Coach Q&A: Mickey Andrews

Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews sat down and spoke with the media Monday afternoon. The long-time Seminole skipper touched on several topics such as the injuries at defensive tackle, his thoughts on Clemson and the play of the linebackers.

Q: What can you tell us about the injury situation?

A: It's a long week. A lot can happen between Monday and Saturday. We won't really know 'til the latter part of the week. The report we've got right now is not real encouraging. If any of them can get back it will be with a limited practice. Somebody will just have to take their place.

You'd think (Alex) Boston would be able to play. You'd have thought so going into the (game against Troy). And he might could have played if he had to. He got limited time and didn't come out of the Miami game … I think it (swelled) back up on him a little bit but structurally there's nothing wrong there. It's just painful. Can you play with pain?

Q: You all have done a good job creating turnovers. How important has that been so far?

A: Very much so. One of the things that we set out as our goals this year was to create turnovers. At this point we've not come up with fumbles but we've had four intercepts in two games, which has been good because a turnover saves a touchdown on the opening drive (against Troy) and sets up the winning touchdown at the end of the game. The last one preserved the win two weeks in a row. The thing that concerns us … the first game I think we gave up one play over 25 yards and this game we had about three. Two of them were trivk pays that we weren't very disciplined and weren't coached well enough to play them. Then on another one that set up a field goal, we missed two tackles. It should have been a two-yard gain. If the next guy comes and makes the tackle it should have been a 10-yard gain maybe and it goes 31. We can't do that and be a very good defense.

Q: What's Aaron Jones' status?

A: Aaron didn't dress out again. He hasn't dressed out or practice but just a little bit all year. He might could dress out but how effective is he going to be? That's the other question.

Q: Are you balancing several options at defensive tackle? Perhaps thinking of using Justin Mincey or Neefy Moffett at that position if need be?

A: Yeah, we'll be out there practicing them tonight without somebody in there. We may have to move some folks around a time or two, just waiting to try to find the best person available for us. Not only does it take away your starter but it took away your depth. It's hard enough nowadays to have top-quality people that you can dominate with and you take your depth away from there and all of a sudden it's a redshirt freshman and a freshman that you are staring at and asking them to play like their a starter.

Q: What kinds of problems does the Clemson offense pose for you?

A: Well, they've got outstanding personnel. They've recruited extremely well and they are well coached. They've got an excellent plan. They put you in a bind defensively calling plays because with their personnel groupings. Then they shift and then they motion so it creates some problems for you because you've got to think on the run. Then you've got to execute. Their offensive line is probably as good as any we have faced in four or five years at least. Their skill people are outstanding. (Chansi) Stuckey is up there with anybody. And they've got some other skill players there too. Of course, their running back, James (Davis), (was) freshman ACC player of the year. Then the kid from over in Union County (C.J. Spiller) is playing and playing very well for them. And then the (Reggie) Merriweather kid. They've got an excellent group of players to play with. We weren't very good against them last year. Of course we went into the game last year like this, all beat up.

Q: They do a lot of trickery. Will it help your guys that you saw some of that this past weekend?

A: Coach Bowden was talking about today that they ran three fakes. They had a fake punt. They had a fake field goal. They are always doing something to keep you on your toes. If you want to become an outstanding defense you can't play without discipline. You've got to be able to put yourself in a position, and I've said this a number of times, to make a play but you've got finish it. When you get fooled, you've got to put yourself in a position to make a play. And you didn't get it finished because you weren't there to do it.

Q: Marcus Ball has received a lot of minutes and has performed well.

A: He's had an exceptional fall. He starts on our Tiger package on long yardage. He'll end up probably having to be the fourth backer now (with the injury to Derek Nicholson) in the 3-4.

Q: Jae Thaxton got significant reps against Troy. Have you been pleased with him after missing nearly all of last season?

A: He just needs to play. He's a little bit better run player right now than he is a pass defender. A lot of that will come with playing time.

Q: What about Buster Davis? The "bell cow" as you refer to him had another big game.

A: That's the way you've got to do. You can't lead with a microphone in your hand. Of course, I think Buster sometimes thinks he's got one of those the little deals in his helmet (referring to the headsets that the coaches wear). But he's played well for us. He and Geno (Hayes) both.

Q: Chris Davis' muffed punt was pretty costly. Will you possibly look at somebody different this week?

A: We'll see. Certainly that's the first thing you look for in a punt returner if they can catch the ball. He was very effective with it all night long. He just happen to drop one in a very bad situation that got kicked around and ended up costing us 18 yards and possession of the football. They ended up getting a touchdown out of it. We'll look at it this week and see.


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