August 14, 2013

FSU D brings the heat early in 1st scrimmage

Florida State's new defensive scheme is supposed to put offenses off-balance. The Seminoles got an early start Wednesday.

Players and coaches both said FSU's defense dialed up the pressure in the first preseason scrimmage. The Seminole defense brought pressure and tipped a fair amount of passes.

"Our guys got to the ball," head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "They were creating a lot of havoc that way."

Senior linebacker Christian Jones said FSU went through almost the entire book of packages and coverage options. While he said the variety of checks and defensive audibles the Seminoles ran through was overwhelming at first, he saw his offensive teammates' heads spin once or twice.

"Especially when we go into our dollar and 3-4 look they don't know who's coming," Jones said. "Then we throw a safety blitz and them and the offensive line look at each other like they're crazy because they're not used to seeing the safeties come down and blitzing."

Jones said FSU did have plenty of tipped passes - but said that was expected with a more aggressive defense.

"With the group of guys we have it shouldn't be a problem," Jones said. "We should have turnovers. There were a lot of batted balls. And hopefully those batted balls will turn into picks."

FSU's defensive backfield will be the focal point of the new approach, and the Seminoles were down one cornerback. P.J. Williams, who has spent much of fall camp taking first-team reps, was out with a thigh bruise, Fisher said. Williams will return soon, but in his stead, Ronald Darby took first-team reps.

"I noticed him out there a couple times," Fisher said. "He made a couple plays, knocked some balls down. Darby's getting back in the swing of things, which is good."

Also missing the scrimmage was freshman defensive end Davarez Bryant, who hasn't been in pads the past two days of practice. Bryant will be out 2-3 weeks.

Linebacker Telvin Smith was once again a vocal presence for the FSU defense. Fisher said that's been doubly positive as FSU works in new defensive coaches to the mix with Jeremy Pruitt, Sal Sunseri and Charles Kelley.

"When you've got Telvin out there, it's like having three coaches out there," Fisher said. "He's been out there running around telling everybody what to do."

Jones, who plays next to Smith at linebacker, echoed Fisher's sentiment.

"When I get tired I look at him and he's hyping me up," Jones said. "We've been playing together since freshman year and we always have fun out there."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!