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January 8, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with David Hale

David Hale
  (10:58 AM)

Happy Tuesday, folks. Hope everyone had a good Christmas/New Years/Etc. Been three weeks since we've chatted, so I'm guessing there's some questions you've got... fire away!

Andre (Tallahassee, FL)

How much ground does Pender have to make up in order to get a decent share of carries in 2013?

David Hale
  (11:01 AM)

Short answer: A lot. Wilder and Freeman are obviously well ahead on the depth chart at the moment -- and because of the injury, Pender hasn't even really practiced, so he's not just falling behind in terms of game-day experience. Moreover, Ryan Green and perhaps another top RB will be coming into the fold for 2013. It'll be a crowded depth chart... unless the latest JWJ news means a job opens up, which is still a bit unclear.

Andre (Tallahassee, FL)

Any chance Winston "temporarily" converts to WR if he cannot manage to beat out Coker or Trickett over the next couple seasons ala Ryan Tannehill and Collin Klein?

David Hale
  (11:02 AM)

Andre -- it's an interesting thought, but that assumes there'd be any more playing time at WR, which really, I'm not sure there will be. Plus, I think FSU knows what it has in Winston and wants to refine his QB play more than anything else. Even if he's not the starter Day 1, there's a good chance he gets some playing time. Remember, 2012 was the first time more than a decade that the backup QB at FSU didn't get some significant reps.

Andre (Tallahassee, FL)

With coach Craig off to Auburn, who takes over as QB coach and more importantly is the flag bearer when it comes to recruiting? Are we going to go with a guy in house or does Jimbo have someone up his sleeve?

David Hale
  (11:04 AM)

Not entirely sure the answer on this one, and it's interesting that this has probably been the vacancy we've heard the least about. I will say that Jimbo has really prioritized recruiting with his new hires, and Pruitt probably handles Alabama about as well as Craig did, so that could be a fairly easy transition (as easy as these things get anyway). What may be more interesting is to see whether the guy who replaces Craig is someone Jimbo wants to groom for play calling duties.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Even though you Cover Florida State Football, What is your Favorite NFL Team?

David Hale
  (11:05 AM)

Sadly, I'm a huge Eagles fan. I grew up just outside Philadelphia, and have suffered through too many disappointments to count. And this year was pretty much rock bottom.

Mitch (NC)

With respects to NIU, does FSU consider a. playing the orange bowl instead of the championship and b. getting a lop-sided win against a team playing way out of their league a successful season?

David Hale
  (11:06 AM)

Well, depends what your question is exactly, Mitch. Do FSU's players consider it a success? Yeah, I think so... and they should. I know the schedule wasn't all that tough, but still -- 12 wins, an ACC title, a BCS berth... those are all really good accomplishments and deserve to be celebrating, particularly when you keep in mind where the program was when this senior class arrived.

David Hale
  (11:07 AM)

If you're asking whether FSU fans should consider it a success, that's a bit more complicated. I'd argue that Jimbo sold this season as the final step in what he was building here, and it didn't turn out to be that. But if you consider it climbing another rung higher on that ladder -- a pretty tall step at that -- then yeah, fairly successful.

David Hale
  (11:08 AM)

But as I've said repeatedly during the past month -- Jimbo and FSU deserve to get to celebrate a very good season. But they also need to be honest with themselves about where the team fell short and make the necessary adjustments in 2013 rather than rest on the somewhat hollow laurels of 12 wins and an ACC title. If this year is about moving forward and making progress, great. If it feels to the team like the finish line, that's a problem.

Mitch (NC)

Yes, I meant players. Fans always want more. And not to insinuate it's not a success. I just know they had their eyes set on a higher prize.

David Hale
  (11:09 AM)

I think they definitely would've loved a national title, but they're proud of their accomplishments, and I think it says a lot that they kept focus even when some of the luster came off the season. It was a mature group.

Andre (Tallahassee, FL)

With this still being a pretty deep team, particularly at WR and RB, who are the most likely transfer candidates?

