The final days of preseason have arrived for the Florida State Seminoles. After two physical training sessions to start the week, the team wore helmets and pants on Thursday morning to limit contact. Head coach Mike Norvell said after the session that the Seminoles would be back in the pads on Friday.
NoleGameday was present at the session and we’ve listed some observations from different stance groups and players below.
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– Thursday was a shorter, less physical workout after two tough practices where Norvell mentioned the players were still hitting their top camp speed. Throughout a less than two hour session, the majority of the attention was on the fundamentals and different aspects of special teams.
— There were a ton of different special teams working. At the start of practice, the coaching staff emphasized the punt and the punt return. The punt team was trying to get players in position to knock down punts around the goal line. Wide receiver Mycah Pittman still seems to be the most natural punt returner on the roster.
– Later in the day, the Seminoles spent quite a bit of time working on different kicking situations, including onside kicks. Norvell worked with the group to decide when to catch a kick or l attack and recover it.
–Wide receiver Mycah Pittman missed an onside kick that bounced in an odd direction early in the drill. A few minutes later, a kick came again off a jump and Pittman immediately took over, drawing praise from Norvell and special teams coordinator John Papuchis.
– Norvell was pleased with a few onside kicks from kicker Ryan Fitzgerald and punter Mac Chiumento.
–The Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs had representatives in attendance Thursday. It appeared the Bengals and Chiefs were watching Jammie Robinson while the Titans, Colts, Packers and Ravens focused on the defensive line.
– Make back-to-back days for wide receiver Ontario Wilson with a nice catch. After pulling off a tough hold yesterday, Wilson did it again on Thursday morning. Quarterback Jordan Travis looked deep but was forced to check with Wilson. The ball was low and too far in front of the red-shirted senior, but he made an impressive effort to control his body and use his fingertips to bring it back.
– Florida State is still finding balance with Joshua Burrell at wide receiver and running back. He had a nice catch out of the backfield early in practice.
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— Quarterback AJ Duffy made one of the best shots of the day early in practice. With pressure on his face, Duffy threw deep at wide receiver Mike Roussos and placed the ball on his shoulder where only the receiver could get it in. The whistle may have come before the pass, but it was a good delivery. . A few players earlier, Duffy and Roussos connected on the sidelines with a nice pass outside the pocket on the move.
– Harder to score on the offensive line and defensive line when the pads aren’t popping, but veteran Dillan Gibbons showed good awareness and positioning on a few pull blocks.
– Wide receiver Johnny Wilson scored a touchdown on a hail miss.
– The best defense play was made possible by a deflection from true freshman defensive back Azareye’h Thomas. He tipped a pass slightly behind receiver Malik McClain. Linebacker Brendan Gant showed excellent body control to line up and intercept the deflection.
— The defense pressured in various ways to confuse the attack. Shyheim Brown, Patrick Payton, Amari Gainer, Daniel Lyons and George Wilson all came to quarterback at different times.
– Defensive back Akeem Dent and Renardo Green both deflected passes that day. It’s been Green’s most consistent fall training week after a stellar performance in the offseason. Green had assists on Tuesday and Wednesday.
– Defensive backs focused on passing in the end zone during positioning drills. Kevin Knowles and Jarrian Jones each had sport interceptions where they pointed the football and fell. Defensive coordinator Adam Fuller was pleased with their efforts.
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Stay with NoleGameday for more Florida State football coverage throughout fall camp.
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