TALAHASSEE — Florida State head coach mike norvell spoke after his team’s Monday practice. He discussed numerous subjects, including the team turning their attention to Friday’s game against Florida. The complete video is below and quotes follow:
I thought today was a really good work day. Really, really impressed with the mentality, the energy and just overall work that we got in. I thought guys were a day closer to the last game and I thought they did a nice job in getting treatment, taking care of their bodies, getting their mindset ready to come out here and put together a really good Tuesday (practice). Some things we’ll have to continue to clean up as we’re building towards Friday, but I like the way the week has begun. Guys did a good job. I thought the focus was great last night. We had short meetings. Guys understand what’s ahead. For us it’s about going and just continuing to get better. Focusing on fundamentals, focus on details, the discipline that’s going to be necessary here this week and I thought they got off to a good start.
On when the nameless opponent (Florida and Miami) thing started and why
I don’t know. I just don’t do it. It’s not really, ‘Let me think about this.’ I just don’t.
On what stands out about Florida on film
You see talent. This is a talented team. Great size, speed, athleticism. You’ve seen them play at a very high levels at different spots of the year. It’s one that is very capable. They’ve played at a high level throughout. They’re in the first year of a new staff, new schemes, different things like that. It’s a talented group we’re playing.
On Billy Napier being in Year 1, similarities in taking over programs
No. Billy, he was the offensive coordinator at Arizona State right after I left. He does a good job. He and I don’t know each other like that. But a lot of people that have worked with him that know him have respect for him for who he is, and you see that he knows what to do offensively. They do a good job schematically and what they’re trying to attack. Great success at ULL in his time there. He earned the opportunity.
On seeing players like Sidney Williams and Brendan Gant excel on special teams
I love it. You see guys defining roles on special teams. And we’re not going to play a player on any unit unless we feel like they’re going to put us in the best position to be successful. You talked about those guys. Sydney has really taken a lot of ownership. Wyatt Rector has taken a lot of ownership. Brendan Gant, a lot of ownership. And that opens up even more opportunities as their roles are defined there offensively and defensively. I think those guys are making an incredible impact and we need that. We challenge our guys in special teams, every unit, every play. That is the most important play. And I think our guys have bought into that. But we got a bunch of guys that have really improved themselves through those experiences. Kentron is somebody I think about. Malik is somebody I think about that’s played at a high level within those units. We’ve got a lot of guys that really take a lot of ownership.
On success in November historically as a head coach
It’s about growth. It’s about growth throughout the season. We have a method of what we do and how we practice and how we continue to build throughout. It’s always focused on the fundamentals, the details, the discipline. It’s something we take a lot of pride in, how we finish. Because that’s one of those core things to our identity that we want to be remembered by. I think I said this the other day, it’s so easy to say it at the beginning, ‘Oh, we’re going to finish.’ Well, what are you doing, are you willing to do things day to day to put yourself in a position to grow consistently throughout the course of the season so that you can? It’s not easy. But it’s absolutely something that we want to be one of the cornerstones of our program is what we do there at the end of the season. It shows the growth and just the belief in who we are and what we’re all about.
On defense staying fresher with rep-counts staying low
When you’re able to play a lot of guys, it definitely helps. And it allows you to play fast. It allows you to even push harder there in practice in what we’ve been able to do. And so, our guys, the way they’ve taken practice to the field has been really impressive to me. And we need to do that again this week. But when it comes to their conditioning, when it comes to things that they’ve done, they’re ready to play a complete game. And ultimately it’s good that some of the pounding that comes up in the last four games that they probably missed out on a little bit, it definitely the bodies and allows them to still play at a very high level.
On offensive tackle Julian Armella’s absence the past two games
Julian has hit his fourth game. He won’t play again this season. We’ve made that decision with him.
On why he embraces the FSU-UF rivalry
It’s the passion, the intensity, the pageantry of it. It’s all of it. I’m a fan of college football. You can’t speak of great rivalries without mentioning this one. Obviously, the game we played earlier this year, I mean, it’s what people remember. It will always be talked about, some of the greatest athletes in the country, wonderful fan base, what it means to both universities. It’s an honor to be able to be a part of it. The reason why I jump into it? Because I respect it. It’s earned the level of respect for all the great players that have been a part of this game, the blood, sweat, the tears that have invested just to win this one. And that’s why I talk about those. …It’s about every day. That’s what you have to do. When you get to this one, this is gonna be one that’s going to be remembered. And they’re going to remember every part of it. So all the things that you do leading up, that put you in a position to at least be your best in the moment. But then you have to go do it. Last year, there was no difference in the emphasis, but we allowed ourselves to get distracted in some moments. We had some tough things that showed up and occurred. But we allowed ourselves to get distracted with all the emotion and all the things that are there and you got to learn from experience. I think our guys, they know what it takes. But we got to go do it.
On what the team learned from the 2021 game at Florida
I think that every experience that we’ve had, since I’ve been here, has been something that we reiterated throughout the journey. And it was something right after the season, in the locker room. We didn’t leave the stadium without having a point of emphasis of some of the things that showed up that cost us. There were a lot of plays that went through the game a year ago. But it would be a disservice to our team if we didn’t address it and focus on that. It was started in January when we got back in offseason training. It’s been spring balls, summer workouts, every game that we’ve had this season. You’ve got to have those reminders because you can learn a lesson, but if you don’t apply the information that was gained then you’re wasting what it was. We try to keep guys constantly growing but also we keep it as a reminder that, ‘Hey, look. These are things that have happened to us.’ And ‘What are we going to do to be different?’
Thoughts on Anthony Richardson as a mobile quarterback and such
He’s a special athlete. You see his arm strength, his mobility, his overall strength. We played him last year and we know the challenge that he brings to this game. He’s played really well a lot of times this year throwing the football. Coming off a game, I think he threw for 400 something yards last week. He is a talented quarterback. When he has to use his legs, he does that. You better come with everything you’ve got because he is a big, tough player. He’s a talented player. He definitely presents his own unique challenges.
On finding success running the ball late in the season; opposing defenses beaten and beaten?
Running the football is always a challenge. But when you got guys, every defense, they come into a season wanting to stop the run. Each game, that’s something that you’re going to have to fight, you’re going to make sure that you do a good job of trying to put together the best concepts, put the guys in the best position and then guys going out there and executing at a high level with physicality and determination. And we’ve had that show up over the last, well, pretty much throughout the season. It’s going to be another challenge here this week.