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The Seminoles continued fall practice on Tuesday with a 24-period workout. As was the case Monday, the players wore shorts and were without pads. As such, there was very little contact and most of the day was spent working on fundamentals and assignments.
When the clock hit period 15 the skies opened up and heavy rains fell. That didn't slow the team down as they continued and completed all 24 periods.
"The rain hit us about two-thirds of the way through, but we didn’t miss anything," head coach Bobby Bowden said. "I thought it we were a little better than yesterday. Hopefully it will gradually get warmer.”
The team did some light 11-on-11 scrimmaging at the end of the practice session. Senior cornerback Leroy Smith had the play of the day when he intercepted Wyatt Sexton during 11-on-11 (No. 1 defense vs. No. 2 offense).
“We were in man-to-man coverage and the receiver ran a slant and I just broke on the ball," Smith said. "I had help from the safety so the quarterback had to make a perfect throw and I stepped in front of the pass.”
Also in 11-on-11 drills defensive end Willie Jones had a tackle for loss with the No. 2 defense. Prior to 11-on-11, the team held pass skeleton drills (no offensive or defensive lines) as Chris Rix connected with wide receivers Craphonso Thorpe and Dominic Robinson on a pair of long gains. Sexton added a 25-yard completion to tight end Matt Henshaw. Wide receiver Chris Davis also snagged a handful of mid-range receptions.
Unfortunately, the day ended on a down note when cornerback Antonio Cromartie went down with a knee injury after getting tangled up with Chauncey Stovall on a pass play in the final minutes of the practice.
"I think he had a knee that was a little scary coming in," Bowden said. "He has had a little problem with it. I feel sure the doctors will want to take a look at it. To what extent I don't know but I saw him fall down too many times today."
An exact diagnosis has yet to be determined and Cromartie will undergo an MRI Wednesday morning. Warchant.com will continue to keep readers up to date with Cromartie's injury on the Tribal Council.
Wednesday’s practice is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m.
Portions of report from FSU Sports Info.
Players excited about team unity
The buzz words last season were chemistry and unity, and there were definite improvements in these areas. Over the past few months the team has grown even closer together. During June and July a large majority of the players took part in voluntary workouts. Those workouts not only helped the team get in better condition for the upcoming practices and season, they also went a long way to improving team unity.
“The team is gelling together," cornerback Leroy Smith said. "We have a lot of players back and this is my senior year so I am very excited for this year. The workouts this summer were great and were very important. All of the players are entering two-a-days that much more in shape. The workouts are going to pay dividends all season long. Coach Jost was out here with us doing cardio work, sprints and helping us prepare for the season to be a better team.”
Last year the coaching staff took steps to improve camaraderie among the team by organizing player-coach get-togethers, and re-creating the Unity Council. Another activity took place this summer when the players went to the Seminole Reservation to participate in what is called a 'challenge course' which is designed to promote leadership and teamwork . All of these activities seem to be making an impression.
“I think more than just the workouts we did this summer was the many things we did on the side," tight end Paul Irons said. "We had a team barbeque thrown by the players, the administration threw us a couple of outings under the stadium, we had a dinner the Sunday before two-a-days started. The leadership on this team is something that is going to help us. All of the guys are focused and we are on the same level. We are also seeing the same goals. The most important thing is that we are seeing the same things; the same criteria that it takes for us to achieve our goals. That’s really been great for us.”
* Freshman center Dumaka Atkins, who was slated to wear jersey No. 58, is now wearing No. 52.
* During one-on-one drills safety Pat Watkins and cornerback J.R. Bryant recorded interceptions.
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