Hey folks! Happy Tuesday. The weather's beautiful in Tallahassee, but that doesn't mean we can't spend the next hour or so indoors talking football. Fire away with questions...
Can you Believe that the First Seminloe that was selected was EJ Manuel who went to Buffalo?
Yeah, I'm a little surprised by that. Jimbo Fisher and EJ both maintained all along they felt he'd be a first-rounder, so I guess it shouldn't be a total shock. And I think, if you look at the QB class in this year's draft, there was no slam dunk. What it came down to is that all of the QBs available were going to need work, but EJ might've had the most upside. I don't know that we'll look back on 2013 and say any future hall of famers were a part of this class, but EJ probably has a shot to be a legit starter in the league for a while. Would I have drafted him there? Probably not, but then again, I'm not running an NFL franchise for a reason.
Do you see Clint trickett coming back to haunt FSU in at matchup against him this season?
No, that's pretty unlikely. I don't know the specifics of Trickett's release, but it's generally assumed coaches won't let players transfer in conference. Moreover, from everything I've heard, Trickett is looking at West Virginia, USF and Auburn -- none of which are on FSU's schedule for the next two years. Is a bowl game matchup possible? Perhaps, but you can't really plan for that. Besides, by that point in the season, I think most FSU fans will be happy to have Jameis as their QB anyway.
Great weekend to be a nole fan. How many first rounders are you thinking next year potentially. Jones, Jerrigan, and Erving or Im reaching. I of course would want Jerrigan and Erving back but still nice to see FSU represent the draft so well
Indeed. For all of the wins and losses, I think there's a case to be made that last weekend is the biggest accomplishment of Jimbo's tenure so far. There used to be a time when FSU was destined to have numerous first rounders. It's been a while though. Nothing helps recruiting more than putting that many guys into the league.
I think it's a trend that will continue, too. Maybe not 11 every year, but FSU should be sending 5-6 guys at least. As for next year's draft, I think those are the 3 guys with the best shot to go first round. Jernigan is probably the closest to a lock in the group. Jones and Erving still need to prove something in 2013 before we can consider them first rounders, but both have the talent to do it.
With a record 11 noles taken in the draft this year it seems that the noles are finally firing on all cylinders again. Are the championship caliber noles "back"?
I wrote a piece for the blog yesterday looking at potential first rounders over the next few years, and to be honest, I had trouble narrowing it down to 3 for each year. I don't think it's unreasonable to say there are at least two dozen guys on the current roster with NFL potential. That, of course, doesn't mean they'll get there, but it says a lot about how much the talent level has improved under Jimbo.
Any word on Rick trickett and his feelings on his son leaving the staff he works for? I don't doubt his coaching ability though I must say I fear it changed his opinion and or his respect level for Jimbo
I haven't spoken to Rick Trickett about his son leaving (we don't get many chances to chat with assistants) but I don't think it's as big a deal as some fans want to believe. Was Rick rooting for Clint? Sure. But Rick's also been doing this long enough to know that you have to play the best player, and I do think Clint got a fair shake. Jameis was just better. Now, if Jimbo hadn't let Clint transfer, that might've stirred some bad blood. But Clint's moving on to a good situation, and Jimbo made the right decision at QB. Nothing to be too upset about.
Tim Tebow's faith is more scrutinized than the (alleged) Boston bombers. FACT! Why?
Not sure why I'm answering this but... is anyone really scrutinizing Tebow's faith? I think we're scrutinizing his ability to play quarterback. His faith has nothing to do with that discussion.
Considering the defense seems poised for another strong showing in 2013 it seems as though the Noles will go as their QB and OL go. That said, even with the loss of EJ Manuel and Menelik Watson to the NFL, the Noles appear to have reloaded nicely with Jameis Winston at QB and either Bobby Hart or Ira Denson at RT. That said, do you think FSU has what it takes to win their 2 toughest road games at Clemson and UF this season? If they win those games they'll likely be back in the ACC title game and possibly the BCS title picture as well since the rest of the schedule is pretty winnable.
