Fisher Ponder review practice, preview Maryland

Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher
Q: Do you have all your wide receivers available for this game?
Fisher: Yes, we do.
Q: How has practice been for you this week?
Fisher: Good, it's been real good. Their intensity has been good and they have been doing a good job. Very pleased.
Q: Did you as coaches work the team a little harder coming off the loss?
Fisher: No, I mean, we work them hard every week. Whether we win or whether we lose, we are still going to work them hard. There is not going to be a change, and like I said, we are not going to change what we do or how we do it, we just have to do it better. I told somebody this, we scored 17 points in the game, we drove down and threw an interception, and we made a bad decision. It was there, the play wasn't executed, boom. We had a chance for points. We drive down to the 28 at the end, didn't execute a play. Had a chance there for points. We miss a field goal that we normally make (spotted at the) 33. We went for it on fourth and five, so you are talking about 34 points. What I am saying is things are never as good as they seem, or never as bad as they seem. We need to finish our drives, get our swagger back, and keep doing the same things. We are not going to change what we do, or how we do it. It was little tweaks and turns and it was execution. That's from us coaches. We have to coach them better, teach them to do it better, and expect them to do it better.
Q: Are you proud of the way this team responded this week in practice?
Fisher: Yeah, and I have been. We have practiced well most of the time for the majority of the year. I think one or two weeks they have slacked and we had to drag them through it, but they have responded well to most challenges. It's going to be a huge challenge going up there, because they haven't lost in their stadium, we are going to have to go up there and compete. That is what I am interested in is how we go up there and compete.
Q: You will be able to do whatever you want playbook-wise with a full receiving corps. We're you limited last week?
Fisher: Not really. Sometimes you have guys that get tired, but that is no excuse for us losing a ball game. We are going to do what we do.
Q: Have you talked with Christian Ponder about how the cold affects throwing?
Fisher: You have to make sure you lick your fingers (laughing). I played in that, I grew up in that. That's not far from where I grew up. I actually liked sometimes throwing it in the cold weather than in the hot weather. You have to deal with the sweat and all the other things – if you keep your fingers moist, you can throw the ball and control it.
Q: This week was probably good preparation.
Fisher: It really was. I was hoping it would stay cold like it did on Tuesday – Wednesday was mediocre, Tuesday was really good I was hoping it was going to stay really cold again. Actually Tuesday might have been our best practice, guys were bouncing around, throwing and caught the ball well that day – and ran.
Q: Are you guys healthy?
Fisher: Yeah, you got your normal bangs and bruises at this time of year, but yeah we are pretty healthy.
Q: What challenges does throwing against the zone pose?
Fisher: Maryland is a zone type team, but you know what? Georgia Tech was a zone type team, Clemson was all zone, it's all the same coverages. The zone has nothing to do with – the other day we didn't get the running game going, made some poor decisions in the passing game. We throw against zone all the time.
Q: Any plans to get more of D'Vontrey Richardson in the game?
Fisher: I hope so. We had some last week. He is doing well and I hope so. I can't tell you guys everything.
Quarterback Christian Ponder
Q: How were this week's practices?
Ponder: It was good. I thought we had our mind's screwed on. I think at the beginning of the week you could tell people were still a little disappointed and had their heads down but today people came out and had fun. So we are getting back to where we were before and that is football being fun. We are getting there. I thought the whole week went pretty well, it was pretty good.
Q: What is it going to take for the team to bounce back?
Ponder: To forget about last week. We just have to come out, we just have to execute and play how we can play. I think if we can play and do as well as we can then we will be okay.
Q: What is it like playing at Byrd Stadium against Maryland?
Ponder: It is tough. I was up there two years ago, it is tough. It is a pretty tough environment, it is pretty cold, but it is going to be like any other game. We have to come out and play how we can play. We cant really worry about anything else. We just have to focus on playing.
Q: They are not a team that stands out statistically, does that make the team eager to play especially coming off a loss?
Ponder: Yeah, we are. We are but I don't think the rankings really show how good they are. They are a lot like Boston College, they execute well, they are very disciplined, and they are very physical. We are going to have a tough challenge for us but if we come out and execute how we can then we will be okay.
Q: How important is it for you to have a good game against a zone coverage?
Ponder: Yeah, it is going to be good. If you look back Virginia Tech was a zone team. Georgia Tech was a zone team. A lot of teams that we played were zone teams as well. We can have success, it is just really about execution and it is about the small things. As long as we focus on those things we can do well.
Q: What is the mood around this team going into this game and trying to bounce back?
Ponder: I think definitely we can. I think earlier in the week we were a little down. I think a couple of guys were still focused on the lost but come Tuesday most guys were focused and ready to bounce back. We worked hard all week and I thought this week was one of our best practices.
Q: How do you build up a resiliency to bounce back?
Ponder: It is just really the guys that we have. The kind of character that we have on this team. It is really the character on this team. We have a lot of good guys and a lot of guys that want to win and who care about this team and doing what they can and what they have to win.
Q: Is it different playing in the cold?
Ponder: Oh yeah, it is very different. The balls are dry, they are pumped up more, and your arm is freezing. It is definitely different. Once we get out there and start playing it isn't a factor at all because you start warming up.
Q: As a quarterback, do you try to stay loose on the sidelines in those kinds of conditions?
Ponder: Yeah, definitely. That is a big factor, especially your shoulder. You have to keep it loose. Hopefully we will have the heaters and the jackets on the sidelines. Once the game gets going we will be fine.
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