Chat with David Hale
Welcome to NoleNation! On Tuesday, reporter David Hale stops by to chat about the state of Florida State football.
Hale joined ESPN.com in 2012 after covering the Philadelphia Phillies for The News Journal in Wilmington, Del., and the University of Georgia for The Macon Telegraph. Hale has written about college and professional sports since 2004 and currently lives in Tallahassee, Fla.
Send your questions now and join Hale Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
David Hale (11:28 AM)
Hey folks, sorry for the late start... had something come up I had to attend to. Let's get going though, and I'll stick around a bit late...
Davonte (Birmingham, AL)
ok, this year was suppose to be the year again!!!! like last year the noles end up being a bust so i would like to know when will it really be the noles year???
David Hale (11:29 AM)
Well, is it really fair to call them a bust this year? I guess they didn't live up to the VERY high expectations, but we're still talking about a team that won 11 games, won the ACC, is favored to win the Orange Bowl, hung with No. 4 Florida, has 4 guys on defense who could be first-round picks, vastly improved on the O line... I mean, there's a lot to like about this season.
David Hale (11:29 AM)
And the thing is, it's easy to hope for a national title or undefeated season every year... but man, that's a tall order.
Hale, 11 am. We're gonna start having you run bleachers at Doak if this keeps up.
David Hale (11:30 AM)
Based on the christmas cookies I've already consumed this month, running the bleachers is going to be a necessity regardless.
David, Kenny Shaw is fortunate to be back and healthy after last year's Oklahoma game. Is it unrealistic to expect a full-fledged return from Willie Haulstead in '13? Thanks.
David Hale (11:31 AM)
It's tough to know what to expect from Haulstead going forward because I think, regardless of what kind of shape he's in, he's been passed on the depth chart by some talented WRs who aren't likely to give up those roles soon. Still, we saw some development from Haulstead later in the year, and he was on the field for a good bit in some of the latter games. That's a big step for a guy who simply looked bad in the early going -- heavy and slow.
David Hale (11:32 AM)
There's no easy recovery from a concussion like that, and the injury not only has to heal, but it takes so long and you're so limited when you have it, that there's all kinds of other areas you end up needing to rehab too. I think if Willie can get to a 25/300 season next year, that'd be a huge accomplishment.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
How do you think that Florida State will do in the Orange Bowl?
David Hale (11:35 AM)
This is a far more interesting question than it appears on paper, right? You've got an FSU team that will have had a month to take a breath and reflect -- and I'm not sure that's a good thing. You've got a coaching staff already down 2 (and likely 3) guys. You've got an opponent that inspires little in terms of enthusiasm for FSU, but that will go into this game looking at it like a national championship game. Motivation is going to be a key. I still think FSU is just physically WAY too good a team to lose to the likes of NIU, but I could see it unfolding similar to that GT game in the ACC championship -- one where FSU is in control the whole time but never really clicks on all cylinders and never really puts the game away.
Who do you predict as FSU's DC? Also, the impact of FSU losing Eddie Gran?
David Hale (11:36 AM)
It's strange how quiet the DC situation has been. Considering Jimbo sounded like he had a short list -- if not his guy -- already in mind from Day 1, you'd think we'd have had something come out by now. Instead, it's been quiet. This is just a hunch on my part, when when you've got a situation that's this quiet for this long at this time of year... it gets me thinking perhaps an NFL name.
David Hale (11:38 AM)
As for the situation with Eddie Gran... I think it's a pretty significant loss. He did a lot with those RBs this year (and both still have some developing to go) and he's so involved with special teams, which were something of a mixed bag but still very effective at times. You're not going to find too many RB coaches with resumes as good as Gran's... but this may open the door for Jimbo to bring in a guy he views as his future OC and play caller, too, so there's some silver lining.
John passehl (Lake zurich )
What's a Nole?
David Hale (11:39 AM)
Thing is... it's not even a full Nole. It's only a Semi Nole. Right?
Who are the leading candidates for the dc position and when is it likely to be announced?
