Training Camp Report

Coach Bobby Bowden finds himself under fire for his selection of the team's motto "Let's Roll." What do the players think of the criticism? Click here to find out. Also, Blake Williams is forced to give up football due to injury. Additionally, the Seminoles have installed their offense in six practices, Alonzo Jackson talks about how the Seminoles can get more sacks and Billy Sexton chats about freshman fullback Torrance Washington.

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden and his players responded to criticism Tuesday of his selection of "Let's Roll" as the Seminoles' 2002 team motto.

While Bowden has repeatedly explained the slogan honors the passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked Sept. 11 and crashed in rural Pennsylvania, his selection is being questioned by the state and national media. It also has been a hot topic discussion among FSU fans.

"Anything you do somebody is going to find the other side of it,' Bowden said. "That's just part of it. We're proud of what we're doing."

Four travelers on that flight are thought to have stormed the cockpit to prevent terrorists from crashing the plane into Washington, D.C. One passenger was heard over a cell phone exclaiming, "Let's roll!" before the plane went down. FSU players wear the "Let's Roll" slogan on T-shirts under their football jerseys.

Senior Brett Williams acknowledged the courage of the passengers on that flight. He said the Seminoles are simply trying to instill similar qualities in their approach this season. Williams doesn't believe the slogan is insensitive or inappropriate.

"Not at all," Williams said following Tuesday night's practice. "It's just a good example. He (Coach Bowden) tries to relate everything to us in stuff that has happened in real life. In the real world. He's into the news, religion and history - that's what he knows. That's how he relates it to us.

"I don't think that's fair at all, to say it's insensitive. I think it's a good memorial for them. They showed courage in their last few seconds. That's what we are trying. We have a lot of seniors this year, this is our last chance to do it. Let's lay it on the line and go."

Added linebacker Michael Boulware:

"We think it's a good motto, especially after last season. We definitely had a letdown," Boulware said. "We need to get things going again, get the ball rolling in terms of tradition. I don't think it's insensitive. I think it's just something to motivate us. If anything, they (passengers) gave it their all to fight for their lives. We want to do the same thing on the field. It's a different aspect definitely, but we also want to give it our all."

One motto entertained by the equipment staff also was a good one: "Don't sing it, let's bring it."

SO LONG BLAKE: Redshirt freshman Blake Williams, the younger brother of Brett Williams, has decided to give up football due to injury, Bowden said. Williams had knee and back surgery last spring. Overall, Williams has had knee surgery three times since high school.

"We kind of new it was going to come down to this after his last surgery so, he just has been kind of hanging around to see just in case if something did happen, it did get better. It's not worth being handicapped the rest of his life," Brett Williams said.

LEARNING CURVE: FSU coaches had talked about how they had planned to hit the ground running this preseason in terms of scheme, thanks in large part to the team's experience. Well, the offense has certainly followed that plan, according to Brett Williams. FSU goes in pads Wednesday

"You always get tired walking around in helmets and shorts," Williams said. "The biggest key will be to get through this two-a-days without getting too many people banged up. We've already put in the whole offense in three days. Last year we are still working on the base at this point, and that's been the big difference. Every formations, we've got plays in - a big difference from last year."

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Freshman fullback Torrance Washington has made a favorable impression on running backs coach Billy Sexton. Here' are Sexton's comments on Washington, who is currently listed third team behind P.J. Selvidio and B.J. Dean.

He's doing really good," Sexton said of Washington. "Picking stuff up and he really looks like a natural out here in shorts. Of course, everything is a look-see until we get to the pads. He's picking stuff up. He's really a good athlete. He's a big, fluid guy. He has a lot of skills athletically. Now we are gonna see how that translates in being a football player."

When asked what he would be looking for when Washington goes out in pads, Sexton replied, "Toughness in the blocking when the pads go on and there's collision. If he retains all the mental things he has learned at this point. He just seems to have a knack in dummy scrimmage of feeling where the holes are. Good running skills. Runs with his pads down. He's a big guy. Fluid. Catches the ball well. To this point he has done really well mentally."

KICK THIS: Xavier Beitia and Brett Cimorelli shared kickoff duties during Tuesday's morning practice. The pair are competing for the starting role after Jesse Stein, who kicked off last season, did not report with the varsity last Thursday.

Beitia concentrated solely on field goals last season, finishing with a team-high 83 points. He closed the season with a career-long 50-yard field goal against Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl.

Cimorelli, who tied an FSU record for points by a kicker (18) in 2000, when he nailed four field goals and six extra points against Clemson, saw spot duty last season. However, he turned in a strong performance against the Hokies and enjoyed a solid spring. Cimorelli also played minor-league baseball in the California Angels organization for the second consecutive year this past summer.

ACTION JACKSON

Senior Alonzo Jackson is recognized as the team's most effective pass rusher and one its leaders. He started 10 games last season, missing the Miami and Virginia games with a knee sprain, and finished with a team-best five sacks and 16 hurries.

Naturally, Jackson had heard the criticism surrounding the Semnoles' lack of sacks last season - they finished tied with Duke for last in the Atlantic Coast Conference (15). Jackson thinks FSU will make improvements in that area because of an improved secondary, which is expected to play more man defense this season.

"They (coaches) have more confidence in them (secondary) and that allows us to get more sacks, allow us to be more dominating defense," Jackson said. "With the experience now they're not worried about putting somebody on an island by themselves."


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