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Thursday, December 27, 2012
First-year FSU assistant Sal Sunseri weighing in

By Heather Dinich

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Florida State defensive ends coach Sal Sunseri had his first official practice on Thursday with the Noles in preparation for facing Northern Illinois in the Discover Orange Bowl, and he hasn’t wasted anytime giving his input.

Sunseri, who was Tennessee’s defensive coordinator this past season, was hired earlier this month to replace D.J. Eliot, who will join former coordinator Mark Stoops at Kentucky. Eliot has remained with the Noles through their bowl preparations, but Sunseri brings the experience of having been a defensive coordinator, and he spent three years as the assistant head coach and linebackers coach at Alabama under Nick Saban, including the 2009 and 2011 national championship teams.

“It’s another set of eyes to confirm things, bring an idea here and there,” coach Jimbo Fisher said after Florida State’s first practice in South Florida. “Having been a coordinator before and on a lot of great staffs, that’s what you look for -- you don’t look for 'yes' guys. You look for guys that have ideas, have things to throw out there to you so you can constantly grow, even when you’re making the decisions. I love that on my side, when guys are constantly trying to bring things up, and that’s what he’s been able to do -- [suggest] different ways to defend things.”