Player Q&A: Antone Smith

Florida State starting tailback Antone Smith recently spoke with reporters about several topics such as the new-look offensive linemen, the end of split carries between two tailbacks and the differences between running backs coach Dexter Carter and his predecessor, Billy Sexton. The following is the transcript of that conversation.

Q: Can you compare this team right now to last year's in terms of where you are at this point in time?

Antone Smith: "It feels a lot different. This time last year … right now we are a little further. So that's a good thing. We are just going to get better and better as time goes. Hopefully next we have a great practice and come out and have a good scrimmage and everything. Hopefully we can do the same thing we did today but a little better and minimize the mistakes we had today."

Q: What about how different the offensive line is playing?

AS: "The biggest thing is the speed. They are getting on the linebackers really quick. They are making us flow a lot better. We are just cutting up on them. We are complementing each other."

Q: Do you feel any added pressure now that you are the guy at running back?

AS: "It's not pressure. I don't feel like I am the guy. I am just out here competing just like everybody else. That's (the media's) job to do that. I am just going to compete everyday and do my best and score touchdowns and help the team."

Q: There won't be the same rotation of running backs this season, correct?

AS: "That's kind of been the thing since he (running backs coach Dexter Carter) came in. If you are going to be the guy then you are going to be the guy. When you are tired you just come out for a couple plays and just go right back in. If you are the guy, you earned it. That's just pretty much what it's going to be."

Q: So you will get most of if not all of the carries.

AS: "Basically, the guys behind me are just working to be the second guy. However that works out. They take my spot (then) they take my spot but the chances of that happening, it's going to be very hard."

Q: This will be what you have waited for since you enrolled at FSU. Getting the majority of the carries.

AS: "I didn't have too much of a problem last year being that we rotated – me and Booker. You kind of get the rest you need. I have been working to get my strength up and my air up so I don't have to worry about taking no plays off or anything like that."

Q: How different is it having Carter as compared to Billy Sexton?

AS: "It's a big difference. Since the first day he first came out, we started doing drills. When (Billy) Sexton was here, we didn't do no drills. He's definitely is relating to us as a father-figure and with our school work. He's teaching us on the football field. That's the biggest thing. That's what his job is."

Q: What's his biggest area of emphasis?

AS: "The biggest thing is learning assignments and paying attention and f or us running backs, keeping the ball off the ground."

Q: So, what exactly were you doing with Sexton instead of drills?

AS: "I'll tell you the truth, we were either (doing) pass-protection or catching the ball. We didn't do drills, period. Sexton was just a guy that is big on blocking. It's good that he was big on blocking but we are running backs, we've got to do drills."

Q: What is your impression of the new physical mentality of the wide receivers?

AS: "The receivers are probably the most aggressive guys out here right now. Those corners are scared of them right now because they are just crack-backing everywhere."

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