David Hale (11:40 AM)
At this point, I'm not expecting an announcement until after the bowl... which is something Jimbo hinted at. It could happen sooner, but I wouldn't be holding my breath.
Jared (Atlanta, GA)
David, any thoughts on why Greg Hudson isn't being offered the DC position?
David Hale (11:42 AM)
Yeah, Jimbo didn't sound keen on this option from Day 1, and I'm assuming he has his reasons and knows his staff's strengths and weaknesses better than anyone. My guess, however, is that the fact that Hudson hasn't been tied with any other jobs means he's not overly upset about it either. I think Jimbo has had 1-2 guys in mind from the start, and I know he views this as a marquee assistant position in the country... so he's aiming high. Perhaps higher than Hudson, I'd guess.
Why has Chritian Green seen such limited playing time after having a promising year in 11 but was a non factor in 12
David Hale (11:44 AM)
He's a really interesting case. He's pretty much disappeared from the offense. Jimbo was asked about him recently and gave a pretty bland "he's been fine" answer, and to some degree it is a matter of only having so many footballs to go around. Still, it's tough to explain a guy going from 450 yards one year to 33 yards the next. I'm hoping to talk to Christian specifically in the near future, so perhaps I can get a better answer for you from the man himself.
Another coach is leaving. Why is Jimbo taking so long to replace these guys?
David Hale (11:47 AM)
Again, Jimbo said last week that he wasn't feeling pressure to make a quick hire and that it could wait until after the bowl game. If it's a guy who already has a high-profile job elsewhere or, perhaps, an NFL gig, he may simply be waiting for the season to end. As for replacing Eliot... Jimbo probably wants to allow the new DC -- whoever that ends up being -- to have a say in the hire. The Gran news just came out today, but again, I think the assistants are sticking through the bowl, so it's not essential Jimbo hires a replacement immediately. He's aiming high, so he's not rushing to get a hire made. This isn't unprecedented.
is it time to hit the panic button? We are down what 3 coaches at the moment and no legit candidates have come forward. how many recruits can we expect to lose with all this uncertainty?
David Hale (11:48 AM)
Don't panic. Recruits may be a bit anxious, but I doubt any of them bolt before coaches are hired. They'll want to see who comes in, too. And signing day isn't until Feb., so even if Jimbo waits until after the bowl game, there's still a month to repair any relationships that have been hurt by all the turnover. And again, just because a hire hasn't been made yet doesn't mean there aren't good candidates. In fact, I'd argue the opposite is true. The longer this drags on, the more likely it is there's a guy Jimbo wants and is willing to wait for.
Laurence (Dallas, TX)
There has been a lot of realignment talk in the past several weeks but seems to have died down temporarily. There are different stories that many major boosters want to change but not so much the administration. Is this more of a media hype or does it appear that FSU is looking to change conferences?
David Hale (11:51 AM)
There's some legitimate smoke to the rumors... but I'm not sure how much of a fire there is just yet. I will say, the Tommy Tuberville hire at Cincy strikes me as a particularly interesting development. Why would a coach of his stature who had a solid job at a AQ-conference school leave for a Big East job unless he was pretty sure there was more movement on the horizon, with a potential opening for Cincy in another league (like the ACC)? I'd be surprised if there aren't more dominoes to fall... but I'd also be VERY surprised if FSU is one of the first ones. If, say, GT and Virginia left though... then I think there'd be real momentum to make a move. It's a wait-and-see situation for the time being.
Who do think will start at qb next season, clint trickett does not seem like the man to lead a team of this caliber
David Hale (11:53 AM)
I can do little more than guess right now, Dan, because there are three legit candidates, but we know very little about two of them and I don't think Jimbo even has an idea of who he'll choose just yet. Trickett is the de facto No. 1, but so much will be determined by how each plays this spring. I could see sticking with Trickett into the season if you think that a.) your running game will be good, and b.) the line is going to take another step forward. Trickett has experience, knows the playbook and has a good enough arm to make plays through the air if everything else around him is working properly. So it could be a case of having the QB who is going to make the fewest mistakes if the rest of the offense is really working well.
