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FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE

November 27, 2017

Jimbo Fisher

Tallahassee, Florida

JIMBO FISHER: Hello, everyone. After reviewing the film, very proud of our team playing down against Florida. Thought they played extremely hard. A very physical football game. Up front both sides of the ball, that was a hard-fought, lot of licks in the game.

Very grateful for how our guys played as far as the effort, toughness, tenacity. There was a relentlessness to play hard. The rivalry game meant a lot to them. The team got to accomplish something that had never been done in Florida State history, winning five in a row. A great accomplishment, especially fighting through the season, the things that went on this year. Very proud of them for that, winning down there on the road in a very tough situation. Also keeping the 40-35 alive.

We have two steps of our pregame playoff. We have another one. We played an extremely good game. Got to forget that Florida game right now, process it, move on, get ready to play a ULM team who is scoring a ton of points on offense. Very dynamic. Put a lot of points on the board. Going to have to play great defensively, going to have to score points on offense.

Their returner Green is a heck of a returner, kickoff and punt returner. Got to keep him under control. Got a lot of things to work on this week, get ready to play. We come off a rivalry game, there's a natural tendency to ease yourself up, not because of a lesser game, but because of the emotion you spent in it. Now we got to process and move on. That's what mature teams do, and hopefully we've learned that lesson.

We don't have (indiscernible) syndrome, do things we got to do. Very proud of the way our guys competed. Thought Levonta Taylor was outstanding. Brian Burns, lineman of the week. He was outstanding, doing things, multi-dimensional. Derrick Nnadi, James, Sweat, Stanford Samuels, all those young guys. You saw Matthew Thomas make some plays. Ro'Derrick Hoskins, all the guys that made plays, very proud of them guys offensively.

Very proud. Very opportunistic. Left some plays on the field. Thought Patrick ran very hard, had big runs, big plays in the game. Auden Tate. Thought James made big key throws and decisions in the right game, at the right place at the right time, doing what he had to do to be successful.

I thought we kicked the ball extremely well. Our punter, Logan, was excellent in the game, field position, covering kicks. Just a great win down there. Now ready to play ULM.

Questions.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: Just like that. We're playing, getting ready to play this week at ULM. I'm coaching. We'll be ready to play.

Q. What type of offense do they run?
JIMBO FISHER: Very wide open. Quarterback, a lot of RPOs, run-pass options. Have a big receiver in Green, can make some plays. The other guys are very big, physical, run the ball very well, play over the top of you. A lot of RPOs, quarterback runs. I mean, very dynamic that way. Opportunistic.

I mean, they let it hang out. What I mean is, they get in those scoring battles, trick plays, whatever they do, they'll go at you. Very multi-dimensional what they do to spread the field.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: It's a good question. We pulled all the notes up. There are some things they have done going into that game, they still do them, things they're not doing as much. As seasons go on, injuries happen, different things happen, different teams you play, different scenarios, some things that are different. You can't just say pull it out and do all the things we did before. It's not the same thing because they're doing some different things.

It can be tough. As you walk back, start, things trigger back, I remember they did this, I remember they did that. If there's an advantage, you have a chance to remember some of the things they did, you have kind of a blueprint from before. You're kind of rechecking what would be good. There's some changes definitely have to be made because they've changed.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: Off week, which has been very critical.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: You cut practice. Change meetings. Do you different things around to help the concentration level. That's where the GPS helps tremendously as far as the physical part of it. What they think of practice, how hard it is on them mentally, physically, where their heart rates are, their speed. You can adjust whether the body is breaking down or not.

I think from a mental standpoint, I think the meetings and things you have to change up and mix up a little bit to create some different scenarios for them so they don't get drained. I know that sounds crazy. When it gets monotonous, over and over. Especially when you play so many young players, these young freshmen are now learning it's great to play, I got to play well. But wait a minute, I played that big guy, that guy hit hard, that guy hit hard. All of a sudden, after four, five, six weeks in a row of that, my body, man. You got to practice, and practice well. The mental and psychological fatigue that goes with being a young player that our guys are having to endure now and are doing a great job it, but it's all part of that whole process.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: Ever. I don't talk about it.

Q. Do your players come up and ask you frequently?
JIMBO FISHER: I'm always honest with them.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: No, he wasn't the one. No, it's a different set of officials. That's not our conference. If we get a reply back or not, I don't know. But, no, he was not involved in that.

I didn't see that. I didn't see that either.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: That's a great question (laughter).

