With ND game two weeks away, Norvell and Fuller reflect on camp and second scrimmage

Florida State held its second scrimmage on Sunday night and it’s the unofficial end of preseason camp as the Seminoles take Monday off and begin preparations for Notre Dame on Tuesday morning.

Mike Norvell didn’t say much about specific quarterbacks and, when asked if he was close to naming a starters, coyly said “we’re closer.” Below are some thoughts on camp and the second scrimmage from Norvell as well as defensive coordinator Adam Fuller. We’ll have more thoughts from offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham as well as defensive ends coach / special teams coordinator John Papuchis on Monday morning.

Mike Norvell

Norvell on the quarterbacks and if/when a decision will be made on a starter:

“We’re closer. I feel really good. We’re going to keep watching practice and going to watch these guys and who puts us in the best position to be successful here Sept. 5. I’m really pleased with what I’m seeing from that group and the way they’re playing.”

Norvell on growth in two weeks of camp

“You come into camp and you want to establish an identity. The identity that we need from this football team is one that’s willing to work. It’s impressive. Every day you come back, you check all the data you receive from the GPS, tracking top speeds, the workload, change of direction, explosive movements, and it’s night and day. These guys going through 14 practices, made it challenging. We want them to be uncomfortable throughout this camp. It’s early mornings, long nights. These guys, they just continue to get up and go and push. We’re not exactly where we need to be, we’ve got to do a great job the next two weeks to help get ourselves there. But we’re taking positive strides. We’re still a young team, we’re still an emotional team at times. But being able to control those emotions and go out and play at a high level, at a controlled level with tremendous passion and investment in the work we’re going to do, and how much it means to you. So I’m pleased with where we are two weeks in, but we have a lot of work to do moving forward ahead of Notre Dame.”

Norvell’s evaluation of receivers through two scrimmages

“I think the group is an exciting group. It’s very young. I think we have three guys on our roster who are not freshmen, so guys are learning as we go. But I think when you look at it, Andrew Parchment was a guy tonight, you talk about the response, had an early drop and kind of got down on himself. Came back with a touchdown catch a little later in the quarter. Just that consistency is big. That’s something we’re going to need. You see guys like Keyshawn Helton, Ontaria Wilson who are playing at a high level. As good as they’ve played since they’ve been here. Then you have the newcomers coming in who are explosive players. Kentron (Poitier) had a couple players but then also had a couple negative plays that you can’t have. Just have to work on that consistency play in and play out. I think what I’m seeing from the group. It is a talented bunch. Excited about how we’re going to continue to create the explosive plays, we just have to do that on a more consistent basis.”

Norvell on progress of the offensive line

“We’re getting better. And we had some guys who are looking at different places. I think Rob Scott has had a remarkable camp. I know we mentioned earlier that we moved him over to left side, and it’s something that he’s really taken to. Had some great battles with him, Jermaine (Johnson) and Keir (Thomas). He’s doing a great job holding his own as he’s continuing to grow and develop. I think the continuity of the group is something that we’re still pushing. I think communication of what we’re having there up front is definitely getting better. Had a few guys that have, for different reasons, been bumped, banged and bruises or been unavailable. So we’ve had to look at a couple different options up front, and I think that’s helping the overall development of the group. I’m really pleased that throughout the fall camp where that group is going. I think it’s go a chance to be much improved from where we’ve been when you see the confidence that’s growing in that position each and every day.”

Norvell on the play of RB DJ Williams, who has shed weight since the spring

“He started in the scrimmage, he started off with a bang. He had a couple explosive runs. He’s had a really nice summer and then coming into fall camp, just what he’s done physically with his body, he dropped I think 12 pounds from when he first got here. He’s moving better. Just overall confidence with what he’s being asked to do. Definitely a real positive addition to our running back group with guys like Jashaun, Treshaun, and then also the versatility of LT and what he can do. It’s a dynamic group. I really like what I’m seeing from them. He’s definitely playing at a much higher level. He’s another guy who’s getting more confidence each rep. We tried to feed him the ball a little more tonight just to see him in that situation, and I felt like he did a nice job.”

Adam Fuller

Fuller on some first-year guys who could contribute:

“Let’s start with the guys that came in mid-year, Kevin Knowles, all he’s done is played really hard and made the plays that have come his way. So Kevin’s played corner tonight. So he’s done a nice job. And then, early on, start with the front, Patrick Payton has shown some flashes, been excited about that. We put George Wilson in there some tonight, just in some sub packages to try  to get his athleticism on the field. Hunter Washington has shown a lot of grit and toughness, freshman corner that’s kind of taken some lumps but he definitely has a really strong amount of grit to him. Shyheim Brown has flashed. We’re asking him to do a lot of things, not eliminating things when he’s in to try to force the development because the physical development is there, the confidence is there. So those are some of the guys that are getting the work. Omarion Cooper, he missed some early parts of camp but what we’ve seen early from him we’ve been excited about. So those are the newcomers.”

Fuller on the various linebacker combinations

“We’re playing with some two-linebacker systems, three-linebacker systems and one-linebacker systems. We’re trying to get it all ready. I think Amari (Gainer) has come along and we’re trying to put him in the right situations to make sure that he can rush the passer when we need him to rush the passer, he can play man coverage when we need to do that. He can play inside the box, so he’s getting those reps. D.J. Lundy has really taken some strides this year. I thought he had some real natural football team to him last year. He played meaningful snaps last year, but then you got banged up and, really again, missed some practice time and it seemed like he was playing more in games than he was in practice. That’s never good for a freshman. But I like the way he’s come along. So that group’s coming. I think Kalen DeLoach is somebody who’s probably made the most strides from where it was at the end of last year to where it is now. So there’s been some stock up, especially with T.J. and Kalen and their play as of late.”

Fuller on what Dennis Briggs and Fabien Lovett are bringing to interior of the line

“Fabien is definitely, you feel some ownership from him with how the defensive line performs. Fabien is definitely in the best shape I’ve ever seen him. His body looks great, he’s playing faster, he’s playing more consistent pad level, which allows him to play longer, throughout the down and more throughout the series. Dennis, we all know the story, like last year he came back in the Carolina game, and he barely practiced. But we put him in at defensive tackle and he just didn’t have the training to play inside very much last year but that’s where he belongs. He’s a disruptive, long, athletic three technique. And we’re seeing that throughout camp. That’s exactly where he’s supposed to play. That’s what his body type is, that’s his mentality. He’s created a mindset that that’s what he is. I like Dennis. I think Dennis has a great upside, this is a huge year. In order for our D line to play well, Dennis Briggs has to play at an extremely high level. He’s a very important piece to that front. And when the money’s on the line right now he’s going to be the action and we’re going to count on him to be able to make the plays that are necessary at that position.”

Fuller on Travis Jay, who has played corner and safety, is he still doing that or locked in to a spot

“Yeah, we put Travis at corner. That was something we made a decision really early in camp, try and develop some consistency for him. I think the corners have to be your most competitive, one-on-one players, they got to be athletic enough to win the one-on-ones out there. He it fit all of those bills, and it gave us a chance to just hone in on him playing that position. And that’s the direction we went. It’s felt right, the last week and a half, seeing him out there and I think he’s developed a real good relationship with Jarvis, and those two are working with each other. But that’s a position move we made, I’m feeling really confident about it. Travis is definitely taking some really good steps to be a really good one-on-one defender.”