Will fsu ever join the sec
David Hale (11:55 AM)
I'd say it's not likely. There's incentive for FSU to want to go that direction, obviously, but I think Florida would do everything in its power to prevent that from happening, and the incentive for the SEC to override that is limited. It's not like getting FSU opens up a new TV market (like Maryland/Rutgers for the Big10) or that the league lacks historical prestige that FSU could bring.
David, you hinted at an O'Leary/H-Back possiblity, yesterday, for '13...as far as a true FB replacement for Pryor, though, what's your take?
David Hale (11:57 AM)
This is one of the big questions we haven't heard much about, Matt. There's not an obvious candidate on the roster to handle the role in anything close to the same fashion that Pryor has for the past 4 years. It's possible Jimbo tweaks the offense enough that you don't need a more traditional guy in the job or that Wilder is convinced he'd get enough touches in the role to want to accept it or that FSU brings in a more traditional fullback late in the game on the recruiting trail... but those are all a lot of big "ifs" right now that we don't have answers to.
I'm a season ticket holder and dissapointed with the future schedules. Why does Randy and Jimbo keep scheduling these nobodys. I know Nevada is a good team but try telling that to the BCS.
David Hale (12:00 PM)
And don't expect Nevada to stick on the schedule... Nevada wants out and there's a good chance that they'll be replaced by an even worse name. The problems are these: 1.) FSU doesn't want to schedule a lot of home-and-homes vs. big name teams. 2.) Big name teams have been reluctant to want to come to Tallahassee (see WVU this year). 3.) The impending playoff system is going to provide even less incentive for teams to schedule games they could lose on the road because the more teams that get into the playoffs, the less strength of schedule is going to matter. Even the mid-level teams like Nevada want big payouts that FSU's budget simply doesn't allow. And it's not just FSU... look at the non-conf schedules for lots of other teams (like Florida!). It's just that when you combine bad OOC schedule with a bad ACC... the whole thing starts looking ugly.
A complete restructuring of the coaching staff is very tough to overcome - how critical are the next two years for Jimbo? Can he overcome a 3 loss year in 2013?
David Hale (12:02 PM)
Restructuring a coaching staff isn't easy, but certainly if you bring in the right guys, it doesn't have to be impossible to overcome. Consider that the offense really revolves around Jimbo, and he's not going anywhere. The defense will be overhauled, but that's true of the personnel, too, where a number of starters are or could be leaving. And as long as a good hire is made by early January, there's no reason the recruiting class should take a big hit. All in all, it's not panic time yet.
David Hale (12:03 PM)
Oh, and as for whether Jimbo can overcome a 3-loss season next year... I think he can, because I don't think he goes into 2013 with any kind of a real mandate. BUT... If they go, say, 9-3, 8-4 next year, the pressure does become much greater for 2014, where we may see more of a "mandate" type of situation.
Do you think Jameis Winston could be like Johnny football?
David Hale (12:05 PM)
Two big differences: 1.) FSU's offensive style isn't the same, so I don't think anyone would put up Johnny Football numbers here, and 2.) Jameis is physically MUCH more impressive than Manziel... He's a huge kid with impressive speed. He's more of a Tebow body style but a better arm and mechanics. The kid has massive upside -- it's just a matter of how quickly he can harness all that potential and blossom.
Drew (New Haven, CT)
David -What do you think the plans are for Karlos going into the OB and next year, linebacker or safety? Is Moody healthy enough to play in Miami?
David Hale (12:06 PM)
Good question, Drew... haven't heard whether or not Moody has been cleared to begin practicing again, but I'd figure with a full month before the OB, there's a decent chance he could play. If not, I'd expect Karlos to get the call there.
David Hale (12:07 PM)
Long term though, it's more interesting. If Brooks and Joyner are both back next year, it wouldn't seem like there's a ton of PT available for Karlos. On the other hand, with FSU playing so many spread teams in the ACC, there's not a ton of snaps for the SAM linebacker either. Just look at how rarely Moody was on the field this year. Williams is SUCH a good athlete and capable of doing so much physically, that the SAM position seems like something of a waste of his ability (plus, he'd probably be asked to bulk up a bit to play there, which takes away from his great speed). I think his future is still at safety... but man, he sure was impressive against Gt.
