Tuesday's news about Rick Trickett's fat raise left FSU fans feeling blindsided. This is the Popeye character of the coaching staff who we keep waiting to deliver. The Jenny Craig proponent who loves 'em lean and mean. The ex-Marine who can't seem to find enough good men [for every Menelik Watson there are two or more Antwane Greenlee's].
But a high profile pay hike like his is a double-edged sword. The spotlight on the OL will now be brighter and expectations even higher.
Can he weave together a combination that works? That gives an offense balance, opens holes for Wilder, Freeman, Pender, et al -- and most important, that protects a young QB who’ll be learning on the job?
Can he teach and motivate all those guy on the bubble, including doghouse favorite Bobby Hart, Trey Pettis, Reuben Carter and Sterling Lovelady? And that’s without mentioning the up-til-now invisible Jonathan Wallace, a RS senior who was a preferred walk-on way back in 2009 and is now backing up Cam Erving.
Can he develop some semblance of depth, unlike previous years? Best example is last year’s ACC title game against Georgia Tech. One year wonder Menelik Watson goes out in the second half and FSU’s offense sputters, scoring zero points, while third down conversions drop from two out of three in the 1st half to one of five in the 2nd.
And all the while, can he create some magic on the recruiting trail? FSU is desperate for OL and it’s obvious that’s where the emphasis and offers are going for 2014. Will he land a bumper crop like 2011 (Austin Barron, Bobby Hart, Tre’ Jackson, Josue Matias, Ruben Carter, Sterling Lovelady, and Trey Pettis)? Or whiff as in 2010, when FSU’s one and only signee was Daniel Foose (currently in a roster black hole with Jacob Fahrenkrug, the anti-Menelik Watson).
If he does, he’ll actually earn that $455,000 paycheck and win over Seminole fans ready to throw him one helluva retirement party (Rick turned 65 on March 23).
And if he doesn’t, can Jimbo withstand the firestorm that will blast forth from fans and media? Or will we see an all too familiar blind loyalty rivaling that of his predecessor?