I'll say I think the offense has a chance to be pretty good even with the turnover at QB and RT, and I do think FSU has a good shot at winning both those tough road games (though, I'll be a little surprised if they win both). BUT... where I might disagree with you a bit is, I'm not totally bought in on the defense just yet. I do like Pruitt and I think the scheme will eventually pay big dividends -- but it's a complex approach, far more so than Stoops' D. It's going to take some time for these guys to grasp all the nuance of it, and there could be some growing pains along the way. I'd say the line of demarcation will be Clemson. If they can mostly have the system mastered by then, they'll be in good shape. If not, Clemson has the weapons to make it a shootout.
With FSU's schedule, barring an upset at Pitt, they should get off to a good start, how high do you think they can claim in the standings if the team preforms well under Winston? The ACC isn't getting much preseason love.
Yeah, well, the ACC not getting love isn't exactly a surprise. My guess is FSU will start somewhere in the 14-16 range, and if they win out up to the Clemson game, they'll be top 10 most likely. But I wouldn't go checking off Pitt as a win just yet. That'll be a tough environment for Jameis to be making his first start and for the D to be tested for the first time.
Also with FSU having 11 picks in this years draft, they out drafted every team, and since there is rarely and opportunity to do so I will now take a moment to point and laugh at all sec teams..... Bahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahah
Enjoy it while you can!
Any news on G5s injury?
I don't have specifics, so can't pass that along. I do know Reid's going through a rough time, and it's tough to see a guy who has worked so hard to overcome mistakes have yet another big obstacle put in front of him.
What was the consensus of Lamarcus Joyner's spring? He got burned a few times in the spring game.
He did get burned a few times, and I think that was to be expected. There'll be adjustments there. Still, I think this is the best move overall for both Lamarcus and for the Noles. He fits better at corner than safety, and I think he'll do well covering slot receivers (an area the Noles didn't always handle well in 2012) and it gets Karlos Williams on the field, which I think is a plus for the D. I don't think it'll be a seamless transition, but Joyner's as hard a worker as there is on the team, and he'll be ready by Game 1.
At this point which Nole returning from injury do you see having the biggest impact coming into this season
Are we including spring injuries? If so, I'd probably put Jernigan and Darby atop the list. But if we're talking about injuries that date back a ways, I really like what I saw from Dan Hicks this spring. He missed all of 2012 with a knee injury (and was slated to play TE before that) but his return to defensive end has been impressive. I thought, of all the DEs this spring, he was the most consistently impressive. Wouldn't surprise me if he ends up the starter opposite Edwards.
Does Jimbo have a philosophical opposition to designed QB runs? I read that he doesn't plan on having that be a major part of the offensive with Winston. He didn't do it much with EJ. Just seems like having 2 running QBs and not designing runs wastes some opportunities.
I don't know that he has a philosophical opposition to it a a part of his offense, but I don't think he'll ever build his offense around it. I went back and looked at play calling during his six years at FSU, and he's averaged a QB run on about 1 in 10 plays. Given the level of athleticism he's had at QB, that's definitely a bit on the low side, but he believes in a pro-style offense, and so he uses designed runs as a counter to that rather than a foundation for his play calling.
Jimbo did a great job in my opinion at replacing all if the assists, some big time recruiters, and guys with experience at big time programs... Which new hire will have the biggest positive impact by the end of this year? And by start of next year?
