FSU offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham and defensive ends coach / special teams coordinator John Papuchis spoke with the media on Sunday night following the second scrimmage. If you missed it, we also ran comments from Mike Norvell and Adam Fuller.
How does passing game/receivers improve over the course of camp?
“It’s kind of a boring answer: work. Those guys are coming to work every day. They’re all the jugs (machine) after practice. They knew it was a problem last year and they came out and they’re trying to be better. It’s starting to show up, you can see it. They’re getting better and I’m very pleased with that group because the work they put in is starting to show up.”
What are your thoughts on the young receivers?
“I think they’ve done a great job. I think their mindset, we talk about all the time (that) nobody cares about your circumstance in life. Nobody cares where you came from, nobody cares if you’ve been out and ad twisted ankles, nobody cares. You’ve got to go out there and when you’re on the field, you got to execute, you got to make plays. Those guys have put in the work. They’ve had a mindset, whether they are freshmen, whether they’re a redshirt freshman or a true freshmen, they’re gonna find a way to get on the football field. Some of those guys are forcing us to do that.”
What were your thoughts on the quarterbacks in the scrimmage?
“I thought it was a really, really good scrimmage from their standpoint. I thought the older guys managed it really well. Very, very, very poised. That’s the step that we’ve got to take in that room is having that poise and comfort back there of when to play fast, when to slow down, taking control. I thought they did a great job with that. The younger guys I thought a much improved scrimmage for all three of those guys was drastically better. A few situations that we’ve just got to improve on in certain two minutes rules and certain situations, down and distance-wise. We’ve got to understand why something’s called and we want to be aggressive here and we want to throw the ball away here. Is this time that we need to be risky with the ball? Is this a down and distance where we just need to be safe with the ball? Understanding the big picture of the game from a plays perspective, going out there, whatever play was called and executing it. The young guys did a really, really, really nice job. Now combining situational awareness with the play is that next step.”
How do you view the offensive line’s performance in scrimmage?
“I thought they did really well. Few penalties that we’ve still got to clean up, but I thought those guys, that group is growing and the more reps they get, the better they get. That’s the thing about offensive line, it’s a unit. Very rarely do people point out players on the offensive line. It’s a unit. I think the unit is starting to get comfortable with each other. That’s what you look for when you look for an offensive line, you look for a unit. You look for the comfort they have in each other and the growth that they’ve been making. I’m very, very pleased with how they’re progressing.”
What are your thoughts on the young tight ends?
“Markeston (Douglas), here’s a guy that got up in weight, we said, ‘Can you drop weight?’ He dropped the weight and he’s starting to come along and come on. Every single day, he just gets a little bit better and a little bit better and a little bit better and a little bit better. I’m very pleased with his progression throughout this camp fundamentally, progression throughout this camp keeping his weight, managing his weight. He is going to help us at some point.”
What are your thoughts on the kicker competition between Ryan Fitzgerald and Parker Grothaus?
“Good day for both of the guys. I do think you know that the competition’s been really good. I do think that it’s starting to shape up though and I’m starting to get a much better feel of who it is going to be. Coach Novell and I talked about that a little bit before the scrimmage today. We’re not ready to declare it, and name a winner yet, but I do think we’re getting closer to that. So hopefully in the next three to four days we’ll be we’ll be able to have a little bit more definitive announcement in terms of that. That’s going to be coach’s call on when that announcement is.”
How has punter Alex Mastromanno looked in camp?
“I just think he feels really confident right now. Obviously a lot of his performance is based on being in a good rhythm and a good groove. I think he feels good about where he is. Having a whole season of experience playing American football obviously helps him. There’s a lot fewer things that he’s seeing now for the first time. He’s been through a fall camp. He knows what to expect. And I think now we can just kind of relax them and let his talent shine. He’s done a nice job of that throughout this camp. I’m excited for him because I thought he did some good things last year, but I said this a week ago and I still feel the same way, I don’t think he’s really scratched the surface of how good he can be.”
On how young guys can begin to make an impact through special teams
“I think it’s two-fold. For the young guys to get to play, No. 1 they had to be physically ready to do it. There is a big transition from high school to college level, so they’ve got to be physically prepared both with speed and strength. And then they also have to have the mental attitude to be able to pick up what we’re trying to teach. The freshmen that play, they have both. They’re able to pick up the scheme, they’re able to pick up the fundamentals and technique, but they also have the physical ability to do it. Shyheim (Brown) is an example that you brought up. There’s been a couple of those guys I think are gonna have a chance. But there’s still some time to go until we have to make those decisions, but I do like some of our young guys on some of these special team units.”
On how Alabama A&M transfer Marcus Cushnie has practiced
“I thought Marcus flashed tonight, made some plays. The thing that that he absolutely brings to the table is a good edge rush presence and speed. You saw both of those things flash tonight and he was able to make some plays. For him it’s a matter of how quick can we get him prepared, because he’s only been with us for a couple of weeks, and you know every day he’s learning something. So we’ve got to get him caught up to speed and that’s what we do on a daily basis. But I liked what I saw from him tonight. I think he’s another guy that will be able to make an impact for us this fall.”