Florida State will hold its spring football game on Saturday with a different format than normal due to injuries. The school had previously announced the Seminoles would play a pair of 12-minute quarters with some other elements of practice to follow, and coach Mike Norvell elaborated on the reasoning on Tuesday evening.
“We’re going to keep it basically offense (vs.) defense throughout for two quarters,” Norvell said. “We have some injuries, we’re a little thin at some positions that would make it extremely challenging to break up into two teams. So we’re going to continue to get work and there’ll be some special teams work.”
Norvell will welcome in four members of the media — longtime FSU radio voice Gene Deckerhoff, local radio show host Jeff Cameron and theAthletic.com’s Andy Staples and ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson will be guest coaches for a portion of the afternoon.
FSU’s spring game will be held on Saturday at 5 p.m. Tickets are on sale on Seminoles.com with seating capacity limited to 10,000 in the bowl (plus 4,000 for students) as well as 1,600 in the Champions Club. If you can’t make it to Tallahassee, the game will be televised on the ACC Network.
“It’ll be a great experience for our guys, for all of the Seminole family to be able to come and pack into Doak Campbell and you’ll see our guys and the growth that we’ve had. It’s gonna be a tremendous opportunity to see some of these young players and new guys and old experienced players to go out there and show the growth that they’ve had and you could put up put that develop development on display.”
Areas of improvement
Norvell was clearly displeased with how the team practiced on Tuesday in the Seminoles’ first time back on the practice field in six days.
“There was some good and some bad, there were moments where you could see a little bit of the time off that jumped on them,” Norvell said. “And we pushed and challenged. And that’s where we have to continue to mature as a football team that every day every rep regardless of what shows up, but we’ve got to max out the opportunity. I thought there was some really good flash plays that showed up. I think guys are getting better, understanding technique, fundamentals and things we’re asking them to do schematically. I wanted better today. I wouldn’t say today was a bad day, but I wouldn’t say it was our best effort either.”
The lack of consistency from the offense day-to-day has been a theme for FSU this spring. A lackluster session in the spring isn’t surprising given players may see the end of practice nearing and be thinking about a break. But it is a source of frustration to Norvell, who was seeking a rested and focused practice on Tuesday. The Seminoles will return to the practice field on Thursday, which will be an open session for the media to observe.
Norvell was asked where he felt the Seminoles have improved this spring from practice 1 until Tuesday.
“I think we are an improved physical football team,” Norvell said. “They’re playing with better pad level, they’re playing with better fundamentals. I harped on it today, just the consistency in the effort of what we’re doing. And I would say it’s much improved, but we’re still pushing to the standard we talked about. I think in all aspects our team is believing in the process of growth, but they’re also believing in the fundamentals and techniques to put themselves in the best position. And so I really have been pleased with that. I’ve been pleased with the application for what guys are learning in the meetings, trying to implement that on the field.”
Back on the field
Norvell commented that a few players, notably cornerback Meiko Dotson and offensive lineman Baveon Johnson, have returned to the field.
“Today was our best day in having guys back,” Norvell said. “Baveon (Johnson) was full go. Meiko Dotson got a chance to get some 7-on-7 work. He’s kind of been limited throughout the course of the spring. Jordan Wilson is a young man that I’m excited about the progress that he’s making just in his rehabilitation and all aspects of what he’s doing, to see him out there running around, catching balls, running routes, we’ve limited him a little bit from the contact aspect of it but really excited about what he’s going to bring. We did have a good group of guys that were able to return today and that helps continue to build that continuity and competition at each position.”
Respect for Randy Shannon
Norvell said he and Randy Shannon did not know each other well before the longtime Miami assistant and head coach, as well as assistant at Florida and UCF, was hired was a defensive analyst by the Seminoles. But it was evident that there was mutual respect for Shannon as well as the thinking that he would fit in well with defensive coordinator Adam Fuller and the staff.
“He is a class human being and I think an incredible coach in all aspects of what he does,” Norvell said. “We talked about the fit, we talked about you’re looking for, whether it’s in recruiting or hiring coaches, and I believe Randy Shannon is an is an incredible fit for our staff. … I know Adam (Fuller) was really excited about the opportunity to be able to get him here, as well as our defensive assistants. And really our entire team. Coach Shannon has done remarkable job throughout his career. And, yes, we have competed against each other. That probably helps contribute to the respect that I have for him in all aspects. I didn’t really know him personally very well. He had come to Memphis one time to watch a workout when I was the head coach there. But we didn’t have a close relationship.”