But the other one, what went on, I don't agree with any of that at all. I mean, it was way off. Way off what we were told.

The bad part about it, he got tackled on the play. He threw his guy off of him, which was allowed. The he tackled him. Should have been a holding call. We were standing there thinking it's a penalty on them, going the other way, then I get all that. I mean, there's no way, because replays, you don't get it. It was a big shock the way that went down, it really was.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: It is because the way they play with an extra guy in the box. They did it in a profile position. What I mean by that, we block everybody but the edge, you zone read the edge, like a lot of teams do. When he makes that contact, it's not a head up hit. If he commits, the quarterback keeps the ball in play, when he's playing two guys a lot of times, already got three or four yards. You profile tackle, hitting from the side. You're going to get three, four, five, six more yards if you run the right way. He ran that way and did some other things.

How they played it by the team going in, you're going to create some yards in a different way. But that's how you have to play the extra guy in the box, people have to play the quarterback zone read, all that stuff. That's where that comes in. Yards are created more that way than the old school way of doing things, if that makes any sense.

How that guy is trying to play two people on the side, you know what I'm saying? You get moving inside, there's a crease, they're 230 pounds. You hit those guys, once they got two or three yards, you're coming down from the side, they're going to knock you backwards.

I was very proud of the way he ran in the game. He was huge in the game. The third and 15 after the called touchdown back that we end up getting the third touchdown to go ahead, they went to a blitz, we checked into a run, made a guy miss, made a 14-yard run. Had to kick a field goal there. Also a huge play, the check-down, the run. He's doing a great job.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: We've had that. We don't promote all that stuff. We've always done things. Some people like to do it. Nothing wrong with that, different things. We've always signified great plays, things like that. We have to do it right on the side over there.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: No. Recruited very well since I've been here, haven't we?

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: They see how he goes to work every day, how he gets on them, how hard he practices. They see it on film. That eye in the sky don't lie. When you put it on, they can see who's playing, who's not playing. They know who is banged up, hurt, bruised, playing through things. You guys, you can't fool them. They know internally. They have a lot of respect for him. I have a lot of respect for him. He has made a lot of changes in growing up, not that he wasn't, but just maturing, learning to fight through those things, learning to become the player he can become.

Q. During your time here, six bowls, how hard is that (indiscernible)?
JIMBO FISHER: It's hard. There's a fine line there. At the same time you can. But you have to anticipate, you have to stay on top of problems, you have to be willing to make changes in the changes that are made. Whether it's here, administratively, football-wise. You got to have a little luck, stay healthy at the right time, have a right break at the right time. All that is part of those streaks and things that go on. I mean, they're all part of it.

Q. Cam has a chance to become the all-time freshman rushing leader. Looking at some of the names on that list, what does it say to him?
JIMBO FISHER: Big shoes to fill in, especially with the expectations on him coming in. I think that's what he's learning to push through now. Yesterday, I didn't play as well as I wanted, didn't practice well last week sometimes. But they understand that.

When you get on those kind of lists with those kinds of people, it's not just talent that puts you there. It's character, it's toughness, it's discipline, it's sacrifice. I think what those young guys realize, those numbers around here by some of those guys, how they're earned. God bless you, but they also have a (indiscernible) to be able to get to that level. For him to be even mentioned in that is pretty special.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: Another spring practice. That's how much time you get in the spring, you get 15 practices. You can develop young guys, work on specific things you have. It's a huge deal in their development. Almost a practice where until the last, you know, seven or eight, the first ones you can kind of relax, not get grinded into a game plan type deal.

That's a different animal, you know what I'm saying? You can experiment with guys. You can change guys. You can get them to work on things, see what their future is going to be. Those 15 practices are huge because it's really an extra spring practice.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: He's been through it. He feels the pressure of winning. He's made plays that have led to us having the chance to win, maybe not win, a mistake costing us the game.

When you touch the ball every play, that's always going to be the scenario. I mean, you go all the way through. I mean, I can even remember Tom Brady two or three years ago, they went to Kansas City, stunk it up, got beat. He threw three or four picks. Tom Brady, 38 years old, he's done.

You have to remember every time you touch the ball, there's going to be a response to it. I think that's where he's grown. Truly understanding the magnitude of that and every decision you make, you're making so many as a young player, the way you're handing the ball off, making a run check, which he did in that game a couple times, made a couple big run checks that we split out.

Just watching him, how he dealt with that internally. Then to watch him make the plays he did the other day at the time of the game, was another step for him to say, you know what, no matter what goes on, he just keeps going. Learning, understanding, trusting in what we're trying to teach him.

