Florida State's strength and conditioning program has vastly improved since Todd Stroud came in last year. After seeing better conditioned players last season fans are expecting the improvements to continue. As the second summer with Coach Stroud is about to get underway, the players have been working on their own since the end of spring. NoleDigest spoke to Myron Rolle recently, and he said the team is ready to go heading into the summer.
"Things have been going pretty well. Summer workouts have been good. There are guys are in summer school and others have stayed to work on agility drills and stuff like that. We're gradually trying to work harder and get better at we're doing."
When the new coaches came into FSU there was a need to change the mindset that had developed from the previous staff. Coach Stroud came in and pushed the guys harder then they've ever been pushed. The response from the players has been good, as they're working to push themselves everyday.
"The coaches have pushed us and now we are challenging ourselves to improve everyday," said Rolle. "Everything Coach Stroud has us do we do for a reason. He does a great job of explaining to us why we're doing a certain drill. The players have responded very well to him and work hard to accomplish what he wants us to do."
Myron says that the team's cohesiveness is the best he has seen since he came to FSU in 2006. The new coaching staff has contributed to that, but so have the players. The change can be seen in the way they're working, and those close to the program are seeing the change taking effect.
"We've been busting our tails working hard. We've been lifting every other day and run the others. On Monday's and Friday's we've been doing both. I have to be honest and say that since last year this team has been hanging together, doing well and really encouraging each other. We've been pushing each other hard. It's not just summer talk either. This is the most cohesiveness I have seen here in the 3 years I've been here. It's great."
Last summer Myron was able to do something a lot of college kids wish they could do when he studied aboard in Europe. He says while he was there he was able to do some work to stay in shape, but feels like he wasn't able to maximize what he can do. This summer he plans to change all of that.
"After last summer going overseas, I plan on staying here the entire summer. I did some work while I was in Europe bit I felt like I could've done more during the season last year. I am really inspired now. I have been watching a lot of film and analyzing my play. I'm not satisfied with what I did last year; I feel that I did well but I can do a lot better. Like the other guys I am working very hard to make that happen."
The Florida State defensive coaches installed some new schemes this past spring as they're looking to get their top playmakers involved more into the game. Myron has been one of the players that the coaches are looking to put in better spots, and that has resulted in a renewed vigor from the talented rover.
"This summer I really want to improve on my technique, strength and conditioning. I think those are the things that got me to where I am and now I am focusing on them again. I also want to work on my press coverage. I love doing that. Getting a chance to work on my back pedal and the speed on my turns in coverage is important because when we head into 2-a-days we're prepping more for the first game."
The fact that the team has responded well and is forming a bond that hasn't been seen in a while bodes well for the Noles as they head into the summer. Look for the team to work harder then they ever have. If things turn out well and injuries are kept to a minimum, the hard work during the dog days of summer will help set the Noles up for a successful 2008 season.