The Florida State Seminoles football team has high expectations this year. EJ Manuel is one of the most uniquely talented quarterbacks in the country and the defensive front looks to be loaded. As a result, the Seminoles are ranked seventh in the AP’s preseason poll and are a heavy favorite in the ACC. Just don’t expect to hear them talk themselves up, especially on Twitter.
Jimbo Fisher joined Joe Rose on WQAM in Miami to discuss the expectations surrounding his football program, the process of converting Cameron Irving to offense and the advice he’s given quarterback EJ Manuel. He also addressed his philosophy on his team using social media, making an interesting comparison to firearms.
On how he’s controlling expectations:
“Like I tell them all the time, I say, ‘Guys, expectations are the first thing that you need to be good. Because that means you have talent.’ Now, that doesn’t win you a game. Now you gotta go play the games. We have to develop our identity, have to development the toughness. … But you have to develop that week-to-week mentality that every game has a one-week lifespan, you gotta prepare for it like it’s the last one and then move on. And just take it one at a time and get better.”
On converting Cameron Irving from defensive tackle to offensive tackle:
“We tried to do it two years ago and he was just reluctant because he had started to really establish himself and he hadn’t played yet so he didn’t feel comfortable doing it. And we understood. I never make a guy do it that doesn’t want to because I think his heart has to be in it to do it. Then once we showed him, two reasons: One, our team needs it. Two, I think it can be very beneficial for you in the long run because there’s getting to be ton defensive linemen out there in the draft. There’s very few big, long, athletic, great offensive linemen.”
On limiting the hits quarterback EJ Manuel takes:
“I always tell him this: ‘First of all, you have to beat the opponent with your mind, then you have to be able to beat him with your arm talent, then third you have to be able to beat him with your legs.’ Think the game, play the game … Make the decisions you gotta do, make the throws you gotta make, and then if they’re not there, then you have to put it on and run intelligently.”
On how he feels about his players using social media (he banned his players from using Twitter this summer):
“I don’t have a issue with it. Right now we’re on a Twitter ban because I think we abused the responsibility. And I think it is a responsibility because you’re representing yourself, your family and the organization, and you have to do things the right away and you gotta understand the ramifications of words. Words are the most powerful thing we have, and as soon as they’re associated with your name — no matter if you retweeted them, if you tweeted them, no matter what happens — that’s stuck to you for life. And I think we’re constantly trying to educate our guys, understand the power of it. There’s some great things that happen, but also there’s detrimental. … It’s like a loaded gun. A gun is not a bad thing — people who use guns the wrong way are the problem. Guns have been in our society forever. If you’re educated about them and use them properly, they’re one of the great things in the world. But if you don’t and you use them carelessly, they’re one of the most dangerous things in the world. And I know that’s probably a bad analogy to a point, but in a weird way that’s kind of what it is.”