He's done a great job. It's the physical part, but it's the mental part, the psychological disposition how to play the position, which is the most demanding. He's learning to roll with that. I'm very proud of him for that.

Q. Last month, where has the defense made the biggest strides in improving in-season since the Syracuse game, let's say?
JIMBO FISHER: I think Syracuse game they played pretty well, to be honest with you. I thought they really did. Controlling those guys at the time they were playing, Syracuse was. We gave up a couple third downs. Something we still have to work on. But we're creating more turnovers, more negative plays, capitalizing on the turnovers. I think we're playing together better a little bit as an offense, defense, feeding off each other that way.

I think they're playing the run very well. I think being more disciplined, the young guys in the secondary. I see Derwin playing better and better each week, as he's getting in the groove of playing.

Q. Talk about on your defensive line, you have a kid from Baltimore, Joshua, I can't say his last name. What did he bring the last couple weeks?
JIMBO FISHER: Four sacks the week before, which you saw his potential. Last week you saw the tackles, saw him playing the run. He's really becoming a complete player. Recognizing run-pass, pass-run, transitioning that way. He's big, long, athletic. He has an unlimited future ahead of him. Great kid. Very intelligent young man. Great future in front of him.

Q. What do you see different from Louisiana Monroe from September?
JIMBO FISHER: Defensively they're doing a couple things differently. Great question. Offensively, man, they're really dynamic. They were dynamic last year. They're scoring even more points right now. They're being much more consistent. Marcus Green is an outstanding player. Every time he touches the ball, special teams, all he does is make great decisions, hit what he throws at.

And they're wide open how they're calling it. Two years into the offense, so they're a lot more comfortable with it, doing the things they need to do. They're a very good football team.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: I think Dan is an outstanding coach. I've known Dan, talked to Dan off and on. We play common opponents. We share information. I guess those days are over (laughter).

I think he does a great job. I think he's done an outstanding job at Mississippi State, does a good job with the RPOs, quarterback runs, like they did with Tebow in the day. Run, pass. Guy they have over there right now. Outstanding team. They were a few plays away from being 11-1. You get good players in Mississippi. They've got really good players.

I think Dan halls done a great job running the organization. Smart offensive coach. Done a great job with defenses. Got a really good defensive coordinator in Todd. All those things lead to him. He'll be a very good coach at Florida, all the resources and players they can get.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: I think he can because people know. They can resonate with him because he's won national championships when he was a coach at Florida earlier. Going into a place that you have -- it's been a few years, but you still understand where to go, what to do, you know the state a little bit. I think he'll make a difference, I really do. I think Dan is an outstanding coach, does a great job.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: I've had them off and on. I've never had them start whole years themselves, you know what I mean, five games, six games off and on in a career.

It will make it very interesting for guys. Great competition. Good to see. See which one of them can go out there and lead our football team.

It's great to have that experience. You know this, you play two of them, maybe if that's the case, I don't know that, you have to wait and let it play out. Guy in the reserve has led teams, that's a great cushion to have right there.

Q. Looking at the roster overall (indiscernible).
JIMBO FISHER: I think some of those young guys like you're seeing on defense, Marvin, (indiscernible), secondary, Stanford, Cyrus. I'm probably missing some guys. Some of those young players, you see them evolving on offense. Keith Gavin, he grows up. Offensive line getting better, quarterback Cam Akers, Vickers, all those guys in the secondary. Those young backs behind them I think are very talented, I've said that. On defense, you don't know what juniors are going to do from that standpoint. You got to wait and see. Makes you very excited. The kicking game. Those two guys, if you really watch the improvement they've since the first game, throughout the year, Ricky, Logan. They've done an outstanding job. D.J. Matthews, see him evolve on offense, the return game. A lot to look forward to.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, critical moment. There's a couple things he did wrong, but a couple things he did right. Even better than what I thought. What I was so proud of, again, playing those critical moments of the game when it was still in limbo, the situations he made, the decisions he made, I was extremely, extremely happy with those.

