Saturday, Aug. 10
Receiver Anquan Boldin can catch just about anything thrown his way. It would be nice if Boldin can catch a break now. Fingers are crossed.
Anquan Boldin sprained his surgically repaired left knee in the Seminoles' first preseason scrimmage at Doak Campbell Stadium. The sight of Boldin on the ground clutching his knee was eerily familiar to FSU players and coaches.
Boldin, a junior from Pahokee, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in FSU's first preseason scrimmage last year and was lost for the 2001 season. Boldin was injured Saturday when he collided with a teammate while going for a pass. An extremely upset Boldin, who was wearing a protective knee brace, walked off the field and into the Seminoles training room but did not return for the second half.
Boldin's injury put a damper on a two-hour session that featured just two scores and plenty of substitutions.
. "I was thinking how unlucky it would be if he got injured again," coach Bobby Bowden said when asked what he thought when Boldin went down.
"I think a lot of these things, when a boy is coming off an injury, there is a little scare going on. And he's afraid he hurt it like he did. And when they check it....sometimes those things need to break down to break down the restrictions and everything that get in there. It might work out for the good - that's what I am hoping."
In addition to Boldin, No. 2 quarterback Adrian McPherson, who was wearing a green non-contact jersey, suffered a Grade-1 left ankle sprain after being tackled on a sack by defensive end Alonzo Jackson. Bowden said Fabian Walker would move into the reserve role behind Rix if McPherson is unable to practice this week.
Starting nose guard Jeff Womble, who was suspended for FSU's opener against Iowa State Aug. 24 for a violation of a team rule, suffered a Grade-2 left knee injury in goal line drills. Reserve noseguard Travis Johnson injured his surgically repaired ankle.
Friday, Aug. 9
The Seminoles practiced just once in preparation for Saturday's scrimmage. FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews ran the practice as Bowden was out of town for one of his grandson's graduation.
Andrews wasn't pleased with the 24-period session. It went a few minutes longer than usual and ended with players doing up-and-downs before breaking off into their segments for conditioning. Andrews questioned his unit's toughness
The thing I that looked like the most (to me) we had too many people watching," Andrews said.
Too many people trying to make Randy's team (Oravetz, athletic trainer) rather than football (team). We had some guys that don't understand the difference between pain and discomfort. I gotta believe that their momma when they were born had a headache wasn't to postpone it because she had a headache. We just have to grow up. We aren't mentally and physically tough enough right now to play football – I am talking about defensively.
"Yesterday coach (Bowden) talked about how the pitching and catching weren't sharp. Today it was a lot of better. Part of it because the defense wasn't worth a toot. We didn't cover a receiver in scales I don't think. We have to learn how to practice full speed in shorts, full speed in thud and full speed in scrimmage. Up and down.We had some good plays on both sides. Not much consistency on either side."
Thursday, Aug. 8
While FSU's first preseason scrimmage was still 48 hours away, Daryl Dickey knews exactly what he will be looking for from his quarterbacks.
"Leadership, ball security, management of our systems offensively and also management of down and distance," Dickey told TheTerritory.. "We've got to move on. Last year we had to learn plays. This year we have to learn how to be leaders, learn how to be managers of our systems play-wise and also of the game and make sure we are sound mechanically and fundamentally."
Bowden wasted little time following the Seminoles' national championship defeat to Oklahoma in 2001 to name Dickey to his staff to handle quarterbacks. In his first season last year, Dickey's work with freshman Chris Rix helped Rix earn the Atlantic Coast Conference's Rookie of the Year, the national Offensive Rookie of the Year and finish as the nation's eighth-rated passer.
While all that sounds dandy, Dickey stressed that Rix and reserve quarterbacks Adrain McPherson and Fabian Walker needed to make improvements during the offseason if FSU is to erase last year's 8-4 struggles. That accomplished, Dickey believes the group is progressing nicely as two-a-day practices continue in preparation for the team's initial scrimmage as well as its season-opener Aug. 24 against Iowa State.
Wednesday, Aug. 7
FSU's "Let's Roll" slogan received a ringing endorsement from the Todd M. Beamer Foundation, which released the following statement by chief executive officer Douglas MacMillan in response to media reports of Florida State University's team motto for 2002.
"We are honored that Florida State's football program has chosen to use Todd Beamer's quote of "let's roll" as a way to motivate and inspire their athletes."
On the field, FSU's luck with injuries doesn't seem to be improving.
Sophomore free safety Kyler Hall suffered a fractured right hand in Wednesday's morning practice and underwent surgery this afternoon. Senior B.J. Ward, who played wide receiver last season and has been slowed by a slightly separated shoulder, and junior Yohance Buchanan are listed behind Hall on the depth chart.
The injury could also accelerate the learning curve for true freshman Pat Watkins, a Parade All-American from Tallahassee Lincoln High School.
Hall, a first-year starter and one of 12 true freshman to earn playing time last season, believes he suffered the injury when his hand hit the helmet of running back Nick Maddox in drills. Fourth-ranked FSU practiced in pads for the first time Wednesday but the sessions were not full contact.
"It's nothing that's going to keep me out too long. I will back in a week,"Hall told TheTerritory. Hall, who had a metal plate and four pins inserted into his hand, made a quick appearance at FSU's second practice Wednesday night.
"It was during 11-on-11 and I hit Nick Maddox," Hall said. "Give me about a week and I will be back out at practice. Now, we have to get better every practice because we have a game coming up pretty soon. I will be able to run. I'll be fine."
Kyle Wright's tour of the country's top football program continued, when Wright and his father arrived in Tallahassee. The pair watched the Seminoles' morning practice and then headed for a tour of the athletic facilities. The duo also attended Wednesday's second practice.
Tuesday, Aug. 6
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 told TheTerritory. "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."
On the injury front, redshirt freshman Blake Williams, younger brother of Brett williams, has decided to give up football due to injury, Bowden announced.
Monday, Aug. 5
FSU players were once again on the move.
Junior-college transfer Chauncey Stovall practiced for the first time in the Seminoles' second session after being cleared academically by the university earlier in the day. Stovall, who originally signed at FSU in 2000 but instead attended Hinds Community College in Mississippi, looked comfortable after watching practice since arriving in town last week.
In fact, Bowden said he would have never thought Stovall had been on the sidelines watching.
"It took two years and a few days, but it's going to work out for the best," Stovall said. 'I came in thinking, 'Don't mess up. Do your routes and take your time.' I took my time and felt like I did very well. Right now I just have to get familiar with the plays and after that it's all going to fall into place."
Said Bowden: "I didn't see him drop a pass. If he did, I didn't see it."
Also, redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Henshaw has moved to tight end after approaching the coaching staff about the move. Henshaw was fourth on the depth chart behind Chris Rix, Adrian McPherson and Fabian Walker. At 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, Henshaw belives he's better suited for tight end.
The issue surrounding the eligibility of starting guard Milford Brown continued.
At issue is whether Brown was a full-time or part-time student at Alabama State prior to attending junior college in 1999. Brown said he was a part-time student at Alabama State, taking 11 hours in the fall semester in 1998 and six hours in the spring semester.
Brown told TheTerritory the problem stems from a psychology class that was on his schedule during that fall semester. Brown said he didn't attend the class nor signed up for it and thought the problem was resolved last season when he played for the Seminoles -- that additional class would have elevated Brown to full-time status as a student.