FSU's revamped staff ready to roll

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It has been the most dominant and recurring headline of the offseason for Florida State, but Jimbo Fisher insists the task of replacing seven assistant coaches in the span of three months was no big deal.

The departures were expected after three years of success. The new faces were battle tested and required little time to adjust. The whole process, Fisher said, was relatively painless.

"It's not been hard because those guys come off the same tree," Fisher said of his new assistants. "They've been in the same system, been in the same environment. They hit the ground running easier than the old group did."

Fisher's optimism, along with a strong push on the recruiting trail before national signing day, has helped to calm a nervous fan base, but as Florida State and its six new assistant coaches begin spring practice, questions still remain about the direction of the program after such massive turnover and the reasons why so many marquee jobs would be vacated in such a short time.

Even before defensive coordinator Mark Stoops bolted for the head-coaching job at Kentucky in December, Fisher expected defections. With three straight winning seasons and two calm offseasons without a coaching departure, the odds were stacked against the Seminoles this time around, and Stoops spent much of 2012 as one of the nation's hottest candidates for a head-coaching job.

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