Judging the impact of an assistant is a little tough because they do so much we never see, but Pruitt and Sunseri have already had major impacts on recruiting, and I think those two have made the most changes to the personality and scheme of the defense. So that's probably the answer. I will say though, I like Jay Graham's youth and energy with the RB group and I think Randy Sanders' calm, cool, veteran approach with the QBs could work as a very nice counter balance to Jimbo's personality -- particularly with a young QB.
we lost a couple key players on offense (pryor, manual, thompson, watson) but do you think the offense could be better this year than last year
Could it be? Yeah. Will it be? I wouldn't bet on it. I mean, you have to remember that FSU's offense was pretty darned good last year. I think we all remember the NC State game and the frustration of that second half. But look at the numbers: FSU was one of just four teams in the nation to average 7 yards per play. That's going to be hard to top with a first-year QB.
I will say this though: I think where people find fault with the offense is, FSU was 4th in the country in yards per play, but 19th in the country in yards per game. It's not that the play calling hasn't been successful, it's that in a time in which so many teams are moving so much faster on offense, FSU is running far fewer plays per game. In fact, just doing a bit of quick math here... FSU ran 67.2 plays per game -- which ranked 91st in the country. Clemson, meanwhile, averaged .7 yards per play less than FSU, but ran 19 more offensive plays per game.
Does Wilder become the 1st 1,000 rusher since Warrick Dunn? He seems like he might be getting the bulk of the work and has earned the shot to be a feature type back. I know the carries will be split though.
Someone's going to break the streak eventually, but I'm not sure it'll be Wilder. For one, I do think he'll split carries. Even if he gets tabbed as the "go-to" guy, I'd guess he won't see more than about 60 percent of the carries. Second, his style of running is just so punishing that you have to worry a bit about how banged and bruised he'll get as the year progresses. Injuries have been a major reason FSU hasn't had a 1,000-yard guy, and Wilder certainly carries that risk.
Winston showed a lot of enthusiasm on the sidelines last season and really looked like he was glad to be a Nole. How have the players responded to him as a QB. Other QBs in the past appeared to be leaders, but didn't have the trust of their offense.
He's a young guy, and he hasn't done anything on the field yet, so that makes a difference. BUT... the players really do seem to like him, and he really seems to get what it takes to be a leader. On the baseball field, he's been a guy who has rallied his team. When Jimbo flipped out on the Noles after a practice this spring, it was Jameis who stood by the entrance to the field and encouraged every last player as they went back to the locker room. And as you said, there may not have been a more excited cheerleader on the sideline last season than Winston.
List the qb options as follows. Best feet? Best arm? Biggest upside? Biggest question mark? Best football iq?
OK, well, I'm no scout, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but: Feet is Winston, arm is Coker, upside is Winston, question mark is Coker (tons of upside, but farther from attaining it), football IQ... probably Winston, but only because he's spent more time in a good system, where Coker worked out of a Wing-T to start his QB career.
Is there a clear cut starter at RB? James Wilder has the ability to punish defenses over the course of a game with his physical run style and it is beyond me why he doesn't get more carries.
Jimbo hasn't said there's a clear cut starter, and given the rash of injuries at the position this spring, we didn't get a chance to see much of them on the field either. I do think Wilder's role will be increased this year -- but perhaps not a bell cow type of role.
One other thing on Wilder: He's clearly been the vocal leader of that offense. There are plenty of veterans who play that role to an extent, but Wilder is the guy who's the loudest. He's really embracing the role.
how badly will the noles miss Dustin Hopkins?
I think Aguayo has the leg to be a very good kicker, but you have to remember that even Dustin Hopkins wasn't Dustin Hopkins as a freshman. His year by year FG% went 70 to 78 to 81 to 83. Can we expect Aguayo to match or better that freshman year mark of Hopkins? Sure. But match his senior year numbers? That's aiming really high.
What do you see as the biggest or most glaring "problem" or "question mark" with the team coming into the season
Two things in my opinion that stand out: 1.) I want to see some marked improvement on the O line. It was a solid, if unspectacular, unit last year, but they'll need to take a serious step forward this year to protect Winston and open up running lanes. I was a little concerned about the lack of progress made, particularly by the interior guys, this spring. And 2.) The pass rush from the front 4. I get that Pruitt's scheme will help take some of the pressure off the front 4 and bring blitzes from other places, but you can't always scheme around a detriment in the trenches and you can't just replace Tank & Bjoern. Edwards has upside, but he's inconsistent. Casher and Newberry are being asked to do things they haven't shown they can do. Jernigan is a great player, but he can't do it alone.
