them throwing the ball and we're making the tackle, we can live with that.

If you are in third down and you (make the stop short on a completion), you can live with that all day long. When you are determining where you want them to throw the ball, you have to be able to make the tackle.

(on 3-4 package)

We started using it last spring so they have had some time to build on it there. We feel like we are going to need it because of the strength of our personnel and our lack of depth up front. Throw the injuries on top and we might be using it more. We have so much more improvement that we can make if we just keep the kind of attitude that you have to have whether it is in meetings or on the field. But our package is a lot bigger that it has been in the past. We are asking a lot more out of the guys than we have in the past, especially the younger guys.

(on Bunkley and Fluellen)

We wouldn't be 4-0 right now without them. It seems like every game that we have gone through one or both of those guys gets nicked up. They're like some of the rest of our guys – they're tough guys and they play right through it.

(on Fluellen)

He started to come in the spring. He's been undersized since he got here but now he has the strength that he needs to be able to play at his weight. He's a smart player

(on Bunkley)

He's a guy who really has some pride the way he has adjust and the level he's played at.

We almost didn't have him. The priority has to be academics because if you don't take care of that, you're not going to be out there anyway. And he took care of that. I think because of what he had to do this summer – being separated from the football team – made him realize that this is pretty important. In the past, you had problems with him missing study hall or tutors. We haven't had any of that this fall.

He hadn't been able to practice (regularly, since injury 2002 against UF). Football is not a sport where you can get better by watching. You have to work at it. Our guys don't have but 5 weeks off out of 52 weeks a year. They are always doing something – be it spring, strength, summer condition, practice – that's football-related.

He was faced with a near impossibility. He had that much to do. Thank goodness for him and his teammates that he got it done.

(on Wake)

I don't know why, but every time we play them we struggle.

(on Kyler Hall)

He was a guy that was trying to make a transition from being an offensive guy (quarterback) to a defensive guy and he struggled at first. He had difficulty playing in space….making decision like going for the interception or going for the tackle or breaking the pass up. In those situations, you have a split second to make the decision and he didn't make as many good ones as he does now, thank goodness. I don't know that we've had anybody who has worked any hard or given any more that he has since the day he got here. You are just tickled that he's doing this because the team needed him to do it.

(on using starters on special teams)

We feel like that if a starter can perform better in special teams than a backup, they're going to get in there if they want to. Some starters don't want to, some do. What helps them now – every scout will tell you – that if you are a skill player you better be able to play special teams because you have to be able to do that in the pros. If you can, that could be your ticket.

We feel like with the depth chart we had at some positions the kicking game could help us win game and it has so far.

(on Neefy Moffet)

He's a big, strong kid that's learning how to play harder. There is still a lot that he doesn't know but if you stick a guy down there on the goal line on top of the football and tell him when it moves to knock his guy back, you don't have to be a Rhodes Scholar to understand that. I'm not saying he isn't…

We've tried to pick situations where we get these kids into the game and don't tell them a whole lot and just let him play football. There are situations when you can do that. You can get them out on the field and let them play but it does limit what you can do.

(on Pat Watkins)

If you would have asked me Friday, I would have said that there is no way he was going to play. But he did pretty good for a guy who was having to hold one arm up (earlier in the week). He even got an unnecessary roughness penalty and I kind of like that.

(on Lawrence Timmons)

He dominated on special teams this week. He caused a fumble and recovered two fumbles. We always let the team vote on the hardest hit in the ballgame and every week it seems like 83 is on the board.

(on linebackers)

They are a talented group but sometimes we let our eyes and our desire to make a play super cede or responsibilities. But that's true at any position.

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