Bobby Bowden Q&A

After his team's first practice of the fall, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden spoke with the media extensively about such topics as Drew Weatherford's progress, the status of the offensive line, and the plethora of new Seminole talent. The following is a transcript of that conversation.

Q: Can you just talk about the first day out there?

A: "Everybody reported except the young man from Prattville, Alabama (Tim Rawlinson) and from what I understand there's still a chance. There's still a chance he gets in. (Brandon) Warren got cleared and he was out there practicing today. I spent most of my time watching the new guys. I wanted to see what they looked like. You look to see if there are any disappointments. Like I said in the past, they all look like All-Americans in shorts. So you look to see are there any guys that can't run like you thought they could. Any guys that can't catch the ball like you thought they could. As I watched them I wasn't disappointed in anything that I saw out there."

Q: What did you see in the new guys?

A: "I just looked to see if what they were what they said they were. Of course in shorts you only get half the picture. When you put those pads on it's a different game. Anyway, I didn't see any disappointments."

Q: Did you watch the freshmen tight ends – Caz Piurowski and Brandon Warren?

A: "Yes, I did. I wanted to see how Piurowski could run at his size. Of course I wasn't worried about Warren's running (because) that's one of his strengths. Everything is okay."

Q: Drew Weatherford mentioned that he was very happy with the team's participation in voluntary summer workouts. Can you just talk about them working this summer and what that does for the team now.

A: "Well, they must have done pretty good. (FSU strength and conditioning coach) Jon Jost is the only one that could be out there with them and felt real good about it. I didn't see anybody pulling up or holding back today. What we did, they handled it pretty doggone good."

Q: Can you talk about Weatherford now as compared to last year at this time?

A: "Well, he's a year older than he was last year and he has 12 games under his belt. That is big because this time a year ago you are looking at him and Xavier (Lee) as one of them starting the first ballgame and not having any idea how they would respond under pressure. Now he has 12 games under his belt. His confidence has grown and our confidence in him grows with it. Now we have got to get Xavier caught up. He was throwing good today but he's got to learn the stuff. It takes time."

Q: How do you get Lee caught up?

A: "Just give him as many reps as he can get. Like last year we split those two (Weatherford and Lee). They got equal reps. It will probably be very much the same this year. Now, he's gotten way behind because of his injury so it's just a matter of how fast he can catch up. Just keep giving him reps, reps, reps."

Q: Because the coaching staff is not allowed out there and you can't do much teaching, how important is that time for those players?

A: "It's important. And my opinion on that has changed 360 degrees since 10-15 years ago because I used to want them to get gone. Get away from football. Get away from it. Get refreshed and come back hungry for it. But nowadays, you can't hardly do that. You get left out. You nearly have to do it to keep their bodies in shape and conditioned so they don't fall out the first two weeks of practice. I am glad they voted for voluntary workouts (laughing)."

Q: Do you know Kenny Ingram's status?

A: "I didn't mention him. We've got some time and I think he's still got a chance But I am not sure how close (Rawlinson and him) are."

Q: The running game was the primary focus of the offense during the spring. Will that stay the same during fall practices?

A: Yeah, we'll continue to really give it it's share of calls. Because we need to run the ball better to improve our offense."

Q: Do you think that the offensive line is better than it was a year ago?

A: "They are probably a little ahead of last year but the main thing is staying healthy. We had a pretty good offensive line last year. We were 5-0 before everybody starts getting knocked off in there. You are pretty solid. We are just a little bit more solid. Instead of having five we have six. What you need is 12. Ninety-three we won the National Championship, you remember … we played two offensive lines. We played two offensive lines. We had some depth that year. Now we are playing with one if they stay healthy no problem."

Q: How is Russell Ball doing with his rehabbing knee?

A: "I am just hoping that he can come back and get to play some this season because we can't redshirt him again. He's already been redshirted. I think the doctors are hoping for that. He had such a good spring. He surprised me more than any other player in the spring training. He made some runs that wasn't there. I am really excited about him. It's a shame he had to get hurt."

Q: Do you have a team motto for this season?

A: "Best effort. That was kind of our them this summer; give your best effort."

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