Q. James Blackman, is there a player he turns to in particular for advice or leadership?
JIMBO FISHER: I think he has a great repertoire with all the guys. No one that I noticed particularly. He's always standing in my ear in practice. When we get done, we're talking out the plays, watching the other guys do the plays. He's always in my ear. I'm sure there are some guys. I think Derwin always is very positive with him. I see him interact with him, even though he's on defense, encourage him, getting the guys going. I see that interaction a lot. I'm sure there are some others.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: You take it for granted. I'm going to watch my favorite team play, I'm going to have a great weekend, I'm going to have fun. Something like that happens. It just shows you how fragile life is. We respect what we do. I love the fans. I love everything about them. I want them to be the happiest people in the world. I respect everything they do, their loyalty, the things they give us. To have a fan go to game, have a great weekend, I can't process that. If it was my family, my son, my brother, one of my kids, how appreciative we are for that, the things we do. If we can find out things like that, we try to do that quite a bit. Just of the respect we have, the love. It's just family members. It's people. At the end of the day, that's what this is all about, our business, about the kids, the players, the coaches, the fans. It's all interaction of people. We all have feelings. We all want to be good, but we all have disasters that happen in our life. You know that someone cares and matters. For them to be thoughtful enough to come to one of our games, something tragic like that happens, just want them to know we care. God bless you, hope your families are okay. I know that's going to be tough. Our players, I'm very proud of them. They understand that, too.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: No, we enjoy them. I think trying to get them to understand how to prepare for it is huge. Also we do celebrate them. Don't ever take them for granted, that is for sure. Like I say, when you start to do it, they can go, any win, I'll say that. All the coaches tell me this, don't ever not be happy about a win. They're hard to come by, they can get away fast. We've seen that this year, different ways they can get away, how valuable they can be.

To a different thing, like you don't know what is around the next door. Enjoy the moment you have, enjoy the things you do well. The things you do bad, everybody is going to tell you about. But that's our world. You tell yourself. As people, we dwell on what we don't do well. Sometimes we don't enjoy and as they say smell the roses for what you're going through and the things you're accomplishing, whether you're a mom, coach, a dad, whatever it is. Just enjoy life. I think that's where we got to make sure we do that.

Q. Weird that it's still the regular season, conference championship weekend?
JIMBO FISHER: This whole season has been weird, it kind of fits in. We've been without an off week, all those things. Like I say, that's what life has dealt us. That's the hand we have. We got to play it. We need to go out and play well.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: I think he did. I still don't understand.

Q. For not being a big guy, does he get enough credit for getting those balls?
JIMBO FISHER: You run those routes in between those hashes, across there, you got to be willing to do that. You want a big guy, or nimble guys that get in and out. Eventually you're going to get hit. Made the catch on the goal line. Third down catch, big play. He still has so much more potential, consistently with which he has to go with. He's learning the toughest part of it, that's for sure.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: Is that the one we kicked four field goals in?

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: No. I mean, I know beating your rivals whenever you take a job is a huge thing. We had to figure out how to do that. Again, you didn't worry about it, but it was something you had to be aware of. It's amazing. That just shows you right there, they were on top of the world. Won two national championships in the last four years. I mean, the games they've beaten us, if I'm not mistaken, they dominated us. One year we had to kick four field goals, they scored four touchdowns, 28-12. Another sign of how quick things can turn. If you're not on top of it, progressing forward, going forward in what you're doing, it can turn in a heartbeat.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: Wow. How scary it is. I mean, how unstable everything in our profession is because of the dollars that are in it, the people that are in it, the insecurity that's in it, the instant gratification that everyone wants. It is. It's made this business very -- a lot of turmoil in it, that's for sure. You see this year, how many big jobs open, big jobs.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMBO FISHER: You control what you can control. Compartmentalize. If you can't compartmentalize in this world, when you're doing what we are doing, you can't function, all right? There's a time when I have to work with this coach, a time I got to work on this part of the game, time I got to work with the media, time I got to work on recruiting. You have to compartmentalize and control what you can control at that present time. You teach your kids that. They have to play that way. They have to understand in their life, there's school, outside forces, turmoil, social media, girlfriends, this, there's mom, there's dad, there's family. You have to learn to compartmentalize. If you can't, you can never function at a high level in high, intense situations that are pressure packed. It doesn't work. Over time I've learned to do that. Hopefully those kids, if they're going to play this game, keep playing at a high level, keep going to the next level, they have to learn to do that.

Like I always try to tell you, the old Tiger Woods things, you're wanting to win the game. No, I don't care about winning the game, I care about executing the play. When you make that call, I make that call, I don't think about winning the game, I think it gives us the most success on that particular play to accomplish what I have to get accomplished. You got to think that way. That's compartmentalizing. You hear me talk about outcomes, not process. That's what I'm talking about. When you're doing this, what can I control, live in it, take care of what I can control, put my head on the pillow and go to bed.

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