And if you read that answer and said, "Boy, it's troublesome that the two biggest concerns are at the line of scrimmage" you're probably right. Not saying both units can't improve dramatically before the start of the season because the talent is there, but it's definitely a concern.
Not an FSU topic but how do you feel about Eddie Lacey and Franklin to my Packers
I thought in the case of a number of teams (GB, SF, Baltimore) the rich got richer in this draft. Those teams had fewer holes to fill, and they did an excellent job of getting value at areas of need.
Which do u think impacted the lack of 1000 yard rusher the most, injury? Lack of quality? Lack of coach commitment to one single player? Multitude of quality players at once/meaning no one person got the majority or calls...
I actually wrote about this during the season (right after CT4 got hurt) but it's hard to narrow it down to one thing. It's been something different every year. There were some seasons with a bad O line or lack of quality runners. There were some seasons where FSU called 60+ percent pass plays. There were seasons (Greg Jones, Thompson) derailed by injuries. There were times when there were too many talented runners and so no one got the lion's share. It's just one of those streaks that's borderline inexplicable. There's no easy narrative to say why it's happened other than just a run of really bad luck and bad situations.
I couldn't disagree with you more.
Based purely on upside and ability, which qb do u want on your team? Ponder? Manuel? Winston?
Probably not a fair question because I think the answer right now has to be Winston, but largely because of how much we don't know about him. I don't think the take on Winston is that much different than it was on Manuel 5 years ago -- we just had a chance to see Manuel's limitations in action already. Based on pure athletic talent, EJ and Jameis are pretty close -- so do you want the guy we know about or the mystery? And that's no offense to Ponder, but his skill set just doesn't match the other two.
How do you think a more aggressive nole defense will serve in the acc? Is it to much to say that it could resemble a alabama defense considering thats where pruitt came from.
Is it too much to say that? Probably. Few defenses have been as dominant for as long as Alabama's. And even Jimbo has said that when you try to copy something great, what you get is always a bit of a downgrade. But, given that this is the ACC and not the SEC, and given that FSU has the talent to match up with Alabama's talent (mostly), I do think it has a chance to be a VERY good defense. But remember, it took a couple years before Bama became Bama, so it might not be an overnight success for Pruitt. (That said, he's starting from a much higher point with FSU than Saban started with at Alabama).
What acc team do u see making a surprising push and putting themselves in the acc title talk late into the season?
Well, I don't think it's going outside the box to say FSU and Clemson are the front runners in the Atlantic, though I think if Maryland can get its QB situation straightened out, they'll be tougher than people think. In the Coastal, I know all the love seems to be going to Miami at the moment, but I like the direction Fedora has UNC pointed in, too.
Does FSU ever get a game-changing WR like Peter Warrick again? They have a solid corps, but the best offensive teams always have that game breaker.
Benjamin has a shot to be a difference maker, but I'm not as convinced it happens for him as I was a year ago. Rashad is a very good WR, but probably not a Peter Warrick. The guy I think has a shot to be a really special player is Kermit Whitfield. He has game-breaking speed, but he's also a legit football player -- not just a track star on the football field.
Winston gets hurt three games into the season (pounding on wood) who steps into the starter roll?
How bracey been doing in track?
Too good for Jimbo's tastes.
Of the two teams entering the acc this year, which team has a better freshman year in the new league
Pitt. And I say that as a Syracuse fan.
OK folks, that's all the time I've got. I'm going to be out of town next week, but we'll chat again in two weeks, so save up your questions.
Thanks for the questions and have a great rest of your week!