Monday's Premium Football Notebook

The Florida State Seminoles took to the turf field Monday for a short workout to kick off this week's game preparations for Clemson on Saturday. According to coach Bobby Bowden, in addition to the already injured players, several 'Noles are battling with minor injuries that kept them from participating in this evening's practice.


When it was made known last week that senior tailback Leon Washington would not be playing in his final home game as a Seminole, it was generally assumed that the Jacksonville native would be ready to go by the time Clemson came around.

As of Monday, that may not be the case.

"Leon, I don't know whether to list him as possible or doubtful," Bowden said. "We've got five more days to see what happens there."

According to Washington, the ankle is still too tender to put much weight on.

"To put pressure on it, it don't feel too good," Washington said. "I just got to keep working on it and keep icing it up. If I can be out there I'd be out there, that's no question. We are all hoping for the best but there's only so much a player can do. I am going to do everything on my part to get out there."


Senior linebacker Marcello Church is used to not having his name in the media limelight. Positioned on the depth chart behind such standouts as A.J. Nicholson and Ernie Sims, the St. Petersburg also gets left out when Buster Davis and Sam McGrew get their respective names mentioned.

Saturday, Church finally had his name called and, at the time, it appeared to be the biggest play of the game as the 6-1 defender blocked the second punt of the evening for the Seminoles.

"He didn't play as many plays last week, I think, as(linebackers coach) Kevin (Steele) wanted to get him in," Andrews said. "But when he goes in, he's been productive. The thing about it, he blocked a punt his freshman year. It was in the bowl game (2002 Gator Bowl against Virginia Tech). He's been reminded of that a lot of times. He does it his freshman year and hasn't been able to pull it off.

"So when he blocked the second one (Saturday), he came off to the sideline and said, 'I told you I was going to get one.' I said, 'You can't get two, I bet ya.' But he has been very solid for us all year," Andrews added.

The spectacular play was a continuation of very solid final year for Church, who conceivably is moving up NFL draft charts by the week.

And his coaches have continued to take notice.

"He's made a lot of progress this year," Andrews said. "We've asked him, being in his senior year, to be the best that he has ever been. (We've asked him) to be more mentally involved in the preparation and get himself ready to have a big year."


Q: Coach Bowden said that he wasn't sure if Kamerion Wimbley would be out for two weeks or two games…

A: I am just doing one game at a time here, I am not going to project down the road. He is going to miss this week for sure and then we will go from there.

Q: And John Frady had season ending surgery today, right?

A: John had major surgery today.

Q: What is the status of Gerard Ross?

A: He' sitting out, he's got a knee (injury).

Q: How is Andre Fluellen doing? Didn't he hyperextend his elbow?

A: He is actually sick tonight. I have about five or six guys with the flu right now and we sent all of those guys home to keep them away from the other players.

Q: What about Rod Owens?

A: He had a little rotator cuff on his shoulder but he practiced tonight.

Q: And Willie Reid's concussion is okay?

A: He checked out fine. We will keep him out of contact this week, it's just that he wasn't ready for the second half against N.C. State.

Q: Brodrick Bunkley came out of the game for awhile Saturday, what's his status?

A: He's got an ankle…they landed on his ankle. It's more of a contusion to his ankle so we are going to have a doctor look at it tonight. He was out here moving tonight.

Q: Has the amount of injuries been abnormal from recent years?

A: This is a high incidence of it, there's not doubt. I mean, to start the year off with (the loss of Antonio) Cromartie, to be going along with different injuries, (David) Castillo misses two games, to lose (Matt) Meinrod when we did and, well, to lose (Wyatt) Sexton in the summer time. A lot of things are just starting to add up. We've got a lot of guys that are just out. A lot of guys are having to step up.

Q: How tough is this to have all of these injuries?

A: You can't go out and get free agent. This is what we've got to work with so let's coach the ones we have. The coaches have always been good about that.

Q: Do you see a trend of the same injuries or is it just having bad luck?

A: What happens is, you set yourself up. All of sudden you are giving more guys reps. Maybe some of these guys weren't ready for all of these reps. Maybe they were ready for 20 or 30 reps but they are getting 50 or 60 reps and they are getting them in practice too. It starts to add up. Is their a trend? I don't know but I do know that everybody in the ACC plays their best against us. I don't care if it's Duke or Wake Forest, they are going to give their all. We are seeing the best that everyone's got so our guys have go to step up. N.C. State, they played as physical of a game as I have seen.


While going over game film Sunday, the Seminole defensive coaches decided to take a very rare break and turned on the television to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers, who boast three former 'Noles on the defensive of the ball.

Ironically, the very first play the coaches saw was a play that featured rookie Bryant McFadden's making one of the biggest plays of his young career. The former Seminole came on a cornerback blitz and sacked Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, forcing a fumble that was scooped up by Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.

But McFadden wasn't done, however, as he raced down the field and blocked tight Donald Lee, springing Polamalu free for the 77-yard fumble return score.

"He got a sack and caused a fumble but he gets annihilated by the tight end," defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said with a laugh. "James (Colzie) called him up and left a message and said, 'the sack was great, the turnover was great but how do you get knocked down on the block return?' But he actually shielded the guy off and let the guy into the endzone, which was good to see."

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