David Hale
  (11:10 AM)

I have zero inside knowledge on who may be planning to move on, but the one name that certainly springs to mind here because of circumstance is Christian Green. It's a crowded depth chart at WR, and he pretty much disappeared from the offense altogether in 2012 after a pretty strong freshman season. Again, I haven't spoken with him personally about a potential move, so I'm just speculating, but based on circumstance he'd probably be among the most obvious options.

jerry (fla.)

how can you say it was a successful season.they didnt win the nc which they say nc or bust in the beginning of the season!!!!

David Hale
  (11:12 AM)

Again, it's all about YOUR perspective. There were 123 other D-I teams that didn't win a national title. Even if they'd gone undefeated, they may not have even gotten the chance thanks to the schedule. It wasn't a season that was completely successful in terms of reaching that ultimate goal, but progress was made from where they were, they won a conf title for the first time in 7 years and were a legit contender all season. That's worth celebrating.

jerry (fla.)

wow they won the acc.lol that was really difficult,lol.

David Hale
  (11:16 AM)

There were 11 other teams that didn't do it.

David Hale
  (11:17 AM)

Slow questions day, eh? Nothing more on the assistant coaches? Juniors leaving? 2013 schedule? Conference re-alignment? What I had for breakfast? Anyone? Bueller?

Brandon (AZ)

What do you think of the Charles Kelly hire? Is he part of the Saban tree?

David Hale
  (11:22 AM)

Not part of the Saban tree, but he did work with Jimbo briefly at Auburn in the mid-90s. He was Tech's top recruiter, knows Georgia well, and while the Tech D was pretty much unfixable, he did manage to turn it around a good bit after he was promoted in the wake of the Al Groh firing. Overall, solid hire -- good mix of coaching skill & recruiting ability.

Nathan Johnson (Madison, WI )

So like every year does FSU close strong again with the 2013 class? They still have a lot of targets out there that have yet to sign. How important do you think this class is with some holes to fill on this team.

David Hale
  (11:25 AM)

It's tough to have back-to-back-to-back top-5 classes because younger guys see less opportunity for playing time when the classes before them were so stacked with talent. The coaching turnover is going to make things harder, too. But some fresh blood may have some positive aspects on the recruiting trail, and once decisions have all been made by juniors, there's certainly a chance they could close strong enough to be in that 8-10 area on the recruiting rankings.

Adam (Atlanta)

David,Wouldn't the ACC benefit from realignment of the divisions? Give it a little geographical and rivalry relevance. It is crazy GT and FSU do not play every season. Both teams struggle with selling out some other home games, why not make some changes? Fans do not travel like they used to when they can sit at home and watch every single game.FSUClemsonGTNC StateDuke Wake UNCMiamiVTSyracusePittBCVirginiaMaryland (Louisville)

David Hale
  (11:27 AM)

I'd like to see this happen, too, but the ACC is reluctant for reasons I can't entirely explain. Of course, it'll be interesting to see what kind of chaos looms on the horizon this offseason as the Big 10/Big 12 continue to look toward expansion.

Mitch (NC)

The new additions to the ACC are obviously good for basketball, do you think there is a positive or negative affect on ACC football?

David Hale
  (11:28 AM)

Well, Cuse/Pitt/Lville were 3-0 in the bowls, so I suppose that's encouraging. Pitt should be a better football program than it's been, and L'ville proved it can play with the big boys. Cuse was headed in the right direction, though the coaching change comes at a bad time. It's probably the best the ACC could do from a football standpoint, which isn't to say it's necessarily anything great.

Mitch (NC)

Way-too-early-picks, who wins the ACC next year?

David Hale
  (11:29 AM)

I'd probably lean toward Clemson at the moment. I though the D really improved as the season progressed, and there's just so much talent on offense. Plus, FSU plays at Clemson in 2013.

David Hale
  (11:31 AM)

OK folks, I guess we'll wrap it up a little early this week. But we'll do it again next week... Tuesday at 11. Thanks for the questions!