Any idea on when Chris Thompson's eligibility status will be known?
David Hale (12:08 PM)
I'm going to look into that this week, but the NCAA tends to not rule on those things quickly. From talking to Chris, it sounded like he wasn't expecting to hear anything until after the holidays.
Which players do you see leaving early for the NFL?
David Hale (12:09 PM)
I'd be shocked if Werner came back. Too many reasons to go and virtually no good reasons to stay. His position coach is leaving, two of his best friends went down with season-ending injuries, he's projected as a top-10 pick... just makes sense. I think Rhodes probably goes, too. I'd expect everyone else to return at this point... but you never know what a rookie contract (even as a 3rd or 4th rounder) could do for a guy's family, so there's always an incentive for a guy to leave.
How was Bjeorn Werner excluded from espn's all america team. He had the same amount of sacks as clowney and plays the run better. Seems like nothing about talent just popularity
David Hale (12:11 PM)
Mike, I didn't have any say in that selection, but I will say that Clowney is awfully good, too, so there's no shame in finishing second to him. But I think there were 2 big problems for Bjoern: 1.) He played opposite Tank, who also put up huge numbers, while so much of what Bjoern does didn't show up on the stat sheet and 2.) The SEC gets more national TV time and more hype from... well, everyone... so that helped Clowney in the popularity dept. The irony to that, however, is that the offenses in the ACC were pretty good, but everyone suffered because the defenses were so bad and therefore the whole league looked bad.
How do you see the FSU UF game going next year?
David Hale (12:13 PM)
Wow... that's really asking me to peak into the crystal ball. We don't even know who FSU's QB will be yet. But I will say that FSU's defense figures to take a step back and Florida's offense figures to get a bit better. Plus the game will be in Gainesville. But if the Noles can even out the turnover margin and time of possession issues they had in 2012, none of that might matter.
cmb03j (loganville, ga)
Along the lines of conference re-alignment talk...judging from FSU's lack of $ in its athletic department and the current salaries of coordinators, does it almost seem necessary for FSU to join a more lucrative conference?
David Hale (12:15 PM)
Money always drives the bus on these things... and more specifically, football money drives the bus. My guess is (and I've heard this from a number of people) the ACC is telling its members that there is a structure in place to up TV money and (potentially) open up some additional revenue sources. Certainly Notre Dame remains the big carrot dangling out there, too. At this point, it at least sounds like that sales pitch has been enough to keep anyone else from jumping ship... but we'll see how the realities match up as the offseason progresses.
do you think Mario Edward Jr is going to live up to his hype? Will Jimbo hire an OC this year?
David Hale (12:16 PM)
Two popular questions! On Mario: I think yes. I've just heard so many good things about him from a physical standpoint and I was really impressed with how well he performed in a really difficult situation against Tech. I think the rollercoaster 2012 may have been good for him from a maturity standpoint, too. It was a humbling experience for a guy who may have needed to be humbled a tad.
David Hale (12:17 PM)
As for Jimbo... I mentioned this with regards to Gran leaving. I think he definitely brings in a full-time OC eventually, but my feeling was that wouldn't happen this offseason. Now that Gran is leaving though, it certainly opens the door for a hire like that. It may be a situation though where 2013 operates as something of a transitional year where Jimbo slowly hands over that role rather than just turnover over the playbook and stepping back all at once.
Reports of a one-year extension for Jimbo were aired last week. When can we expect more details?
David Hale (12:18 PM)
I'm guessing it's a lot about dotting the i's and crossing the t's right now. Coaches (including Jimbo) have been focused on recruiting so some of that may be delayed a tad. Next week, the coaches come off the road, and we could see something then.
David Hale (12:19 PM)
OK, that's all I've got time for. Again, sorry for the delay at the start. I appreciate you all sticking around. We'll do it again next week!