Still bummed about last Thursday, we asked regular contributor Seminole Steve some of the questions still haunting most of our minds. Since Steve has both played and coached the game, he's pretty savvy at analyzing what went wrong and how to fix it.
FSU's defense was a disappointment throughout the season. Do you see changes coming?
Seminole Steve: The only logical move I can see Jimbo making is getting rid of Bill Miller. Miller did a decent job with the young linebackers as Matthew Thomas came on later in the year but anyone can do that job with the amount of talent given. Charles Kelly needs to move back to linebackers coach and a new secondary coach needs to be brought in. Yes it is noted that Jimbo likes his Defensive coordinators to coach the secondary as well so the calls can be made from the back, as covering wr's and filling the run gaps become more and more important. Odell Haggins has done an amazing job every year although this year may have been the least talent he has had for the amount of top talent we have recruited. Chris Casher never panned out to be a top pass rusher and moved back to LB. Mario Edwards lost a step or two almost comparable to Clowney the previous year whether he was double teamed more or just saving his stock for the draft. Goldman was in and out, NLS was hurt, and Featherston was really the only bright spot vs inferior offensive lines. Put 20-30 lbs on him and he will be the next Brandon Jenkins or Tank Carradine. He is fast, has long arms and can break away from the initial contact of a tackle. Haggins will work him into a top talent as soon as he commits himself to the weight room.
Charles Kelly is a real work horse which is admirable, but if he is allowed to stay his philosophy has to change. I believe Jimbo will retain him because Muschamp is already gone and so is Pellini (they both worked with Jimbo). Kelly called way too much a passive defense this year and did not utilize the athleticism that Mark Stoops and Pruitt used in the past to become top 10 defenses in the nation. We stayed back and waited for opponents to come to us instead of attacking this year, resulting in less turnovers and more yardage being given up.
Oregon was the more physical team, though FSU was physically bigger. They out-hustled the Noles and just wanted it more. Which brings up the fundamental question of what happened to our toughness, our attitude of dominating an opponent? We didn't have it this year, even against lesser opponents?
Steve: Intensity and toughness feeds off the coaches. I truly believe we need a loud mouthed, animated coach on the field in charge of the defense. It has been an integral part of our winning process. Even though Stoops didn't run up and down the sidelines and give high fives, he was in their faces and constantly getting into it with Jimbo because they were so competitive. I just don't see it with Kelly, although I believe he will get one more shot to right this ship as we need some continuity on the staff. Four coordinators in four years is just too much.
Part of Kelly's problem I have noticed is that he is a very relaxed guy. There is nothing wrong with that, as he knows his x's and o's and is great at making adjustments. But here is the thing, is he mastermind enough to develop a plan where the defense can attack and make plays instead of just reacting and changing in the second half? I am not doubting his ability to be a great coach, but he comes across as having no fire in him and doesn't get into his players face when they screw up or when they make a big play. Look at the top defensive coordinators across the leagues, they are very dramatic on the sideline and have a lot of energy. Players feed off a coach's energy and intensity.